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YODA

Yoda, the Jedi Master

Ok, so he's not a writer. He's not even human. In fact, he's basically just a big lump of latex with a dash of Frank Oz. Nevertheless, until the Prequels (which for the purposes of this site never happened), the Force is an intriguing pastiche of Zen Buddhism, Emersonian transcendentalism, and Campbellian mythology, and Yoda is its most outspoken prophet. Divorce Yoda's message from the magic and you still have an excellent set of rules to live by. Forget Robert Fulghum - everything I ever needed to know I learned from watching The Empire Strikes Back:

  • Do...or do not- There is no try.
  • Control, control, you must learn control!
  • Great warrior? Wars not make one great!
  • [Is the Dark Side stronger?] No...quicker, easier, more seductive...you will know [the difference] when you are calm, at peace...Once you start down the dark path, forever will it consume your destiny.
  • No, no there is no why! No more will I teach you today - Clear your mind of questions.
  • This one, a long time have I watched. Always he looked to the future...Never his mind on where he was!, what he was doing!
And to my mind, the real kicker,

  • Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmmm...and well you should not! For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you, here; between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere!...yes, even between the land and the ship.

Call me weird, call me kooky, but Yoda's been my sensei since I was six years old (and he never made me wash cars, either.) It may sound like run-of-the-mill New Age tripe to you, but let's see Deepak Chopra levitate an X-Wing. Like the wily Buddhist monks of the ancient Zen tales, the riddles of the foolish sage Yoda illustrate one of many paths to the dao.

Go to the Dagobah system.

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