Thursday, January 05, 2017

Take it on faith

When the ritual texts and incantations are viewed as a whole, they present the “god” as both born and manufactured. The mouth-washing texts do not explain how these two modes of creation functioned in tandem. Rather, birth and manufacture are simply presented as the means by which the physical manifestation of a god comes into being.—The "Image of God" in the Garden of Eden, page 83

<idle musing>
That answer certainly wouldn't fly today, would it? We want to know how and why. Take all the mystery out of it. Reduce it to cause and effect, a mechanistic view of everything.

I read an interesting take on the prequels and sequels of the Star Wars movies yesterday. I confess I haven't seen any of them. I was a big fan of the original three, but didn't even watch the second set, so I can't judge first-hand what he is saying, but maybe you can?

Star Wars is—or should be—a religious franchise. The Jedi are a monastic order trained in contemplating and manipulating an omnipresent Force, and in fighting against those who use the Force for evil ends. The crucial question for every character is always spiritual: whether one will choose the “light” or the “dark” side of the Force. Their character arcs involve taking a religious stance toward this mystical energy field.

At least that's how it was in the three original Star Wars films (1977-83). In the originals, access to the Force occured on the basis of faith and asceticism. Luke Skywalker had to cease trusting his physical eyes and take on the eyes of faith; he had to train his body and mind extensively before he was capable of the same feats of Force as Yoda.

By contrast, the Star Wars prequels (1999-2005) departed from this religious heart, by making the Force something embedded in the natural world….

In the prequels, the Force is a part of the biological world. It is accessed not by the mind or spirit but by microscopic organisms. This view renders the Jedi religion superfluous—one either has a “high midi-chlorian count,” or one does not. The prequels rewrite the Jedi’s disciplined access to the mystical life as something determined by a blood-test.

This secularization of the Force coincides with its most grotesque, irreverent use. …

If the prequels scooped the sacred from the Force by biologizing and technologizing it, Rogue One returns it by spiritualizing and refusing to use the Force. Physical sight can no longer behold the Force.

So maybe the ancients were right? Maybe there is something beyond us? What a radical thought!
</idle musing>

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