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Defying The Dark Side: Thoughts, Philosophy and Techniques

Discussion in 'General Movie Discussion' started by Moral Hazard, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. master_shaitan

    master_shaitan Jedi General

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    Just to clarify though - this notion of lifeforms creating a dark and light energy that becomes part of the Force (that perhaps leads into this "source of the Dark Side" malarky) is an extension of my own thoughts on the subject and is my interpretation. It's not something that I would ever say was canon.

    My thoughts on what is canon is that:
    - The Force is balanced when there aren't any Sith (or powerful Dark Sider faction) around spreading evil everywhere and ensuring that the galaxy is under a cloud of oppression and fear. That for me is what essentially causes the imbalance as the galaxy and its lifeforms are, for want of a better phrase, "unhappy".
    - The Dark Side and Light Side will always exist because they are essentially greed vs compassion, hate vs love. The feelings and emotions within us all. And through these emotions and feelings and mindsets, the Sith and Jedi connect to the Force (midichlorians to one side). However, when the Sith are around they spread the Dark Side everywhere and this makes the galaxy unhealthy/sick. The Jedi destroy the Sith and ensure the Dark Side isn't dominant, curing the galaxy of its sickness.

    Now, as an extension to this and perhaps more in line with my own personal views that border on the spiritual I guess (although i'm an atheist and anti-theist for the record!) is that all life form creates energy through its actions. I think this energy is what connects everyone and everything. Every action has a reaction. This works on a personal level and a universal level. Now considering Star Wars and the idea of the Force, I think it to be likely that the sentient lifeforms' energy that creates the Force is in itself positive or negative - light or dark. If you are, for instance, a hateful person then you will spread this hate. If a group of people are living in fear, then this impacts upon everyone in that group and perhaps further. And now if the galaxy is living under oppression and hate then this is how the galaxy will "feel". And thus the energy that they omit (which happens regardless as we know that it is life's energy that creates the Force) is for me likely good energy, bad energy and neutral energy. And so this is for me part of the greater mystery of the Force. An element of the Force that we cannot fully understand but can talk about.

    My view is that the energy from those who have been before and those who are present also has an impact on the state of the Force and the galaxy.
    Again, it comes back to the symbiotic circle. When the galaxy is oppressed then the collective consciousness is a desire for freedom. And when they are oppressed then the Force itself literally contains more dark energy than light. So there are two kinds of imbalance going on and this links into the will of the Force - it is both the will of the people and the natural harmonious state in which the Force "desires" to return to.

    But as I say, this extension is my musing only. But for the sake of keeping this in accord with the canon, for me balance essentially = a balance between light and dark OR dominance of the light.
     
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  2. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    I must apologise for my misuse of the word "canon". I've been throwing it around as a kind of objective dogma or set of rules from the movies but now I realise it's really just a term for a set of cinematic histories in time and space - and all they are is a collection of prespectives as told to us by particular characters.

    I doubt we'd ever get a complete and objective look into the fundamental mechanics and natural boundries/physics of the SW universe. It would probably be counterproductive to disclose/define them even if they existed!

    Or perhaps Bendu would say the Sith and the Jedi (and vergences like Anakin and possibly Rey?) are extreme examples of the Force's attempts at balancing itself.

    The latest SW Connection episode has a great comparison with the SIth and Jedi ideologies in terms of physiology and psychology, extremes and balance. The pic are probably worth more than words...

    shadow brain2.png
    vlcsnap-2016-10-04-19h27m53s981.png
    vlcsnap-2016-10-04-23h15m57s022.png
    Renray.png
     
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  3. master_shaitan

    master_shaitan Jedi General

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  4. Kyber

    Kyber Rebelscum

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    The Jedi and Sith will always do battle, because one seeks liberty for the Galaxy's inhabitants whilst the other desires to control them.

    The Jedi view the Dark Side as an abnormality. The Jedi believe the Force or Light Side is created from nature, the Living Force. To contrast, the Jedi believe the Dark Side is created from a person's negative aspirations, emotions, and desire for destructive power to get ahead and achieve their goals. It's an important distinction.

    As I said in another post, Yoda is correct in saying the Dark Side nor Light Side is stronger than the other. The Dark Side, which is accessed through negative emotion, grants a Force-sensitive a... 'boost' in power. While this example is not entirely accurate, it will help illustrate my thoughts. A Force-sensitive with the power of a Padawan can have the strength of a seasoned Jedi Knight through the Dark Side of the Force. A Jedi can achieve greater if not the same level of power as a Dark Side user, but it takes more time.

    How does a Jedi gain more power? Practice, experience, a greater understanding of life, nature, and the Force, being satisfied with yourself, achieving 'nirvana'. As shown in the Clone Wars, particularly with the Youngling arc, the Jedi allow individuality. You can't stop individuality from taking shape. It's sentient nature. Granted, it can be tamed, but Jedi doctrine is about disciplining the body, mind, and spirit. For good reason, too. The destruction a fallen Jedi can cause is astronomical. Funny thing is, most of the time what causes Jedi to turn to the Dark Side is the emotion aspect of the Jedi Code.
     
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  5. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    It's always good to touch base with the creator although this famous recording could be easily be reduced to "be wary, The Force is synonymous with power".

    It's the mysterious metaphysical makeup that Lucas explored later on in The Clone Wars (after 2010) where most of my current interest (and confusion) reside!
    Like @Master and Creator above, the most important reoccuring and defining aspect of The Force's relationship with a wielder certainly seems to be the discipline and intentions of the practitioner themselves.

    In my mind these two codes mirror each others arrogance and dangerous controlling mentality. I agree with your above statement. There is a dangerous paradox in both teachings. The repression aspect of the ancient Jedi seems to be as potentially dangerous as a no-attachment ideology.
    vlcsnap-2016-10-04-23h12m02s818.png
    This one I have little issue with...

    vlcsnap-2016-10-04-20h00m14s411.png
     
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  6. oldbert

    oldbert Guardian of Coffee Breaks

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    You talk about the repression within the teachings of the Ancient Jedi. But the latest developments of the story group especially the Bendu figure point towards a reestablishment of an legends concept of the "first Jedi". Like on the planet Thyton and its dark and light moon, the former idea of the balance of the force in terms of "balance is equal to no dark siders left" gets an additional note. Yoda is demonstrating the important integration of his dark side to step further on his personal development. The Jedi got too far in their ignorance of natural feelings with catastrophical outcome in the person of Anakin. It is like in real life, you should experience attachments and search your feelings to master them at the end. To constantly ignore the emotional aspects (dark) of the force seems not to be the path to lifelong peace. Therefore I am really excited how Rebels will go on with Ezra and the Bendu. They could lead us to new insights.
     
    #66 oldbert, Oct 5, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  7. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    "The Force or Light Side"? Still compartmentalizing the Force are we?
     
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  8. GingerByte

    GingerByte Guest

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    No, because the light side of the force has always existed, whereas the dark side has not.
     
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  9. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    This does not make any sense to me.
     
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  10. GingerByte

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    Makes perfect sense if you think about it from an evolutionary standpoint.
     
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  11. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    Defying the Dark Side: Control

    I've been giving some thought about how Star Wars portrays control. Here's a (long-winded):rolleyes: post that includes some possible ideas that might help bring some balance to the controlling mentality...
    • Where does control fit within light and dark paths?
    • Is self-control always light and controlling others always dark?
    ob force.gif
    • When is controlling others considered defense or attack?
    ezra force1.gif
    • Is selfless control always light and selfish control always dark?
    vader force.gif

    So control can be a vice and a virtue, with both restraint and domination seeming to present great danger to the Force wielder. We all know Anakin Skywalker's tragic relationship with control. He grew up in a strict father type hierarchy (more below) and was caught between two opposing ideologies that both sought control over him.

    Emotional self-control always seemed a battle for Anakin, particularly control over anger, greed and the fear of loss. Repression, another form of control, may have played a major part in his struggle. By Episode III Anakin had become a victim of the Dark Side paradox - in pursuing Force control and power he ended up a victim of Sheeve's plan for control and enslaved to his own selfish desires.

    I thought I'd look at a non-Force sensitive through the lens of control - these characters are also subject to controlling mentalities and can use (and be used) by the dark side, its ideologies and institutions.

    Order and Control:
    Armitage Hux - Order First
    • Is order a prerequisite for liberty or is it the other way around?
    • Is harmony something that can be imposed?
    Hux.gif
    Armitage Hux's desire to dominate is tempered only by his respect for power. He is a useful tool and ally for Snoke and seems to believe that without his “control” things will lapse into “disorder”. His idealogical crusade seems to use “order” as code for “the power to maintain his dis-order” reminiscent of Palpatine using “peace” as code for “zero opposition”.

    Hux operates within a hierarchy where violence is acceptable - provided it flows down the hierarchy and never up. The stability he desires is ruthlessly pursued with a strict father theory (SF) mentality.
    • The SF is morally strong, calling for obedience to his rules.
    • The SF provides for and protects his family.
    • It is not permitted to question the authority of the SF. The subordinate is to be obedient to the rules in order to develop moral strength.
    • Generally speaking, the world is a hostile place, and competition is a major feature of it.
    • Moral weakness is something to be avoided.
    • Punishments must be imposed for breaking the rules of the SF.
    • Rewards should be provided when the rules are followed.
    • The hostile world is a source of tests of moral progress. Complaining about environmental conditions is normally not acceptable.
    • Responsibility is primarily a personal matter.
    Conformity and Control: From Individuals to Clones

    conformity.gif

    Hux pursues a strategy of technological control.
    He uses conformity as a means of exercising control over others. Conformity ensures default responses that are predictable and therefore manageable. Hux uses his technological fundamentalism to carry on the legacy of his father. Like his father before him, Hux treats people as tools for manipulation instead of treating them as human beings with rational and autonomous souls "my men are exceptionally trained—programmed from birth".
    • How could a Resistsance or a neo-Jedi code help protect Force and non-Force users alike from those with a fetish for control like Sheev and General Hux?
    • What possible light side techniques could be adopted to help balance self-control and avoid negative controlling traits?
    An awareness of the dangers of hierarchy and conformity. Conformity, blind obedience and hierarchy enables human beings to be controlled and leveraged on a vast scale. Autonomous individuals turn automatons to the whims of megalomaniacs. Light side sympathisers would do well identify and study such structures and institutions.

    Diversity. A diversity of opinions, tactics, beliefs, and methods might be a strength against those trying to leverage control

    An awareness of the dangers a controlling mentality generates. Control generates it's own necessity (think bureaucracy = “rule from desks”). Maintaining an ordered state of dis-order (e.g. “tidiness” or a vege garden) requires constant effort and some degree of a domination mindset.

    Control.png

    Awareness of the limitations of self-control. Trichotomy of concerns (Stoic Philosophy)
    1. Things we have complete control over.
    2. Things we have no control over.
    3. Things we have partial control over.
    Such thinking can help internalize goals. Instead of declaring “I aim to win” we might be better off saying “I'll commit the best of my ability". This thinking can help contribute to success while avoiding selfish attachment.

    Yoda head shake.gif

    I know, I know, this technique seems in direct conflict with Yoda's famous “try not, do or do not – there is no try”. I never really saw that line as universal instruction so much as personal advice to a specific apprentice who was lacking confidence, perseverance and fortitude. I always thought that it, like the similar specious maxim “do it right or don't do it at all”, discounts the reality of our improving at everything through practice.

    Any other useful thoughts regarding control for a neo-Jedi type philosophy?

    tl;dr - just ignore or scan bold type.
     
    #71 Moral Hazard, Oct 9, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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  12. SithSorcererofdeath

    SithSorcererofdeath Rebel Official

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  13. GingerByte

    GingerByte Guest

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    @SithSorcererofdeath What I mean is the light side is based on less emotion, whereas dark side is based on more emotion. Hate, jealousy etc fuels the dark side and it is not present in more primitive lifeforms. This means that the light side of the force or just the force has always existed, whereas the dark side has not. Death even is an aspect of the light.

    The dark side was a natural side-effect of advancement.
     
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  14. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    Continued from posts in Episode VIII news and rumours thread...
    Maybe, maybe not. I'm no scholar or Theist and I don't know what was in GL's mind when writing SW but some of the schools of thought you see less of in SW I see lots of!

    This would be something interesting to discuss but would best suit one of the philosophy threads so I'll just include a quick list of some things I see in reply:

    Abrahamic
    • SW uses step and inverted parallelism - conceptual rhyming techniques utilised in the scrolls from Abrahamic traditions. See starwars.com and logosmadeflesh.com.
    • Prophets and desert themes.
    • Temptations from the Dark side and from fallen Dark Lords.
    • Prophecies of Chosen One's.
    • Themes of fathers, sons, and patriarchy.
    • Anakim - plural for a race of giants in the Hebrew Bibile (Genesis 6:4).
    • Endor - a place in the Hebrew Bible (Joshua 17:11) where they worship golden gods (like C3PO).
    • Ezra - Jewish scribe of a scroll in the Hebrew Bible. Name means "help".
    • Kanan - Canaan is the main setting of the narrative of the Hebrew Bible.
    Eastern
    • Taoism speaks of:
      • Yin and Yang as Light and Dark sides within.
      • Practices for achieving longevity or immorality.
      • Wu wei - Chapter 63 of the Tao Te Ching “act without doing; work without effort” a concept similar to Light side Force flow.
    • Hinduism and it's offshoots Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism emphasise:
      • Meditation.
      • Tolerance and diversity: “truth is one, paths are many.”
      • The origin of suffering being attachment.
      • Avoiding violence.
    • Padme - means “lotus” in Sanskrit.
    Judeo-Christian
    • Parthenogenesis as immaculate conception - Jesus/Anakin? (Not an uncommon concept in history e.g. Buddha, Krishna, Ra, Horus, Osiris, Hercules, Dionysos etc.)
    • Prophecy fulfillment.
    • Sacrifice through unconditional love.
    • Darth Sidious as an Antichrist figure (gains power through deception and rules under a pretence of goodness and peace).
    I agree. Because SW themes speak to universal stories it makes it easy to project the philosphies and mythologies we are most familiar with or are foremost on our minds onto the franchise. I like to say SW is my favourite Rorschach Test!
    I agree, I just chucked them all together under "Eastern" to make a general point. I had also made a point to mention none of these schools of thought have a monopoly on these themes and ideas but removed it from my post for brevities sake! Cheers for the correcting my assumption Buddhism and Jainism were offshoots of Hinduism.
    Yeah, I let the Eastern Religions comment from @sith slide although apparently Tao literally means "art or way" and I'm not sure if "religion" is an appropriate synonym.

    Curiously I've heard the Japanese "do" is a version of Chinese "tao" hence Bushido meaning "military-knight way", Kendo being "way of the sword", and Judo "gentle way". I knew none of this by the way (no pun intended) until listening to a radio talk by the late great Alan Watts two nights ago titled "Way Beyond West". Ah the synchronicity...
     
    #74 Moral Hazard, Oct 24, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
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  15. SithSorcererofdeath

    SithSorcererofdeath Rebel Official

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    I responded in the Episode 8 thread.
     
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  16. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    Fair enough. I thought I'd clarify that I'm not a scholar or a Thiest in the interests of full disclosure, so I don't give the impression I'm shipping my personal ideology, and so people can feel free to citicise me without offense being taken!
    I should really get around to reading Campbell...
     
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  17. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    I don't believe there is such a thing as selflessness. I think it's a fantasy created by human beings to think better of themselves or to wallow in some illusion that we're capable of being some kind of epitome of "goodness". I believe there is always a selfish reason for our actions, whether it is in the name of greed, sentiment, self-preservation or stoking our egos. This is why I have a problem with Lucas' take on attachments.

    I do believe that in the end, a person has to let go of his or her attachments. But I believe there is a right time to let go of attachments or the right moment. If Luke had let go of his desire for a father in the way that both Obi-Wan and Yoda wanted him to, Anakin would have never taken that chance to let go of the beliefs he had acquired as a Sith and his position as Palpatine's apprentice.
     
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