On Taoist Immortals and Force Ghosts

A large part of Taoism is based around individuals known as Immortals. Basically they are people who have reached a point of spirituality where they receive the choice between ascending to Heaven and staying behind to teach others about the Tao. Often before taking a student the Immortals put them through a series of truly punishing tests to determine their worthiness. What struck me, in reading the English translations of some of the Taoist tales, was of how similar they were in description to the Force ghosts depicted in Star Wars. This similarity was furthered due to a few lines from the Tao which suggest that the key to becoming and Immortal is to embrace death fully when it comes. Think about it: Qui-Gon Jinn holding on long enough to see Darth Maul dead, and Obi-Wan training Anakin, then able to accept his death in the knowledge others will carry on; Obi-Wan sacrificing himself to Darth Vader so that Luke can escape and doing so with an expression of complete contentment; Yoda, having lived several centuries, able to die asleep knowing he has done all he can to prepare Luke; and Anakin, finally having achieved his destiny, redeemed himself, and knowing his son IS a Jedi Knight and will rebirth the Order. All of them were able to accept their death and all were re-born as Force Ghosts. So why the endless preparation, both in Taoist myth and in the Star Wars Saga? Well, quite frankly, it’s easier said than done. Sure, it sounds easy to accept death wholeheartedly, but it probably is quite harder to actually do. However, if one was able to do it, they may retain their ability to influence events even after death. And that would truly give them more power than most can possibly imagine…

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: