A while back, I asked this question on Formspring:
Fate/stay night: epic or boring? I’m thinking about watching this series. The artwork looks great and the story sounds interesting, but the first few minutes of episode one didn’t hook me and I don’t want to waste precious viewing time. Worth watching?
The series looked cool, but like I wrote, it didn’t hook me. But it seems I was asking this question of the wrong series. A recent commenter suggested I watch Fate/Zero, even if I hadn’t seen the original series. Earlier, my friend, Adam, said something similar. And so, I dove in. Six episodes later, I see what both of these individuals meant – I’m really enjoying the series (and as such, I would ask that you please don’t spoil this series for me – I’ve seen up through episode
six seven – or Fate/Stay Night either).
I wasn’t meaning to blog on this series, but an interesting nugget caught my attention during my mini-marathon of the show. Near the end of episode five, this interesting exchange took place, as Archer asks Kirei why he doesn’t ask for joy:
Kirei: You ask me to long for something that blasphemous and sinful?
Archer: Blasphemous? Sinful? That’s going a little far. Why draw a connection between joy and sin?
Archer: True, joy gained by evil means could be a sin. But joy may be attained by good deeds as well. What kind of philosophy calls joy itself a sin?
Kirei: Joy is another quality I lack. I seek, but do not find.
This conversation could have easily taken place in the context of Christianity, and in some manner, it may be tangentially related. A view of Christianity I think that many people have (at least which I had some years ago) was either of overbearingly smiley (though not necessarily happy) people, or else strict, no-fun curmudgeons, like Kirei. Though both of these types certainly exist in Christendom, one doesn’t have to have artificial joy or to view joy as a sin. Finding happiness in evil, as Archer says, is one thing, but certainly joy itself is not bad. Quite the contrary.
One of the most significant books in the development of my faith is Desiring God by John Piper. Written both with a graceful voice and with a professor’s tone, the theme of the book is simple and profound. Piper tells us that the purpose of life is to desire God and that when we do so, we’ll find joy. We should seek joy. In fact, Piper calls himself a Christian hedonist, which seems to be an oxymoron. But no, Piper tells us that we should want to find pleasure. Long-lasting happiness (definition of “joy”) can be found by desiring God.
So perhaps a Christian life isn’t about a set of rules; it’s simply about loving God and in Him, finding peace and joy.
But somehow, I get the feeling that Kirei desires something (or someone) else other than God and that Gilgamesh’s version of hedonism isn’t exactly the same as Piper’s. Nope…not at all.