Color Me Calm

IMG_1766

Photo by pedrojperez.

The early twenty-first century included some of the most turbulent decades of Earth’s history. Terrorist plots and atrocities raised anxiety levels to an all-time high. Confusion reigned in the 2016 electoral face for the US Presidency as Republican candidate Donald Trump’s popularity soared. Immense global issues, such as global warming, fracking, and impending superbug epidemics, were deprived government funding for scientific investigation and neatly swept under the rug. If ever the nations of Earth needed strong leaders, it was then. No one, however, was emotionally prepared to deal with these crises.

Still, there is evidence that the early decades of the twenty-first century was a time when humans began to take a strong interest in controlling their emotions. Enrollment in yoga classes and religious retreats increased, but one particular movement took the world by storm. In 2015, Amazon.com reported that for the first time in the company’s history, a coloring book made the best-seller list. Everywhere adults picked up colored pencils and gel markers to return to an activity they once enjoyed in the care-free days of childhood. Humans discovered, as Vulcans did during the violent times when Surak lived, that creating art – even, and perhaps especially, at an elementary level – offered a release of tension and a way to spend time in mindful contemplation; a way to focus on the here and now away from the violence and despair. Earth’s coloring trend also provided a social outlet, bridging generation gaps and enticing youngsters away from electronic media and games to enjoy meaningful social contact with their cohorts and elders.

The situation on Vulcan was no different in Surak’s time. Despite the violence, the elemental arts, such as pottery, drawing, and calligraphy flourished. As on Earth, coloring books or tablets were created to help children unwind and learn basic concepts, such as the alphabet, as a precursor to reading.

Recently there has been a gathering interest in this particular Vulcan art form. Over the next two years, the College of Historical Studies at the Vulcan Science Academy’s Shi’Kahr campus will have the coloring tablet Kur’voh ish-veh hayalik (Color Me Calm) on display. The work was created by artist S’harien and was designed to teach Vulcan children the glyphs of the Seleyan script, in the manner of “A is for apple,” “B is for ball,” etc. The drawings feature highly stylized images of common but important objects – most from the natural world – from Vulcan life. The exhibition will also be available for viewing here and will feature a new page each month. The pages have been arranged in a pattern that will be familiar to speakers of Federation Standard English, with the alphabet starting with the glyph corresponding to A and ending with Z, instead of the traditional Vulcan sequence. Viewers will note that there is no glyph for J, Q, and X.

Visitors are welcome to download and print the pages for personal enjoyment, but the pages may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the copyright holder. Click on the links to the PDFs below.

Viewers should also note that the Seleyan script was only one of many popular Vulcan writing systems. It was one of a few that was adapted for computer use and can be downloaded here: http://www.dafont.com/vulcan-script.font. Another important script in Vulcan’s history was the Dzhaleyl script: https://kirshara.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/the-dzhaleyl-script/  To learn about Vulcan calligraphy, visit http://korsaya.org/vulcan-calligraphy.

Along with the fine arts, music also flourished in Surak’s time. To learn about the Vulcan musical tradition, please visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ralash-tanaf-VuhlkansuVulcan-Music/399311346930693. Many of Surak’s teachings have been set to music by T’Prion and are available through my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8kuP8GHIoLXI1RzhSn6lWA

Kur’voh ish-veh hayalik (Color Me Calm)

A is for arev (desert wind)

B is for bah-ker (garden)

C is for cir-cen (cactus)

D is for dunap (book)

E is for el’ru (hand)

F is for fau-yut (road)

G is for gad (day)

H is for heya (mountain)

I is for igen (sky)

K is for kahr (city)

L is for lap (tree)

M is for masu (water)

N is for nei (seed)

O is for oluhk (snake)

P is for pilash (river)

R is for ravot (insect)

S is for svep (door)

 

To Understand without Knowing

Art by Jonliza Velox

Art by Jonliza Velox

Ken-tor rik’faiyan. The phrase comes from Dahr-Krus, or Part Two, of Surak’s Analects. In it, Surak considers the subject of epistemology, or how we know what we know. He wrestles through the systems of knowledge prominent on Vulcan in his day, including: 1) empiricism – the insistence that all knowledge is derived from sensory experience; 2) rationalism – the doctrine that knowledge (and ultimately, truth) must be tested by intellect and deductive reasoning ; 3) the scientific method – the rigorous discipline which combines and utilizes both empiricism and rationalism in the pursuit of knowledge and truth; and authoritarianism – the acceptance of knowledge and the truth of ideas asserted by an unquestionable authority.

He concludes that all these systems have their place in the daily quest for knowledge but that none are satisfactory for developing understanding. “Wide experience increases wisdom,” he said, “but to know the ultimate truth, we must transcend knowledge.” It was this assertion that won him favor with the priests of the Suta Temple in Shi’Kahr, and it was there on the ancient steps that he first began to teach a new philosophy to a wide audience. Before the Awakening, Vulcan monasteries were institutions of peace, as they remain today, but they were closed to all but the initiated. Before Surak, holy men and women practiced isolationism, removing themselves from the violence of the day behind thick walls. They had little hope the average Vulcan could live in peace, but when Surak began to advocate the strict control of emotions, the priests of the Suta Temple thought he was onto something.

Since that time, Vulcan philosophers, priests, linguists, scientists, and educators continued to debate what the phrase “to understand without knowing” means. One renowned voice in the debate was Professor Aravik who taught music and psychology at the Vulcan Science Academy. He was particularly interested in how the brain processes, stores, and retrieves information. He recognized that the unconsciousness stored a vast amount of information that was more readily retrieved when paired with a musical phrase, which acted as a trigger. Working with psychologists and musicians at the VSA, he developed a musical style call tumaun-ralash-tanaf, or “programming music.”  The technique involves creating a meaningful word-phrase that embodies a concept, construct, lesson, method, or any subject matter the student wishes to master. The word-phrase is then paired with a simple but memorable musical phrase, which is repeated at predetermined intervals in the learning process. Dr. Aravik discovered that his subjects – students who were required to master vast sequences of equations or to recall lengthy passages of scientific theorem or legal doctrine – improved their recall ability on exams by 96.78% when the material was paired with tumaun-ralash-tanaf. The musical phrase alone (without what he termed the “word-crutch”) became for the student a key that unlocked the unconscious mind where a large amount of the memorized information was stored. “Music,” he wrote in one of his reports, “enters the brains at a deeper level than language. Music acts as a trigger for our deepest memories and can access that part of the brain where information once thought to be irretrievable by normal methods of recall is easily, quickly, and precisely brought into the conscious mind.” (Aravik, 2423, p. 16)

Modern Vulcan education employs tumaun-ralash-tanaf at all levels, from the primary learning pods through the doctoral dissertation. To this day, the Vulcan ability of extraordinary recall continues to amaze non-Vulcans throughout the galaxy. Many species have requested the use of the technique for their own educational programs. Vulcan scientists, however, are reluctant to share the procedure since the Vulcan mind does not exhibit the same structure as the brains of similar humanoid species. Even other Vulcanoids, such as Romulans, have a remarkably different brain structure from modern Vulcans. The teachings of Surak and the discipline adhered to for the last two millennia are partly responsible for the development of the modern Vulcan mind.

The following is a sample of tumaun-ralash-tanaf in a song composed and sung by T’Prion. The phrase ken-tor rik’faiyan, “to understand without knowing,” is used by followers of Surak, often with the guidance of a priestess or other instructor, to reach a deeper level of consciousness in meditation and to commit Surak’s teachings to memory.

Ken-tor rik’faiyan video

Here are the lyrics in Modern Golic Vulcan and in Federation Standard English:

Ken-tor rik’faiyan lyrics  (Art by Jonliza Velox)

SOURCES

Aravik & Sern. (2422). Learning and the control of behavior: principles, theories, and application of operant conditioning. Shi’Kahr: Vulcan Science Academy Press.

Aravik. (2423). Learning in a new key: a study in the application of music and its effect on cognitive processing and recall. Journal of Vulcan Cognition, 45(2), 12-36.

To read a selection of Aravik’s work, click on this link:

http://korsaya.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Tumaun-ralash-tanaf.pdf

Join the Forum at Korsaya.org to discuss this work and many other topics regarding Vulcan culture and language.

 

 

The Silences

Ralash WhiteDuring the time he spent speaking in Shi’Kahr’s public places, advocating for a change in Vulcan lifestyle, Surak often spoke of respect. It was the one simple courtesy he felt was essential for each Vulcan to master and practice on a daily basis. Without it there could be no emotional control and no peace. Respect was sorely lacking in Vulcan culture during his time, as he demonstrated in this speech given on the steps of the Suta Temple in the year 323. In it, he outlined a code of conduct which became known as The Silences.

“It is always a signal that something is wrong when leaders live by different rules than citizens. In fact, it is the breakdown of society, of all that is civilized. A citizen cannot access the networks without being tracked. Purchases, conversations, messages, information-searches, images, health records, employment records, academic records, criminal records, family records, and property records are captured by data-mining software. The information is sold to the one who makes the highest offer. Credit applications are denied due to political affiliation. Job applicants are turned away because of their genetic predisposition to diseases. Identities, access codes, and bank accounts are stolen. Political opponents contact voters directly and take positions or make promises that are shielded from scrutiny by the public. Students are expelled for criticizing their teachers. Surveillance cameras are installed along borders encouraging anyone to access and monitor illegal crossings. False reports and vigilantism come in waves.

“Yet one cannot learn by accessing the nets what Minister Pola purchased today, what he ate for breakfast, what vaccinations he’s received or what childhood diseases he’s had, what genetic diseases are prevalent in his family, his score on the Academy exit exam, what transportation he uses, what personal interests he has, what his marital status is, when his last pon farr was and if any offspring were produced, what his household income is, or even where his private residence is located. All one sees is a simple file which includes his educational degrees and specialty, his title of office, and his official commcode. No personal information is given.

“This is how it should be – for all of us. Only in the sanctity of privacy can we find peace. The intensity and complexity of life meant to evolve civilization have done the opposite – devolved it – making retreat from the world a necessity for Vulcan sanity and the control of the emotions. Modern technology and business practices, through invasion of privacy and lack of societal regulation, have subjected us to mental distress far greater than any bodily injury. We have lost our right as individuals to be let alone. Once information and images of an individual are on the nets, they can be used against that individual in perpetuity, making it impossible for him or her to leave an old life behind and start a new one. We have lost our integrity and far more. We have lost our soul because we have lost respect for one another.

“Only by leaving others the privacy of their minds and lives can we regain what we have lost. The courts do not protect individuals against the collection and selling of personal information. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the citizen to uphold the right of those around him to be let alone.

“How can we do this? Through the elimination of the incessant noise of life – through The Silences – by allowing each individual privacy in these aspects of life:

Birth:  This is a private journey shared by mother and child. No others should be present except those responsible for their care. The mother should not be distracted from bonding with the child. Announcing the birth on the nets and posting images leaves the child vulnerable.

Home and family life:  The location of one’s home must remain private information to preserve the sanctity of the house as a retreat from the world. While the honor and tradition of guest-right should be maintained, do not expect to be invited to the home of another. When wishing to meet with one whom you do not know, request that the meeting occur in a public place so that you do not intrude upon the individual’s personal sanctuary. Additionally, the individual should be contacted through his or her place of work or study and not at home.

Personal space:  Allow each individual a cushion of space. Do not intrude with your gaze, your voice, or your touch. Remain at a respectful distance, at least one pace away. Establish consent, even with the one to whom you are bonded, before you invade the other’s space. Do not ask another’s name of a third party. Wait for the owner to give it.

Spiritual beliefs:  Allow one the privacy of his or her experience with the being or force responsible for the creation and maintenance of the universe. It is a journey you cannot take and it is not your concern. We each have our own journey to which we must attend.

Thoughts and remembrances:  I have said before that it is the inherent right of all Vulcans to meld in mind and spirit. If you meld, do not invade the thoughts and remembrances of the other. Let the other reveal them to you, if that is his or her wish. Likewise, do not force your thoughts, desires, or memories on the other. Wait for an invitation. And above all else, never enter the other’s mind unbidden.

Time alone:  When you sense that you have come to the limits of your abilities, retreat into your personal sanctuary and conserve energy. Likewise, allow each individual time alone to heal and renew the mind, body, and soul.

Bonding and pon farr:  There are few situations in life that are more sacred than the link between bondmates. When their link is active through a mind-meld, pon farr, the birth of a child, or a more mundane event, no one else in the world matters, and no one should intrude. Even the status of their bonding is a matter only to be shared between the pair, their families, and close friends. And when their bond is severed by death, the survivor should be cared for but left to heal in the privacy of his or her thoughts and memories.

Death:  There is no life event more personal than death. While birth is the experience of two, death can only be experienced by one. It is a solitary journey. Allow those dying privacy. It is the last offer of respect that we can give. Death records, like all medical records, should be sealed, made available only to those who demonstrate a legal or scientific need to know.”

These are The Silences – the quieting of the noise of the Vulcan species.

_____________________

For those of you who would like to practice reading in Traditional Golic Vulcan, here is the original text:   Ralash-Fam’eslar

The Ritual of Kolinahr

The traditional character for Kolinahr in the Zun script. For more info, visit korsaya.org.

The traditional character for Kolinahr in the Zun script. For more info, visit korsaya.org.

Offworlders, especially humans, have always been curious about Vulcan ritual, discipline, and emotional control. Questions come in many forms but invariably culminate in the same topic – Tu-Kolinahr, “The Way of Kolinahr.” Those who aren’t familiar with the discipline ask, “What is Kolinahr?” Others who have read or heard about it wonder, “Why would you want to purge yourself of all emotion? How is that even possible?”

Although I cannot claim to have achieved this enlightened state, I shall do my best to answer these questions here.

Kolinahr is an advanced Vulcan discipline that results in a state of complete emotional stability. More specifically, the need to control one’s emotions no longer exists because one has learned to block all emotional reactions to both external and internal stimuli. The greatest threat from external stimuli comes from the volatile emotions of others. Vulcans are empathic and therefore highly sensitive to the emotions of others, particularly other Vulcans. The depth and range of emotions that Vulcans feel are far greater that that of any other known species, even humans. Vulcans also have a very low threshold to pain due to highly developed neural pathways. It is for these reasons that the Vulcan child is taught from a very early age techniques to control the emotions and to develop a high tolerance to pain. As Surak has taught us, these steps are necessary to ensure the survival of the species. Surak nearly witnessed the extinction of the Vulcan species by its own hands but was able to instigate an awakening, a gradual enlightenment, through mindfulness and logic. But Surak did not create the Way of Kolinahr. That distinction belongs to a man named Sanshiin, who lived from 319-596, and was one of the first Kolinahru mindlords to accept the teachings of Surak. “While other paths seek to repress emotion, Kolinahr attempts to rid the mind and soul of every passion, be it joyful or wrathful, one by one, using the process known as t’san s’at, every emotion is mentally deconstructed and purged from the psyche, leaving only the Vulcan’s intellect.”1

Sanshiin is often quoted as saying, “I shall become as the stone.” What did he mean by this? When he was a cruel mindlord, he was preoccupied with the attainment of immortality. He noted that millions of Vulcans were born, lived, and died while the rocks of Mount Kolinahr remained unchanged over thousands of years. Later, as a follower of Surak, he remembered the strength and endurance of the stone in withstanding the tide of time. He built a demanding discipline for the Vulcan to withstand the tide of emotion. It is interesting to note that the Terran duo Simon and Garfunkel expressed this sentiment in the song I Am a Rock: “A rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.” Regrettably, the protagonist of the song would not be admitted to the discipline of Kolinahr, for it is not used to dull the senses or to escape unpleasant feelings. Kolinahr is not the building up of walls but rather it is concerned with breaking them down until there is no need for walls.

For many, the life of a Kolinahr master seems like a lonely existence – cold and flat, devoid of the color and richness of feeling. “One might as well be dead,” an Andorian once said to me. Although the analysis is crude, it is not entirely inaccurate. “Sanshiin taught that all emotion was a trick to keep us from seeing the universe as it truly was. Once emotion was cast away, a Vulcan would be one with all creation.”2 To achieve Kolinahr, one must essentially die and be reborn. This of course is not a physical death of the body or mind but of what Surak called pach-te. “To explain pach-te as ‘selfishness’ is simplifying Surak’s philosophy, but it’s a good start. Once the student has freed himself from pach-te, his will cease to be concerned with himself, focusing all of his concern on the welfare of others.”3

Kolinahr, then, is the ceasing of all distinctions between the self and the outside world. Because emotion is a form of expression, the Kolinahr master has no need of it. Instead, s/he has established an interconnectedness with the universe – an understanding that goes beyond words, feeling, and even thought. Very few Vulcans reach this state, except in death, when the katra is released from the body.

At present, there are three places on Vulcan where one may petition the elders to enter the Way of Kolinahr: The Kolinahru Monastery in Gol, the Akrelt Refuge in Gol, and the Riakin Sanctuary in Zhial. Of those who petition, very few are admitted. Those who are devote years to special training and ritual instruction to prepare themselves for a new way of life.

PETITION

The following dialogue demonstrates the ritual words of petition and acceptance or denial:

Trensu: Bai’ra lof sarlah du na’[Kolinahru, Akrelt, Riakin].

Orensu: Sarlah nash-veh vaya’akas-tor vikal na’ Kolinahr. [Fi’oslauvoskaf nam-tor kihsev t’Kol-Ut-Shan,  sehtebihk t’Kolinahr, oshi t’katra, eh ha’fek].

Trensu: [i’shitau ha’gel na’ha’fek] Ne’limuk-saudaya t’T’Klass, vesht nam-tor veh wuh’rak t’trensular t’Kolinahr, svi’la’es t’aifa-za-vellar vokau ik vesht vuhrgwauk t’ek’Vuhlkansular, svi’nash-shi puabru-tor s’orfikkel svi’ma’os-wak, tan’voh na’nash-veh vaya’akas.

Orensu: Fi’mazhiv t’panu t’etek, vesht dakh orfikkel aushfamaluhr shau-kaush heh korsoval vun-koshtri bai’aktaibuhl t’kolinahr. Nam-tor ish-veh ik psau nash-veh. Tor nash-veh vaya’akas na’tu eh ya’akash t’du kakhartau nash-veh du’psthan.

Trensu: Zhu-tor nash-veh ra ya’akash du.

Translation

Master: For what purpose do you come to [Kolinahru, Akrelt, Riakin]?

Aspirant: I come to petition for my admission to the Kolinahr. [Upon the altar are an IDIC pendant, a symbol of Kolinahr, a katric ark, and a candle].

Master: [lighting the candle] Beneath the visage of T’Klass, one of the first Kolinahr masters, in the presence of these relics that recall the shared past of all Vulcans, in this place raised by our forbearers in antiquity, make your petition.

Aspirant: On the sands of our world, our ancestors cast out their animal passions, saving our race by the attainment of Kolinahr. It is that which I seek. I make my petition to you, asking you to guide me in my quest.

Master: I hear what you ask.4

As mentioned previously, more often than not, the aspirant will be denied, deemed unready for admittance. S/he, then, will hear these words:

Trensu: [i’sayonotau ha’fek fi’oslauvoskaf] [Ahm t’orensu], kan t’[ahm t’sa-mekh], kan t’[ahm t’sa-mekh  t’sa’mekh], puwafau vaya’akas t’du na’Kolinahr.

Translation

 Master: [extinguishing the candle on the altar] [Name of aspirant], child of [name of father], child of [name of father’s father], your petition for the Kolinahr is denied.5

ACCEPTANCE

If the applicant is considered ready to enter the Kolinahr, the aspirant is taken to the cell that will serve as his/her quarters and asked to light the wall sconce within. The following exchange occurs as part of the ritual:

Trensu: [Ahm t’orensu], kan t’[ahm t’sa-mekh], kan t’[ahm t’sa-mekh t’sa’mekh],punar-tor vaya’akas t’du na’kolinahr.

Orensu: Pudorlik nash-veh.

Trensu: Na’palikaya t’fa’gad, fa-wak ha’au tu la abi’veh-il-vath navau il vravshau tu svi’psthan. Fa-wak  palikau ish-veh fa-gad na’gad-keshtan. Lau-katau tu ra fisai-tor du eh wuh-rubah t’sai-vel. Fa-wak putanilau ek’vath-vellar na’tu.

Translation

Master: [Name of aspirant], child of [name of father], child of [name of father’s father], your petition for the Kolinahr is accepted.

Aspirant: I am honored.

Master: Beginning tomorrow, you will live here until either you succeed or you fail in your quest. It will commence tomorrow at dawn. You may bring what you wear and a single change of clothing. All else will be provided for you.6

ATTAINMENT

If after an intense regimen of training, discipline, and tests, the aspirant is able to transcend all emotions to a heightened state of understanding, the final ceremony is conducted by the master and two other elders, who act as witnesses. Since it is a private matter, there is no audience in attendance, and the ritual is conducted on sacred ground – in a place of stone, water, and fire. The applicant descends steps—carved out of stone and bearing ancient glyphs – and kneels upon the stone in a designated place. S/he waits, head down, with hands folded in meditation. At last the master speaks from the steps above.

 Trensu: Shahtau la halovaya ta ki’nem-tor etek teretuhr, fulagan nash-orensu, fi’mazhiv wilat vesht dakh orfikkel aushfamaluhr shau-kaush. Na’nash-wadan, fi’nash-gad, psau etek rom’lasha orensu silau etek svi’panu t’ozhika. Panu svi’ik ki’pufoshuhl zherka, eh spanakau drom-ozhika ek ta nam-tor etek heh ek ta tor etek. [na’dahr-trensu] Trensu [ahm t’trensu], fa-wak to-go-rasathau wuh’rak tu. 

Dahr-Trensu: Fa-wak to-go-rasathau wuh’rak nash-veh, Trensu [ahm t’trensu]. [Afer-tor dahr-trensu kash-nohv k’orensu. Na’shahtaya t’kash-nohv, fun-tor dahr-trensu nem-tor shi na’vla los-rak t’Trensu].

Trensu: [na’rehr-trensu] Trensu [ahm t’trensu], fa-wak to-go-rasathau thurai tu.

Rehr-Trensu: Fa-wak to-go-rasathau thurai nash-veh, Trensu [ahm t’trensu]. [Afer-tor rehr-trensu kash-nohv k’orensu. Na’shahtaya t’kash-nohv, fun-tor rehr-trensu nem-tor shi na’vla gas-rak t’Trensu].

Trensu: I’fa-wak to-go-rasathau nash-veh. [na’orensu] [Ahm t’orensu], shahtau la halovaya ta ki’nem-tor etek teretuhr. Ki’nam-tor du orensu tevun-yonuklar aifa-wehk, hi fa-wak shahtau ish isha. Nash-gad fa-wak srasha tu kolinahr il fa-wak ri srasha tu. Rinatyan na’kim-pavek, fa-wak trasha tu [ahm t’fmak] fa-gad heh fun-tor du na’ha’kiv rik’aifa-haishayalar ta ki’ya’akash du t’du-shai eh ta ki’khartal nash-veh.

Orensu: Ken-tor nash-veh, oTrensu. Pudator nash-veh.

Trensu: Nahp t’du i. Tan’voh au na’nash-veh. Kashek t’nash-veh na’kashek t’du. Nahp t’nash-veh na’nahp t’du. [Puashiv-tor torek t’kash-nohv. Lu pushahtau torek, fun-tor trensu na’shi fi’kaiden. She-tor orensu eh zahal-tor. Ashenau trensu el’ru gas-rak spo’ta’al. Fun-tor orensu ta’al heh sarlah lam-tor fa’trensu. Svi’vath-el’ru meskarau trensu eku t’khlop-thon-shidlar pukur-tor ik pununau teretuhr shidorau sehtebihk vuhlkansu t’drom-ozhika. Pa’talular fisai-tor trensular nash-sehtebihk fi’naf-elakh]. Vesht dakh orfikkel aushfamaluhr shau-kaush la fi’aifa-mazhiv.Pukorsau vuhn-koshtri bai’akteibhuhl t’kolinahr.

Rehr-Trensu: Kolinahr, bai’ik ek’zherka pufoshuhl t’forti.

Trensu: Ki’zup-tor du akarshif, [ahm t’orensu]. I’poprah’voh s’etek nash-sehtebihk t’ovsotuhl-ozhika. [Namal-nefau orensu eh shitau trensu naf-elakh leshan sehtebihk t’kolinahr pa’talu t’orensu]. Rom’lasha etek du vi’panu t’etek, [ahm t’orensu].

Oresnu: [na’ek’trensular] Naglanshau nash-veh tanlar ta ki’tor ek’dular na’nash-srashiv.

Translation

 Master: The journey we have taken together, leading this aspirant, ends here, on the sands where our ancestors cast out their animal passions. At this hour, on this day, we seek to invite the aspirant to join us in a world of reason. A world in which emotion has been shed, and where pure logic dictates all that we are and all that we do. [to the Second Elder] Elder [name of elder], you will judge first.

Second Elder: I will judge first, Master [name of master]. [The Second Elder establishes a mind-meld with the aspirant. Upon the completion of the meld, the Second Elder returns to take his/her place at the Master’s left side].

Master: [to Third Elder] Elder [name of elder], you will judge next.

Third Elder: I will judge next, Master [name of master]. [The Third Elder establishes a mind-meld with the aspirant. Upon the completion of the meld, the Third Elder returns to take his/her place at the Master’s right side].

Master: I will now judge. [to the aspirant] [Name of aspirant], the journey we have taken together ends here. You have been an aspirant these many seasons, but that too will end. Today you will achieve the Kolinahr or you will not. Regardless of the outcome, you will depart [name of sanctuary] tomorrow and return to a life without these demands that you have asked of yourself and that I have directed.

Aspirant: I understand, Master. I am prepared.

Master: Your thoughts, then. Give them to me. My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts.7[The mind-meld process is repeated. When the process is finished, the master returns to the place on the stairs. The aspirant rises and follows. The master raises his/her right hand in the traditional Vulcan greeting. The aspirant returns the gesture and comes to stand before the master. In the other hand, the master holds a set of colored geometric shapes fitted together to form the Vulcan symbol of pure logic. Around their necks, the elders wear this symbol on a chain]. Our ancestors cast out their animal passions here on these sands. Our race was saved by the attainment of Kolinahr.

Third Elder: Kolinahr, through which all emotion is finally shed.

Master: You have labored long, [name of aspirant]. Now receive from us this symbol of total logic. [The aspirant kneels and the master places the chain bearing the Kolinahr symbol around the aspirant’s neck]. We welcome you into our world, [name of aspirant].

Aspirant:[to all the elders] I recognize the contributions all of you have made to this accomplishment.8

This is merely a fleeting glimpse at the private ritual surrounding the petition for and the attainment of Kolinahr. In future posts, we’ll consider the various practices and disciplines some individuals have followed along the path to Kolinahr.

SOURCES

1The way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 17.

2ibid.

3ibid, p. 15.

4George, David R. III (2006). The fire and the rose. (Crucible: Spock). New York: Pocket Books, p. 172-177.

5ibid, p. 177.

6ibid, p. 208.

7ibid, p. 315-137.

8ibid, p. 320-321.