第6章 母船内での質疑応答

第6章 母船内での質疑応答


After a moment of silence during which no one stirred, the master rose, and all present with him.


He stood for an instant his hands resting on the back of his chair, and looked deeply into my eyes.


I shall never forget the expression of great kindness and compassion in his gaze.


It was like a benediction, and at the same time I felt a new Strength rise within me.


With a gesture of farewell which embraced all present, he turned then and left the room.


The silence remained unbroken for several moments after his departure.


I still could find no words.


It was Kalna who broke the stillness by saying softly, "For us, too, it is always a privilege to listen to this great being speak."


Ramu, the Saturnian, deliberately, I am sure, broke the tension.


"Now, before we return you to Earth, an interval has been allowed for you to ask questions that may be in your mind.


かならずしも指導者がいま話された深遠な問題に限る必要はありません」 彼は微笑してつけ加えた。「あなたに興味のあることなら私たちにも無意味ではないでしょうから」
These need not be confined to the serious subject on which the master has just spoken," he added with a smile, "since nothing that interests you will seem trivial to us."


I looked at him gratefully as we all resumed our seats.


It seemed to me that Ramu had meant that I could put my questions orally now, in what was likely to be a general conversation, and not rely on mental telepathy.


I voiced the one uppermost in my mind.


"Could the drastic changes in our atmospheric conditions, in many places since the bomb tests, have anything to do with the release of that energy?"


"They have, indeed!" Ramu replied, "and we are not guessing.


Our instruments have registered those results.




I wonder, I said slowly, "if you would care to comment a little further on the reason why, even though war on our Earth would endanger the traveling through space of millions who live on other planets, you still feel it wrong to hurt the few in order to benefit the many."


"We will try to explain," Orthon answered.


"To all of us who have from birth been instilled with a vision of the whole, it is unthinkable to disobey what we know to be the universal laws.


These laws are made by no man.


They were in the beginning, and will endure throughout eternity.


Under these laws each individual, each group of mankind, all intelligent life on each world, must decide its own destiny without interference from another.


Counsel, yes.


Instruction, yes.


But interference to the point of destruction, never."


His questioning look seemed to ask if he had made the principle clearer.


Firkon, the Martian, spoke for the first time.


"You understand the power of thought forms.


Apart from our physical missions on Earth, all of us must hold firmly to the belief that the peoples of your Earth will themselves awaken to the disaster toward which they are moving."


"I see," I said slowly, as the issue did indeed clarify itself in my mind.


"We know that the power of this thought continually sent out to all our Earth brothers has changed the hearts of many," Ramu stated.


"We also are aware," Ilmuth pointed out, "as are you and many other people on your Earth, that your air forces and your governments know that our ships seen in your skies are coming from outer space, and that they can be made and piloted only by intelligent beings from other planets.


Men high in the governments of your world have been contacted by us.


Some are good men and do not want war.


But even the good men on your Earth cannot entirely free themselves from the fear which has been fostered by man himself on your planet throughout the centuries."


"The same is true of your fliers everywhere on Earth," Kalna said quietly, "many have seen our ships again and again.


But they have been muzzled and warned, and few dare speak out."


"It is the same with your scientists," Firkon added.


Again I marveled at their knowledge of our world and its peoples.


Then it would seem, I said, "that the answer lies largely with the ordinary man in the street, multiplied by his millions the world over."


"They would be your strength," Firkon quickly agreed, "and if they would speak against war in sufficient numbers everywhere, some leaders in different parts of your world would listen gladly."


I felt that this conversation had contributed much to my understanding and I was filled with hope.


Almost without realizing that I was going to do so, I changed the subject by saying, "I wonder if you would explain a little further to me about the mechanism I saw in the pilot's room -- the one that registers sounds that are translated into pictures on the screen."


"Of course," Orthon said.


"One of its most important uses is to enable us to learn readily any language.


Naturally, those of us who actually live and work on your Earth for a while speak with better accents.


Although, with us, as with you, some have a greater aptitude for languages than others and learn to speak flawlessly without any direct contact with the people."


Here he smiled and reminded me of the pantomimic conversation carried on at the time of our first meeting, adding, "It was of the utmost importance that I test your ability to send out and to receive telepathic messages.


As an outcome of that, you are here now!


We know well the skepticism of the Earth people in all directions outside of the narrow ruts of personal experience.


It was for this reason that the messages I gave you were of a universal character.


We knew that, although the understanding of such writings was buried with civilizations that were lost long ago, there are a few people scattered about your present world who would be able to translate them.


With such translations, only the determinedly incredulous can still refuse to believe."


It is fortunate, Kalna said, with her merry smile, "that at least mental telepathy has been accepted as an established fact by the scientists of your world!"


"You know," Orthon said, "we had you under observation for some years before I finally contacted you, and we felt sure that your knowledge of telepathy would be adequate.


This was proven in the final test at our first meeting."


"Did you test me in other ways as well?" I asked.


"Indeed we did!


You see, inasmuch as you had been photographing our craft for several years, your thoughts were inevitably coming our way.


We felt the sincerity of your interest.


It remained to be seen if and how you would translate this interest into action, how well you could stand up under the ridicule and skepticism bound to come your way, and whether you would be tempted to use your contacts with us for self-aggrandizement or commercialism."


"You have passed all the tests with flying colors," Ilmuth said warmly.


"In the face of all the derision, disbelief -- even when the validity of your photographs was challenged -- we saw how staunch you remained to that which, within yourself, you knew to be true."


This encouragement filled me with happiness and I knew that, with such friends, any faltering would be impossible.


"There was another thing, too, which we had to know," said Ramu, "in regard to your discretion and judgment.


"For example, there were certain things which the master revealed to you tonight which, as he made clear, must not yet be told to your people.


In a world like yours, it is a great temptation for most men to make themselves important by indulging in attention-getting statements.


Moreover, the whole of what is now permissible for you to tell cannot, with wisdom, be told to all.


This is where your good judgment enters.


After all, you have devoted the better part of your life to teaching universal law insofar as you knew it.


In doing so, you learned well that it is not only useless, but often dangerous, to give more knowledge than can be absorbed or understood.


We know that you will apply this principle to the information you receive from us."


"In regard to telepathy," I said, voicing a question which had been in my mind, "although I am able to use it, I cannot claim really to understand its operation.


Could you explain it a little?"


They glanced from one to another, and then laughed.


I realized that all present could answer my question and that they had been amused at the courtesy which had prompted each to give the other the opportunity.


In fact, as I look back on the entire discussion, I realize how different it was throughout from what happens in our world when two or more people are gathered together.


Where we jump in, talk at cross-purposes and constantly interrupt the speaker (who should at least be permitted to come to an occasional full stop), these men and women had, in all cases, spoken without interruption from the others.


And none had held the floor by sheer force of verbosity.


As if by common consent it was Orthon who answered.


"In your world you have what you call radio, and there are many amateur radio operators whom you call 'hams.'


These have certain channels on which they are allowed to operate.


These channels, which you refer to as 'ether waves,' enable a person in one location to send a message to a person at another instrument in some far distant place.


The two can hear one another as clearly as if they were in the same room.


At one time such communication would have been considered fantastic by people of the type of mind which now derides an interplanetary origin for our ships.


To this kind of mentality, little that has not already been proven to the point of being sold over a counter is conceivable.


Thoughts are received and transmitted in exactly the same way as by radio, along certain wave lengths, but minus any instrument.


We work directly from brain to brain, and here again distance is no barrier.


However, an open and receptive mind is needed for success.


Through all the years that you have been sending thoughts to us, we have answered.


This has established a solid cable-like connection between us by maintaining the thought waves in a single channel.


Whenever your mind is open, we can send you the information you require, exactly as you could receive a message over a telephone.


You were chosen to meet with me in the presence of witnesses to confirm your experience.


We wanted the truth of this meeting to reach as far as possible.


And we commend the staff of one of your nation's newspapers is that the mental contacts we have been discussing are which proved brave enough to publish the first account.


But one thing which we want you to make clear to all is that mental contacts we have been discussing are definitely not what your people call 'psychic' or 'spiritualistic,' but direct messages from one mind to another.


Explanation of what you call 'psychic' will be given you at another time.


We call this mental telepathy a unified state of consciousness between two points, the sender and the receiver, and it is the method of communication most commonly used on our planets, especially on planet Venus.


Messages can be conveyed between individuals on our planet, from our planet to our space craft wherever they may be, and from planet to planet.


As I said before -- and let me make this firm in your memory -- space or 'distance,' as you call it, is no barrier whatsoever.


While Orthon was talking, Ilmuth had unobtrusively gone out of the room.


Now she returned with a tray on which were goblets holding what proved to be the same refreshing drink I have described before.


After she had V distributed the glasses, I said, "About these people from other planets who are living amongst us -- has that been going on for long?"


It was Kalna who answered, "Since time immemorial!


Or at least," she corrected herself, "for the past two thousand years.


After the crucifixion of Jesus, who was sent to be incarnated on your world to help your people, as had others before him, we decided to carry on our mission in a way less perilous to those concerned than actual birth on your planet.


This was made possible by the great advance in our space traveling ships.


We were able to bring volunteers in their physical bodies.


These men are carefully trained for their mission and receive instructions in regard to their personal safety.


Their identity is never revealed except, rarely, to one or another individual for a definite purpose, as with you.


They mingle with their Earthly brothers to learn their languages and their ways.


Then they return to their home planets where they pass on to us what knowledge they have gathered of your world.


We have a history of Earth and the happenings thereon dating back seventy-eight million years.


Similar histories which were made by men on Earth have been lost with the civilizations that destroyed themselves -- the same pattern of destruction that threatens you today.


The thing you call 'war' has not existed anywhere else in our system for millions of years.


Of course, all planets and their people must pass through the orderly stages of evolvement from lower to higher.


But yours has not been an orderly or natural progress; rather an endless repetition of growth and destruction, growth and destruction.


There have been Earth men who have left your planet with our help, in order that they might learn from us and, in time, return to their Earthly home and pass their knowledge on to you.


But under the conditions existing on your planet today, it is no longer possible to do this, since none could be returned.


They could not explain where they had been without being branded as lunatics and confined in a mental institution.


Nor, in your present world of multiple identification papers, would the sudden return of someone who had mysteriously disappeared long before be unchallenged by the authorities.


We cannot subject fellow beings to a persecution beyond their endurance.


This may give you an even clearer understanding of how, in so many ways, we find ourselves blocked by those we so long to help."


All the natural gaiety of Kalna's expression had been obliterated by one of sadness as she told me these things.


Now, as she took her goblet from the low table and sipped from it, she smiled.


As she set the glass back, she said, "It is a great pity that we must talk of such sorrowful things -- and still sadder that such woe exists anywhere in the Universe.


In ourselves, we of other planets are not sad people.


We are very gay.


We laugh a great deal."


I found myself deeply moved by this little apology.


They were gay people on their planets.


Yet they were willing to share the sadness of our Earth, and to strive ceaselessly through the centuries to bring us light.


"We still have one hope left," Ilmuth said, as though trying to cheer me.


"We can still come amongst you, and now and again we can make the kind of contact as with you.


While your airmen make our landings difficult at present, we are hoping that, when more and more of your people have seen our ships, become accustomed to them and accepted the truth of living beings on other planets, personal meetings with Earth people can be increased."


"I cannot see how it could be otherwise," I agreed.


We all drank from our glasses.


As I looked at my friends, I saw that all signs of the concern they felt about conditions on planet Earth had been banished from their faces.


この気分転換は賢明で適切なのだと悟った私は、彼らの態度にならってたずねてみた。「あなたがたの惑星ではダンスをしたり歌ったりしますか? また私たちと同じようにパーティーを開きますか?」
I knew that this was wise and right and, trying to follow their example, I asked, "Do you dance and sing on other planets, and have parties as we do?"


"We dance a great deal -- all of us," Kalna answered.


"We consider training the body in a coordination of rhythmic movement an essential part of our education.


Moreover, this expression is a part of what you would call our religious ritual.


As the poem form in words can suggest deep feeling not possible to the prose form, so it is with the perfect rhythm expressed in the movement of a body dedicated in a dance of worship.


We also dance sheerly for pleasure as do you, although not exactly in the manner of your present-day dancing, she added with a laugh.


We could derive no joy from the kick, wiggle and hop we have observed on your Earth, during which a man and a woman clutch each other ferociously one moment and fling each other off the next.


Our social dancing is usually of a group pattern, although often one or more persons, inspired by the moment or the music, will dance for the rest of us.


You have seen fine interpretive dancers on your Earth and therefore know the pleasure it is to watch beautiful movement of a body that is inspired by the spirit within."


"We also have parties, Ilmuth said," although we do not think of them in such terms.


With us it is quite simply a matter of inviting our friends to our homes that we may talk or relax together.


Many of these are outdoor affairs -- on our beaches or in our gardens.


Like yours, many of our homes have grounds that are planned with swimming pools and large terraces.


I wished that I need never leave these wonderful people.


But at just this point, Ramu rose and said, "It's bad news, but I fear that I must now return you to Earth."


I stood up and tried to bury my regret under the thought of a "next time."


Farewells were said amidst an atmosphere of gaiety and references to another meeting for us all.


No one reminded me to remember all I had been told, nor to apply it properly in my activities on Earth.


I was left only with a last impression of beauty and warmth and friendliness, and with the knowledge that once ignorance was lifted from them, the people of my world, too, could grow into the natural heritage of all mankind.


As we reached the door leading out into the control room, I paused to look back that I might again imprint on my mind every detail of this lovely room, my friends and, above all, the radiant portrait of Ageless Life.


The little Scout had been charged while we were visiting and was now in readiness for our return to Earth.


The door was open and together we entered, Ramu, Firkon and I.


Raniu went to the controls.


The clamp and cable had been removed as we climbed the stairs and, as before, the door silently closed after the last man had entered.


Slowly, we slid down the sloping rail, through two air locks and out again into space through the bottom of the ship.


As we descended on the rail, I felt again that sensation of dropping in the pit of my stomach, though it was less intense and of shorter duration than when we entered.


It seemed an impossibly short time before the door slid open and Firkon said, "Here we are again -- back to Earth!"


This time the craft was not set down upon the ground, but remained hovering about six inches above it.


Ramu came forward and extended his hand in farewell, saying, "I shall not be driving in with you as I must remain with the Scout.


I am glad of this evening with you and look forward to another soon."


I echoed his sentiments!


The drive back to the hotel was a silent one, full of feeling and deep thoughts on my part.


Firkon undoubtedly knew this.


He stopped the car in front of my hotel but did not get out.


We shook hands and he said, "We shall be meeting again before long"


I was wondering when and where and he answered the unspoken question by saying, "Do not doubt that you will be alerted at the right time, and find yourself in the right place."


I stepped out of the car.


Raising his hand in farewell, Firkon drove away, leaving me standing there on the sidewalk alone.


Entering the hotel, I went to my room.


For the first time since leaving with my friends, I looked at my watch.


It was 5:10A.M.!


I was not in the least sleepy, nor was I aware of any fatigue.


I sat on the edge of the bed for a full hour reviewing the experiences of the night.


And even as they went through my mind I could not help but reflect on how fantastic the whole thing would seem to my fellow man.


Nevertheless, I must tell of it ....


Actually, I myself could scarcely believe in the reality of all that had happened in the past few hours.


Yet I knew what my eyes had seen and my ears had heard, and that without doubt it had been a completely physical experience.


Finally slipping out of my clothes, I stretched out and must have fallen into a light sleep.


It was close to eight o'clock when I awakened.


I dressed hastily for there was little time left in which to eat breakfast and catch the bus on which I was to return home.


Riding along in the bus, my physical eyes saw the Earthly scenery through which we were passing, and some of the people seated in my immediate vicinity.


But my mind, absorbed in the experiences of the previous night, was still traveling space, or with my companions in the giant carrier ship.


The feeling of being in two places simultaneously persisted for several weeks.


I found it very difficult to return to the bondage of Earthly ways.


Although the time in which I had been privileged to view the vastness of space and the beauty of its constant action had been short, I carried the wonder of it with me.


All that I had learned from these friends of other worlds was not given to me alone, but for the sharing with all on Earth willing to receive it.

[日本語訳] 久保田八郎 訳(中央アート出版社「第2惑星からの地球訪問者」より)

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