Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Yeah, okay, so, like, I admit it... I'm a Star Trek geek. I love the whole cannon--how it's such a rich and full fictional universe. I know the characters, the species, and have more future historical dates memorized than I do actual real dates from the past. My favorite of the series is Deep Space Nine and, yes, I do have the complete show on video.

There are some big complaints out there about Trek. It's too cerebral. It paints too rosy a picture of the future. It's naive about human nature. I think people who feel that way are missing the point of Trek, the idea that exists at the very heart of it, which is the idea of a humanity which has matured. It's stories about a future when humanity has grown up, where we've learned certain things. Things like how every human being has an intrinsic worth and value regardless of color, creed, or anything else. We've left behind the days of "I'm better than you".

It's always seemed to me that, in this future, humanity has figured something else out, too. We've let go of self-centered aims and chosen instead to live under a philosophy of bettering ourselves and humanity as a whole. Monetary and material gains have become passé. People are honest, forthright, and responsible for themselves and their actions. Somehow, the culture of the future is one where everyone conducts themselves with integrity.

One of the more curious aspects of Star Trek is how genetic engineering is not a part of this future world. Trek's future history has a 'Eugenics War' in its past, but the society of that future does not genetically manipulate their children. They don't splice their genes to improve themselves, to make themselves stronger or smarter. The absence of such a science fiction staple is really noteworthy. There's even an episode of DS9 where one of the main characters is found out (in a shocking revelation!) to be genetically enhanced and the comment is made about how there hasn't been a case 'like this' for over a hundred years.

Some might consider this a huge omission, but I disagree. The fact that no one in Star Trek is genetically engineered fits into that universe perfectly in my mind. The future humans wouldn't be interested in enhancing themselves, just as they don't intoxicate themselves with substances. They're more interested in exploring themselves and the universe around them as they really are. They've found acceptance of themselves as human beings. As a result, the forces of fear no longer dominate their lives.

* * *

On more than one occasion, I've heard people share in meetings about how frustrating it can be that more people don't live by the spiritual principles of the program. I've said it myself. As people in Recovery, we do our best to be honest while accepting that many (maybe most) others aren't. We try to be our best selves while accepting that we live in a world full of people who don't. We work to better ourselves, and sometimes struggle to let go of the fact that others aren't doing the same. We don't live in the rooms. The world out there isn't like the rooms of Recovery.

Imagine what things could be like if it were.

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