The Tao Of Spock
Post written by Monica Gaylor.
In loving memory of Mr. Spock / Leonard Nimoy (1931 – 2015).
I wasn’t even out of bed yet when I started getting texts. On the locked screen, I only get the first few words of the text. “I’m so sorry for your loss.” – is a little perturbing first thing in the morning. My heart skips a few beats, even while I’m frantically going through the protocols to get to the actual text. What, what happened my brain screams? The texts aren’t from family, as one would expect, they are from friends, colleagues, and students. What is going on?
Leonard Nimoy has passed away. Stunned silence inevitably follows. Ironically, or not, it takes me a long while to become emotional. My fantasy childhood (and if I’m really honest, adulthood) husband has passed away. I am stunned.
My mother attributed my Trekkieness all the way back to being in the womb. The story went something like this: “I think you like Star Trek so much because when I was pregnant we went over every Friday (maybe – I was only along for the ride at this point) night to So and So’s house to watch Star Trek and eat pizza.”
I guess I became a Trekkie via osmosis. How very universal of me? And quite fitting with my belief system. (Yes, that would be the belief system spawned by the universes of Star Trek, Kung Fu, Star Wars, and, of course, my crazy parents.)
I remember running home from elementary school, as fast as my skinny little legs would take me (sadly not at warp speed, or even impulse for that matter) so that I could see the rerun Star Trek episodes from the beginning. I would pull the ottoman very close to the TV, turn it on (yes, they were turn-y knobs then), and turn the knob to one of the four channels that was available in those days. There were three networks and a local channel – if I recall correctly. The local channel played the reruns. Everyday!!
Star Trek was ahead of its time (no puns intended). And while all of the earthlings on the show still struggled with the human condition, Mr. Spock was a beacon of hope and calm in the universal sea of conflict and chaos. He seemed to be from a world that had evolved passed such petty concerns as violence, greed, and selfishness. And because brains, character, and Zen are sexy – I loved Mr. Spock. I wanted to marry Mr. Spock… I think, personally, that he was the rock that held the show together. Every episode I watched was about the alien enigma that oozed an eastern philosophical center of being and what insights I could gain on that day. (I was also very into Kung Fu. Kwai Chang Caine and Mr. Spock have a great deal in common; don’t you think?)
I find it interesting that everything has its time and perhaps that is why Mr. Spock became (and endured) for so very long as an iconic character. Zen, Buddhism and Taoism exploded as far as philosophies go. As well as Comicon’s happening in every city these days. And, now it’s cool to go. I remember going to the very early versions (called Star Trek conventions) and it was an only-geeks-and-nerds-shall-pass kind of thing. Mr. Spock was the beacon of hope and evolution for those of us nerds that could (and still) foresee a better human way. A way lead by the soul (truth and integrity), not a way lead by power, money, companies looking to profit, distorted values, or what’s cool on social media.
I have heard it said that Spock was the conscience of the Enterprise and it’s crew. I believe it to be true. Thank you Leonard Nimoy and Gene Roddenberry for creating and a look at the fascinating possibilities.
The tao of Spock was the tao of the evolved human soul – a metaphor if you will. When we truly understand that the good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the one, we will all be in touch with our inner Vulcan. I look forward to that Earth / Vulcan day.
“Of all the souls I’ve encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”
A poem by Mr. Nimoy seems appropriate here:
My love for you is not a gift
It is a gift
May all of Earth live long and prosper in equality and peace.