The Star Wars saga is rich with a Spirit vs. ego theme. This theme becomes very intense in Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. In Episode III, Anakin transforms from Anakin, Jedi Knight to Darth Vader, Sith Lord. This transformation illustrates Anakin’s descent from Spirit led to ego driven - from Jedi Knight to Sith Lord.
In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin is obsessed with saving Padme from death which he foresaw in a dream. In addition to the tremendous fear of losing Padme, Anakin is also hurt by the Jedi Council’s decision to not make him a Master. Through the course of the film, Anakin also falls in love with himself, particularly with his Jedi skills and the strength of the Force within him. He becomes attached to his role as Jedi Knight and as “the chosen one.”
Several themes that led Anakin to the Dark Side become obvious here: Anakin’s attachment to Padme, his attachment to his role as a Jedi Knight, and his desire to be special.
These same themes have wreaked havoc in my own life. Every time that I’ve become attached or have desired to be special I have created pain for myself and others. At times, I have lashed out in an effort to control and manipulate others and situations. When I've acted out I have in essence said to God: “This is not how things should be. You got it wrong. I need to fix your errors.”
Here are truths that I’ve come to:
- I am not my roles. The roles I find myself in are a tiny aspect of my True Self. I should not confuse my Self with a role.
- The desire to be special hurts myself and others. The desire for specialness hurts me because it sets me up to be not special - it perpetuates a pleasure/pain cycle. It hurts others because it conveys the message that I’m superior and they are inferior - that we are not equal.
- Attachment is a source of pain. All forms fade, if I become attached to any form, I will suffer when that form passes.
The more I remember and honor these truths, the more I become Spirit led instead of ego driven. Hopefully I won't wait until I'm dying, like Anakin in Return of the Jedi, before I let Spirit and Love into my life.
“Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” - Yoda