Everybody today talks about conspiracy theories, the lack of understanding, but also rebellion and the lack of subordination.
Art and culture often are the space where problems become obvious and solutions are at least alluded to first.
This is what I again realized when I watched the movie “Assassin’s Creed” based on the computer games with the same name.
In it, there are two groups: the templars and the assassins. While the templars are searching the Apple of Eden, an artefact that contains the genome of free will and allows to control people by taking away their free will, the assassins protect the apple with their lives.
In the movie, we find ourselves in the present times. Modern technology is used to find the apple in the past, namely in 1492.
In a meeting about these attempts, talking about the outrageous financial side of the experiment, this dialog takes place:
We’ve won. People no longer care about their civil liberties, they care about their standard of life. The modern world has outgrown notions like freedom. They content to follow.
The threat remains while free will exists. For centuries we have tried with religion, with politics and now with consumerism to eliminate dissent. Isn’t it time we gave science a try?”
When I saw and heard this, I was immediately reminded of many things. For one, the situation we are in now. How easily could this dialog be used to sanctify civil disobedience and conspiracy theories.
But all attempts to just rebel will play into the hands of the templars, giving them even more reason to justify their doing.
It is so easy. Just ask people to believe The Science.
Then, the four horsemen of Revelation came to mind. Think of it: religion, politics, consumerism, and science.
Think of religion as the first horse, the victor coming to be victorious once again. Doesn’t this sound like Jesus, who conquered death, coming back to be victorious over everybody that does not submit to him? Reminds me of the prevalent interpretation of God’s story.
Think of politics taking away peace from earth and subduing rebellion in every possible way.
Think of consumerism driving the markets to new heights, and today one of the problems people have with the pandemic is the lack of consumer goods because of the failing of the supply chains.
And think of science as death. Science is the driving force behind our growth and development, destroying the very planet we live on.
The challenge we face: all four are valuable parts of the solution as well as the driving forces of the problem.
Back to conspiracy theories. They are no execution of free will, they are no part of the solution. They are another primary integration, as most people just follow another narrative that plays well into their egoistical instincts. There is no creativity in those stories, but mere blinding of the masses.
In the movie, the chief scientist, daughter of one of the leading templars, wants to eradicate violence and is betrayed by the templars and her own father as they just want control.
In the end, when the assassins win and her father is killed, after she had realised the betrayal, the daughter joins the dark side and pledges revenge. She will fight the assassins.
Her human attempts to bring about freedom and peace fail, and the violence of the assassins that use the wrong, absolutely human tools to protect personal freedom wins her over to violence herself. Violence begets more violence.
We see the same happening today. Be it the storm of the Capitol or woke protests like BLM, be it fundamentalist evangelicals, right wing white supremacists, or left wing anti-racists. Sometimes good causes taken too far, using the wrong tools, birth violence, polarisation, dualism.
Let’s have a look at the Assassin’s Creed:
Where other men blindly follow the truth,
Remember, nothing is true.
Where other men are limited by morality or law,
Remember, everything is permitted.
We work in the dark to serve the light.
I think that it contains much truth.
Most men are in primary integration and blindly follow what they are told to believe. It is so important to have the freedom to question everything, to hold nothing for the absolute truth until tested true.
Most people adhere to sociocultural boundaries, submit to law and moral readily. But Paul is telling us that everything is permitted, but not everything is profitable.
We find in the creed two basic truths of our search of God: leave no stone unturned, and do not rule out any action just because you are told to.
But what calls us to a journey fighting the dragon of the ego when externalized becomes a destructive way of fighting for our egoistical rights.
Free will and personal freedom are not to harm and limit the other at all cost, but to develop within me the true self, the mature person, integrated by free will, not egoistical thrives and group pressure.
We work in the dark to serve in the light. I see this as a Jungian statement: we work on our shadows to be bearers of light in our society.
Don’t fight the dragons out there. Fight the dragon within.
The Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus saw so well is a vision of this world that sees no separation (duality) between human beings.Jim Marion
But not unity by control and forcible coordination, or Gleichschaltung (a Nazi term) in German. Unity of individuals out of free will.