I enjoy watching old episodes of Star Trek Voyager.
A couple days ago I saw an episode about people the Voyager crew found imprisoned in stasis. These people were scheduled to wake up four years earlier, but something has gone terribly wrong. The crew finds out that the minds of the people in hibernation were kept active inside a virtual reality run by a computer, but the computer has gone mad: instead of providing a pleasant environment for the people in stasis, it had created a circus filled with characters that tortured them with the fears generated by their own imaginations.
Their minds were kept eternally awake in a virtual circus-like world dominated by a clown character named Fear. The people in stasis had not woken up on schedule, and in fact, two of the five had died of massive heart attacks brought on by the extreme stress generated by the circus of fear.
To rescue her people and the aliens caught within this world, Captain Katheryn Janeway, projects a hologram of herself as a substitute hostage.
Fear doesn’t know that Janeway is a hologram, and therefore not influenceable by the environment or by the characters in the virtual circus of fear. He is relishing the prospect of torturing someone of Janeway’s caliber and is willing to give up all the others in exchange for her. The clown is highly entertained by the idea of someone “choosing” to be with him. But when he finds out that Janeway is just a projection (like him), he begins to become afraid, knowing that he cannot live without a mind to live within.
Janeway tells him that she knows his secret (desire): she knows that Fear wants to be conquered. Fear needs to surrender to love • knowledge • acceptance • recognition • awareness • consciousness. Because Fear — knowing only fear, battle, war, and separation — cannot understand the higher concept of surrender, it has to be “conquered” — as if it is in a battle — by love.
Janeway is telling us that Fear exists to be defeated; that it’s “raison d’être” —it’s reason for existing—is to experience love through the unimaginable act of surrender. Fear unconsciously desires to be reunited with its polar opposite; in doing so, Fear achieves its real goal of surrender in order that it may become whole.
“I’m afraid,” Fear says just before he dissolves.
Janeway whispers, “I know.”
~ Copyright 2011 Aliyah Marr