**  STAR TREK  **

by Carole Devine

Gene Roddenberry first conceived of the idea of "STAR TREK" in 1960, and the first episode was aired at 8:30 p.m. EST, on Thursday, September 8, 1966. The initial impact was not impressive. TV Guide said, "the sky's not the limit on this 'Trek'," and Variety said the series "won't work." Because of a write-in campaign spearheaded by science fiction writers and tenacity of loyal fans, the series lasted three seasons.

From the first episode, "STAR TREK" was unique in that it presented the idea of form being illusion. In "The Cage," the Enterprise crew kept blasting away at a large rock formation and could not see the damage they were doing. It remained solidly intact to their vision when, in actuality, it was destroyed. Captain Pike was tortured by illusions of past horrors made to see real. Even Vina, his love interest, was seen as beautiful to him, although she was actually old and misshapen. The inhabitants on Talos IV were able to project illusions and make them real to anyone they chose to influence. NBC said "The Cage" was "too cerebral" for the average person to understand.

Throughout the remaining 79 episodes, this illusion versus reality theme was repeated many times. In "The Man Trap," a creature who lived on salt could "become" anyone it chose and therefore, masqueraded as various crew members in order to obtain salt. In "Shore Leave," whatever one was thinking while on a specific Earth-like planet, was manifested as "real." It was an entertaining example of how our thoughts become our life situation. Of course, on the show, this place was explained away as an "amusement park," where one could "create his own pleasure" for recreation. It still changed our perception of reality forever. Another example is "Spectre of the Gun," in which the gunfight at the OK Corral is re-enacted through the projections the Malkots are able to obtain from Kirk's memory. The key to winning was to recognize and reject the illusion.

Meanwhile, as this series was subtly reshaping the masses' concept of reality and illusion, another avenue toward the same destination was being paved.

In the mid-sixties, Helen Schucman, a Jewish atheist and conservative Professor of Psychology at Columbia University in New York, was having highly symbolic and disturbing dreams which she discussed with her colleague, William Thetford. He advised her to write notes concerning the dreams, and she was quite surprised to find herself writing, This is a Course in Miracles, while perceiving a form of "dictation" from an inaudible voice. Although this was completely out of character for her, she felt destined to write this work, which is overwhelmingly Christian. As each section of the book unfolded, it was typed by William Thetford and kept completely intact. No changes were made.

First published finally in 1976, the Course teaches basically that anything that is "real" cannot be destroyed or threatened, and that nothing "unreal" actually exists. Therefore, our bodies, our lives, even the Earth itself, is an illusion based on our own personal and collective expectations and projections.

Like "STAR TREK," this is new stuff—a bit hard to accept and maybe "too cerebral" to understand. The Course teaches us how to cope with our illusions, but more importantly, it brings new meaning to the biblical exhortation, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." It helps shed light on the miraculous events in Christ's life and how we can do much greater things than he did (and remember Christ, Himself, said that). It identifies Jesus as our brother who recognized the illusion, awoke from it, and was set free. It says that we are "asleep" and "dreaming," lost in our own created fantasy, much as we "create" our nocturnal dreams. When we realize this, or "know the truth," we will awaken to who we really are, and be set free from these projected images.

Your chart shows what your dream agenda is. You can change it anytime you wish. Your life situations can be modified enormously by changing your perception of them and your attitude towards them.

This brings us to the main Astrological phenomenon of the sixties. From 1963 through 1969, there was a conjunction of Pluto and Uranus in Virgo, an event that happens about every 115 years. Uranus, the "great awakener," combining with Pluto, symbolic of death and rebirth, would bring into our mass consciousness an awakened vision of what being "reborn" is all about. As a side effect, you will remember that the decade of the sixties was rampant with protests against pollution, preservatives, war, and the status quo, in general. Virgo represents criticism, perfection, purity, and health issues. There was a great movement toward a return to the Earth and nature, not to mention a sudden rise in the popularity of health food stores. The masses were simply responding to this energy in its raw form. The people born during that decade will be the more mature voices bringing the energy to culmination. They carry the conjunction in their birth charts, and so it is a part of their consciousness. Neptune, which represents illusion and fantasy, is sextile Pluto all during this century, and this denotes an opportunity to restructure our concepts of what illusion is and is not.

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Copyright © 2000 Carole Devine. This article originally appeared in Cosmic Views.