Star Wars Saga – a story of personal initiation
By David E. Hopper
With the release of the movie “Star Wars – The Revenge of the Sith” in 2006, George Lucas the creator and director completed the Star Wars saga. The saga, composed of 6 separate episodes or movies, began in the 1970’s. For those who don’t know the story, it has many plots, subplots, heroes and villains. In essence, the story can be summed up by depicting the life and choices of Anaikin Skywalker. Anaikin later becomes Darth Vader, the “bad-est and mean-est” monster in the galaxy, which because of his actions influences the lives of billions of beings. This is an all too familiar story here on Earth. The story begins with Anaikin, at about 8 years old. He is a clever, quick thinking boy with “Jedi like reflexes”, able to create and repair complex devices, such as speed pods and robots, not to mention winning a dangerous speed pod race. His mother saw his unique gifts early on in childhood. Later, the Jedi’s discover him and one said “He is the chosen one to bring balance and harmony to the Force”. What the Jedi Order was later to find out, that this boy was indeed gifted with the Force. Master Yoda noted, he was too old and was filled with anger, fear and impatience and more importantly he could not control the Force.
In the Ageless Wisdom teachings, a person enters the path of initiation by placing him/herself consciously on the Probationary Path or a path to learning self control. This is indicative of learning responsibility and practicing self control of the thoughts, feelings and actions, which pave the way toward preparation for greater initiation(s) and service. The control and transformation of one’s anger and fear are central to a Jedi’s development in the Star Wars story. Often, young Anaikin was cautioned by different Masters in the Jedi Order, as they saw how dangerous he could become. He sometimes heeded their words. Over time, his attitude and actions became arrogant, impatient, angry, and reckless. For a sincere disciple on the path, there will be many tests in life. As a disciple in training, we need to listen to our soul’s or Master’s voice coming through our thoughts, in the form as impressions and listen to what the heart is telling us to do through our feelings. The message is always “go within” and find the wisdom to transform our anger and aggressive feelings into practicing patience and compassion. Choosing the lower path of focusing on anger and fear leads to frustration and the “dark side of the Force”. Focusing only on the “dark side”, keeps us separated from the Master or the soul and blocks the integration of our lower self and all its desires and tendencies with the higher self. Anger and fear can be powerful tools, when tempered through the heart and mind filled with love, cooperation and goodwill.
Another path alluded to in the Star Wars story is that a Jedi is not allowed to marry or be in a relationship. The reason for this was not directly addressed in the story. Master Obi Wan says entering into relationship is “strictly forbidden” in the Jedi Order. Apparently, the Jedi Order imposes a policy of celibacy on its members. We know from the Ageless Wisdom teachings that strong emotional desires mixed with sexual energies can cloud the judgment and block clear thinking. If the would-be disciple involves him or herself in lower conscious desires or activities, especially for a prolonged period of time, such as the secret relationship that Anaikin had with Padme, his wife, then the thoughts and impressions from the Master or the soul are drowned out and a disquieting tension sets in.
A disciple who is “mindful” of where (s)he is at and what (s)he is doing is aligned with the soul or Master. Having this frame of mind, makes the disciple more of a valuable asset to the Master in facilitating goodwill and cooperation in the environment for overcoming the lower desires.In Star Wars, the term “the Force” is frequently used throughout the story. The word “Force” refers to a living life force that a trained Jedi Knight can use for the purpose(s) of service. Typical powers used by the Jedi are “Jedi mind tricks”, which is telepathic mind control, telekinesis, premonition and clairvoyance. As a fully trained Jedi, he or she would only use these powers in defense or to facilitate obtaining information. In the Ageless Wisdom teachings, using the powers can be likened to a disciple using his or her latent powers unselfishly for purposes of fulfilling the Divine Plan and ultimately benefiting humanity. But the teachings also warn, that consciously using the powers or “Siddhis” by a disciple is rarely done and is usually reserved for advanced initiates, whose motives are well tested and true to the cause of manifesting the Divine Plan.
However, in the case of the Lords of the Sith, they use what is called the “dark side of the Force” for evil purposes. Their intent is malevolent as the Sith Lords throughout the story are responsible for creating wars, murder, chaos and consolidating power for themselves. In short, their purpose is purely selfish and offensive, whereas a Jedi’s use of the force is strictly defensive and harmless. A person, exercising his will over others is wanting to manipulate and control them. The use of the Force is tied directly with using the personal will. Another point to consider goes back to Anaikin (Darth Vader) as the chief protagonist in the story. It is he, who must eventually confront his dark side. In the Ageless Wisdom teachings it is called facing “the Dweller on the Threshold”.
Anakin’s first mentor and Master, Qui Gon believes “He is the chosen one to bring balance and harmony to the Force”. He has no idea what evil that Anaikin/Darth Vader, will do later on in life. What is important here, is that Anaikin Skywalker dies as a personality in Episode III and now becomes Darth Vader, a Lord of the Sith. Obi Wan, who becomes Anakin’s Master after Qui Gon was killed, said the “the good man that was Anaikin was killed by Darth Vader…[he] was seduced by the dark side of the Force”. When the personality becomes so lost in illusion and seduced by lower desires and tendencies, such as anger and fear, then one’s connection with the soul or the Master is shutout. We all have a soul connection through out hearts. If the lower thoughts of anger and fear are focused and intensified, then this soul connection is broken. This can be likened to the death of the true self. At the end of the Star Wars story in Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, it is Luke Skywalker, Anakin’s son that must confront his own hates, fear, anger and aggressive feelings before he can become a Jedi like his father. He discovers that his father is Darth Vader and is warned by Masters Obi Wan and Yoda not to suffer the fate of his father. Vader takes Luke before the Emperor, who is even a greater Master of the dark side of the Force than Vader. As the Emperor is in the act of killing Luke, he had aroused enough sympathy in Vader to save him and help him and to remember his previous identity as Anaikin. Luke, using his Jedi powers, had reached out with his feelings and sensed the good and the conflict within Vader. Luke successfully confronted and mastered his Dweller, which for him was fear and hate. We see at the end of Episode VI, Master Obi Wan, Yoda and now a redeemed Anaikin all standing together. The “balance in the Force was restored”.
To recap, the power of the Jedi flows from the Force. When he/she is connected to the Force, then their mental, emotional and physical bodies are aligned with the Force. For the Jedi to be effective in using the Force as a power for service, he must have overcome his or her fear and anger to perform whatever service is required in the moment. The same can be said for the disciple. When the disciple is connected to his/her soul through meditation, for example, there is an opening or stream of energy emanating from the higher centers. With such a connection, the mental, emotional and physical bodies are aligned with the soul and the disciple can “reach out with his feelings” to intuit the present situation through his heart and impressions from the soul. Without this “connection ” with the soul, the disciple stops being a valuable asset to the soul, to the Master and the Ashram with whom he or she is affiliated.