What IS this concept I call Energy and How Does it Compare to The Force from Star Wars?

Please note: “The Force,” “Jedi,” “Star Wars,” and a host of other related terms are trademarked by LucasFilm / Disney. Additionally, the opinions and views expressed in the below article are the author’s own and not associated or endorsed in any way by LucasFilm or Disney. Lastly, the goal of the articles in this series is to intellectually compare an idea from the fictional Star Wars universe with a concept from our actual universe – not to imply that these two things are the same.

“I put The Force into the movies in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people. More a belief in God than a belief in any particular religious system.” George Lucas as quoted in the Wikipedia Article on The Force

A long time ago, in a post far, far away[1] I noted that the Universe is made up of Energy. I then went on to say that I wasn’t going to dwell on the subject since there are many other works in both the spiritual and scientific space that explain this better than I can. Perhaps as a result of seeing the new Star Wars movie The Force Awakens in the theatre a couple months ago, though, I feel an awakening desire to discuss this topic in a little more detail and on a little more personal level.

I started out writing one long post, but now that I’m on a weekly schedule, I’ve decided to break the topic up a bit. The first installment (this one) is a high-level comparison of The Force and Energy with a minor discussion of dark side / light side, the second will detail my personal story related to Energy, the last three entries will feature a ‘side-by-side’ comparison between the powers associated with The Force as depicted in Star Wars and those associated with the concept referred to as Energy on this blog.

So what do I mean by Energy and how does it compare to The Force concept in Star Wars?

To explain, I’ll return to the starting statement from that previous post and we can unpack it a little bit. First, the Universe is made up of Energy. Acknowledged, there is disagreement in deep physics about what form this Energy takes. For example, is the smallest unit of energetic existence a particle? Or a vibrating string? Or something else entirely?

To participate in our everyday existence, the form this fundamental ‘building block’ of Energy takes is not that important. When I use the term Energy on this blog, I am simply referencing that fundamental ‘building block’ of the Universe which is at the heart of all existence. Whether we talk about atoms or quarks or neutrinos or strings, we, and everything we know to exist, is rooted in some kind of energetic substance.

According to the Wikipedia article on The Force, “In the original Star Wars film (1977)… The Force is first described by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi [as] what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.[1]

Although The Force is an “energy field created by living things,” when it comes to ‘Energy’ the category is much broader, it’s all existence. For example, when I drive, I tend to extend my Energy into the car such that it becomes like part of my body. This doesn’t mean that my car is ‘conscious,’ but that, at an energetic level, my car is available for me to tap into. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Racecar drivers, for example, have this same experience at a more intense level where they may feel, in a way, one with the car.

Although things made up of energy appear widely dissimilar to us on the ground (ie – a tree and water hardly seem the same energetically), because of the energetic connection on a fundamental level, it is possible to ‘tap into’ this energy for information or influence. In fact, I believe (and this belief is not that uncommon in the spiritual space) that there is some base level of communication and connection possible among all existence on an energetic level.

Reach Out and ‘Touch’ Someone[2]

If it helps, think about a wireless network. There is data around us all the time that our devices can process into content which we are able to use via our phones, computers, televisions, etc. Imagine that we could tap into and process that information directly.

We probably could, although this wouldn’t be as awesome as it sounds. You might not care, for example, that your neighbor is searching the latest sale on a children’s clothing website or that the person sitting next to you on the train is watching an old slasher film. If all the information in the wireless networks around us came crashing in at once it would be overwhelming, and certainly not very useful.

To make matters more complicated, the Energy I refer to is broader than that of wireless networks, because it is the Energy of all people, all animals, all existence (living or not). When we tap into this Energy and process its content into usable data – we have potentially unlimited information available to us.[3]

One secret to using this ability wisely, however, is being able to consult the energy in such a way to get only the information you need – not everything. Unfortunately, when we add all our fears, insecurities, and filters into the equation – it can be highly challenging to process and interpret the information we receive from energetic connection without putting an interpretation on it.

One of my favorite quotes from Sarvepalli Radakrishnan (in reference to the mystical experience) puts it this way,

“…there is no such thing as pure experience, raw and undigested. It is always mixed up with layers of interpretation. The alleged immediate datum is psychologically mediated.”[4]

We can tap into this Energy source for information, but once our brain starts processing it into thoughts, interpretations and judgments start to sneak in. This is one reason why doing deep self-cleaning is so important.

If we review the Wikipedia article on The Force it notes that, “The Force is naturally stronger in some people than others, and some who are not significantly gifted can still be sensitive to The Force in varying degrees.”

This quote makes me think of psychics. Based on my own personal experience working with Energy, I believe that people we think of as ‘psychic’ have a particular talent connecting with and processing this Energy into usable material. While we don’t all have such ability in equal measure, we can all develop our skills in this area. I have had a number of ‘psychic’ experiences although I would never call myself ‘psychic’ because (to me) the term implies an amount of control over this ability I simply do not have.[5]

Obviously, there’s a big gap between what most people think of as a ‘psychic’ and a light-saber wielding Jedi. However, I want to save the ‘side-by-side’ comparison details of “powers” associated with The Force versus Energy for the third installment of this series.

Dark Side / Light Side

We can’t complete a comparison between The Force and the concept I refer to as Energy without touching on the dark side / light side concept.

According to Wikipedia, “The Force has a negative and destructive aspect called the “dark side“, which feeds off emotions such as fear, anger, greed, pride, jealousy and hate. Jedi Master Yoda explains to his pupil Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back (1980): Anger, fear, aggression! The dark side of The Force are they … a Jedi uses The Force for knowledge and defense. Never for attack.[2]

In the Star Wars films The Force is highly polarized, is the same true of Energy?

The similarity or difference here depends on the answer to a simple question about The Force. Is it The Force that has a dark side or is it that powerful Force-sensitive individuals, who retreat into their ‘shadow’ selves, use The Force in dark ways? To put it another way, is the apparent polarization of The Force a projection of the perceived light side / dark side dichotomy of the human psyche?

The above quote from Yoda seems to indicate that a key element of The Force is how it is used. Does the dark side of The Force “feed off of” negative emotions as the Wikipedia article suggests, or is it that those emotions lead to using The Force in ways that are destructive to life and love?

The Universe is a place of creation and destruction. At the most fundamental energetic level, it is impossible to create without destroying. Thus, I believe, that the Energy of the Universe itself is amoral; defined by Merriam-Webster as, “lying outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply.”

Some believe that there is an inherent morality built into the Universe, I do not think that is true, per se. However, our actions do have re-actions, energetically, and our own feelings and interpretations of our actions at a soul-level[6] based on our own (and others) understanding of morality can cause karmic consequences that we interpret as ‘the Universe’ itself having a morality[7].

In other words, we perceive certain actions as ‘good’ and other actions as ‘evil.’ These perceptions influence the action / re-action karmic sequence. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anyone to hurt the people I love – I’m not ‘above’ making moral judgments of my own and others’ behavior, but I recognize that my own concept of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ has a lot to do with the people, ideas, and things that I value.

Thus, it is certainly possible to use the Energy of the Universe for purposes most would consider nefarious. The Universe itself would not ‘stop’ this, but, interestingly enough, just as one of the biggest blockers for us tapping into and processing this Energy into usable data is our own psychology, on the flipside, one of the biggest blockers of using this Energy for destructive purposes is our own “conscience” being unwilling to do so.

I believe this is the same with The Force and that this is why we find Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens agonizing over the assignment to kill his own father. He is not battling with The Force, he is battling with himself. His use of The Force is a reflection of his own internal state.

I hope you enjoyed this high level introduction to what I mean by Energy on the blog and the comparison to The Force for illustrative purposes. In next week’s installment, I’ll cover my own journey of discovery and understanding this concept of Energy. I would love to hear your thoughts related to these two concepts (or how you think / refer to it. 🙂 )

[1] The Double Agent of Change

[2] Insert reference to the telephone ad

[3] It’s possible that, at the most fundamental level, the Universe is re-creating itself every single moment based on the ‘instructions’ from the moment before. Did that just make your head blow-up? It makes my head blow-up when I think about it. However, even though there is broad understanding that the only moment that actually exists is the now, I think we still haven’t worked through all the implications of that. If there’s no tangible past or future that actually exists, for example, how does existence persist from moment to moment? How does the new moment relate to the previous moment? One possibility could be spontaneous regeneration of the universe based on the instructions of the prior moment. If that is true – then we have the possibility of a very high amount of influence on the next moment based on the current moment. As you can see this idea is still very raw, I may work through it more in a future post… depends on how things develop.

 

[4] A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, Radakrishnan, Sarvepalli and Moore, Charles A., pg 623

[5] I discuss this in more detail in one of the earliest posts on this blog ‘What does it mean to be Psychic?’

[6] We’ll talk more about ‘what the soul is’ (From my perspective, of course) in an upcoming post

[7] The flipside of this would be to assert that – if the Universe is God (as I believe) then its actions determine morality, but as such this is really the same thing as being ‘outside’ of morality. In either case, the element in question operates by its own rules and is not subject to our human notions of morality.

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