A long, long time ago in my youth far away, I spent many a day reflecting on the first "Star Wars" trilogy, a young person (and admitted "Star Wars" geek) already on a spiritual path much clearer to me now than it was then.
And what perhaps reached me most as the first (and best) trilogy drew to a close was the story of Darth Vader, a villain ultimately not vanquished by vengeance, but redeemed by Love, in the end shown healed and restored, shining in radiant angelic brilliance, in harmony with his fellow Jedi Masters.
What is so very remarkable if you ponder this outcome is how the need for retribution was not a factor in the least, nor was the demand for "just" punishment of his crimes. In the story, Darth Vader was responsible for the brutal, callous deaths of many. Yet in the end, there is only Transformation, a transformation so very profound and powerful, a redemption so instantaneous, that all we can do is cheer.
The story of "Darth Vader" holds a very special lesson, one that only enhances the underlying "Star Wars" theme of finding the hero within.
Ultimately it is the story of Transformation, the story of the Shift.
In the end, it was the enduring, unconditional Love of a son that was the catalyst of Transformation for the "evil" father, who turned out not to be quite so "evil" after all.
And this is what I believe the Shift awaiting Humanity is actually all about. There are those who claim that the Shift will only be available to those who qualify, those who hold enough Love in their hearts at a particular point in time. Even though I have dear friends and mentors who insistently assert this is the case, the concept has never resonated with me, not for a moment.
Something that bothers me about the partial shift theory is the fear it ignites in some of its followers, not to mention the almost irresistible sense of vindication so familiar in our fear-based world. There are those who attempt to justify the theory in love-based ways, but to me, it's just another version of "Left Behind", a tale I know well from the teachings of my youth.
When the Shift truly takes hold, I believe there will be no need to convince the Darth Vaders of the world why Transformation is the One and Only Way. They will know already. They will simply know. And as another line in "Star Wars" conveys, they will realize that somehow they have always known.
For there is no path so dark that it cannot be instantly illuminated by the Light. Many tears of Joy will be shed on that day, a day so very revolutionary that even forgiveness itself will be transcended.
One of the most difficult questions we face in the world is why "evil" occurs and how to deal with it. If you choose to empower "evil" like the Dark Side of the Force, then what follows is Fear. And if you choose to live in a world of punishment and retribution, the fear-inspired vengeance goes on and on and on in seemingly endless cycles of pain. The same is true of "justice" based in punishment instead of rehabilitation.
But if you choose to empower and embrace Love instead, if you choose to accept that nothing is more powerful than Love, if you choose to understand that unconditional Love is the ONLY foundation that matters, it is then, only then, that you understand why "evil" is no more than an illusory nightmare of Fear.
Like Luke "Skywalker", I choose to walk a path above the fray. I choose to walk above vengeance and fear. Even forgiveness is eventually superseded on this path because I know some day, there will no longer be anything left to forgive. There will only be the Peace and Joy of the current moment.
Forgiveness is all about the past. True transformation reveals itself in the moment. It does not account for wrongs yesterday or long ago. Unconditional Love doesn't work that way. Unconditional Love first forgives, then miraculously heals, making the events of the past immaterial to the present.
When we celebrate Darth Vader's ultimate rise to the Light, the past is gone. All that exists at the end is the radiant Now. When you can consider every "Darth Vader" who has ever walked this Earth miraculously transformed and restored, it is then that I believe you will truly understand what the Shift is all about.
Susan Larison Danz
Note: For more on this topic, listen to today's "The Frontier Beyond Fear" Blog Talk Radio broadcast Shifting Darth Vader.
Darth Vader Footsteps photo released under a Creative Commons 2.0 license from Wikimedia Commons. "Star Wars" quotes from "Star Wars Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" (1983).