Aliens Among Us

How thin is the world …

Apple Orchard Under the May Sky

In the  236,513,210,000,000,0000,000,000,000 metres from one side of the universe to the other, these apple trees take up 2 metres of space. The fall rye in front of them perhaps 1, at most. These life forms are this planet’s, not the universe’s.

Even the air belongs to the planet. In fact, it was created, in part, by those trees, as they reach up to the light of the sun. Even it is inhabited, though, which is one of the great things about where we live.

Red-Tailed Hawk on the Prowl

Keep your cat inside.

Yeah, I know. Mine won’t listen to that, either. Here he is, perhaps daring a hawk to give it a go…

Charles on the Road

Nothing between him and the universe but a gang of four hungry teenage hawks, and still willing to take it on. Cats typically have a territory of about a hectare, which they memorize and then experience within four dimensions, three of space and one of time. If so much as a blade of grass is pushed to the side, whoa, they’re onto that right now. 

Of course, the trees that have made this blue and poisonous air that humans and Charles love to breathe are really creatures of the sun. They just need a little distance in order to get it right, and in spacial terms distance gives moderate heat, gaseous carbon dioxide, and liquid comets, so that’s good. And there you are, a tree, mixing comets and the sun to produce, well, humans and hawks and cats — just not on purpose. Of all of those, humans are the ones with the capacity to reduce moments into mathematics. One word for this is purpose. Another is civilization, which usually means “all things good” but really means the process of creating cities. Sometimes civilized people and the other creatures of this planet travel at cross purposes…

A Visual Representation of Mathematics

Humans call the math that has allowed the extension of a tree’s growth towards the sun to be reduced to single, abstract principles (such as this afternoon flight to Vancouver, for example), which are commonly interpreted as the language of the universe. Actually, mathematics is the language of humans, which is also pretty beautiful, even if that makes it a little less universal.

The universe, on the other hand, is comprehended perfectly by a pine tree…

Map Indicating the Path for Finding Your Local Humans

As their wires show, humans are horizontal creatures in a vertical world. It is why, perhaps, humans feel awe in the presence of the stars. The trees? Pshaw, they’re living there.

Of course, when a tree comprehends the universe, it doesn’t do so consciously, or at least in the terms of human consciousness, but, then, if human behaviour were measured by that of trees, humans would seem as instinctual as trees do to humans. That gives me great hope.

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