Resurrection Ertugrul: An epic with heart and values

Renaissance

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The Turkish historical-fiction drama Etugrurl has been discussed on a number of threads but the show really deserves it's own unified discussion.

It's set in the 13th century Anatolia / the Sleljuk Empire (more or less modern Turkey) and is about the pathway establishing the Ottoman Empire. It mainly revolves around the Kayi tribe with Ertugrul as a developmental force. The first season establishes their tribal values which strongly parallel with the laws of hospitality described in the Odyssey. There are a number of other parallel elements with 'Homer's' work, and that makes the discussion around the transmission of much older value systems in the region all the more interesting. In any case, the initial emphasis on hospitality and protection of guests in the first season paves the way for triumph through betrayal and corruption, a primary theme of the show.

The show isn't hampered by any of Hollywood's degenerative agendas, and it demonstrates this through a pretty accurate understanding of common human weakness as well as how external corrupting influences can spread their poison through corrupt characters within the tribe. They do a commendable job demonstrating the effects of sociopathy, psychopathy, and human vulnerabilities to pathology - both from men and women. The show creates an equally inspiring depiction of not only surviving through suffering but learning and growing because of it - even if it is excruciating at times. On this note, the show has allowed some stupid writers to write some incredibly stupid scripts that may cause low level epileptic fits. It's not perfect, but if you can excuse this you'll probably enjoy it more.

It should also be mentioned that it is written in epic form. Each episode is around 2 hours long, and if you're watching on Netflix it is broken into roughly 45 min segments. The first season has 26 ~2 hour episodes or 76 ~45 minute episodes. And it goes up and down from there depending on the season. That said, I think it's fair to say that it touches on themes of the human spirit and inspiration that aren't close to being approached by Western productions and is well worth the investment of time. And Ibn Arabi is regularly featured in the show, which also makes it pretty awesome.
 

aragorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for starting this. I have admit that I'm now an 'Ertugrul fan', too. :-) I started (mistakenly) wiht season 5, and then I started from the beginning, now almost done with season 2.

That said, I do think that in order to get the most of it, and not to be negatively effected by some things, the viewer needs to have a good dose of awareness and discernment. Some of the negative things I've noticed – or, negative, if you aren't aware of their potential effect – generally has to do with the reoccurring harsh 'slaughtering of infidels'. Maybe others can explain this better, but I get the slight warning light of, how to put it, 'islamic propaganda': that it's okay to kill all those 'indfidels', be it Mongols, Templars etc. I'm not familiar enough with the Islamic religion to form a educated opinion but what this series is trying to say, imo, is that Islam is the religion of righteousness, honesty and 'all things good'. Maybe it could be that, and maybe some ancient form of Islam comes close to that, but in any case based on what we see today does not come close to that.

However, regarding the violence, one side of it is that in those times living was most likely a lot more ruthless and more straightforward: lands were, indeed, conquered by the sword and many disagreements were 'resolved' brutally through violence. As I've been thinking about this, I tried to imagine how the series would be without any violence – hmm...even though it would be nicer and so forth, it would make it less realistic, I think. As a side note, it's funny how any drop of blood is always blurred by the producers, as opposed to many quite brutal details that are not.

Anyways, the negative things notwithstanding, there are so many things in this series that I find wonderful that makes it worth watching, if you ask me. I agree with Renaissance that the absolutely best thing with the series is the detailed and realistic depiction of the psychological and sometimes spiritual battles that humans go through. The makers must have had a number of excellent psychologist (or expers on pathology!) to help them write the scenes. And the icing on the cake is that the actors are just mindblowlingly excellent – I couldnt' imagine those Hollywood wannabees to do as good acting as them. Ibn Arabi's wise word are also a wonderfull addition.

A more 'childish' thing that I think appeals to me, and maybe many others, is that for once, hallelujah! you have a guy, Ertugrul, who is smart, righteous, sees through all the bastard's schemes, and makes things right and brings justice. As we've noticed, true justice hasn't been seen in the world for decades, maybe longer. Those Bidens, Epsteins, child molesters and other psychopaths never seem to be punished for what they do, justice is never served. So to see someone do that, in a brutally straightforward way, is appealing. And you have to love the way Ertugrul 'gives the stare' and on many occasions 'bites his tongue' when confronted with the manipulative and pathological characters. He knows (or learns) how to not be affected by their manipulations. One of the main teachings is that you should never let your emotions/anger take over your actions and decision making, much like we've been discussing here. Connections to Gurdjieff's teachings can also be found here and there.

Much has also been said about how the characters evolve (or devolve) during time. This is one of the differences compared to those Hollywood series where all chacters are carved in stone, black-and-white, and never show any signs of true and lasting evolving.

There's a lot more to be said about this series but one more thing, for now: I feel that the faith, respect, good manners, politeness, and viewing death as something beautiful and completely normal (albeit sad) that is depicted has strengthened also my own perspective on these things. I woulnd't want to be living at a time where brutal sword battles are faught, but I would want to be a part of the more simple and spiritually and morally deeper society that is shown in this series.
 

dredger

Jedi Master
Hello,
Good idea to dedicate a thread on this series.
I'm also among the ones who strongly like this show and who enjoyed it a lot (and still i am). Right now i'm currently watching the 3rd season, it's long, but ... worth it.
@aragorn well described it. already, what could i add more ...

This is a truly refreshing series, and as far as I'm concerned, one of the most beautiful ever. Beautiful in the sense that I find in it values that I cherish. About muslim and the religious aspect ... yes, as aragorn said, just remove this aspect, replace Allah by the universe or whatever you want and it's fine. The series could be seen as STO vs STS in the muslim context during the 13th century, with good guys, bad ones and the usual NPC :lol:

I'm a big reader of heroic fantasy books, and I found, in this Turkish series, the same beautiful human values that make you (at least me) like a book because the hero or heroes are inspiring.

I take an example of one of my favourite heroes : Drizzt Do'Urden, the dark elf imagined by the author R.A. Salvatore, or another series of book by the same author which is amazaing and named "The DemonWars Saga" (link : The DemonWars Saga - Wikipedia) with several heroes, the main one being Elbryan.
I was lulled by these fantasy books between my 25 and 40 years old and these inpsirent heroes. I still read some, less for the moment, one of the last ones I liked is the series "The sword of truth" (in English "The sword of truth" by Terry Goddkind).
All this to say that I find the same (good human) ingredients in this series, it is in fact the first time that this happens to me and it is much appealing :-D.

You can spot the real bad guys quickly, they're terribly well typed, to the point that I think many people will imagine that it's not possible for people to be so vicious in life. But these psychopaths and power-hungry people in the series are unfortunately much representative of the reality of how these evil people behave, more could be discussed about this sub-topic. Watching the series makes it all the better to identify them, to understand them, to learn about them and de facto become stronger against these "inhuman" beings that we come across in our respective lives. For this, the series is a good life lesson. In fact while talking about this series recently to several people (mainly family) around me, i told them that this series is a good life lesson on how bad people can act, can lie from the begin to the end without, at any time, having the slightest suspicion (of being wrong) or feeling the slightest guilt.

I have several nephews and I'm going to advise them to watch it, I hope they will "catch on" and if they do, I plan to discuss it with them again in the future. But not just young people, to any. I'll probably start to receive feedbacks from the people I proposed to watch the series, during the coming weeks and months. I'll be interrested to see what some will say about, if they abandonned to watch iut or get "hooked" on the show. I'll see, this thread will allow us to continue to talk about in the future.

To come back to how these psychopaths (let's name them like this) act in the series, it even puzzled me when i see how they can lie and lie and lie. This gave a good lesson to me : they'll never stop, they'll always try to corrupt everything until this gives them an advantage, and their methods or countless. The series demonstrates very brilliantly how these psychopaths project themselves, the fact that they attribute to others their own faults, their own misdeeds or even errors which, through lies, they attribute to those who put obstacles in their objectives/thirst for power, often accompanied by revenge as soon as one of their plans is thwarted. They are sickly incapable of questioning themselves, of learning from their mistakes, they persist and sign to see only one aspect, their own, and they are totally blinded by their desire/need for power. The series superbly demonstrates this aspect of their psyche and their behaviors which follow.

One point that I liked is, as aragorn already mentions, the evolution of the characters. Whether it's a bad character at the beginning but who repents and becomes good, or simple improves but still having flaws, or whether it's good people with a good heart (like Etrugrul's two older brothers) who sometimes go so far as to oppose him because on the one hand they are fooled by lies, and on the other hand, they don't have (yet) enough discernment to see through those lies (and they still have flaws in their being). It is all about emotions, their control, and the life objectives of the different people involved. For example, from the first episode, Ertugrul's father entrusts him with a mission that he does not want to entrust to his older brother. The father replies to Ertugrul saying that he does not want to entrust it to his older brother because he is consumed by the fire of power. This is just one of many examples in the series of the classic traps and lessons that a human being has to overcome in order to progress.

Another point that struck me personally is ... the camaraderie/fellowship between the group of Ertugrul and his warriors (Alps). I couldn't help but relate this to my company and the small team that I managed to build/unite up over time. There are 6 of us, the understanding between all of us is not perfect of course, but it is nevertheless excellent, the cohesion is strong, the sharing, the mutual help and the good will of everyone is there. I could say more about this, mabye for later in the thread. All i can say is that the series gave me already some ideas about. I'm in fact applying a lot of of what I learnt mainly here, thanks Laura for this, to manage my company, and the experience is nice, even fun, but also much time-consuming.

One last point: I had therefore shown this series to one of my colleagues who is Muslim. And since 2 months we regularly talked about it while smoking a cigarette or even via the internal chat. He just finished to watch the 4th season and is actively looking for season 5 with French subtitles (but can't find it). As one can imagine, he strongly love the series, he often gave me some thoughts that were both surprising and pleasant to hear/read. In summary, he simply demonstrated me what benefits anyone can learn watching this series, its teaching. Early January, he wrote me the following on our tchat tool, i translate into English :

The series has taught me a lot of things and the thing that has marked me the most is that one must always stay on the side of the good guys, no matter who is facing and what the consequences are. That you could also be disappointed in a lot of people by seeking the truth, but that shouldn't stop you from moving forward. There are so many lessons to be learned from this series that I couldn't list them all here.

I was more than just pleased to read him writing this, but i can't find the good word to express myself here, just a kind of feeling that warms the heart.

That's all :-)
 
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Jtucker

Jedi
Spoiler Alert! Don't read below if you haven't seen Season 1. Can anyone who has though, answer this question for me? I've been looking on the internet and can't find any mention of it.
Hi Turgon, we had the same disorienting situation with Turgut and Thomas. The writers seem to clear it up a bit with flashbacks a couple of episodes going forward, but it's still kind of wonky.

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of the "meta" structure into Season 2 contains elements of mystical and philosophical Zoroastrianism without naming it or using the direct symbolic influences. Although I was somewhat familiar with Zorastrianism before this forum, but the one session that Laura and the C's explored the concept and history led me to dig into as much early research (english speaking) that I could find.

Much of Ibn Arabi's words ring with Z'isms. The polarisation of good and evil and surrender to the process of the work. There is a lot of "who you are and what you know" involved in his relationship with Ertegrul. Also Ertegrul's journey is one of learning the detection of higher processes of evil and pathology that is against him. Rather than just better sword work :-) This show has led me to a lot of research on so many subjects from this time and region.
 

rrraven

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
I love this show, onto season 2 now
my favorite is Ertugrul's mum
the only drawback is the subtitles , you look away for a sec and miss what was said ( hamdulilla I will understand turkish by season 5,bismilla , lol ) and the translation brakes down sometimes ( atm traitors are translated as treachers) and the absolute worst threat is not giving your blessing
and I love love love the carpets and sheepskins and the clothes and jewelry the girls wear , the low couches (ottomans?)
it almost feels like a past life memory to me , I yearn for a yurt
also the system of democratic feudalism where women are tribal leaders together with their husbands and even after he dies ( Genghis s mother led her tribe as a single mother after his father was killed )
it is a classic fairy tale the noble knight rescues and woos the princess with supporting cast of archetypal good(looking) guys and bad(evil looking) guys
and if it is a good looking actor on the baddie side you know he will come ''good'' and become muslim
That said, I do think that in order to get the most of it, and not to be negatively effected by some things, the viewer needs to have a good dose of awareness and discernment. Some of the negative things I've noticed – or, negative, if you aren't aware of their potential effect – generally has to do with the reoccurring harsh 'slaughtering of infidels'. Maybe others can explain this better, but I get the slight warning light of, how to put it, 'islamic propaganda': that it's okay to kill all those 'indfidels', be it Mongols, Templars etc. I'm not familiar enough with the Islamic religion to form a educated opinion but what this series is trying to say, imo, is that Islam is the religion of righteousness, honesty and 'all things good'. Maybe it could be that, and maybe some ancient form of Islam comes close to that, but in any case based on what we see today does not come close to that.
of course it says that , by default , it is after all the ''true'' historical fairy tale story of the parents of the founder of the ottoman empire , happy ending plus , guaranteed.
We know Ertugrul will get the princess , but its not just '' and they lived happily ever after ''
we know they will have a son , and he will live and grow up and be even more than dad

well ''Vikings'' was heavy on the whole Valhalla thing and could be taken as ''pagan propaganda''
and 'slaughtering of infidels' well , I think its in the definition of infidel as those who do NOT follow ''THE RULES''(of common cutesy ,sanctity of women , hospitality , etc. ) which outs them as psychopaths

speaking of Vikings there seems to be a wave of similar shows ...Germany did ''Barbarians'' ,
''the last kingdom '' is vikings from the English pov , some previews on one on Cortes another one on Rome way way back
 

trytofly

Jedi
After all the recommendations and these favorable reviews, I tried the series ... and I am not disappointed.
I've only watched the first three episodes so far, but it's clear that the series deserves better broadcast in the West.
Despite the unusual length of an episode, I don't see the time passing. I can't wait to see the rest! :-)
 

aragorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just finished season 2 yesterday and started looking for season 3. Couldn't find it on YT (with English subs) but I found it here:


Regarding season 2 I noticed that many of the characters were perfect examples of people with various disturbances:

Sungurtekin: authoritarian follower
Gundogdu: dreaming he's awake (thinks he has it all figured out but is in truth completely off)
Kopek: smart psychopath
Gumustekin, Aytolun, Concagul: dumb psychopaths
 

Chrissy

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Gumustekin, Aytolun, Concagul: dumb psychopaths
That made me chuckle! I was thinking Concagul was more an Apath, though. She seems to do the other two's dirty work, but I'm not done with season 2 yet so maybe there are more surprises. I have to say, the traitors on the inside get me so worked up as far as villains go. The levels of deceit they go to to reach their goals is painful to watch.
 

Renaissance

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Some of the negative things I've noticed – or, negative, if you aren't aware of their potential effect – generally has to do with the reoccurring harsh 'slaughtering of infidels'. Maybe others can explain this better, but I get the slight warning light of, how to put it, 'islamic propaganda': that it's okay to kill all those 'indfidels', be it Mongols, Templars etc. I'm not familiar enough with the Islamic religion to form a educated opinion but what this series is trying to say, imo, is that Islam is the religion of righteousness, honesty and 'all things good'. Maybe it could be that, and maybe some ancient form of Islam comes close to that, but in any case based on what we see today does not come close to that.

It is produced by the Turkish government, so I think there's little doubt that their intention is to use the show for propaganda. But I also think the show's writers and consultants have good enough understanding of a number of humanity's problems and solutions that it overrides the propaganda intentions.

Also, in relation to the violence I think it's helpful to look at the show as an allegory or a mythological epic. One of the ways the show can be viewed is that the tribe is the self that needs protection from the unjust and cruel, which can also be understood in terms of polarization and corrupting programs.

The show follows Gurdjieff's description of the work involved in the formation of the Real I. He uses the allegory of the observer, deputy steward, and steward and the organization of the house (tribe) and servants in preparation for the master.

From In Search of the Miraculous:

"Man has no individuality. He has no single, big I. Man is divided into a multiplicity of small I's.

"And each separate small I is able to call itself by the name of the Whole, to act in the name of the Whole, to agree or disagree, to give promises, to make decisions, with which another I or the Whole will have to deal. This explains why people so often make decisions and so seldom carry them out. A man decides to get up early beginning from the following day. One I, or a group of I's, decide this. But getting up is the business of another I who entirely disagrees with the decision and may even know absolutely nothing about it. Of course the man will again go on sleeping in the morning and in the evening he will again decide to get up early. In some cases this may assume very unpleasant consequences for a man. A small accidental I may promise something, not to itself, but to someone else at a certain moment simply out of vanity or for amusement. Then it disappears, but the man, that is, the whole combination of other I's who are quite innocent of this, may have to pay for it all his life. It is the tragedy of the human being that any small I has the right to sign checks and promissory notes and the man, that is, the Whole, has to meet them. People's whole lives often consist in paying off the promissory notes of small accidental I's.

"Eastern teachings contain various allegorical pictures which endeavor to portray the nature of man's being from this point of view.

"Thus, in one teaching, man is compared to a house in which there is a multitude of servants but no master and no steward. The servants have all forgotten their duties; no one wants to do what he ought; everyone tries to be master, if only for a moment; and, in this kind of disorder, the house is threatened with grave danger. The only chance of salvation is for a group of the more sensible servants to meet together and elect a temporary steward, that is, a deputy steward. This deputy steward can then put the other servants in their places, and make each do his own work: the cook in the kitchen, the coachman in the stables, the gardener in the garden, and so on. In this way the 'house' can be got ready for the arrival of the real steward who will, in his turn, prepare it for the arrival of the master.

"The comparison of a man to a house awaiting the arrival of the master is frequently met with in Eastern teachings which have preserved traces of ancient knowledge, and, as we know, the subject appears under various forms in many of the parables in the Gospels. But even the clearest understanding of his possibilities will not bring man any nearer to their realization. In order to realize these possibilities he must have a very strong desire for liberation and be willing to sacrifice everything, to risk everything, for the sake of this liberation."

From Fourth Way Today:
At the beginning, ‘I’ is an imaginary person, sometimes called false personality. While one is searching for a way out, groups of ‘I’s emerge that form a magnetic center. Through contact with objective knowledge, this is transformed into an observing ‘I’ and perhaps deputy steward. Later, if a person has the luck to meet a school, ‘I’ registers as the steward, who can control the other ‘I’s. Finally, beginning for only moments at a time, real ‘I’ emerges – a permanent principle of consciousness within us.

Observing ‘I’ Is formed when we take the decision to work on ourselves. It is not always there – it comes and goes. Observing ‘I’ begins to see our internal world using more objective categories; such as in the Fourth Way: the four lower centers, the four different states of consciousness, differing levels of attention, features and body type, negative emotions, etc. It is like having an internal person who occasionally wakes up and writes down a note about what they see and then falls back asleep. It is a point that observes neutrally what is happening, that is, when it wakes up for a moment.

As one continues in the Work, Deputy Steward gradually takes the place of single observing ‘I’s. It begins to sort things out internally. We already have an idea what we need to do to put our inner household into better order, based on the notes that observing ‘I’s took. The Deputy Steward begins to divide our manifestations into those that are obstacles to presence and those that help the work to maintain awareness. It tries to control the harmful manifestations and to encourage the beneficial ones – but not very successfully. It also begins to get an idea which manifestations are neutral and don’t need to be changed. (In general, these are connected with essence.) A Deputy Steward can control things sometimes, but it usually shows up after the fact. Our work is strengthened, ironically, by recording its failures to control the centers or our features.

The Steward has more unity. It has the capacity to control the I’s and be there at the moment that things are happening internally. It is able to put the internal household in order based on the division of internal manifestations into useful, harmful, or indifferent that the Deputy Steward made. The Steward makes the house ready for the master, or real ‘I’, and recedes when real ‘I’ emerges. In certain situations, it is designed to fail, as true control is reserved for real ‘I’. A steward can only be developed through the intensity of school work.

So, in Ertugrul we see him start out as the observing 'I' who can take note of the many chaotic little 'i's', disunity, corruption, etc., but there's not a whole lot he can actually do. He has a magnetic center based on truth, justice, and faith, but people don't listen to him and suffer as a result. This suffering can be quite intense, but you can see how his development and tribal learning of lessons (often times slowly), gradually builds unity. As that progresses, he and his followers take on greater and greater roles and responsibility. This can be understood as the many i's / servants beginning to know and perform their roles under the deputy steward and so on as explained above.

As mentioned, the violence can be seen as fighting against programs and corrupting influences in our inner and outer worlds. In this respect, it is different from other 'realistic' shows because infadel soldiers really are nothing more than agents of corruption. They are purely uni-dimensional. And there are a number of scenes that demonstrate the cruelty of what they are up against. But those scenes aren't there out of gratuitousness. They are there to emphasize the need of higher values and justice, and to see what is needed for those values to be realized. On occasion, there is more depth in a few corrupting agents that have greater roles than the droid soilder. This provides some really powerful struggles and messages too.
 

Voyageur

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It should also be mentioned that it is written in epic form. Each episode is around 2 hours long, and if you're watching on Netflix it is broken into roughly 45 min segments. The first season has 26 ~2 hour episodes or 76 ~45 minute episodes.

When the series was started - as it wound down to the end (and it is a big commitment in time), sparing with the Crusaders, oh gosh, thought that was the totality of the series. Wrong. It was season I :lol: and there are V seasons. However, the hook was firmly in place, and not just for me but my wife is engrossed with it, too.

Season II quickly, and tragically, then becomes bound into mixing with the Mongolian Swarm bent on concur.

Turgut's woman, Deli Demir's daughter, Aykız Hatun, met her end as she did. Horrible.

So, in Ertugrul we see him start out as the observing 'I' who can take note of the many chaotic little 'i's', disunity, corruption, etc., but there's not a whole lot he can actually do. He has a magnetic center based on truth, justice, and faith, but people don't listen to him and suffer as a result. This suffering can be quite intense, but you can see how his development and tribal learning of lessons (often times slowly), gradually builds unity. As that progresses, he and his followers take on greater and greater roles and responsibility. This can be understood as the many i's / servants beginning to know and perform their roles under the deputy steward and so on as explained above.

Yes, well said as.

The the other thing with the individual characters, each one's nature either builds in growth or is shedding their embedded mental pathologies; and some are fixed natures that cannot change. There are some surprises.

One of my favourite characters (the list is so long) is, Deli Demir and the way he engages with children to provide them with deep embracing stories that offer wonder and faith; that link them together.

İbn-i Arabi (and his Dervish), fantastic. Wonderful talks.

As for similarities to Homer's Odyssey:

1612990663202.png

Thanks for the thread!
 

Ina

Jedi Council Member
I am going to start watching it. As a Romanian descendant I know the written history from the opposite side, the side of a vassal state to the Sublime Gate. Wallachia and Moldavia were vassal states to the Ottoman Empire until 1877 when Romania gained its independence.
 

sid

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
About the killings and executions of traitors (ie Infidels or Kafirs as referred in the Urdu version), they do bring a sense of joy from seeing justice being served quickly and decisively - something that is sorely lacking in the current world. Ertugrul as a Hero must fulfill his role as a warrior which is to bring true justice to the lands and dispose of the wrongdoers. This is what is expected from a figure of authority. As otherwise, "Justice delayed is Justice denied".

We are into Season 3 and thoroughly enjoyed Season 2 which is the longest but has the most interesting mix of characters. Season 2 highlights the concepts such as "The Narcissistic Family" and "Petty Tyrants" really well. It seems everyone gets their come-uppance but it was sad to see a few good characters dying too. I agress with all of the reviews and comments posted so far - its a very good show and time well spent. If anyone is looking for something which may remotely come close to this in the western world - look up "Legend of the Seeker". Only two seasons made but an excellent TV series displaying the Hero's journey alongwith the "mother" and "wizard" archetypes. Also demonstrates the personality splitting via MKUltra-esque torture techniques and Transmarginal Inhibition process.
 

Ina

Jedi Council Member
About the killings and executions of traitors (ie Infidels or Kafirs as referred in the Urdu version), they do bring a sense of joy from seeing justice being served quickly and decisively - something that is sorely lacking in the current world.
? I am questioning the sense of joy. Many times justice can be served quickly and decisively without fairness.
I still have to watch the series.
 

luc

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Love the show too, we watched the first 2 seasons but took a break for a few weeks. Perhaps we will get into season 3 one day inshallah!

For me, the show is all about "seeing the unseen" and learning to get better at it.

the traitors on the inside get me so worked up as far as villains go. The levels of deceit they go to to reach their goals is painful to watch.

Yes, the villains are awesome, both the outside villains and the inside traitors. Heck, when the traitors deliver their "pity-me" speeches when finally caught, I found myself BELIEVING them and wanting to excuse them, even though I am part of the audience and KNOW even better than the good characters how purely evil these people are! That's how good the writers and actors treat these subjects IMO.

They are also great at showing the difference between a "soul in struggle" and the various variations of psychopaths, of weaknesses etc.

It is produced by the Turkish government, so I think there's little doubt that their intention is to use the show for propaganda. But I also think the show's writers and consultants have good enough understanding of a number of humanity's problems and solutions that it overrides the propaganda intentions.

Well I must say I find it pretty funny to have a show where a bunch of Muslims are crying "allahu akhbar" while killing infidels, and yet they clearly are the good guys, representing the STO side. It forces especially us westerners to discern, and to think hard about good and evil - because we need to work against "muslim terror" memes that have been instilled deeply since 9/11, while also being critical of Islam.

The conclusion I have come to regarding the show is that except for some details and rituals, it doesn't matter at all whether Ertugrul and his people are Muslims or Christians or whatever. Islam here is represented as the One True Religion, and the way they do it, they have understood quite a bit. You could just as easily use Christianity as your starting point to depict and dramatize the One True Religion. In fact, it speaks volumes about Western culture that we need a somewhat cheesy Turkish-Muslim TV show to get that level of spiritual depth. What a shame! It is utterly unthinkable that Hollywood or Western Netflix would produce anything even remotely like this but coming from a Western spiritual background. It's all cynicism in Western culture when it comes to religion or spirituality.

(I can see how some people would consider the show Muslim propaganda; in a sense, it is, or could be taken as such superficially. But it's also not at all that once you look deeper.)

As for the violence, I myself am super-sensitive to it normally and to anything that is "dark". Except for a few things, I didn't get that gloomy feeling watching Ertugrul. The violence is so cartoonish (almost Bud Spencer-like) and I clearly see it as a metaphor/acting out of "spiritual warfare", battle in the unseen world so to speak. Again, there are some exceptions, but just like @aragorn, I found this to be one of those rare shows that actually taught me something valuable and lifted me up, instead of leaving me drained.
 
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