In Daoism (Taoism), the concept of the Dao (Tao) refers to the fundamental vital life force that underlies and connects all beings and all things in the Cosmos.
In Star Wars, the Force is portrayed as a powerful and all-encompassing energy that connects all living things in the galaxy.
The Dao and the Force are both accepted as beyond the realm of human control and full human knowledge. It is the Dao that has the ultimate say; all else may be understood as mystery.
According to Daoism, the Dao is often described as being ineffable and indescribable; its will beyond the grasp of anyone. Translated from Chinese as the Way, it also signifies an alignment with the Cosmic vital force, and how when tapped in, it flows through us. We are vessels.
In Star Wars, the Force is portrayed as having a will of its own as well, though also as something to wield, often in battle, or certainly for a cause or philosophical belief. In this way, its portrayed more as a religion.
The Dao and the Force are constantly in flux, with balance being a key principle. In Daoism, harmony is expressed by the key players of Yin and Yang. These two beings are often viewed as static principles in the west, but in ancient Chinese esoterica, they are conscious, having very little to do with receptive / generative or female / male binaries and more to do with what happens when they intertwine.
In Star Wars, the concept of the light side and the dark side of the Force represents the idea that balance must be maintained in order for the galaxy to be in harmony, though it’s often implied that light is moral and dark is immoral. This is played out through Jedi — the light must sacrifice and practice non-attachment, and through the dark side (Sith) harnessing passion and vision. Though in newer content, the binaries are beginning to be challenged, where nuance and conflict can be viewed with more complexity.
I could go on and on, so I’ll just share this— both the Dao and the Force are viewed as a source of guidance and inspiration for individuals seeking to live their purpose. With the Dao being the Way or the Path, it’s about deeply listening, observing, and being receptive participants that is viewed to ultimately achieve inner peace and harmony in a fragmented world within and around them.
In Star Wars, the Force is viewed as a neutral source of guidance, wisdom, and power, and it’s more about what you do with the Force itself. It subtly showcases how bias becomes an additional lens that can distort the outcomes of wielding the Force. In many ways, the entire canon, reveals the divisions and conflicts as the outcome of unchecked growth, unchecked devotion, idealism vs reality, privilege and means, and ultimately, spirituality and politics.
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