This essay is from paraquem
Published on October 7, 2001
George Lucas & Carlos Castaneda in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
"Luminous beings are we ... not this crude matter"
This enigmatic piece of dialogue is a strong indicator of the Castaneda/Star Wars link. In fact, in Castaneda?s "Tales Of Power", we find a chapter entitled the Secret of the Luminous Beings.
In "The Empire Strikes Back" the above line of dialogue demonstrates that Yoda understands the body to be merely an illusory husk - and not where the individual?s power resides. If we look at the luminous beings part specifically though (as originally found in Castaneda), the phrase takes on much more meaning - and gives great weight to Darth Vader?s assertion that "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force".
A reference to this is found in Castaneda?s "The Fire From Within" (page 66) - " ... seers make these statements because they see living creatures as they really are: luminous beings that look like bubbles of whitish light". I?ll expand on this in a moment, but there?s an important point to bring up first - when a seer uses the word see, it is not in the way you or I would. As Don Juan explains to Castaneda "When seers see, something explains everything ... it?s a voice that tells them in their ear what?s what". This is akin, I believe, to Qui-Gon Jinn?s explanation of the midichlorians to Anakin Skywalker, that, "They continually speak to you, telling you the will of the Force".
What we do learn from Don Juan is the true state of the life form - the luminous being - a cocoon-like bubble of tentacles/filaments. Seeing this luminous being allows an adept sorcerer to know a great deal about an individual. In fact, it is this method by which Don Juan recognises the necessity of taking Castaneda under his wing upon their first, fateful meeting. He sees in Castaneda that he has the possibility of becoming a man of knowledge, and from that he has no choice but to become his teacher*. Don Juan describes this in "A Separate Reality" (page 112) -
"Sorcerers act towards people in accordance to the way they see their tentacles. Weak persons have very short, almost invisible fibres; strong persons have bright long ones. You can tell from the fibres if a person is healthy, or if he is sick, or if he is mean, or if he is kind, or treacherous. You can also tell from the fibres if a person can see."
*A Star Wars comparison here would be found in Qui-Gon recognising Anakin?s Force potential and being compelled to bring him into the fold.
We know that the sorcerer must have accumulated enough personal power to actually see, and this, like gaining an ally is a necessity on the quest. Translating this across to Star Wars gives us some idea of Yoda?s true mastery of the Force - he would be considered a great sorcerer, without doubt a man of knowledge. When a seer has gained this power, they are capable of great feats, because they are aware of the illusory nature of matter and can utilise this knowledge. The luminous filaments are all connected in the flux, - so that leaping over a mountain, and returning as though attached by an elastic band, disappearing into thin air or being in two places at once are all do-able feats (as insane as that sounds). In Star Wars parlance, the Force truly does surround us, bind us and penetrate us - absolute interconnection. As I mentioned at the beginning of this section, Darth Vader would seem justified in his grand claims of the Force?s power. A possible explanation, also, of the Force speed Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan display on the Trade Federation battleship - tapping into the Force to pull themselves out of harms way. Of course, this is a toned-down ability to the ones found in Castaneda (again, not really a great surprise).
A few direct quotes from "Tales Of Power" (pages 95-97) may help cement this connection -
"When we arrived at the rock ledge, you were imbued with power and you saw Genaro standing where other sorcerers stood ... He himself was all power. Had you proceeded as you did earlier ... you would have seen him as he really is, a luminous being".
"As long as you think you are a solid body you cannot conceive what I am talking about".
"The outer form is of no importance ... don?t call it the body ... these are the eight points on the fibres of a luminous being".
" ... the fact that we are luminous beings ... we are perceivers. We are an awareness; we are not objects; we have no solidity. We are boundless. The world of objects and solidity is a way of making our passage on earth convenient. It is only a description we created ... "