Saturday, May 9, 2009

Star Trek


I enjoyed the Star Trek movie! Revisiting the starship Enterprise connected me to aspects of myself that I value. In books like The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell talked about the importance of stories in life and he talked about connecting to the archetypes in Star Wars, and I got it intellectually. But my experience of this recent Star Trek showed me more.

I remembered a few things from my childhood. At Christmastime before my seventh birthday I moved in with my Dad and Stepmom in Ohio. I remember seeing that my Father watched Star Trek, and thinking that was pretty great because I liked that show, too. It helped me to connect my experience from one household to another. I had been living in Georgia and Alabama with my Mother’s side of the family up to then, so the story of Star Trek actually helped to provide some continuity to my experience. It might sound strange, but living in those different homes with different inhabitants, rulers, customs and rules…even environments, was similar in story to Star Trek. From the perspective of a six-year-old: I had been going from planet to planet, too.

I also remember a mystical experience, of sorts, from around the same time. I was lying in my bed with my eyes closed, and I had a sense of being surrounded by infinite space in all directions. I felt safe: I could see distant stars, and thought that when I opened my eyes I might be anywhere.

So I’ll just call it the “space” archetype, it’s a metaphor for consciousness. Exploring outer space in a spaceship just gives us to tools and images to explore ourselves.

I also identified with the characters Jim and Bones because it was their wounds that sent them into space (of course, Spock, too!). And that’s how it really works. If there is no reason to question one’s existence then we can be happily complacent. But when natural pains come into a person’s life we seek “space” (as in the space archetype) for solace. Jim grew up without a Dad and was reckless and smart, and Bones’ ex-wife had “left him with just bones.” So both characters went off to Starfleet to prepare for space travel.

And through the experience they found connection, achievement, and even love.

This group of actors is young! So I hope that there will be many more movies that are as true to the spirit of Star Trek as this one is.

7 comments:

Eco Yogini said...

I'm glad you liked Star Trek! We are excited to see the movie but are waiting for crowds to lessen (we are both crowd haters).

My parents watched Star Trek Next Gen. all my young life. I love Star Trek- has so many metaphors and commentary on culture and life. Kinda like Battlestar Gallactica... Sigh such an awesome series :)

Isn't it great what young minds can create? :)

YogaforCynics said...

Hey, I just saw that this afternoon, too! And I was surprised at how much I liked it, never having been much of a Star Trek fan (though I do have very fond memories of watching Star Trek IV with a bunch of friends--this was the mid-80's, and we were all making our livings, such as they were, going door to door canvassing for Greenpeace. So, just imagine what a thrill it was for us to see Captain Kirk and Co. saving the whales with a starship!).

Anyway, that's really interesting that you were able to connect your two families by way of outer space. Then, actually, the first interracial kiss on American television was between Kirk and Uhura on a Star Trek episode in 1968...so, apparently, it seems that was a step forward for our society that required a journey into space as well....

svasti said...

Geez, movies are cheap in the US! Here, a ful priced ticket is around $16!!

Anyways, I have plans to see this movie too. Always been a Star Trek fan of sorts. Used to watch the TV show way back when, and have managed to see most of the movies, the spin offs and so on.

Thing I've always loved about Star Trek and other sci-fi movies is that many inventions would never have happened in the real world, except for featuring in these movies/shows as 'way out' ideas!

Space includes the room to create, to make anything possible. Much like you creating new connections with your new living situation.

I know the experience you speak of too, the endless spaciousness. I've also had the experience many times where the body seems to grow infinitely large, taking up a lot of space, but still somehow being space, if that makes any sense?

KB said...

I haven't seen the movie although it is the talk of webspace...yikes - I feel like I'm the only one who didn't see it! But I want to comment on the idea of finding space, a space, to exist when the environmental space isn't all that comfortable. I read deeply and intensely as a young person and sometimes existed in my author's space more vibrantly than in my own. The authors were my friends and their stories were my stories. I recall relating the story of the young boy tracking the prints of a bear in William Faulkner's The Bear to a group of rural Maine woods men only to be asked with a wrinkled brow "you were there?". The story was a way that I could identify with them.

Brenda P. said...

We went last night. My husband was sort of annoyed at how the story's multiple realities kind of negated the whole rest of the series.

But, I kind of liked J.J.Abrams using disparate parts of the story and adding his own stamp. I think Great Works are truly great when they can stand the test of time and tinkering of many later admirers. The whole point of human creation is that it is dynamic and ever-changing and can accommodates everyone.

Kinda like yoga, right?

Grace said...

The Star Trek story has deeper importance to me as well. It's something both my very different hubby and I both enjoyed (when we had tv), even though we may be getting somewhat different meaning from it.

I can't wait to see the movie.

Jenn said...

So true. My own wounds forced me to seek something bigger in space (yoga and meditation) - out into the blue! Loving your blog.