Become the Force by Daniel M Jones is a guidepost to the spiritual movement of Jediism.
In a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to find spiritual succour, many are beginning to turn to new ways of finding what they need to nourish their souls. For some, like Jones, this is Jediism, a spirituality derived from the mythos of Star Wars. Humans are an incredibly adaptable, creative species. The anthropologist in me is fascinated to see the birth of a new religion/spiritual movement born of our modern mythology.
This book is one part teaching tool, one part memoir. Each of the nine chapters tells about Jones’ life, as he learned about himself, and his spiritual needs, and began to craft the Church of Jediism. Each also contains a spiritual teaching, and practical applications towards making that teaching a reality in your own life.
These teaching are drawn from many other traditions and spiritualities spanning the globe, creating a synthesis around the core of the Star Wars Jedi Order, and forging a spiritual tradition to appeal to the generations of today. Finally, each chapter has testimonials from various people as to how Jediism has influenced their lives.
I admit, I’m more a Star Trek person than Star Wars. It’s that anthropologist influence in my life again. I do love Star Wars, though, and was quite intrigued when I tumbled to this book. I’m far more of a spiritual person than religious. I’m not at all for dogma, and strict ritual, so this was appealing. I’ve explored several paths over the years. Jediism seems most akin to modern Druidry, and I find it amusingly appropriate that it should be a Welsh author that introduced me to Jediism as a spiritual path since I associate Welsh myth with Druidry moreso than I do Irish. I’m weird like that.
I love reading about Jones’ life, as he struggled in a world that didn’t really acknowledge Asperger’s, and didn’t know quite how to deal with his unique personality. Reading about his own growth in life was inspirational in itself. I so grok the dislike of change. I don’t handle change it breaks in my routine well either, though I be learned to mitigate the disruption.
My only disgruntlement was the focus on ‘the Light’, or the ‘Light Side of the Force’. This is just a personal frizzle, since the spirituality I settled upon sees value in working with what would be both ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’. This book does have some emphasis on learning to harness and/or work with the ‘Dark’, which I liked. It teaches a different way to learn from the denser emotions.
These lessons are invaluable, however you choose to integrate them into your life. They include meditation, mindfulness, the value of an open mind, and emotional control. Jones gives many suggestions for supplemental reading, and encourages a love of learning. This spiritual tradition is well worth delving into. I’m all for supporting anything that helps people better themselves, and grow.
Perfect for any who love Star Wars, or those seeking to explore new spiritual paths.
***Many thanks to Netgalley and Watkins Publishing for providing an egalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.