Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh

By Larry Feinstein

A couple of months ago, I drove home, and when I got out of the car, I stared at the sky for a few minutes. It was a clear Kaua‘i night, and the stars were like a huge crowd of brightly lit faces smiling at me. I wondered what they saw when they gazed up at their sky and if they could see me staring at them.

I have never believed for one second we are the only shiny speck that supports life. Frankly, I think it is totally beyond our intellectual capability to understand the limits of infinity, but we’ll keep trying. If the sky has a boundary, what is beyond it? Please, this question is the ultimate rhetorical one, and I think it is why we created all the God stories, predicated on our being the singular, special dot in the limitless heavens.

While standing out there, I wondered what they think about us. Now, this is where I need you to work with me. I am not going to launch into a tale about a hovering, big silver disc that shot a beam of light on me, drawing up into the bowels of the ship, accompanied by a detailed description of everything I experienced, including the scrawny, small bodied beings with big heads and large, almond eyes.

I had an idea that on this night of the stars, something unbelievable would happen to me, and it was purposely intended to be ambiguous. In the midst of a deep sleep, a telepathic communication would come to me in my own voice, but I was not the one speaking. I was able to tell there was more than one presence, based on how they were communicating, kind of a communal essence. They saw me looking up at them and felt it was time to contact me. They read my book and had been following my blog. While not terribly impressed with my writing ability, they appreciated my sincerity and had been watching me for the past seventy plus years.

They were purposely hyper cautious in this initial overture, wanting to make sure I didn’t flip my cookies, looking to establish a bond of trust. It was pointless to try and bullshit them because I was an easy read and secrets were not possible anyway. My dream state was chosen purposely for this first contact in order to ease me into our relationship. In a way, this was kind of a test.

Clearly, space travel defined in light years is the providence of very advanced beings, far superior to us Earthlings. There was no point in trying to impress them, making complete honesty the only way to go.

I wanted to know why they chose this time. Without giving me too much information, they said they’d been watching Earth for thousands of years, even before being painted on the walls of caves by the earliest of my species. For such advanced beings, they were actually fairly modest and didn’t profess to know all the answers, especially trying to understand our behavior, which often made no sense to them. Until now, they have rarely chosen to make their presence known, but they have been terribly confused by what they have seen recently, which means in the last century or so.

The degree of suffering seems to have increased exponentially in their estimation. There was no question that people of color were not faring well at all, even in countries that were governed by their own. Everywhere they looked in that part of the world, including countries to its north, millions of people were forced to leave the lands of their ancestors because of religious extremism, something that also confused them. They also seemed to think that we have regressed in my country, victimized by trivia and manipulated by brutes. While they had no Gods of their own, they wondered why a higher power would advocate brutality and no religion was exempt. They definitely didn’t understand why America was inflicting so much destruction in the name of democracy.

More than ever before, Earthlings seemed to be consumed by anger and hatred, feelings they understood, while the causes eluded them. I hadn’t said very much to this point, because it took a while to understand what the hell was going on. I told them wealth and power were prized possessions amongst my species and the more we practiced, the better some of us got at accumulating it. As they knew, there have always been tribal leaders, kings and queens and dictators, but now we have elected officials, inseparable from the power hoarders. These people have always preyed on our fears. We often don’t even know we are being manipulated. Everyone seems to be angry at someone, but the vast majority don’t understand it is our collective impotence that we share, and we are all being played by the hoarders.

Larry Feinstein

There was silence for a moment and then they said they didn’t understand why we were destroying our planet, depleting irreplaceable resources and treating our home like a garbage pail. Over time, they have seen it coming, but they couldn’t believe how it has accelerated. They have relied heavily on science and the accumulation of knowledge and were totally confused at how we were denigrating our intellectual prowess.

They didn’t offer much about their world and told me it would take more conversations with me, but they needed to proceed with caution. They have tried this before and the recipients of these transmissions were ridiculed and ostracized, something I was not all interested in. However, they sense a growing urgency and aren’t quite certain if they can do anything other than bear witness.

With repeated visits over the millennia, these beings admit to having developed an affinity for us and now feel a genuine concern regarding our future. According to them, we don’t seem to be able to learn from our mistakes. I laughed and told them I felt exactly the same and looked forward to dreaming with them again.

I woke up.

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