The meaning of life, according to George Lucas
His “franchise”, Star Wars, made Lucas known all over the world –– a success that to a great extent is due to the clarity he conveyed at building a story where the archetypes that are deeply inscribed in our common unconscious lay. His friendship and work with writer and mythographer Joseph Campbell was essential to create a saga where, in one way or another, many of us are identifies; an example of how epic is still possible in modern times.
With this background, if Lucas refers to the meaning of life, perhaps we can give him a couple of minutes of our time. If, ultimately, the director can be considered someone who fought and accomplished his dream, accomplished more than merely in material terms, then, that which he can say about this throws a different light on some of the desires we share. This is the perspective of someone who, like Campbell’s hero, has already walked down the same path before. Lucas says:
Scholars who have studied myth and religion for many years and have connected all of the theories spawned over the ages about life and consciousness and who have taken away the superficial trappings, have come up with the same sensibility. They call it different things. They try to personify it and deal with it in different ways. But everybody seems to dress down the fact that life cannot be explained. The only reason for life is life. There is no why. We are. Life is beyond reason. One might think of life as a large organism, and we are but a small symbiotic part of it.
This consideration is an enormous tribute to the autonomy of life, recognizing that we could not be, not inhabit this world, and nonetheless, life would go on. And in a certain way, this is gratifying: it reminds us that something larger, immeasurable, exists, and that each one of us is part of it. A reality that surpasses language and, all in all, we can still feel and touch it, discovery it with our own senses.
It is possible that on a spiritual level we are all connected in a way that continues beyond the comings and goings of various life forms. My best guess is that we share a collective spirit or life force or consciousness that encompasses and goes beyond individual life forms. There’s a part of us that connects to other humans, connects to other animals, connects to plants, connects to the planet, connects to the universe. I don’t think we can understand it through any kind of verbal, written or intellectual means. But I do believe that we all know this, even if it is on a level beyond our normal conscious thoughts.
If we have a meaningful place in this process, it is to try to fit into a healthy, symbiotic relationship with other life force. Everybody, ultimately, is trying to reach a harmony with the other parts of the life force. And in trying to figure out what life is all about, we ultimately come down to expressions of compassion and love, helping the rest of the life force, caring about others without any conditions or expectations, without expecting to get anything in return. This is expressed in every religion, by every prophet.
As we can see this is an elementary opinion. But when life is examined, when we try to answer why we are here, don’t we always come to simple conclusions? Perhaps, after all, life is also, essentially, simple.
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