28 Apr 2018 @ 4:22 PM 



The manuscript that appears to bear the sci-fi character’s image is also known as the ‘Decretals of Gregory IX with gloss of Bernard of Parma’ and was painstakingly written and illustrated in France between 1300 and 1340.

The biblical character, or ‘Yoda’ made his appearance in a collection of papal letters and church decrees in the precious volume, which can be viewed in its entirety online. See it here. It bears more than a little resemblance to Yoda from the Star Wars films, but is in fact a part of a strange representation of the Biblical story of Samson.
The name “Samson” is derived from the Hebrew word šemeš, which means “Sun”, so that Samson bore the name of God, who is called “a Sun and Shield” in Psalms 84:11



Samson (/ˈsæmsən/; שִׁמְשׁוֹן‬, Shimshon, “man of the sun”) was the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible (chapters 13 to 16) and one of the last of the leaders who “judged” Israel before the institution of the monarchy. He is sometimes considered to be an Israelite version of the popular Near Eastern folk hero also embodied by the Sumerian Enkidu and the Greek Heracles.


The biblical account states that Samson was a Nazirite, and that he was given immense strength to aid him against his enemies and allow him to perform superhuman feats, including slaying a lion with his bare hands and massacring an entire army of Philistines using only the jawbone of a donkey. However, if Samson’s long hair was cut, then his Nazirite vow would be violated and he would lose his strength.


Samson was betrayed by his lover Delilah, who ordered a servant to cut his hair while he was sleeping and turned him over to his Philistine enemies, who gouged out his eyes and forced him to grind grain in a mill at Gaza. When the Philistines took Samson into their temple of Dagon, Samson asked to rest against one of the support pillars; after being granted permission, he prayed to God and miraculously recovered his strength, allowing him to grasp hold of the columns and tear them down, killing himself and all the Philistines with him. In some Jewish traditions, Samson is believed to have been buried in Tel Tzora in Israel overlooking the Sorek valley.


Going back to the manuscript, it also includes an image of a rabbit shooting a leaping dog with a bow and arrow. Whats curious about this is it`s allegorical meaning, symbolism, and presence in mythology and astrology in relation to Orion and Sirius.


One of the more obscure constellations visible to Northern Hemisphere stargazers during winter months is known as Lepus, the hare. Look for this tiny star grouping just below brilliant Orion, the hunter, and just west of the sparkling “dog star” Sirius. Several cultures also associated the star with a bow and arrows. The ancient Chinese visualized a large bow and arrow across the southern sky, formed by the constellations of Puppis and Canis Major. In this, the arrow tip is pointed at the wolf Sirius. A similar association is depicted at the Temple of Hathor in Dendera, where the goddess Satet has drawn her arrow at Hathor (Sirius). Known as “Tir”, the star was portrayed as the arrow itself in later Persian culture.

There are also Striking similarities btwn Yoda and Hathor:




“Luke: I’m looking for a great warrior. Yoda: Oh, great warrior. Wars not make one great. To understand Yoda, it’s equally important to understand his antithesis Darth Vader. Specifically, how they both use language. Although they are fictional characters in a surreal sci-fi world dreamt up by the unbridled imagination of its creator, George Lucas, the way these two characters use language provides a legitimate and brilliant perspective on how grammar can impact cognition and as a result self-image. Take Darth Vader, he acts as commander in chief of the Imperial army, the backbone of a Sith ruled dictatorship. His position in the Imperial Army acts as a perfect representation of a broken man`s insatiable hunger for power. Instead of using the Force to spread egalitarian ideals, he uses it to gain control. He tempts his son Luke into joining his quest for world domination with a seductive description of the dark side, and the alluring promises of the unknown. “Darth Vader: If you only knew the power of the dark side.” This famous line from The Empire Strikes Back is a good example to show the fundamental difference between the grammar and psyche of darth vader and yoda.



If you only knew is an optative construction. There’s the present counterfactual clause if, the particle only, with the past tense verb knew. The present counterfactual optative construction ‘if you only” in combination with the past tense verb “knew” expresses a condition in the subjunctive mood. Optative constructions in the optative mood indicate a wish or hope, while the subjunctive expresses a state of being or act that is either distantly possible, contingent on certain conditions, or totally hypothetical. There’s no arguing that the overall tone of this grammatical construct is seductive and enticing. This contrasts greatly with Yoda who uses broken English that avoids grammatical moods expressing fantasy or desire. “Luke: All right I’ll give it a try. Yoda: No. try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” Do or do not is a blunt command in the imperative mood.


The imperative is a mood in verb form that makes a command or request. The verb try in there is no try is expressed in the indicative mood. A verb in the indicative mood is used to make a straightforward statement expressing certainty and actuality. Both the indicative and the imperatives act as dramatical constructs based in reality, opposed to the subjunctive which describes fantasies and unreal situations. The Jedi are people of action who don’t dwell on fear or potential outcomes. “Luke: I don’t believe it. Yoda: That is why you fail.” Where the sith draw much of their power from fear and hypotheticals-which explains one of the reasons Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side in the first place.


His fear of losing those he loved and their inevitable deaths. “Yoda: Afraid to lose her I think mm-hmm. Anakin: What does that got to do with anything. Yoda: Everything! Fear is a path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” So when the going gets tough take advice from Yoda. Don’t think about failure and what ifs. Instead, take action and embrace the raw veracity of the indicative..
“I am ready! I can be a Jedi! “Ben tell him I’m ready” These days many thousands of people claim they’re converting to Jediism as their real-life religion. But before we had Jedi Churches, George Lucas created the idea of the Force to speak about what spirituality and faith really are, when they’re taken out of the structure of organized religion. “I put the Force into the movies in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people. More a belief in God, than a belief in any particular religious system.” “Star Wars” strips away cultural context to get at something universal about spirituality. Instead of using words like good and evil, we can talk about the Light and Dark Sides of the Force.


“I see ‘Star Wars’ as taking all of the issues that religion represents and trying to distill them down into a more modern and more easily accessible construct that people can grab onto to accept the fact that there is a greater mystery out there.” So what are some of the spiritual lessons “Star Wars” preaches about how we might live our lives a little more like the wise master Yoda? “When 900 years old, you reach…Look as good, you will not.” Many of us forget to ask the simple but important question of what faith really is. Not the question of whether we believe a particular religious event or figure.


But on the deepest level, what does it mean to have faith, and what is it we’re really believing in? “The Force is what gives the Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us. It penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” In “Star Wars,” having faith is being Force-sensitive , feeling a big, wise, powerful cosmic presence within us and listening to its mysterious spiritual language. Most religions tend to call this Force God. Even the iconic “May the Force Be With you” stands in for the parting phrase, “May God Be With You.” But it can also be likened to a voice inside us. Think of a voice inside Moana that drives her to the ocean. “But the voice inside sings a different song / What is wrong with me?” In “Star Wars,” the “voice” inside is often projected in a vision of someone we’ve loved and lost. “You will go to the Dagobah system.” So our direction comes to us through an inner compass, at the times when we feel most lost. It’s notable that the inner voice of the Force doesn’t make things easy for us.


It often points us toward what we really don’t want to do, or what we fear the most. “I can’t do it.” “You cannot escape your destiny.” Our inner guide pushes us to confront the hard battles in life. In everyday practice, this means that if we’re scared of or avoiding something, that’s a sign that we should do that thing. “You must confront Vader. Then, only then, a Jedi will you be.” The thinking and judging ego in us is loud and thinks it’s very smart.
But the voice of the Force is quiet and slow. To practice faith is to learn humility, to trust in the wisdom of the cosmos, not doubting and arguing with it, and stop assuming our striving, clever minds always know better. “I’m a Jedi. I know I’m better than this.” One surprising spiritual lesson in “Star Wars” is that “feeling” intensely isn’t necessarily the path to being good. We should be distrustful of our sudden, strong emotions, they can be dangerous and lead us the wrong way, to the Dark Side. Instead, we should learn to practice emptiness. Zen and Taoist thought emphasize the wisdom of emptying ourselves. Take this passage from the “Tao Te Ching:” “Mold clay into a bowl.” The empty space makes it useful. Cut out doors and windows for the house. The holes make it useful. Therefore, the value comes from what is there, but the use comes from what is not there.” We often tend to think that a happy life is about fullness and feeling passionately.”


But in “Star Wars,” it’s the Dark Side that’s about fullness and emotion. “Much anger in him like his father.” If we let our emotions take control, the negative ones, fear, anger and hatred actually emerge stronger at first. “Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow.” Luke falls for Darth Vader’s trap when he gives in to his emotions. That doesn’t mean the Light Side doesn’t consist of feeling, as we can see Luke cares more for his friends than anything. But this Light Side feeling is quieter and subtler, and ultimately it’s realer and more long-lasting than stormy, dramatic emotion. When we become detached sometimes we have the insight that the best thing to do isn’t always what our emotions immediately want us to do. “If you choose the quick and easy path, as Vader did, you become an agent of darkness.” “Patience and sacrifice.” The weak mind is clouded by emotions, busy with distractions and shaped by common assumptions.



And that’s why the Jedi mind tricks can manipulate it. “The force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.” But the Jedi mind has emptied itself of all of those things, and so it sees clearly “How am I to know the good side from the bad?” “You will know when you are calm at peace.” We all remember one of the most iconic lessons Yoda teaches Luke Skywalker: “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” Having faith lets us do what seems impossible, both physically and mentally. Harnessing the Force can even allow you to break the laws of physics as we know them. According to Yoda, if we throw out our assumptions of possible and impossible, we’re capable of miracles.
What’s really standing in our way is our own mind telling us what can’t be done. “We’ll never get it out.” “Always with you what cannot be done.” In our daily lives the things we think we can’t do are probably a lot less daunting than pulling a spaceship out of a swamp with our minds. But we’ve been conditioned to doubt, to see unlikelihood. “You must unlearn what you have learned.” So we have to remove our self-imposed limitations to unlock the power we’re truly capable of. “I don’t believe it.” “That is why you fail.” One fundamental lesson of the Force is that everything is connected. “You must feel the force around you. Between you, me, the rock, everywhere.” But we get so hung up on our personal cares that we forget this. It can feel like all that matters is me. People even feel so disconnected from each other they become capable of mass murder.


But if like the Jedi we believe in the interconnection of all things and beings, we know that by destroying any other life, we’re killing part of ourselves. The ego is dangerous because it seduces us into thinking we’re responsible for our own power and success, when really our strength is channeling something greater than us. “Remember. A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force.” The more powerful we are, the more tempting it is to use our power for our personal gain or glory. Yet “Star Wars” teaches that serving the ego will make us unhappy.


“Is the dark side stronger?” No! The only thing that will make us happy is staying close to the Force, which means remembering the bonds between all things and creatures. The most comforting thing about believing we’re all linked through the Force is that if this is true, we don’t need to fear anything that can come to us, not even death, because the most important thing wouldn’t die. “The Force is with me, and I am with the Force. And I fear nothing. All is as the Force wills it.” None of the Jedi in “Star Wars” ever really go away. Luke can still talk to the deceased, Obi-Wan or Yoda, and even to Anakin once he returns to the Light Side. Droids can’t sense the Force but every naturally created thing has a connection to it. “Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” One of the deep symbolism`s of the Force is there’s something sacred within us and within nature, something mysterious about life itself, that can’t be replicated by our clever machines.


When we focus too much on our grand technology, we lose sight of the ultimate mysteries of nature and life which we should respect. “Get out of this slimy mudhole.” “Mudhole? Slimy? My home this is.” There’s a reason Yoda’s planet is only nature. I’m not picking up any cities or technology. Massive life forms readings though. There’s something alive down there. Interestingly, those on the Dark Side also revere the natural, sacred power of the Force. “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” Darth Vader himself warns that our technology is no match for the Force. “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” Still, Vader has tried to make himself into an impenetrable machine, and he’s given too much of himself to the machine. When we glimpse the man under the mask, we see that the human in him is frail, unable to live without the technology. One of the reasons that Yoda doesn’t want to train Luke at first is because Luke is bad at being present in the moment.


“All his life has he looked away to the future, to the horizon, never his mind on where he was, what he was doing.” We spend a lot of our time dwelling in the past, in anger, and regret, and thinking about the future, due to anticipation and ambition, our fears and anxiety. “Always emotions is the future.” The Jedi learns to discipline his wandering mind. Self-Control. “You must learn control.” which means not letting his thoughts carry him away with their own agenda. “Clear your mind of questions.” Being close to the Force lets the Jedi see deeply into reality, even far beyond what’s in front of our eyes. “Through the Force, things you will see other places.” This teaches us that if we’re unbiased by our own egos and desires, we see the truth clearly. And the Jedi trusts in the truth. Meanwhile, the Dark Side is more about building grandiose success through lies. But the story shows us while deception can be successful for a very long time, lying only works for so long.


So if we want to be more like Jedi, we should think of the truth as our friend and try to stay close it, just as Yoda always stays close to the Force. When he first meets Yoda, Luke can’t see that this is the great Jedi master he seeks “I’m looking for a great warrior.” Luke is expecting someone impressive and grand, maybe someone like Darth Vader. But Yoda is small, silly and unassuming — this is what wisdom really looks like. “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?” Society teaches us to respect what is large, wealthy, technologically advanced. But Yoda is none of these things. It’s as if tiny Yoda is almost nothing else besides closeness to the Force. His life is so simple because he has eliminated all the clutter that would separate him from the Force. So again we see in this belief system how emptiness and not having loads of stuff getting in our way can be a source of power. “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” So to sum up, if we want to take a leaf out of Yoda’s forest, we can listen to the Force speaking within us, practice emptiness, do what we think is impossible, know everything is connected, respect nature, stay in the now, trust in the truth, and never underestimate the small in stature.


Posted By: Joseph
Last Edit: 28 Apr 2018 @ 05:09 PM

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