I have been a fan of science fiction and fantasy most of my life. My parents encouraged my imagination, and exposure to Star Wars at age 5 helped.
This is why I quote the Star Wars universe a lot. Also, Yoda is my personal Buddha.
But what never ceases to amaze me is how these works of fiction often parallel reality.
Don’t believe me? Star Wars has it right there. The Republican Party is the Empire, complete with Emperor Palpatine (Trump) sitting at the head. They care only for their own power and are pillaging the galaxy. Their leadership is a bunch of crusty old white guys.
The Rebel Alliance is made up of the Democrats and regular citizens getting swept up into the conflict. They even have Mon Mothma (Pelosi) as a leader. And like the rebellion leadership, the Democrats infight a whole bunch and argue minutiae, often to the detriment of the issues. It takes action on the part of regular people (Jin Erso) to get shit done.
This is disturbing, really, but not entirely dystopian. Still, I think I would rather live in Roddenberry’s parallel universe.
A future of hope
In Star Trek, especially Next Generation era Trek, the Federation is a largely peaceful place. Yes, there are still conflicts with Romulans and Klingons and the Borg, but the common citizenry is contented.
On Earth and among humans, at least, money is outmoded. People share knowledge and information and work together to evolve technology and such. It’s utopian, and hopeful, and implies that the human race might stop fighting amongst ourselves and work together more to evolve as a species.
Sure, it’s rather Pollyanna. Yet they make no illusions that it took time to get there. There was some sort of nuclear war on earth that nearly destroyed the human race if I recall my Trek history correctly. If Zefram Cochrane hadn’t built his warp ship (whatever his motives) the Vulcans wouldn’t have visited, and who knows where the human race may have wound up?
When you get to Deep Space Nine, now you factor in non-Federation societies like the Bajorans, Cardassians, and the Ferengi. Money is still a thing. Political infighting is still in existence. Sometimes the Federation, no longer playing with these matters, is at a loss for how to handle them.
Yet it’s still more utopian and hopeful than a lot of the dark, dystopian futures being shared in novels.
Cyberpunk and dystopia
I will admit I have not read a lot of cyberpunk, but what I have read I am not overly thrilled to see existing in reality. This is because of the frequently dystopian view of a crumbling society where technology tends to be worshiped.
One of the most prominent cyberpunk novels, Snow Crash, features Hiro Protagonist (un-ironically named) driving a car for pizza delivery with a pizza oven within it, among other things. Oh, look at that, Dominos has built a car for delivery with a pizza oven within it. Seriously?
Governments have collapsed in these worlds. Economies have imploded. The disparity between the haves and the have-nots has broadened obscenely. Rather than political leaders in any form of control, the ultra-wealthy are in power.
And then there is the tech. People merge with technology and you get cyborgs. Instant computer connections in the brain. Computers being fitted to a person.
While this can be fantastic fiction to read, the more reality parallels it the scarier the future can appear. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not live in the dystopia of Neuromancer or Ready Player One and the like.
Your world, your life, your reality
Every single one of us lives in our own reality. While there is a collective consciousness that we all get tied to that forms the overall world picture, reality is still individual.
How? Because perception is unique to everyone. My perception of the world I live in is different from yours. That’s how you get people to have some pretty wildly opposing views. The reality we live in is dissimilar.
Trump supporters see a world falling apart and the man himself as the savior. The rest of us see a corrupt, narcissistic, out-of-his-depth robber-baron puppet potentially taking us into a dystopian reality.
And neither side can see how the other side sees it the way that they do.
Fiction often reflects the world we live in. This is part of why the new Star Wars trilogy has so many women and other diverse characters. For its time, original Star Trek was super-progressive, featuring the first interracial kiss on television, and in the pilot a female first officer of the starship.
When certain people get offended by what they consider revisionist or progressive elements in their sci-fi and the like, they forget that it has ALWAYS been there. Fiction has always had parallels to reality. That has been the way throughout the history of fictional storytelling. This is for many reasons, but one of the biggest is relatability.
My forthcoming sci-fi series involves humans, but like Star Wars they are not from Earth. Still, they cope with issues that will be familiar to a reader, which helps you as the reader to relate to them and their struggles.
You get to choose if your world, your life, and your reality is going to match a dystopia or lean closer to a utopia.
Consciousness creates reality
It is important to see both the good and the bad. You need to be aware of both the dystopian and utopian ideals. Not because of the extremes on either side in-as-much as where between them you will choose to live.
Everyone has the option to see the world as good or bad, full of difficulty or potential, struggle or opportunity, and so on. The choice is yours as to how you wish to approach life, the Universe, and everything.
Practicing mindfulness makes you aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. That awareness helps you determine what reality you will exist within. You get to choose if it will be positive or negative.
This is not a one-time choice. It is ongoing. Life is always in flux, or as Yoda more aptly put it:
“Always in motion is the future.”
Utopia or dystopia, every single one of us is empowered to choose. Fiction parallels reality, and some examples are great, some less so.
Where and how do you want to exist?
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, whatever reality we exist within.