Fear Leads to the Dark Side?

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

 – Yoda

Ahhh, how can you disagree with a little green guy who seems to be seeping wisdom from every wrinkle? He was a leading Jedi for hundreds of years, a Master, Grandmaster of the Jedi Council and yeah pretty much was one of the key figures to the fall of the Jedi Order and the Republic which stood for a thousand years, but come on the way he says things with backwards grammar just makes him seem like such a smart guy.

Listen to me and we’ll get through this.~

The thing is that each of those as an individual feeling aren’t really all that bad for us in the long run. True, nobody wants to end up suffering, but suffering can be good for the soul. I do agree with the little green guy on the progression of things, but the Dark Side ain’t so dark in the long run.


So fear is the path to the Dark Side, but what is fear? Fear is just a heightened sense of concern mainly due to the possible risk or dangers involved. Being afraid of tackling a grizzly bear really really is a matter of personal safety more than anything else. I’m not angry with the bear, I just know that it will kick my ass and eat me if I’m not careful. So is fear in itself really a bad thing when in most cases it is a matter of self-preservation?

Looks safe to me.

Fear tends to have different levels. Fear in itself is a chemical reaction in our bodies that increases the adrenaline and cortisol levels in order for us to enter a fight or flight mode for our own safety. In general fear is induced by an outside stimuli and is an evolutionary factor that exists in almost any higher end animal. Fear is what kept humanity alive as fear teaches caution. Instead of running headlong into a woolly mammoth with our bare hands, fear taught us to think things through and approach things with caution. There is however the reality of personal fears created without any real reason. The fear of clowns for example has really no base for the average person, but it is something that exists for many.

Conquering Fear

Now the Jedi axiom might have to do with conquering one’s own fear and overcoming that obstacle. Having a fear of flying really doesn’t make any sense statistically as it is one of the safest forms of travel and the convenience and speed does make the tiny chance of mishap worth it as there is an element of risk in anything. So getting over fears such as flying, clowns and other things that really pose no danger is a good mentality to have as it makes our lives more convenient.

Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

So Obi-Wan another Jedi master who is supposedly wise makes the statement above to Anakin Skywalker (sorry for the spoilers, but if you haven’t seen the prequels yet, don’t. That way the spoilers won’t matter). However, Yoda’s quote seems pretty absolute. He could easily have said, “Stupid fear is the path to the dark side, realistic fear makes you stronger.” Again looking at the movies the quote was said to Anakin as he had fears about his mother’s safety. In reality the fears were well founded as his mother ended up being kidnapped and killed. If Anakin had followed up on trying to ease his fears he could have helped his mother in some way. Instead, he was told that his fears were unfounded and to dwell upon them would lead him to the dark side. Again not the most accurate wisdom from our little green friend.

Fear leads to the dark side, not fearing… well it leads to this.

Fears can be conquered and overcoming fear is one of the great things about humanity. A mouse that is afraid of a cat is stuck with it. In the fight or flight response it generally boils down to fight and die or flee and maybe have a chance to live. Humanity however when faced with a tiger has a third option of figuring out a way to fight and live the majority of the time. Instead of fighting with bare hands we developed weapons and tactics to deal with the problem and advance. Once mice figure out how to build spears, guns and tanks the cats are screwed.



Originally posted 2017-01-31 22:06:26.

One Comment

  1. February 1, 2017

    Hm, an interesting notion — I’d never thought about how absolute Yoda’s quote seems to be! Nice post!

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