the ways of the FORCE
article by Henryk Szubinski
a OVERSELF DEFINITION
the Unifying force by Wookipedia
as the LIVING FORCE
The Living Force was a view on the Force, accepted by the majority of Jedi throughout ages. The Living Force was thought to be present in most living beings, surrounding and penetrating them, thus making all living things connected by it. The Jedi believed the Living Force relied on their instincts and were attuned to other living beings around them. They were mindful of the future and the possible consequences of their actions, but remained focused on the present. The Living Force was viewed as having both the light and the dark side. The Jedi always had to be mindful of their actions to avoid the temptations of the dark side. Through following the Living Force, several Jedi were able to retain their identities after their physical death, becoming one with the Force and able to manifest themselves as Force ghosts. Proponents of the Living Force view, such as Qui-Gon Jinn, espoused a philosophy of “living in the moment,” relied heavily on their instincts and concentrated more on sensitivity to living things, rather than fulfilling destiny, which was one of the main tenets of the Unifying Force philosophy.
The concept of the Unifying Force found fewer supporters within the Jedi Order than the Living Force. The concept of the Unifying Force was that the Force is a single entity and has neither a light nor the dark side. The Unifying Force was viewed as a deity that neither had sides nor chose them, treating all beings equally. Followers of the Unifying Force always kept their eyes open for future possibilities. In the end, it resulted in them trying to fulfill a destiny rather than focusing on here and now, as the Living Force supporter would do.
Visions of the future were of particular significance to Unifying Force supporters. Yoda was one of the most adamant proponents of heeding visions of the future though never once acknowledged any of the other views common with the Unifying Force. Many of the Jedi held a similar philosophy, and focused on the flow of time as a whole, ignoring primary use of the Living Force. Voices for the latter espoused a philosophy of “live for the moment” and heavily relied on their instincts. This viewpoint might have allowed the Jedi Order to stave off the conflict that gave rise to the Galactic Empire, as its members lost themselves in looking forward rather than analyzing the unfolding events before them. Yoda later espoused beliefs closer to the philosophy of the Living Force when training Luke Skywalker on Dagobah.
Ironically for Unifying Force Jedi, Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, also supported this belief. He claimed that there was only one Force: the only difference worthy of note was that the Sith saw the Force as a means to an end while the Jedi saw it as an end in itself. This view was also supported by Vergere, who taught Jacen Solo that there was no light side or dark side of the Force—only the Unifying Force. Vergere also told Solo that “the Force was everything, and everything was the Force”; that the Force did not have sides and never took sides.
the LITE SIDE OF THE FORCE
The light side of the Force was concerned with the ideals of good, benevolence, and healing. Followers of the light side strove to live in harmony with the world around them, acting out of wisdom and logic rather than anger and hasty judgment. In order to achieve harmony with the light side of the Force, its practitioners would often meditate to clear themselves of emotion; particularly negative emotions such as aggression, fear, anger, and hatred, since these were thought to bring on acceptance of the dark side.
The largest group of proponents and teachers of the light side was the Jedi Order, who strove to maintain peace and justice throughout the galaxy. The values of the light side were culminated in the Jedi Code. The Jedi accepted the view on the two sides of the Force: the dark side and the light side. A follower of the light side tried to live in harmony with those around him. Mutual trust, respect, and the ability to form alliances gave the Jedi their distinct advantage over the Sith. In contrast, a follower of the dark side uses the dark side of the force, usually for himself. Use of the dark side of the Force was forbidden within the Jedi Order, and was strictly considered the domain of the Sith.
Traditional Jedi were keen to keep the Force “in balance”. They attempted to achieve this by destroying the Sith and denying the dark side—essentially “keeping balance” by restoring the Force to its natural state, as they viewed the dark side as “corruption”. This involved the purging of negative emotions such as aggression, anger, and hatred, since they could easily bring on acceptance of the dark side. In contrast, positive emotions such as compassion and courage nurtured the light side of the Force. The Jedi Code compared such feelings and provided insight into the ethical use of the Force.
Passion was considered dangerous, as it could lead to strong emotions that could unbalance the Jedi and lead them to the Dark Side. Love was, curiously enough, seen as something both Jedi and Sith avoided. While the Jedi espoused a broad, all-encompassing, self-sacrificing love for all beings, love for another being—romance, a possessive love by nature—was shunned in post-Ruusan order. Possession of all types was also shunned in the post-Ruusan Reformation era Jedi Order, the only exceptions being a Jedi’s lightsaber and clothes. The Jedi viewed love as a danger best left untouched. While the passion that came with love could lead to hatred and anger—as Anakin Skywalker demonstrated in becoming a Sith because of his love for Padmé Amidala; it could also lead to pity, mercy, self-sacrifice and compassion, emotions the Sith did not see as beneficial, as demonstrated by Darth Vader in sacrificing himself to save his son from the Emperor at the end of his life, thus bringing balance to the Force.
The Force was a metaphysical, binding, and ubiquitous power that held enormous importance for both the Jedi and Sith monastic orders. The Force was viewed in many different aspects, including, but not limited to, the light side, the dark side, the Unifying Force, and the Living Force. The first two aspects were concerned with the moral compass of the Force, as manifested by the conduct and emotions of living creatures who were themselves part of the fabric of the Force. The light side of the Force was the facet aligned with compassion, selflessness, self-knowledge and enlightenment, healing, mercy and benevolence, while the dark side of the Force was the element aligned with hatred, fear, covetousness, anger, aggression, jealousy and malevolence. The latter two aspects were defined by prominent Jedi philosophies: The Unifying Force essentially embraced space and time in its entirety while the Living Force dealt with the energy of living things. Though the Force was categorized in this way, there were no specific abilities or powers that were only usable by a follower of a different path of the Force; the Force partially existed inside the life forms that used it, and drew energy from their emotions.
Some beings, particularly the Sith, believed that the dark side of the Force was more powerful than the light, though it was possible that the dark side was just more tempting to those who used it (or desired to use it). Others thought of the Force as an entity capable of intelligent thought, almost as a sort of deity. Anakin Skywalker, who was believed to have been conceived by the Force itself, may have shared this belief; if this was indeed the case, it would add credence towards the view of the Force as a sentient entity.
Though the Force was thought to flow through every living thing, its power could only be harnessed by beings described as “Force-sensitive”. This Force-sensitivity was correlated with, and sometimes attributed to, a high count of internal microorganisms called midi-chlorians that were found in a Force-sensitive’s blood: the higher the count, the greater the being’s potential Force ability, though there were some exceptions to this rule. Force-sensitive beings were able to tap into the Force to perform acts of great skill and agility as well as control and shape the world around them. Sometimes this ability was described as having a strong Force “aura”.
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live wire A spry, energetic person. This expression, derived from the jumping and sparking of a fallen power line, enjoys common usage in the United States.
He was, if anyone was, the live wire of the Senior Common Room. (J. C. Masterman, To Teach Senators Wisdom, 1952)
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The rough-and-ready style which belongs to a people of sailors, foresters, farmers and mechanics. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life, 1860)
“Old Rough and Ready” was a nickname given to General Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) for his conduct during the Seminole and the Mexican Wars in the early 1800s. Supporters of Taylor’s campaign and presidency (1849-50) were known as the “Rough and Ready Boys.”
Definition: an energetic style
Definition: the property of being able to survive and grow; “the vitality of a seed”
Definition: (biology) a hypothetical force (not physical or chemical) once thought by Henri Bergson to cause the evolution and development of organisms
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