Cosmic Canopy

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It’s hard to see the cosmic canopy from here. The terrestrial floor obstructs our view of the regal reality that encircles us. Airplanes, phone lines, sky scrapers, light pollution, etc., cloud our line of sight further and further as we become embedded unto ourselves and our thin veil of human trivialities. Help me! Where can I go to see reality?

Only a cosmo-cerebral journey will suffice. After all, mind travels faster than the speed of light…

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From the cosmic canopy nosedives a spacecraft modeled after a butterfly-like organism with two pairs of solar sail wings and antennae that detect the direction of greatest photon count… My cry was answered. A cool voice resonates, “come with me. We’ll need to take my space-time sidewalk in the Universe.” I didn’t seem to have a choice. What happened next I’m not sure, it happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to react with shock.

We arrive instantly at an ornate lit gateway, suspended in space, that appears to be entangled with firing neurons. The sidewalk and spiked rail beyond are entirely constructed out of a mirror-like material. I try not to look at my accomplice and pilot of the solar sail butterfly; there’s too much I don’t understand, it’s dizzying. My many questions go unanswered. We must touch to step unto the vestibule outside the gate together and upon touch I am ecstatically transformed.  Suddenly I’m wearing a galaxy gown with hems that seem to be radiating a luminous dust. Something painful is digging into my forehead and I lift my hand to feel a metal-like studded band around my head. “We must monitor your cranial responses to your experience tonight. For the scientific understanding of the humans.” I hold in my hand an orchidaceous blossom whose petals caress a burning star stigma to light the way. We enter the gate by means unfathomable to me.

The ultimate canopy walkway. Stars carpet the sky more densely than I’ve never seen. I catch my reflection in the mirrored sidewalk. My long hair is segmented with white gold spheres at the tip of each segment. They seem to be related to my metal headpiece because they are embedded with the same odd symbols. My eyeshadow reminded me of marine bioluminescence. On my ears were the most elaborate marcasite chandelier earrings. I had to touch them. “Don’t touch. Those are very fragile. They are collecting data on your cardiac and encephalonic electro-sensory waves.” My what? … My headpiece changed lustrous colors like it had a life of its own. I look like a … goddess. “You’re not. You’re a science experiment more than anything.” He…she… it… is reading my thoughts… “Oh, I’m reading quite a bit more than that.” I gulp and try not to think anything.

As we walk along the sidewalk, I look back for the outlandish cerebral gate. It’s gone. In fact the mirrored sidewalk is disintegrating as we walk… where my last step was fragments of mirror are breaking off into the cosmic abyss. I scream blatantly and cling to my accomplice. “This is the spacetime sidewalk. The past has no existence. Therefore space-past must be eradicated so it’s energy can be filtrated into the future. All existence lies ahead. Do not take a step backward… Luna’s sails will probably catch you, but falling would be less than optimal.” The solar butterfly fluttered in proximity. My heat is palpitating.  Get yourself together. It’s just my cosmo-cerebral outing. “Cosmo-cerebral outing! Like an astrophysicist’s daydream? Ha, I don’t think so!”  My muscles stiffen in fear. Well, I’m not an astrophysicist yet but I like it that he thinks so. “Do you need a piece of paper, a diploma, to tell you who you are?”

We reach a circular platform that parts from the main walkway. Pillars perimeter the platform and the dome top of this cosmic deck is a grand-design spiral galaxy. The rotating galaxy is the source of a shimmering waterfall of stars and nebulae that are streaming and winding down the pillars. The floor of the circular dais is composed of honeycomb-shaped mirror segments like the mirror of an advanced telescope. Snapdragon-ish florets coil around the rails. I gently bring my hand to one and dazzling dust snows into my palm. “Botany around the spacetime sidewalk operate as an energy plumbing system. The blossoms collect and process infalling stardust from supernovae and the roots are implanted on the underside of the walkway to feed stardust-energy into the complex. You made the universe bleed.” Umm … Ok.  Uneasy, I lift my foot to step backward and catch myself. “It’s safe to walk back and forth across the dais.” A mirrored panel, reminiscent of a map at a look-out point, protrudes from the railing  and faces the stars. A large sapphire dial resides in its center. A stellar steering wheel.

“So. Would you like to steer the Universe?” Obviously. “We have to be relatively quick. We don’t want all the lesser intelligences who are measuring the universe to notice that we’re fiddling with spacetime.” … Ugh-huh, I see. So is the Universe an alien simulation or is it only that aliens figured out how to maneuver spacetime? … No answer … “We should not label each other as aliens, Siara.” We had never exchanged names.

Each notch on the sapphire simulation dial zooms in further on the Universe. Wide-eyed, I move my segmented, gold-sphered hair to my back, approach the dial, and eagerly spin up four notches. A pulse of electricity bolts through my fingers. Immediately, myriad diamond-dust paisley-galaxies are so close that I feel like I could run my hands through them.

Ah, reality… how stunning, how rejuvenating. The onyx sky of galaxies feels like it is falling through me. It’s the only stability we have. The mind is ever-transfiguring itself, our location in the Universe is rapidly ever-moving, the earth is ever-changing, our personas are ever-fluctuant. The only stability we have is our knowledge of the cosmos and our knowledge of it’s unstability.

… just how close can we zoom in? Can we…?  An electronic map materializes and protracts itself around the perimeter of the circular look-out.  It’s the cosmic panorama, of course. A triangle points to our galactic coordinates. No wonder – we’re a bit off the map… Green, blue, and purple dots sporadically inhabit the galaxies on the cosmic atlas. I turn towards the pilot without looking into those … eyes. My accomplice nods, knowing what I want to do. It feels intuitive to me… I place my fingertip on a blue dot near our location and crank up the dial…

In a microsecond all my desperate dreams of extraterrestrial civilizations in Universe became immediately justified. I’ve lost my ability to breathe or move… Realizing that there are no obstacles to the spacetime sidewalk, I assume that we can descend into this “blue dot” planet too…  The moment this crosses my mind, a mirrored staircase unfolds one step at a time, leading down towards extraterrestrial territory.

I’m hypnotized. I’m not physically capable of taking a step forward.  I’m not ready for this… But I don’t know what I could’ve done to prepare myself, either. An eccentric, spired, ethereal structure extends from the velvety-purplish planetary clouds. I look away before we’ve zoomed in close enough to make out exoplanet inhabitants. It’s one thing to suddenly have proof of something you thought only existed in your fantasy world, and yet another to in the same sudden awakening be invited into that fantasy world.  Not yet, I can’t do it, I can’t do it. I need time to mentally digest. “Later then.” The pilot steers back to a more comforting starry sky.

The driver of the solar butterfly directs me to a large sphere that’s hovering in the center of the dais at chest level.  With hologram-like properties, a mosaic of triangular protrusions pave the entire surface area of the sphere. The supermassive black hole at the core of the galaxy-ceiling is tunneling phantom-like matter into the sphere’s crown in one long tornado-esque jet. “Each triangle can commence the creation of a specific cosmic phenomena upon trigger with this.” I’m handed a wand-like object that bears a micro black hole at its point. The stem of the wand is transparent and encases an enlarged and abnormal-looking crystalline string of DNA.

Buttons for creation?! I’m so startled that I drop my solar flower and it burns through the mirrored sidewalk. The sidewalk instantly reconstructs its impeccable self. My mind feels like it was abruptly dissected into a thousand disjunct pieces. With mirrors behind me and in front of me, my reflection is an infinite series of myself. I want to sit down.  

Well, then, can I… is it possible… to press start on the formation of a habitable planet? “Normally, no. That is a task that belongs mostly to Ambassador X. But I’m feeling generous in this spacetime minute, so why not? But you see, you have to decide whether you want to initiate an intelligent civilization or a hyper-intelligent civilization.” Hyper-intelligent? “Yes, hyper-intelligent planets form when the species evolves not to be feeling-filled, emotionally downtrodden, and obsessed with themselves… like your fellow humans. They have little recognition of the self and hence do not get in the way of their own immense intellectual advancement. There is no individual search for love, happiness, or wealth on their planets because the hyper-intellects have created a society where those qualities are already emergently present in the whole of their civilization and hence have learned to reap the benefits of those qualities without selfishly chasing them. And there is no natural reproduction- the gametes of the most intelligent individuals are implanted in those who wish to have offspring. Natural reproduction is not desirable because it fails to form the most ingenious individuals. The hyper-intellects are no longer animals, they are true intelligences.” Sensing that my accomplice must be one of these uber-intelligences, I gather that the hyper-intellects are not really alive, either. Whatever that means. But that’s not my main concern. So the hyper-intellects are better at understanding the Universe? “Infinitely.” Then I want to initiate a hyper-intelligent civilization. “Very good. I’ll choose it’s coordinates. It must not be within 50,000 light years of another planetary civilization because in their early evolution, before they become true hyper-intellects, they may not be wise enough not to wage war should they encounter each other…” The pilot turns to the galactic map and places something invisible on the outer arm of a colossal barred galaxy with only one other green dot marker on the opposite spiral arm. “Now. See the largest glowing blue triangle on the Origination Orb?”

I feel the orb’s static as I draw near. I notice a form within the sphere between the gaps in the mosaic, but can’t make it out because of the holograms. A galactic gale gusts by, causing the luminous dust from the hems of my gown to orbit up and around me. I’m trembling with the black hole wand over the triangular button… I’m about to be the celestial simulator of a hyper-intelligent world…

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… the space-time sidewalk goes no further tonight. A return home is all that my cerebral capacity can conceive… I look up and a glaring neon advertisement washes out any relic of starlight.

fornax