Monday, April 14, 2008

A Different Understanding of the Force

Late on Friday, I was flipping through the channels and stumbled upon what I think of as the first Star Wars movie. According to Chris, it is episode 4, but whatever. Even though I have seen the movie more times than I can count, I was drawn into this classic story of good versus evil. The simplicity of the first movie had me thinking of my R2D2 underoos (which I loved) and singing the theme song for hours after the triumphant ending. We must have missed Empire Strikes Back on Saturday night, but by the time we returned home from the trip on Sunday, we were able to catch the end of Return of the Jedi (the third movie to me, episode 6 to Chris). But this time, along with cheering on the Ewoks and our band of Jedis, I found myself yelling at the television for Luke to stay Present as he was having his final scene with Darth Vadar and the Emperor. Stay Present Luke! Chris thought I was going nutty as I was spewing New Age philosophy into a 1983 movie. But really, what was Luke doing if not controlling his ego and staying present in the moment? What is the Force but another word for Being? And don't tell me Yoda wasn't practicing yoga in that cave of his.

And so it was that I came away from the Star Wars trilogy with a new understanding of Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. Reading the book has been a struggle for me even though through my yoga practice, I'm familiar with most of the tenets of the book. That you are not your thoughts is a heady concept to grasp. While it doesn't line up exactly, the familiar image of Luke not using his Jedi powers to fight Darth is enough to remind me to stay Present. And if Luke, who Chris says isn't even a very good Jedi, can do it, so can I.

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