Star Wars — The Force Awakens
The Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine and Discovering a Personal Access to the Force
Dennis Merritt, PhD, Jungian Analyst and Ecopsychologist
The Force Awakens arrives at a propitious moment in the history of planet Earth. Opening days before the 2015 winter solstice and the Christian version of its celebration, its ending can be interpreted as a hope that individuals and cultures will turn towards the light of greater consciousness and have the courage to confront the roots of terrorism, violence, and the harsh realities of our deteriorating environment.
1. The Dark Side of Life
The Dark Side in The Force Awakens is led by Supreme Leader Snoke, his generals, and a mysterious leader hell bent on finding and eliminating the last of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker. Skywalker went into exile after one of his students went over to the Dark Side. The faces of evil in real life are clearly evident in the leaders of Boko Haran, Isis, and the Muslim couple responsible for the killings in San Bernardino. Where does one draw the line on the question of evil? We see the disturbed young men who murdered children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary and moviegoers at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. We are horrified by the policeman who pumped 16 bullets into a young black man on a Chicago thoroughfare. More subtle but far deadlier in the long run are the multitude of faces that created the systems, particularly in America, that funnel wealth to the top 1% of the population and deny the overwhelming scientific evidence of human induced climate change. Severe wealth inequality leads to a deteriorating quality of life for millions in terms of health, housing, educational opportunities, and increasing violence. Delaying action on the elimination of fossil fuels means greater losses occurring sooner from massive droughts, floods, severe storms, food and water shortages, and the creation of millions of climate refugees. We are all complicit in environmental degradation, for the activities of ours species will be responsible for the elimination of 30 to 50% of the other species on the planet mostly through the adverse effects of climate change. The strange December weather in the US is a timely reminder that all is not well in Bethlehem and beyond.
2. The Force
What is the Force that can be awakened to counter evil in its many forms? In Star Wars it is defined as an energy that pervades the universe in and around everything, best described as chi energy by the Chinese. Subtle imbalances in the bodies’ chi can be detected by body workers, sensitive individuals, and in dreams. The energies can be adjusted, but if unaddressed for too long they lead to organic damage. Western medicine is particularly good in this final stage by using an array of drugs and sophisticated operations to attack the problems. This final level in a culture and in politics is what is portrayed in The Force Awakens where it takes dramatic, heroic efforts to defeat the forces of darkness and death.