Bohemian Buddhist Review

Rogue One and The Dharma of Star Wars

The Star Wars phenomenon seems increasingly relevant to our times, if not prophetic.

Powerful madmen intent on ruling everything. Death and defunding for everyone (else). The dark side versus the lightsabers. There are more than a few people who think we're in a sort of cosmic war lately. For sure we're in a bitterly divisive cultural and political era. As above, so below???

"The Dharma of Star Wars," a book by Matthew Bortolin, and "Rogue One," a prequel in the Star Wars saga, have a lot in common. Bortolin's book is very skillful at pointing out spiritual profundity in the movies themselves, starting with, but not limited to, Master Yoda's dictums.

"Rogue One" points to a paradigm shift, a kickass version of the Divine Femine in action, which could (not overly likely, but hey, keep a good thought) save us all. While the movie's theme is hardly new, the female lead is -- and I don't think it's insignificant that the rebels are led by a spacewoman. 

Let's just go with broad outlines here. Which gender designed, built, and plans to use the Death Star? I didn't see a single female face in all the Empire shots. So we can safely assume the Empire is a very dark patriarchal society, no? The vision is chllling. Maybe they've learned to reproduce without women. (In which case, I wish them good luck during their offspring's diaper years.)

Who are the two main stalwarts of the Rogue One rebellion? Women. Granted it's an abysmally small number (and according to Wikipedia, they only get 17% of the dialogue) but is this not a good analogy of women's current status in the US? (And don't give me that business about how far we've come. One hundred years after we got the vote and we still don't have the Equal Rights Amendment? Who's calling who a dirty rotten Empire?)

One of my favorite bits in Bortolin's book is about the evil, dreaded Sith, who "think only of themselves," while the Jedi "care for others." As outlined in the prescient channeled material from the 1980's, The Law of One, we are either committed to Service to Self or Service to Others (in Buddhist terms, a bodhisattva). Guess which one is dark and which light?  

We need the "deep commitment of a Jedi" for the transformation of individual consciousness, from Me to We. The ultimate goal of the defeat of hatred, ignorance, and greed is a world of peace, joy, and freedom.

But first, we need some serious soul-searching lest we end up like Darth Vader. "When we look carefully at our enemies we will see ourselves . . . and we will see how our lives have contributed to their manifestation."

A painful truth but one worthy of deep self-investigation (with compassion for ourselves, as always, and for others). We need to hold onto our humanity as the global corporate Death Star is determined to take everything down with it rather than give up any power. We may or may not be able to stop them, but in any situation, no matter how dire, we always have a choice between the dark and the light.

May The Force be with us.