Posts Tagged ‘Spock’


Ah, a bit of a trekkie-spiritual moment, just wrapped up Una McCormack’s Autobiograpy of Mr. Spock, presented through the writings of Spock sharing with Jean-Luc Picard upto and including what his life has been to the Jellyfish that kicked off the new movies universe as he was lost in the multi-verse. It is a t’san a’lat if you like Vulcan, the book of the writer’s wisdom. What has been learned throughout the life lived, I ponder what each of our stories if shared as our wisdom, and gifted to a particular co-journeyer, as our journey came to a close would percolate in our communities?

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Posted: November 1, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
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It is probably safe to assume, for those of us that actually track the science, that there is a general malaise in my province as we watch the exponential growth. It is looking if trends continue by December 14 we will be looking at minimum a 4,000 case count.

Yet to balance that is a rise in anti-mask and conspiracy theorists. I wonder if those on the entrenched extremes of right and left politically are realizing their ideological overlap during this time? For religious fundamentalist and then the meta-physical religious scientists trying to push conspiracy theories of command and control over mask use; or comparisons to Nazism by citizens being encouraged to report others breaking health orders. It is not Nazism, it is the collective responsibility of being a citizen seeing beyond your own navel. This is how health regulations function, how we discover other outbreaks or unsanitary conditions in our communities. As well, could you imagine this thought extended to the criminal code? That you shouldn’t report? The collapse of neighbourliness, neighbourhood watch, crime stoppers—

“Evil does seek to maintain power by suppressing the truth. Or by misleading the innocent.”- Spock (Tao of Spock playing cards)

I do enjoy how flipping through this card set from a mystery box from the Trek Station in Vulcan, AB does bring for quotes that tie in to what is happening. Whether it is the populist notion of the attempt to build reliance on government through things such as CERB (no, its Keynesian (spelling?) economics to pump money into the hands of the citizens to keep the economy going, you do not stop spending or switch to austerity within recessions or lockdowns). Or the neo-conservative notion of cutting corporate taxes to download the cost of societies infrastructure onto citizens (and the debt load as well); or the ludicrousness of what is it called the Barrington declaration? The medical equivalent of the political Buffalo document (or in my time as a youth, the fire wall document) or the fundamental libertarianism to release the market to maintain health and wellness (remind me again where the weakest link in protecting our citizens has been in Canada- oh right, PRIVATE for PROFIT long-term care homes). Whether these conspiracies are backed by other populist rags such as Fox, Rebel, True North (the list goes on)…one has to pause and ask…

When you are asked to do something that aids another, why such outrage?

When do we realize a human life has more value than a Loonie or Toonie?

When do we move beyond the semantics of language and look at the impact on our communities as a whole? When do we begin to look at our health as a community, not by how little tax a billionaire pays, but rather, by how we support and create belonging for our elderly, our sick, our disenfranchised, those with disabilities, the other, the 99%…. or as Brother Jesus would say, the least of these, that the Empire of his day ignored and suppressed.

Take time to understand where the leaders of organizations or institutions you join stand on issues. Do not assume because they have a progressive or universalist lens that the belief systems will support those in your community who are seen as different (LGBTTQ2+, persons with disabilities, seniors, the poor)…for they are just as susceptible to conspiracy theories that have taken root in the Religious Right, and fundamentalist-extremists of any spirituality or political ideology.

The question is simply this, are we willing to continue to give them air time? And state that the opinion is just as valid as that backed up by data in creating public discourse?

If one states their values are driven by a deeper belief than corporate law, then really look into your heart, and what is being put out there? Does it align with these values? Does it create belonging? Or does it exacerbate harm that I am unaware of because of my own socio-economic-cultural-religious-ideological priviliged?

Would the founder of your spirituality or religion endorse it? Or would the table get flipped and the nest of vipers term be thrown at you?

Just some thoughts along the journey and the state of our discourse as many try to destroy interdependence.

The First 175

Posted: September 7, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
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Humans are very peculiar. I often find them unfathomable, but an interesting psychological study.”
-Spock

175 days. On March 17 I will admit I did not foresee us having to be socially/physically distanced much beyond the end of the school year. Some would say, yeah but schools have reopened and Alberta is in Phase II. Yet daily numbers continue to climb, and currently 16 schools have had positive tests for Covid-19. Now I can spend this time ranting about the ineffectiveness of the current provincial government who has chosen this time to perpetuate failed American policy of funding following students, to defund public schools and a government actively picking fights with our health care providers, not to mention the parallel opioid epidemic happening during this pandemic.

Yet, that is not the purpose of this post. I think just last year at this time I was in the midst of treatment for my own conversion disorder/PNES/PTSD and now here I am in the midst of a pandemic, shifting gears in a career path to working from home. The current underlying anxiety of life. There has been ups and downs, making hard decisions within a life where my son is in highest risk of the worst case scenarios is he was to contract Covid-19. It brings a different lens to life, a heart lens, a heaviness that shifts life experiences during this time.

A Challenge lifted with the faux choice presented around back to school, where our other child could online hub, for the supports necessary for my son to continue to grow and thrive, he needed to be back in school. Even with his school providing one of the safest options, still many moving parts. Some will never know the amount of trust our medically complex community extends to be part of basic Constitutional rights as Canadians.

During this past 175 days we have learned, we have grown. We have continued to connect as a family unit. Shifted gears into what was safe to do- walks, drives (ah before the parks opened and you could get amazing wildlife pictures from the vehicle as they were so chill), checking out how things were set up for safety (Thank you Vulcan Trek Station). Oh and a fun Wynonna Earp tour of Didsbury (seriously Didsbury, think of Earper days).

Our kids mourning the summer shift away from the parade circuits, small town fun and doing some fund raising to help others. As thrift stores re-open being able to donate to at least continue our pattern of helping. Not being able to be around Countess as much as usual for the varied reasons of the c-tine.

Screen fatigue sets in as everything feels like it is online. A few close friends who get it, we can set up visits with. But the smack of heart/soul pain when you believed one got it, only to realize in the moment that they did not and the extra layer of fear it brought. But thankful for the screens, and the online communities that were able to build connection-summer camp for the kiddos, youth group, and church each week, thank you for the heart your brought to your passions.

Focusing on interests, exploring some new. Realizing that costs rise as you step away and lose the way you used to do things (ah Public Libraries). A summer spent reading, and another child discovering and refining their cosplay passion.

A fun summer of variety of RuPaul’s drag races (though what was up with that mask? on the Zoom finally!). Bosch, Star Trek Lower Decks (okay Trek in general), warped and weird comic book team ups brought to my bookshelf by curbside pick ups from Words & Pictures, Doctor Who…and the list goes on…so many new release movies bought and watched shared through my Facebook as our Ragan Chateau Cinema (and finally Good Omens!).

Empathizing for each family that has lost someone to Covid, for the outbreaks in our shelters, and for those who my son has lost in his life this summer. The haunting conversations with him during this time. Asking in a night of tears if I loved him and would do his funeral. Fear as he did not react in anger at loss of his classmates, but rather, just slumped over like one beaten by grief. As I told him, no it’s not how the universe works he needed to get through Bible College like he dreamed to do mine because parents don’t bury their kids.

His answer…

Silly Daddy.

While others look to starting back to life as close to normal as possible. We do have to double check and triple check, second guess…for the heavy heart of a Dad, I do not want to be the one that made the misstep that costs my son his life. Moments over the last 175 where I thought of breaking my tea totaller ways, but what a risk of loss for myself, for a sip of alcohol. Not worth it.

Enjoying and living the journey of discovery of my other kid as they come into their authentic self. Pride is the only word that comes to mind, with their passion and love and care for life and others.

Hope to find a new addition to our fam jam, a wonderful new rescue Mumma dog to love as day 176 dawns in the morning, and head back to work.

In the still quiet silence, trying to connect to calm the constant state of anxiety. Listening for the vocational call…that can shift back around to a renewal of the soul of the work February 20th…just need to take the step of risk and inquiry.

One can begin to reshape the landscape with a single flower.
-Spock

I talked with my wife, Shawna, about whether I stopped counting the days because the boi was back in class. I decided against it, because our life had not shifted gears back to fully belonging and inclusive in community once more. That will take some time. Just like reminding myself, that the compassion and kindness I try to bring to others during this time, I need to bring to myself.

For, I had set the intention for a post a day during this time, and some days (several back to back), after logging off from work finding the energy is just not there to even journal. I need to be kind to me, and move forward. Each day is a new day. And yes I still work to find my centre, and peace. Most days are good, had some dark days in the first 175, and that okay.

For each day can be reshaped, just like a landscape, by adding one thing. Take time each day to note at least one thing you are thankful for. It begins to make a whole new soul scape.

As tomorrow brings a new day, a new bus ride, a new log on…and the cycle continues where it leads…


Ah Star Trek Discovery does grow on one, their second season brought us back into the world of Captain Pike, Number One and that era of NCC-1701 (U.S.S. Enterprise) in a unique team up adventure that–well–I won’t give any spoilers. But much like the novels and other graphic novels have acted as prequels, and unpacking of other stories–so we get Beyer and Johnson’s newest release from IDW: Star Trek Discovery: Aftermath (2020).

This story that picks up at the end of the last season, it is the continuing of the discovery (pun intended?) of Spock’s belonging within himself and the universe. It is the story of a Klingon-Federation peace accord, and the story of L’Rell and Pike, with a great nod to the original series perpetual villain Kor. Oh, and the greatest quote at this time for us to reflect upon from Spock:

“For months I have been wondering where my place is. Where I belong. It is only now, in this dark hour, that I realize I am precisely where I need to be.”

-Spock

This idea of belonging, contentment and discovery is mimicked as well in the Captain Saru one shot that is part of the collection. Where Saru also has an opportunity to discover who he is, as Discovery is sent on a rescue mission and to face of with the Orion Syndicate. What is a Kelpian to do? As he explores if Starfleet will accept him as a captain yet at this point in his journey, and if they do not, what does it mean for him? What will his response be?

As Saru and Spock’s stories point out, it is about our own inner character, knowing who we are, knowing why we are a part of many communities or few, have many friends, and family, or a very small cloister around us. It is our core values that set us up for success, for who determines what success is for our journey? But the one that is on the journey.

Why does this matter for us today?

See the source imageSimple, we are in quarantine for day….39 days on my end…and it is a dark time, as a friend pointed out in Alberta via a text message after listening to Dr. Hinshaw, our chief medical officer, about how does one continue on the journey announcing a huge one day increase, and more deaths. Out with the family today, watching the light salute by first responders for the lives lost in Nova Scotia in our nation’s worst mass shooting; reports out of B.C. yesterday of a possible shooter, and three weapons reports today in Halifax, N.S..

A dark time, and that is not touching upon on the personal mental health struggles one can be going through in physical distancing, aloneness, as these reports roll in through one’s social media feed. Loss of employments, possible loss of purpose, is there a way one can lose identity? Lose belonging in self?

All are possible, BUT and it is a huge but in this moment in history as we pause to be kind to ourselves, it is also a time where we can silence all the redundant noise of our lives and perhaps, in the quietness, silence the inner-gremlins, expunge them, and truly hear who we are meant to be…and live into that authentic life.

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For, to echo, Spock, for our reflection, and life, in this moment… perhaps we are where or about to be where we need to be to truly become and belong for who we are.

Our aftermath is emerging day by day.

Will it be a better and healthier us that comes through?

“For months I have been wondering where my place is. Where I belong. It is only now, in this dark hour, that I realize I am precisely where I need to be.”

-Spock


Greg Cox’s (2015) A Child of Two Worlds

is a story set during Spock’s early days on the U.S.S. Enterprise when it was captained by Christopher Pike. The story picks up shortly after the original pilot “The Cage”. It is a read if you enjoy good science fiction, and all that makes Star Trek what it is.

It is the opening though that causes one to pause and ponder. It opens at the celebration of Spock’s 7th birthday with his mother, Amanda. His father, Sarek’s, human wife. Yes, Spock is half-Vulcan, half-Human. It is a struggle between his emotional and logical sides. At this party it is the human tradition that strikes Spock with a quandary, blowing out a birthday candle and making a wish. It is illogical, Amanda points out could it not be seen as a meditative exercise to focus your whole self on the one thing you want.

Which sparked thoughts and contemplation on my part. We are compilations, not just two worlds but multiples. Think of how many different types of value, ethics, philosophical or religious traditions make up your family (and the spectrum of those belief systems). What did your parents choose to impart to you? What did you choose to accept? Investigate and accept on your own?

How many different nations are in your DNA? That is cultural traditions? Which resonate with you? What others have you been introduced to in your life journey that you have adopted/adapted to fit your own frame of reference that aids you in being you?

Has what you have taken on from the worlds that circle in your mosaic changed throughout your life? That is have you let some beliefs, traditions go and let others come in?

What are simply just family things that are not tied to the broader meta-narrative? Have you stepped outside of those, and wrote your own story?

As you enter into and live with others in community, in your own family, or relationships… what has been given up? What has been grown? What has been integrated?

In the words of John XXIII about the Second Vatican Council being about the windows of the church being opened up and letting the Holy Spirit blow through. When have you opened up the windows to your own sanctuary of life and let the Spirit of renewal blow through?

Pause.

Contemplate.

Listen.

And simply ask, does this tradition, custom, practice, value add true understanding and meaning to my life…or am I simply doing it because it is what I have always done. What would happen if I simply did not anymore? Would it be missed? Does it bring true joy to my life?

 


The North Star is said to have guided the Magi (Wisemen) from the East to the Creche (hence the 12 days of Christmas and Epiphany) of a gift of light into the darkness of the world. This advent we hitch ourselves to a wagon train the to the stars as Gene Rodenberry pitched it in the 1960’s to CBS. This advent trek will be a different look at the five gifts that birth of a baby brought at the solstice: Hope, Faith, Peace, Joy and Love through the lens of the original Star Trek (thanks to the beauty of Netflix, DVD/Blu-Rays and Public Libraries you can watch along and reflect as well. Welcome to the Advent train to the stars…a different style of pilgrimage to the heart of the sacred in the season of waiting:

Space, the final frontier
These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise
Its five years mission
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life
And new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before

-Captain James Tiberius Kirk, USS Enterprise NCC-1701

Jungian psychology speaks of the Shadow self. It is the parts of us that we suppress, and sometimes as we wear out it becomes our dominant traits. The goal is to overcome the shadow and bring peace into our being. It has been a topic of many episodes within Enterprise, and Deep Space Nine known as the Mirror Universe (as well as many excellent graphic novels and novels). Star Trek’s second season’s fourth episode, Mirror, Mirror was the catalyst.

A transporter accident swaps Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura between the universes. OfImage result for Star Trek Mirror, Mirror course the brutal Mirror Universe dopplegangers are quickly discovered in the main universe. In the Mirror Universe Kirk is confronted by a twisted logical sadist in Spock. One seeking power for power’s sake, at the heart of the Terran Empire. You advance through assasination, it is the love of money and power that drives expansion.

In the battle of inner turmoil though, Kirk notices a glimpse of his friend from across multi-verses. People are reduced to nothing more than pawns for power and control. InImage result for Star Trek Mirror, Mirror some respects property ala slavery. Sounding familiar on this journey of waiting for the light at the darkest time?

Kirk points out to Mirror Spock that the more enlightened empire he wanted was possible. The reconciling of the shadow to be the authentic self within Spock had begun with a simple seed of peace planted by Kirk. Beginning the journey of ascendance to the head of the Empire, as the Emperor…making the changes for the better he foresaw, to the point in the Mirror Universe the positive was seen as…well you get it.

Who is your mirror? These are the shadows that create the gremlins that speak negatively into our life and sabotage us. Confront them and bring out the voice to the light that is emerging. Have your gremlin-shadow meet the voice bringing you to peace within.

What would it take to bring peace into your being?

Your world?

Ready to crack the mirror?


Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes Redemption (pt. 1&2, or the blu-ray full-length television movie treatment) from June 1991 (summer cliff hanger) and September 1991.

redemption

With the snowy days in Calgary, it has been movie days between shoveling (the never ending job, like the never ending story).  It is the culmination of the story of Worf’s family name return to honour, that started with it looking as his family were the traitors that allowed the massacre that orphaned him, only to be revealed it was the Duras family.

This is where Picard chooses the new Emperor, Gowron, and civil war breaks out, as the Duras sisters show up with an “heir”…partnered with the Romulan empire attempting to break the Klingon-Federation alliance. It also shows a time paradox where Tasha Yar’s half-Romulan/Half-human daughter is spear heading the charge. How? The Yesterday’s Enterprise episode where she went back in time to make her death mean something. An outsider who has wholly become one piece of the two worlds she is a child of.

With Worf being the new “Spock” character, a child of two worlds who internally struggle within. Raised by humans as a citizen of the Federation and a Starfleet officer, yet yearning for and struggling to connect with his Klingon roots.

The challenge of value of the person. I wrote about in my Chain of Command post. Where that show challenged us to look at where undervaluing the other creates, this one places the emphasis on conformity over authenticity. Worf can become fully Klingon, yet he struggles with choices made for they do not consider the collective good, only what is needed in the moment to prove one’s own superiority—as with the scene where Gowron battles a challenger within his own camp, and kills him amid a civil war. It is the front where Kern, Worf’s brother points out it is the Klingon way, to which Worf challenges the thought process.

This struck me in my ongoing reflections, for it is the struggle of being part of a species evolving in thought and inclusion, yet “tradition” attempting to hold one back, and bullying them into submission. The struggle Worf is in within the arc of Redemption. His family honour regained, does he just become the mindless traditionalist or something different?

The struggle I have written about in many spiritual settings, and spiritual based employers church or para-church I realized (probably again) is much the struggle Spock in the classic Trek, and Worf in TNG (Sisko in DS9) are within. The balance of tradition, with progress. It reminds me of something I read in Bishop John Shelby Spong’s memoir, Here I stand, to paraphrase traditionalist fearful of change said he despised scripture, and he shared the story of his love with the stories of God and the people, a gifting of a Bible as a teenager that was his most treasured gift. Yet, it was that love that caused him to go deep and led him into a journey of transformation.

This is the path that Worf was on in this story. How to balance his personality, honour his inherent Klingon and love of the tradition he yearned to be a part of, with who he was shaped to be through his life experience. Looking at the world, and how easily we become divided into ideological camps, and regress, I can see this struggle and how it can be easier to acquis to what is the known past no matter how harmful it can be to the path forward. Yet this is not what we are called to be in our evolution and being caretakers of creation. We are children of two worlds the cosmic, and the physical. The journey is the synergy of them both.

redemption2

This synergy creates the world of inclusion.

This synergy is what we are called to. It is the outgrowth of the love your neighbour as yourself teaching. For it is easy to care for the other if you place value of them. Yet, the challenge of placing value on yourself when others say you do not fit, and standing firm in being who you are. Standing firm in the journey to come to where you are in life to a place where you understand who you are, and why you do what you do.

That is the seedling of growing the love of self. It is the reconciling of desperate pieces, letting that which is harmful to self to fall away (interior and exterior, emotional and communal, etc)…and moving forward.

This is what was seen in Spong’s memoir, the love of the story of love of God, and letting the hate scriptures be revealed and stripped away to reveal the true thread of cosmic creation.

This is the story of Worf’s redemption being able to hold to what is the good of both worlds as one person, and moving forward.

When it comes to loving your neighbour, one has to ask:

Are you ready to love yourself?


“I’ve always known I’d die alone”

-Captain James T. Kirk (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Stay positive. Focus on what you can do. Easy mantras to say, hard to live when it is not good days you talk about during a week with the unknown rattling your brain and causing the reliving of mental and emotional pain, but good hours in the week. Yet it is the gratitude for what still is that must also be talked about within the journey. Each chapter of the book of our lives, begins with letters put together to form words, those words into sentences, those sentences into paragraphs, those paragraphs into pages, those pages into chapters, and those chapters into a book.

The thing about flashbacks is that when lived with sometimes, some good can be remembered. The quote that opens this reflection up may seem weird, yet in my time building children, youth & young adult ministries/groups and outreaches I have not only used spiritual texts but media to percolate constructive and critical thinking. The first I used in this purpose officially was Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the movie where literally they discussed the purpose of pain in our lives, and where to discover the intrinsic spiritual piece, the shared belief in an afterlife paradise.

As Kirk pointed out to Spock and McCoy when Sybok came for his pain, we need our pain, it shapes who we are, it is how we have grown. This is partly true, pain plays that role, but through the actions of the movie and how family is shaped/found in the journey to beyond the Great Barrier, what is also shown is that bonds are created in gratitude, shared life and community. This is about that gratitude. Those moments of reading a few chapters of a book or writing a short piece and knowing the pain to come. But it is about still being able, however briefly, to participate in the simplicity of lifelong passions.

Much like was shared in the earlier post around my awesome employer, the PMO office, Service Canada and my MP aiding in ensuring my family’s continued financial viability.      The pause on the vocational journey for a family that has always been giving can be challenging, but there were still those moments over the past several months when we were able to feel included in creating that dream of a better world:

CP Kids and Families  is a great non-profit that aids families and individuals who are blessed to experience life differently due to Cerebral Palsy. It has many programs, but the adaptive bike clinic has blessed my son with freedom like none other. This year our funds may have been short, but gifts in kind we were able to provide art to support the silent auction at the annual Christmas Party, always a great time that the family enjoys as it becomes a community party based around fun and the joy of the season where labels slip away.

Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta another great non-profit, where it aided us during this time is the ability to donate goods through their drop bins (you can never know when you have the energy to make it a place to donate, and sometimes it is only kids clothes you have as they keep growing).

Calgary Drop In Centre: Donations Centre & Recyle Centre the ability to drop goods off that aid in new homes is a great blessing, the fact they have ability to take goods around the clock gave us a great place to donate items. We knew that we were giving so others could enjoy a home.

Robert McClure United Church falls under the giving back section because it accepted my family, but more…it took both my kids as kids. The ability to be apart of both sharing their belief in a better world through fully participating in the Christmas Pageant without barriers or labels, participating in liturgical painting, and lighting the candle of Love while sharing Indigenous Sacred teachings…well…. I encourage all of you to look for the little ways you can give to make a difference whether it be in word, deed, goods, action or monies. However, you can help your neighbour, please do, for that is what makes community.

Kirk: I thought I was going to die.

Spock: Not possible, you were never alone.

It is true. In the darkness of the battle to stay upright some days, one does feel alone and that the end is nigh. Yes, in moments of life like this, you can lose “friendships” but that is what one should not focus on.

Yet it is not only building community through the giving to help others. Sometimes as much as we do not want to stubbornly admit it, we need help. The true gratitude is when it happens without judgment, without hyperbole, or making one feel less than. It is simply happening because we are family—blood or otherwise, bonded together through being. Whether it was simply spending time, sharing cake (deserts are always good); cup of coffee, meals, aiding with minor/major repairs; money, laughs and an ear,  if need be…and all the things in between, the small to major ways that life happens and can need support.

Being our neighbour, thank you.

For all those that stepped in to help my family up until and past now on this journey, we thank you for in the smallest of actions to the grandest, we know that we are not alone.

Bones: Do you ever think we will find God out there?

Kirk: Perhaps God is not out there (taps chest) but in here, you and me Bones.

How today will you create or realize gratitude within your interconnected life?

henson


Lectionaries are designed within liturgical/mainline churches to have the entire Hebrew Bible and Christian Testament heard within the community in a 2 or 3-year cycle depending on the lectionary used, Other liturgical prayer book resources will take a daily reflective practice for the person through the whole of these two scripture compilations usually within a year.  It is unique that in this part of the lectionary cycle this is the reading that came up in the Roman Catholic lectionary, in the midst of the rise of fascism, Nazism, extremism (at the point of extremism the qualifier of right-left or religiosity is removed for it is simply about hate, power and control, nothing more).

But, this reading also struck on my own renaissance of the past months with my Trekkie ways (that many previous posts have touched upon) and it reflects the Healing Journey of James Tiberius Kirk as seen in the Star Trek II to VI.

As you hear the words of the gospel whether you read within your heart or with your lips, may they embed upon yourself. And the old Franciscan idiom of living it as nature before moving on touch upon your soul:

21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile[e] woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”

23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”

24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”

25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”

26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”

28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

-Gospel of Matthew 15:21-28 (New Living Translation)

Brother Jesus is a prick in this telling, let’s be honest. The man that has been teaching to rest in the love does the dance of ignorance based on race superiority. His non-chalant I am not here for you people, does come across as a supremacy statement at first blush.  Especially with a child’s life hanging in the balance. It would definitely be jarring for his disciples to hear.

Jarring because it was Brother Jesus espousing what they held to be true of their beliefs as the children of Israel. The Messiah was there for them not those who were actively supportive of the Empire.  I mean one of the many rumours (or truths depending on the narrative of Jesus’ early life you follow) is that Roman soldiers raped Mary and Jesus was the result, but was blessed, others would hold he was born directly from God, and many other stories as the Gospel of John tell us that would be too many to keep up with. Yet the gentiles, or Empire were non-Jews, mostly in this age they were ones that had sold out Israel, battled with Israel, or were Romans in general who only saw Israelite’s outside of the wealthy and religious leaders (that could be used to keep control of the people) as property to be used and/or abused as they wanted.

This is not even touching upon the general view of women across all nations at this time. A view that Jesus’ circle had shattered with their egalitarian equality, equity and justice.  Yet when this woman came upon them and they reverted to old ways. The ways that Jesus mimicked.

“Only Nixon can go to China”

-Spock, Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country

 

Within the cold war height of hysteria, Star Trek’s original crew was in their movie arc. It was this future used to reflect the destructive ways that seeing American or Soviet as the other or capitalist-communist as the other and building fear would lead to.

Within Star Trek it was the Federation-Klingon Empire.  Star Trek II saw Spock give his life to save the Enterprise, quoting the famous line, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. And the genesis bomb went off on the planet Spock’s body was left to rest on.  Kirk had found he had a son, David, yet his best friend, his moral compass was left behind dead.

Now, as we go through quick touchstones of the others. I do encourage you to watch the movies and see other gems available, as this is just quick points and not as in-depth as could happen with these storylines.  As another aspect these movies could touch on would be the grief cycle of 5 stages, or the U theory of change, but again, those are for another time.

This is the journey of healing and transformation as the inciting incident of this arc was Spock’s death. In the third film, it is revealed that Spock’s essence is within McCoy. The Klingons want genesis, David and Saavik find a reborn Spock due to the Genesis bomb (life from lifelessness).

This is the rising action that sees Kirk and crew determine the needs of the few or the one can outweigh the many. They break Federation protocol, steal the Enterprise and head back to Genesis to get Spock. Before ultimate win though, the Klingons kill Kirk’s son, David.

Blind rage and grief move from a Cold War battle with the Klingon Empire, to a personalization of hatred for the other within Kirk.

Star Trek IV has Kirk and crew using a stolen Klingon cruiser to go back in time to save humanity from our own shortsightedness as the Klingon Empire sabre rattles for the “war criminal Kirk” to be turned over to the Klingon justice system.  But saving the universe must come before politics as the Crew on their newly christened HMS Bounty go back in time to well, bring back a lost species to communicate with a probe—the Humpback whale.

As Scotty would chime before the jump forward, “We got whales here!”.

It is truly a connecting of the Cold War of the `80’s into the Star Trek universe. It is also a trip where Kirk gets to experience Spock’s new entry back into his life, and learning what it means to be a person of two worlds…both Vulcan and Human.

In fact, the outcome of his Federation court martial is to be stripped of his admiralty and given to be Captain of the new Enterprise A. That is even the Federation realizes the best place for Kirk is as a captain of a star-ship out there exploring and discovering, much to the anger of the Klingon Empire.

Star Trek V has Kirk entering into a search for God thanks to Spock’s half brother Sybok. But the challenge of the search for God is a loss of pain. It is within this journey that Kirk begins to understand that pain is not what is the problem, but when Sybok takes the pain he takes the learning, the growth, the understanding. The intangibles that created who each of the crew were.

Also it raises the question when they are face to face with the entity pretending to be the Creator. It is petty, mean, and separatist. It is the being that extremism creates to give credence to their hatred. Kirk sums it up greatly on his transformational journey at this point, “Why is God angry?” Truly, if you are seeking wisdom, answers and truth. If you are seeking to love and include…then yes, why is God angry?

Which brings us to the end of the rising action and to the climax in Star Trek VI where this exchange happens between Kirk and Spock about the Klingons:

Spock: They are dying.

Kirk: Then let them die.

Sound familiar? Almost like the disciples with Brother Jesus. All this personal discovery, learning and transformation. Yet when the climax came to make a choice, Kirk almost took the path of the comfortable instead of healthy change. Yet it is within the Undiscovered Country that Kirk reaches the point with the Klingons that Jesus brought his disciples to with the woman in 15:28:

28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

Kirk was at peace and heading to retirement, as was many of his friends on the crew. The denouement. Then the final resolution of his life was seen in Star Trek VII: Generations as he saves the Enterprise-B and falls into the Nexus, and then with Picard and crew will save the universe again. He imparts this wisdom to Picard: You are where you need to be. The best place, the Captain of the Enterprise, do not let them take it away, do not let them promote you. Stay there for it is the best place. Completely understanding the need to find your passion, and then live it and not let your ego or others building the ego to create a false you that removes you from that path.

Even with detours as seen in Kirk’s life can get back on track, things will thrive and grow. Healing will happen. Transformation and release of the pain associated with your own story. The shadow blocks can be removed for a better world, that begins with a better you.

Much like Kirk.

As Brother Jesus played a mirror for his disciples in how they were still not getting it.

And as trite as it maybe you will live a life, that will make your own part of the world a better place for you being a more complete and you- you.

Do you choose this you?

“It was fun.”

-Captain James T. Kirk, Star Trek Generations, last words.


“I am going back because I am a coward. Sometimes it is easier to go back, than to walk away.”

-Wild Bill (Hickock, 2017 movie)

Westerns and Star Trek, it has been a childhood mythology renaissance in my house lately. Star Trek shares so many values that I hold dear around equality, exploration, peace, greater good (and the list goes on) as well as friendship, and the power of the intrinsic unnameable piece of the human experience that heals us and moves us forward.

Just look to Star Trek Deep Space Nine. The thrust of the whole series is essentially Truth and Reconciliation for a colonized, oppressed and almost genocide people—the Bajorans (at the hands of the Cardassians). It is the story of the Emissary, Benjamin Sisko who goes on his own healing journey with his dual role in Starfleet and now Bajoran Religious leadership. Releasing his own anger and pain at the loss of his wife at wolf 359 (for non-Trekkies, that is the major Borg battle where Captain Picard was assimilated and led the charge).

It is also more, as many have panned the finale of this series for pulling out the old trope of writing where it appears you have so written yourself in a corner that the only way out is to state “the Gods saved us.” Or some other miracle.  Yet, when you are dealing with a people who have had their worth shattered, and are bearing witness to reclaiming/learning their spiritual/cultural heritage it begins to make sense. Think of a whole planet colonized and people living through a healing journey of PTSD, and what finally ends the new war with the Dominion, the evil that has emerged from the Celestial Temple (wormhole) like an Anti-Christ…why it is the Prophets that save.

Could the society have healed without coming to terms and embracing that intrinsic missing piece? How can one heal from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of their entire cultural identity being stripped away by generations, if it is not by truly embracing their truth? Truly, to embrace the old light that shines through the new cracks of the pain to finally shatter the bonds.

It also led to thinking of a youth retreat where we discussed bio-ethics. How? Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s 5th season episode, Rapture wrestles with a child who has a parent that may be dying and needing to make a decision that may or may not be within the parent’s wishes on life and death and calling. The other was Spock and Sarek’s relationship in Star Trek’s Journey to Babel as the father has fallen ill, they are estranged, and duty calls Spock, a logical reaction is to follow duty for the needs of the many should outweigh the needs of the one?  What does one choose? Which part of themselves do they listen to…

It flows, there are many different ethical conversations that emerge from movies and shows. Hickock (2017) was a birthday present from my son, and is the fictionalized look at the time Wild Bill was sheriff of Abilene. A good movie with decent pacing as you explore what it means to follow your actual heart. To leave the comfortable trail, and to see the new calling laid out before you. That is what Wild Bill was speaking to. He was not being a hero or brave by going back to Abilene on his normal path as a gunslinger. He was taking the coward’s way. For it was the comfortable path, as the one that was calling him was the unknown—scary, and would take too much bravery. So, it was easier to simply go with the comfortable road.

These musings have meandered a might but they all speak to wholeness of self and community. For that to happen it means standing at the crossroads and making a choice. The choice that matters is the one that speaks to personal transformation.

The choice that matters, and which part of yourself you listen to…where you seek the intrinsic wholeness of self, whom your Prophets are if you will. These are only questions you can answer.

The question before you are much that same as what Wild Bill had to answer:

Will you be a coward or a hero in your own story?