Governed by Laws

On Marshall McLuhan…

Take Today underscores his view that all life – mental, material, spiritual, physical – is governed by laws, laws that no one else has even noticed, let alone considered worthy of discussion between the covers of a book. …

The laws are infallible – as precise as mathematics, as ubiquitous as weather – and, after wrestling with them for almost five decades, he has finally grasped them in all their glory.”
– Fitzgerald, Judith. Marshall McLuhan: Wise Guy. XYZ Publishing: Montreal, 2001. pg 152
Take Today was authored by McLuhan and Barrington Nevitt in 1972

This metaphor sounds like Story and it also uses a storybook to help frame the metaphor. What more can be said about this quote? It’s brilliant.

It immediately reminded me of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek Bible. It was a book that he composed to contain all the rules within the Star Trek Mythology. He created a beautiful world based on science and wanted it to be believable. This book was available to every writer of the show so that they would know what could and couldn’t happen in the stories they created.

The fictional world of Star Trek has precise laws. And maybe that is one of the reasons the franchise is timeless. It relates to the real world. It makes sense in so many ways. And it never tried to make us believe in something different every week. It had a beautiful consistency.

Life is like this as well. I believe that there is a Life Bible that contains all the rules of the universe. And like McLuhan says, no one seems to be searching for it. We know some of the precise rules but nothing that ties everything together, except for Story. And brilliantly enough that is even mentioned in this quote. Perhaps McLuhan knew something about the important role story has in the nature of reality. It seems to be like he was one of the best thinkers of our time. I think I need to explore his works more closely.

3 thoughts on “Governed by Laws

  1. Hi Chase,

    I’m not a Star Trek fan, but the Star Trek Bible sounds fascinating. Can you imagine all of the work that must have gone into creating it. That had to have been an awesome experience to work on that set.

  2. Hey Davina, that’s awesome! I really think that dreaming is a form of story itself. Our brains naturally organize things into story and our dreams can really tell us a lot about our lives. I will be posting a Storied Thursday entry on this topic in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for it.

    Hey Barbara, it surely was a great way to create a believable fictional world. I think that is one of the reasons Star Trek is timeless while other sci-fi shows of the same time seem dated and irrelevant.

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