How Yoda created Darth Vader

This weekend I have been watching the Star Wars trilogy 1-3. Part 3 ‘ Revenge of the Sith’ describes how Anakin became Darth Vader in a very interesting way. Before accepting Anakin for the Jedi training, Yoda raises his doubts about the boy. He was passionate and had fear in him. The movie gives the impression that the dark side was always present in Anakin. And as a result he was unstable and not suitable to handle the powers of a Jedi and he had to turn the dark side. Obi Wan has always believed he was the one who would restore balance in the force, but Yoda thinks that perhaps the prophecy was interpreted incorrectly. But perhaps, the tragedy of Anakin says more about Yoda and his school than about Anakin himself. Anakin was trained by Jedi’s for at least ten years, but they were not able to teach him how to deal with his emotions and passions. And this is where the confusion comes in. The passions and the emotions are seen by the Jedi as the path to the dark side. Mental stability and wisdom is seen as the door to force. In their final fight between Obi Wan and Anakin, Obi Wan says to Anakin: ‘only a Sith dealt in absolutes!’. This is not dark per se, this is passion. Obi Wan’s limitation is that he is not able to be passionate back and counteract the argument. This Anakin would be able to understand and then he would be able to change. But all the wise Jedi teachings do not address the multitude of feelings which Anakin had to face within himself. And this is the core of the issue: it is because of the absolute identification of passion as the path to the dark side by the Jedi, that Anakin’s training is incomplete. Anakin did not become Darth Vader overnight. Lord Sidious had a huge challenge to convince Anakin to the dark side. It was only because of Anakin’s love for Padme and the trauma of losing his mother that he finally chose for the dark side. When he would have had better training by Yoda, he would have been able to accept the inevitable loss of a loved one. After watching the movie, I feel much more compassionate about Anakin. He was the one who was daring to accept his emotions, not push them away and wanting to be human. If the Yoda would have been able to integrate passion in the Jedi teachings, Anakin surely would have been able to bring balance to the force.

Fear death and be strong

‘you do not fear death. you think it makes you strong, but it makes you weak. how can you fight longer than possible without the most powerful thing on earth: the fear of death. make the climb as the child did. without the rope. then fear will find you again.’

a man needs to acknowlegde his pain and contain it. only then he can use his pain to climb out of the pit. the pit of self pity.

Analysing Faust’s unconditional love

Yesterday I watched Faust the 1926 brilliant classic by W. Murnau.

Faust is the story of a wager between the devil and Archangel Michael that in the end Man is incorruptible. If the devil is able to corrupt the soul of a genius called Faust, the world will be his. So, in the town where Faust lives, the devil starts a huge plague epidemic. Faust, with all his knowledge and faith is unable to find a cure and desperately he turns to the devil for support. He signs a contract to sell his soul with his own blood. However, after having all the powers in the world, people do not accept his healing powers, because they come from the devil and not from God. Faust is disillusioned and wants to die, but the devil seduces him to give him his youth again. Full of youthful energy Faust goes on a bounty hunt to taste all pleasures in life. Eventually, this does not fulfil him and he longs for home (Heimat). At the Easter feast he meets Gretchen on her way to the church for a mass and he falls madly in love with her. He asks the Devil to make Gretchen love him as well. After magically courting her, Faust ends up in her room where they make love. But the devil warns both her mother and brother. Her mother finds the two lovers in an embrace, has a faint and dies. Her brother duels with Faust and the devil stabs him to death. Faust and the devil flee and leave Gretchen alone to her misery. She is sentenced to the pillory and a great shame befalls her. Nine months later, on a winter Christmas day, she delivers the child of Faust in an abandoned open stable. She is poor and nobody will help her. Finally, in a fantasy she sees a warm cradle for the baby to sleep in. In reality however, she buries the child in the snow. When she is found, she is prosecuted for the murder of het baby and sentenced to burn on the stake. Gretchen shrieks out a cry, so powerful that Faust hears it many lands far away. He orders the devil to take him to Gretchen and to prevent her death. The devil brings him, but is unwilling to prevent her death. When Faust sees his youthful stupidity, he wishes to be old and wise again. Gladly the devil returns Faust to his old self. Faust runs up to Gretchen to ask forgiveness, but she does not recognize this old man. When Gretchen is set on the stake and set on fire, Faust runs after her and joins her on the stake. He is an old man, but Gretchen recognizes in the eyes of Faust his younger self. Whilst burning they embrace and kiss. Their sins are absolved by love and together they ascend to heaven. In the end scene, the devil goes to Michael with Faust’s signed contract and he demands the world. Michael rejects the contract, however. There is one thing which absolves all contracts in the world and this is: Love.

InterLadder (Interstellar spoiler alert)

Gisteren voor de 3e keer de film Interstellar gezien. Deze film blijft raken omdat deze film overtuigend en (misschien wel) wetenschappelijk aantoont wat de kracht van liefde is. Liefde heeft namelijk een dusdanige kracht en eeuwigheidswaarde dat ze verbindt door tijd, ruimte en zwaartekracht heen. Je zou bijna zeggen: liefde is een dimensie op zich. In de film culmineert de liefde tussen vader en dochter zich tot haar kinderkamertje en een horloge. Hun liefde komt tot ultieme uitdrukking wanneer de vader vanuit de 5e dimensie probeert te communiceren met zijn dochter op aarde (3e dimensie). Symbolisch gezien, strekt hij zijn hand uit om haar op te tillen naar een hoger plan. Maar de plek waar hij zich bevindt is ook weer gebouwd (door engelen? mensen?), dus hij wordt op zijn beurt ook weer opgetild. Dat deed mij denken aan dat prachtige beeld van Jacobs ladder. Maar niet als engelen die zielen van aarde naar de hemel en vice versa brengen. Maar als mensen / engelen in verschillende fasen van ontwikkeling, die zich buigen en anderen optrekken naar een hoger niveau. Zoals we dat hier op aarde ook doen. Wanneer we onze liefde tot uitdrukking brengen door anderen op te tillen.

Quid pro quo with the Devil for growth

In the movie Silence of the Lambs, Clarice tries to find a serial killer and for this she needs to negotiate with Hannibal Lector, one of the most dangerous serial killers alive. He might even be the Devil himself. She interrogates him a couple of times, but Hannibal only will only answer when Clarice tells him something about herself. The more essential Hannibal’s information becomes, the more intimate and painful Clarice’s story becomes.
This movie can be seen as a double initiation. Clarice is advancing at the FBI with help of her boss. This is the rational good guy, although his motives can be second guessed (is he sexually attracted to Clarice)? But at the same time, Hannibal also initiates Clarice on his way. This initiation is most exciting. Obviously Hannibal is the bad guy, but his intentions toward Clarice are good, almost fatherly. The only glimpses of human expressions on Hannibal’s face are when Clarice tells him about her childhood trauma.
For Clarice to truly solve this case, meaning her own transformation from a poor town girl into a strong and independent woman, she needs to get back in touch with her childhood trauma. Yes, innocent lambs are slaughtered every day and when you see this without your daddy to protect you, unable to free them, you will run as fast as your legs will carry you. But life is not about running. It is about confronting your fears and conquering them. This is what Clarice does when she ultimately kills Buffalo Bill in the dark. The kills her unconscious fear in the shape of the Cretan Minotaur. It is worth to be noted that this confrontation was only possible with the help of the ‘evil’ Hannibal and by reconnecting with her deepest fears.

What dreams may come

Een wonder zoals Baron von Munchhausen zichzelf uit het moeras trok. Maar een groter wonder is het wanneer iemand een ander uit het moeras kan trekken.

Yesterday I watched ‘What dreams may come’ again. I have seen this movie quite some times already, but still I cried on a regular basis watching it. Especially when in the Afterlife the main character is not able to recognise his own children because he is still preoccupied with his own image of his children. In flashbacks of their defining moments, he gradually sees them for who they really are and only then he is able to see them in heaven. In our daily life we just seem to be to preoccupied with other important stuff… This wonderful move argues on many levels that, ultimately, love does not follow any rules. (Sometimes when you win, you lose. Sometimes when you lose, you win). And I find this a very hope giving message. We can think all that we want to, we can inhibit all illusions, but in the end love is patient and shall prevail. This movie rings very true to me. I shall believe.

A movie is a much more efficient way of telling a story compared to a book. A story is told in only a couple of hours as opposed to days. But due to the effort of reading a book, imagining the story and the surroundings in your mind, a story truly can become alive in you. Reading a book throughout days and weeks can guide you through processes and can clarify deeply human themes.