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.

Thich Nhat Hanh interviewed by Ram Dass

Ram Dass interviews Thich Nhat Hanh at State of the Wold forum. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about using mindfulness to take tender loving care of our anger. Being aware and mindful of our breathing helps us to take good care of our emotions. Our anger is like a flower that needs the sunshine of our mindfulness. May you get well soon Thich Nhat Hanh! 

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

One of the most entertaining and at the same time uplifting stories I've heard in a long time. The new documentary "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" tells the story of a remarkable person. GO SEE IT! You will be amazed from beginning to end. I love love love this movie so much. You will be entertained and learn something at the same time. Shep Gordon conducted his entire life by doing compassionate business. I am a real pessimist at times, or as I like to refer to it, a realist. But this documentary made me feel that good things do happen to good people. Check out the trailer :-)

Martin Luther King on Love

Martin Luther King on Love
 

Agape Love By Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Greek language uses three words for love. It talks about eros. Eros is a sort of aesthetic love. It has come to us to be a sort of romantic love and it stands with all of its beauty. But when we speak of loving those who oppose us we’re not talking about eros. The Greek language talks about philia and this is a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends. This is a vital, valuable love. But when we talk of loving those who oppose you and those who seek to defeat you we are not talking about eros or philia. The Greek language comes out with another word and it is agape. Agape is understanding, creative, redemptive good will for all men. Biblical theologians would say it is the love of God working in the minds of men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. And when you come to love on this level you begin to love men not because they are likeable, not because they do things that attract us, but because God loves them and here we love the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. It is the type of love that stands at the center of the movement that we are trying to carry on in the Southland—agape. (source: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/the-power-of-non-violence/)

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.

Marc Maron WTF Podcast Phil Stutz Interview

Marc Maron WTF Podcast Phil Stutz Interview
 

Here is a link to the interview that comedian Marc Maron had with psychiatrist and author Phil Stutz. This is a really unusual interview for Maron - they talk a lot about Phil Stutz's book "The Tools" - a great read and I recommend it to anyone who just can't stop reading self-help books. This is a really really good one in that category. Stutz has been treating many creative people, like writers and actors - so for anyone suffering writer's block this is a great interview :-) Also: The podcast is called "What The Fuck" - and for anyone who can't handle a "fuck" here and there - this is probably not the interview for you. The rest, enjoy :-) And have A HAPPY NEW YEAR - which will hopefully not suck as much as this one :-) just kidding - not!