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.
give a man an answer and you feed him for a day; teach a man to investigate for himself and you feed him for a lifetime
Why we should teach meditation as a basic skill in primary and secondary schools (and why most likely it will not happen).
The purpose of education is to give everyone the same chances of developing themselves depending on their abilities. And another task of education is to make people resilient in the society. For example, you learn math so that you know how much you are spending and you will not so easily be fooled by a slick seller of pre-pension schemes (… maybe a bad example). For this reason math is taught on all school levels as opposed to Latin which is only taught on the higher school levels.
Now our current society is faced with a massive information overload driven to enhance consumption. This information overload is so enormous that it is safe to say that a new form of mental slavery exists. There is a large group of people who are so much influenced by external stimuli, that they can hardly make up their own mind. I feel it is the task of our education system to restore this balance.
The occasion of my plea, was this text by Dion Fortune as early as April 1943:
“The application of psychology to salesmanship did not stop at the cultivation of the personality of the salesman, however, but went on to study the use of mental suggestion by means of advertisement. This has been worked out with great skill in the drink trade, wherein a realistic picture of an overflowing glass and a slogan concerning its medicinal nature are widely used. The suggestion of health value supplies an excuse, and the sight of the overflowing glass awakens desire. The path of an inebriate striving to overcome his craving is made indefinitely harder by such pictorial publicity, and it ought to be prohibited for the same reason as pornography is prohibited. Other examples of such trading in human weakness are those which exploit snobbery in the cause of soap, less harmful no doubt, but equally illegitimate in principle.”
80 year later marketing and pornography are all surrounding and are far beyond prohibition. The only way to deal with this is to make the people themselves resilient against these kinds of unwanted influences. And here is the thing. People who are better educated are usually better able to do this. They are able to discern fact from fiction, have their own thoughts and options and are able to find peace and quiet in their minds from time to time. People with less education often are not able to do so. These people do not have the means to think for themselves and are programmed subconsciously. In this sense we are not that far from 1984 or the Matrix.
For this reason I propose to have meditation classes in primary and secondary schools. The goal is make children aware of outside mental influences and to teach them free thinking. But also for the same reason I think my proposal will not be accepted. You reap what you sow. Our society seems not to be interested in individual critical thought. Our society seems to be more interested in people who work and consume as much as possible. It would be a task for the left wing parties (PVDA and SP) with their historical aim to raise the level of the lower classes in society to put this topic on the political agenda.
I don’t mind to be brainwashed. I just want to be able to choose the program.🙂
Teletubbies voor volwassenen en het geheim van de herhaling
Kleine kinderen hebben op de een of andere manier het vermogen om keer op keer hetzelfde te zien zonder dat het gaat vervelen. Mijn verklaring hiervoor is dat kinderen nog in het NU leven. Alles is voor hen telkens weer de eerste keer. Bij volwassenen is dat anders. Misschien omdat de ratio toe slaat? Misschien filteren wij herhaling uit ons systeem als zijnde niet belangrijk? Alleen dingen die anders zijn hoeven we in de gaten te houden, toch? Maar als gevolg verdwijnen we met onze ratio uit het NU naar het verleden of de toekomst. Dat is niet erg mindfull…. Sinds een jaar of zo dans ik de Gurdjieff Movements. Deze dansmeditatie staat bol van de herhaling. Echter deze is dusdanig onlogisch opgebouwd dat het brein de herhaling niet herkent. Sterker nog, de dans kan alleen maar gedanst worden wanneer het brein er voor de volle 100% bij is. De kunst van de Movements is om ze zo vaak mogelijk achter elkaar te herhalen en om er toch met je ratio bij te blijven. Zo kom je in een actieve meditatieve staat weer in het NU. Maar nu wel met je hoofd erbij. Gurdjieff Movements is dus eigenlijk Teletubbies voor volwassenen. 🙂
The student / teacher relationship is like getting help with climbing a wall. You have to meet half way. The student needs to be willing to make an effort and jump. And the teacher needs to reach out his hand down and give a pull.
give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Give a man an insight and you feed him for a day; teach a man to read a map of insights and feed him for a lifetime.
True! This is the challenge of guru’s: to know when the time is right to break the egg.
Yesterday a friend told me that he was going to investigate symbology. Great! I have a passion for symbols. For me this is the language of the subconscious and it helps me to understand deeper layers of my meditations. But what struck me that he said as if it was something weird or to be ashamed of. I said to him that symbology is all around us and is being greatly misused by marketeers. Advertisements try to seduce you to give you a certain feel in order to sell a completely unrelated product. They do this by using words, sounds, images. Luckily there is no smel tv yet! When you understand symbology you are easily able to subconsciously distinguish between the symbols and the products which they want to sell. So for this reason alone i would advise people to study symbols. The other reason I would give that it is fascinating and fun