I am One with the Force, the Force is with me
-Chirrut Îmwe Rogue One
Ever the Star Wars fan, I recently flocked to the cinemas for the latest Star Wars film, ‘Rogue One‘. I know: nerdy, superhero obsessed me. But even if Star Wars is ‘not your thing’, please I beg you to read on: there is more than meets the eye.
I’m pleased to report I surprisingly enjoyed the film more than I expected…which is much more than I can say for Episode VII: The Force Awakens. 2015’s Star Wars instalment made me cringe with the constant parallels to A New Hope, the unnecessary death of a beloved main character and quite frankly, it left my faith in the saga damaged by a feeling that I’d been ‘ripped off’ by the franchise. But the remarkable amount of philosophy and intrigue within Rogue One, won back my heart.
The most notable philosophy in the film (and the one I intend to explore in this blog post) is the mysterious concept of ‘being One with the Force’.
In the film, we are introduced to new character Chirrut Îmwe: a deeply spiritual, blind monk whose faith in the omniscient ‘Force’ echoes that of the fictional Jedi religion…and the very real philosophical and religious notion of pantheism. Pantheism- that is: the belief that God is the universe and that the universe is a manifestation of God– is common in certain traditions of yoga, meditation and world religions; teaching a ‘connectedness of being’ to everything around us, a harmonious acceptance of everything in the universe, good and bad.
In the Star Wars franchise, the ‘Force’ (as I briefly mentioned in posts regarding the Speed Force of the Flash) connects within everything and everyone, as a cosmic life energy/ intuitive guide. It has both a ‘light’ side and a ‘dark’ side that the Jedi Knights and Sith Lords tap into respectively, in order to commit acts of good or evil through harnessing its’ energy.
So how can a person be ‘one’ with a universal entity that makes up the essence of everything? And what does being ‘one with’ something actually entail?
Being ‘one’ with, firstly, can be defined as being unified or connected with something completely. It implies not only being apart of the Force, but being complete with it and being a ‘unified whole’. Being ‘one with’ can also mean being fully dependant on and trusting of the Force in all aspects of life: spiritually, emotionally, socially, mentally and physically. Being one with something essentially involves a transformative ‘way of life’.
By Chirrut being completely blind, this concept of ‘oneness’ with the Force entity is further exemplified. He is so ‘tuned in’ with the Force and trusting of it, that he often runs headlong into battle, dodging and defeating enemies with ease. A prime example is when Chirrut steps into a battlefield of storm troopers saying, “I fear nothing. All is as the Force wills it”. This shows the depth of his relationship and faith in the Force as well as the unity of the Force and himself, “Look for the Force and you will always find me”.
This concept of ‘oneness’ and ‘connectedness’ to all things is a beautiful sounding idea. But is can also be very easily transferred into our lives through mindfulness, yoga and mediation.
The last few years has seen a surge of mindfulness…but for once with popular crazes and trends, there is something substantial and beneficial behind the hype. Or at least in my opinion.
When through being mindful, that is- focusing on something with no attachment and thought, just pure emotionless acceptance and attention- you come to appreciate the small things that make up everything and the needlessness of daily worries in the bigger scheme of things. You realise the expansiveness of the Universe, the possibilities and ultimately the life energy that holds everything in unity. All you have to do is be open to trying a new way of perceiving things and become ‘one’ with it.
Yogic practices and meditation are also all about creating harmony between the mind, body and world around us: relaxation, realisation and transformation.
Still think all this Force stuff is just ‘mumbo jumbo’?
Try a yoga class, meditation or mindfulness exercise.
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