Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek
It was very moving to see Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek. Until then I couldn’t associate the man who made the photographs for Spirit In The Flesh with Spock. Now I can. His voice was laden with his deep commitment and identification with the deepest meaning of Star Trek. Perhaps it is: putting us in direct contact with the cosmos, and through this encounter putting us in relationship to each other and to encountering the unkown in ourselves. He is the still center in the wild, careening film. The heartbeat behind the scenes.
One of the amazing things about Kabbalah is placing human life in relation to the cosmos. The Shekhina is the link between cosmos, the animation, the spirit of our world and the residing of spirit within us. The Shekhina is the healing power in the world.I felt that in making Spirit In The Flesh and felt it in Leonard’s words and in his face. Spock was no longer Spock the first officer but the Wise Old Man with the healing power of unity within him, uniting future and past, uniting planets, uniting the two main characters by uniting feeling with logic.
The Vulcan greeting is the sign for the Hebrew letter, the “Shin”, which is the first letter of the word “Shekhina”. It goes back to Leonard’s childhood in Brooklyn – in the Synagogue when the priests, the Kohanin, would call the Shekhina to enter the temple. Nimoy relates how his father told him no one could look as the light from the Shekhina was too powerful to behold. But he looked and saw the Kohanin with their arms outsetreched, in ecstacy, their hands in rhe sign of the Shin. So he chose that sign as the Vulcan greeting.
In some of Nimoy’s Shekhina photographs, the women have the Shin written on them, sometimes like tatoo, sometimes the letter printed as if on their palm reaching out to us, sometimes floating in space above them. A sign of power, of magic, or a brand of yhe sacred upon the body? Uniting the female body with divinity.
At the end of Spirit in The Flesh I have one of the dancers, Andrea Beeman, standing covered with a black shawl, making herself the middle prong of the “Shin” Vulcan greeting, then she spins, with the real cosmos as see by the Hubble telescope on the film screen behind her and embedded in the stars, one of Nimoy’s photographs, a star-women, looking down in blessing. the worlds united- going where no woman has gone before.
In Star Trek Nimoy seemed a messenger from a timeless realm beyond. The future beyond death. Or reincarnation? Certainly a visitation of blessing for us. For us to feel. A most un-Spock-like wish. And he isn’t an alien destructive creature form beyond, but a visitation of ourselves from beyond putting us in contact with ourselves beyond ourselves.