It was the Italian Nobel physicist Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) who famously asked the question ‘Where are they?’,  expressing his surprise over the absence of any signs for the existence of other intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy.  Of course, he was by no means the first to do so and this question has become ubiquitous. Scientists are engaged in a frenetic, headlong pursuit to discover if there is life elsewhere in the universe. One of the latest such endeavours is by the European Space Agency seeking for signs of life on the major moons of Jupiter.

The BBC News Summary on 13 April 2023 stated:

  • The European Space Agency has cancelled its Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) mission at the last minute.
  • Scientists said the risk of lightning meant the weather conditions were not right for launch.
  • The Ariane 5 rocket was scheduled to lift off from the ESA’s spaceport in French Guiana at 13:15 BST (09:15 local time).
  • The team will attempt to launch it again tomorrow – if successful the satellite will take eight years to reach its final destination.
  • It will use a gravitational sling-shot technique around Earth and Venus to give it enough energy to reach Jupiter.
  • The £1.4bn (€1.6bn) probe could tell us whether Jupiter’s major moons – Ganymede, Callisto and Europa [which each have their own oceans] –  have the conditions to support simple life.

The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer successfully lifted off one day later on the Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, on 14 April 2023.

But what precisely do the European Space Agency, and for that matter the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), exactly mean by ‘life’?  In their Astrobiology Mailing List, dated 19 November 2021 we learn: 

‘The NASA definition of life, “Life is a self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution” and considered the specific features of the one life we know – Terran life.’

The Occult philosophy, however, both deepens and wides the scope of the ‘definition’. How, and why? 

‘Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. We men must remember that because we do not perceive any signs – which we can recognise – of consciousness, say, in stones, we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there. There is no such thing as either ‘dead’ or ‘blind’ matter, as there is no ‘Blind’ or ‘Unconscious’ Law. These find no place among the conceptions of Occult philosophy. The latter never stops at surface appearances, and for it the noumenal essences have more reality than their objective counterparts … the Universals  [are] the realities and the particulars [exist] only in name and human fancy.’

So the ‘simple’ answer (costing less than €1.6bn) as to whether ‘simple life’ exists on Ganymede, Callisto and Europa is: most certainly yes, but not necessarily – in fact it is most unlikely that ‘the conditions to support [such] simple life’ would correspond to ‘the one life we know – Terran life’. 

  • Mario Livio and Joe Silk, ‘If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?’, Scientific American, 6 January 2016.  
  • ‘ESA’s Juice lifts off on quest to discover secrets of Jupiter’s icy moons’, The European Space Agency, 14 April 2023
    <https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Juice/ESA_s_Juice_lifts_off_on_quest_to_discover_secrets_of_Jupiter_s_icy_moons> accessed 17 April 2023.   
  • Astrobiology at NASA: Life in the Universe, ‘About Life Detection’ <https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/research/life-detection/about/> accessed 13 April 2023.  
  • H. P.Blavatsky,TheSecretDoctrine, ed. Boris de Zirkoff, The Theosophical Publishing House, First Quest Edition, 1993,Volume 1, ‘Summing Up’, 274.