Good vs. Evil, Tantra, Darth Vader and Dick Cheney

16 June 2005

Star Wars mysticism is taken directly from Tantra and the concept of the Right-Hand (light; yang; jedi) vs. Left-Hand (dark; yin; sith) paths. Tantra is an ancient practice of rituals and texts which predates the Vedas. It serves to concentrate and focus the energy of the self for either spiritual or magical purposes. Its practiced notably in Hinduism (though not in the mainstream), Tantric Vajrayana (Tibettan) Buddhism and various western occult traditions.

The Right hand path is the sublimation of the ego and the individual self towards the purposes and energies of the Divine / Absolute. Organized religions are all right-hand. In India it would be mostly mantra, deity worship and meditation.

The Left hand path focuses the energies into the self. Satanism is probably the most famous left hand path religion, but some Hindu sects, Vajrayana Buddhist and western occultists also use left hand practices. Science and ego-orientated culture in general could be considered Left hand and even Satanic. In India there are many Tantras involving blood, semen/menses and ritual sex, but also meditation and deity worship.

Both sides can lead to enlightenment, and good and evil can exist in people on both sides. But the left hand path is considered faster, more powerful and much more dangerous. The danger of this path is that ANY grasping of the ego and its needs leads to falling into evil. And that's how Anakin fails, which is completely brilliant.

Anakin wants to do good, save his wife and "restore peace to the empire", so he risks the Dark Side, and oh shit... he's Darth Vader, rasping out the rest of his life in a black metal suit. You can just hear Dick Cheney wooing George with some of these lines: "Well George, you can't be so dogmatic like those Jedis. They are so limited in their world view. We embrace a ... wider sense of The Force." Dick and George truly honestly just want to bring peace to the world through the graces of a strong Empire. "Its a tough job, and sometimes ya gotta break a few eggs to make an omlette. Let the lefties whine, but in the end they'll thank us. Now George, just let me help you with your new helmet."

(Note: left wing / right wing comes from the old french Legislative Assembly)

Wise men throughout the ages have seen through the dichotomies and gone beyond good and evil. So Nietzsche publishes a book about it, and unfortunately this gets read by Hitler. The Left hand path is dangerous. The West has killed God and His Rulebook, and are going it alone like a bunch of teenagers. We start with flower children and we end up with Or, in reaction to this unmanageable freedom you get a resurgance of rule-book religion that emphasizes the battle with sin (which in Vedic terms is an early, minor and primitive battle-- ). Actually you get a lot of people going to church and donating a lot of money, but not really finding the spirituality at those churches. Some do though, people shouldn't paint everything black and white.

In Absolute Reality, in the undifferentiated essence that this reality exists upon, there is no good and evil. But in the Relative World there is, and for someone who hasn't defeated their ego and mastered their Self, it is impossible to make it through The Abyss. Also here in Relative World is a lot of slippery lazy people who say things, fail at things, get confused and just try to keep themselves in office, respected at the local church, bar or squat. Ideas get lodged in people's heads and they get convinced to think certain things without knowing all the consequences or understanding the forces at play in global politics.

And then there's this stupid fuck, writing in the Conservative Daily Standard :
"I'll take the Empire." He's joking, but only half. The Republic were inept (akin to the UN), the Jedis are aristrocrats whereas the Empire is a meritocracy. Brutal, but still a better solution than the chaos of a galactic democracy or breaking up into local warlords.

But the most compelling evidence that the Empire isn't evil comes in "The Empire Strikes Back" when Darth Vader is battling Luke Skywalker. After an exhausting fight, Vader is poised to finish Luke off, but he stays his hand. He tries to convert Luke to the Dark Side with this simple plea: "There is no escape. Don't make me destroy you. . . . Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy." It is here we find the real controlling impulse for the Dark Side and the Empire. The Empire doesn't want slaves or destruction or "evil." It wants order.

He correctly notes that the Senate was failing because democracy doesn't function well when you have 1000s of planets and factions. A planet is invaded and they can only send an investigation. This is the reasoning behind the anti-UN republicans: its inefficient. So of course an empire with a dictatorship is called for, and just trust us that its in your own interest. So they should have kept Sadaam in office, he kept the peace.

The Jedi, who "seem honestly to believe that they are at the center of the universe," are snobs because they inherited their powers (not true, they have potentials but only training and studying the Jedi path actually leads to being a Jedi). He notes a mistake made by a Jedi and concludes that their entire philosophy is therefore bankrupt. The Jedis are bodhisattvas, as even Darth Vader notes: "The Jedis are selfless, they think only of others." This is pure Mahayana style Tantra.

Whatever the case, the important thing to recognize is that the Empire is not committing random acts of terror. It is engaged in a fight for the survival of its regime against a violent group of rebels who are committed to its destruction.

Again, he's joking and this style of humor goes around Right wing circles a fair bit. They really can't understand why the left is so virulent in their fear that the right is evil and is going to take over the planet. So they ham up the evil empire thing. Rummy just can't understand the crazy liberal media. They also delight in obviously saying black is white and watching how frustrated those damned liberals get when the words and slogans have been twisted around and you just can't argue anymore.

Well damn, I wanna be a Jedi. Actually I wanna be Yoda and sit on a jungle planet while the rest of you idiots fight it out.

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