A Quote I Love
by Dennis M. Myers, 02/19/2020
"If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding. Too often we assume that the light on the wall is God. But the light is not the goal of the search; it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it! Similarly, someone who does not search, who does not bring a lantern with him, sees nothing. What we perceive as God, is the byproduct of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light, pure and unblemished, not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe. God looks astonishingly like we do! Or we turn to look at our shadow, and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose; which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty…and in all its flaws. And in so doing better understand the world around us.
"We are all born as molecules in the hearts of a billion stars. Molecules that do not understand politics or policies or differences. Over a billion years, we foolish molecules forget who we are and where we came from. In desperate acts of ego, we give ourselves names, fight over lines on maps, and pretend that our light is better than everyone else's."
There are undoubtedly some among you who can still hear the voice of Andreas Katsulas as he said this as G'Kar in Babylon 5. J. Micheal Straczinski is one of the people who influenced me over the years. This speech is one of the reasons why. Another reason is the story arc of G'Kar. In the initial episodes he's the obvious bad guy. I now understand why Joe did this. It was to subvert our expectations, and to allow us to be surprised at the depth of character this supposedly shallow villain actually had.
The opposing character, Londo Molari, also had a similar reversal. Going from clownish buffoon to the architect of true evil, complete with a bit of redemption at the end.
I still deeply appreciate the story told in that old science fiction series. And for the record, the elevator scene is still my all time favorite. Londo and G'Kar, arch enemies, trapped in an elevator. So funny, and yet so powerful.
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