It’s funny how the universe aligns itself; I’ve been studying and contemplating different things of late, which kind of all came together in my head during this episode. While the Doctor found the missing 9th Legion, and tried to leap into action, Bill and Nardole stopped him from spending eternity guarding a gateway, by reminding him that he has another purpose and to “pick your battles” more carefully.
Recently, the topics of personal mantras or mottos came up; they were incredibly popular for a long time, and during the Tudor age, helped individuals both define themselves and align their behaviors, actions, and intentions toward the fulfillment of their individual motto. For example, Katharine of Aragon’s was “humble and loyal,” and she managed to fulfill the latter greatly throughout her life, even when her loyalty changed from her husband to her daughter. I have never chosen a motto for myself (yet) but I intend to — one that defines my personal desires on who I want to be as an individual, and helps me focus myself toward a single end.
The idea of choosing one’s battles can also tie into a personal motto; if you devote yourself to one specific mantra, then you waste no valuable time nor resources nor energies on frivolous things, because anything that detracts from your mantra is cast aside. I heard a popular speaker give a talk on this awhile back; he said all too often, we spread ourselves too think by caring too broadly, and not deciding what matters most to us and can make the biggest singular difference in our (and others’ lives). If you fight on too many fronts, you cannot put up a good defense on any of them; you stretch yourself too thin.
This same speaker had a video illustration of the unending harmony of the universe; his personal belief is that God calls us to “hear the music, and become part of the melody.” That in our natural state, we hear snatches of the music, but we are only truly and utterly our greater selves when we are not out of tune, but part of an eternal song. So, I smiled when the Doctor told Missy that, “You see [this world], you grasp it, but you never learn to hear the music.” Her fundamental flaw as a psychopath is her lack of understanding and empathy for humankind; her total disinterest in the never-ending truths of humanity, a melody that the Doctor can hear and allows into his soul.
Christian theology is changing at present; great debates rage on all fronts as additional scholarship reveals massive theoretical shifts and greater understanding of the period in which scripture was written; and one of those debates is the nature of evil, and whether or not a singular Satan exists, or if that was a name given to the “evil forces” of the universe (might we call them residual negative energy? I don’t know). My personal pet theory, and one I quite like, is that in an idealized world, everyone would be so in tune with the melody of the Creator that no one would hear evil; because it is unseen, unheard, and has no influence without human participation, it ceases to exist, while it is not absent; having no agency, no ability to influence, no way to communicate, and to never be heard, if evil were a sentient being, would be… hell.