Monday, 20 June 2005
When I was a child I dreamt of growing up, going to a Jedi Academy, and being trained in the ways of the Force.
It has therefore come as something of a revelation to me to realise, as I was watching Star Wars Episode III for the third time, that I have become a Sith.
I have learnt that I a Sith from a few simple points:
First, 'Only a Sith deals in absolutes' (as the Jedi Obi-Wan said to Anakin), and as a Catholic I deal in absolutes continually.
Second, The Jedi teach that "There is no emotion; there is peace",
whereas the venerable Sith Code teaches that "Through passion I gain strength".
We might observe that this fits a pattern also noticeable in contrasting the Eastern pagan religions with Christian knowledge of the virtues: The Greek Stoics, the Buddhists, and the Jedi all teach that the passions must be suppressed. In contrast, Catholics hold that the passions are good things, they simply are in need of proper harnessing in the right direction, according to right reason. Catholics, like Sith, direct and form passions, we do not suppress them. This is all as solid Thomistic moral theology and virtue theory have taught for centuries.
Quote quote another Sith source on this matter, "There is a common misconception that the Sith access the Force through evil or that being a Sith Lord automatically means that you are evil. This is not true. Any extreme emotion can access the Force. The essence of the Sith's power is in passion, not evil. Passion can take the form of joy or love as well as anger or hatred."
Third, we can note a similarity in the words of Anakin and the Lord Jesus. The anti-absolutism condemnation that we quoted above from the Jedi Obi-Wan came in response to a statement from Anakin that, "If you're not with me, you're my enemy". Presumably, Obi-Wan would have been equally unimpressed with the Lord Jesus saying, "He who is not with me is against me" (Luke 23:11).
Fourth, I think it is worth noting that the Jedi deserved to be extinguished. Any 'mighty' order that can 'sense' so many things, and yet fail to realise (until the very end) that Anakin is the reason that Padme is pregnant (even though he's been living with her for months) is clearly not all that it is made out to be.
Finally, I would like to claim the present Pope as a closet Sith Lord. When still Cardinal Ratzinger he said in his address to the cardinals going in to the conclave: "Relativism, that is, allowing oneself to be carried about with every wind of 'doctrine,' seems to be the only attitude that is fashionable... We have another measure: the Son of God, true man... We must mature in this adult faith; we must lead the flock of Christ to this faith. And this faith, the only faith, creates unity and takes place in charity."
Pope Benedict deals in absolutes too! Hail Darth Benedict!
Confused? Follow another side? Do not be despondent, for 'There are heroes on both sides' (as the opening scrolling words of Star Wars Episode III inform us) and the world isn't all black and white (at least if we believe the writing of history that those silly Jedi teach us. Personally, I prefer to watch TV in black and white -it's so much more like real life).
"From my point of view, the Jedi are evil", as Anakin so wisely put it, and, according to those liberal Jedi, it's all just a point of view.
Thus, the important thing to remember is that you and I can both be heroes, even if we fight on opposing sides of the Force. All that we need to do is turn off our brains, abandon reason, and ignore the Principle of Non-Contradiction (that "a thing cannot be both true and false at the same time"). Of course, to embrace that means that we need to become Jedis, which is what I started by saying I will not do!
May the Force be with you!