“There is no Death; there is the Force” – Jedi Code
The underlying message of the mantra “There is no Death; there is the Force” is self realisation. You are more than a persona, a physical being with an ego. Within all people resides the potential of infinite higher self. The true goal in life is to come to knowledge, understanding and realisation of that true nature.
The Jedi accepted that death does not exist. Death is an illusion like time or matter. Life is seen as a manifestation of an eternal state that transforms between the physical and the spiritual which is eternal. Some people describe the eternal essence as the spirit, the inner divine and Chi, Prana, Baraka. The Jedi describe it as the Force. How you describe it and what you call it is up to you.
“Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter” – Yoda
Death does not exist, only the dissolution of the physical state and the ego. What is left, call it the spirit, returns to the Force. This true inner self was always connected to the Force and always one with it; it just did not know in its physical state and was disconnected. This is the illusion of separation.
The concept of enlightenment is the return of oneness with the source, the loss of duality and self realisation. Some call this enlightenment or transcendence. It is also know as “God-Realisation” and “Nirvana”. The Jedi aspired to reach this level of awareness and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Anakin and Luke Skywalker achieved this state of becoming “one with the Force” through their physical deaths.
Dying every day
“Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force.” – Yoda
An alcoholic is also an example of ego run riot and the greatest fear is not so much death but the dying every day that comes with it. In a way, an alcoholic lives in a twilight zone between the living and the dead. The ego, ever fearful of death, feeds denial and false pride with resentments and belligerency. The disease will often carry its host to the grave. In my experience there are worse things than death; spiritual death is to live in a very dark place.
Many alcoholics will be vaguely aware that they are in trouble when temporarily sober but are unable to prevent the “next time” and the spiral descent to what we call “rock bottom”. A spiritual solution is more often than not the way out. That may be nothing more than an admission of the truth and surrender to a higher power. At rock bottom I experienced nothing less than a spiritual experience at this point and the impact was immediate and dramatic.
It was the start of a journey.
“Close your eyes. Feel it. The light…it’s always been there. It will guide you.” – Maz Kanata
Arriving at self-realisation can take years or decades. Sudden enlightenment can also occur through a profound spiritual experience. People who have had traumatic experiences, hit rock bottom and visited hell speak of a sudden and overwhelming spiritual realisation. Some psychedelic experiences have also left a permanent mark on people through a transcendent episode.
For the most part self realisation of our true nature evolves slowly and gradually through meditation practice and application of training. Over time we come to different levels of awareness and realisation on our life journey.
Self awareness is an awakening to our potential. We come to a spiritual awakening that reveals our ignorance and the path before us. This is the beginning of the spiritual Hero’s journey for many. Luke Skywalker accepting the call to adventure on Tatooine was the realisation of this stage.
Self exploration follows. Awoken to the possibilities we begin to seek answers to the questions that matter; “who am I?” and “what is my purpose?”. We begin to change the way we live and adopt practices such as meditation and study to deepen our understanding. We are looking for jewels. Luke Skywalker’s time with Obi-wan Kenobi and with Yoda on Dagobah gave him the opportunity to seek knowledge of his life purpose.
Self discovery is experienced through insights as our consciousness begins to expand through the practices. We are finding jewels through our efforts. On Dagobah and then on Cloud City Luke was forced to confront his shadow and dark personal truths. Along the way, he came to deep insights.
Self understanding is the beginning of self knowledge at a deeper level. In Jungian terms it is the process of individuation of the true self. Knowledge of the ego self, the inner anima and animus and acceptance of the shadow are part of the process.
Self love is acceptance of the whole of one’s being and forgiveness of ones faults. This acceptance and forgiveness is extended to others. The presence of the inner divine is heightened at this point. Luke Skywalker at “Return of the Jedi” had grown into a man at ease with himself. Being a Jedi meant being able to find forgiveness and empathy for others.
Self transformation is the realisation of the archetypes in our lives. Through inner awareness and life experience we put aside old habits and ideas that no longer serve. The personality undergoes a death and rebirth as the ego begins to be eclipsed by the true (individuated) self. One can be said to be reborn. Luke Skywalker arrived at this nexus when he refused to kill Vader. As a result the Dark Lord, Darth Sidious was defeated.
Self mastery is the full realisation of individuation. The whole personality is born and the ego is mastered. The emerging archetype resembles the Jedi Master who is calm, at peace, passive. Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine had arrived at Self Mastery when he met Luke Skywalker. Luke also finally achieved mastery when he faced his old apprentice Kylo Ren on Crait.
Self transcendence is the flowering of the individual potential in this life. Short of being “one with the Force” it is the highest level of awareness possible. This state is being in constant conscious contact with the divine. Life becomes a meditation. Very little will upset or ruffle the feathers of someone at this level. There is complete acceptance of life and death. Imagine Yoda on Dagobah as he neared his physical end.
Self realisation is the conscious union of the self with the soul. Enlightenment has occurred. The illusion of suffering, separation, duality and the ego has been dispelled. The true nature of all things comes in to focus as the veil is finally removed. There is no longer self, there is all. There is no death there is only the Force. One can now be said to be “one with the Force”.
This is the Jedi journey.
There is no Death
Life is a journey and we can be said to arrive at the destination when we transcend to the next life. The meaning that we apply to the time we have ultimately defines the life we live. Being sober is a start. If this journey brings me closer to knowledge of the Divine then I can be all the more grateful.
The reality is that everything and everyone must die. Nothing is eternal, not even this universe that we live in. To grasp to attachments and refuse to “let go” when the time comes is to truly suffer. People will die including those close to us and to mourn them is natural and healthy but to mourn obsessively and refuse to accept the nature of things is unhealthy. I take faith in my personal belief that death is simply an event in the wheel of life and that nothing truly dies. Ultimately the Force is everything and all there is.
We belong the the Force and ultimately return to it.