by Richard J. Boylan, Ph.D.
Psychology and anthropology provide illumination and prediction about the effects on humanity of the public disclosure of extraterrestrial contact. Let us begin this examination of the effects of extraterrestrial contact, starting from the "pre-contact", natural, self-centered perspective from which we humans tend to operate.
Along the long chain of evolution from simple primate to homo sapiens sapiens, it is widely accepted that the point at which our evolution passed from pre-human (or proto-human) to fully human, was at the point at which man became conscious. Webster's defines "conscious" as meaning: "perceiving, apprehending, or noticing with a degree of controlled thought or observation", and "capable of or marked by thought, will, design, or perception". Inherent in these definitions is the idea that consciousness is self-awareness that is under the control of the aware person. While modern comparative psychologists have conceded that the faculty of consciousness is not limited to humans, but also shared to some degree by other animal and even plant life, it is the degree to which humans are self-conscious, purposefully reflective, and able to elaborate our ideas into complex actions and new creations, which marks our distinctive consciousness.
When we scan the other members of the animal kingdom, we have almost universally arrived at the conclusion that we are, perhaps through no merit of our own, at the pinnacle of animate life. What places us at the pinnacle of animate life, we deduce, is precisely the consciousness which enables us to step back and evaluate all other orders and species, and arrive at the conclusion that none is as conscious as we are. And we act upon this superiority- consciousness: we treat other species as inferior, and obviously here for our use and domination. We ride horses. We butcher cows. We pen up gorillas in our zoological gardens for our amusement or education. We eat chickens and fish. We keep birds in cages, and confine cats to our homes, as companions. And aside from the anomaly of the "neurotic" Venus fly-trap, we hardly give plant life any thought about its consciousness at all.
Naturally, we equate our superior consciousness with superior intelligence. Because of the apparently unique way in which we are aware, we conclude that the way we process information and organize data makes us the most intelligent species of all. Whales may have bigger brain mass, but no whale has ever produced a Lamborghini, we proudly point out. And again, because we place ourselves at the pinnacle of not only consciousness, but also intelligence, we assume that the rest of the less-bright natural order is putty in our hands, to be manipulated by our intelligence into useful and creative forms.
Human consciousness, we further surmise, is inherently an individual matter. Each of us has our own thoughts, plans and imaginations. We have individual control of these, and derive security from the idea that our thoughts are our own. Our cultural behavior is built around these assumptions. As an example, consider the reaction of a 14-year-old girl when she discovers that her parents have been reading her diary. But it is not that way with every culture on Earth. (And it most certainly is not that way with off-planet cultures contacting us.)
There is a tribe in the East Indies whose first ritual in the morning is to gather after awakening, and then each member of the tribe shares their dreams of the night before. The content of these dreams is seen as a valued shared resource, to be made use of by the entire tribe for instruction, prediction, and understanding. How different from the jealously-guarded individual thought domains of individuals in Western culture!
Since psychologists and anthropologists generally agree that the natural condition of humankind is social interdependence, it follows that modern hyperindividualism of consciousness may be seen as unnatural and dysfunctional. Put more strongly, we humans cannot attain our highest and best potential while we cage ourselves in cells of rugged individualism.
The extraterrestrials (ETs) accomplish their communication telepathically. Furthermore, because of the shared, radiating-outward quality of telepathy, ETs operate in a collective mind- field, a sort of shared mental "commons", just as the Boston Commons is a physical shared meeting ground. Because of their heritage of operating in a shared mind-field, the ETs have developed cultures which emphasize collective purpose, group will, and the presumption of mutual support and aid.
Furthermore, the ETs' degree of collective consciousness has opened them up to the presence of consciousness throughout the universe and in all things, to a greater or lesser degree. Additionally, the ETs have a metaphysics which seems to hold that consciousness is at the foundation of the universe as its Supreme Source.
Thus, one impact on the traditional cultures of the Western industrialized societies will be a radical revision in the way we look at consciousness. As we humans develop more experience in dealing with the extraterrestrials' consciousness, we will have to abandon what we will come to see as our distorted view of consciousness as completely individual. We will have to expand our understanding to create a permissive context for shared mental communication and group consciousness to be allowed to take place among us. Events which formerly were restricted to the province of psychics and the paranormal, such as reading another person's mind, will become commonplace. But even more, such consciousness-sharing will not be seen as socially impolite. In the mental "commons", no one is an intruder, and all have a place.
The transformative implications of this paradigm shift should not be missed. Just as at a nude beach, visual openness among people tends to create a social spirit of relaxedness and trust, even more so will a mental openness and exchange foster attitudes of mutual acceptance and respect, appropriate trust, and the abandonment of interpersonal behavior based on misuse of power and deception. In a telepathic mind-field commons, there is no place to hide dark thoughts of greed, hate, aggression and deception. Social collective consciousness exerts a pressure on the individual to abandon such thoughts, and operate in ways that work together for the greater good of all.
Our assumption about being at the pinnacle of evolutionary development, because of our highly-developed consciousness and intelligence, is due for a rude revision, when the reality of extraterrestrial contact emerges into public awareness. The consciousness of the extraterrestrials is not only arrayed more distributively than ours, it appears to be, on the average, much more developed. Features of such advanced consciousness development include: less reliance on material artifacts, greater reliance on metaphysical and spiritual perspectives in planning and decision-making, treating individual beings and planets from an integrated systems perspective, and an appropriate subordination of their motivations and will to ethical and spiritual considerations derived from awareness of the intrinsic sacredness of all creation.
Extraterrestrial intelligence is certainly not only greater than ours, but arrayed differently. Using human IQ as an inadequate but understandable yardstick, I have estimated the intelligence of the most prevalent visiting ET race at an average of "300 IQ". Of course, the ways that the ETs are intelligent are almost certainly different than our form of intelligence. And their intelligence, operating in conjunction with their advanced consciousness, develops much more thorough, systemic and integrated comprehension and problem-solving than is common in human intelligence.
Therefore, another paradigm shift which awaits us is the lowering of ourselves from the pedestal of creation's peak, and instead to place ourselves in a more modest but more accurate position somewhere along the spectrum of intelligent conscious lifeforms.
A corollary revision of human thinking involves the realization of the cosmic dimensions of the community of intelligent life. We humans will have to make the leap of awareness that, not only are we not the only intelligent, conscious life in the universe, but that such intelligent consciousness is common, and widely distributed among star systems. Further revision of perspective will be needed as we come to see that intelligence and consciousness form a community in the universe. This community is not just due to the common sharing of intelligence and consciousness, but more radically, due to the nature of intelligent consciousness as the core underpinning constituent of the universe. Further, that consciousness is intrinsic to the nature of matter and energy.
Another revisionist area for humans will be the erstwhile assumption that each of us is a personal uniqueness, consisting of a unique consciousness/personhood/soul, operating in one unique lifetime. The extraterrestrials know better.
While each of us is unique in the sense that we are not interchangeable clones, our uniqueness is not derived from separateness from the community and collective consciousness. For it is only within such community and collective consciousness, that we derive our awareness of being, our understanding of our special role and contribution, our sense of a heritage from which we are derived, and our sense of a future into which we can take our personal and community efforts. The individual person has no meaning divorced from the community of origin and community of participation. The extraterrestrial cultures have long since mastered this understanding. Members of ET societies operate from a communitarian perspective, and derive their sense of worth and belongingness from their contributory position within their communities.
Furthermore, when we view the situation from the perspective which the ETs use, we can see that while we may think of ourselves as unique individuals, each of whom has his/her individual allotment of intelligent consciousness, actually the reverse is the case. There is intelligent consciousness, distributed widely and generously throughout the universe; and of that consciousness matrix, we are somewhat individuated yet connected actualizations. This is also why each of us does not die, indeed, cannot die. As transitorily-individuated constituents of the pervasive consciousness matrix, since the matrix consciousness is forever, so are those connected with matrix consciousness.
The human idea of a soul doing a unique lifetime, after which it will be judged on how well or evilly it acted in its lifetime, is thus simply not a correct understanding. Human spirituality, at least in the Western industrialized cultures, has historically involved a cosmology built upon the assessment of the way the conscious self/soul behaved. Furthermore, our morality has been built on the proper exercise of the faculties of motivation and will, the handmaidens of individual consciousness. Each of these religious/moral assumptions will undergo abrupt discontinuity and major challenge, when humans, individually and socially, confront the paradigm-shattering implications of the public world announcement of extraterrestrial contact with Earth.
A major disconcerting notion for many Westerners will be the ETs' metaphysics. Their metaphysics includes the awareness that that which defines a person, their spark or soul, does not die nor is used up after a lifetime. Instead, that spark persist, and can, and often does, choose to reinvest in another body and go through another lifetime. Indeed, the ETs tell us, certain such sparks, which were invested in an extraterrestrial body in a previous lifetime, have subsequently volunteered to do a human lifetime, and have invested in a human embryo, and are doing a human lifetime currently. This "missionary incarnation" is apparently designed to help spread appropriate consciousness, as we humans prepare for the major transitional times which are upon us. Such serial-incarnation histories for a given soul/spark may help explain why certain human experiencers of ET contact have the notion that, although human, they have an ET heritage and/or an alternative ET consciousness which breaks through at times.
It follows that the perspective that a unique soul will be definitively judged at the end of its lifetime as to how well or evilly it behaved must be changed. No one lifetime is definitive for the soul. Indeed, soul continuity allows for the soul to become more developed in its consciousness and spirituality, as a result of the various lifetime experiences it has undertaken. Therefore, traditional Western societies' Judgment-Day mentality must give way to a more developmental understanding of the "Pilgrim's Progress" of the journeying soul. Parenthetically, such spiritual metaphysics underscores the folly of those U.S. military compartments which are waging covert war on the Visitors in their craft. Such hostilities are attacks on what may well turn out to be family.
As a corollary, evolution will now become seen as not merely a doctrine about physiological development, but also spiritual and moral development as well. And traditional notions of Divine Creation will have to yield to a richer understanding that the Supreme Source continually creates, and recreates, throughout successive lifetimes.
But no modern psychology and metaphysics would be adequate if they remained as mere conceptualizations, and were not translated into practice. Let us examine some practical implications of the above.
As background, the evidence suggests, as James Deardorff has noted, that Earth has been in a galactic quarantine against contact by other civilizations for a long time. And the quarantine is about to be lifted; not because we have been good, but because time is running out for Earth and for the human species. While we deserve galactic conservatorship, we are fortunate enough to be about to be offered galactic partnership: to save the planet, to end weapons of mass destruction, to work together to assure fair access to resources for all, and to acquire the information we need to develop further mentally and spiritually, so as to become fit to join the partnership of intelligent inhabited worlds.
In response to the lifting of the quarantine, we will need to develop a truly planetary single voice in addressing the Visitors. The shape and functioning of our future global governing structure will depend on what we insist that it be. We can draw some inspiration for the global governing structure by remembering that in America, we founded a country based on principles which are still the inspiration of peoples around the world. Is it not now time for us to reexamine the founding principles of our country? The right of human equality. The right to life and property (right livelihood). The right to pursue personal goals and objectives within the context of social responsibleness (the pursuit of happiness). And we must add to the Founding Fathers' list of basic rights, the other rights which we have signed off on which are included in the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights.
Furthermore, we will have to temper the American historical preoccupation with Rugged Individualism, by reflecting that, contrary to what Cain said about his murdered brother Abel, we are our brother's (and sister's) keeper.
Paradoxically, coming cataclysms will provoke each of us to reach down inside, and remember what is basic and best in each of us. Just as during the recent American floods, we saw society women and cleaning ladies, banking officers and farm hands all pulling together, filling sandbags while standing in the rain. Because, after all, it was everybody's community which was threatened. We need to keep that consciousness and spirit alive for the days of the near future, when we will be rebuilding human society, as we operate from the renewing perspective of having found out that we are cosmic citizens.
There is more. As we become aware of the Visitors from afar as not just curious interlopers from space, but rather quite literally our "distant cousins", we shall have our whole sense of reality changed, and hopefully transformed. While it may shake many to come to learn that the ETs have played an active intervening role in our evolutionary development over the aeons, this news can also serve to build quicker bridges between humans and our galactic distant cousins.
We have always risen to new challenges. Mastering such challenges have made us stronger and wiser. I expect that this moment in our history, as extraterrestrial contact is dawning, will prove no exception. We can, and we will, arise to the challenge of being confronted with cosmic citizenship and interstellar family ties. And when soon the official meeting between our Cosmic Visitors and ourselves takes place, we can let that be not just an historic occasion, but recognize the truth that it is a family reunion, and as such, an occasion for great joy.
What are the implications for us humans of, finally, the day arriving of the global manifestation of ET reality? How will it change us as individuals, as a society, as a planet? Each person will have to answer these questions personally, but I can offer some suggestions.
The advanced development of the extraterrestrials can inspire us to reach beyond our own current horizons. The ETs can, and will, challenge us to develop ourselves more mentally and spiritually, and to stop worshipping material progress for itself. The ETs will challenge us to confront, honestly, effectively and unflinchingly, the ecological crisis our world is in, and to turn the damage around now, for it is very soon becoming too late. The ETs, with their selfless outreach across millions of miles of space to raise our consciousness, can set an example for us to extend our own renewed caring to the less fortunate members of our own human race, and to see our basic solidarity as one human people. And the ETs can make us aware that the precious gift of life is not confined to one planet, or one millennium, or one galaxy, and thus help us have an improved understanding of what the source of life is, and on what our deepest human destiny is grounded.
An Age is passing; a new Age is being born. Let us welcome it.
© 1996 Dr. Richard J. Boylan, All Rights Reserved