Dreams and pipe-dreams

I woke from a dream which was lost behind the staggering insight as I woke.

I saw a plane of the galaxy from the side and a line swept across it with the words. “There exists an intergalactic civilisation 100,000 years in advance of your science.” The news was so comforting. As I reflected on it, and the implications sank into my awareness, I found myself looking at it in reverse. The simplest way to grasp it seemed to be that there exists a civilisation which has already answered the questions our own science is beginning to explore. Rather than struggling to consider how such an advanced state could come upon us, it seemed the easiest solution was to join the one that already exists, rather than trying to see how, through experimentation, trial and error, and endless dead-ends, we might advance to such a degree of competence.

Indeed I found myself standing, as it were, in the advanced civilisation and looking at our childish (and dangerous) attempts to understand energy, its production, control and harmonious use. Suddenly I saw that it was not that we had to advance to this degree of comprehension but that standing there I was looking back into history 100 000 years seeing this infant species wrestling to awareness of fire. The best analogy I could find was as if we were to compare ourselves with the chimpanzees, though I am not sure it is even that accurate.

If such a civilisation exists all our efforts should be to try to connect with it and show ourselves worthy of joining it. We will not do this, I suggest, by warring with one another, by advancing corrupt and immoral or amoral attitudes towards one another. Women report being raped by refugee smugglers. Policemen think it is funny to send denigrating statements and suggestions to one another across closed social media groups, until one of them feels so secure in his world as to abduct a girl off the streets, drive her across the country, rape and murder her. While his comrades in the force turn a blind eye to serial murders of homosexual young men. All of this smacks of a society in collapse, not one advancing towards a higher culture and civilisation.

While politicians accept bribes and make rules for others to live by, society inevitably will struggle to build a strong, secure and, above all, an integrated, cohesive structure. It will resolve into each person acting on their own behalf using whatever means they choose to achieve their ends. Murder will become commonplace, selfishness, greed and lust the driving forces. A woman, a boxer, has been jailed for the murder of a 16 month old child of her partner. They had tortured the poor mite until she was beaten so badly she lost consciousness and died. But what other examples is society given to look up to? The lamentable condition of Britain today is indeed dire, as the hospitality industry, a huge sector of the economy, faces an uncertain future and the personal face of family businesses seems to be collapsing to be replaced by vast corporate ventures to the benefit of very few of us.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.