One of my favorite Star Wars quotes is Yoda’s “Luminous beings are we” speech. The meaning of this Yoda quote is actually a lot deeper than many people realize.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke is talking to Yoda on Degobah. Luke has just failed to lift his X-Wing out of the swamp by using the Force, and Yoda explains that size does not matter.
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. 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.”
So, what is the meaning of Yoda’s “Luminous beings are we.”
Meaning of the Quote
Let’s take an in depth look at Yoda’s speech. And I’ll break it down line by line so we fully understand what it is about.
Yoda: “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by your size do you? And well you should not”
Meaning: Too often in life we get caught up in material matter. We judge people by their looks, their weight, their height. And this is an incredibly narrow minded perspective. When we are too caught up in the material world we prevent ourselves from connecting with the deeper elements of the universe, which Yoda touches on in just a moment.
When he made Star Wars, George Lucas was very influenced by Buddhism. And Buddhism is inherently against materialism. Buddhist philosophy teaches us that all material matter is temporary, and that craving and clinging to material things will lead to suffering.
But if we shouldn’t focus on material things, what should we focus on? We will look at that in just a moment.
Yoda: 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.
The force, of course, is the main energy that Jedi use in Star Wars. And it was inspired by the Taoist philosophy of Chi.
Chi, just like the Force, is the primordial energy that creates and sustains life. It exists everywhere. As Yoda says, it surrounds us and binds us together.
In traditional Eastern philosophy, it is believed that to be healthy and happy we need to connect to our Chi, we need to connect to the Force. Sadly, many people are too caught up in material matter to connect with their inner energy, the Force, which is precisely what a Jedi must do.
Yoda: “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”
Not many people truly understand the philosophical nature of this Yoda quote.
It means two things. Firstly, luminous refers to light or energy. Yoda is saying that we are not material form (the body) but instead we are pure consciousness, the luminous energy that creates our perspective of reality.
However, it also gets a lot deeper than this. George Lucas once again refers to Buddhism here, and particularly the concept of “Luminous Mind”, which is a core part of many schools of Buddhism, including Mahayana, Theravada, and particularly Dzogchen.
“Luminous Mind” is essentially a clear mind. It is a mind that is clear of delusional thoughts and feelings, a mind that sees clearly.
But how do you get such a mind? How do you connect with your “luminous being”? More on that momentarily.
Yoda: You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.”
So we now know that to tap into the Force, a Jedi must connect with chi by realizing their luminous mind.
So how do you do that?
Well, for starters you can use these Jedi Meditation Techniques.
The key to tapping into your Chi, or the Force, is to silence your mind. Yoda speaks about this various times in the movies. There’s one time Luke asks him how he will know the good side from the bad. Yoda says, “You will know when you are calm, at peace, passive”.
The key to achieving peace, tapping into “Luminous mind”, and connecting with the Force, is to practice meditation, as we see Yoda and other Jedi doing in the movies.
When you are calm, at peace, passive, you will quieten your mind and connect with the Force.
If you would like to learn more, if you would like to connect with your Chi, or connect with the Force, book an online meditation lesson with me today. You can find the link below.
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations.