Me: You're in the news again bigtime. Do you mind if I ask a few questions?
Space: Shoot. Just sitting here in my ubiquitous lonesomeness whiling away eternally.
Me: Ever since Sputnick, you've been a fascinating and intriguing topic of conversation. Seems everyone suddenly realized you existed. Or rather you didn't exist but were at least usable. Even John Kennedy here informed his fellow citizens they were going to the moon in ten years through you.
Space: Yeah, I heard. Big deal. Hop, skip and plop! I didn't even feel it.
Me: Yes, well one big problem is, all that junk already floating in you, at last count, 8,927 man-made objects weighing over 4 million pounds. We would like your reactions. I mean, aren't you a bit worried?
Space: Me? Worried? Let's get something straight first. I look at you mortals from my position surrounding you all while you look at me stupidly from your so-called national positions. The truth is staring at you every time and everywhere you look up. Damn few of you humans even know what I am. Or better, what I'm not. Only a few of you got it right. Like that Lao Tse guy who wrote the Tao Te King.
Me: You mean in chapter 11 which claims that things are for profit and space is for value?
Space: You got it. And there's that Gaia man, Lovelock who thinks of your planet as a whole living being surrounded by me like billions of others. But the Webster's definition is definitely out of whack: "the unlimited three-dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects are located and all events occur." I am not merely a "where" or a "non-thing." Look, I was first, even before the Big Bang. Before the material world. Check those stars. They're all "in" me. Capisci?
Me: Yeah, capisci. But tell me, were there any others of us here who got it right?
Space: Yeah, a few like Emerson who wrote that "The material universe was created by, and is totally permeated, by Universal Soul.." He got that right. Hey, where do you think God lives anyway? Then there was T. Paine who wrote that his "country was the world." Anyhone who recognizes that is space-struck. Then there's that space/time scientist, Einstein. He somehow figured that I was "bendable" and deduced a whole relativity theory on it. Real cool. But most of you haven't a prayer which only proves you don't deserve me, not to mention your minor planet itself. Well, no great loss. There's millions more. Like Emerson said, "The dice of God are always loaded!"
Me: Hmm, You don't paint a pretty picture. But listen, we have an immediate and growing problem here. There's so-called national leaders who insist they own you. I mean like exclusively. And they claim to have the power to keep everybody out of you. In other words, they're thinking of using you as a bloody battlefield. And what's worse, they've got nuclear bombs on the alert now. That really scares a lot of us. Some of these despots are even sending up stationary platforms in you claiming all sorts of phony reasons, for instance, cell phones communication. But the majority of us want to keep you as you are, you know, peacelike.
Space: Anyone who claims to own me is either a fool or thinks everyone else is a fool. I'm 83 miles from everybody. The bottom line is, I "own" every-thing, planets, moons, stars, including you humans, because without me, you couldn't exist. You'd all be squashed together like jelly in a giant jar.
Me: (Laughing) That's sure true. But let's get back to reality, I mean, definitions. Some astronomers in ancient times called you "ether" not just empty "space." Claimed you filled the universe. You mentioned Einstein. He was intrigued by the idea that you were not really empty-like because then light couldn't move through you. And the sun couldn't heat the earth. He cottoned onto this "ether" idea and figured that you or "ether" accounted for electromagnetic radiation. Got a Nobel for it too. So what are you, "space" or "ether"?
Space: Sorry, that's classified! And I'm not authorized to give out any classified information. Here's a hint, however. Whatever's out here (Pointing upward) is in there. (Pointing at my head). Dig a little. Use your own awareness and, believe me, you'll come up with all the right answers. The kids know them already. OK?
Sorry, gotta go. Time to expand.