Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Dark Side of the Force

I recently joined a Facebook group entitled "Tear down the walls in Palestine" because I'm a very easy mark for humanitarian and philanthropic causes. It made me reflect, however, upon a crucial principle I think is true, namely that it's useless to try tearing down such walls unless one first removes the walls of fear.

The walls in Palestine are perhaps the most notorious today, but there are others, like the wall built by George W. Bush along the US-Mexican border. If the purpose of such a wall was to protect the American people against terrorism, smuggling of nuclear suitcase bombs etc., it would have made some sense along the US-Canadian border because Canada has a huge Muslim population, including some radical islamists it seems. But the US government has never prioritized protecting its population against violent attacks and disasters, that's the concern of no government on earth.

Governments are primarily interested in controlling and manipulating their populations, for the most part through the instrument of fear. And no government or state system masters this art better than the United States. Without this incredible manipulation of fear, it would have been impossible to combine the maintenance of a global empire consisting of more than 750 military bases with a farily decent show of democratic and human rights, the first amendment and so forth. In order to perpetrate this power and control over the masses through fear, the system needs a constant succession of adversaries that the public should feel very afraid of, they must believe they are primary threats against their own lives -- say, alien invaders from Mars, Communists, terrorists, drug lords, you name it.

Governments basically employ the same tactics used by church pastors and TV preachers: If you only stick with our program and submit to our authority and leadership, whatever you're afraid of ain't gonna getcha. The churches use theology; government use security, which leads to astronomically excessive spending on all imaginable security measures. Everything is this field, from militarism to insurance companies to rent-a-cops to handguns for "protection" and electronic surveillance -- all of this has become huge industries worldwide.

The building of walls, borders, particians, is part and parcel of the fear industry, but the real reason why walls are built is not to protect anybody. It's to keep poor people from migrating to economic prospereous zones, or for some other political agenda the public isn't aware of and the corporate media don't bother to investigate.

But back to the main topic: Because of this fear factor, governments, states, are positively on the dark side of the Force. I'm talking Star Wars, of course, the space opera. Around New Year, a Swedish TV channel showed the entire prequel trilogy. I was especially fascinated by the third of these movies, because I hadn't seen it before: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. This is the episode where the young Anakin Skywalker, having evolved from an exceptionally gifted slave boy into a Jedi Knight and a hero in the Clone Wars, is seduced over to the dark side of the Force by Chancellor Palpatine and given his new name Darth Vader.

The key element in the seduction of Anakin to the dark side is his fear of losing his wife, Padmé Amidala, after he has nightmares about her dying in childbirth, which are similar to visions he had of his mother before she died. Palpatine assures Anakin that only the magic secrets and powers of the dark side can prevent the death of Padmé . The death of his mother has already filled Anakin's soul with a certain hatred against those responsible, and he has become frustrated with the Jedi Council because they have not yet made him a Jedi Master.

It is Yoda, however, who senses great fear in Anakin and warns him: "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

Padmé does die in childbirth, of a broken heart because of her husband's defection to the dark side, it seems, immediately after giving birth to the twins Lucas and Leia, whom we meet in the sequel trilogy that was made a quarter century earlier. Anakin, who has now become Palpatine's new apprentice, Darth Vader, is told by his new master that his own anger had killed his wife.

This revelation shatters what remains of Anakin's spirit, and he screams in torment. During the duel with his former Jedi master Obi-Wan, Vader has his limbs severed and is terribly burnt after sliding down a bank of volcanic ash and bursting into flames. Sidious has Darth Vader rebuilt in black cybernetic body armor to keep him alive, and this is how he gets the appearance we recognize from the sequel.

The most interesting statement comes from Yoda: "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."

All fear, including the fear of loss, represents a gateway to suffering, to hatred, and to the dark side.

It is also characteristic that the dark side deceives and lies. They promise that Padmé won't die if Anakin changes sides, but it turns out to be only a scheme to seduce him.

Finally, a small piece of anthroposophy. The cause of fear is the cosmic influence of Ahriman, who also happens to be the father of our intellect, logic, science, technology, economy etc. But Ahriman also has a vested interest in fear of truth, fear of Spirit. He is also known as the Deceiver and the Father of Lies, because he seduces man into falsehood through the intellect. Here is a line of his from one of Rudolf Steiner's Mystery Plays, The Guardian of the Threshold [GA 14] (Scene 6):


At birth I was the equal of the gods,
Who have curtailed my many ancient rights.
I wished in such a way to fashion men
For Lucifer, my brother, and his realm,
That each should bear his own world in himself.
For Lucifer in spirit worlds but seeks
To show himself as peer among his peers;
To others he but shows his form sublime;
He ne'er would seek imperious rulership.
I wished to give unto mankind such strength
That they might grow to equal Lucifer.
And had I stayed within the realm of gods
This too had been in primal days fulfilled.
The gods however willed to rule on Earth,
And from their kingdom they did one day thrust
My power into the depth of the abyss,
So that I might not make mankind too strong.
And thus 'tis only from this place I dare
Send out my powerful strength upon the Earth.
But in this way my power turns into Fear.

Labels: , , , , ,