Once again, the quadrant is being affected by intense interstellar radiation (very hot temperatures). Still, my expertise was needed at the Quadrotriticale (rice) shipping facility at Wesac 8. As I arrived, I was told of a potential disaster in the making when some baby tribbles were spotted near the Quadrotriticale site
I set out to administer neoethylene to the tribbles; a compound made by Dr. McCoy that drastically slows the tribble metabolism and ability to reproduce. After completing the mission at hand, I was tempted to keep one myself as they are very pleasing to touch tacitly. I remembered how much trouble they caused on the U.S.S. Enterprise and decided against keeping.
After neutralizing the tribble threat, I undertook a brief study of the local aquatic fowl before returning to my shuttlecraft. Aboard the ship, I felt compelled by the prophets to visit Bajor (church). For context, I hadn’t been to Bajor in at least a dozen years. Additionally, I wasn’t dressed in typical Bajoran garb. (I was wearing a somewhat short skirt). Still, I wanted to have my orb experience and set out to arrive just before services began.
I felt a bit weird at first as I was dressed in my Starfleet uniform and stood out relative to the rest of the attendees. Still, I was resolved to listen to the vedek (priest) and have an interaction with the prophets. I felt the wormhole aliens wouldn’t care what I wearing. I wasn’t sure what I was looking to get out the experience, only that I felt I should be there. This was the first time I’ve visited Bajor not on a mission from my superior officer (there because of my mom) nor there with some sort of ulterior purpose (such as socializing). I filled out a card and went in.
I snuck into the back of the temple hoping to draw as little attention as possible. At first, I was a bit bored but resolved to continue. I went to the bathroom during a break. Upon returning, most of the back pews were taken and I had no choice but to be just 2 rows from the front. My name was called. I then remembered that card I filled out. Ah crap, so much for being unnoticed. The vedek calls out my name again, asking if I am there. I sheepishly raise my hand. My cheeks get flushed as I can feel all the eyes on me. The vedek briefly thanks me for attending and moves on to speaking.
The sermon itself wasn’t that great; it felt like an intro psychology class. The fundamentals were sound but I felt the thrust of the sermon was a bit oversimplified. Nonetheless, I did feel something. I still have a bit of a hard time knowing what to believe, but it was a positive experience and that is what I will take away from this.
My training as a Starfleet officer tells me that Truth is something that must hold up under the scrutiny of scientific rigor. Yet, I am unsure what to make of the anecdotal experiences that have got me to this point. By definition, I am in a state of cognitive dissonance. These 2 philosophies seem to contradict each other. The “logical” solution would be that both have elements of Truth and work in harmony with each other. Just…this cognitive dissonance has caused me so much anxiety.
I felt much more comfortable when I thought I knew what was and wasn’t true. It doesn’t help that I continue to feel toyed with in a number of ways. I can’t be sure if the correlations I’m making are correct or not. There is definitely reason to believe that perhaps I altered my neuropathic connections due to artificially introducing dopamine into the synapses. Its bad enough that I don’t have an extensive social network, I’d rather not feel at odds with myself as well. For now, I still trust my judgement though I am always open to being wrong. I don’t want to become some delusional old lady insisting on something that has little or no basis in reality. I just wish, if anything, I had certainty again.
Rereading this I am reminded of the Data quote when Picard asks what the scanners show and Data says, “I don’t know”? And Picard replys, “what do you mean you don’t know?!”
Data responds, “The most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom is ‘I do not know’. I do not know what that is.”
That’s how I feel about existence.
Here’s the clip: https://youtu.be/8eDYVtPwWiM