Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Tutorials on Kreia I: Healing

What are the things one can sense in the Force? It is one of the most relevant and yet least asked questions. A storyline which recounts many fo the possible associated questions and their provisional answers is the story of Kreia set in the age of The Old Republic. And at one point Kreia answers as follows:
"What you feel is the echo of the minds of these creatures within the Force, their Anger, their Greed, their Desperation ... It is Life!"
In the series of posts entitled "Tutorials on Kreia" I want to take a closer look at her ideas and thoughts on the Force, it's role in the Universe and our ability to use it and our fate to be controlled by it. For a proper understanding what I will elaborate here it is useful to have had a look at the interpretation of The Force I gave in a series of posts called "Tutorials on Narratives". In this post I want to focus on Kreia's ideas on Healing.

Why is someone, or something, in need of healing? Evidently when there is a fracture or a tear of some kind. It is quite evident in these stories that Kreia is not talking about physical healing. In her world there is no magical healing of the wounded, the lame let alone a physical raising of the Dead. Kreia is not the kind of person to tell magical mystery stories overflowing with romantic notions of healing. She is neither talking about healing in a sense related to mental health of any particular kind. Kreia is no therapist, she is a "Force User" and her notion of healing sounds unfamiliar and somewhat eerie when you hear it for the first time, she says
"It requires that one be able to feel the critical point within the fractured mass, and know how to strike it in such a way that the echoes travel to your intended destination."
What gives it its unsettling feel are the words "strike" and "intended destination" which we associate with inflicting pain and with having a hidden agenda. Both concepts that seem entirely out of place in the context of healing. How could we heal something which is fractured by striking it? And how could we prevent healing something or something to become in-genuine when apparently the intended destination of our action is not the person or object being healed? However remember that we are not talking about the healing of a physical or mental affliction, but of the a different kind of healing. In Kreia's view healing is an act of manipulation. An act through which we take influence not just on a single person, not just on a small group of people, but rather we are affecting an entire story-line. The choice to heal, or not to heal, someone is an act through we which make certain futures more likely and certain futures less likely. All the future actions of the healed person may deviate from all the future actions the same person had taken when healing had not occurred. Kreia supposes we should always contemplate healing alongside with all the counter-factuals.
Kreia focuses in her teachings on the lives of people and she sees them as sub-plots within a large narrative, or pool of narratives. An overarching narrative that is not yet finished, has not yet reached a conclusion and to which many different conclusions are conceivable. Healing is just one of the many forms of manipulations she sees applied to this overarching narrative and so healing does not have a special status, not is its effect to be underestimated. But in particular, whether or not an act is an act of healing depends on the effect it has on the overarching narrative, the narrative it creates. Healing is not healing an individual, physically or mentally, it is healing a narrative. And so if she speaks of  "the intended destination" what she refers to is the narrative your action, your healing, aims to evoke. All actions are but "strikes" whose echoes aim at a larger thread weaved into the tapestry of reality. When applied at the critical point at the right time the echo might travel very far indeed. Or in her own words
"Manipulation is done through propelling events, or selected ones, into motion. It is done through teaching, through Example and through conviction."
The greatest narrative of all is the story of our entire universe, that pool of narratives we call The Force. A narrative that can fracture people, societies and whole regions of a star system. Fractured in a sense that is only sensible within such a vision of the Force as the overarching narrative that surrounds us and binds us. Such fractures can only be mended when the fragmenting narratives are replaced, or countered by healing narratives. And she shares with Yoda the full confidence that if The Force is applied to yield such healing with conviction, then nothing can stop it. For she says
"The greatest victories are not manipulations at all, but simply awakening others to the truth of what you believe. Of hearing it echoed around you, in Life."
Kreia often employs the metaphor of an "Echo" and I will come back to that in a different post. Kreia can seem extremely cold-hearted and utilitarian in her approach of her fellow human beings. But that is mainly because they are not the center of her focus, something we do not easily accept. But that doe snot mean she leaves them completely out of consideration and only has ulterior motives, no quite the opposite. She acknowledges they key importance of human actors in the pool of stories that make-up the backbone of the Force, the grit and meat of our universe. She is very aware of how these interconnected narratives pressurize and push each other to conform to achieve a degree of compatibility and homogeneity. She calls on us to be acutely aware that all such bundles of narratives have their critical points, where a well placed "strike" can encourage convergence of divergence of narratives with great repercussions for other parts of the story.

It is exactly because she is so lucid about these issues that her seemingly calculated and cynical rationality is merely the outer-shell of a passionate drive to achieve freedom and liberation of the will of the Force. Because when you follow Kreia's through to their conclusion you either fear to end up in a galaxy that is filled with manipulative cynics or in a Galaxy where the only hope for humanity resides in "plot-holes", in "holes in the Force". But I will leave such consideration for a future post and end this one with a final quote from Kreia
"But let us be silent, Words and Thoughts are distractions. Feel this moment, for as long as it will last.Feel Life, as it is, with that crude matter stripped away."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I listened to Kreia several times but still hard to grasp the concept. I guess I need a bit more of a guidance from you master.