THE FORCE LESSON 2

 

As was explained in the video from the last guide entry, there is no agreement on what the Force is. We each have to explore it and determine for ourselves what it is and isn’t. 

There are 3 major schools of thought on the basic concept of the Force: That it is a metaphor, that it is sentient, and that it non-sentient.

Today’s consideration: That the Force is Sentient. I’m not asking you to believe it is sentient, but rather that you think on the topic of what a sentient force means.

Most people who believe it is sentient tend to be Christian Jedi. They believe that the Force is another name for God. And from the point of view of the fiction’s development, it’s a very valid interpretation. The whole reason that Lucas put the Force into the films was to get a younger generation to ask the question “Does God exist?” (Lucas, 1987)

But Christian Jedi aren’t the only ones that apply this idea that the Force is sentient. There are many who believe that by connecting with the Force, it guides you to produce harmony in the world around you. It will direct and protect you because you chose to become its servant- as so many others have throughout time to their own deities. When someone believes that the Force is a unifying god, that is that every story of gods and goddesses are really different ways of communicating the truth of a larger god and all are the same god, it tends to follow a more New Age approach to who god is. Some will choose this all-encompassing understanding of what the Force is, while others may choose to believe that the Force is the supreme god of a pantheon of their choosing. Any number of beliefs are allowed in this space, and at the core it follows their truth that the Force is Sentient. It is conscious of all things going on in its universe and like us wants to interact with the universe to bring it in line with its understanding of how the world should work.

But the Star Wars Universe presents a deeper truth that cannot be ignored. There is both Light and Darkness in the Force. The Jedi believe that in order to bring balance, the darkness needs to be rooted out. They acknowledge that it’s not something you can just do overnight, that it’s a long endless struggle. But they have a belief that a chosen person of the Force will stand up and restore balance. Still, the Dark side is considered to be just as tempting- it can call out to you, just as the Light can call out to you. 

In many traditions, this light and darkness are manifest as different beings within a pantheon. In Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda represented the light and Ahriman represented the dark. But in the Star Wars universe, the Force represents both. While not having drawn from the inspiration of the Igbo, I think that Chu’kwu may be a more appropriate way of expressing this concept within a singular being-

Chu’kwu is the supreme god of the Igbo. All manifestations of other spirits are simply manifestations of him. His goal is to teach man, to keep them humble, and keep balance. In Igbo tradition, you are assigned a role at birth that your spirit agrees to. Chu’kwu gives you a Chi (a personal deity) that works to keep you on track for this. When you come into the world, your role may very well be to become the horrifying manifestation of the next Hitler.

While the Igbo believe that such is evil, because it brings harm to people, by virtue of their beliefs they are called to accept that someone like Hitler was willed into existence by Chu’kwu for a purpose. Doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to accept, nor does it mean people simply will. After all, another person’s Chi is also be assigned to work against these foul actions and bring about balance again by ridding the world of such a horrifying character in humanity’s history. And really, if you read the old testament of the Bible, you can see where God will stand up nations to go after Israel to teach them a lesson about following God’s guidance. Or, in the case of Job, will invite Satan to test a person’s integrity. In fact, Job is quoted as saying “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)

The Force as a Sentient being has many connotations. Let’s say you believe that the Force is Sentient, then it is important for a person to explore what that truly means when comparing oneself to the Jedi Code we discussed in the last guide. If we were to take a look at what the Igbo say on the matter, does that mean that you were called to the Jedi Path by your Chi to fulfill a role in alignment with the Jedi Code? Or if we were to look at the concept that man’s free will is always in flux, then what are things we need to decide upon when it comes to the guidance of the Force?

For your assignment give 1 reason that a sentient Force can benefit a Jedi and 1 reason it can be a detriment. Explain your answers using examples from a holy text/mythology.  Your answer must be a minimum of 100 words.

 

 

CITATION

Lucas, G., Moyers, B. D. (1987). The mythology of Star wars: With George Lucas and Bill Moyers. Princeton, N.J: Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

 

 
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