Saturday, March 26, 2011

Galaluna - A Triessentialist Civilization

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of my favorite cartoon show creators, Genndy Tartakovsky, had a new show which described Triessentialism - the philosophy I have been investigating since early 2001 - but not by that name.

(Yes, I'm a fan. I'm a fan of nearly everything Genndy Tartakovsky has done. However, I watched the pilot, thought it was cheezy and derivative, and dismissed it. That was a mistake; this show is totally awesome. And the tragedy is, it got cancelled before I had seen more than two episodes!)

The civilization on the fictional world of Galaluna is based on a parallel of Triessentialism: "Heart, Body, and Mind, Unite As One" is the credo of their royal family, and appears to be an avenue their science was still exploring, before they were invaded. (This was my own first formulation of Triessentialism, before I started using the equivalent technical terms Emotional, Physical and Logical.)

The Titan - A Triessentialist Symbiosis

When Princess Ilana and her bodyguard Lance land on Earth as refugees, they are surprised to discover that their robot battle suits combine with their android companion Octus to form a gigantic battle suit, the titular Sym-Bionic Titan. (Fans suspect that Lance's father, who was Galaluna's greatest scientist and one of the king's best friends, created Octus.)

Lance, the group's Physically intuitive member, was one of Galaluna's elite soldiers, rightfully the top of his class at battle school. He defeated one of the two known traitorous members of the coup/invasion in single combat with only a sword and a fist-sized rock. His contribution to the Titan is battle tactics, strength of will, and the right weaponry to defeat the mega-beasts.

Ilana, the group's Emotionally intuitive member, is the daughter of the king and presumably heir to the throne. Throughout the series, she is a highly compassionate person, to the point of putting herself in jeopardy for childrens' pets and her own bodyguards. Her contribution to the Titan is subtle than the other two, but she is also responsible for the generation of shields to block incoming projectiles and blows.

Octus, the group's Logically intuitive member, is a sapient robot who can alter his appearance with holograms. He is very intelligent, able to analyse the weaknesses of the mega-beasts using his sensors and keen mind. His contribution to the Titan is control of his robotic body to generate weaponry using his force-fields and replication units.

It is hinted that their minds combine to some degree while in Titan mode. The two Galalunans appear suspended in a trance-like state, protected from physical harm by Octus' force fields. They converse freely with eyes closed and lips unmoving. (I think it would be too confusing and unnerving to show a Trill-like symbiotic mindsharing in a childrens' show, but I think it could have been handled better.)

Triessentialism's Potential

When the alien teenagers and the A.I. enroll in high school as a cover, Octus points out the different social groups: the jocks, the nerds, and the cheerleaders/spirit squad, who run the school social scene and are "the most dangerous of all." These are, of course, the Physically, Logically, and Emotionally intuitive groups that naturally form in high school.

Princess Ilana compares them to the primitive tribes of Galaluna's past, a people divided. Of course, when she tries to unite them, she is mocked. (High schoolers are not the right crowd to try to unite. Early middle school would have been better to explicate differences and forge a bond, but what can you do?)

Triessentialism, when communicated properly, has the potential to aid individuals and entire cultures in understanding their differences, and seeing the strengths of others.

It has certainly helped me discover the differences between myself (Logically intuitive) and my father (Physically intuitive). He need to get things started and get them done; I want to analyze and talk. He has a sense of the urgent and the important that I don't, and he seems to figure out what to do in most situations.

Having discovered our differences, and later having worked for the same employer in the same shop, I was surprised to see that he is Logically intuitive like me, but was forced by the pressures of life to become Physically inclined. Upon reflection, it shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did. After all, watching science fiction shows such as Star Trek has been our primary shared activity since I was a youth.

The situation with Lance and his father is the opposite. His father was Galaluna's greatest scientist, but upon his apparent death, Lance was sent to a military school where he found the will to become a physical specimen of top quality. Lance's latent logical intuition has shown up in his tactical and strategic skills, from his early discovery of the coup/invasion to his skill in dispatching one of its traitorous heads in a swordfight.

I don't know if a society where children are taught the truths which Triessentialism reveals would be much more tolerant, but it would give young adults a greater understanding of their place in the world, and the differences between the people around them. It needn't be in a classroom; perhaps embedded in a TV show for children...?

I plan to watch the rest of the series very soon; I suspect I will learn a lot about my own philosophy from this show, from the perspective of the (probably Physically intuitive) minds of the writers.

Buy it on iTunes or DVD/Blu-Ray. If you're a fan of smart action-adventure, deep-backstory science fiction, or tales of heroism, moral fortitude, and hard decisions, you'll love it.