I’m back. And I’ve missed you all. I’ve missed writing this blog.
I had an accident and I’m still mending. But I’m better each and every day. This challenge (see “Shields up, Red Alert” below) has been and continues to be a profound teacher. Fodder for a future blog.
This blog post below was written, ironically, on the morning before the accident. How interesting to go back and read what I had started, not knowing what was ahead for me. The truth is, we never know.
As a result, I’m learning even more deeply to stay in the moment. To be thankful for all I have — and I am so grateful for all who have been praying for me and supporting me.
I wrote that morning about the “spirituality of Star Trek” little realizing that I was about to encounter a dark space in my own life. But this experience has only confirmed for me that while we may be sucked up by those “black holes” of sorrow or pain in life, we do come out of them and find brilliant horizons of light. Perhaps not right away. But if we are open, we do journey eventually to a new and heightened sense of the preciousness of life and gratitude.
Each day — with God’s grace — we boldly go.
Were you a Trekkie? I was.
No, I didn’t attend conventions, wear a uniform or learn how to speak Klingon. Although if that was or is your thing, may you live long and prosper.
Instead, I was awestruck by the possibilities for our future. Doors that opened on their own, communicators, Tricorders, Replicators, the transporter beam. And then nasty aliens who manipulated your mind or adorable ones like Tribbles.
Even better, here was a cast of every stripe, gender and color, including a logical alien with pointy ears. The show was a bow to gender and racial equality, and they all managed to get along, hurtling through space on the U.S.S. Enterprise.
I was in high school when the show debuted 50 years ago and Star Trek was a fresh look at what might be. Now, of course, we laugh at how “fake” the show seems, and yet, some of those Enterprise inventions have come to pass.
Later in life I began to see how this show, and its progeny, offered theological ideas and concepts. So 15 years ago I wrote a book titled “The Spirituality of Star Trek” that attracted interest from a literary agent, and then never went beyond that. A writer’s life, I’m afraid.
Still, those truths, at least for me, remain — shining like a bright star in deep space. So here are some spiritual principles I learned from Star Trek.
Warp Core Breaches — You never want one of these. Bad stuff, especially if you’re trying to flee Khan (apologies to non-Trekkies but he’s a real bad guy). Aboard the various starships, the warp core is the main source of energy that propels the ship through space. We can view the warp core as our souls. When we fail to forgive, we breach our spirits. Lack of forgiveness sucks up our souls, like the black holes in space. The gravity of vengeance is so dense no other life can exit there. When we forgive we begin to repair those breaches and mend our souls.
Open Hailing Frequencies — When encountering aliens, the captain’s first command is always “Open hailing frequencies!” This is a way of addressing new life forms and identifying the U.S.S. Enterprise and its human cargo, proclaiming: We are here and we come in peace. How can we learn from each other? Sometimes we shut down our hailing frequencies. We don’t take time to listen to others or to the universal language of love from the Divine who permeates the universe. Or perhaps, we don’t take time to listen to what our souls are trying to tell us.
Resistance is Futile — That phrase is an eerie command from the Borg, a techno-alien race that thinks with a hive mind. When starships encountered the Borg, they were assimilated into their collective. But the Borg had it right when they announced “Resistance is futile.” An old metaphysical axiom says that “what we resist, persists.” Like the Borg, when we allow ourselves to accept whatever is happening — no matter how joyful or painful — we learn. We grow. And when we embrace and assimilate those forgotten, neglected parts of our being, we grow into personal and collective wholeness and holiness.
Shields Up, Red Alert! — All of us have faced red alerts in our lives. It may be traumatic, such as a divorce, death or a life-threatening illness. Whatever it is, the experience, as painful as it is, is there to love us and teach us, if we allow it. It is often a wake-up call because something needs desperate attention in our lives. Sometimes we need to have “shields up” for a time to mend or recuperate. Sometimes we need to relax into whatever is happening and hear what it has to tell us. Only then can we move forward.
Make It So — Capt. Jean-Luc Picard often gave this command to his crew. We also have the power to “make it so.” Our thoughts are the stuff of energy that propel us wherever we focus it. What we think, we create. God was first thought and first cause. We, too, think and create. So, how do we want to “make it so” in our lives?
The Prime Directive — This is the Federation’s mandate not to interfere in alien civilizations. God is much like this, although the Divine has been known to intervene in human history. However, most of the time I believe that the Divine invites us into partnership — to participate by using our free wills to co-create a new heaven and new earth. Choice is frightening and an awesome gift. When we choose to let the Divine take the lead, we may not know the outcome. It’s always a risk. But it is always sacred ground when we do it in union with the Creator.
Space, the Final Frontier — Although outer space may be adventuresome, inner space offers infinite possibilities. This is the territory of the Divine, where we find our spiritual identity and souls. We traverse this space in many ways, with meditation, being in the moment, or whatever may help us connect with that vast presence within us.
Whether you are a fan of Star Trek or not, the reality is we are on this earthly “enterprise” together. So may we learn to be kind and loving to one another. May we boldly go into each new day knowing how much we are loved. And by God’s grace, may we live long and prosper.