This is one of the best dialogues in 善德女王. This scene arises because the princess Deoman (later Queen SeonDeok) wants to build an observatory tower so that everybody in the country can learn about astronomy, how to calculate seasons, days and tides etc. Prior to this, Mishil has been "using" astronomy to fool the people by making "prophecies" based on astrological events like the lunar eclipse. This "power" to control nature was previously in the hands of the royalties so that they retain god-like status. Now that the princess has won it back, she wants to release to the commoners. This is the dialogue that ensued.
The summary of the dialogue is that Deoman wants the people to know science so that it cannot be a source of internal battle (to own it) and it cannot be abused for power or control. Mishil feels that if you do that you are losing your power to govern. The people needs this illusion that you are in control. Deoman says that she will not govern in this manner, she will use truth to govern. The people should not live by illusion, but by hope and dreams. Mishil says that hope and dreams is the most scary and cruel illusion.
It is highly disturbing how governing a country and governing a church is similar. The needs of a church member and the needs of a citizen are similar. The methods of a king and the methods of a church leader are similar. What you decide to do in leadership will dictate what kind of country/church you produce. I cannot recall when the transformation took place, but some day I just decided that I will not govern by illusions anymore. I will not continue the same old words of comfort that "God loves you" & "God is in control" & "God will make sure everything will turn out fine". I decided to release all that I know to the people.
Mishil is right though. The people do not want that. They have endless requests and they just want to know that you can make it all go away and they want to feel better. But that is not the truth. I want to govern by the truth. I want people to struggle with me with the harsh realities of truth. There is much we cannot know and much needed to continue to learn together. We live instead by hope and dreams. We endure hardships of uncertainty and doubt believing in the promised land that is far beyond. My church, I'm sorry that I will just continue with my style of tough theological education. I don't want the power. I give you the power of knowledge. We will work it out together.
It is cruel. But it is better than illusions. It is hope and dreams.