In "Collective Unconscious (part 5)" we looked at the origin of "The Empire" from a physical, philosophical and political point of view. We also explored the ancient dynastic Egyptian Empire with it's myths, stories, propaganda techniques and it's rulers highly effective ability to control it's subjects. From a scientific perspective we looked at energy and the law of conservation, how that might be perceived by a primitive mind and how we've been taught to manipulate or take advantage of the natural laws of motion...
...and now part 5 (version 2.0): "Would You Rather...?"
-- The Mono-myth
So far in this series we've looked at many ancient folk tales and myths. Hopefully if you've been following this little project then you're beginning to see evidence that they are all quite similar in structure. All fairy tales, religious stories and any moral based fictional story used for teaching complex psychological truths all share the same basic outline. They all usually tell of the hero's journey and they all include the same basic psychological archetypes. This is what author Joseph Campbell who teaches about comparative religion and mythology calls the "mono-myth".
What I'd like to discuss now is modern mythology which comes to us in the form of fictional stories and film. Many examples can be found in the stories and artwork from comic books such as Superman, The Dark Knight (Bat Man) or the X-Men. Modern TV shows such as Lost, Once upon a Time or major films such as The Matrix or Star Wars are filled with symbolism, subtext and archetypes that mirror some of the oldest stories told by our primitive ancestors.
-- For Your Consideration a modern "Hero Myth"...
I am going to assume that everyone who reads this has already seen the Star Wars movies so I will not go into detail and painstakingly describe the story that it took George Lucas 6 films to tell. If you are an adult and you've been living under a rock for your entire life then I will not judge you however I do recommend that you go and rent the Star Wars saga before you proceed.
George Lucas and Star Wars
George Lucas' deliberate use of Campbell's theory of the monomyth in the making of the Star Wars movies is well documented. In addition to the extensive discussion between Campbell and Bill Moyers broadcast in 1988 on PBS as The Power of Myth Filmed at "Skywalker Ranch", on Campbell's influence on the Star Wars films, Lucas, himself, gave an extensive interview for the biography Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind Larsen and Larsen, 2002, pages 541-543 on this topic. In this interview, Lucas states that in the early 1970s after completing his early film, American Graffiti, "it came to me that there really was no modern use of mythology...so that's when I started doing more strenuous research on fairy tales, folklore and mythology, and I started reading Joe's books. Before that I hadn't read any of Joe's books.... It was very eerie because in reading The Hero with A Thousand Faces I began to realize that my first draft of Star Wars was following classical motifs"p. 541.
Twelve years after the making of The Power of Myth, Moyers and Lucas met again for the 1999 interview, the Mythology of Star Wars with George Lucas & Bill Moyers, to further discuss the impact of Campbell's work on Lucas's films. In addition, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution sponsored an exhibit during the late 1990s called Star Wars: The Magic of Myth which discussed the ways in which Campbell's work shaped the Star Wars films A companion guide of the same name was published in 1997. (Source: MuseumStuff.com)
The most simple way in my opinion to explain the hero of this modern myth would be found in the universal energy that both the Jedi Order and their opposites (The Order of The Sith) called "The Force"...
"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together." ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
"The ways of the Living Force are beyond our understanding… But fear not. You are in the hands of something much greater and much better than you can imagine."―Qui-Gon Jinn
Every good story involves a major problem that must be solved. In Lucas' story the main problem for his characters, their time and the universe that they occupy is that The Force is out of balance. The solution to this problem comes in the form of a prophecy...
"Fully defeated by just anyone, the dark side cannot be, but only by the Chosen One. And who might be this Jedi? Know I do not, but not yet born is he or she. This much, sense I can. A vessel of pure Force the Chosen One will be, more powerful than any Jedi in history."―Jedi Master Yoda
The Jedi Council eventually come to believe that this "chosen one" is a very young Anakin Skywalker. Fast forward through Anakin's childhood, adolescence and young adulthood Anakin Skywalker continues to develop his mental, psychic and physical abilities as his grasp of The Force is unparalleled.
Anakin as a young adult seems to have a hard lined view of his life and the Republic which he serves. He hates politics but because he is a Jedi Knight he must deal with politicians. He does like a couple of politicians though such as the mother of his future children Senator Padme Amidala...
PADMÉ: You really don't like politicians, do you?
ANAKIN: I like two or three, but I'm not really sure about one of them. (smiling) I don't think the system works.
PADMÉ: How would you have it work?
ANAKIN: We need a system where the politicians sit down and discuss the problem, agree what's in the best interests of all the people, and then do it.
PADMÉ: That is exactly what we do. The trouble is that people don't always agree. In fact, they hardly ever do.
ANAKIN: Then they should be made to.
PADMÉ: By whom? Who's going to make them?
ANAKIN: I don't know. Someone.
ANAKIN: Of course not me.
PADMÉ: But someone.
ANAKIN: Someone wise.
PADMÉ: That sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me.
A mischievous little grin creeps across his face.
ANAKIN: Well, if it works...
PADMÉ stares at ANAKIN. He looks back at her, straight faced, but can't hold back a smile.
PADMÉ: You're making fun of me!
ANAKIN: (sarcastic) Oh no, I'd be much too frightened to tease a Senator.
The other politician that Anakin respects is Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (no relation to myself)...
Through Anakin's interactions with the Chancellor of the Galactic Republic (who is secretly the dark Lord of the Sith and soon to be Emperor of the Galactic Empire) Anakin is slowly seduced by the "dark side of the Force" and he eventually becomes Darth Vader.
In the clip below Luke Skywalker finds himself in the final conflict with The Galactic Empire. The evil Emperor along with his apprentice Darth Vader are showing Luke that his friends (the Rebel Alliance) have been led into a trap.
Luke is given a choice by the Emperor: Luke can give in to his anger and his hate. He can use his weapon and skills as a Jedi Knight to take out those in power (the Emperor & Darth Vader).
Luke can let go of his anger and hate. He can choose not to fight. He can instead use his energies to show forgiveness and compassion towards his father (Darth Vader) who chose the same path as the Emperor before Luke was born.
Understandably this is not an easy choice. Darth Vader really tests Luke as he threatens Luke's twin sister during their confrontation.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader vs Darth Sidious (Palpatine)
ENGLISH: I edited the scene to be as short as possible. Quality is the highest I could find.
ESPAÑOL: Edité la escena para que sea lo más corta posible. La calidad es la mejor que pude encontrar.
If Luke would have killed Darth Vader and took his place at the Emperor's side then the Emperor and his new apprentice could then rule The Galactic Empire as they saw fit. We see in the film which path Luke chose which led me to ask myself a tough question. I'll comment below on the question and how I would answer it.
So let's see where your heads (or hearts) are at my fellow Viners.
If you could only have one and I mean only one of the following options then would you rather...
Have social/political power and control over the Masses?
Forfeit your ability to have any say in the lives of other people. You would only have control over your own beliefs/actions. You would also be guaranteed a life of giving and receiving genuine love.
This is the question I put before you: secular power or genuine love.