Turning on the Light (spoiler?)

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12 Jun 2022 15:37 #368661 by Chris-Tien
Thank you, Streen. The whole interchange is important. Obi-Wan asks if Leia has been afraid of the dark. He knows kids, and many children are afraid of the dark. Since she answered in the affirmative, he can use the analogy.

Be tough yet gentle, humble yet bold, swayed always by beauty and truth. - Bob Pieh
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13 Jun 2022 11:38 #368669 by Loudzoo
Thanks for starting this thread Streen. Since the Last Jedi, the recent cannon has been very light on questions of 'what The Force is like' - and I found this scene moving and insightful. The metaphor of' turning on a light' is simple enough for 10 year old child to understand (especially a wonderfully precocious one, like Leia!) and it plays on the lore of light and dark sides of The Force too.

In answer to Roz's question - I'm no expert - but this is a theory:

Turning on the light can happen in meditation - but really it occurs as a result of a change in self identity that extends well beyond meditation. We tend to view ourselves as individuals, or as a part of a tribe. This is helpful in many ways, but ultimately always leads to selfishness, which almost always manifests as self-pity. Until we realise we are also the whole, the universal - whatever we choose to call IT (The Force), the light doesn't stay on for long. This isn't an identity choice we make between 'individual' or 'universal' - it is the recognition of 'individual' AND 'universal'. It is the most accurate and relevant example of nondualistic thinking I have come across. Timothy Freke has coined the term 'unividual' to try and give a name to this seemingly paradoxical identity. A lived identity of unividuality does not rely on faith, or belief, it becomes real - more real than anything else we can experience. It doesn't banish, or ignore, negative emotion (the dark) - we need negative emotion to survive - but it can balance it out with a bigger dose of positive emotion, than evolution alone left most of us with!

Meditation seems to be the most effective way of developing the unividual identity, but contemplation also helps. Practicing 'Flow', what the Taoists call 'wu-wei' (doing without struggle) is the way the identity first uncovered in meditation is actually able to develop agency in the world.

The biggest gap in the literature (and practice) here in the 'West' seems to stem from the fact we have a word missing in the English language. Many find that 'turning on the light' brings with it an almost overwhelming compassion. This exposes the unividual to a huge increase in negative emotion - it can be overwhelming, and lead to some dark places. The Buddhists worked this out thousands of years ago and developed the notion of mudita.If compassion is the sympathetic concern for the suffering and misfortune of others, then mudita is the vicarious joy for the success and fortune of others. True empathy is not merely compassion, it is compassion and mudita.

Incidentally, we do have a word for this concept: compersion - but as you will see, if you look it up, it doesn't quite mean what it used to!

Anyway - loved the Leia / Obiwan interaction - and the exposition it led to in this thread x

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30 Jun 2022 11:49 #369029 by Streen
Thanks for that, Zoo, that was rather educational :)

I looked up "compersion" and got no results from Dictionary.com, LOL. I Googled it though and it does some fitting to what we've been talking about. I would encourage others to look it up as well.

I haven't heard anyone talk about "wu-wei" in many years, so thanks for bringing that up. I studied Taoism in my early days as a Jedi, though wu-wei seems more like a Zen concept to me now. But I guess that's all beside the point of this thread ;)

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