The world has vastly changed in so many ways since the beginning of the 1960s, perhaps none more so than the way we view ourselves collectively and as individuals. We thought of our place as the dominant species to which all other realms of life were there to serve. Our understanding of the cosmos has also greatly shifted to a realisation that what seems like empty space between autonomous stars running an automated life of nuclear fusion, with little bearing on us and our daily lives, is not the case. We are after all made from the dust of exploding stars, the ultimate recycling!
So should we be so surprised and self critical that we find ourselves falling short of expectations in terms of our collective and individual mental resilience? In the current state of flux around us we are coming to realise and explore the mechanisms for mutual and individual mental support as a matter of necessity. Not just on a direct human level but also through our relationship with technology and communication.
So back to Star Trek and its reflection of the latest instalment of our evolution. In spite of all our developments projecting us toward utopia, the narrative continues to acknowledge the demands this places on our mental and emotional abilities to cope with this ever-shifting reality. Hence the concept of the Holographic Deck. A space where the individual can disengage from the demands of that seemingly sci-fi reality and retreat for a while into one of their own vision. For Captain Picard it was being Master at the helm of a square rig sailing ship at the behest of the wind and a star to steer by.
When we talk of mindfulness in today's world and the challenges it presents us with... is this not the same concept and recognition of our need to acknowledge and manage our limitations? The difference being we are able to create that Holographic space in our minds. It is much like painting a picture. It's ours to create and add the touches and detail as we like. While meditation is about bringing a stillness to the consciousness of our thinking mind... to create this vision needs a balance of thought and quiet observation. Like meditation it takes practice. It is said that the shaman of many cultures past and present, who retain their close bonds to the natural world around them, have the ability to project their consciousness beyond their physical being and to wander amongst the landscape and even the stars. Would a 40,000 year old cave painting be such a vision to make sense of the world... and gains and losses there in?