Why did it end like it did?Open ended books and movies have a certain enigmatic appeal.
A narrative that leaves you pondering, and trying to reconcile a koan into something sensible is “bran for the brain”.
The open end leaves a hunger, a festering hole that demands satisfaction.
The best of solutions have repercussions that resonate, they suggest something beyond the mundane. Both the book and the movie Contact provided this; the book in the form of something secreted in transcendental numbers (PI), the movie left us pondering the purpose of 18 hours of noise. But these scientific or mathematical artifacts are not the only enigmas, the one that strikes more deeply is why make contact and then disappear?
In actual fact it is almost the glaring ommission. The book explains having to engineer a consistent causality but when the topic moves to future contact it is Ellie that suggests that the link is severed by saying “We’ll take it from here”.
In Chapter 18 of Contact Ascension Ellie deliberates over this as she prepares herself for a second journey, this one radically different from the first, and one where she hopes to gain answers. It is Palmer that pioneered the first real Journey and while Palmer has learnt much (in Chapter 17) Ellie is about to learn much more (in Chapter 19 still to come).
In Chapter 18 – ‘The Key’ I’ve introduced the notions being developed through Spiral Dynamics and Integral Theory. Here we find the parallel with umpteen episodes and books of Star Trek; ‘The Prime Directive’. It is now evident even to us that intervention with a civilization, and any attempt to bootstrap them to an enlightened state is almost always doomed to failure. While Spiral Dynamics provides a scaffolding to facilitate evolution (not revolution) we must attain a pre-requisite level before transcending to the next.
I guess this is what I have gained from the book and movie Contact. In taking a quote from Einstein:“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
How do we find the state of consciousness to solve the problems that we now face? We solve the problem of the open ended book. This is the koan that we all seek to understand. In order to transcend it we need to think beyond the point where our personal books close.