Reviewer: burning_spirit Signed
Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Revelation
OH MY WORD I’M SO SORRY!!! I’m such an idiot—I thought I posted my response to this months ago!! You gave me so many awesome things to think about that I put it all in a Word document and forgot to transfer it here!! *begging for forgiveness*
One of my favorite quotes from all of TOS is Kirk saying in “Elaan of Troyius,” “It’s been my experience that the prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.” (Well… that and when he chastises Stiles for his bigotry in “Balance of Terror”—because who doesn’t love a good diplomatic Starfleet bitch-slap to a racist?? And, of course, the almost nervous way Spock [so adorably!!] bites his lip when Kirk defends him. *moony eyes*)
Goodness, your work sounds absolutely AMAZING. Like everything I love about Star Trek come to life in a real career. I took, um… one semester of psychology in college and adored it, but had already made my proverbial bed as a music/English double major and was past the point of no return. LOL. Not to copy our beloved Vulcan, but seriously, your work sounds fascinating.
So... my experiences with matters of spirituality have led me to rather specifically compartmentalize those aspects of my personality. I guess my religion is Methodist/generic Protestant, my faith is “Christian but fine with other people believing whatever they want,” and my spirituality is the more complicated mixture of beliefs I’ve come to put stock in, from Judeo-Christian traditions to [~*of course*~] Star Trek ;-), chakras, karma, meditation, and all manner of supernatural beings (I totally believe in angels, ghosts, demons, mermaids, Bigfoot… etc. Maybe not in the ways they’re popularly portrayed, but still). Where I really started to draw the line between religion and faith/spirituality was when I realized that the church, as much as I appreciate its place in my life, is indeed an imperfect human institution that does, unfortunately, get things wrong; one of the things I really appreciate about the United Methodist Church, for example, is that they term sexuality as one of “God’s good gifts.” But they lose me when they bow to essentially non-scriptural conservative convention and tack on that anything beyond vanilla heterosexuality is “inconsistent” with Christ’s teachings… yet if you go by the Gospels, Christ never said a word on the topic. Beyond that, it’s the (oft-bemoaned) tendency of Bible-thumpers to pick and choose passages of scripture that they conveniently interpret to support their own bigoted beliefs that turned me off to blind religiosity/uninformed devotion to the church’s teachings a long time ago. So far, every “Biblical” argument I’ve ever heard by “Christians” against non-hetero relationships has used some kind of logical fallacy—I really don’t think the take-away from the Sodom and Gomorrah story was “men can’t sleep with men,” I think it was supposed to be more like “people shouldn’t rape other people.” o_O I’ve wondered for a long time why religious and political organizations try to make it their business what goes on between people’s bedsheets. Besides, how many people are *actually* Kinsey zeroes? I’ve known very few who would qualify. (Jim Kirk much? Oh, how I love him, and oh, how I resent most people’s gross misconceptions of him!!) I’m similarly baffled [as I’m sure you’ve discerned by now] by people who don’t see the K/S romance, or at least the potential their on-screen relationship poses.
Anyway, I am completely in love with your description of the need for human responsibility in a world without any God/god/gods/“higher power.” I believe much the same thing (albeit with the old man in the sky thrown in there ;-)), that faith (in God, in humanity, in whatever) and good works are inseparable… that being human goes hand-in-hand with being accountable for our actions as well as responsible for taking care of the world around us and the people we meet, in whatever ways we are capable.
Also, your comment about life forces and atheism with respect for life really reminded me of the Lifestream concept in Final Fantasy VII (also with strong overtones of social and environmental responsibility). And I love anyone and anything that reminds me of FFVII. ^__^ Therefore, even more love!! *insert glitter and unicorns here*
In my recently rekindled discipleship of Captain Kirk [and Spock and McCoy… I *may* have made locket-type necklaces of the holy Triumvirate which I refer to as my patron-saints-of-space jewelry], I’ve put a little sticky note at the top of my monitor at work of his advice to Charlie Evans to “hang on tight and survive.” Although that was specifically in regards to relationship troubles, it’s a lovely daily reminder to me that even in Star Trek’s vastly-improved universe of the 23rd century, the individual still has to face the same personal struggles and demons that we all face now. It’s especially reassuring to me as a writer for its value as both a mantra and a reality check; the creators/production crew/writers could have easily used their fictional medium to write off contemporary personal struggles as problems that, like hunger and greed and war, had all been miraculously (and somewhat inexplicably) solved on the Earth of the Trekverse. But rather than pretend that human society had established flawless solutions to individuals’ quests for love, or confidence in their own identity, or spiritual enlightenment, or *whatever*, they allowed the characters to be just as deeply troubled by their personal circumstances as we are in real life. I love that even though the idea of a peaceful United Earth is a suspension of disbelief for us, the writers still gave us access to the Trek world through characters whose experiences on the individual level are comparable to ours. Puberty still sucks; people young and old are still trying to find romantic love; marriages can still end in divorce; knowing oneself is still a stressful and long-term process; careers, even with Starfleet, can still lead to unfulfilling dead ends (Finney, anyone?), etc. etc. ad infinitum.
Well, I could go on and on and on about all this... and the myriad thoughts I've had in the last few years about gender/sexuality/socialization/societal norms defining the individual and so forth, but I guess that's all for another day. In case you couldn't tell, I'm SO excited to have connected with someone else who's so interested in substantively digging into the real-life implications of Starfleet's morality and the TOS ethos... *googly eyes once again* Keep on keeping on, dear, because your work and writing and worldview and *everything* are inexpressibly wonderful!!!