I have a fascination with sci-fi. Watching on DVD for the third time since it began in 1994, I am amazed as to themes, words, phrases that have meaning, and provide clarity and understanding into humanity itself.
Sci-fi has the ability to look at many themes, often controversial, and to portray different perspectives. And now and then one comes along steeped in philosophies and wisdom. What I love about Babylon 5 is the writing. As well as visual effects and space travel of course. Fiction set in the future. Cowboys and Indians in space. The wisdom, understanding, awareness against the proverbial search for peace. Writer and producer, J. Michael Straczynski, created the 5 season series. “The various story arcs drew upon the prophesies, religious zealotry, racial tensions, social pressures, and political rivalries which existed within each of their cultures, to create a contextual framework for the motivations and consequences of the protagonists’ actions”. (Source Wikipedia.) Sound a bit like planet earth? What better way to address issues than against a fictional, sci-fi background.
Watching an episode of the last season, titled ‘The Paragon of Animals’, Ambassador G’Kar of the alien species Narn, prepares ‘The Declaration of Principles’ for the newly formed Inter Stellar League of Nations. Listening and reading this, I am moved by how appropriate this piece is for all mankind on Earth. Perhaps one could insert Earth’s nations rather than the Alien nations of Babylon 5.
“The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
The language is not Narn, or Human, or Centauri, or Gaim or Minbari
It speaks in the language of hope
It speaks in the language of trust
It speaks in the language of strength and the language of compassion
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice
It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us,
And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born
It is the small, still voice that says
We are one
No matter the blood
No matter the skin
No matter the world
No matter the star:
We are one
No matter the pain
No matter the darkness
No matter the loss
No matter the fear
We are one
Here, gathered together in common cause, we agree to recognize the
singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us and each voice lost
We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire
that will light the way to a better future.
We are one.
We are one.”
Exploring the fascination world of Telepaths is another favourite. One I have a particular interest in as Telepathy involves aspects of Empathy. Quoted by one telepath, the following phrase from Shakespeare’s Hamlet …
“What a piece of work is a man,
how noble in reason,
how infinite in faculties,
in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an angel,
in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world,
the paragon of animals—and yet,
what is this quintessence of dust?
Man delights not me—
nor woman neither,
though by your smiling you seem to say so.”
Interesting that these two pieces exist together in what is otherwise a normal episode of one of many sci-fi episodes created for television. And you thought sci-fi was only a means to escape reality?
Addendum: the following from another episode, ‘A View From the Gallery’
Mack: My mother used to tell me: “God knows the age of every tree and the color of every flower. And he knows just how wide your shoulders are. And he’ll never give you anything to carry that’s bigger than you can handle.”
Bo: Then maybe that’s what this whole place is about. Maybe that’s what you have to do to get by in a place like this.
Mack: And what’s that?
Bo: Grow bigger shoulders.