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RIP Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy has left us. I was raised on Star Trek, so this kind of hit me. So I'm just going to share this photo of me in a Spock shirt, and a little excerpt from my book Why Buddha Touched the Earth about the how the character he created helped shape Neopaganism:

In a more pop-culture vein, Star Trek (1966 to 1969) gave viewers the elfin-eared Vulcan Mr. Spock, who projected a logical detachment from destructive emotions while engaging in hypnotic, telepathic “mind melds” – a sort of Space Age Merlin to Kirk’s King Arthur.

Star Trek’s attitude toward religion was not one where gods fared well. In the (second) pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” after an encounter with a mysterious energy field a crew member starts to develop god-like powers, and Captain Kirk has to kill him. In a later episode, “Who Mourns for Adonais?”, Kirk and the crew actually knock off Apollo, who turns out to be an alien being who visited Earth thousands of years ago. Several cultures have
computers that the locals think of as being gods – Kirk short-circuits them or blows them up.

Even though military hierarchy is strictly maintained on the ship, Star Trek radically overthrew the cosmic hierarchy of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and gave us something more in the Greco-Roman style: men (and women and Vulcans) who can strive with gods.

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