Was it always true that the people actually believed that a particular god/dess ruled over a natural force of Nature? Or was the god/dess meant to be metaphor to personify and explain the incredible power of these natural forces? We may never know, though both schools of thought exist on the topic. 

In modern times, we do actually use different elements to describe the personality of people. Water, Earth, Fire, Air/Wind- different cultures have different descriptions but can find similar veins of basics in a person’s personality to align with these elements. Some Pagan traditions will use these elements to describe things that we can incorporate into our lives so that we are more well-rounded like the elements that surround us and bring balance to the world when we exclude man from the equation.

 When we do this, we find the incredible teaching value of Metaphor. And it’s not confined to elements, it’s found in stories too. 

In Hawaii there is a story of two sisters, one has the power of fire and the other the power of water. The sister with the power of fire uses her gifts to feed her village. Afterwards, the sister with the power of water tries to replicate exactly what her sister did, and brought sorrow because the gods looked upon her jealousy for her sister’s power with shame. The lesson being, had she only used her gift of water to find a way to bring food to the village, the gods would have honored her. In case you’re worried about the story’s end, the village of the Fire Sister took in the Water Sister’s village.


This story doesn’t have to be about actual magical powers, but rather the metaphor can serve to tell us about the importance of cultivating our own gifts to bring about change in the community, and how jealousy of others gifts can bring about ruin. The importance of the Fire village taking in the Water village demonstrates that punishment shouldn’t be dished based on the poor decisions of another- that’s schadenfreude (you’ll have to look up the word, there’s not a good modern english equivalent) and not something that is good for community building. 


So what about the Force? There are a good deal of people who believe that the Force is a metaphor for various things that occur in life. That in the fiction it exploits a number of truths about the nature of personal power, how we connect to all manner of things (think Web of Life, Food Chain, etc), and how our actions impact multitudes around us. There is both a dark side to those connections and a light side to them.


You may have some people that believe this definition of the Force diminishes the Force- but that is not really true. Because having the Metaphor can transform an entire environment of how you look at your role in the world and can be quite useful as a tool to help you balance how you tackle decisions around you.

For your assignment: Explain how one might be transformed by exploring the Force as a metaphor rather than some magical power that the movies portray it to be.  Your answer must be a minimum of 150 words.


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