Over the past two weeks we have explored the Force and its balance via color and faith. Now we will delve deeper into the most dominant figures of Star Wars, at least as far as it regards the Force’s balance.
Jedi deny the self, the Sith embrace it. In such a case, can we assume the Sith are the ones most attuned with themselves, the ones that have embraced their rawest selves and have achieved enlightenment? That is partly true, as Sith operate without denial, but then, why are Sith so menacing, vile and so visibly scarred if they are a definition of the natural? What is it that makes people ‘Dark’ in the sense in which they are depicted? What corrupts?
“The dark side of the Force was an aspect of the Force. Individuals who used the dark side drew their power from darker emotions such as fear, anger, hatred, and aggression.” (Star Wars Wikia)
The answer here, I think, is that even though they have accepted all the spectra of emotion that makes them human, they choose to be possessed by what they are, instead of using the insight they’ve achieved to redefine and recreate themselves, and evolve. They have embraced the animal, yet they are still unable to fully comprehend and manage it, because they are not looking for it, they choose not to open themselves to “the greatest change.” The key is that they choose not to learn from their emotions, but harness them, amplify them, and use them to fuel them and their use of the Force, also abusing it in the process. Not only that, but their indulgence is vast, and it is at the expense of others as well.
Let’s propose an example: someone ate my slice of cake and I am enraged. If I were a Jedi I’d say “No, I shouldn’t be angry, that is beneath me.” But I’d probably end up feeling even more enraged because I am forbidden from expressing my initial rage. The I would have to deny that, and the endless cycle would continue until I was either too blinded to see the evil I had become, or just blatantly given into it, a la Anakin Skywalker. If I were a Sith I’d probably already be planning to kill the person who committed such indignities and making another cake from their raw intestines. Now the healthy way to do it is to be enraged, and fume for a while, possibly confront the criminal, hear some explanations, and come to the conclusion that it’s not that big of a deal to retaliate over a cake. This way, we have not denied that we are angry, we accepted it, and we let it wash over us until it was gone and reached a constructive solution.
Where the Sith have achieved higher levels of wisdom in favor of the Jedi, they still choose to limit themselves, and that is their corruption.
The Jedi function by restricting themselves, ergo their level of ignorance, and need for arrogance, is greater; restricting bonds and attachments, restricting love whilst having to breed detached love, a love for the world, a love for the people, a love for life, compassion; what they seek is enlightenment through clean detachment and isolation, claiming objectivity. By being impartial one can save, but to be impartial, to be objective, we forget that one must know the subjective beforehand. Before one decides if apples or oranges are better, one must know the taste of both. Jedi skip that vital step, in rush answers, and the result is an arrogance that is not their modus operandi. The Jedi know the animal, see the animal, have the animal, but they choose to deny its existence, and bound it in a cage made of ignorance and self-deceit.
What the Jedi have also managed to prove is that even objectivity itself is nothing more than another subjectivity. Saying that “both apples and oranges are just as good” might be seen as objective, but if we apply the opposite – “neither apples or oranges are good” – we encounter yet another subjective statement. Therefore, if the opposition of one statement is subjective, the original cannot possibly be objective. Jedi made their own objectivity, but in this they proved to be just as opinionated as everyone else, if not more.
Nothing is true, everything is permitted.-Assasin’s Creed
To our aid let’s conjure the majestic three-part finale of season six of The Clone Wars, which sees Yoda embark on a hunt for knowledge. In episode 12 he is to learn from and be tested by the five Priestesses that have called to him. One thing we notice right away is the Priestesses’ appearance, as each one of them possesses the face of an emotion: they are confusion, anger, sadness, joy and serenity (red+blue!). They all gather round and circle around him, they gravitate around man, because they are part of man. “We are one, and one is all.”
Yoda’s first test is an encounter with his dark side, and the dialogue in those scenes speaks for itself :
Dark Yoda: “Yoda hates me. Yoda plays not with me anymore.
Yoda thinks me not worthy.” (a.k.a man’s creation of glorified
ideals in the image of ‘God’ do deny those which he hates about himself)
Yoda: “Yoda recognises you not!”
D.Y : “See not what is inside Yoda?”
Y : “I choose not to give you power. Part of me you are not.”
After he emerges victorious Serenity tells Yoda as a final conclusion: “The beast is you, and you are the beast…You felt that we had nothing to teach you, but you must trust in our teachings.” In other words, man considers himself above his virginal crudeness, but in fact all those tumultuous emotions that man is capable of experiencing serve just as much as a teacher for him as anything else. We must trust in our emotion’s teachings, we must trust what we feel, we must learn to trust ourselves, and most importantly embrace what we feel.
This long winding road we have undergone, in its yellow bricked steps, has led us to our Oz, where we see that the concept of light and dark is really a man behind the curtain. The truest sense of ‘balance of the Force’ would be a return to its natural state, with no Jedi, no Sith, no light, no dark, and none to rule over it and turn it against itself, because the very existence of these divides brings about a rupture that should not be there in the first place. And the Force cannot be balanced if unbalanced people fiddle with it. When one attains balance within himself, he is at his most powerful, and wise, he possesses all the weapons of destruction and the cradles of life.
Balance is not a place to go to, it is a replace to return to. Balance is Kansas.
The Force itself is to be taken as a whole, just as Taoist thoughts consider : “The Tao that can be completely explained or expressed in words is not the constant, eternally unchanging and true Tao. Names did not exist prior to Creation. The nameless Tao is therefore the source of the universe. If we approach the Tao without self-serving desires, we can readily observe its inner wonders and marvels. This establishes a direct connection with the source, the vast intelligence of universal consciousness. This gives us flashes of powerful, intuitive insights, as well as free-flowing creativity. If we approach the Tao full of self-serving desires, then we can only observe its external physical manifestations (Jedi, Sith / doctrines, perspectives, interpretations, gambles), rather than its inner essence. These desires block the connection and interfere with the Tao process. We often do this to ourselves. If we free ourselves of this limiting human desire to put everything into words, and become aware of our wordless communion with nature, we can catch glimpses of a divine wisdom. Beyond categories, definitions, and analyses, it is wisdom far more profound than anything that academic knowledge, science and technology can offer.”
In such conditions, both Jedi and Sith are proven to be self-serving and in their efforts to gain and attain they misunderstand the Force and force it apart by Christening it, naming it, and naming themselves prophets over its fabled will, drifting further and further away from the source of the Force (I did not plan this, no kidding) itself.
All is as the Force wills it, whether we will it or not.