In 1979 I came home from a screening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, totally overwhelmed with the concept of connection, and wrote a song called Exile:
We are in exile in the universe
And we’ve been sentenced to serve ten thousand years
Let the Courts of the Infinity
Be the judges of our destiny
As we struggle with our prejudice and fears…
From that moment on, I looked at our connection with other intelligent lifeforms not just as a possibility but as a puzzle as to why the certainty of it hadn’t revealed itself in some spectacular way. I decided we’d been exiled, which later morphed into a kinder and gentler concept of Quarantine, an idea that still stubbornly persists as my conclusive thesis for our aloneness.
It’s beyond crazy to believe anything less than the concept of countless other civilizations populating an infinite space, all of which remain beyond our reach. What’s so frustrating is that they haven’t reached out to US. If we’ve come this far in a few thousand years, there are undoubtedly worlds that are, well, worlds ahead of us – by thousands or millions of years – able at this moment to make contact at will.
So why aren’t they? I love the concept of Star Trek’s Prime Directive. It’s what WE would do, given the opportunity to roam the universe and map sentient worlds. We haven’t been invited in because WE ain’t ready. Maybe those UFO sightings are little hints of hope for the future, but it’s up to Them to decide when and how.
Until then, it’s just gonna be about figuring out how to evolve into a place that makes us the kind of good neighbors worthy of a welcome basket.