The Force Idea #3: Like Jedi, we want to be. Choose the Light side of the Force.
In the last post about lessons from the “Star Wars” movie series, we looked at the dark side of the Force, and how we don’t want to embrace the darkness if we want to add light to our lives and to the world. How do we add light? Master Yoda gives us an answer when he says “a little more knowledge lights our way.” (Revenge of the Sith.)
The more we understand what is happening in us, the more we can move through it with intention and focus - the more enlightened we are. And even a little more knowledge can make a big difference, just as a little light can make a big difference in a dark room. We want to be more like the Jedi.
The Jedi were selfless peacekeepers, trained in the ability to harness the power of the Force for the care of others. They aspired to attain a state of inner tranquility through calmness and meditation, aiming to align themselves with the light side of the Force. The Jedi aspired to use the Force wisely, to bring more peace, cooperation and contentment to the world. In Unity-speak, we would say that being a Jedi is akin to living in Christ Consciousness, living in the constant awareness of the Power within us. Like the Jedi, we aspire to use the Power to add more peace, cooperation and contentment to the world.
It takes work, it takes intention, it takes attention. It can be hard; but the consequences of living a life on the dark side of the Force are harder.
Here are some ways to turn to the Light Side:
First… "In the heart of a Jedi lies her strength." (Kanan in “The Rise of Skywalker”).
Be heart focused. What do you want to create more of in the world?
If you want more love, you won’t get it by hating the person who doesn’t love you.
If you want more peace, you won’t get it by feeling agitated because someone else isn’t peaceful.
If you want more acceptance, you won’t get it by being unaccepting of people who you view as unaccepting.
Second..“You will know the good from the bad when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” (Yoda, “Return of the Jedi”.)
This speaks to the first point: notwithstanding the lightsaber battles in the movies - it was Hollywood, after all - the idea here is to remember to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, to ensure that when we are triggered, that we calm ourselves. Then we can respond from a place of self-knowledge, rather than reacting with violence and aggression. What calms you?
Third…"A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind.... All his life has he looked away...to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. (Yoda “The Empire Strikes Back”) “Close your eyes. Feel it. The light…it’s always been there. It will guide you.” (Maz Kanata “The Force Awakens”)
This speaks to the power of mindfulness. Rather than focusing on what may happen in the future, bring your attention to the here and now. Give yourself permission to experience this present moment. Practice “being”, rather than “doing”.
Fourth… “You must unlearn what you have learned." (Yoda - “The Empire Strikes Back”) We are the products of our childhood, our parents, our societal norms and millenia of “learned” coping behaviours. Some of these behaviours are no longer necessary and limit our experience of life. We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for: are we willing to open our minds and hearts to allow for new possibilities?
Fifth...“Patience you must have, my young Padawan” (Yoda - The Empire Strikes Back)
When a child stumbles and falls as they learn to walk, we celebrate the progress of their successful small steps with encouragement and excitement. We trust that practice makes progress; we allow for occasional missteps. As we re-wire our embedded behaviours and thoughts and develop new habits, let us remember to expect occasional failures. And to trust that if we continue to practice, we’ll continue to progress.
Sixth...“I am a Jedi. I’m one with the Force, and the Force will guide me.” (Ganodi - “The Clone Wars”)
The Force is with you. You are one with it. In God we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28) There is no spot that God is not, including you. Turn within to the God of your understanding, and you will find the answers you seek.
May you remember… the Force is always with you.
How do you calm yourself? What helps you to remember to turn to the light side?