photo from

photo from

By now you already know that Leonard Nimoy has crossed over at the young age of 83. Not only Star-Trek fans, but fans of all of Nimoy’s lifetime of work are saddened by this loss and when I first learned of his impending departure I too was saddened before I was able to put this into its proper perspective. As you all know many of the writers here at ZENINTHECAR.COM are huge Star-Trek fans and we make countless references to the franchise in our work as often as we can. We have even dubbed the home base of our work the Bridge of the Zenterprise because we too feel as if we are on a mission to explore strange new worlds of the mind and seek out new life in the realms of the heart. So obviously the passing of Leonard Nimoy demands a moment of reflection for us.
The character of Spock is one which made a huge impact on the world from the very beginning and will continue to thrive as time goes on. There is no doubt that this feat can be attributed to Leonard Nimoy’s ability to bring Spock to life in such a vivid way and keep him alive after all these years. Though after playing Spock for a while, Nimoy resented the popularity of the role; after time he saw its influence and embraced it for the blessing that it was. I believe personally that this is due in part to him realizing that as an actor one can only pull from within, so Spock indeed was a part of him, a part that he brought forth in the form of a character. I believe this is why the follow-up to his autobiography I Am Not Spock was titled I Am Spock. The majority of what made Spock was Nimoy’s own life and faith, right down to the forked Vulcan hand gesture. Though others may pick up the role (you have some might big shoes to fill Mr. Quinto), the character of Spock will forever be Leonard Nimoy.

ZENTERPRISE2I was a Star-Trek fan before it was cool to be a Star-Trek fan. That’s right, before all you flashy J.J. Abrams, lens flare noobs jumped on the bandwagon; I was the guy the guy racing home on my lunch break to catch the latest episode of Deep Space Nine or Voyager. I was the guy with stacks of Star-Trek novels in the corner of my room waiting to be read while three or four were scattered about and halfway or mostly read. Now I am not into the T.V. culture, and I am not keen to planning my life around sit-coms or dramas just for the sake of escapism. If I am interested in a show or some other entertainment outlet it is because I find deep spiritual and intellectual meaning in it that can be applied to real life. Star-Trek has always been a tremendous source for such stimulation; never shying away from profound philosophical questions and always forcing you to actually think about the subject matter. From religion, to politics, sexism to racism, science and philosophy and of course; the human condition in contrast with the inevitable alien condition. Obviously the most notable “alien” of Star-Trek was the half human half Vulcan first officer of the U.S.S Enterprise. Leonard Nimoy’s Spock spawned an entire mythos surrounding the Vulcans and there culture and I believe that if we take the time to examine it we could learn a thing or two here on planet Earth.

In the Star-Trek universe Earth has attained world peace, moved beyond money, bigotry, racism, sexism, war and is a member of a federation of planets based on the concepts of a Republic in which individual Rights are preserved and protected. According to the mythos these accomplishments were only attainable after humanity had endured three world wars and learned the lessons of mucking about with eugenics before a more enlightened race, the Vulcans, decided to descend and guide humanity along so that we too might join the galactic community in peace and exploration. Ironically enough, the Vulcans themselves had once come very close to the edge of extinction due to their overwhelmingly powerful emotions. It wasn’t until a spiritual revolution happened on Vulcan before they were able to achieve a more Enlightened state and travel the stars themselves.
Vulcans began practicing the art of silent meditation and seeking to know their own selves and master their own minds. Though Vulcans do indeed have emotions, they have been able to master controlling those emotions through the spiritual path and began to operate out of logic rather than the irrational whims of impulsive feelings. This process was simply an echo of many schools of thought such as Buddhism and Gnosticism in the attainment of Enlightenment. Obviously you can see the appeal in the Vulcan culture for us here at ZENINTHECAR.COM. Had it not been for Leonard Nimoy’s contribution to the character of Spock and the creation of the Vulcan culture these ideas wouldn’t be here staring us in the face in order to ponder within ourselves. For that we are eternally in Mr. Nimoy’s debt.

On a personal level this character has always stuck with me for some reason or another; perhaps it is because when one does practice silent meditation and mastery of the emotional body they do indeed come off as a little Spockish. On many occasions I have had people attempt to engage me in argumentation or disputes of some emotional kind to which I simply shut off emotions and proceed with nothing but logic. As Buddha instructed, Christ instructed, and Spock instructed; do not return illogical emotion with illogical emotion, rather return illogical emotion with logical lack of emotion and in doing so pour buckets of shameful stupidity on their heads. When I do this it almost never fails for me to be called an expletive Vulcan.


As a political activist I often find myself in jail, as you know; where I take the opportunity to educate other inmates about the Bill of Rights and encourage them to demand a jury trial for the victimless crimes they are being accused of. One for an affinity of aliases, I was rather pleased when the boys of cell block G dubbed me with the prison name…”Mister Spock.” Upon being released I happily accepted from all the inmates the Vulcan hand gesture as I walked my orange jumpsuit clad ass off the block. Of course the most personal connection between Leonard Nimoy’s Spock and myself was when I preached my Father’s eulogy and couldn’t resist the temptation while over his coffin to close out the service by quoting Spock’s own eulogy as preached by Captain Kirk: “Of my friend I can only say this, of all the souls I have encountered in all of my travels…his was the most human.” As a stepped down from behind the pulpit the bagpipe version of Amazing Grace from Star-Trek II began to play.

So it goes without saying that Leonard Nimoy has most certainly touched my life as well as countless others with his work and for that I give thanks. They say life imitates art and how true that is. Thanks to Leonard Nimoy we have something that is truly worth imitating. Though many of the headlines will read “Nimoy dies at 83”, they should in fact read “Leonard Nimoy achieves immortality at 83” because that is closer to the truth.