(couldn't just call it:) The Force

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(couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Sun 27 Mar - 5:35

I would like to put this in a saga type place but it might be alright here... not sure it matters.

anyway, i would like to gather thoughts about the force here - knowledge we have gained from all the movies. i have a feeling that the new movies will expand our understanding of what it is and i'm hoping for some insight.

feel free to correct me, i haven't watched these films religiously... Embarassed

in the OT, the force was the things that connected all living beings, that allowed telekinesis and mind-tricking. but people felt through it as well. like, they would feel what others were feeling?? i mean, obi-wan feels the destruction of alderaan from the great distance.

the force was basically this thing you tapped into, a source that was not of the mind. cosmic. the dark side was about fear and anger.

in the prequels, this idea of the force wasn't taken further, the division between light and dark still existed (i know i'm messing up the story's chronology, but i'm also a little interested in how the concept of the force evolved over time of film-making, if that makes sense.) and the force was connected to emotions and specific skills were assigned to each side of using it.

in the prequels we also had the iffy concept of the midichlorians introduced. i know a lot of people hate them. i have always taken them to be a way for the storyteller to show that the jedi wanted to quantify force use. like, the midichlorians probably had sod-all to do with force-using but they needed to make sure when 'recruiting' children that there was a measure they could rely on. not sure my explanation makes much sense... i'm very opposed to quantifying and measuring and i find it inhumane ... i have recently rethought my initial assumption and found a loophole in that theory but i can't remember what it was  Razz

now in TFA we are having a character literally divided by the force - i wonder how that would have been noticed? we haven't actually been presented with a lot of jedi input in this film which makes me hopeful for having new ideas flowing from luke's side that they didn't mean to overwhelm us with just yet.

so, the force can be interpreted as a moral instance, but in my cosmology and in the films i think substantially, judgement is meted out by the characters not by the force itself. the force is ever neutral??

so where does that leave us?


Last edited by guardienne on Wed 28 Sep - 11:56; edited 1 time in total
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Mon 28 Mar - 7:23

http://peace-passion-reylo.tumblr.com/post/141720193983/the-theology-of-the-dark-side-star-warsü
The Theology of the Dark Side (Star Wars)

ms-qualia:

@narrativeninja, now you’ve done it.  Continuing the conversation with @typhoid–mary

Organized in bite-sized fragments that sort of built upon another.  I’m going to use a comp lit approach and mythology more than Star Wars as a source, in part because the EU is nerfed.  And for other reasons I hope I make clear.

I.

Everything I’ve seen suggests that deep study of the Force is a religion that requires mentorship and initiation as opposed to independent study.  Everyone who uses it has, at least, seen it used.  Rey has heard of Jedi and the Force, as has Luke and Anakin.  They can each use it really quickly after seeing it.  But they must see it first, and then it looks like they don’t just get to use it without it being within a practice.  It must be experienced and practiced to be understood.

So by its nature and because the writers are intentionally a bit vague, we won’t be able to fully understand what the Force is.  We’d have to feel it.  We’d have to do years of training.

This is an important characteristic of the Force.

II.

What the Jedi say about the dark side

It is concerned with negative emotions
It is evil
It is seductive
It is easy

What the Sith talk about:

Power
Order
Emotions
Attachment
Strength
Understanding

The Jedi might be right, but I don’t think the Sith are lying about their experience of the dark side.  How it feels.  And since feeling the Force is what you do to use it (even as a light side user) we should not ignore that.

III.

Obi-Wan: A Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him.

Luke: You mean it controls our actions?

Obi-Wan: Partially.  But it also obeys your commands.

We’re told the Force controls us before we’re told we can control it.  I think this is an important characteristic of it.

IV.

Narratively, it’s a very very old Apollonian and Dionysian (or chthonic) conflict, with the Sith being on the chthonic side (chthonic meaning earth Gods, the children of Gaia and/ or having to do with the underworld). From the Apollonian and Dionysian wiki page:

The content of all great tragedy is based on the tension created by the interplay between these two.

Kylo Ren’s murder of his father is absolutely played as a tragedy.  That’s the structure of his part of the story so far. 

V.

Anakin, if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects, not just the dogmatic narrow view of the Jedi. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader, you must embrace…a larger view of the Force.

- Palpatine (emphasis mine)

Chthonic deities were the deities of everyday life and rituals (like harvest and death and all that).  Eventually, mystery religions sprang up around them.

Unlike Christianity, which was concerned with believing the correct thing, mystery religionsdidn’t tend to focus on believing one correct thing.  Theology was not the point.  Consistency of theology from believer to believer was not important. 

The cult of Persephone was a mystery religion centered around the myth of Persephone’s abduction.  It was not told orally.  You walked through it, achieved different levels of understanding, and it was revealed to you as you were ready for it.   But the experience of the rituals was primary.  The emphasis was on the experience, not on the words you attached to them.

By going through the motions of a ritual, you are expressing and experiencing something important about the universe that can’t be talked about in a rational way and can’t be communicated except by experience.

VI.

Jung did a lot to try to re-create mystery religions.  A lot of literary people also became fascinated with them around the same time as Jung.

If you want a real dive into it, look at the collective unconscious, shadow, and anima / animus.

Essentially, he thought these stories served a function in people’s lives. There’s this idea we are all acting out a collective drama that we draw on, but which also acts through us (SOUND FAMILIAR?). This is a really similar set of logic that led to theory around monomyth (without which there’d be no Star Wars).  

Star Wars is drawing on a deep well of already established symbolic language.  Like, you make something well using this structure and these ideas, you’re calling on ideas kids in our culture were breastfed on.  We might not know what this voodoo is, but we know what it tastes like.

VII.

I personally believe that the murder of one’s Master or one’s father figure is a mystery of the dark side.  It is a ritual.  They are acting out something about the nature of the universe they are in.  It’s a sacrament.  An outward sign of an inner state, and of a higher truth about the universe they are in.

It calls to mind, for me, the power struggle between Kronos and his children.  Uranus fathered Kronos, who castrated his own father and deposed him.  To prevent that, Kronos devoured his own children.  Zeus freed them, then castrated and killed his own father.  That’s right after the creation myth.  It says something about families and how they believed the cosmos worked.

Kronos is not usually classified as chthonic, but he’s a son of Gaia.  His mythology is wrapped up in the duality of death and fertility.  He fits the bill.

VIII.

Adam Driver did a lot of physical training for the role.  A lot.  Like, more than strictly needed for the look of the character.  

That makes sense to me, and I can’t tell you why for the life of me.  I imagine going on a run.  I imagine my legs aching.  I imagine doing it every day for a while, to the point where it’s hard to think. It’s inexpressible what going running is like.  I can say it hurts, or that occasionally there’s a runner’s high, but I can’t tell you what it’s like.  You can recognize it if you see me do it, though.  It’s quale.

IX.

Qualia are a mystery on which expressible things are built.  I can’t tell you what red is, but if you can perceive it, we can both point to it.  And that’s what every other communication is built upon, not logic but recognition.  It’s why acting works at all, because someone can express the inexpressible by putting themselves and us through an experience.  Experience and recognition are fundamental, not logic.

Theater was a ritual in ancient Greece.  A ritual purification, which everyone felt they needed after they had decades of constant war.  It was a mass ceremonial grieving.  We all can talk about these things because we have seen Star Wars.  We now have this tool, a Kylo Ren, to act out something we have all experienced but could not express.

It is not a coincidence art therapy is suggested as a treatment for PTSD and moral injury.

Reason means nothing if we can’t get down to common understanding, and that’s usually built upon experience.

And if we both understand it, and see that all reason is built upon it and is depending on it, we can start talking derisively about the Jedi and their lack of understanding already.  That’s the mindset, I think.

X.

To directly answer the question in your tags, read Killing From the Inside Out, especially the sections on how sex and violence were viewed.  Essentially, the Greeks viewed sex as inherently an act of conquering and did not so much divide things into masculine and feminine so much as lover and beloved: whoever was penetrating and whoever was being penetrated respectively.

Yes, they extended this to the battlefield.  My goodness, the description of murdering people was eroticized.  Sex, creation, and death are linked by power and passion.

Later Christian theology drew the same parallel, and said in order for there to be just war, holy war, there had to be killing without passion.  Passion was sin. They similarly demanded that sex within marriage also be without passion.  Like, literally.  Passion in bed or in killing either kind was viewed as a pollutant, and of a similar nature to one another.  So what you were supposed to do is, within holy matrimony, somehow practice sex without getting lost to lust.  And within the context of holy war, a just war, you could theoretically kill without passion.

And we all know how realistic it is to F**** without arousal, right? Priests were forbidden from either marrying or participating in war because the church did not seriously buy this s*** either.  The Church had some daft-a** theology right around this time. 

It’s not much better when the Jedi try saying similar things.

Knights Templar were monastic knights, who practiced a highly, highly ritualized and regulated lifestyle to ensure they could conduct holy war without being lost to sin.  Also, by the way, knights templar had a lot of rituals which have been compared to, you guessed it, mystery religions.

This is what asceticism has to do with the Jedi.  Also, Kylo Ren’s surcoat looks an awful lot like a Knight Templar’s.  But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, right?

XI.

I can make an argument from text and from influences, so I did.  It’s fun, cathartic stuff.  Just keep in mind, just because I can find evidence for it in text doesn’t mean the writers meant it.  Iam sure they meant to use monomyth and  Apollonian vs Dionysian conflict.  The baggage that comes with that (most of that above) is a feature, not a bug.  It means they don’t have to spend forever on theology because we already know the theology.  It permeates our culture.  They can leave it in the background and focus on the relationships.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by SoloSideCousin on Wed 30 Mar - 3:29

@guardienne wrote:http://peace-passion-reylo.tumblr.com/post/141720193983/the-theology-of-the-dark-side-star-warsü
The Theology of the Dark Side (Star Wars)

ms-qualia:

@narrativeninja, now you’ve done it.  Continuing the conversation with @typhoid–mary

Organized in bite-sized fragments that sort of built upon another.  I’m going to use a comp lit approach and mythology more than Star Wars as a source, in part because the EU is nerfed.  And for other reasons I hope I make clear.

I.

Everything I’ve seen suggests that deep study of the Force is a religion that requires mentorship and initiation as opposed to independent study.  Everyone who uses it has, at least, seen it used.  Rey has heard of Jedi and the Force, as has Luke and Anakin.  They can each use it really quickly after seeing it.  But they must see it first, and then it looks like they don’t just get to use it without it being within a practice.  It must be experienced and practiced to be understood.

So by its nature and because the writers are intentionally a bit vague, we won’t be able to fully understand what the Force is.  We’d have to feel it.  We’d have to do years of training.

This is an important characteristic of the Force.

II.

What the Jedi say about the dark side

It is concerned with negative emotions
It is evil
It is seductive
It is easy

What the Sith talk about:

Power
Order
Emotions
Attachment
Strength
Understanding

The Jedi might be right, but I don’t think the Sith are lying about their experience of the dark side.  How it feels.  And since feeling the Force is what you do to use it (even as a light side user) we should not ignore that.

III.

Obi-Wan: A Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him.

Luke: You mean it controls our actions?

Obi-Wan: Partially.  But it also obeys your commands.

We’re told the Force controls us before we’re told we can control it.  I think this is an important characteristic of it.

IV.

Narratively, it’s a very very old Apollonian and Dionysian (or chthonic) conflict, with the Sith being on the chthonic side (chthonic meaning earth Gods, the children of Gaia and/ or having to do with the underworld). From the Apollonian and Dionysian wiki page:

The content of all great tragedy is based on the tension created by the interplay between these two.

Kylo Ren’s murder of his father is absolutely played as a tragedy.  That’s the structure of his part of the story so far. 

V.

Anakin, if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects, not just the dogmatic narrow view of the Jedi. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader, you must embrace…a larger view of the Force.

- Palpatine (emphasis mine)

Chthonic deities were the deities of everyday life and rituals (like harvest and death and all that).  Eventually, mystery religions sprang up around them.

Unlike Christianity, which was concerned with believing the correct thing, mystery religionsdidn’t tend to focus on believing one correct thing.  Theology was not the point.  Consistency of theology from believer to believer was not important. 

The cult of Persephone was a mystery religion centered around the myth of Persephone’s abduction.  It was not told orally.  You walked through it, achieved different levels of understanding, and it was revealed to you as you were ready for it.   But the experience of the rituals was primary.  The emphasis was on the experience, not on the words you attached to them.

By going through the motions of a ritual, you are expressing and experiencing something important about the universe that can’t be talked about in a rational way and can’t be communicated except by experience.

VI.

Jung did a lot to try to re-create mystery religions.  A lot of literary people also became fascinated with them around the same time as Jung.

If you want a real dive into it, look at the collective unconscious, shadow, and anima / animus.

Essentially, he thought these stories served a function in people’s lives. There’s this idea we are all acting out a collective drama that we draw on, but which also acts through us (SOUND FAMILIAR?). This is a really similar set of logic that led to theory around monomyth (without which there’d be no Star Wars).  

Star Wars is drawing on a deep well of already established symbolic language.  Like, you make something well using this structure and these ideas, you’re calling on ideas kids in our culture were breastfed on.  We might not know what this voodoo is, but we know what it tastes like.

VII.

I personally believe that the murder of one’s Master or one’s father figure is a mystery of the dark side.  It is a ritual.  They are acting out something about the nature of the universe they are in.  It’s a sacrament.  An outward sign of an inner state, and of a higher truth about the universe they are in.

It calls to mind, for me, the power struggle between Kronos and his children.  Uranus fathered Kronos, who castrated his own father and deposed him.  To prevent that, Kronos devoured his own children.  Zeus freed them, then castrated and killed his own father.  That’s right after the creation myth.  It says something about families and how they believed the cosmos worked.

Kronos is not usually classified as chthonic, but he’s a son of Gaia.  His mythology is wrapped up in the duality of death and fertility.  He fits the bill.

VIII.

Adam Driver did a lot of physical training for the role.  A lot.  Like, more than strictly needed for the look of the character.  

That makes sense to me, and I can’t tell you why for the life of me.  I imagine going on a run.  I imagine my legs aching.  I imagine doing it every day for a while, to the point where it’s hard to think. It’s inexpressible what going running is like.  I can say it hurts, or that occasionally there’s a runner’s high, but I can’t tell you what it’s like.  You can recognize it if you see me do it, though.  It’s quale.

IX.

Qualia are a mystery on which expressible things are built.  I can’t tell you what red is, but if you can perceive it, we can both point to it.  And that’s what every other communication is built upon, not logic but recognition.  It’s why acting works at all, because someone can express the inexpressible by putting themselves and us through an experience.  Experience and recognition are fundamental, not logic.

Theater was a ritual in ancient Greece.  A ritual purification, which everyone felt they needed after they had decades of constant war.  It was a mass ceremonial grieving.  We all can talk about these things because we have seen Star Wars.  We now have this tool, a Kylo Ren, to act out something we have all experienced but could not express.

It is not a coincidence art therapy is suggested as a treatment for PTSD and moral injury.

Reason means nothing if we can’t get down to common understanding, and that’s usually built upon experience.

And if we both understand it, and see that all reason is built upon it and is depending on it, we can start talking derisively about the Jedi and their lack of understanding already.  That’s the mindset, I think.

X.

To directly answer the question in your tags, read Killing From the Inside Out, especially the sections on how sex and violence were viewed.  Essentially, the Greeks viewed sex as inherently an act of conquering and did not so much divide things into masculine and feminine so much as lover and beloved: whoever was penetrating and whoever was being penetrated respectively.

Yes, they extended this to the battlefield.  My goodness, the description of murdering people was eroticized.  Sex, creation, and death are linked by power and passion.

Later Christian theology drew the same parallel, and said in order for there to be just war, holy war, there had to be killing without passion.  Passion was sin. They similarly demanded that sex within marriage also be without passion.  Like, literally.  Passion in bed or in killing either kind was viewed as a pollutant, and of a similar nature to one another.  So what you were supposed to do is, within holy matrimony, somehow practice sex without getting lost to lust.  And within the context of holy war, a just war, you could theoretically kill without passion.

And we all know how realistic it is to F**** without arousal, right? Priests were forbidden from either marrying or participating in war because the church did not seriously buy this s*** either.  The Church had some daft-a** theology right around this time. 

It’s not much better when the Jedi try saying similar things.

Knights Templar were monastic knights, who practiced a highly, highly ritualized and regulated lifestyle to ensure they could conduct holy war without being lost to sin.  Also, by the way, knights templar had a lot of rituals which have been compared to, you guessed it, mystery religions.

This is what asceticism has to do with the Jedi.  Also, Kylo Ren’s surcoat looks an awful lot like a Knight Templar’s.  But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, right?

XI.

I can make an argument from text and from influences, so I did.  It’s fun, cathartic stuff.  Just keep in mind, just because I can find evidence for it in text doesn’t mean the writers meant it.  Iam sure they meant to use monomyth and  Apollonian vs Dionysian conflict.  The baggage that comes with that (most of that above) is a feature, not a bug.  It means they don’t have to spend forever on theology because we already know the theology.  It permeates our culture.  They can leave it in the background and focus on the relationships.

Thank you for posting this @guardienne. I am going to have to read this again a few times to really start to absorb it and to distill it in my head because I only have the most cursory knowledge of things like mystery religions and ancient rites, though I have good grasp on Christian theology and the ascetic philosophy. I am also quite interested in her discussion of this primal understanding coming from the experiential, (the 'we only know what red is by looking at it ... we can't describe red' thing), and that such understanding much be attained before reason can be built upon it. You can look at it like a baby or young child having to build up that foundational knowledge of the surrounding world before they make anything resembling a cogent argument. I can also see the dark side embracing the necessity of this experiential learning much more than the Jedi, who seem to want to get out of that stage as soon as possible, to the point that they lose touch with the real, like she says, they lose touch with the "understanding." I am not sure that the Jedi are a straight analogue to all Christian philosophers (really more Catholic philosophy because she is connecting to the medieval period), because there is a ton of passionate feeling and imagery in the writings of some philosophers and the experiences of some saints. (I keep thinking of Bernini's sculpture of the ecstasy of Teresa of Avila). But there is no question that there were strains/orders/cultures within medieval Catholic Christianity and later the larger Christian movement as a whole which promoted a fully Jedi-like type of restraint. As for the severe asceticism that she alludes to, it is really much older than the Knights Templar time period, in that there were extreme ascetics in the Roman period. In fact, it has always been my understanding that asceticism was a reaction in contradiction to Rome ... which actually brings us full circle ... with the mystery/experiential/ritual religions clashing with asceticism. And that makes me have another thought in this obviously rambling stream of consciousness ... the Knights Templar are the marriage of the asceticism and the experiential ... which is actually perfect in that Kylo Ren, as a force Knights Templar, and being half-dark and half-light is actually living out both sides. The problem is that he is living out the most extreme strains of both sides and trying to join them as one. He is trying to join two extremes because that is all the Jedi and the Sith-like elements offer him. He knows no other path. As a result, he ends up in this fierce internal tug-of-war. Passion and strength from feelings, yet severe denial. I don't remember ever thinking the emperor denied himself anything. He was fine being all passion. Yet darksiders are supposed to use their feelings for strength, yet Kylo seems bound and determined to keep him emotions locked away in a box most of the time. Of course, he's a spectacular failure at this, which is not surprising because it's like he's trying to marry polar opposites. But by being this repressed yet fiercely powerful Knights Templar he is really like a ascetic who only gets his strength from passion, something that is forbidden ... It is a mind-blowing Catch 22 ... and it provides a philosophical reason for his totally erratic behavior, for his cold Kylo Ren persona and his internal emo Ben Solo persona. He is like stripes of black and white criss-crossing each other but never blending. To have peace he has to blend them ... He has to join the non-extreme passion and experiential with the non-extreme peace and stability. Not a Knights Templar anymore, but person who can join the passion/experiential/emotional to the peaceful/stable/reason to create the wise and nuanced mind.

I don't know if I have interpreted her correctly, and I feel that she puts a lot out there that is unanswered, but this stream of consciousness is a start. We'll see if I agree with it tomorrow when I reread her meta again. :-)
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Wed 30 Mar - 3:37

@solosidecousin oh thanks for getting back! (i was getting worried no one would find this amazing meta Embarassed )

i really like how you're reading it because all i did was find it and want it in my life, like, omigod, this is the first time the dark side is being described as something that isn't EVIL.

and i hadn't really been able to think much else about it.

but i like the link to experience. and i think it suits driver actually, he is not an abstract actor in that sense, not saying he is stupid, but part of his appeal is his physical presence. he's very with his body (that's how i'm going to describe it) and i think the dark side is about going deeply into yourself...

i think it has merit as an approach and i'm going to continue to pursue that, just like i think control has merit but that both sides are corrupted because they pretend they can live without the other.

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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Wed 30 Mar - 4:32

i think i've worked out how to link from tumblr...

http://ms-qualia.tumblr.com/post/141634582589/typhoidmary-ms-qualia-i-feel-like-i-dont?is_related_post=1



typhoid–mary:

   @ms-qualia​

   I feel like I don’t know enough about the star wars universe (and a lot of others things) to really explain my thoughts on this well, but I’ve always been interested in how star wars conceives of “the dark side” as something that exists independently of light. It is a thing, versus, the Augustinian conception of darkness (and evil) is that the dark does not exist independently: it is the absence of light, just as evil is privation of goodness.

   I’ve definitely always associated the world view of Star Wars as more dualistic, or something like the Manichaean world view. A world view which pretty much makes the dark/light equal and opposite, and the struggle between both eternal.

   In some ways, I think it makes for more interesting storytelling in an epic, because the alternative, I think, is that you have darkness (or someone associated with it)l, or a tragic hero (i’m thinking of paradise lost for some reason), which rages impotently against a force greater than itself. It’s machinations are what undoes itself, because darkness is always less than light, it cannot outwit Light, or the Word, or Knowledge/Existence/Being itself.

   But you know, this is disney, and in general, people want the Light to win, always, but I like it when the Dark has a chance.

Yeah. Augustine is pretty central to Catholic theology.

The debate of whether evil is a pollutant versus an act preoccupied Jesus and a lot of the letters, and I think it’s missed now.  A lot of the religions of the time, including Judaism and the Roman religions, focused on uncleanliness as a kind of evil.  And not just a source of disease.  Ancient Greek literature, especially around the time of the Peloponnesian war, expressed what people do in battle and how they cope with it as a kind of uncleanliness.

Oedipus is portrayed as a man sort of polluted by evil acts which he did not cause but is tainted by.  He blinds and exiles himself.  He receives a boon from the Gods and asks to be buried in a holy place.  And then he has to fight to even be admitted there.  This having done nothing intentionally wrong.

The way you deal with unintentional wrong like that in the greek was catharsis.   Ritualized mass mourning, often through art.  Viewing a tragic play and collectively mourning was cathartic.

Anyway, this is sort of off the topic, but I’m mostly saying this could have gone a very different way.  I feel like we still conceptualize some evil as miasmic, because in a lot of ways that seems to be how bad things spread.

I think the Dark Side is miasmic rather than like sin.  It spreads like a disease.  It’s related to desire, which is absolutely in line with how the ancients viewed miasmic evil (as related to sex and war).

The Star Wars universe dark side is sort of like if you have this communicable “evil” and there is nothing– no baptism, no catharsis, no purification– that really gets rid of it.  It just spreads.  So you must be dogmatically pure, structured, and rigorous, or one tends to fall pretty quickly.  And once you go grey, you are always grey.

This also gets into the concept of free will.  Star Wars seems to side heavily with the concept of character.  What you do makes an indelible mark on you, especially using the dark side.  It restricts future options.  This makes sense in a universe where fate is literally real.  Not everything is inevitable, but character is hard to overcome.  Which is why a redemption arc like Vader’s is so interesting. It’s a “fight fate” plot.  It all simmers in the background.

Star Wars is about, in part, overcoming miasmic evil, which is important because there are a lot of problems that make more sense emotionally as miasma.  Star Wars is cathartic in the classical sense.  We come to understand and mourn for Vader despite what he’s done.  That’s Greek play tragic catharsis as F****.

Anyway, the Jedi have been looking for someone to “bring balance to the Force”  They have “sin,” but no atonement.  They have uncleanliness, but no purification or catharsis.  There is just rigorous practice and standards nobody (especially those with difficult things to recon with) can live up to.  The Jedi are on the surface more moral, but they’re not really.  They still do shitty things and, in particular, fail people like Anakin.  They’re just more pure.

The entire Star Wars universe is a like the Greeks after the Peloponnesian war: they need catharsis, but in their universe, it simply does not exist.  They looked to Anakin to invent it. I think he did, but it was a private moment between him and his son.  He didn’t bring it to the Galaxy, and neither did Luke.

I believe this is the work Kylo Ren hopes to finish.  But he has to descend into the Star Wars version of Hell to harrow it.

I think he’s wrong, because Vader did finish his own work.  But this is my headcanon.

Hope this makes some sense.

catharsis. that's it.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by Armadeus on Wed 30 Mar - 5:02

My friends and I have had LOOOOONNNGGGG discussions about the Force over the years and we've come to the conclusion that the Force, like all natural phenomena, is neither good nor evil, it just is. It's up the Force sensitives of the galaxy to determine whether they'll use the powers it bequeaths for good or evil.

Anger, fear, and aggression are natural emotions, as valid as joy and love; to strive to live a life separate from them is to live in a state of incompleteness. What is important is to make certain you do not allow yourself to become ruled by anger, fear, or aggression. It is equally important not to be blinded by joy or love; there really can be too much of a good thing.

This ties in with our concept of the Force. Ignoring the dark side and treating it as some cancerous growth was the ultimate mistake of the Jedi Order; because of it they failed to detect the dark side energy that had been polluting their Coruscant temple from the Sith ruins upon which it had been built. This pollution in turn served to dull their powers and they failed to detect Darth Sidious when he was right under their noses.

A more complete understanding of the Force was necessary. Qui-Gon knew this; the Force Priestesses knew it. I sure hope Luke has figured some of this out.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by Armadeus on Wed 30 Mar - 5:11

Also, I read recently that the Cosmic Force has been dormant since the fall of the Empire Shocked

That's WAY longer than I initially thought. Thirty years, at least. I figured it went dormant around the time of Ben's fall.

What the heck is going on?
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by AnneNeville on Wed 30 Mar - 6:08

@guardienne It would be preferable to post only excerpts from outside posts and offer links to the original. Could you please choose your favorite bits and then link back to the original meta rather than pasting the whole thing?
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Wed 30 Mar - 6:42

i would but it's difficult to choose. sorry. could just post links i guess.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by SanghaRen on Wed 30 Mar - 12:18

When thinking of the force, I usually see it from the astrology angle. I am fond of psychological astrology. Nothing to do with the typical daily or weekly horoscope in magazines. Psychological astrology sees potentials that the individual can use or ignore. Usually individuals who ignore the potentials are not exactly happy. One of my favorite concept is from Liz Greene. I don’t remember her exact words but it goes like that: “If you are born an apple tree, you will never produce cherries. But you can try to produce the best apples possible.” At first, it does sound restrictive because it more or less says that you cannot become whomever you want to be, but once you digest it (I am not sure that I have fully digested it yet), it is freeing. It pretty much tells you to listen to that little voice that tells you “Are you sure that is what you want? Or what the others want you to do or be?”

In astrology one important predictive tool are the transits of the slower planets. Especially transits from the big 3 : Pluto, Neptune and Uranus. Usually the transits of these planets are dreaded because they trigger off big changes. Psychological astrology does not look at them in a negative light. Pluto can indeed be felt like a hammer that hits you in the face over and over again, but it can also be deeply transformative and cleansing. Neptune can be felt as deceptive (people lying to you or you just feel confused all the time) but it can also be inspiring. With Uranus you might feel as though you are being electrocuted but you can also feel as though exciting new opportunities are coming your way. It’s how the individual reacts to the transit, that will make the transit negative or positive. Obviously, each individual is also predisposed, based on his/her birth chart, to react one way or the other to the transit.

The big 3 can influence the world at large at given times. But it’s the individuals that have the planets placed in such a way in their birth chart that they are directly impacted by the transiting planet(s) who will react and be involved in the change. That means that if a revolution is in the air, it’s those individuals who are directly impacted by the transits, who will be the main protagonists.

I see the Force working as Universe’s tool to restore balance. A bit like the big 3 or what we commonly call Fate. Since reading a book on the influence of Pluto, I always have this picture of the Universe sending out waves in a falling domino game. For the wave to flow through the whole game, every domino has to be in a specific position. If one is not there i.e. one individual has wandered off the path of the wave, Fate will get it back in position. By Force if needed. You know this feeling of no longer being in control of your life and you’re trying desperately to take control again but fail miserably? That’s what I am talking about.

So in the case of our 3 main protagonists, I would say that Kylo is the one who wandered the furthest away from the wave’s path and the Force slammed him back onto the path :-)

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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Sun 24 Apr - 6:59

there's been an interesting discussion wrt the force on tumblr re: @ohtze

https://ohtze.tumblr.com/post/142722602848/jasjuliet-respainey-jollysunflora

one of their ideas was the the force is more like an ocean, something you can get into deeper and deeper and which will possibly consume you. i think thi sis espcially pertinent regarding the dark side.

because i kinda of think of the dark side as something that is more immersive and drags you in by its nature, and what would the quality of the light side be? it must be weaker in some way so i guess it doesn't involve you as much?

ps, why was this moved here? it took me ages to find this thread? is this considered EU now?
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by Slade on Thu 2 Jun - 0:52

@guardienne wrote:@solosidecousin oh thanks for getting back! (i was getting worried no one would find this amazing meta Embarassed )

i really like how you're reading it because all i did was find it and want it in my life, like, omigod, this is the first time the dark side is being described as something that isn't EVIL.

and i hadn't really been able to think much else about it.

but i like the link to experience. and i think it suits driver actually, he is not an abstract actor in that sense, not saying he is stupid, but part of his appeal is his physical presence. he's very with his body (that's how i'm going to describe it) and i think the dark side is about going deeply into yourself...

i think it has merit as an approach and i'm going to continue to pursue that, just like i think control has merit but that both sides are corrupted because they pretend they can live without the other.

@guardienne

Re bolded part: Yes. One way to control people is to tell them that powerful things are evil. One thing that gets overlooked a lot is that the "good guys" (I'm limiting my point to TFA) aren't necessarily good. How are Kylo's actions any worse than Poe killing that stormtrooper? Or Rey killing one? Or Han and them blowing up SKB, which undoubtedly houses hundreds of support staff who just want to make a living?

Wow, there's so much in this thread to digest and discuss...
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by Slade on Thu 2 Jun - 0:54

@Armadeus wrote:My friends and I have had LOOOOONNNGGGG discussions about the Force over the years and we've come to the conclusion that the Force, like all natural phenomena, is neither good nor evil, it just is. It's up the Force sensitives of the galaxy to determine whether they'll use the powers it bequeaths for good or evil.

Anger, fear, and aggression are natural emotions, as valid as joy and love; to strive to live a life separate from them is to live in a state of incompleteness. What is important is to make certain you do not allow yourself to become ruled by anger, fear, or aggression. It is equally important not to be blinded by joy or love; there really can be too much of a good thing.

This ties in with our concept of the Force. Ignoring the dark side and treating it as some cancerous growth was the ultimate mistake of the Jedi Order; because of it they failed to detect the dark side energy that had been polluting their Coruscant temple from the Sith ruins upon which it had been built. This pollution in turn served to dull their powers and they failed to detect Darth Sidious when he was right under their noses.

A more complete understanding of the Force was necessary. Qui-Gon knew this; the Force Priestesses knew it. I sure hope Luke has figured some of this out.
@Armadeus

That bolded part, yes! What is relegated to/defined as "dark" is often also very *necessary* in order to avoid imbalance that can become pathological.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by Armadeus on Thu 2 Jun - 2:13

@Slade wrote:
@Armadeus wrote:My friends and I have had LOOOOONNNGGGG discussions about the Force over the years and we've come to the conclusion that the Force, like all natural phenomena, is neither good nor evil, it just is. It's up the Force sensitives of the galaxy to determine whether they'll use the powers it bequeaths for good or evil.

Anger, fear, and aggression are natural emotions, as valid as joy and love; to strive to live a life separate from them is to live in a state of incompleteness. What is important is to make certain you do not allow yourself to become ruled by anger, fear, or aggression. It is equally important not to be blinded by joy or love; there really can be too much of a good thing.

This ties in with our concept of the Force. Ignoring the dark side and treating it as some cancerous growth was the ultimate mistake of the Jedi Order; because of it they failed to detect the dark side energy that had been polluting their Coruscant temple from the Sith ruins upon which it had been built. This pollution in turn served to dull their powers and they failed to detect Darth Sidious when he was right under their noses.

A more complete understanding of the Force was necessary. Qui-Gon knew this; the Force Priestesses knew it. I sure hope Luke has figured some of this out.
@Armadeus

That bolded part, yes! What is relegated to/defined as "dark" is often also very *necessary* in order to avoid imbalance that can become pathological.
@Slade

People have done really heinous things in the name of love - what some people view as the most positive of emotions. OTOH, emotions like anger have been the catalysts for positive change.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 2 Jun - 3:11

ultimately it's sort of a clash between stoicism and a kind of nihilism maybe? nihilism is very destructive to me, it denies everything - no meaning. but i like how ms-qualia talks about killing one's master as a sacrament. it really messes with my mind Razz

it's sort of obvious that, if you have to either deny yourself or meaning in everything else, it's a very stark choice. and i would think that the early jedi, once they had exiled the sith, really defined themselves excessively into the other direction - and vice versa. once you other a group, there is really very little to learn from them anymore.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 22 Sep - 4:17

interesting meta on the relationship between dark side and the jedi

So people who access the force as themselves, with their feelings intact, came to self-define as dark siders in defiance of that being used as an epithet. Not because that was the only way they could interact with the force, but because the fact that they didn’t SHUN that way of doing it marked them out as Other. And inevitably, given the power struggle, as people who were willing to defy the Jedi.

i do wonder how much it is possible to depict force use in the films and clearly being able, as an audience, to even work out what power source the person uses.

i do think that there is an inherent problem with having a lot of power innately and that it was perhaps always goign to be something that has to be seen to be contained by the user, hence the need for an order and for rules and regulations. i think ultimately this restricts people but i can see that to some imagined population it would be threatening to know someone can kill you with their mind. it's a tad unnerving, i would think.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Thu 22 Sep - 7:51

I haven't read any of the EU so all I know about Sith is from the films.  We had Sidious, who was power hungry seemingly for the sake of power and prone to cackling, Tyranus who was also power hungry ("I am far more powerful than any Jedi has ever been!" or something like that), Vader who was a tortured soul,  and Maul who never spoke and had pretty much only one facial expres​sion(mean).  I wish we had more to go on.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 22 Sep - 9:25

@sacrebleu we'll have to make do!

the meta i posted runs on EU material which i'm not familiar with anyway.

i find it interesting that the post is concerned with shaping identity against the jedi. if they were the ones who defined what the dark side is against their own practice, it doesn't really tell you anything. and if they perpetuated the hardship they endured to make great warrior, that's something that seems pretty endemic to the dark side as well.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Thu 22 Sep - 10:28

@guardienne

You don't train with or carry a lightsaber to dice fruit, and "defense" is a broad term. Defense can mean many different things to many different people. So I don't really buy all the Jedis' definitions of themselves. I'm eager to see where they take these notions of light and dark in the rest of the trilogy.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 22 Sep - 11:15

@sacrebleu i think there are reasons for the jedi being there. some of this reminds me of x-men which i know next to nothing about. but if people with superpowers are gathered, you want that power to be controlled.

and i think the jedi decided early on to establish rules to do control that power, such as the one about not having attachments. because... whatever.

and that at least on paper theirs would be defensive warring, whatever that means.

and i understand that, i just happen to think that the best way to hold your own power, is by knowing yourself. i think in the prequels, the jedi are in denial so hard, there is no way, anyone can see the extent of their own power. and it looks like in kylo ren we have a creation of someone who has to be both light and dark and is therefore unable to commit to either side. i do wonder whether that is obvious to me or whether he has to work that out for himself?
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by vaderito on Thu 22 Sep - 12:11

How come I didn't see this thread before? Confus

Anyway, it appears that there are The Living Force and The Unifying Force in the canon:

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Living_Force

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Unifying_Force

JC was on the Unifying Force train while Qui Gonn was the student of the Living Force. I also noticed from TP that Qui Gonn put a great emphasis on the moment while JC and especially Yoda seemed more interested in the future. I think that was JC downfall, they were too focused on guessing the future so that they could make the right decisions in the present, instead of understanding present so that their decisions would have positive impact in the future.

Also, didn't Pablo say that TP Jeid were more Order than Jedi?


Last edited by vaderito on Wed 28 Sep - 11:58; edited 1 time in total
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Wed 28 Sep - 11:55

@vaderito

that's interesting. it's sort of like the difference between judaism and christianity maybe?

like, in christ you have a prophet who emphasises that it's important to love one another (the living force), that's pretty much his one commandment, whereas the old testament is brimful with different rules and regulations (the unifying force?). i don't know enough about islam to make any sort of analogy work here.

christ was also a great reformer. i wouldn't say he brought 'balance' but he was very fed up with how the temple was used as a market place essentially. and he cleaned the corruption out. i mean he was a radical who i think was killed because he got too dangerous.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by vaderito on Wed 28 Sep - 12:01

@guardienne More like a difference between Eastern and Western philosophies and religions. Western are pretty B&W while Eastern are more about integration, accepting both sides, etc. You don't have anything like Yin and Yang in Western ones. It's God vs Devil so whichever side you are on you are either up for saving or destruction, no middle ground.
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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by guardienne on Wed 28 Sep - 12:09

@vaderito i don't really want to enter a theological discussion here, i feel like i'd be on shaky ground ... but to me the actual gospels are not about that kind of dualism. the christian theology that introduced original sin and relatively anal debates over divinity came much later. the gospels by themselves, as far as i remember, are focusing on the here and now, on how to *live* rather than how to prep for the afterlife.

the crucifixion is laced with ambiguity. i love all of that about it.

but you are right, it's tied to people. qi is not tied to a person, it's 'the force' for better or worse.

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Re: (couldn't just call it:) The Force

Post by vaderito on Wed 28 Sep - 12:14

@guardienne wrote:@vaderito i don't really want to enter a theological discussion here, i feel like i'd be on shaky ground ... but to me the actual gospels are not about that kind of dualism. the christian theology that introduced original sin and relatively anal debates over divinity came much later. the gospels by themselves, as far as i remember, are focusing on the here and now, on how to *live* rather than how to prep for the afterlife.

the crucifixion is laced with ambiguity. i love all of that about it.

but you are right, it's tied to people. qi is not tied to a person, it's 'the force' for better or worse.

@guardienne

Oh, that's a great point about afterlife vs living now. Which, in a way, is what Jedi did. rejoice for those who returned to the Force and those who didn't miss them not. or something. So Yoda, etc were rather focused on earning the return to the Force when they die. What's with exercising to be able to become Force Ghosts. I was always very intrigued by the mention of Qui Gonn's return from Netherworld. I'm wonder if someone (Rey or Kylo or both) will go there and return.
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