"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering." [Yoda, The Phantom Menace].
The dark side is winning in our time. Who will be the saviour that rises to free us from our hate?
Yoda said it best, "fear is the path to the dark side," and we let fear control us. Now, I'm not talking about the pandemic. I'm talking about our society. It is one that is based on the transmission of fear to all people.
The media perpetuates fear. News stories that get the most reads, are fear based. They express what is wrong with the world and how it will affect each and every one of us in some negative way.
Social media is the greatest contributor to our increase in fear, because it touches our deepest, weakest, and inner most doubts about ourselves. At the heart of every person is a soul seeking approval, and when we don't get enough retweets, likes, or hearts, we feel inadequate and our fear of not being good enough is realized.
We fear persecution. People who have been mistreated are afraid of continuing to be mistreated. People who have been privileged, are afraid of losing their privilege.
All this fear is the path to the dark side.
Yoda says, "fear leads to anger." Once the fear we feel takes root, we begin to focus on it, nourish it, and because we are afraid, we become angry that we feel the fear. But rather than direct that anger towards ourselves, we project the anger outwards onto others who are different from us.
Anger is powerful because as an emotion it blinds us. Several years ago, I started teaching brain and behaviour in my classes and with my students we discuss the notion of "flipping our lid". In anger, our brains are incapable of having rational thoughts. I have one student that calls this his "Rage Monster" and when it comes out, there is no stopping it.
Anger doesn't care who it hurts, because it triggers in our hearts the need to preserve our self. Our fear makes us afraid of everything we don't understand and when we don't understand, we become angry that others don't want to the same things we consider safe, and that leads to the final capitulation to the dark side.
Anger leads to suffering. And suffering happens when one way of thinking begins to dictate that it is the only way of thinking, as if humanity is some kind of bot that one has a superficial and singular aspect to its character.
We are in the thralls of the dark side. We allow our indignation, our offence, our hatred of those who disagree with us, to control all aspects of society.
As Obi-Won said, "[Our] thoughts betray our feelings" and we must learn to control these thoughts.
There is only one thing that will restore peace on earth, and that is good-will towards all people. I think the Christian faith has forgotten this. I think other religions and the secularists should adopt it.
In some ways, certain things Jesus taught were dead to rights. He told his followers to do good to others; to turn the other cheek [ie. be meek] in conflict; and to look for ways to be peaceful: helping those that suffer by providing for needs.
The Christian faith thinks life is about escaping it for a better one: They forget they were commissioned to make this one better.
You want to live in a better world? Stop acting in fear, so that your anger will satiate it. Fear controls us. Now is the time to accept the truth, theology (whether religious or secular), though we believe it right and true, is not the only way of thinking about the world. And as soon as we disparage someone for believing something different, we have lost sight of the good and succumbed to the dark side, which is in fact, evil.