I was eight years old when the first Star Wars (episode four) was released. The original Star Wars and the all the ones that followed excited me because they were different from other action movies. Yes, they were fun and full of thrills, but there was always a deeper meaning behind the Star Wars franchise.
Maybe that’s why I feel so disappointed with this latest edition of Star Wars, episode seven. Yes, many of the old characters are there. Yes, the “force” is an amazing phenomenon. Yes, the universe is a spectacular place filled with myriad life forms. But so what? What can I take from this movie to give meaning and inspiration to my life?
The previous Star Wars films all offered lessons of life. In episode three, for example, I learned that fear and anger leads to pain and suffering. This is what turns Anakin Skywalker to the Dark side of the force and into Darth Vader.
In episode four, I learned to trust my feelings and use the “force” to bring good into the world. Luke uses the force to sucessfully destroy the death star.
In episode five, I learned the importance of patience, and preparation required to fulfill my potential. Luke Skywalker leaves Yoda before his training is complete and he is unable to meet the challenge in Darth Vader.
In episode six, I learned that compassion can save people and the world. This is how Luke finally overcomes the hate and anger within his father, Darth Vader.
In episode seven, I didn’t really learn anything new. Perhaps the closest thing to a teaching could have been when Fin was asked, “Why did you leave the first order?” He responded, “Because it was the right thing to do.” But that rang hollow to me because everyone in life is trying to do the right thing. The difficult part about life is to be able to discern what is the right thing to do! It was said that even Hitler thought he was doing the right thing by killing millions of people. But obviously that didn’t make it the right thing to do.
And how about Rey (the female lead in episode 7)? Why was she compelled to join the resistance? Because her life was so bleak, boring and desperate on her home world? What greater meaning and purpose was she searching for in her life? It seems that she was waiting for the return of her loved ones. But what greater need was she lacking besides companionship and love? Does the force mysteriously come to everyone who is lonely and desperate? If so, command of the force would be a very common attribute in the universe!
The things that made me love the old Star Wars films simply were missing in this one: a sense of shared destiny, an emphasis on heart intelligence and using our feelings to know the truth, and most importantly, a commitment to the universal truth that we are all One living in separation, but within a mysterious, unifying “force” that unites and binds all life.
That’s why this film feels like just another action film set in space. Where is the moral of this story? What can I take from this film to use in my own life? Why should I care about these new characters? What meaning is there in a fight against a dark side? These are all questions that I was expecting to be answered just like in the other films. I went to the movie theater wanting to have answers to these questions and I bet millions of other people did also.
Even though this Star Wars film offers no new message to inspire my life, fortunately there is a new message from God that offers something like the “force.” It is called Knowledge. Every sentiment being is born with Knowledge. It is given to us by the divine creator to guide us, protect us, and lead us to the greater meaning of our life.
Knowledge is not just for an elite or a select few. Knowledge is with everyone in the universe. This knowledge is waiting inside us to be discovered. You can’t destroy it or alter it. The world can’t dilute or eliminate it. Knowledge can be ignored, denied and pushed away but it is always with us, waiting to redeem us:
Knowledge exists beyond the realm of desire and fear, and that is why it is sound. That is why it is strong. That is why it is unchanging, and you cannot change it. However, this represents your redemption. No matter what you think or do or have done or have not done, the power of redemption lives within you. – The Gift of a New Life
If you feel it is your time to discover and express this knowledge within you, there is a direct pathway to follow which will lead you to your greater meaning and happiness in life. Join me and others around the world who are taking the Steps to Knowledge.