Star Trek taught me that even though I couldn’t really travel to other worlds (although I did get to be beamed down on the show) I could explore everything in my own imagination and read all the various points of view on the possibility/probability that space travelers may have already explored our planet in the distant past, either in the form of something like “us” or even something microscopic, such as bacterial or viral hitchhikers on meteors.
The writings of Eric Von Daniken and Zecharia Sitchin opened the door to other aspects of “Ancient Alien” thinking, along with the television series of the same name. In that vein, I explored various world religions and philosophies which opened my mind, and taught me tolerance for all belief systems and again, thanks to Star Trek, to the idea that there are many paths to find a higher power such as explored in Emmanuel Itier’s, beautiful documentary film featuring the Dalai Lama, entitled The Invocation, where we learn about the web that weaves us all together, allowing us to therefore see where we are all more alike than different. These strands that connect all life extend out to the finite edge of our universe.
Meeting so many interesting people through the Star Trek franchise led me to inner spiritual travels by exploring meditation and Eastern philosophy, including Buddhism and the writings of great thinkers such as Paramahansa Yogananda and spiritual poets such Rumi. We can boldly look inward more easily sometimes than outward and explore a different cosmic perspective, one that is uniquely our own making as long as we stay open and continue to expand, learn and grow.
If we open our minds and hearts to infinite potential, we can think outside the conventional box that limits us and use Star Trek as our metaphor — we can then use our imaginations and expand on the probability that we are not alone in this universe. We can then explore the dualities and the paradoxes that define our human nature.
One could envision a debate today between the creators of, The Hunger Games and Star Trek’s legendary creator, the late Gene Roddenberry. Just how different would their positions be on their own prime directives and the future of our planet?
The last word on the subject might just have been the proud bird of the galaxy himself, (Gene Roddenberry) who in an interview for a 1991 edition of The Humanist magazine, implied that, The Prime Directive might have had its roots in his belief that Christian Missionaries were interfering with other cultures. There we have it, to interfere or not to interfere, becomes the classic question or Prime Directive, of good vs. evil and that definition depends solely on our own belief systems and our own point of view regarding life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In my Star Trek episode, “The Apple,” Spock points out that Starfleet Command may not agree with his choice to interfere with the computer controlled culture in “The Apple,” to which Kirk replies, “I’ll take my chances.” We can clearly see at play here the age old question as to whether or not we humans have the right to exercise our free will and take our own chances when the greater good is at stake. One could take this even further and envision a war in some hypothetical place and time, where every soldier individually and collectively no matter what their orders or what side of the line they were standing on, laid their weapons down and refused to fight! Now that is what I call the greater good. Who loses a war after all? The planet, the women, the children, the wild life and everything that creeps and crawls on this earth are the losers. If I could create a prime directive of my own, I would direct and decree that there be no more wars. Let the people with the dispute, be represented by their respective leaders and let them battle it out. Or better yet, let a giant computer game be the ultimate battle ground and let the elected participants be the determining factor as to who wins or loses the conflict and save the planet from the ravages of the foolishness of war!
Celestial Trek Artwork by Nazim Artist