Hello 4LN. I normally write for my own blog, DisembodiedBeard.net. It is a little different than 4LN, but we love nerd culture along with the best of them. When Cam invited us to share something with you, I jumped at the chance. Below is a little Disembodied Beard style post. If you like it, consider popping over to the Beard and checking out our recent post on the Voyager spacecraft.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a short post about a dream I had. I’m sure everyone has had the experience of wanting to dive back into a dream. I woke up and yearned to be back there. I lay in bed and struggled to will myself back. I failed, of course. I was awake.
Why wouldn’t I want to go back to that dream? My friends were there. We were eating great food and drinking and talking in a beautiful city. Being inside a dream can be like being inside joy.
That’s how Guinan – the Enterprise D’s resident bartender and wisdom doler-outer – describes her experience in the Nexus. The Nexus, of course, is an extra-dimensional realm featured in the film Star Trek: Generations and characterized by a violent temporal energy ribbon which crosses through the galaxy every 39.1 years sweeping up everything in its path.
A person engulfed by the Nexus finds her or himself in a state of bliss. The Nexus grants every desire and fulfills every whim. The few people who have experienced the Nexus, and leave it, feel an overwhelming desire to return. This desire is so strong that the film’s antagonist, Soran, will go to great lengths to get back, destroying two stars and a planet with a population of 230 million people in the process.
Star Trek: Generations was the cinematic hand-off of the Star Trek movie franchise between the original cast and the cast of Next Generation. This gives us the opportunity to see the two most notable captains of the starship Enterprise in action together. It is also an opportunity to glimpse the basic personality assumptions and motivations behind the characters of Picard and Kirk. Each character enters the Nexus at a different point in history, but because time does not exist within the Nexus, the two captains can interact and even re-enter the universe together to fight Soran. But why leave a state of bliss?
Picard’s movement to leave his own personal bliss happens in two stages. In perfect character for Picard, he first rejects the simple unreality of the Nexus. He is then motivated to leave by his duty to foil Soran’s plot. Kirk, always a bit simpler than Picard in his motivations, leaves because inside the Nexus he will be unable to make a difference. He sacrifices his life in the process. Spock would be proud.
We all do not have the refined sense of reason and duty of Picard, or the driven personality of Kirk. Nor do many of us face a threat on the level of Soran, as Picard and Kirk do. But each of us has a reason not to remain in a dream state. And if we do not, we are called to find one. Guinan knew this. Even her “echo” in the Nexus seemed to know it. We must come to know it as well.
Eventually I gave up clinging to my own dream. As I opened my eyes, my gaze fell on my infant daughter. My love for her swelled in my chest and the visceral memory of the dream faded. In that moment, I knew where I belonged.
(Editor’s note: This post was written by Logan of DisembodiedBeard.net go check out their website!)