Poles are probably among the most faithful fans of this story.
Except for the Americans, of course. But that’s not what I want to write about, but the phenomenon of this story. A story about human dreams, which has become a universal and understandable metaphor in every latitude, regardless of language, race or religion. The driving force behind Hollywood’s global influence, basically since the 1950s, has been conquering the world with communicative messages for everyone and making money on it. Which, in turn, is crucial for investors in this industry.
What are the most important values that this unique super-production gives us?
One of the keys is the “student-master” relationship, so often present in our lives. Our master can be someone from the family, a professional authority or the closest friend. In “Star Wars” they are perfectly portrayed in the characters: Count Dooku & Qui-Gon, Qui-Gin & Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker & Yoda, Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker transforming into Darth Vader and his master Darth Sidious (Senator Palpatine). The Jedi Knights resemble the Jesuit Order in their own way, bringing the truth among people, guarding moral and timeless values. They are ready to lay down their lives for their values.
The word “Jedi” itself comes from the Japanese “Jedi”, which directly refers to “jidai-geki” (Japanese art from the period) — a theatrical performance or film or television program, the action of which most often takes place in the Edo era (1603 -1868) and presents the adventures of the samurai. Jedi moral science focuses on the phenomenon of harnessing and using the Force, which is a metaphor for energy, the energy field that fills the cosmos. It is an exceptionally universal concept that is basically accepted by every religion in the world. It is a combination of both spiritual ideals and a personal god of Western religion. People believe that nothing in their lives happens without a reason, and that our lives have a purpose and meaning. In The Empire Strikes Back, Joda uses the words, “we are enlightened beings, not matter itself.” The life force conveyed in “Star Wars” indicates the existence of the world beyond our consciousness, referring to the idea of Qi — life energy characteristic of Chinese philosophy, combining the forces of nature and man.
In “Star Wars”, as with any spiritual organization, improvement requires sacrifice. To reach spiritual enlightenment, that is, to wield the Force, one must learn, practice, study. As in the law, follow strict rules, also not succumb to temptations and desires, to subdue the Jedi all your life. At least if you do not want to go to the dark side. In Star Wars, there is this awareness of the risk of the hero falling into the arms of Evil. You have to overcome your inner fear and believe in your abilities. If you are looking for enlightenment, you cannot tell how to do it, you have to figure it out yourself If you can’t believe that you will do something, you probably will not.
In other words, instead of spending a lot of money on “life advisers” and “fairies”, read some good philosophy books and talk to people you respect and trust.
The mentors, however, are leaving (the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi or Yoda), parents and guardians and friends die. The heroes have to face adversity on their own. For a simple reason, if they had been holding our hand all the time, we would never have been able to find out how much we are worth ourselves. How much of their learning left in us, we can use the acquired skills and knowledge, and above all — have we matured and consciously … we can become a master for others.
Whenever masters, authorities or gurus leave, their spirit and the values passed on remain with us. By perfecting and developing them, teaching and inspiring others, we make masters immortal. The core value of “Star Wars” is the conviction that if my mentor, my master and his values are inside me, then I will survive and overcome every obstacle. On the other hand, the possibility of overcoming an extremely difficult obstacle in real terms can direct us on the path of the dark side of the Force. In a way, it resembles the classic Faust theme, i.e., we will sell our soul to the devil in exchange for the provision of specific services by him. This theme is in the story of Harry Potter (an attempt to cheat Death by Three Brothers) or even in the Polish Mr. Twardowski. The drama of Anakin Skywalker who goes to the dark side of the Force is to change the whole system of values and sell the soul to the devil, for love.
Every death and every birth are part of life, and everyone wants to have someone they trust in their surroundings. We look for guidance in mentors or friends, but when they are not around us, we should remember about the values they gave us. Let us also choose our mentors carefully, remembering the principle that not everything that glitters is gold.
Finally, it is worth taking to heart the story of a little bird that escaped south before winter. Unfortunately, it froze and fell to the ground. The passing cow made a bird, and since the droppings were warm, he warmed in them and came back to life. Lying happy, he began to sing. However, the passing cat heard it and ate it with relish. There are three conclusions from the story: not everyone who pounds you are the enemy, not everyone who pulls you out of the dung is your friend. And if you’re up to your ears in that dung, you better not speak up.
Originally published at https://kotarbinski.com on January 9, 2021.