Why is Star Trek: The Next Generation so enduringly popular, its characters the most memorable of all the Trek series? (Who remembers the protagonists of Deep Space Nine?)
Surely it’s because Next Generation’s construction mirrors life.
Geordi, Troi, Worf, Data, Picard: the five main characters represent Body, Heart, Will, Mind, and Soul – the five “tools” of a runner. (They also represent the five stages of a child’s development and the five paths of yoga. But that’s another story.) Photo: Ship’s Counselor Deanna Troi – the wise, intuitive guide (startrek.com)
Running well requires that we run like Geordi, carefully tending the source of our energy: the body, our warp core –
That we run with Deanna Troi’s intuition, which quickly pierces to the truth of whole situations, bypassing the slow analytical logic of the rational mind –
That we run with Worf’s indomitable will, and Data’s instant recall of the mechanics of training.
Finally, on those hopefully not too rare occasions when we’re able to get all of the tools working together, we find ourselves running as integrated beings, expressing the very best of our runner’s tools: health, love, strength, wisdom, and joy – like Picard.
(Or at least like Riker – the Master’s apprentice.)
Meditating on the Star Trek characters is no idle fancy. It’s practical stuff, because it’s vital for competitive success, fitness, and enjoyment that we understand our tools and use them wisely.
Riding herd on the five tools of a runner can sometimes seem like trying to herd cats. A fine way to get them all working together is by going straight to the heart.
When raw energy, logic, and force of will failed the Next Generation characters, they turned to Deanna Troi, whose wise, heart-born insights proved invariably correct.
Similarly, when we need answers to questions about our training, turning inward and tuning in to the calm intuition of the heart can usually save the day.
Run long and prosp… Oops, that’s another series!