Star Trek: “The Inner Light”

Star Trek TOS logo.svg

Yesterday’s post referenced the “The Inner Light” the title of an episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. The episode was written by freelance writer Morgan Gendel and is widely considered one of the best episodes of the entire Star Trek franchise. In 1993 the episode won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Morgan Gendel named the episode after “The Inner Light,” a song written by George Harrison and released by The Beatles the B-side of “Lady Madonna.”  Here are the relevant Harrison lyrics:

Without going out of my door
I can know all things on earth
Without looking out of my window
I could know the ways of heaven

Harrison’s lyrics are in turn based on the 47th chapter of the Tao Te Ching:

Without going outside his door, one understands (all that takes place) under the sky; without looking out from his window, one sees the Tao of Heaven. The farther that one goes out (from himself), the less he knows. Therefore the sages got their knowledge without travelling; gave their (right) names to things without seeing them; and accomplished their ends without any purpose of doing so.

Gendel said the song “captured the theme of the show: that Picard experienced a lifetime of memories all in his head.”[6] Perhaps a beam of our own inner light will survive into the distant future—illuminating.

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