Posted by: paulbassler | August 28, 2013

I am the Enterprise

Have you ever wondered what made Star Trek, the first series, so popular? I have and I have a theory. The main characters of that series each represented a part of the human personality. Spock, Mr. logic, represented the mental side of the human personality, while Dr. McCoy represented the emotional side. Captain Kirk represented the ego, the guy in charge, the guy who made the decisions. Those three main characters each reflected aspects of us all, and then they went forth to where no man has gone before.

Think about it. Before Captain Kirk made a decision, he would consult with his mind and his heart, and then tried to determine what was best for the crew. Just as each of us consider how we think about a potential decision and what we feel about it, and then we decide which part of us to be guided by. The show was like an analogy of the human experience, bringing forth challenges and addressing them using a balance between the heart and mind. The other characters played similar roles of the human character, such as communications, representing our hearing and speech, and engineering, representing our power and our health, and so on. The travels of the Star Ship Enterprise represented the experiences we are all having in our day to day lives.

If you take that analogy and apply it to our politics, you will find a similar reflection. People who call themselves liberal, guide their political policies with their heart, their emotions. Those who call themselves conservative guide their policies with their mind. Whereas we would like to see our ego, or in this case our President, lead through a balance of these aspects of our national character, most often we get presidents who lean one way or the other, which is not much different than each of us. Each of us listen to our hearts and mind, but often make decisions leaning towards one way or the other. Those who are truly happy have learned to balance these aspects of their character in order to enjoy their life experience to the fullest.

It seems to me that living one’s life guided only by one of those aspects of our character, our heart or mind, is reflective of an unbalanced approach and most often leads to unwanted conclusions. Take our politics as an example. Liberal believers look at the helpless in our society, the needy, to those who struggle through life and believe we should do something to help them. They point to the disparity between the rich and poor and believe it is up to the leadership to make life more fair. In order to make it fair, in their eyes, they need take some of the money from the rich and give it to the poor. We have seen the problems created by this emotionally driven policy. When you take from the rich you stall economic growth which could help the poor with opportunities for growth and advancement. You also create programs that are mismanaged, leaving us as a nation in heavy debt. Worst of all, giving money to the poor robes them of their self-worth and leads to insecurity and dependency. What liberals do not recognize is that none of us are victims of our circumstances. We are the creators. If we are poor, it is because we chose to be. The love and sympathy at the heart of liberalism is admirable, but in order to find the best way to address the plight of the less fortunate, we need help from our mind.

Liberals view conservatives as those who hate, an emotional interpretation. They mistake conservative’s insistence on less government interference, lower taxes, a balanced budget and the desire to stop deficit spending as not caring about the less fortunate. Many conservatives have seen how badly we have managed our social programs in the past and would like to do away with all of them, giving up on the power of the collective to help those in need. They focus more on the fiscal aspect of their political philosophy and less on the social benefits a healthy economy can provide. Many conservatives could use more heart, more emotion in their policy decisions. In truth, liberals and conservatives need each other in order to find the balanced approach, in order to be Captain Kirk.

Helping out one another, and helping others throughout the world, is a good goal for any country to have. But before it can be achieved, we need to be strong, healthy and capable of supporting our assistance programs without self-destructing. It can be done, it has been done, though it hasn’t been done lately. Our president needs to be more like Captain Kirk. He needs to listen to both aspects of our national character and seek to utilize the strengths in their belief systems in order to find a balanced way forward. Otherwise, we don’t move at all, which is what is happening now. Before we can help others, we have to be healthy, we have to be strong and we need the capability to help without hurting ourselves. Once we have achieved good health, once we are strong, then we can listen to our hearts in order to find ways to manifest our compassion to those in need at home and around the world. If you look at it close enough, you will see that is true not only for our country, but for each of us as individuals. We can’t love others until we first take care of ourselves.


  1. Very clever analogy, Paul, and one I like (being a confirmed trekkie!)

    Neale Donald Walsch has some interesting comments on Star Trek in Conversations with God.

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