One of my favorite movies ever, Contact, ends with a determined ambivalence. Carl Sagan, the world famous physicist from TV’s Cosmos who wrote the book, is raising questions about science and religion in relation to the linking concept of “the pursuit of truth”. As the movie ends, Dr. Eleanor Arroway returns to her SETI radar array in New Mexico, coaching a visiting tour group of youngsters with Carl Sagan’s own insight from the book:
“The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”
There should definitely be a sequel to Contact. Maybe it would go something like this:
Eleanor and Palmer Joss marry; that much follows clearly from the film. Their marriage is symbolic of the inherent convergence of cosmology with a universalist, non-sectarian spirituality. Dr. Arroway writes a book soon after her life-transformative journey, recalling her otherworldly encounter in great detail and raising her own unanswered questions about what the reality she alone was privy to might mean in both scientific and humanistic terms. Then she and Palmer Joss write another book, together (nicely paralleling Sagan and Ann Druyan‘s real life collaboration). This book unifies quantum physics with ideas and practices from mystical traditions from around the world.
At the same time, the 16,000 pages of encyclopedic knowledge that have been transmitted from Vega are fully translated, supporting the emergent ‘new paradigm’ of Unification Cosmology. Federal agencies, finally acknowledging the validity of Dr. Arroway’s journey through a wormhole and her encounter with alien intelligence, reveal the actual footage beneath the static on Eleanor’s video. The principles and forces that had created the wormhole effect become the basis for a much accelerated, interstellar space exploration program. The Earth’s scientific communities combine, as they must collaborate and delegate to develop the global resources and energy needed. Earth’s humanity comes to transcend the myopic, fragmented religious doctrinarianism it had once exhibited, as science expands its focus to embrace the potentialities of consciousness itself as reflecting a Grand Design. Telepathic spiritual contact with other-than-human modes of consciousness both within our universe and across multiple dimensions leads to new forms of interdimensional and even inter-universal (Inter-Brane) noetic awareness. This results in a holistic transformation of conscious existence and sentience itself, not even fathomable with our current, limited language. All I can close the sequel with from our present level of understanding comes, most appropriately, from J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1/ Chapter 1:
The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the Door where It began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing It with eager feet,
Until It joins some larger Way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And wither then?
I cannot say.