Watching the latest Star Wars movie, I was reminded of the choices we face in life. Do we favour the “dark side” urges for power, control, and fame? Or do we move with the light towards peace, happiness, and love?

So many aspects of our lives have these kinds of choices. For example, what is our motivation around money? Do we have an unquenchable desire for more or a settled approach to sufficiency? Do we believe money is the root of evil or a tool to accomplish good? It’s valuable to have enough but do you work to live or live to work?

As I’ve mentioned many times, our life experience has more to do with how we see things than what is here. If our life remains unexamined, we’re at the mercy of our unresolved past – another message of the movie.

Are we driven by the attached ego or by a higher calling? This is the largest influence on our inclinations – who we see ourselves to be. When we move with the first, we try to control the world and seek outside of ourselves for fulfillment. We mistake passing fame and power as desirable and fail to recognize they never satisfy and always end. How many of the famous do you know who are truly happy? Do they gain more control or just more things to worry about?

When we run with a higher calling, we act towards fulfillment and the qualities of light grow within us automatically. If we also culture inner development through moderate spiritual practice followed by acting in the world, fulfillment grows naturally both within and in worldly accomplishments.

Joseph Campbell’s advice to “follow your bliss” is good. That comes right out of descriptions of established Self Realization.


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  1. Phil

    I was touched watching the new Star Wars movie myself on how poignant it was, especial Luke’s journey. Of course, being strongly and openly influenced by Joseph Campbell’s work, Star Wars (indeed Star Wars creator, George Lucas) has always borrowed heavily from our oldest spiritual traditions.

    It is telling how divisive this new film has become in the week or so since it’s release. Star Wars being perhaps one of the biggest landmarks of our movie-pop-culture, touching something profound in the collective psyche.

    (Spoilers alert) Most people seem very dismayed how the now much older Luke, upon Rey’s discovery of him, wasn’t this infallible ascended-master, meeting the ideal of the perfect hero of most people’s childhoods or youth. (Not that he was perfect in his journey in the original movies, but rather went through the trials and tribulations of the Hero’s Journey.)

    I however, appreciated the road the new writer(s) decided to go down, depicting Luke as someone who is very much still having to “clean house” and come into full acceptance of the Force as totality, both light and dark aspects, before his final Liberation into peace at the end.

    I pulled a message from the film, that Luke, in his self-imposed exile, had realised that an endless cycle of light trying to conquer the dark by trying to wipe it out, which he had been tempted to do, was ultimately futile – hence his refusal to go gung-ho fighting along with Rey.

    Indeed as you point out, things will just continue ad infinitum, being at the mercy of the unresolved past, unless we examine or reexamine, which Luke had had to do. (A Liberated Yoda tells him how failure was his greatest teacher)

    Instead, the dark must be accepted as an integral polarity of the ‘Force’, and in that acceptance, or forgiveness, the dark is illuminated. Whether this the writer(s) intended or whether I am projecting somewhat, I don’t know.

    In the movie, the priorities of those driven by the attached ego, want to keep this endless cycle of war going, to hold onto power – i.e the arms manufacturers who profit from the perpetual cycle of one polarity trying to eliminate the other. This element wants to remain unexamined, in order to survive. The mercenary code breaker character, also warned that this status quo was all a cyclical, zero-sum game, with no winners.

    I liked the film. Thought it had some quite meta-messages, whether the writer(s) are aware of them or not.

    On another note, I received my copy of your book the other day, just in time for Christmas.

    Even though you know it as your nature, nethertheless (do forgive my ignorance), I wish you happiness and peace this Christmas time David. All the best.

    1. Hi Phil
      Part of the controversy over the film has been driven by concerns over Disney buying up several media organizations recently. Apparently, opponents have been gaming the audience scores on some review sites, exaggerating the controversy. And of course the news loves a conflict.

      They have consolidated the Marvel properties again though, which should be good for that universe.

      Others have called the film one of the best in the series and I agree it was well done, though I’m not as enamored of the recent trend to hero’s in excess emotional conflict. As you mention, Luke is another example. It may express the culture becoming more conscious of their own inner dramas.

      There was a lot of discussion about them introducing the “greys” in this film, those that merged light and dark sides to resolve the conflict. But they didn’t. And I agree. It’s only in accepting ones shadow or dark side that we can resolve the duality and come to balance.

      On the book, thanks. And it’s fully OK to wish peace and happiness. 🙂 While it is present here, it is not fully present in the world. That limits all of us.

      Peace and Happiness for All! Phil included. 🙂

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