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 PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:46 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Legend has it that as Laozi was departing China to head west, the guard at the gate asked him to leave some wisdom, so he quickly wrote the Tao Te Ching before leaving. Upon reaching India, he was known as the Buddha, before heading further west into Persia, where he was known as Mani.


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 PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:48 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Quite. Wink
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:24 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I love this image. It's a mixture of taijitu and a mandala with the Father's symbol in the center -- which is itself a combination of both symbols for Daughter and Son.



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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to projection: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections are unrecognized "The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object--if it has one--or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power."



The shadow may appear in dreams and visions in various forms, and typically 'appears as a person of the same sex as that of the dreamer'. The shadow's appearance and role depend greatly on the living experience of the individual, because much of the shadow develops in the individual's mind rather than simply being inherited in the collective unconscious.



Interactions with the shadow in dreams may shed light on one's state of mind. A conversation with the shadow may indicate that one is concerned with conflicting desires or intentions. Identification with a despised figure may mean that one has an unacknowledged difference from the character; a difference which could point to a rejection of the illuminating qualities of ego-consciousness.



"The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself" and represents "a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well". If and when 'an individual makes an attempt to see his shadow, he becomes aware of (and often ashamed of) those qualities and impulses he denies in himself but can plainly see in others — such things as egotism, mental laziness, and sloppiness; unreal fantasies, schemes, and plots; carelessness and cowardice; inordinate love of money and possessions — ...[a] painful and lengthy work of self-education". The dissolution of the persona and the launch of the individuation process also brings with it 'the danger of falling victim to the shadow ... the black shadow which everybody carries with him, the inferior and therefore hidden aspect of the personality' — of a merger with the shadow.



I'm lazy and didn't feel like typing from a book so I just copy-pasted from Wikipedia to provide the gist.


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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:50 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Crash Override wrote:
We see dark side powers in the films, but no light side powers and no mention of the light side. The idea itself is fan or EU created and not represented in the films at all.


That is simply false. The light side is mentioned in TESB where it is called "the good side", and Lucas is quoted in several places using either terminology. Its common name changed to the "light" side somewhere along the way, but that doesn't make it "fan or EU created". Giving something a name change does not make it newly born. Sources such as J. W. Rinzler's books show that it was part of the concept of the Force during the production of the OT. It goes back at least as far as the second draft script of "The Star Wars" from 1975, a time when there were as yet no "fans" to speak of, where it was called the Ashla.

Force ghosting is supposed to be a light side power. This is not explicitly spelled out in the films, only represented somewhat by the visual imagery of restricting it to good characters, but it was explained in the Qui-Gon/Yoda scene cut from ROTS.
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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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^ I think I still stand by my old light side = good, dark side = evil interpretation. What Crash was saying actually does make a lot of sense, but I don't see how you can get that interpretation from the films alone. The movies - especially RotS and ESB - definitely give me the impression that the dark side is evil and shunned by the Jedi. I think you need to be familiar with Taoist philosophy (or at least extra-film sources like TCW or the EU) to draw a Taoist interpretation from the films. Lucas may have had a Taoist interpretation all along, but he had a very poor way of showing it. The Mortis arc still strikes me as jarring.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:18 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Reepicheep wrote:
^ I think I still stand by my old light side = good, dark side = evil interpretation.


For whatever it's worth, this is what the Dark Empire Sourcebook has to say about it:
"The Light is positive. It is intimately bound with the essence of living things; it is peace, harmony and knowledge. The Light Side springs from the great pattern of existence. It draws strength from diversity and tolerance. It is also inherently communal in nature, thriving on cooperation. Those emotions that enhance the existence of the whole flow from it and tap into its great reserves of strength and peace. Patience, humility and self-sacrifice are paths to enlightenment. Above all, it seeks harmony and perfection. 

The Dark Side, in comparison, is the force of entropy and destruction. Chaos and rage feed it and are its sources of power. The Dark Side is a part of nature — it is not inherently evil, but evil comes from its irrationality, its intolerance and its lack of control. Bestial and predatory, domination is its goal. Mercilessly aggressive and unforgiving, its adherents are blinded by greed and lust for power over those weaker than themselves."

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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:08 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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^ Actually, yeah, that makes sense. The problem I'm having is that it seems like the Jedi serve/use the light side and the Sith serve/use the dark side. Yet, both dark and light exist naturally and must be balanced. It seems contradictory, to have the Jedi be the "good guys" yet having them choose a side. I've been meaning to read more about Taoism, because from what I can tell, Taoists emphasize yin, but ultimately desire yin and yang to be balanced. It seems that yin and yang (or the light side and dark side) are not equal opposites... though that would make the famous yin yang symbol misleading.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:39 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Using the terms "Taoist" and "Manichean" to describe SW concepts is not apt. Not only will this be confusing to people who don't know about these religions, but it's also confusing when trying to use them as SW metaphors since they mainly deal with things that have nothing to do with SW. Yes they contain philosophical ideas that are used in SW maybe it's better to refer to those things instead.

Monism = All things are one, EG., there is just the Force and it's many aspects.

Dualism = There are two distinct things that either work together or oppose each other. EG, the Dark and Light sides.

In a monist viewpoint there would be no Dark and Light sides, although there may be the incorrect illusion that there is.

Most of the literature supports a dualistic view, maintaining that there is a substantial difference between the two sides, but is divided on whether they are oppositional or cooperative.
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:25 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Honestly, right now, I don't think there is an answer. I don't think the Star Wars movies were ever meant to be analysed the way some fans analyse them. In a lot of ways they just don't stand up to close scrutiny, but on the other hand, should they?

Crash showed me a link earlier of Lucas describing his universalist views (i.e. there is no one true religion; all are equally valid) and I highly suspect they have made their way into Star Wars, meaning there is no correct way to view the Force, no "orthodoxy". I don't like it, universalism is one of my biggest philosophical pet peeves, but I strongly suspect that's what Lucas is doing. I just think we're jumping through hoops trying to rationalize something that was never intended to be rationalized.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:53 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mad Wook
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Reepicheep wrote:
I just think we're jumping through hoops trying to rationalize something that was never intended to be rationalized.


That's the most profound thing I've seen anyone say in these discussion threads. Wink


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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:40 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Thank you. Wink
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:44 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Agreed with Dog-Poop above!

I am a little sick of people using the logic that "the Force was inspired by spiritual belief system X, therefore real-world aspects of X should be assumed about the Force or Jedi, even absent actual evidence for it".

Particularly when I have read it said more than once that the popularity of the Force owes in large part to its vagueness permitting identification with a myriad of belief systems, to the point where many different believers simultaneously claimed the Force was based on their system after the OT came out. Total confirmation bias.

I similarly agree with Reep, that SW doesn't stand up to the level of analysis it is subjected to a lot of the time. There are limits to even GL's philosophical depth.
One of my underlying premises for understanding fiction is that as a storytelling necessity, the creator has to rely on the audience to assume everything about the fictional setting is like the real world, except when demonstrated to be different. With the logical conclusion that Jedi are like regular folks, and the Force is like religion, except when specified otherwise. This effectively precludes anything people read into it from mattering, cause it wasn't targeted specifically to them.

No bringing in of real-world stuff associated with the alleged inspiration, but never mentioned in canon.
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 PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Yup, and that's one of the biggest reasons why my interest in Star Wars has waned. I like it when things are coherent.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:56 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Not sure I understand what coherence has to do with it. You mean the EU taking liberties with the Lucasverse source material?
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