Prophet of Darkness
I think you have some good evidence to support such a read of the full saga (it's a point that my compatriot Myca, who often posts on these forums, was actually making while I wrote my original post).My response is more to what you wrote about the Jedi's "Middle Road morality". Again, you may be using the term "Middle Road" as informed by your understanding of Taoism, and as I don't share it I may be missing what you're getting at. But to me, the Jedi Order of the prequels doesn't occupy a middle road either. They've tried so hard to avoid falling to the dark side that they've swung straight past the point of balance - the middle road, to my mind - and on to the other end of the scale: abstinence.
I think my take on it was that it was a result of lazy, inconsistent writing in the Prequels that lumped all monastic traditions into the common western conception that has heavily Christian leanings (hence the abstinence) instead of drawing on the actual source culture. Another example of it being lazy/sloppy writing being Obi-Wan telling Anakin in Ep 2 that "they're only dreams" when we know that Jedi regularly have visions, even in the days of the Republic (in fact, that seems to be the source of concern for the Jedi... they seem to be having a harder time having visions... yet Anakin's visions are just dreams). Yet another would be the Emperor's use of Force Lightning turning him instantly into "wrinkly emperor" all at once, but it doesn't have that effect when he uses those powers on Luke later.
Other general examples of the sloppy writing would be the standard complaints, though, too: midichlorians, emo Anakin, 8 yr old Anakin hitting on Amidala/Padme, Padme dying even though Leia remembers her, Obi Wan having interacted with R2 and C-3PO for a decade and yet not remembering them come Ep 4, and Jar Jar Binks.
But since it is the only story we have "from the horse's mouth," so to speak, we do have to rely upon what actually takes place on the screen. So it's definitely a valid take on what had begun to happen with the Jedi (it might even be WHY they had started to lose access to some of their powers... like the visions).
Again, from an Eastern perspective, "Love" is seen as this troublesome thing that gets in the way of happiness and duty. It causes people to abandon their arranged marriages, break vows to their comrades and superiors, and tends towards obsession when denied. So, if this is the paradigm that the Force is based upon, love really is a danger if the Dark Side is a real concern (which, in SW, it really is). Even in some Western stories, too much love is a bad thing (some literary scholars claim that this was the "tragic flaw" suffered by Romeo and Juliet... they did not love moderately like the priest recommended). And it's nice to see a story where this idea is covered: Love = Bad... Love = Good has become such a trite plot device that it just isn't interesting anymore.Devin Parker said:The fact that the Jedi considered love to be something they shouldn't allow into their lives troubled me greatly. Your explanation as to why the Jedi would have promoted such a philosophy - one which ultimately is proven to be in error - really makes sense of that "Balance of the Force" prophecy.
And with the Jedi, Love doesn't equal anything. It just is, but it tends to lead to the Dark Side Emotions when an padawan doesn't "mind his feelings", which then destroy a Jedi (just like it did Anakin).
On the other hand, Luke does seem to use Love to save his friends, and then later his father, in the original trilogy, which does grant support for your reading as well.