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Your Paracast Newsletter — April 22, 2018

Visit the all-new Tech Night Owl Store

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
April 22, 2018

Explore "Real Magic" with Dr. Dean Radin on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene, special guest cohost Don Ecker, and panelist Michael Allen, welcome Dr. Dean Radin to The Paracast. Dr. Radin is the author of “Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe.” He is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He earned an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International.

Chris O’Brien’s Blog: Our Strange Planet

Dark Matters Radio: Don Ecker's Dark Matters Radio

Dean Radin's Site: Website of Dean Radin

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on April 22: Gene, guest cohost Don Ecker, and panelist Michael Allen spend a brief period on pop culture, talking about actor residuals and Star Trek movies. Don mentions his actor cohosts over the years, such as Dwight Schultz, a cult favorite for eccentric roles in “The A-Team” and later Star Trek series and Richard Sarradet. In talking about the recent guest appearance of Dr. Dean Radin on The Paracast, Don and Michael discuss what they consider some of the shortcomings of his arguments. And what about the reality of a universal mind? If extraterrestrials are visiting us, could we even understand their motives for being here?

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A Brief Look at Alien Logic
By Gene Steinberg

When we interviewed Dr. Dean Radin, author of “Real Magic,” on The Paracast, he briefly addressed the question of alien visitors. To him, ET might actually be avoiding us because humanity is just too underdeveloped to be ready to contact advanced beings from other worlds. We are just too warlike.

You just have to read or listen or watch the news of the day, any day, and you’ll see plenty of ammunition for such statements.

But that pronouncement also assumes that, first, aliens have not already communicated with us and, two, that they are morally and ethically superior. Perhaps it’s the result of evolving beyond our present state, which appears to imply that this is the natural growth of civilized races of whatever form. Someday we, too, will get it together.

This is a common meme that plays out when people claim to have contacted the beings that pilot flying saucers. When ET attempts to communicate with us, by and large it’s about guiding us to follow the path of the straight and narrow. At the same time, their presumed goal is always fated to fail, because they invariably contact people that have little or no influence in human affairs.

So if their goals are genuine, precisely as expressed, they clearly aren’t very good at what they do. Would it not be better to contact the leader of a country or some other individual whose words would carry some weight?

Or maybe it’s an example of reverse logic, that choosing the correct undistinguished individual would, in the end, allow that person to become the person he or she is meant to be. That means becoming world famous, someone whose words and deeds would be followed by billions of people.

Or maybe just pick a celebrity.

But if that were the goal, it hasn’t succeeded either. Some celebrities do claim to have had UFO experiences.

So if ET is here, why?

It’s not unusual to think of aliens as being pretty much like us but with a different appearance and a higher level of technological achievement. In other words, we’ll be where they are in a few hundred or a few thousand years.

The way aliens are treated in science fiction, in literature, on TV and the movies, is not dissimilar. Whether they are humanoid in appearance, perhaps with ridges embedded in their foreheads, or quite different, their behavior is similar to humans. Even Star Trek’s Klingons are basically warlike humanoids that revel in battle and fight with honor.

The Vulcans were once warlike too, but suppressed those impulses and, partly through meditation, chose to eschew the feeling and expression of emotion, and replace it with logic. In a sense they became robotic beings without overt feelings. Only under extreme conditions, such as the death of a friend or relative, do their hidden feelings come to the surface.

In other words, they are still quite human.

Appearance doesn’t necessarily matter. The beings from the “Q Continuum” are made of pure energy and can manipulate matter as they please. They are also capable of behaving as spoiled children if we consider one notable example of the species.

In “The Devil in the Dark,” from the original Star Trek series, the crew of the Enterprise comes across a race of silicon-based creatures known as the Horta. They closely resemble animated rocks. That would seem to be as alien as you can get, but they don’t appear to behave any different from humans. When mining activities on their world kills their young, they seek revenge as aggrieved parents might be expected to do.

So what we might regard as a grotesque appearance doesn’t necessarily indicate alien motivations and logic.

The same is true for Star Wars. In both cases, the stories must be relatable, easily understood by young and old and thus the exploration of possible alien motivations is not apt to be depicted in much or any detail.

Sci-fi stories, however, have more freedom to consider different possibilities. The closest we get in the world of film may perhaps be “Arrival,” based on a short novel, “Story of Your Life,” from Ted Chiang. Starring Amy Adams as a linguist, the large part of the movie focuses on devising ways to communicate with alien creatures that arrive on Earth in a fleet of large spaceships.

Without presenting spoilers, let’s just say that their means of communication involves time. But that doesn’t mean they otherwise behave any differently than we might under similar circumstances.

Then again, to what degree can even the most talented fiction writers concoct stories featuring alien races that do not in any way think or behave as we do?

Until or unless an extraterrestrial race makes itself known to us, assuming that hasn’t already happened, it’s the height of hubris to think that we could comprehend their reasons for being here, assuming there are reasons. We can invent all sort of bizarre possibilities. But perhaps just behaving in ways opposite to how we’d behave might be sufficient to define alien behavior, if it can even be defined.

So far, however, the whys and wherefores of ET usually play second fiddle to their possible presence among us. What they are said to do is what we’d be expected to do when the time comes for humans to explore other inhabited planets. There might even be “prime directives” to avoid harming possibly inferior races, and one hopes we’d make sure that we do not infect them with our microbes and thus potentially cause plagues that sicken and kill them.

In the end, I’m probably asking for the impossible. But it may also be true that it will be just as impossible for us to truly see and understand the true form and intent of a race of extraterrestrials that may be thousands of years ahead of us. Even if they were once very similar to humans, given differences in appearance, they may have reached a point in their evolution that would be far beyond what we can comprehend.

Perhaps, then, we fill in the missing details, or they make an effort to present themselves in a form that we can accept. That’s not an unoriginal concept in the sci-fi world.

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