I have been thinking lately on my old friend and frequent, shape-shifting, interlocutor and her project seeking to catalog the influences behind George Lucas’ STAR WARS. Though much less erudite, it might be likened to Robert Graves’ THE WHITE GODDESS, which has generally been reduced and so somewhat misapprehended by the resurgence of Goddess worship in the West.
Graves’ intent was not merely to assert existence of the Goddess’ religion within and behind all religions of Mediterranean Europe, Africa and the Near East, but to recover that religion by its grammar, lying unremembered in the letters and sequence of the Alpha-Bet. So too, my old friend (in the sense of Kirk and Kahn), was seeking the grammar of STAR WARS, though without quite being able to read it.
Like, to some extent, the governess who stole the Manual from Wudang mountain and gained a level of power denied her by the gender-limit of the monastery’s male lineage. Still, not being able to actually read the manual, her power is limited and her heart not purified by the practice. She becomes, rather than a true teacher, a Poison Dragon.
An interesting project that I have enjoyed. At the same time, I’ve been struck by my old friend’s curious use of the poet Basho’s line:
“Seek not the Old Masters,
but seek what they Sought.”
Curious because, applied as an ethos of the STAR WARS ORIGINS project, it has seemed to me either an exact misunderstanding of what the line means or an admonition intended to remind her that the project of seeking the Old Masters behind STAR WARS must at some point yield to a search for inner transformation – that thing the Old Masters sought.
As Bahauddin Naqshbandi testifies:
But if, as have the literalists, we soak ourselves in these elements from motives of greed or marveling at wonders, we will transform ourselves indeed; but the transformation will be animal into lesser animal, instead of animal into man.
The test which is placed in man’s way is to separate the real Seekers from the imitation ones by this very method. If man has not addressed himself to this study through his simplest and most sincere self he will be in peril. It is therefore better, did man but know it, to avoid all metaphysical entanglements rather than to allow himself to be acted upon by the supreme force which will amplify, magnify, his faults if he lacks the knowledge of how to cure the fault, or of how to approach the teaching so that his faults are not involved in the procedure.”
In this context metaphysics = science fiction. It’s a dangerous drug.