For your viewing pleasure: http://vimeo.com/58494516
“I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.” (Philippians 4:11-12)
The Spiritual Combat – Fight or Die
Once upon time, in a galaxy far far away, Yoda after fulfilling his purpose of training young Luke Skywalker, became subsumed by the force. He became one with the force. Yoda became one with the force at age 900. Just 30 years shy of the record holder, whose name was Adam.
Being subsumed and becoming one with the force, for some like Yoda, was a pleasant process. It simply felt like waking up again. Yet for some others, it was not so pleasant. This included being branded by some winged creature and suffering much humiliation and physical pain before becoming one with the force, for the force only allows those who have a being of pure goodness and light to be subsumed by it. This is because of the nature of the force is goodness and light. (But we shall not get into that, because it is another matter altogether).
Yoda had never felt such peacefulness and comfort before in all of his 900 years.” “Where be I?, ” he thought to himself. He also smelt the scent of roses and lilies in a distance. Yoda felt that the place he was in was engulfed in light. He could feel the rays of light just piercing his closed eyes. Slowly, he opened his eyes. A silhouette of a man stood before him. “Where be I?” he asked. The man without a so much an acknowledgement that he had heard Yoda’s question said, “Getz up, and wear these. Its really bright here yoz.”
So Yoda got up. He never felt so spritely and light and energized before. Ever. There seemed to be an energy that was fuelling both his body and spirit. So again, he turned to the man (whom he could see more clearly now), and asked him a whole load of questions.
“I am, where?”
“Here I be, why?”
“Get here, how did I?”
“So healthy I feel? How?”
and he then realised that the words were not coming out from his mouth, but from his thoughts. His thoughts were audible!
“To speak with thoughts, I do! How?”
The guy whom Yoda was with *thought-said* (in a rapping style), “solemly aye tel you yo, tiz plaz iz tu bright fer ye, but not fer mi. lez goh sumwear wif shade. Thou wil answer all ye kwestion then. I kne of a gud kerfee shop nearby. Te name’s Jeeeesazz yo. Muh brudders call meh da Christ tho. So, we put tu an tu togather, yu get Jeezas See, that rhymes with Teh-SEE. An tats wat will drink later Bro. At the kerfeeshop.
<From this point on, I will be writing the conversations normally. Its too difficult to write in Yoda’s prose and Jesus C’s accent> *overheard in a coffee shop*
At the coffee shop:
Y: where is this place?
J: This is heaven! Or the place you call “the force”
Y: You mean to say that I died? And I went to heaven? And the force?
J: Nah, you didn’t die. There is no such thing as death. Death is just a process in which your worldly body decomposes, because you, your real being needs to go somewhere else. And that somewhere else is here! This will be where you will be staying for the rest of eternity. You’ll find yourself extremely joyful here, because you are within the “force”. It engulfs you. This force is made up of goodness and light only. So essentially we are made up of that stuff as well. It won’t be boring here I tell you, because as you already know, everything that has life draws its lifeforce from the force. So, you can just go about anywhere. All you need to do is just think. You realised that we don’t need to speak, we just need to think. Speaking is really tiring, especially for those who don’t want to listen. Over here, we just think. That’s why for creatures in the physical realm, who we can visit, they need to be really silent to hear what the force is telling them. As you already know, the force speaks to them in the innermost depths of their hearts.
This force is not a just a medium for us to stay in, but a whole being by itself. We draw our life from this being. But yet we have our independent being here free as well! Cool eh? I hope you get the gist that without this force, we are nothing yeah? We coexist with the force because we must. If we don’t, we perish. Disappear. Get into a void, where all that is, is eternal struggle and suffering. That’s force 101!
Jesus turns to an aunty to order 2 Teh-Cs. “The currency here is happiness,” He just smiles at the aunty. Within a minute, 2 hot cups of Teh-C was brought to them both. “Actually, we don’t have to eat or drink. But sometimes we just want something that we used to enjoy in our worldly lives. I used to drink tea, and eat with my disciples. Hang out with them. The guy that caught you by the net as you fell into the force was one of them. That guy’s name is Peter. You probably don’t remember him, because before you woke up, he put you on a soft fluffy unicorn and magical pony bedsheet-ed bed.
Y: Thank you for answering my questions. But there is more that I must ask. Why did I pass on? How did I end up here? And how did I end up here so gently? Or were the revelations about being one with the force wrong – Where most of us will have to go through turmoil before we can become one with the force?
J: Haven’t you gone through enough turmoil for those 900 years? Haha. You arrived here so gently and quickly because you fought, you combated your whole life, and that made all the difference.
Y: But I killed many people, although I was true to my cause. I trained creatures in the art of armed combat, and they too went on to kill and harm many others. Aren’t their sins also my causing? Which was precisely the reason why I ran into recluse. Wasn’t the combat wrong then?
J: How you got here so gently is decided by the force; the father of light, the master of the force. But how you ended up here – that I can answer. In a nutshell: you fought the good fight.
The combat that I speak of is not a physical combat which you were surely skilled at during the time that you lived in the world. But nonetheless, to eventually end up one with the force involves a real combat – a real tension – a real conflict.
It began, a long time ago, when Lucifer, an angel of light, waged war against the father of light and then was cast down. The combat continued when humankind rebelled against the father of light by eating the forbidden fruit. No longer securely under the father’s reign, everyone became vulnerable to the influences of evil. Through this combat and tension, each soul belongs either to father of light or the master of darkness. There involves a constant combat with darkness, and those that prevail end up here. This is the spiritual fight. There are some certain principles one can adhere to in order to win this spiritual battle. And you have applied well these principles through your worldly life.
Y: Oh yes, I remember! Of those principles, I believed the most important one was humility! I often told my disciples that the truth is to know that the force is all-powerful and holy and infinite. And in comparison, we are finite, sinful and helpless. This knowledge must sink into the innermost depths of our hearts. Because without it, it would be impossible to arrive at true humility, and that is a necessary condition to arrive to be one with the force.
From here, we learn to understand the need to completely rely on the force. But even before this, we first must learn how to distrust oneself. This is because, if we begin with the confidence in the force, we fail to recognize the realities of our frailties. This is where humility is fostered. And too often, we fail to consider the self-seeking motives of our behavior. To keep in check this tendency, people in the Jedi order renounce their will through obedience to their superior!
J: Yes, that is true. However for mere mortals, we have to find other ways to renounce their will. we too need to be held accountable so as to make our wills conform to faith and reason. This is the way to avoid being subject to the fleeting nature of emotions and passion. I see some groups of mortals on planet earth inculcating this practice through the medium of cell groups, accountability partners and spiritual directors. This form of self abandonment could be is actually quite liberating. When we fall and do wrong, we know that this is perfectly consistent with our nature. But we cannot view this as an excuse, nor be discouraged. We are given more reason to totally rely on the force and its grace to make us better. When he falls, the self-conscious sinner readily and easily apologies, and when lauded with some virtue or achievement, he knows that he is reliant on the force. Because the force is the author of all goodness and light.
My dear friend Paul once said: “I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” (I Corinthians 9:27), because we know that this disposition does not come automatically.
Y: Yes, true indeed! There is not so much an effort to build up virtue, even though it appears the case, but to rely on the force, that moulds our beings then, to grow closer and closer in being one with the force. The struggle here is not just in restricting bad things, but also restricting things that make us spiritually soft, things that keep us distracted from growing closer with the force. The most dangerous of these, as I have time and time again recounted during my life then, is physical comforts. The desire for comfort is the great obstacle to physical well-being, and the desire for comfort is one of the most dangerous enemies of spiritual health.”
J: Yoda, when you denied yourself by fasting and meditation, you realised that you were preparing yourself for the eternal life. To be one with the force. You realised that it gave you a foretaste of eternal happiness, a kind of peace that the pleasures of the world cannot satisfy. One can even parallel it to the worldly life, where to be successful, sacrifices must be made. But clearly what is at stake more is the one that concerns the spiritual life. Too often we want to pendulum between the physical and the spiritual. And that is precisely the struggle to give up the physical and solely focus on the spiritual, can we attain what the force ultimately wants us to be: to be one with it.
Y: And of course, this spiritual struggle enables one to see the force’s hand in events that unfold in life. The friend of the force then, is one that learns to see the value and purpose of misfortune. Because, if the force is good and governs all things, it follows that whatever happens to those who listen to it, trust it, let it govern their lives, must be for their good!
J: Aye, yes Yoda. You truly know what you believed in, and fought the good fight! Come, follow me to my father’s house. I assure you, we have a feast waiting! =)