Last week’s lesson ended with a promise that we would explore the second aspect of a two-part equation introduced last week: force. We were considering how to live effectively as an expression of Love in this material world, acknowledging our identity as something more than human.
In physics, force is described as the fundamental result of an interaction between two objects. On the other hand, power is considered an expression of energy (work), and force is an element of it. According to these descriptors, then, “The Force” is different than “force;” it really means “power.”
Buckminster Fuller wrote in his slim volume, I Seem To Be A Verb: "I live on Earth at the present, and I don't know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing - a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process - an integral function of the universe."
Imagine being that … not a thing but an evolutionary process: being The Force. Being power itself. If it helps, close your eyes for a moment to feel this… You are not your body, mind, or emotions. You are something else, something that eludes easy description, the awareness that is reading, wondering, realizing, daring to confront the delusion of our limited human condition where disconnection from other “things” has created the very real possibility of near-term extinction for our species.
It’s undeniably true that our species has created an impressive civilized world, but it isn’t the first and won’t likely be the last to come and go, eventually buried under the relentless adaptive power of the natural world.
Is this inevitable? History and current statistical trends would say so. Civilizations end. Ours will. Individuals end. We will. But the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas wrote:
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
This image will help grow our understanding. A man stands alone by his open window with a bucket. All night he scoops and heaves, until morning comes when he sighs with relief, puts down his bucket, and pronounces with proud satisfaction: “I finally got all the darkness out of this room!”
He’s insane, we would say. But maybe his irrational actions describe modern human function, ignorant of the way life really works.
Ernest Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises, choosing his title from a phrase in the Bible that can simultaneously provoke both despair and optimism. Despair because we can do nothing to slow or halt the march of time through natural cycles that bring us inevitably to our human death, and optimism because the sun rises without our labor.
We don’t have to shovel darkness out of our room. If that’s true, what’s ours to do?
Imagine again that you are The Force. Connect even deeper with this idea that you and I are something fundamentally different than we have thought and that we are naturally capable of expressing the power of creation, not as a force separate from ourselves that sustains a world of separation but as the essence of ourselves that weaves together a world of connection.
That’s quite a sentence. I’ll re-read it myself, you might want to do the same.
Now, in this moment beyond time and space as I write and you read, we each have the same opportunity to experience this reality. As the words appear on screen or page, as meaning dawns, something is happening that has nothing to do with the ticking of a man-made clock.
I am, you are, flowing in the universal stream of life that can never be described to the satisfaction of a disconnected human mind, but can be experienced by the One that is learning to use that mind.
I am, you are, The Force. The Force is both light and dark. The dark side of The Force is as natural as the light side. In fact, we all emerged from the darkness of our mother’s wombs. And we sleep in darkness every night.
Imagine embracing the dark, accepting that we live in darkness and emerge into light, day after day. I can feel the difference this concept makes right now. My shoulders relax. A smile tugs at my mouth. I notice a long slow breath relaxing my whole body.
I am not the light.
I do not have to perform, to make something of myself, to win, to succeed. And I do not need to fear the dark, the loss of all that I have done and the loss, in death, of who I have mistakenly believed myself to be.
I am immortal, but only in this moment of light and dark. I am, you are, we are … The Force.