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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How To Be A Vulcan

You don't have to be a Trekkie to realize the immense influence that Star Trek, in all of its variants, has had on our society.

Most of these are benign, and some have been quite beneficial. Many young people looked at the optimistic world of the 23rd century, said "I want that", and embarked on careers in science, engineering, and medicine.

One of the defining symbols of this cultural icon is the redoubtable Mr. Spock, half human and half Vulcan. His coolly logical approach to life and its problems has fascinated us for nearly fifty years. Would that we could have the composure and the inner strength and peace that seem to be a hallmark of the Vulcan race!

But the nice thing is that you, too, can take on the attributes of a Vulcan. And it's not what you think.
  1. Think before you speak, and eliminate what is not vital to say - a lot of what we say can be left unsaid. Think about it - after pruning the obvious "um"'s and such, and disposing of affirmations that we are, indeed, listening to the speaker, there is still quite a bit of speech that can be left unborn. Much of what we say is either a plea for sympathy (talking about illness) or a boast with an unspoken appeal for praise...do you really need these? If you're smart, do you need someone else to reinforce that? If you've got a broken leg, will someone saying "Poor dear!" make it heal faster?
  2. When you speak, speak slowly and distinctly - once you've chosen to say something, make sure that your delivery is clear. Barring an emergency in which time is of the essence, do you really need to rush your words? Will saving five seconds in a sentence make a difference in the importance of what you say? And if you're saying something, it's worth a clear voice. So many of us use 'posed' accents or speech patterns that are imitations of something we've heard, and liked...why not just be yourself?
  3. Reinforce your faith - mysticism is at the heart of the Vulcan soul, and reflecting on the transcendent in everything you do and say will lend gravity and meaning to your words, and will put them in a timeless context. Think about the Divine, and everything you say will become a prayer, and will have its connection with the logic of God's creation
  4. You are not the center - you are a part of creation, not its center. If you put aside the egocentric worship of what you see in the mirror, you'll have a clearer view of reality - that all of us have a vital role to play
  5. Feelings pass - the emotions that move you now will change, in a minute or ten. Recognize them, respect them, but don't put them on your personal billboard...they may not be what you want people to remember
And that's enough for now. Taking on the attributes of Mr. Spock don't mean that you purge every emotion from your heart...quite the contrary. You embrace them, but you keep them in your heart. Instead of giving the world a boiling kettle of your likes and dislikes, sudden enthusiasms and quick boredom, you give a gift of the calm center that you have - yes, you DO - that touches God.


  1. Very interesting, sir. You'e a very wise person, you know that, right?

    1. Not necessarily wise - merely observant.

      But thank you.

  2. Just take the freaking compliment!!! No 'buts'! Just , say it with me, "thank you".

  3. I think the starting point is to consciously practice composure. The word 'consciously' is operative here - the requirement is to recognize your emotions as you experience them, and choose how to express them.

    As this becomes part of your life, you'll find that the emotional peaks and valleys begin to level out, and that you'll find joy in the middle.