Star Wars is generally considered science fantasy (as opposed to science fiction) as it incorporates elements of both mysticism and mythology. Many hard-core science buffs assume that its primary themes have no real-life equivalent in the extant universe. After all, ideas like the Force and the Dark Side (good versus evil) are mere human projections. Human values are arbitrary impositions painted onto an impersonal and mechanistic cosmos devoid of purpose or meaning.
Conscious Cosmos or Machine Universe?
Yet I believe that this latter take on a mechanical cosmos is in itself a kind of pathetic fallacy; a case of human beings projecting their own worldview out onto the cosmos and depicting it in the contours of their own psyches. My understanding emerges from several decades of having explored human consciousness at a first-person level, spending many thousands of hours in meditation, mindful presence and non-ordinary states of consciousness. I have also worked with some very powerful and gifted seers, and my understandings have been mediated by their wisdom.
Good versus evil
Good versus evil, light versus darkness are assumed by many to be human archetypes, primal motifs which exist within the mind, but which do not reflect actual properties of life and cosmos. Yet I have come to conclude that this assumption is false. The images of light and darkness are metaphors through which the human psyche represents the play of energetic consciousness structures which are central to the experience of life and probably to the existence of the universe itself.
Ironically, the idea of a mechanical universe grinding out a purposeless existence according to preset cosmological laws is neither “rational” nor “scientific.” It is pathetic fallacy. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution the machine has become an archetypal image within the human psyche. The machine is probably now the most common single phenomenon that we encounter in our daily lives. As I write this in the Black and White coffee shop in Shenzhen, not far from Hong Kong, I am writing on my iPad. Outside the big window to my right shiny metallic machines glide past (cars). Above me and in my foreground is a large television set, and music plays softly through the sound system.
Machines are everywhere. Today, in the twenty-first century, most people spend a large proportion of their free time with their eyes glued to the screens of the little machines they hold in their hands (and then put in their pockets when they are finished gazing at them). In days of yore human beings used to attribute acts of nature to human qualities. The volcano was angry; the thunder God cantankerous; that bit of bad luck arrived because the cosmos was in a bad mood. Yet in the modern era human beings are just as likely to attribute mechanical functions to natural events, projecting the idea of the machine onto the fabric of the universe. Could both the pre-modern and modern takes on cosmic operations be equally fallible?
The answer is that there is now an abundance of scientific evidence which suggests that consciousness (mind) plays an important role in life and perhaps in the nature of the universe itself. The evidence for ESP (clairvoyance, remote viewing, telepathy and so on) is strong, and supported by well-documented reports from both history and the modern world. There are certain (though not clear) parallels with quantum physics, and these suggest that non-locality may be an important aspect of both cosmos and psyche. The universe may possess an innate intelligence. The question then becomes, what is our relationship with that cosmic “mind”?
Is the Force Really With Us?
This brings us to the idea of “the Force?” Can human beings tap into some kind of cosmic intelligence (with good or evil expressions) and employ it in their lives in ways that are either creative or destructive? The idea, of course, is not new, and it certainly isn’t exclusive to the Star Wars franchise. The idea that human beings can align their minds with the currents of universal intelligence is found in many religious and spiritual traditions. Sometimes this is given personified form, as with the ideas of God, Jesus, Allah and so on. In other traditions the universal mind appears to be similar to that represented in Star Wars, more a kind of impersonal intelligence that one can tap into.
Perhaps the closest classical equivalent in that of The Way (Tao) in Taoism, the ancient Chinese teachings which emerged from the spiritual master Lao Zi, half a millennium before the birth of Christ. Taoism drew strongly form Budddhist thought. Lao Zi spoke of a kind of feminine or receptive power that could be aligned with, but not grasped in the sense of more patriarchal expressions of power. Without leaving the room, one could know the world. One could be a master of men, but not by rising above them, but by lying below them. Softness could be strength. In silence all could be revealed.
My own experience as a mindful individual is that this intelligence is indeed an extant quality of life and can be activated and subtly employed. I call it Integrated Intelligence, and it has both an impersonal nature (reading the tones of fields) and a personal aspect (personal spiritual guidance from conscious spiritual entities). I have experienced a great deal of both, as I outline in my book Discover Your Soul Template.
It is, however, a skill that may require a lifetime of mastery, as the human mind is prone to impose its own wilful delusions upon the cosmos. We must learn to listen carefully with the heart, follow our deepest intuitions, and acknowledge the many errors we will inevitably make. In the Buddhist traditions they say “Not this way, not that way” as one follows the middle path. This means that we must be constantly mindful in each moment, even as the mind tends stray from the path. Another way of thinking of this is that the mind has a propensity to leave the real world of the present moment and travel to imagined fearful or expectant futures. Or it will return to painful pasts and the self-limiting beliefs embedded within hurtful memories. Once this habit is concretised, we become lost in the mind and its delusional thinking.
To the Dark Side!
And what of the dark side of the Force? Is there any real-life spiritual equivalent? The bad news is yes, and in many ways it is very similar to that depicted in Star Wars. All life is embedded within fields of intention, within consciousness fields. Each species and life expression has both an individual and collective field. In fact, we are all embedded within multiple fields: such as family, race, religion, the human collective and so on. Each field contains a general “tone”, or energy structure. These tend to have a controlling or normative aspect. If your mind is part of the Chinese collective, for example, that collective will tend to pull your mind along with it. It is our beliefs, judgments and unconscious needs to belong that attach us to such collective fields. It is very, very difficult to pull one’s mind out of a collective field in which it is embedded. The simple recognition of being controlled by the group mind is insufficient to free one. The individual must first look long and hard within himself and identify exactly why it is that he has given his power away to the group. This is much, much more difficult in practice than in theory.
It is very possible for people to become ensnared within dark fields of intention without conscious knowledge. The most common reasons for this are twofold. The first is desire for power and control, and again this is similar to what we see in the Star Wars movies. Darth Vadar is the classic example, driven by anger and lust for power and domination. In this scenario the human ego seeks to set itself above others, to elevate itself in importance, status, hierarchy.
Given that many cultures on this earth explicitly operate according to honour, face and status it is unfortunately quite the norm for human beings to fall into collective dark fields of intention in this way. In fact, virtually all of you reading this article will currently be “possessed” by several fields in such a manner. We human beings like to think of ourselves as “good” (or victims of bad others), and have a strong tendency to deny acknowledgment of our own manipulative and deceitful intentions. But we all have such propensities. In fact, it is not a question of whether you are a “dark” human being. It is a question of how “dark” you have unconsciously allowed yourself to become. I believe that if we were beyond these dynamics of power, control and self-deception we would not be here on this plane of experience. For it is our relationship with this reality that defines much of the human experience here.
If we think of it like this, enlightenment or awakening becomes about fully acknowledging the unconscious parts of our minds that we generally prefer to avoid. This realisation is quite a shock to the human ego at first, because such awareness requires that you acknowledge how far you have turned away from the truth of yourself, of your life. Can you do this without self-judgment, without condemning the others who have unconsciously cooperated with you in your story of deception? Can you forgive humanity, life, and ultimately God for this development? For at the bottom of the human story many of us find an unspeakable rage at “God” for allowing us to fall so far into darkness. This is certainly what I found within myself, and I have witnessed it within many other human psyches as well.
What about the practical employment of such universal intelligence? Can we, for example, employ it in going about setting and pursuing goals, in creating our ideal lives? The answer is yes. But… and there is a caveat… the power that this afford us as individuals is directly proprtional to the degree to which we surrender our personal will to it. This is an irony, no? It means the more you seek power via the universal mind, the less available it is. It becomes increasingly unreliable as we turn away from the light.
Nonetheless, there are forms of human intuition which can be readily employed regardless of intentionality. You can employ these intuitive modes of awareness no matter whether your intention is to serve the light, or to serve the separated consciousness of the darkness. All you have to do is relax and allow your mind to sense the tone of a field in order to make its essential nature known to you. In this sense both Hitler and the Dalai Lama can simply focus upon the same field and get pretty much the same “data”. However, it is far more likely that the minds of the Hitlers of this world will be manipulated by the malevolent intentions of the darker fields of intention that they are connected to.
While dark consciousness fields are impersonal in much the same way that a destructive tornado is impersonal, the truth is that such darkness is channeled via individual minds. This means that certain individuals can become channels for demonic energies. They then become ensnared with a pool of minds with similar intent via the deceitful stories that they have come to invest with their intention. These other “dark” minds can be either other living human beings, or they can be discarnate entities. This is one of the most terrifying realities to personally witness. I wish I could write that it is a fantasy, but this would be a lie.
The Other Side of the Dark Side
The best way to avoid dark energies is to ground yourself in presence, in your body and to witness your own mind’s lust for power and control over others. But take note. And here we come to the second way that “the Dark Side” can ensnare us. Much of the power and control of dark energy structures is not a classic lust for wealth, status and political power. It’s not simply a Hitleresque lust for world conquest. Much of the darkness emerges from a desire to control others such that we do not have experience our terror of abandonment and death. In other words we unconsciously seek power and control over others so that we do not have to experience the painful state of separation. We then seek to gain power over others for this purpose.
Now here is a very important point. Such power and control over others is primarily achieved through the projection of two contrasting human manipulative tactics: shame and flattery. Shame is an attempt to make the other feel worthless and “dirty.” The projection of sexual and toilet shaming is central to this. This represents body shaming. The light cannot shine through us while we are embodied in a physical system that we feel is dirty and disgusting.
Flattery is also unconsciously employed as a means to ensnare minds, as the human ego is particularly susceptible to the perceived elevation of status.
So the idea of going to the Dark Side as depicted in Star Wars, is accurate. It is just that the dynamics that underpin the process are more complex than than Star Wars suggests.
Success and Failure
Ultimately, what we humans consider success and failure may not comply with a greater cosmic appreciation of success. For Hitler, the invasion of Poland was a success. On a less demonic scale, your becoming CEO may be your definition of success. But from a deeper and more expansive perspective, there may be other factors at play in such scenarios which do not mirror your (nor Hitler’s) personal value hierarchies. When you become CEO your mind might become ensnared in your company’s story of power and control of a certain financial market. You might get rich. But from a universal perspective you may be playing a part of your soul group’s learning about the abuse of power and control. And there may be suffering in that, both for others and yourself.
So, we can indeed say “May the Force be with you!” as we go about living our lives. Yet to some degree it is a matter of grace as to how this plays out. We can invite such “awareness” through prayer and meditation, and by grounding ourselves in the truth of the present moment. But the rest is up to the cosmos. And if you fight that reality, well, you are resisting “what is” and this rejection and anger may open pathways to the “darkness.” It’s all a little unfair from the mind’s point of view. But that is the way it is. The best thing you can do is relax, surrender, be as transparently honest as you possibly can be, and enjoy the journey.