The Tao of Star Wars

A look at the Taoist concept of wu wei through the lens of the Star Wars series.


07/16/2010 04:13:56 PM

as for the force, it is a complete rip of of taoism.Zen Primordially there is just a single energy, temporally expressed by means of provisional terms. It contains all things, and pervades all times, Beyond all natures and characterizations, it is a solitary light, the source of completeness, spiritual knowledge. From the eon of the Void right up to now it has never perished and never been born, never increased and never decreased … the three [Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism] are basically one body; that body is neither void nor material, neither existent nor nonexistent. It contains heaven and earth, including everything. It benefits sentient beings, its constant radiance shinning independently. Zen Master P’ u-an


07/16/2010 04:11:53 PM

part II When one conforms with the Tao (the Way) and ones “correct” inner cultivation and practice does that, one can act without “acting”. For instance an old Zen story will illuminate this. A novice asked the old Zen master what it is like being enlightened. The master answered, I eat, I sleep, I work, I dedicate. To which the novice replied in shock, “but that is what everyone else’s does. The master answered, not at all, when others sleep their dreams are interrupted by disturbing dreams, when they eat they are concentrating on all their worries and what they will do in the future. Even their work and elimination is full of their troubles and concerns, while mine is not.” There is a specific form of detachment that is practiced and obtained that leads to the full realization of wu wei. One still acts, but ones actions are not clouded by ones fears, desires, attachments, hopes, dreams, fantasies etc.


07/16/2010 04:11:36 PM

AND UNFORTUNATLY .... This commentator still misunderstands it. wu wei, action less action is a specific frame of "being" in which one is ontologically connected and moves with the Tao and ones inner virtue T'e. It has nothing to do with feelings. Lucas adopted many Taoist and Zen ideas in star wars and then Europeanized them with western neo-psychologies. “I feel therefore I’m X.” As a great Zen master once said, "If you want to seek Buddha [the Tao] but keep your feelings, you are hauling a net up a mountain to snare fish; it is a useless waste of effort, without benefit. How long will you misuse your time?" Pao-chih


10/02/2008 11:40:56 AM

I remeber when star wars first came out. I reaaly liked it. My favorite sitcom used to be David Caradine's "Kung Fu". I could watch it over and over and that is unusual for me when it comes to programs on t.v. I like the scenes where he would have flassh backs of growing up in the temple and his teacher how he would affectionately call him grasshopper. This just fits me in away main streem christianity does not. Isn't that odd? I have literally tried every religion in an effort to make it fit but nothing really fits like this.


05/30/2005 10:52:39 AM

And by extension, we experience similar events (e.g. birth, growth, death) and emotions (e.g. love, loss, grief), and wish to order the universe to make "sense" of it.


12/27/2003 03:24:19 AM

"doesn't any one find it rather amazing that same ideas, beliefs and doctrines are shared by so many differing faiths." This could be due to the fact that we are all humans, live on the same planet and some of us occassionally talk to each other - hence ideas get spread around.


12/22/2003 06:05:36 AM

Only joking, sorry if any offence caused to anyone. But seriously doesn't any one find it rather amazing that same ideas, beliefs and doctrines are shared by so many differing faiths. Suggesting that regardless of your own particular faith we are all signing from the same hymn sheet without knowing it.


12/17/2003 06:22:23 AM

A very interesting point, but do you realise that in turn "Lord of the Sith" now translates as "Lord of the Fairies" which given its more modern usage not only seriously affects Darth Vader's and darth Maul's macho image, but would explain the mask, cape and all that leather.


12/16/2003 01:59:40 AM

"The Celtic word for Fairy is pronouced "She" but can be spelt Sith" That all depends which language in the group of Gaelic languages you speak. Fairy comes from the Gaelic word "fae" or Fey/Fay - I know it is an Irish word but might be found in Socts Gaelic and possibly Cornish and Manx. Interesting points you raised though Cliff! Darth Vader means "Dark Father" in at least one scandinavian language. I think Lucus has drawn on many sources.


12/15/2003 07:24:42 AM

Sorry for all the spelling errors.


12/15/2003 07:23:41 AM

Star Wars is basically a relating of Arthurian myth:= Obi Wan= Merlin, Luke = Arthur, Vader=Mordred, Annakin = Uther, Obi Wan is a Jedi who draws power from the force, Merlin is a Druid who invokes the good fairies (a.k.a. the Children of Don and the Tuatha De Dannan) to draw power from the dragon. Obi Wan's opponant is the emperor and his pupil vader, who draw upon the dark side of the force. Merlins opponant is the evil druid Mugana and her pupil Modred who use involve the evil fairies to draw upon the dark side of the dragon. Such druids are called Dubh Drui or Dark Druids. The Celtic word for Fairy is pronouced "She" but can be spelt Sith. The Sith or Dark Jedi are jedi who use the dragon for evil, as opposed to the Jedi who use the force for good. In others words Jedi=Druid, Force=Dragon, whilst all l the mystical elements within star wars can also be found within druidry one only needs to look.


11/22/2003 06:22:05 AM

The Matrix combines elements from Judaism, Christianity, Buddism, Taoism and goodness knows what else! It's an interesting idea but I think it's just a plot device rather than a message from the filmmakers.


11/20/2003 11:49:39 PM

I think the Matrix also serves as a great analogy for wu wei. Neo, Morpheus and crew all display acute intuition and harmony with thier environment. I.e. when Trinity Morpheus and the key maker are on the over-pass, and Trinity immediatly notices the semi with the bikes, and jumps off (key maker under her arm, as such) with out hesitation or analysis.


10/27/2003 01:37:08 AM

I suggest reading Bruce Lee's Tao of Kung Fu....he explains the Tao very well using several easily understood (for westerners) analogies. As for our friend Luke....the best thing he was ever told was 'do or do not, there is no try'.


09/25/2003 11:27:56 AM

I think the Tao of Pooh is an excellent book. It's helped simplify my outlook on life. It was always confusing trying to find meaning to life from a universal outlook but now Taoism's taught me to stop thinking of any meaning & live it instead.


09/19/2003 04:03:24 PM

When it comes to protesting, etc... You do protest, not try. You do fight for the cause, not try. But you don't just stop global warming. You have to know how to use Wu wei properly. Maybe if you read all of The Tao of Starwars, maybe it explains this better. Luke is never told to just let go and somehow defeat the empire, he is told to let go in certain things, that help him defeat the empire. Even a 1000 step journey begins with the first step.


09/02/2003 01:17:49 AM

Anyone think the Tao of Pooh is a valid way to teach basic Tao thinking to Westerners?


04/18/2003 04:09:04 PM

I know this approach is valid -- even though everything in our human mind insists we have to do something. And you know, I've had the most amazing experiences when I had to step back, because I didn't think there was anything I could do, and if I did, I didn't know which path to choose. So I stepped back, and waited, and trusted that an answer would come. And it always does. Then there's the next thing we need to realize -- God always has a better idea.


04/17/2003 04:30:38 PM

How do you apply this to, say, activism, when you want to actively try and stop a war, or protest violence? Is this related to detachment?


04/17/2003 01:58:38 PM

Wu wei is similar to Western idea of "letting go and letting God".


04/05/2003 11:15:45 PM

sounds a little like chaos energy :0


04/05/2003 01:49:14 AM

I am the Tao.