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Sep. 8th, 2004

Interesting. I was unaware that Dylan's "I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds." in 'Angel Dark, Demon Bright' is quoting J.Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad-gita (capter 10.34: "I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be.")

Given Rev's talk about the nature of the Divine and his belief that Dylan (and indeed every living being) is its tool and ultimately part of it, I think in this instance the writers may even have gone back to the original context of the quote, which is Krsna revealing his all-encompassing nature.

I find this episode intriguing; it's Andromeda at its best, raising some fundamental philosophical and theological issues and resolving them in what I think is a rather unexpected way, in that the solution is contrary to central believes and values of the Western world. Dylan refusing to acknowledge the possible existence of fate or the easy excuse that his actions may be fulfilling the will of God; I think that's what almost every western viewer's gut reaction would have been in a similar situation. Most certainly everyone raised on the values stemming from the Age of Enlightenment, but even to a Christian acknowledging the possibility that we are and, in some instances, are meant to be the tiger of Blake's poem probably wouldn't come easy; while even in christian theology in some instances evil is a necessary part of the world - Judas as a means to fulfilling Christ's fate - the concepts of conscience and choice are too deeply rooted.

I'm not really up for a theological debate, but this acceptance of fate, submission to the will of god and acceptance of the dark sides of creation and the Divine itself is, I think, vaguely put, more of an Eastern concept. It might be interesting to compare the reactions of viewers of different cultures and religious faiths to this episode. "You ask me how this could be God's will. My answer is this: How can it not be? The Divine lives in all places (...)" Faced with this question the Western reaction more often than not has been to entirely discard god, or at the very least religion.

Personally speaking, while I'm intrigued I'm also a little uncomfortable with this episode and its message, because when it comes down to it, it's about the submission of man to god, or fate, if you will; Dylan objections and doubts are ultimately irrelevant and he's forced to accept Rev's view of things, and Trance, a more directly meddling goddess, manipulates Tyr into doing what she wants him to do. They're left to face the consequences and make what sense they can of the choices they weren't allowed to make...



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