Love is amongst the most powerful of all human phenomena. It is not an emotion, but rather a state of heightened emotions in connection with a strong attachment to another part of the universe. If I say I love my son, my wife, my cats and my car, I am describing four very different types of love; but they are all fundamentally related to my attachment to and satisfaction with particular things. Love draws us towards something other than ourselves.

Jedi believe that love and compassion are central to their lives.

Jedi doctrine tells us much about love. The practice of Jediism is one of love and loving, extending our innermost feelings to the whole universe and living in service of the greater whole of which we realise we are part. The Force is an animistic concept; it imbues everything with a little life, life the Jedi aim to protect and nurture, to love. And beyond simply giving life to the whole universe, love transcends death; as such it is a powerful reminder of the enduring nature of the Force. One of the truest expressions of the Force, is felt when those we love die, because we recognise that though their physical body may have gone, their memory remains with us, as vibrant and significant as ever.

There is no death; there is the Force.

Jedi are guardians, defenders and mediators. They seek to increase harmony in the universe, and amongst their fellow people. They oppose the forces of thoughtlessness, ignorance and intolerance which breed hatred and antagonism. They sacrifice their personal ease for the benefit of the rest of the universe because they recognise the intrinsic importance of a life spent in happiness, mutual respect and love. Indeed, our creed opens with a line emphasising the importance of love to the Jedi “mission”:

Where there is hatred I shall bring love.

The Force is a movement; it is not stationary, but always a direction, a path, a journey. The same can be said of love. Love is a volition, a pull, a draw towards something. Love can lead us into happiness, or into great pits of despair. It has many facets, many ups and downs. Love is like a model of the action of the Force, the powerful drives and flows of life in microcosm. In truth, I believe the terms love and the Force to be descriptions of the same thing. When we live our life in harmony with the Force, we find we cultivate love. When we act with kindness and compassion, we are nice to be around and others are drawn to us. When we act with courage and wisdom, people want to share our time. The life lived attuned to the Force is a life filled with love: love of those we serve, love of the universe, and love we receive in return – including the capacity to love ourselves.

For it is in giving that we receive.

The Jedi serve all people. They work to cultivate harmony, and foster understanding throughout life for the benefit of themselves, other people and the universe as a whole. As Jedi we show a little love to everything because we recognise it as the same as ourselves; worthy of attention, worthy of our support and defence. Seeing the Force in the universe is the same as loving every part of it, and whilst our great loves in life may lead us into dark waters or difficult times, the Force is both light and dark; it is both happy and sad, hurt and healing. Without the bad times we struggle to grow, seldom learn and never have the opportunity to improve.

Love is a demonstration of the Jedi principles of oneness and interconnectedness, because it shows us that our world is incomplete if we isolate ourselves. When we love, we give a little of ourselves to someone or something else. They will always carry it whether they know it or not, and we will always wear the mark of the love we have given; quite literally, a “chink in our armour”. Even if the love we give turns sour with time, it will remain with us and often outlive us. Therefore love shows that we are dependent on another part of the universe, beyond even our short lives; it teaches us that we are not alone, not single and separate but always active, involved. The involuntary nature of such a powerful force for change in our lives is a vital and profound exhibition of the current and flow of the Force, and just as our intentions reach out before us as we proceed through life, so are they inexorably linked to other parts of the world around us.