This same philosophy echoes in a profound scene in Batman literature where Alfred Pennyworth comforts a lost and grieving Bruce Wayne, still grappling with the death of his parents, telling him, “What is Batman if not an effort to master the chaos that sweeps our world, an attempt to control death itself.”
‘Do or do not, there is no try’ is one of the iconic lines of Master Yoda. The Jedi and Sith are united by this virtue. They use the power of their will to bend the laws of physics, heal, fight and overcome daunting odds. It is a potent metaphor to shed doubt in pursuit of our aspirations by throwing out the assumptions of the impossible and the possible, making us capable to perform miracles. Our minds can be our greatest strength and greatest weakness as we toil for more than an abject existence, but it is key to unlearn many things we are conditioned to in order to unlock our powers. “Not fully believing is why we fail,” says Master Yoda.
One fundamental lesson of the ‘Force’ is that we are all connected. This is the salient difference between the Jedi and Sith. The Sith focus on empowering the self with a disdain for weakness, embracing disconnection by wielding power to impose fear, making them capable of genocide in the Star Wars universe. The Jedi believe the destruction of life is killing a part of the self, the ego paves the path to the Dark side, while there is nothing more powerful than channelling an idea greater than the individual.
The Jedi consistently use this philosophy of interconnectedness to invoke courage in their ranks to serve and protect the weak and innocent, for even in death one can live on in the ‘Force’. Similar to how Krishna advised Arjuna at Kurukshetra, in one of his many lessons to Luke Skywalker, Master Yoda says, “Energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter (our bodies).” The Star Wars verse maintains that this sacred power that binds all life can’t be replicated, no matter how much machines advance. Our focus on grand technologies should not make us lose touch with the mysteries of nature and life that affect us all.
In the Star Wars iconography, Darth Vader represents a mechanised man, more machine than human, isolated and obsessed with power and control, while his son Luke gains a greater connection with the ‘Force’ training in the wilderness of Master Yoda’s planet, balancing his will to fight with his compassion for others.
Tahir Shah once said that ‘stories are the communal currency of humanity’. Stories give complex reality a form, as metaphors are the most effective at moving human consciousness.
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