Author and Zen Buddhist Matthew Bortolin joins us to speak about his book, The Dharma of Star Wars.
It’s safe to say that many of us live a very rich fantasy life. It may be personal ruminations, book, or movies. We identify with some characters, we admire other characters, or have an aversion — however fun that may be — with others.
These fantasy worlds, situations, and beings all impact us, and their creators can be communicating to us some deeper meaning. Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, was a humanist, and that series had episodes which promoted humanist values even in alien cultures. Equality was inherent in that humanism, as the first scripted interracial kiss on American television was on Star Trek. Star Wars, it is easy for Buddhists to see, borrows heavily from our tradition, most clearly in Yoda. But it’s not just that; Buddhist principles exist throughout the saga.
However we view the entertainment of fantasy, Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon, and one that has direct bearing on Buddhism.
Matthew Bortolin is an ordained Zen Buddhist and Star Wars fan. In The Dharma of Star Wars, he explains the principles and practices of Buddhism through the words and actions of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Yoda and other characters. The book also examines the underlying philosophical ideas of Star Wars from a Buddhist perspective.
So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Bantha milk. Yes, that’s the blue stuff.
- Buddhist Channel interview — Matthew Bortolin: Darth Vader vs. the Buddha
- Facebook — Matthew Bortolin
Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez
The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “Sangha” from his CD, Traditional and Modern Pieces: Shakuhachi.
Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast