The Force Is With...Everyone
People of all faiths find meaning in the religion of 'Star Wars.'
You may not know it, but you're a Jedi--at least according to the dozens of Beliefnet members who compare their own faiths to the spirituality of "Star Wars." Find out what the Force has in common with:
Zoroastrianism | Islam | Combination
I think there are definite connections between the Tao and The Force. Yoda said The Force is everywhere--the tree, the rock--and binds all things together. The Tao is called "the Mother of All Things" and is described as humble, the giver of life, patient, and so forth.
The force pulls most of its substance from the Tao. And the Tao states that all things have good and evil, light and dark within, even itself. And remember the whole prophecy they talk about, the one that will bring balance to the force, how did he bring balance? by going evil, that's pretty Taoist if you ask me.
Anakin is evidently the one prophesied to restore balance to the Force. ...
Is this pattern not a little more in keeping with the Tao? The harmony in the Force is restored when the Sith is removed. And is not our goal as human beings to live in the Tao, which is, by definition, a matter of balance?
Another difference between the force and the Tao, I think, is that you can't do magic tricks with the Tao. Not that Taoism is anti-magic by any means, but mystical powers aren't too often held up as signs of a real sage.
Obi-Wan Kenobi says: "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together". Obi Wan's words bear a striking resemblance to Lao Tzu's own words throughout the Tao-Te-Ching. Granted, most people would say that the Tao will not allow you to defeat the empire and save the galaxy. I disagree.
The Force could be "Buddha Nature" - the seed of enlightenment that resides in each of us. It kinda matches the description given by Obi Wan in Episode IV.
One lesson that sticks with me through time is the one Buddhist belief, reflected in Star Wars on the Force, is that to get it one must let go of it. I spend most of my time in the struggle of "letting go." When I do finally pry the "attachment" from my bloody fingers, it is not long before the universe provides the very thing that I seemed to be so attached to having. "Let go, Luke!"
Re: "Pop Zen," there was no Star Wars when I picked up my first Allan Watts in 1968. No Return of the Jedi when I first read Rinzai in 1970. Personally, I looked at zen and Star Wars from a different side. I was quite pleased to see the pop culture paying some homage to the 2500 year old religion.
The Jedi (who dress as monks crossed with Samurai and live in a "Monastery" or "Temple" where they lead celibate lives...apparently, from what one tells from the previews for the second Film) remind me of nothing less than certain Buddhist warrior monk sects, such as the Shaolin.