Copyright © by Rick Yost

Think for a moment- if it weren’t for our clothing, shelters, and contrived amusements and gadgets, we’d all be standing barefoot on the dirt, shivering and hungry. We think of ourselves as the civilized, distant ancestors of the first humans that roamed the Earth. We’re no different than they were. Our mental capacity, our drives and survival instincts have not significantly changed.Now consider the only difference between us and other life on this planet- our intelligence. How much more intelligent are we than other life forms?Although we’ve learned to build shelter for ourselves on a grand scale, this is an instinctive activity other species do everyday with less effort.We have taken the need to protect our bodies from the elements to the self-indulgent art of fashion. This too, is done by other species.Although man can survive without shelter and clothing, we must eat or we will die. This being the one thing every human has had to do, you’d think we’d have it down by now. Yet as a collective, we are less successful at feeding ourselves than most of the animal world. Not only can we not agree on what we should or shouldn’t eat, we fail so miserably at communicating and coordinating our efforts that a large percentage of the population starves to death everyday. Although there are far more food sources available to us than we could possibly consume.Why after so many centuries as the dominant species can we still do little more than house, clothe, and feed ourselves? Why are we still spending so much time, effort, and energy on these basic chores? Will we ever put our mental powers to greater use? Will our intelligence ever do more than allow us to stand atop the food chain? Why after all this time are we still only surviving?I say to you my fellow idiots that we’ve lost the whole point of being intelligent. Our minds are what make us special, not our ability to survive in the wild. Dogs can survive in the wild and they don’t even have thumbs. It is our ability to close our eyes and imagine complex concepts, envision how to accomplish great feats, and go to other places and planes of existence in our minds that separates us from the animals. Thinking is what we do best.Why have we wasted so many centuries, so many great thinkers, and so many opportunities to understand the mind? We’ve spent too much time dissecting, lobotomizing, and analyzing these slabs of meat we carry within our fragile skulls. We have examined, studied, weighed, and mapped them, but no truly great strides have been made to learn to use them.We should be embracing the dream state, exploring our visions and learning what wonders are contained in the depths of thought. To use an automotive analogy-We should stop looking under the hood to see what makes our brains work, and just get behind the wheel and go. Instead of trying in vain to be mechanics, we should by now be master drivers. But alas, we’re still too busy just trying to survive.There is not one achievement we have made that is worthy of our great mental powers. We’ve gone into space and found nothing we couldn’t see from the ground. We should be looking deep into the mind, where we’ve all seen for ourselves that there is something there.Imagine beings from another world visiting Earth. Imagine that we are made to understand that these aliens were the creators of life on our planet. Imagine the following being our first conversation.After the appropriate introductions we got to the burning questions.

US: “Well if it is true that you are our makers, then tell us why we are here? What is our purpose? What is our destiny?”
The Aliens all laughed and slapped each other on the back as if a funny joke had been told.
Aliens: “Well, you’ve developed a sense of humor. But we are all very anxious to hear the results, tell us what have you done?”
US: “What do you mean?”
Aliens: “We mean what have you done? What have you seen? How have you used the minds we gave you?”
The humans looked at each other in confusion.
Aliens: “C’mon, show us your finest accomplishments.”
With that, the humans smiled and began to tell the history of man- his discoveries and inventions. The Aliens were shown pictures of man’s greatest structures and works of art. They were told of our religions, sciences, space explorations and endeavors to harness nature. Upon finishing their presentation the humans stood back and smiled proudly.
Aliens: “You’re kidding! No, really, you’re joking again, right? You’re telling us that after all this time, after all these thousands of years, this is all you’ve done?"
US: “We don’t understand Oh Great-Ones, what do you mean? What were we expected to do?”
The Aliens looked at each other in disbelief. The head Alien had to sit down- he felt a tragedy had occurred here.
Aliens: “If we understand correctly, you’ve not made use of your minds the way they were intended. We are a little disappointed. We are a little confused too, because this has never happened before.”
“You see, we came a very long way to see how our project here had progressed, only to find that it was a waste of time. We think you’ve misunderstood the basic part of your intellect- the imagination. The imagination is a very simple tool. Apparently you’ve had so much fun with it you failed to discover its true function."
The humans cocked their heads like curious, wide-eyed puppies. The Aliens tried to explain.
Aliens: “Look, the way it works is you use your imagination to open the door through which you escape your Earth-bound existence. Pure mental energy is your true state of being. Your bodies, your humanity, is merely the vessel for your mind. Once you use your imagination to unlock the door, you step through as if stepping out of your house into the immense outdoors. Your natural habitat is the universe itself.
However, you thought your imagination was the sole function of the mind? Did you think you developed intelligence just so you could build, invent and create? What would be the point of that? All fruits of such endeavors eventually turn to dust.
Unfortunately, after all this time you have nothing to show for your efforts but countless, wasted generations and a planet full of rusting, crumbling things. That’s not much for a species to show for its entire existence.
The true wealth of a being exists in it’s intelligence, experience, and knowledge. This knowledge comes from exploring the vast expanse of the universe through the mind.
There are cultures much younger than yours that have traveled the vast universe. They’ve spent their time experiencing other cultures; meeting with and learning from other life forms; exploring other dimensions, and passing on to other cultures the knowledge they’ve obtained from their unique experiences. All of this is the result of using the key to unlock the door which you then step through. You’ve spent your time being fascinated by the key itself.
You’ve painted pictures, sculpted your heroes, and built huge structures. These are very selfish endeavors. Furthermore, you’ve spent your existence playing with what you believed were the only five senses available to you. You have no idea what amazing things you’ve missed because you looked no further. What a waste!
Please understand we don’t blame you for this. But without the full use of your minds, you’re nothing more than a herd of cattle. We don’t consider you’ve done anything wrong- you’ve just done nothing. We will simply have to start over again. It is our responsibility to determine what went wrong and vow to achieve better results next time.”
US: “What do you mean ‘start over’? What next time’?”
Aliens: “Well we certainly can’t leave this mess as it is. We will have to start a new life form here and commit ourselves to check in on it from time to time to see how it’s doing.”
US: “A new life form? We have no room here for a whole new life form. Where will it live? What will it eat?”
The Aliens laughed just as hard as they did before.
Aliens: “You poor simple creatures. You are funny. Don’t you understand? You are like a fruit tree that bears no fruit. You are a failed experiment. You are a mistake. We are forced to start fresh and try again. But don’t worry- it will be an instant and painless end. You never began your true existence. You’ll scarcely feel your demise.”


Rick Yost

Dallas, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Darkly humorous look at our first encounter with others.

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