Do you remember the first time you heard the term “The Force”? If you’re of my generation, it was probably in the late 1970’s – when the first of the Star Wars movies came to theaters. “May The Force be with you,” we heard the characters tell each other as they headed off into battles and adventures and saved-by-the-skin-of-their-teeth escapades. And we probably all thought that WE knew what the characters meant when they used those words – and were no doubt impressed by the characters’ highly-evolved sense of The Force, which, weirdly, coincided so well with our own perceptions and beliefs.
As I was thinking about George Lucas’s use of the term The Force this morning it occurred to me that using those two words was a stroke of sheer brilliance on his part. No matter what background and beliefs the members of his audience had, The Force was vague enough that we could all relate to it, and claim it for our own. For some audience members The Force probably represented nothing more than luck, and when the characters said “may The Force be with you” to each other, they were really saying, “Good luck!” For other audience members, The Force no doubt represented God – whatever they perceived God to be.
In the movies that first came out in the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s, The Force seemed to me to represent a power that was equally available to everyone. But in the Star Wars movies that came out in the late 1990’s and early otts,, The Force seemed to become less universal, and more selective. Now the characters talked about these microscopic life forms called midi-chlorians ( http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Midi-chlorian ) that connected humans to The Force – and we learned that there was a genetic or hereditary factor involved in the whole shebang – some people were born with more of these midi-chlorians than others, and had an easier time of tapping into The Force’s power.
And I found myself feeling really disappointed in the direction the movies had taken when it came to defining The Force for us.
“Heredity is not a law,” Mary Baker Eddy writes in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as ‘a very present help in trouble.’ Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.'”
No individual, no family, no dynasty, no nation, and no religion owns the power of Love and Truth. Having the ability to heal – to use the power of Good, God – is not something we inherit from our parents or grand-parents. The power found in the Science of the Christ, Truth, is not genetic – it’s not like the midi-chlorians that “run strong” in the family of Luke and Leia of the Star Wars movies. Christian Science is available equally to all of God’s children – no one has more access to the power of Love than anyone else, and no one has less.
There ain’t no midi-chlorians here.