As the previous post suggests, I have been through some religious seeking, and finally arrived at some clarity about what I find to be a solution, and what the hell I was even looking for in the first place.
I basically have come to conclude that the cosmic or divine backdrop of a person’s life matters almost not at all. It really does not matter what gods or devils or divine laws do or do not exist. If they are with me I will be with them, if they are against me I will defy them, if they seem irrelevant I ignore them. My life remains largely unaffected by whatever is in the background, and spirituality seems more like a struggle of finding fulfillment or doing something, anything significant at all, while trapped in an extremely limiting human body.
But on the way to this conclusion I passed through some interesting meanders, and while I don’t think the objective backdrop is critical to spirituality, my perspective on what objectively exists did shift.
I have basically come to be a believer in the Force.
Now I know that’s bad, stupid etc., to base my beliefs on a sci-fi fantasy series – even worse, a series which, if we include the prequels, was not necessarily even that good. (Shit, I might as well link to this while I’m at it.)
But don’t worry. I came to this view through scientific and philosophical explorations, not because I like Star Wars. The issue is that the Force is simply the most exact way of labeling or illustrating what I came to know separately.
WHAT IS IT?
Firstly, the Force is not God. It’s not judging you, or maybe it’s judging you subconsciously, but it’s just not like that. You could go your whole life as an atheist who thinks only matter is real, and the Force would not be offended (or even awake enough to care). So don’t worry about it.
Further, unlike God, I am extremely skeptical that the Force has a central consciousness. Otherwise the world would simply be too different from how it is now. It think such a central consciousness would be much more assertive in revealing itself as a continual presence to us. In other words, instead of merely sending Jesus two thousand years ago, the Force would still be talking to us openly and directly now, in a way that was clear and unmistakable and required no subtle interpretation. Either that, or the Holocaust was part of God’s plan.
Like the fictional Force, the real Force has both a Light and Dark side. However I am not sure it is so neatly divided as that. Better to say that the Force reflects and includes the full range of human emotion and probably a lot more besides.
So what the hell is this thing? Simply, it is the maximal interpretation of Jung’s Collective Unconscious, a mental-emotional energy field reflecting/generated by all life plus some elemental forces and probably a lot of weird twists and connections across time, possibility, and other dimensions. It is everywhere, an undercurrent of soul in the physical universe (possibly not separate from matter but merely its mental aspect, which would explain how a neural network can develop emotions and experiences). It is more emotional than rational, like a child, and semi-conscious, like a dream.
How exactly I came to this opinion requires some science.
WHY WOULD I EVER THINK THIS?/FUCKING MAGNETS, HOW DO THEY WORK? (1:51)
I have come to believe that the brain’s computations do not solely occur at the neural level, but that each neuron is closely tied to a quantum network which influences each neuron’s electric charge. (And yes, I read almost all of Penrose’s book, as painful as that was. Apparently the dark side really does demand sacrifice.)
Now most of the time quantum effects cannot influence atomic-scale or molecular-scale behavior – there is a sort of wall of interaction between the magnitudes – but cellular microtubules provide on of the rare environments in which this is possible. It’s not unheard of in nature; plants use quantum physics, too. It’s silly to think that natural selection, in its great randomness, would not utilize every physical phenomenon, just because it is cutting-edge technology on the edge of contemporary human understanding. We didn’t understand genetics for a long time either, but it was still real.
So if you know anything about quantum physics, you probably know of the creepy phenomenon of quantum entanglement, or the inexplicable ability of particles at the quantum scale to interact at infinite distance or even across time.
Don’t fight it, just accept it. Like gravity, we can’t explain it but it just exists. Before you argue, the military and high science are already using it as a wireless communication system (and it kind of solves the future interplanetary communication problem because it doesn’t lag!). So fuck you with your conventional physics where things have to touch and all that.
What does this mean? What I have concluded is that human mental computation is entirely unlike the linear mechanical deterministic process we thought (but then with the brain’s chaos, I guess we never really thought that). But more importantly, this computation is taking place outside the brain, in addition to inside it. Like not just in another dimension, though probably that too, but also across the dust of the known universe.
USE THE FORCE
So there are bits of our thinking-and-experiencing process happening all over, probably in everything we’ve ever touched, their air we’ve breathed, the water we’ve cycled. So what, are we psychic? Well, we’re probably not psychic any more than on a murky subconscious level; that stuff probably mostly comes through as background static. But combined the quantum physics’ ability to defy time, this provides a hypothesis for my family’s experience with non-déjà vu precognitive dreams. You won’t believe it so I’m not disclosing.
From my experience, my family has been most affected by precognitive dreams when the person having them was living in an emotionally impulsive way. This means letting yourself get excited about things, letting yourself get hurt, taking offenses personally, letting yourself daydream, going with the moment, etc. Of course this is a horribly impractical way to live, especially in capitalism which requires a total mechanical deadening of the emotions. And then thinking emotionally also impairs your objective judgment regarding whether what you experiences is in your head. This means we are operating in a realm of often unverifiable personal experience. That’s why I am not annoyed if people don’t believe what I believe, since like Morpheus, my beliefs do not require them to.
Is the Force – The Spiritual Solution? Again no, I just think it’s something that objectively exists, though its objectivity is closely intertwined with our subjectivity (making it similar to Warhammer 40,000’s “Warp”). There is some overlap though. When a human being strips off their persona and pretentions and feels themselves as they really are, I think they are dipping into the same substance of which the Force is made, ie their souls, with the Force again being an undercurrent of soul that is everywhere. Again, I think the spiritual solution is finding some strong life purpose and sticking to it. I also think this is the best way to command the Force, but even if it wasn’t I’d still recommend it.
Can people start Force-pushing or shooting lightning out their fingers? As usual, life is not so theatrical – I think you’d have better luck with Jedi mind tricks. But the intertwining of quantum physics with the world of possibility is suggestive. We’ve already exploded the concept of time as merely a measurement; it must be a dimension unto itself. But then Schroedinger’s Cat is alive-and-dead until you actually lift the box and find out (necromancy?). A multiversal series of possibility-threads is the only way I can explain a world with possibilities instead of one pre-determined mechanistic outcome. Given the link between human consciousness and the universe via entanglement, and given the bridge between that entanglement and possibility, it is possible for human consciousness to nudge the direction of events.
Is this – The Secret? FUCK NO. The Secret implies that you can make things happen that are beyond the realm of possibility. I think the Force can nudge outcomes, but outcomes which are not grossly outside the realm of possibility. There has to be some kind of tethering us down to current material circumstances. If you wish for a million dollars fuck you, the world isn’t going to rearrange its entire setup for your ass. If you want someone to die, praying they spontaneously combust, well. But if you pray they die in a car accident, make sure you really mean it.
So what if something you want is outside the realm of possibility? How would you bring it closer?
It’s called doing work.
It also helps if you have realism in assessing how possible something actually is, not wishful thinking.
This brings up a critical issue: subconscious roadblocks. You can will something in the Force but if you are emotionally divided about it, or don’t believe you deserve it, or just don’t entirely want it, it’s going to flop. So how do you convince yourself you want it? First you may have to deprogram yourself out of any religious-inspired guiltiness or foolish ethical codes, if what you want is selfish. Or if you can’t do that, at least find a way to justify (sincerely) what you are pushing for as helping-yourself-help-others.
But besides reprogramming/deprogramming, the best way to convince yourself you really want and deserve something is WORK FOR IT. This will (1) bring it physically closer to the realm of possibility, especially if we’ve thought it through objectively and it actually does this (2) clear up subconscious roadblocks because we all feel we deserve a thing we’ve worked for (3) create a center of gravity, focus, and intention in the lines of possibility. In this way two hands at work don’t just beat a thousand folded in prayer, but two hands at work actually are two hands in prayer, as all work implies hope and will.
For the dark side especially, a person having the Force doesn’t simply mean they are in touch with the universe’s waves. It means they have force, that their personal determination creates a momentum in their wake which bends spacetime and the threads of possibility, sweeping events and the world around them toward the direction of their goals. No, it’s not only traditionally successful people who have this and many successful people actually don’t; their lives are often lived without real purpose or weight. Many leaders are incompetent bureaucrats, who care only about maintaining their position or maybe don’t even care about anything. (Sad how much of humanity is morally indefensible.) And no, it’s not only vocal, arrogant male leader-stereotypes who have it. Influence can be silent and subtle and edgeless, yet very strong, like water. Ranking people as having it/not having it is probably not helpful since we all have it at least a little, but when someone’s got a good deal of it you’ll probably notice.
So this Force, is this suggesting one of those ridiculous scenarios where every religion has a grain of truth simply because some people believe in it? Hell, maybe. I don’t know. I’ve heard a lot of weird things, but then I’ve also heard a lot of bullshit. I maintain a policy of equal parts open-mindedness and skepticism.
Again, the Force isn’t one of those things where you have to panic about whether it’s true, or whether you conform to its concept of right and wrong. Its existence could suggest to you that maybe you should live for something more than going-along-to-get-along, that you shouldn’t be unthinkingly stumbling or passionlessly drifting. But I could have told you that without resorting to an invisible energy field.
It does bring up the whole Light and Dark issue, though in my opinion any grown-up should realize that these are totally different from good and evil (this may just be my dark side bias). All people and groups probably have a mixture (yourself, Christianity, the French Revolution). It’s interesting how closely the Jedi and Sith mirror the Right-Hand Path and Left-Hand Path, especially in the context of the Force. The Jedi believe in serving others and obeying the Force’s guidance. The Sith believe in serving themselves and tell the Force what to do. But in reality both sides use the Force both ways.
Of course as always I learn dark. Me, I believe in being a leader, whether we’re talking about society or invisible force fields. I’m sure the Force has plenty of wisdom buried in it if you listen, but the Force is also indecisive. It’s like the unconscious: all sentiment, no decision-making. We can, and should, be the deciders. If the Force is the universe’s collective unconscious, then we are its pointed, individualized consciousness – its ego. Again, if I was wrong, I think the Force would make it directly clear for us. No – we are the Force’s greatest embodiment, we are the tip of its pyramid, we are the spearhead of the universe’s ever-persisting struggle for greater clarity and complexity and pattern. We are the ones who have to bear the responsibility of conscious planning and putting things into material practice. For the good of the Force itself – and just because we can – we must decide how the Force will be expressed, and express it – forcefully! – even if doing so requires going against Nature, ethics, religion, sentiment, our humanity, physics, or even seemingly the Force itself.
The Force is like a child who doesn’t know how to say what it wants, or doesn’t even know what it wants. This may be why there is so much historic confusion over “what God wants” (besides people making things up). The Force isn’t sure! So we must use our patience, our intuition, and careful listening to figure it out. But once we do figure out what it wants, which will necessarily in large part reflect what we want – then we must not be afraid to command it in full confidence.