The Force and the Dao
April 23, 2004
While brushing up on Chinese history, I found
reference to a philosophy called Daoism. Being the ignorant but curious
person that I am, I researched further about a Chinese philosophy not really
talked about in the United States. What I found (Besides the fact that
it was/is the second to Confucianism in influence) were interesting parallels
to the Force.
Compare this quote from the Encarta entry: "Through spontaneous
compliance with the impulses of one's own essential nature and by emptying
oneself of all doctrines and knowledge, one achieves unity with the Dao
and derives from it a mystical power." to this quote from A
New Hope: "The Force is an energy field created by all living things.
It surrounds us... penetrates us... binds the galaxy together." Also
Qui-Gon's "Feel, don't think..." line plays into this as well.
The Dao, or Way, is the underlying pattern of the universe, while the
Force is the underlying pattern of the Star Wars galaxy. The biggest
difference is that to be one with the Dao was to forget all problems
and differences and conform to nature, whereas the Jedi sought to at
least partially conform the Force to them.
Perhaps a thousand years from now Chinese Daoists with
be running around in brown and white bathrobes moving objects with their
mind, and protecting
the planet, with Laozi, Daoism's founder, their Yoda. Or perhaps, horror
of horrors, we'll all be living in some Star Trek incarnation,
with no thought of a lightsaber...
Note: This essay
was reprinted with the permission of the author.
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