Monday, February 14, 2005

Yogi Skywalker and Yoda-ji

In college, I had a ritual of popping in one of the Star Wars trilogy VHS tapes every Friday afternoon and cleaning my room. Since I had to clean house this afternoon, I went ahead and put in my favorite of the three: The Empire Strikes Back.

I hadn't seen the film in a few years and am definately in a different place now than I was back in college. I knew, of course, that Yoda was the old, wise Guru but never really thought much about what he was communicating. Today was different though - for the first time I really observed the teacher/disciple relationship and the Wisdom he was imparting (not to mention the course in Hatha Yoga - see picture!!!).

I found this following quote very interesting and profound. Who says pop culture doesn't have anything good to offer?

YODA: A Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger... fear... aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice.

LUKE: Vader. Is the dark side stronger?

YODA: Quicker, easier, more seductive.

LUKE: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?

YODA: You will know. When you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

LUKE: But tell me why I can't...

YODA: (interrupting) No, no, there is no why. Nothing more will I teach you today. Clear your mind of questions.


Jon said...

Couldn't agree more, Trev. It'll take me awhile to restore my old pages on Star Wars--I might just wait till Ep.Six comes out this summer. Star Wars amounts to a modern myth--a story contributing a sense of cosmology, our place in the universe.

My teacher, who like Yoda, is also a warrior, often alludes to SW in his own lessons on the Force.

Movies are largely the Scripture of contemporary society, especially youth culture. You can use the Empire Strikes Back to explain a point to a lot more people than the Gospel of Thomas or the Mundaka Upanishad!

Meredith said...

Thank you for sharing this Trev.

Believe it or not, I have never seen Star Wars. This brief passage you shared here was delightful. Yoda's description of the dark path was so clear. I love when Yoda answers Luke's question, "You will know. When you are calm, at peace, Passive." And then he speaks right to me when he says, "There is no why. Clear your mind of questions."

Wonderful nuggets of spirutal wisdom.