God, Life, and The Force
Do you feel intrinsically different from everyone around you?
You might be a drug addict.
You might just be…“Jedi”
Written by: Grant Sparks
Before I launched on the most vigorous spiritual journey of my life, I sat down with a group of friends, those few men who would travel down this path with me. We sat around, speculating, wondering what this “mysterious group therapy”, brought on by a mutual mentor of ours, would actually entail. As we sat, waiting outside the office, not knowing what the next steps brought us, we started guessing. “I bet this is just going to be some, like, mindfulness exercises and tips on how to pray.” Said the egotist.
“It’s probably just going to be a more intellectual version of the 12 steps.” Said the skeptic.
“Dude, we’re just going to talk about our feelings.” Said the nonbeliever.
“I think this motherfucker is about to teach us how to be Jedi”. That was me.
There was a long, tense moment of silence followed by abrupt, all-encompassing laughter. Oh, the bliss of that laugher. Our mentor walked in at just this moment, and joined in the laughter, unknowing of the catalyst, yet all too aware of why we were laughing. In truth, we were all terrified. Terrified that he was going to sit us down and after a series of “emotional check ins”, as is quite common place in group therapy, he would truly tell us something of the ways of God.
We sat in a dimly lit office. One of those would-be business buildings that had been converted into a private firm, one of which was a therapy center. We went around in a circle, answering a simple question.
“Why do you think you are here?”
And around and round the circle we went, until it got to be my turn. And I laughed. I laughed so hard I could not contain it. Then our mentor laughed. One by one we all started laughing, hysterically and for no reason, yet for the only reason in the entirety of existence. Eventually, and I emphasize the word, we settled down and it was still my turn to answer. Minutes of laughter had passed and still we lingered in the same moment.
I nearly choked on my words, the smile creeping across my face as blissful ignorance threatened to consume me again.
“I think we’re here to become Jedi.”
This time our mentor laughed. He laughed until I laughed, until we laughed in unison. Everyone else watched. We laughed because, in so many ways, I was right.
We left that night, and one thing became very clear to me. Sobriety is a gateway. A gateway into the vast and deep well that is God. I have always claimed that most addicts and alcoholics, if the world were ideal, would be taken from their families at birth and trained to be like the Jedi, at least in many respects. We would be taught mindfulness, patience, and concentration at a young age, something that none of us have when we first become sober. We would learn about ourselves, our passions and our character defects at an age when we are so very malleable, so that change wouldn’t come at the cost of such suffering.
Most importantly, we would grow up surrounded by our peers, by those who also felt the disconnect from “reality”. Mentors and masters, who grew up as we would, teaching us about that “God shaped hole” that has plagued so many an alcoholic and addict. And with that understanding of ourselves, we would be able to affect the world around us so much that things, I think at least, would be drastically different.
Yet the miracle here is that some of us are able to recognize it. So many wander, wondering and full of unanswered questions. Yet, they turn from person, to place and finally to things, yet nary an answer is found. But some of us have a solution. It stars with a little blue book. On this path, we learn again how to live. It shows us how to do so, even without all those pesky little answers we so fervently seek.
And as we clear away the wreckage of our past life, we slowly uncover that we’ve had the answers all along. We are born with them. We are those who feel too deeply, who think too much. We are sensitive, one might say Force sensitive. But whatever it is, we have a direct connection to it. This is where we differ from the average person. Most people are aware that this thing, this Force, exists. Yet so many people are disconnected from it.
We are born connected. That’s why we make the best artists, writers, therapists and speakers. But when we are forced to live in a world that does not acknowledge this connection, we forget it. We are forced to give up the one thing that makes us complete. We grow to be unaware of it. And where, perhaps in our youngest years, we are whole, we start to lose that as we grow and our connection remains that of a newborn.
We harness our connection instead with the material, the fleeting. Manipulation, dominance, and power become our bonds. We grow stronger in the Dark and lose sight of the light; we dull this pain with drink, drugs, sex and a plethora of other temporary solutions. But this Darkness feeds on that in a way that we only come to realize long after it has consumed us. By the time we are awakened to this fact, however, this Darkside is now in control. No one is powerful enough to control it.
Never powerful enough, not to wield that Darkness.
But, as I said before, there is a miracle to this. Some of us, more and more each day in fact, come to this realization. There is no control to be had on the Darkside. So we seek redemption. We search for a way to find balance, and as our dependence on the things of this world wanes, our strength in the Force awakens. And while many of us go only so far as to dig ourselves out of the Darkness, there is a whole world of possibility from that point forward. There are experiences to be had by those with a sensitivity to the Force that the average person could not imagine. We can grow into something so much more than human. We can become Jedi.
This passage was an excerpt from the collected writings of Grant Sparks.
Originally conceived as a poem, Grant expanded upon his work, creating the narrative you have just read.
Currently in development, Grant will continue to expand upon his collection of work and build a novel:
-“God, Life, and The Force”-
To participate in a budding community of introspective exploration, visit: www.UIMindsEye.com