Confession time. I am a “Star Wars” nerd. Dyed in the wool. Not the prequels, mind you. They didn’t do much for me. But the original three – that is a different story. I loved the archetypal energy of that trilogy, illustrating the heroic journey of overcoming. Luke vs. Darth Vader; Leia, Han Solo and their entourage of droids, wookies, and an assortment of Jedi knights wielding Lightsabers – I ate it all up.
If we look to these movies as symbolic of our own heroic journeys of growing, evolving and overcoming, we can find real meaning within the symbols and characters of the story. Can I find my own internal Darth Vader? Not destroying planets, but perhaps destroying my own hopes and dreams? What about my inner Yoda? Expressing the deeper wisdom of the heart. “Do or do not. There is no try.” And ultimately of course, there’s The Force – the spiritual power that lives within all beings. The life force of spirit.
After decades of waiting, finally the new movie, “The Force Awakens” arrived. In it, we find a resurgence of the “Star Wars” saga with some new characters, along with a few aging familiar ones. The title itself is a curious one when you think about it. Does the force awaken? Is it ever really asleep? Shouldn’t a more appropriate title be “Awakening to the Force?”
I was puzzling over this question when I stumbled upon a piece of writing from the spiritual teacher Adyashanti describing the awakening process in his book The End of Your World. He wrote, “It is universal Spirit or universal consciousness that wakes up to itself. Rather than “me” waking up, what we are wakes up from the “me.”
Hmm. So it isn’t the “limited me” waking up to something greater. It is something greater waking up from believing it is “limited me.”
Sort of boggles the mind. In fact, that’s the point. The immature egoic mind doesn’t like paradox and gets very uncomfortable trying to understand something so nebulous. However, in the same vein as a Zen koan, contemplating such expansive notions can take us beyond limited thinking into the mystical realm of the heart. The force awakens.
There is a Hindu saying that reads, “God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in [humanity].” That awakening happens as we align our minds and hearts and allow the deeper wisdom to emerge.