I love the Star Wars series and like millions of people worldwide, I was so excited to see The Force Awakens hit the theaters. The movie certainly did not disappoint, brilliantly weaving George Lucas’ famed characters from the episodes I-VI, into an entirely new adventure with new heroes and villains for us to both love and despise.
Why do we find the Star Wars series so alluring? Is it the action, the science fiction theme, the good vs evil drama unfolding, the family struggles, the theme of betrayal, or is it deeper than all of that? As a sojourner in life like yourself, I find that this particular series has impacted me deeply to my very core, and I have to ask myself why. I have come to realize that for myself, the running theme of the Force is the allure of this story.
Each of us innately possesses a force within us that is greater than our human self… the true nature of who we really are. There have been many visionaries throughout history who have touched upon this same theme with their own metaphors and have successfully built their own “empires” around those stories. One of my favorite versions of this archetypal concept is that of Sydney Banks, who coined the three principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought.
The Mind refers to the universal mind or knowledge that each of us possesses; this formless mind or knowledge that binds us to one another and is the source of all wisdom: The Force. Each of us arrives into this world with this gift, although the further we drift away from infancy, the more we distance ourselves from this connection to true wisdom. Our reality becomes distorted with illusions of our own creation, based upon our own misunderstanding about who we truly are. We are tricked into forgetting who we truly are, in this world of over-stimulation, anxiety, and worry. We spend our entire lives searching for something… while this something that we seek, has been within us all along.
Consciousness is the ability to be aware. All of us are born with this innate gift. The ability to be aware of our surroundings and to try to make sense of what is happening around us is consciousness. The fact that we are alive and aware that we are alive, is the principle of consciousness.
Thought is the gift that each of us possesses, that creates the world that we perceive as our reality. Thought also has feelings attached, that have been forged through our experiences in life. The brain is an amazing creation, much like a computer, processing new data, associating old data (memories) with new events, in an attempt to make sense of the experiences we have.
Thought is the one principle among these three, that has the potential to create a self-imposed illusory hell, made up of ongoing misperceptions. Most of us mistakenly believe that our brain and our individual thoughts can somehow foretell the future, creating significant anxiety within us. We can also mistakenly believe that the past is still ongoing with special powers over us, with the ability to destroy our present and future. This is so compelling and convincing, that most of us think that we can never rise above our past or ever have a happy future because of past events. We are constantly seeking something “out there” to give us happiness…. in our relationships, our lovers, our jobs, our family, our possessions. Somehow out-there has become more important than what is inside of us. The search is never ending…. Out-there can never provide happiness. It is just not possible.
What most of us have forgotten, is that each and every one of us is all that we will ever really need to be happy. Each of us is already “enough” and each of us possesses a unique gift granted to us by the formless Mind that will enable us to have new insights into exactly what we need to do in any situation. Every one of us possesses The Force (not just the Skywalker family). Every living thing has everything they need, already inside of them by virtue of their birth, to successfully navigate and live a meaningful and happy life.
It is not possible to find the answers that you seek, from someone else.
All of the power that you need to guide you through the labyrinth of life, already lies within you. While you may need a guide to support you from time to time to point the way while you discover for yourself how to harness your own amazing powers (like an Obi Wan or Yoda figure), you already have everything that you need within you, as you tap into The Force.
In my own quest in life, I am coming to realize that I too, have always possessed all that I need within me, to create a world of happiness. The issue is that I have often forgotten how to access and use The Force to guide me, allowing my intellect and thinking to trick me. This marvelous Star Wars series, has reminded me time and time again in each of the various episodes, starting in May, 1977, that when I am silent and reflective, freeing my mind of my own self-created anxieties, the answers DO come, powerfully and with a knowing that is far beyond intellect.
I think that most of us who are so deeply moved emotionally by the Star Wars series, are so impacted (if only for a moment), because as we are viewing these amazing films, we are in a mindset that allows us the space to catch a tiny glimpse of who we really are and what we are up against.
We are capable of both greatness or evil, just like the characters in the story. The Force can be accessed for great good in our lives and for all of those lives we touch surrounding us. This force can also be distorted by an illusory, perceptual creation within our own thoughts, and used for great harm to ourselves and those around us.
The attention that we give to our thoughts can drive our behavior toward good or evil ends, even though in our limited understanding at the time, evil deeds may seem to us to be a good idea. Darth Vader and Kylo Ren both thought that their behaviors were justified, based on their level of understanding at the time, however flawed it was. Their egos took over their thoughts, intellect ruled the day, and atrocious behaviors followed.
It is comforting to me to know that who we truly are, is not our thoughts. Our thoughts are simply what we are thinking at that moment in time, along with the feelings attached to that solitary thought; a product of our brilliant, ever-flowing, computer-like mind. The formless part of who we really are, is much nobler than that. Each of us already has within us, the capacity to be a Jedi , as a right of having been granted life.
For whatever reasons that you enjoy Star Wars and the ongoing saga, I am very grateful to George Lucas and most recently JJ Abrams, for bringing these wonderful stories to life for all of the world to enjoy. My hope is that the deeper meaning of the realization of who you truly are, so masterfully woven throughout each of the Star Wars’ episodes, might be discovered in this most unlikely place, as you come to realize the possibility that you are all that you need, with powers within you that you might not have yet imagined.
May the Force be with you!