“Station residents suddenly find their imaginations are manifested in physical form; a spatial rift threatens to destroy the Bajoran system.”
I’m really quite ashamed that this post has taken me, what, 4 months to publish?! I don’t know why, but every time I looked at it, I felt stumped, and I procrastinated (along with the million other tasks I needed to do and put off until the last moment).
This is a really crazy and random episode where some undetermined and unnamed aliens conduct an experiment on the station’s crew and residents by allowing their imagination to run riot and we learn something about each character’s wishes, hopes and fears. Sisko conjures up one of his baseball heroes, Quark imagines beautiful girls that desire him, Julian creates an alternate Jadzia who is submissive and fawns all over him, (the real Jadzia is less than impressed) Jadzia herself worries that there might be a spatial rift causing the bizarre manifestations, and that worry turns into an anomaly that really does appear to threaten the station. The Chief calls a Rumplestiltskin into being who threatens to take his daughter away. Odo can’t imagine anything, but somebody thought of it snowing on the promenade, and lo – it snows. It’s just one of those random individual episodes that is never followed up, but put in there presumably for the purpose of character development.
Yes, this is where the problem is, I think – how to apply this whole weird episode to real life, what to make of the metaphors. My brain has just been drawing a complete blank. Perhaps due to the fact that the characters conjured up by the DS9 crew don’t make any sense to me – they’re not the things or people I think I would call into being from my imagination. (Although I did like the snow on the Promenade).
The ability to determine reality from fantasy is, I suppose, crucial to living a mentally stable life – fantasy certainly has its place, but we can’t let it take over because physical reality will suffer.
Without going into embarassing details, most of my fantasies are not the kind of things I would even want to stray into the realm of reality. But there is a spectrum that runs between fantasy, dreams, wishes and plans that we would like to bring to fruition in the real world.
What happens if we spend all our time and energy thinking and fantasising about the kind of things that really ought to stay at the fantasy end of the spectrum – does all that ’emotional energy’ (think ‘Cheeseman’s law’)* actually have any power to bring about manifestations of our desires, as proponents of the ‘Law of Attraction’/ ‘The Secret’ would argue? I don’t think I have seen any evidence of it in my life. But perhaps I’m not looking hard enough? Do good things happen because we ‘love’ them into being, bad things because we fear them?
Answers on a postcard please.
I’m actually about to move offices on the station in the next week or two, so expect my time will be occupied by packing and sorting and organising for a bit. But I haven’t forgotten this blog and do have plans to come back and do some more posting very soon. Watch this space, as they say.
* Cheeseman’s, for those unfamiliar with it, is the postulation put forward by the temporal scientist of the same name, that emotional energy has the power to alter events in time that would otherwise seem to be fixed and unchangeable. (From one of my absolute all-time favourite films, starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Marisa Tomei – ‘Happy Accidents’. If you haven’t seen it already, go out and find it on DVD or Netflix or something. Romance, time travel, comedy, what more could you ask?)