Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Manipulating the Force

Part 3 – Manipulating the Force  

Read Part 1: Star Wars Awakens
Read Part 2: Merchandi$ing the Force
By Gaylene Goodroad

But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces....
Daniel 11:38a
Exhibit: Kylo Ren (the Dark Side) and Rey
(the Light Side) engaged in lightsaber duel[62]
Almost everyone has seen karate demonstrations in which martial artists break boards, cinder blocks, or bricks with chops or kicks. I’ve done it lots of times…. I knew it served a valid purpose by giving people a dramatic and memorable demonstration of the power of ki…. It’s clear that learning a martial art involves coming into possession of a certain amount of powerful force.
~ Chuck Norris, Martial Arts Master*

“The idea of emptying one's mind
is fundamental to all meditative practice.

~Marianne Williamson**
Another aspect of advanced martial arts training connected to the Ki Force, that is prevalent but not overt in the Star Wars saga, is a form of meditation in motion[63] called mushin, “mind of no mind”, or “no mind”. One martial artist simply states it this way: “Mushin no shin is a state into which very highly trained martial artists (e.g. samurai fighters) are said to enter during combat.”[64]

Mushin is an altered state of consciousness that enables the martial artist to harness ki and defeat the opponent. This state of mind is akin to teaching on the Presence or entering the silence in Contemplative Spirituality.[65]

By the time I became a brown belt in Okinawa Kenpo (see Part 1), I came to realize that I had been initiated into a religious pursuit, rather than just a physical sport. By that time, all of the fundamental techniques were conditioned and honed. Thereafter, the focus of my black belt training was replete with mystical mushin drills, such as sparring in the dark and grappling while blind-folded. Further advancement was not possible without deeper meditation and inner intuitive exercises. The focus shifted from seeing my opponent, to sensing him. This ability is a form of occult mysticism called clairsentience.[66]

A Zen Buddhism blog underscores that “mushin is the essence of Zen and Japanese martial arts” and that this “state of no-mindness… cannot be grasped with the intellect” but “must be experienced”—which is the pinnacle of the mystic mindset:

Mushin - Mushin is the essence of Zen and Japanese martial arts. Mushin literally means the "mind without mind", and it is commonly called "the state of no-mindness". Mushin is the essence of Zen and Japanese martial arts. It is a state of mind where mind is not fixed on or occupied by any thought or emotion, and is thus connected to the Cosmos… The concept of Mushin is identical to the Japanese metaphorical expression "mizu no kokoro" or the "mind like water." This mental attitude refers to a mind that is in total harmony with the Cosmos that it resembles a still pond of water without any ripples where the surface reflects a clear and perfectly undistorted image of the surroundings, like a mirror…. Mushin cannot be grasped with the intellect; it must be experienced. A Mushin mind has no Ego and no substance; it is pure Enlightenment and is the perfect realization of the self….[67][bold added] 

An Aikido website concurs with this definition, adding that “mushin is vital to the martial artist”:

Mushin, translated as “no-mind” or “empty mind”, is a state where the mind is not preoccupied by any thought or emotion. It is empty in the sense that it is unbiased, free and adaptable. Mushin is the essence of Zen; and a core principle of Japanese martial arts…. Mushin is the state when what you observe and what you are become one. The watcher and the watched become the same. When you have thoughts in your mind and your heart, everything is distorted. So you can understand everything and sense everything the way it really is, you have to be completely empty. 

Mushin cannot be grasped with the intellect; it must be experienced. In Aikido, the state of Mushin is crucial during a martial situation. The practitioner must “become one” with the attacker for the technique to be effective, efficient, and harmonious…To achieve this state of Mushin, the mind must be free from any conscious thought; free from anger, hesitation, doubt, fear and pride…. Mushin is vital to the martial artist. It is a concept that liberates the mind from the restrictions of the present situation.[68][bold added] 
Exhibit: Luke Skywalker develops the Force with a remote lightsaber[69]
A classic example of mushin is masterfully illustrated in an iconic scene from the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Before Skywalker can ultimately use his innate mystical powers to defeat the Dark Side of the Force, he undergoes advanced martial arts training with sage Jedi master Ben (Obi Wan) Kenobi, aboard the Millennium Falcon, who coaches Luke to develop his no mind abilities. In this instance, Luke practices lightsaber combat against a remote lightsaber unit. Note that Luke’s success comes only by letting his conscious thoughts go, covering his eyes with a blast shield, and allowing the Ki Force to flow through him, control his actions, and hit his target:

Luke stands in the middle of the small hold area; he seems frozen in place. A humming lightsaber is held high over his head. Ben watches him from the corner, studying his movements. Han watches with a bit of smugness. 

BEN: Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him

LUKE: You mean it controls your actions? 

Exhibit: Luke trying out the Force
BEN: Partially. But it also obeys your commands. 

Suspended at eye level, about ten feet in front of Luke, a "seeker", a chrome baseball-like robot covered with antennae, hovers slowly in a wide arc. The ball floats to one side of the youth then the other. Suddenly it makes a lightning-swift lunge and stops within a few feet of Luke's face. Luke doesn't move and the ball backs off. It slowly moves behind the boy, then makes another quick lunge, this time emitting a blood red laser beam as it attacks. It hits Luke in the leg causing him to tumble over. Han lets loose with a burst of laughter. 

HAN: Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid. 

LUKE: You don't believe in the Force, do you? 

HAN: Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. 

Ben smiles quietly. 

HAN: It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense. 

BEN: I suggest you try it again, Luke. 
Exhibit: Luke adding the helmet

Ben places a large helmet on Luke's head which covers his eyes. 

BEN: This time, let go your conscious self and act on instinct. 

LUKE: (laughing) With the blast shield down, I can't even see. How am I supposed to fight? 

BEN: Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them. 

Han skeptically shakes his head as Ben throws the seeker into the air. The ball shoots straight up in the air, then drops like a rock. Luke swings the lightsaber around blindly missing the seeker, which fires off a laserbolt [sic] which hits Luke square on the seat of the pants. He lets out a painful yell and attempts to hit the seeker. 

BEN: Stretch out with your feelings. 

Luke stands in one place, seemingly frozen. The seeker makes a dive at Luke and, incredibly, he managed to deflect the bolt. The ball ceases fire and moves back to its original position. 

BEN: You see, you can do it. 
Exhibit: Luke "seeing" with the Force

HAN: I call it luck. 

BEN: In my experience, there's no such thing as luck. 

HAN: Look, going good against remotes is one thing. Going good against the living? That's something else. 

Solo notices a small light flashing on the far side of the control panel. 

HAN: Looks like we're coming up on Alderaan. 

Han and Chewbacca head back to the cockpit. 

LUKE: You know, I did feel something. I could almost see the remote. 

BEN: That's good. You have taken your first step into a larger world.[70][bold added] 

Indeed, through Ben and Luke, movie viewers have also “taken their first step into a larger world”; the occult realm of Eastern Mysticism.

Luke Skywalker would later use his advanced mushin (no mind) martial arts techniques to thrust the fatal proton torpedo into the Death Star’s thermal exhaust port—with his X-wing fighter’s targeting computer switched off and his eyes closed.[71]

Throughout the last moments of this perilously impossible mission to destroy the Galactic Empire space station, Skywalker was able to stay his target with Kenobi’s phantom voice echoing through the cockpit of his space craft (the Jedi teacher had been killed by Vader prior to Luke’s combat assignment): “Use the Force, Luke.” “Let go, Luke.” “Luke, trust me.” “Remember, the Force will be with you... always.” Incidentally, this occult phenomenon is called clairaudience: the ability to hear departed spirits.
Exhibit: ‘Mushin’ and The Last Samurai[73]
A most-fitting parallel scene to Luke’s training with the remote lightsaber unit was captured in the 2003 motion picture The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise. Cruise plays a thirty-something Civil War veteran who sails across the ocean to train with the Japanese samurai warriors. This particular film clip is recounted and examined in an online essay by a martial arts student in fulfillment of his Aikido black belt exam:

Nathan Algren [Tom Cruise] begins to train with the sword. In one scene where the samurai teach him a lesson, he gets an advice from Nobutada, Katsumoto's son: 

N [Nobutada]: Please forgive. Too many mind

N.A. [Algren]: Too many mind? 

N [Nobutada]: Hai. Mind the sword. Mind the people watch. Mind the enemy. Too many mind. No mind. 

N.A. [Algren]: No mind. (Last Samurai 2003: 54:35) 
Exhibit: No mind
Nobuta [sic] wants to explain the Zen expression of mushin. This is an abbreviation of mushin no shin, which could be translated as "the mind without mind". Mushin is a state of mind which a martial artist tries to reach during a fight…. Algren follows this advice and is able to match his opponent for the first time. In a further scene he also follows this insight. He has trained with the samurai for one winter. There is a fight between him and the samurai Ujio (Last Samurai 2003: 1:02:00). He loses the first two encounters. Before the third one he repeats "no mind"

The fight is shown in slow motion and ends with a draw. Algren has successfully mastered the sword and is now able to completely concentrate on the upcoming battles. After he has returned with Katsumoto to Tokyo, Katsumoto is being arrested and Algren is shadowed by four swordsman [sic]. He faces them at night, concentrates and again repeats silently "no mind" (Last Samurai 2003: 1:27:57). He fights them, wins and in ecstasy the battle is repeated in his mind in slow motion.[74][bold added]

In this case, Captain Algren (Cruise) exercises mushin while fighting with a Japanese sword instead of Skywalker’s lightsaber, but it’s essentially the same replay. Both martial arts warriors—one feudal, one galactic—are empowered to accomplish super-human feats, defeat the opponent, or hit the target by exploiting the universal Ki Force. This power is only accessed through emptying self of rational thought through Eastern meditation (or moving meditation) in a mystical dance between the Serpent Power (kundalini) and an altered state of consciousness.

Where does the power come from to do these magical-appearing feats in the martial arts? The kundalini (serpent power) is the yogic (Hindu) term for the Force. They are synonymous. The late New Age expert Dave Hunt explained the source of this Kundalini spirit power or force in an interview:

Well, to put it bluntly, it’s demonic. There is no way you can explain it physically—it’s a non-physical force. There certainly is nothing coiled at the base of the spine, three and one-half times coiled, like a serpent that’s going to spring up when you get in the proper state of consciousness, supposedly. This is the same occult power that all the occultists are in touch with, or try to be in touch with....

Because the serpent’s lie to Eve was, “You can be like the gods.” The only way he can demonstrate that is to give some kind of power.... Who needs this God of the Bible. who claims to be the Creator? He says I am a sinner, but yoga doesn’t tell me that I am a sinner. In fact, Hinduism says there’s no such thing as a sinner. The only sin is to call yourself a sinner. This is Hinduism, so it’s like the Star Wars Force. When these kids walked out of that theater, one thought remained with them: “May the Force be with you.”... The god Force, this Force, and it’s neutral—it has a dark and a light side. You can play whichever side you want, but it’s amoral.

Seeing is believing for pragmatic witnesses. Most spectators who’ve seen a live martial arts demonstration become awestruck by the unbelievable feats that karate experts are able to do in their midst: bending thick rods of iron with bare hands, breaking piles of bricks with a single hand strike, or even walking on fire or glass without injury.

John Ankerberg and John Weldon have included a chapter on the martial arts in their classic Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs. In their book they examine these mystical power abilities displayed by seasoned martial arts practitioners:

...since chi [or ki] is a mystical force or power that can be generated and controlled by the martial artist through meditation and breathing exercises, the connection between chi development, breath control and the powerful physical feats of martial arts displays is evident….
Most martial arts have feats of incredible power, such as powerbreaking, which is the breaking of thick pieces of wood, layers of tile or bricks, and so on with the hand, foot, elbow, head, or even fingertips…. Other amazing feats are immunity to fire, cuts, severe blows, and the like. The purpose of these feats is to make the student aware of the power within…. [Morihei] Ueshiba often demonstrated his command of ki. He was five feet tall and weighed only 120 pounds, yet by directing his ki down to the ground could remain rooted to the spot and resist the efforts of several men to pick him up. Likewise, he used ki to send several assailants flying, while barely moving himself.[75][bold and color added] 
Exhibit: Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in action (Way/Return of the Dragon)[76]
The contention that “the purpose of these feats is to make the student aware of the power within,” concurs with the teaching of martial arts superstar Chuck Norris who wrote two books with a familiar theme, The Secret of Inner Strength (1989) and The Secret Power Within (1997). Both books reveal that the supposed secret source of power within the martial artist is ki (the Force). In his 1997 book, Norris writes:

Almost everyone has seen karate demonstrations in which martial artists break boards, cinder blocks, or bricks with chops or kicks. I’ve done it lots of times…I knew it served a valid purpose by giving people a dramatic and memorable demonstration of the power of ki…. It’s clear that learning a martial art involves coming into possession of a certain amount of powerful force.[77] [bold added] 
Chuck Norris's book teaching Zen

While it may be true that “learning a martial art involves coming into possession of a certain amount of powerful force,” the frightening reality is that it actually comes from an occult source.

After a careful examination of ki and how it is manipulated and manifested by martial artists, Ankerberg and Weldon draw this conclusion: “…there appears to be little difference between the mystical energy used in the martial arts and the psychic energy used by the occultist, whether shaman, witch doctor, medium, spiritual channeler, or psychic healer….”

The troubling implications of this difficult truth, is that Norris, who is a conservative professing Christian, has taught the same foul gospel to his many adepts as did Obi Wan and Yoda to young Skywalker to millions of Star Wars fans: “a Jedi [or a ki-trained karateka] can feel the Force flowing through him”. “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us.”

It is also a sad fact is that many eager martial arts beginners—including Christians—pursue these abilities and powers and neglect to question the source. All that matters is that it works—whatever “it” is.

Perhaps it was disintegration of the Death Star before his very eyes that changed Han Solo’s (Harrison Ford) mind about the Force. The once “hokey religion” and make-believe “mystical energy field” at some point became real to him. In The Force Awakens, Rey asks the now aging smuggler pilot about the reality of the Jedi. “I used to wonder that myself. Thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo—magical power holding together good, evil, the dark side and the light… 'Crazy thing is, it's true. The Force, the Jedi, all of it. It's all true.”[79]
Exhibit: Star Wars- Return of the Jedi poster[80]
Eyewitness testimonies can be a powerful sales tools to friends and family. Solo’s old pirate friend, Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o), a tiny, thousand-year-old, four-foot-tall, female alien wearing adjustable goggles, reinforces Solo’s testimony about the Force. Maz comforts Rey, who is destined to eventually take the Jedi baton from Skywalker (now in hiding). Rey has stumbled upon Skywalker’s old lightsaber which has been nestled safely inside an old trunk in Maz’s castle dungeon. “The belonging you seek is not behind you. It is ahead. I am no Jedi, but I know the Force. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. Close your eyes. Feel it….” In this scene Maz serves as yet another sensei, a charming character like Yoda teaching the occult way of the Force to a new generation of children (see Part 2).
Exhibit: Alien Maz Kanata knows the Force[81]
Appallingly, like Solo and Rey, many Christians—especially those involved in the so-called ‘Christian’ martial arts—have come to falsely believe that the Force (and the powers it holds) is not only real, but biblical. Those who eventually experience the power of the Ki Force for themselves, after their initiation into this magical realm is complete, have been terminally seduced by the “Dark Side”.

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God.”
(Deut. 18:9-13)

Stay tuned for Part 4….

62. Graphic taken from Movieplot.com; see; http://moviepilot.com/posts/3727568
63. Gaylene Goodroad, My Life in ‘the Way’: From the Broad Way of the East to the Narrow Way in Christ, 2009 e-booklet, (revised and expanded 2014), pg. 18; see: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B75yD6e-RzQEeDkwUXA1UEZMeWM/edit
64. Joshua Maggid, “Mind of No Mind,” Metaphilos blog, March 15, 2006; see: http://metaphilos.blogspot.com/2006/03/mind-of-no-mind.html
65. Gaylene Goodroad, “Mainstreaming Mystic Mindedness: Eastern Meditation as the Universal Cure-All,” Herescope, Nov. 23, 2015; see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2015/11/mainstreaming-mystic-mindedness.html. See also: Sarah Leslie and Pastor Larry DeBruyn, “Altered States: A Different Gate - The sober Christian in a spiritually inebriated age,” Herescope, Apr. 28 2011; see: http://herescope.blogspot.se/2011_04_01_archive.html. Below are articles previously published about the Presence—which also deals with the Eastern Meditation that has infiltrated the Church through Contemplative Spirituality and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR): 
“The PASSION of the PRESENCE - & the Purpose of the Passion Part 1,” Herescope, January 25, 2014;
Presence” Eschatology - Part 2, Herescope, February 25, 2014;
Bridal Eschatology Part 3, Herescope, March 08, 2014;
The Perfectly Obedient Bride Part 4, Herescope, March 26, 2014;
The 2nd Coming of the “Presence” Part 5, Herescope, April 12, 2014;
The Battled Bride: Part 6, Herescope, April 22, 2014. 

Pastor Larry DeBruyn published an article on Herescope on December 31, 2013, titled The Present of “His Presence”. The article has now been posted as a downloadable PDF file at the Discernment Ministries website: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/God's%20Present%20of%20His%20Presence.pdf.  
66. See YourDictionary.com: http://www.yourdictionary.com/clairsentience
67. Zen-Buddhism.net; see; http://zen-buddhism.net/zen-concepts/mushin.html?headerbar=2
68. Aikido-No-Sekai blog, “Mushin: The Mind without Mind,” March 23, 2014; see; https://aikidonosekai.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/aikido-mushin-no-mind/
69. Graphic taken from StarWarsAnonymous website; see: https://starwarsanon.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/luke_lightsaber_training.jpg
70. Online script of STAR WARS (Episode IV) A NEW HOPE, from the JOURNAL OF THE WHILLS by George Lucas (Revised Fourth draft), January 15, 1976 LUCASFILM LTD; see: http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Star-Wars-A-New-Hope.html
71. Ibid. STAR WARS (Episode IV) A NEW HOPE online script. 
72. See Encyclopedia Britannica.com: http://www.britannica.com/topic/clairaudience
73. Graphic taken from Johnlinkmovies website; see: https://johnlinkmovies.com/2011/08/07/johnlink-ranks-the-last-samurai/
74. Norbert Vogelmair, “’Too many mind’”: Last Samurai - Truth or fiction?,” paper for the 1st Dan Aikido, October 2012; see: http://www.bushido-vak.de/Ausarbeit/2012/12Vogelmair_engl.pdf. See also: THE LAST SAMURAI online script, by John Logan (Revisions by Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz); see: http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Last-Samurai,-The.html
75. John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, Eugene, OR, 1996, pp. 360-361. 
76. Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris movie poster sold on Amazon.com; see: http://www.amazon.com/Norris-Master-Martial-Decoration-Poster/dp/B00JOJWNDA. The photo still is from the motion picture, Way of the Dragon (released in Hong Kong in 1972) and Return of the Dragon (released in the USA in 1974). See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_the_Dragon and http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/return_of_the_dragon/
77. Chuck Norris, The Secret Power Within, Broadway Books, NY, 1996, pp. 127-130; and Chuck Norris and Ken Abram, Against All Odds: My Story, Broadman and Holman Publishing, Nashville, TN, 2004, 2006, pp. 128-129. 
78. Ibid. Quote from Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back script, and quote from Obi Wan Kenobi, A New Hope script. 
79. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS STAR WARS (EPISODE VII) online script, written by Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams & Michael Arndt. Based on characters created by George Lucas; See: http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens.html
80. RETURN OF THE JEDI online script by Lawrence Kasdan & George Lucas (from The Novel by George Lucas (Third Draft). Property of Lucasfilm Ltd.; See: http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Star-Wars-Return-of-the-Jedi.html
81. Graphic taken from StarWars.com; see: http://www.starwars.com/databank/maz-kanata

Several movie images in this post were obtained via Google Images. The two Chuck Norris book covers were obtained via Amazon.com

*Quote from: Chuck Norris, The Secret Power Within, Broadway Books, NY, 1996, pp. 128-129; and Chuck Norris and Ken Abram, Against All Odds: My Story, Broadman and Holman Publishing, Nashville, TN, 2004, 2006, pp. 128-129. Bold and underlining added.

** See http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/11/marianne-williamson-moonbeams-miracles.html where New Age leader Marianne Williamson is quoted from her 2004 book The Gift of Change, p. 78.