I saw on the news earlier today that a probe had been sent from earth to explore beyond our solar system. It was the first of its kind, for we have never before reached beyond the planets surrounding our sun. We are primitives, infants, when it comes to space exploration. At least we are stepping up to the plate though, and we are trying; we are doing our infantile and primitive best. If there are any advanced alien species watching us, they must at least admire our gumption, if not our primitive level of technology.
The name of the probe is Voyager, like the name of the ship on Star Trek which was the first to be commanded by a woman, Captain Janeway. She and her crew boldly explored where no human had gone before. The show focused on all of her brave and heroic outer space explorations. Yet based upon my own experiences as a woman, it strikes me that Captain Janeway surely would have had to undergo tremendous inner space explorations first, before being able to stand at the helm of that mighty “galaxy class vessel” and command it with the full confidence required of a star ship captain. It seems like for incalculable aeons, woman have allowed themselves to linger in the shadows of greatness, serving the brave men who made history, but rarely making history themselves. Of course, there were a few exceptions. In Western history, General Joan D’Arc was one. In the Eastern tradition of Tantric Buddhism, Yeshe Tsogyal was another. The challenges to a woman in command posed by her male subordinates, whether at the helm of a Federation vessel or a Buddhist meditation lineage, would only mirror those challenges posed by her own uncertainty, her own self-doubts. In the Buddhist way of thinking, so-called “external phenomena” are a mirror of mind and nothing else. Thus simply practicing meditation and looking into one’s own mind is an act of tremendous heroism. Meditation is nothing less than warriorship training.
Those of us who have had the good fortune to witness the historic launching of this first probe are at the same time witnessing a symbolic lifting off or transcendence of our own minds from the mundane to the magical. It is not a matter of going from one to the other, but of realizing they are the same. What we once called mundane was magical, but we were not ready to see it.
Here is to a successful lift off! Once we have stepped beyond the solar system, gone beyond clinging to our own little piece of turf, who knows what awaits us? I look forward to many close encounters with the aliens of my mind, making friends with them, yet never becoming too familiar to enjoy their magic or lose the sense of adventure.
Life is a precious, magic bubble.
By Bird Neshama Trungma