A Galactic Collective Unconscious in Star Trek?
Every now and then I end up in an incredibly geeky conversation at work. This week I was mentioning having shown Star Trek: Nemesis to my friend Amanda. As I was writing about the things that I like about the movie (even though it’s not my favorite) I mentioned the Remans and how it was interesting to have a movie focused on them. That immediately led to me wondering about the naming of the Romulan homeworld and how they ended up with names from Earth mythology. (Romulus and Remus)
As I was typing all this out, because of course I had to lay out my train of thought for my fellow geek, I speculated on the possibility of a galactic collective unconscious in the Star Trek universe. Carl Jung talks about it a great deal and uses it to explain how things like ancient civilizations on Earth developed similar myths, legends and stories without being able to communicate with each other. He says that we all have access to this collective unconscious that is universal to our species and we draw from the archetypes already in there when we create many of our stories and legends.
What if that could be applied on a galactic scale to many races in the Star Trek universe?
Think about it.
In a Next Generation episode called “The Chase”, Picard and the crew of the Enterprise work to decipher genetic clues that may lead to an explanation as to why there are so many humanoid species in the galaxy. At the same time Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians are following similar clues but they believe they are racing to find a weapon or energy source. At the end they found themselves all standing at the same place on a planet watching a holographic recorded message from a being they had not seen before. The being explained that many many ages ago their race found the Alpha Quadrant empty of life so they seeded their own genetic material on many worlds, hoping to preserve something of their way of life and legacy. Of course the Romulans, Klingons and Cardassians are outraged and all believe it is false but that’s not quite my point…
If you take the being’s explanation it makes sense and answers what Picard and the crew were wondering. It also might explain things like why the Romulans would have named their planets Romulus and Remus. Well, technically they named them in their own tongue but refer to them in Basic as Romulus and Remus. Still, it would be interesting if they drew those names from a galactic collective unconscious that spans all the humanoid races that trace back to the same genetic ancestor?
(The wiki states that the reason is given in an episode of the original series about how the Greek and Roman gods were actually advanced beings that visited many planets. I like my theory better.)
What do you think? Plausible? Load of horse hockey?