Bill Rabinovitch
Sees his First Exo-planet

Germain declares, "There it is straight ahead. Good navigating Fantasy."

"Thanks," Fantasy replies.

"Wow, my first exoplanet! I've got to sketch this," Bill exclaims,

Bill studies the exoplanet, and remarks, "It's planet sized, but looks like the far side of our Moon, only smoother.
It will be really weird if we see the 'man on the moon' on the other side, only rougher!"

"I'm not reading any life forms on that planet," Fantasy announces.

"Interesting. Why wouldn't there be life on that planet? It's in the Goldilocks zone where life should be possible."

" It has no atmoshpere."

"It's large enough to hold an atmosphere. Why doesn't it have one? Are gasses being released?" Bill inquires.

"Yes, I detect carbon dioxide, nitrogen, etc., but they're not accumulating. "

"Perhaps the atmosphere is being drawn off by something crossing its orbit," suggests Germain.

"Could you plot the orbits in this system and see if that explains it?" Bill requests.

"Will take some time to do sufficient measurements."

"It's my first exo-planet so I'm really curious to know more about it."

"Go for it, Fantasy," Germain orders.

High Priestess Vishnuh steps forward, "You say you see no life forms, but the planet itself is a life form. Think Gaia. You're witnessing energy evolving into a planet. That evolving planet can be said to have will, and I can sense it does not will us to visit it. It's not a good idea to land on a planet where we're not invited. We have no right to assume we'd be welcomed."

"Don't worry, we don't intend to land here. We're just giving Bill a chance to sketch his first exo-planet," replies Germain.

"What if this planet doesn't want to be sketched?"

"You have to take risks to create new art," asserts Rabinovitch.

"I'm not in favor of taking this risk."

"Noted. I'll take responsibility for any consequences." concludes Germain.

Father Flash speaks, "Meanwhile, perhaps we can get on with our lessons while you sketch. Western thought, coming down from the ancient Greeks, has believed a human consists of a body and a spirit. However, to understand the Force, it's helpful to consider there are three elements to a human being, not just two: a physical center, which is the body; an intellectual center which is the conscious mind, and an emotional/spiritual center which is tied into our glands and hormones."

Anubis steps forward, "Yea, that is our ancient belief, which differed from the Greeks'. Ye probably learned this from Gurdjieff. who brought our ancient teaching to the West around 1920. We called the consciousness the Ka, and it was depicted as a little man on thy shoulder whispering the voice of thy consciousness in thy ear. The emotional / spiritual / center was called the Ba, and was depicted as a bird, that might take flight. Thy physical center was thy body, which we preserved as a mummy."

Father Flash replies, "Yes Gurdjieff's teaching does seem to date back at least to ancient Egypt, and perhaps to even older shamanic traditions."

Bill inquires, "Is the difference between the intellectual center and the emotional/spiritual center based on the right brain / left brain divide?"

Father Flash responds, "No, I believe it's more like the divide between the cerebrum and the cerebellum. Both the right and left brain are involved in conscious thought. It's the ancient "lizard" brain at the back of our skull, where our emotions, dreams and visions arise; that's the seat of our subconscious mind."

"OK, what does this have to do with learning to use the Force?" Bill inquires.

Father Flash replies, "Gurdjieff taught that problems arise when you use the wrong center for an action. For example walking is normally controlled by our physical center. Your feet place themselves one in front of the other without your having to think about walking. This is also called muscle memory. Athletes and musicians train their bodies to perform tasks by repeating those tasks countless times until they become part of muscle memory. If you tried to walk using your intellectual center, thinking about picking up a foot, moving it forward, putting it down, your movements would become awkward and disjointed."

Father Flash continues, "Your emotional center is involved in flight / fight responses, It's much faster than your intellectual center. You need fast responses to survive. If your intellectual center is thinking about fleeing, it may already be too late by the time you decide to flee. Zen Masters taught Samuri warriors to react from their emotional centers, so their responses would be fastest. You must learn to use your emotional/spiritual center both to approach the reaction time of a Jedi, and to control the Force."

"How do I go about doing that?" Bill inquires,

Father Flash explains, "You can start by learning to meditate, and turn off the voice of your conscious mind. Only by silencing the constant babble of your steam of consciousness, can you free your Ba to take control and guide your actions through what's been called your lizard mind. Actually you're quite ahead of the lizards; your lizard mind had probably already evolved into a bird mind long before the ancient Egyptians depicted the Ba as a bird. Let's call it your Ba mind that responds to and thru feelings, distinct from your conscious mind that deals in thoughts."

"Maybe that's what happens in action painting when my feelings are guiding my brush? That's when I'm in my Ba mind?" rejoins Bill.

"Yes, that could well be," Father Flash agrees.


High Priestess Vishnuh suggests, "Bill, why don't you try this exercise: reach out with your feelings to that planet, and see if it feels like that planet wants visitors."

Bill responds, "I see a lonely planet that would be happy to have an admirer come and sketch it."

Vishnuh Vendetta rebukes him, "Wrong center! Thst's your intellectual center rationalizing your desires. You'll need to study mindfulness too. You have a lot to learn."

Bill rejoins, "I can learn a lot by sketching that planet."

High Priestess Vishnuh laments, "A lot to learn, and you may not survive long enought to learn it. Father Flash, you really should have started him on the training long before he undertook this piligrimage."

Father Flash agrees, "Of course, but perhaps you can sense he's a stubborn one who can only learn the hard way. I was like that once."

Vishnuh sympathizes, "Too true."

Fantasy interjects, "I've made progress on the orbital calculations, and there does seem to be anther planet which crosses the orbit of this one. It's almost perpendicular to all the planets orbiting this star, and wouldn't have been seen from Earth."

"Almost perpendicular? That's peculiar," Bill responds.

Germain surmises, "Might be a rogue planet that got drawn in by this star."

"Can we get a look at it? Where is it now?" Bill inquires.

Fantasy elucidates, "Still working on refining my calculations. Meanwhile, we're close enough to start orbiting this exoplanet. At this speed we'll circle it in a few minutes. I'll keep the ship pointed at the surface so Bill can keep sketching."

Bill enthuses, "Great! Is the other side looking any different?"

Fantasy responds, "I'll say. Better take a look Germain; what do you make of it?"

Bill exclaims, "Wow, is that a canyon coming around? It must be huge!"

Germain declares, "That's not a canyon. That would make your Grand Canyon look like a crack in the sidewalk, and there are no signs of rivers that could have eroded that."

Bill asks, "What then, an asteroid impact?"

Germain answers, "The surface isn't heavily pock marked with craters, which would be typical of asteroids bombarding it. Not too long ago this planet must have had an atmosphere dense enough to burn up incoming meteroites."

Fantasy offers, "Finishing my calculations, and it looks as if that other planet comes progressively closer with each pass. In fact, they could collide!"

Germain analyzes, "That would account for what we're seeing. An even bigger impact crater is coming into our view now."

"Wow. that's massive damage! The molten core is exposed, and lava is flowing out." Bill declares.

"I've got to sketch this, but I'll need my pastels," Bill exclaims.

Fantasy warns, "That rogue planet is approaching now. There it is; you can see it in the wide angle camera view, down in the lower right. It's coming in really fast, and they are going to hit again this time. "

Germain muses, "That rogue must have been drawn into this star, and this was the planet unlucky enough to cross its orbital path. Luck for us we're here to see it. Unlucky for us, we may not live to tell about it. I can out maneuver that rogue planet, but when they collide there will be molten debris flying everywhere. Our shields won't be able to deflect that much energy."

Vishnuh declares, "I'm so glad you've taken responsibility for this Germain. I wouldn't want to be the one who has to get us out of this."

Germain orders, "Full reverse thrusters, Fantasy! Angle the deflection shields, Java !"

Java speaks, "Weez insta deepski shit'zu."

Germain interprets, "Java needs probability estimates for the trajectories of incoming debris in order to optimize the shield angles. Fantasy, can you provide that, or can you make the jump to our next destination?"

Fantasy is frank, "No. It's coming in too fast to complete those calculations in time."

Bill moans, "It's hitting!"

Bill concludes, "We're doomed... "

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