The Force is something important to each of our paths, but there are as many different opinions on it as there are Jedi. To that end, I have collected some opinions on the Force from our California Jedi members, which I will be publishing every week.
As you read, I would love to see your responses in the comments. What is the Force to you? Do you agree with any of the Jedi in the series? Why or why not?
Dan Grevious is a member of California Jedi, a faithful and eloquent buddhist, and a family man. Here is what Dan has to say about the force:
“For many Jedi and Star Wars fans there is one question that is more important than all others: What is the Force? Yoda says: “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere…” In a simpler explanation Obi-Wan states: “It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.” So which is it? Is the Force an energy field that binds us, or does it possess the energy that creates life? Is it controlled by a deity, or is it the deity?
While the answer will vary based upon individual point of view, the short answer is yes. From my studies, I have come to understand the Force in a unique, and for some a strange way. The Force is an infinitely intelligent field of energy. The Force is in all things. More accurately the Force IS all things and at the same time it is no thing. It is the space between two things, as well as the thing itself. It truly does surround and bind us. It connects us to each other, our world and our experiences in ways that we can neither understand nor measure. When I study religious tradition I see a particular and disturbing trend. Based on what we choose to believe or whom we’ve associated with one may hear things along the lines of “my God is the greatest God”. “Ask Jehova God for forgiveness and guidance.” “There is one God, and his name is Allah.” and the like. Depending on whom you talk to you’ll find that people perceive there to be many different gods with different functions and dispositions ranging between judgement, benevolence, vengeance, creation and destruction.
I suggest taking a different view altogether. God can be, and usually is all of these things and more… at the same time. I even read part of a book by Dick Staub where he offered up the Idea of a “Lord of the Force”. In my understanding, this last statement is grossly flawed. The Lord IS the force. The Force IS the Lord. They are not mutually exclusive. The Force is at once, smaller than we can imagine and greater than we can comprehend. The Force is another name for God. All of the names for God, Jesus, God Allah,The Force, Yaweh, Jehova, Ashla, Krishna, etc. reference the same thing, A being that we are all a part of yet remain unable to adequately perceive. Where we see differences in our perceptions of God take a breath and look inside. You’ll find that the difference is within us There is no light or dark to the Force it simply is. In the book of Exodus 3:14 God tells Moses “I am that I am”. God makes no assertion as to whether ‘he’ is good or not. He simply is. Any assessment of benevolence is left with us. This is as it should be, because the difference is within us as people it’s no one else’s business. The Force is so unimaginable and incomprehensible that you could probably melt your brain trying to make it fit. Which is again, how it should be.
Let us make a game of it shall we? What is the smallest thing you can imagine? Most likely it was an atom. Now smaller than that are protons, quarks and quasars. Still smaller is empty space and many particles that have yet to be discovered or named. That is how small the Force is. Okay, ROUND TWO: THINK! How large and powerful is the Force? Does it encompass the world? How about our solar system? Does it exist throughout the galaxy? How big can you make it? Can you envision the Force infusing like a mist an entire galaxy, yet cradling individually every galaxy in the known universe? Good, now take that picture you created and double it in size. Be sure you include all of those individual stars and planets! Now make it bigger, double its size and double it again. Keep doing until you feel the need to stop. If you’ve got a headache raging, you’re getting close to what half of 1% of what exists. This doesn’t necessarily mean that God, Or the Force are demanding praise, worship, or subservience. Rather I view it as reverent submission. What does this mean? Revere the power, wisdom and knowledge that you are just now tapping into. Happily submit to the will of the Force, knowing that you are on two way street of sorts. When asked “how may I serve you?” the Force’s response is usually, “that depends how I may serve you as well?” It’s a long journey and you’re just getting started. Be patient, the answers are coming.