Star Trek & Spirituality - a guide for the modern citizen

Gene Roddenberry

It is a shame that most people have no idea who Gene Roddenberry is. The creator of Star Trek was one of the first and greatest human rights advocates, fighting for equal rights along race and gender lines. Not only did the first kiss on TV between a black woman (Uhura) and a white man (Captain Kirk) happen in a Star Trek episode of all things. Even The Next Generation Series adressed Gay rights head on. I truly cannot say enough about this television series - it gave me hope that there might be some normal people out there who believe in the good, in getting along with each other and in respecting even admiring people in their differences. "Infinite Diversity in Infinite combinations" was Roddenberry's credo. I don't know why it took me 4 years to write this post. I even wrote a paper in university on "The reflection of American politis in Star Trek" and "Problems and Problem-solving stratgies in Star Trek."

Out of all the spiritual teachers that have been featured on this blog Gene Roddenberry has influenced me the most, in how I view myself as a citizen of the world rather than belong to any one nationality. I modeled my travel philosophy in accord with Gene Roddenberry’s. If you are out seeking aliens you need a code of behavior:

“As a traveler you are just a visitor at that place and in that particular time. As a traveler it no longer crushes you that this world is not always fair, agreeable or understandable. Your passport allows you to fix what you can and to refuse to take part in ugliness. And you are delighted that it is such a colorful and exciting place. As a traveler you are not here to judge, but to experience. You begin to feel a new affection for people. You are no longer threatened that someone might be greater or lesser than you. It is only important that you have been given this marvelous opportunity to enjoy this trip and to learn from it. The loveliness about things is not their sameness but their infinite variety.” 

AMEN!

Jonas Salk "Survival of the Wisest"

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Most people know Salk as the man who dicovered the vaccine for Polio and decided to share his dicovery free of charge. First time I heard of him, was when I came across his book "Survival of the Wisest". In it, he suggests that there is another way to look at evolution, in which cooperation is more relevant than competition or the survival of the fittest. Salk tried to bridge the gap between science and social studies and explain how compassion and kindness are actually natural, especially from a scientific standpoint.

„It is as if nature, evolution, and mind have many qualities in common and can be viewed as different ways of percieving the basic phenomena of order and existence.“

Though written in the 70ies this book is more relevant than ever. Today especially the sustainability movement is referencing Salk's work.

3: My Top 5 Spiritual Lessons

1. I don’t trip over things, I do random gravity checks!
2. I don’t have grey hair. I have “wisdom highlights”.
3. My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance to idiots that needs work.
4. Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.
5. I’m going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I’ll do the second week.

Alan Watts on sleeping

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"Try to imagine what it would be like to go to sleep and never wake up? Think about that, children think about it, it's one of the great wonders of life. What would it be like to go to sleep and never wake up? And if you think long enough about that, something will happen to you. You'll find out, ... among other things, that it will pose the next question to you. What was it like to wake up after having never gone to sleep? That was when you were born." Alan Watts

Live life like a Buddhist monk

The website www.grOwing.com  is a great source for all of you considering to become a monk or nun. Gael Blachemain writes about his ten years in a Buddhist monastery, gives advice and offers practical guidance for everyone who wants to live a more conscious life or is thinking of checking-out and joining a Buddhist monastery.

You might want to start with this article on "4 things you should know if you want to be a Buddhist monk".

"After the Ecstasy, the Laundry" by Jack Kornfield

 

Jack Kornfield is a meditation teacher at the Spirit Rock Mountain Center and an authour of books on the subject of spirituality. In this book he explains, that even after achieving realization about who you really are – after the ecstasy – we are faced with the day-to-day task of translating that freedom into our lives. We are faced with the laundry...  Drawing on the experiences and insights of practitioners within the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Sufi traditions, this book describes how the modern spiritual journey unfolds and how even after realization we have to navigate the real world of family relationships, emotional pain, earning a living, sickness, loss, and death. The last book I recommended by Jed McKenna deals with a similar subject.

Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment

Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment
 

Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment isn't one kind of Enlightenment - it is the only kind. Jed McKenna's books aren't for everyone. They're for people who are tired of the spiritual merry-go-round and ready to confront the unadorned reality of the awakening process. If you like your teachers with all the spiritual trimmings and trappings, Jed may not be right for you, but when ... you're ready to jump off the merry-go-round and begin your journey, Jed McKenna is the guy. This is the second book and if you are interested he just has a new one coming out. Check www.wisefoolpress.com for more infos.

McKenna writes about Whitman, Melville, Thoreau, Mark Twain and U.G. Krishnamurti. They all appear, and a student from the first book returns to share her Spiritual Autolysis journals. Also surprising are the author's gentle efforts to guide the reader away from enlightenment towards a more desirable and accessible state. 

African Warriors - Yoga in the African community

Savasana Addict Andrea Leber just posted these beautiful pictures of the Africa Yoga Project by Robert Sturman. Thanks to the Africa Yoga Project over 250,000 Kenyans a year get to practise postures that can not only transform your body, but your mind. The project’s 52 teachers roll out their mats everywhere .... read the rest of the article for more info and pictures here.

African Warriors - Yoga in the African community