Architecture of the mind

Written by Sasha Pax Malich
Featured image by Parth Bhatt

To Whom It May Concern:


I am radically changing. Not the ‘shit I’m hitting puberty’ change, but the type that can give me feelings of both cosmic relevance and terrifying inadequacy at the same time. Regardless, I feel more alive than ever…. whatever that means. I recently began a summer internship at Pixel Dreams, a graphic design/branding agency operating out of downtown Toronto. I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s a small and nimble team, with a good blend of process, structure, and autonomy. The culture is aligned with my own, and I have no doubt in my mind already a foundation for lifelong friendships. I’ve been there for ten days, and it has already had a profound impact on my life… they introduced me to Star Trek. This in turn brings both you, the reader, and yours truly (me), the author, to this blog post. As part of understanding the Pixel Dreams culture, I was asked to watch a few episodes on Star Trek and write a blog post on my experience. I’m going to be quite specific in regards to the episodes, because they are the reason I am writing this.


Star Trek TOS episodes:


“The Cage”
“The Menagerie: Part 1”
“The Menagerie: Part 2”

The menagerie

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I was blown away. Asking Kal (the founderr) of PD (Pixel Dreams) how long he’d like the blog post to be, I realized that I’ve stumbled upon something I can write about indefinitely. Absolutely blown away. The scientific, philosophical, and socio-political implications these little snippets from the Star Trek universe have on everyday life today is incredible.

“The Cage” is the original pilot episode of Star Trek, completed in ‘65 but not aired until much later, in ‘88. The episode itself is contained, nearly in its entirety, within the two-part ‘Menagerie’, broadcast late in ‘66, due to the fact that the original was not seen by many people, yet had a significant impact on the narrative and cast changes that occurred after in the story.




For the purpose of my blog post, I will really narrow down the richly textured plots. The humans encounter and end up being controlled by super-intelligent beings, the Talosians, who can make them believe they are seeing anything the captors want them to see. An illusion. The captive could see, taste and suffer as though it was reality. With control of their mind, the Talosians could orchestrate their realities based on their dreams, memories, wants, needs, etc. I was pleasantly surprised that I was encountering the philosophical debate of dreams vs. reality in the series as I meditate and practice yoga fairly regularly. The immaterial nature of our universe is something I’m greatly interested in, and seeing a topic of such magnitude being brought to light, for discussion, got me hooked.


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Further, once examined by the Telosians, human customs and history showed a unique hatred for captivity, even when it was beautiful and benevolent. This was profound to me on so many levels! We hate the feeling of being owned and controlled. Even the thought of it gets us angry and enraged, regardless of our experience. Liberation was, is, and will always be sought by humans everywhere. Whether it’s from others, or even themselves and their own thoughts. We want freedom, and we will fight mightily for it. Below are some quotes from the episodes to titillate the mind.




A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.
Dr. Boyce
The power of illusion is so great, we can’t be sure of anything we do or anything we see.Dr. Boyce
A person’s strongest dreams are always about what they can’t do.Vina

The title of my blog post is a high-level summary of the trio of episodes. Architecture of the mind. The polarities of the tangible – architecture, and the intangible – the mind, are poetic expressions of a much deeper event we are all experiencing – the human condition. Understanding both sides of our universe, and learning how to leverage the two is a great personal challenge, but one we must all accept. As we move along our individual and collective paths, it is as if we are being prepared for something. The line between illusion and reality has been blurred a long long time ago. We are slowly remembering how to harness the power of dreams as a creative force in altering our current reality, and modifying it accordingly. Awareness is the key. With compounding awareness, the implications are limitless.

I’m three episodes in, and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. There was a ton of compelling information in my short encounter with the series to keep me interested and coming back for more. Are we alive? Are we dreaming? What is real?


We don’t know what we don’t know


I end on a short story shared to me by an incredible professor I had in architecture school these past few months.

When we are conceived, we spend nine months growing in our mother’s womb. During this time, we experience a certain reality, and at that point, that is all we can imagine. We have no idea of the world or universe going on outside of our mother’s womb. We can’t even imagine it. We have no idea what awaits. Then, one day, we are born. Born into this shared reality. We live for a certain amount of time, experiencing this, and that, and ups and downs slowly growing old. Eventually, we die. Dying may just be the passing from this reality, the one we know, into a new one. One we can’t imagine. One we can’t conceive. One we know nothing about, because we live in the confines of our own at the moment. We don’t know what we don’t know. That’s what makes it interesting.Michael Miller, Professor Emeritus, Ryerson University


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