Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Why I am not a Jedi Knight

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

I’ve been working with the team behind Brighton Wok for some time now. It’s been very exciting and interesting seeing a feature length movie come together. Almost everybody involved in the movie is in their twenties and we’re all very passionate about almost every detail of the movie.

Cinema is changing very much at the moment. This evening, I watched Dark Resurrection, a Star Wars fan movie from Italy. The movie is being distributed to free on various file sharing networks and it can also be streamed from their site. I recommend the movie and am looking forward to watching the second part. The visual style of the movie was only vaguely similar to that of the original movies, which makes the series look fresher.

*SPOILERS BEGIN*

The story is of a young Jedi whose destiny is to fight an evil Sith lord and possibly turn to the dark side. Near the beginning of the movie, we see her training with her Jedi Master. She beats her teacher and knocks him to the ground. He admonishes her for using anger in order to win the fight. Talk about sore losers! Later, the Jedi master tells his student to control her fear as if fear of people who want to kill you with a red light sabre is a bad thing.

The master is mortally wounded by the Sith. The yound Jedi refuses to accept the death of her master and it appears that she turns to the dark side in order to resurrect him.

When the 2001 census was conducted, there was a lot of talk about the fact that the government asked us to say what our religion was. Word got around that if 10,000 or more people put down the same religion, that would become an official religion of the country and that “Jedi Knight” should be made into an official religion. For want of anything better to say, I went along with this. Now, I think that the Jedi religion would be a pretty crap way to live your life.

For a start, suppressing anger and fear must be a counter-productive tactic. If you feel angry, then you believe that something about your situation (e.g. someone’s behaviour) is somehow unacceptable. Your anger should disappear if the situation changes (the other person changes their behaviour or you learn something that changes the way that you understand the situation). Piously turning from anger achieves nothing.

Consider what would happen if we tried to suppress distrust in a similar way. If I don’t trust somebody, I would be a fool to say to myself: “Don’t give in to fear.” I should either get the person who I don’t trust to reassure me in some way or distance myself from that person.

Fear of anger and confrontation and avoiding them at all possible cost seem to be a common pathologies and very poor ways to deal with your problems. In economics, credit that is freely and easily given out can lead to growth. However, if it is too freely and too easily given out, you end up with a situation like the current sub-prime mortgage meltdown. Something similar happens in personal relationships when anger and confrontation are avoided. It seems reasonable at first to try to suppress your anger and get on with things. Eventually, there will be a painful “correction” (to use a term from markets) when one or both of the parties decides to act on their pent up aggression. Confrontation can be avoided if you give up and move away. Otherwise, it can only be delayed unless somebody decides to act creatively to resolve the conflict.

*SPOILERS END*