Minbari Mondays, and Four Things B5: Passing Through Gethsemane (s3e4), Teaches us About Health

       This week’s review, from our year 2260 CE,  is just by me, since Ranger Mayann is now prohibited from writing to us from Minbar, where she is stationed. 

     So what is health, really?

    I find four things in this episode, thanks to the Minbari way of thinking:

          1.  Joy, even in the darkest of times, is important.  After all, that is why temple includes an entire year of laughter training, for the Minbari Religious Caste, right?

          2.  Believing in the idea that hope is useful, and possible, helps: alot.  As Delenn says: Faith Manages…

          3.  Is it really healthy to think that your memories make up who you are?

          4.  Is it really wrong to choose the timing of your own passing, as the Brother has done, apparently, in this episode, in sacrificing himself?  Why are we not considered healthy if we decide that it is indeed our time to “Go To The Sea” as the Minbari call it, as the ancient Greeks did (when they didn’t simply “call for the draughts” of hemlock…)?


     I love the Abbot’s joyous attitude in the midst of such dark times: 

  “Your ambassador Delenn…Faith Manages!  Check… Mate!”

      And Lyta is back!! 

       My biggest objection to this episode is that erasing all of a person’s memories does not remove the core personality.  One is not only the sum of one’s experiences.  I don’t understand how anyone can imagine that mere memories form a personality.  Two different people, experiencing the same events, will behave quite differently depending on the choices that they make, which is partly driven by their personalities, no?

    But I love how Delenn again insists that they honor every true seeker.

   The ideas of personality, and how different personalities react to similar events, and of seeking, lead me to the problem of how we approach mental health, and the assumptions we make around health, emotional, mental and spiritual.  How do we distinguish those three elements, and upon what grounds do we make the judgements we make about what constitutes healthy behavior, thought, and longing?  When one brings up the topic, for instance, of the right to die with dignity, to commit suicide as we say, at a time of one’s own choosing, we often hear that that is “control” in spite of it being the very opposite of control.  The ability to decide when and under what circumstances one will die is the very essence of choice.  One that is likely a function of personality, as well as state of mind at any given moment, and spiritual beliefs as well, of course.  But do we really ask ourselves about the bases upon which we make our most crucial decisions?


Last Monday’s review was S3e3: A Day in The Strife: ,

Next Minbari Monday is Season 3 ep5: Voices of Authority



Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

I come in peace, I am your friend.


There are earlier episodes, as part of a letter on the history of the Babylon Project.  

Action Prompts:

1.)  Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how this episode of Babylon 5 could help that process.

2.) Write a book, story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.


Click here to read, if you like:

Narrative and Prose Nonfiction,     

Holistic High School Lessons,


Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


21 thoughts on “Minbari Mondays, and Four Things B5: Passing Through Gethsemane (s3e4), Teaches us About Health

  1. I think about the final scene, in which Captain Sheridan meets Brother Matthew. Brother Theo threw Sheridan’s words about the importance of forgiveness back into his face.

    Your review of “And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place,” should be interesting.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ok, Neatnik, I’m waiting for Do Better comments, so I’ll take the bait. Not that I mean to say that you are baiting me, but that is how this comment feels, no offense meant.

      The rabbis teach that forgiveness is only mandatory after a sincerely repentant person has tried to make restitution and asked the victim for forgiveness three times. In my not so humble opinion, though, except for the needs of the victim, forgiveness is entirely irrelevant. What matters is the intention not to commit the act again, via repentance, and the viable/sincere attempt to restore balance, ie restitution.

      The brother, formerly Black Rose Killer, here, is repentant, and tries to restore balance, thus, merits forgiveness. Kind of hard to get that from dead folks, though. The guy who murdered him in cold blood, otoh, was neither repentant, nor has done anything to restore the balance. He has merely been punished with a re-programmed new personality. It seems that telepaths are capable of implanting a conscience in the new personality, but that does not mean that the old person ever righted his wrongs. Punishment, however, imo, is also reasonably irrelevant, logically speaking. What matters, above all, is preventing perpetrators from doing the same things again. Thus, releasing a sex offender back onto the streets 20 years later merely increases the danger to young girls, however repentant he may be, as the vast majority admit to being incapable of stopping themselves from molesting. Even worse, my forgiveness would be harmful to other potential victims.
      So, I do not intend to broach the subject of forgiveness, nor of revenge, in that review, but I may slip, or forget, and do so anyway.
      The point of all of this is that as a society, we can certainly and damnably well Do Better.

      Injustice Delenda Est!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Okay, but I was not baiting. I am sorry my brief comment felt like baiting.

        The ethical issues in this episode had prompted many reviewers to explore quandaries.

        One question that has puzzled people since time immemorial is, how can I ask for the forgiveness of sins of which I have no knowledge?

        I, as a Christian, latch onto Brother Edward in his titular Garden of Gethsemane and choosing to stay there. I am aware of the dark side of my tradition. I know about the abuses of the concept of redemption via bloodshed, vicarious and otherwise. The tragedy (in the Greek sense) of Brother Edward was that he did not have to pass through Gethsemane. Brother Theo said as much.

        I also like the monks’ mission on B5. Surely God had not ignored alien civilizations. This reminds me of “The Man,” by Ray Bradbury, in “The Illustrated Man.” A rocketship from Earth lands on an alien planet. The vessel has flown over an inhabited city. But nobody comes to visit the ship. Why? Yesterday, He returned. His name varies from planet to planet, of course.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Asking ourselves why we make certain decisions before we make them would sound helpful in all the problems are world is facing now. Thank you, Shira.

    Liked by 4 people

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