Zauberflöte – Star Wars The Same Story

Evan Bortnick

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden

They did some research recently about how our aggression impulses and our harmony impulses are triggered and balanced. They gave different groups of test subjects texts with the task of correcting the spelling. When the subjects were finished with one text, they were to hand them in to two supervisors and get another one for further correction. The supervisors were involved in a conversation and the individuals had to interrupt them to get the new text. Of course the experiment was not about correcting spelling. Half the texts were about the important value of getting along with others, cooperation and social skills. The other half was about the important value of getting what you want, self-expression and self-assertion. They secretly recorded how long it took for each subject to interrupt the supervisors’ conversation and ask for a new text. It will come as no surprise that those reading texts about self-assertion took MUCH less time to interrupt than those reading texts on social skills. This was true through all the experiments, regardless of culture, sex, age or religion.

This experiment is interesting because it shows that all of us have both these impulse sets. How we balance them and how we allow them to be triggered by circumstance is a question of self-knowledge and of maturity. The Queen of the Night, Sarastro, Emperor Palpatine and Yoda each bear an archetypal message of how these impulses should be emphasized. Although the stories are, in their surface structure quite different, the depth structure is very similar. Each of the characters do their best to impart their own value emphasis onto the next generation. None of them is completely successful. The breakthrough at the end of each story is that both Luke and Tamino find their own balance by integrating the older values of their respective ‘mentors’. Tamino goes through the water and fire trials with Pamina at his side, refusing to buy into “ein Weib tut wenig, plaudert viel…” {“a woman does little and chatters a lot…”}. Luke uses his aggressive impulses to convince his father of his own higher morals, refusing to buy into Yoda’s “…beware of the dark side. Anger, Fear, Aggression; the dark side of the Force are they…..if once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…”. Each of these main protagonists combines the lessons of both the dark and light side, of stereotypical masculine and feminine to arrive at a new level of maturity.

It’s even fun to make the case that, in the last analysis, this is what Sarastro, Queen of the Night, the Emperor and Yoda actually wanted, even if they couldn’t get there themselves. One clue for me is that Count Duku was once Yoda’s padawan learner, implying the same striving for more balance. Another clue are the names “Sternflammende Königin“ (Star Flaming Queen) and Sar-ASTRO, implying a celestial unity, striving for the same balance.

The reason both these stories are so popular and timeless (along with so much of classic mythology) is that they each speak about our individual and collective agreements about impulse balance. Just how much responsibility is it possible for us to take in regard to this balance? Tamino and Luke, along with so many other archetypes, point the way towards a new maturity.

Evan Bortnick

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden


About evanb54

I'm a passionate, curious learning junkie--- an X-Opera Singer turned Voice Teacher, Voice Teachers Teacher, NLP Lehrtrainer, Off-Path Coach, Cranio-Sacral worker and a few other even less mainstream things. Everything I've learned or taught revolves around THE VOICE. The Voice as a tool of artistic expression. The Voice as a tool of emotional transparency. The voice as a tool of flexible communication. If you're interested in voice lessons or vocal pedagogy, please visit this site: There's an English and a German version. If you're interested in voice coaching, public speaking, trainer skills or presentation skills, please visit me here: ..and feel free to send any questions. Looking forward to hearing from you! More information can be found at my Institute Site: The Wiesbaden Academy of the Vocal Muse Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden, Coaching, Voice Pedagogy
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