The Force whispers.

Clap your hands, just once. Rest in the silence that follows. The reverberations of that single handclap echo outwards, noisily. First they reach your ears, then those of people in the next room. Maybe even the people passing in the street outside. After that, we think of the “clap” as over – gone. But the reverberations don’t stop there. That initial shock-wave pushes on, well past a range we can readily detect. It whispers on, outwards, outwards, getting more subtle and indistinct, but still undeniably there. Out of our towns, our countries. Away from our planet. Every action is like this: pebbles dropped into a limitless pool, ripples flowing out from the centre, fainter and fainter as they stretch into the distance.

Likewise, strange currents and movements buffet through distant galaxies. Weird, as yet unknowable things occur on planets we’re yet to discover. And the Force whispers of these things. From the mouths of billions of people. Rustling in the shifting leaves, and sighing through alternating tides. Even groaning from mountains as they crumble to dust. Beneath the noise we’re used to hearing, it whispers, every moment of every day, a gentle and persistent susurrus.

But we, too are of the Force. We are filled with it, permeated by it, we move through it like fish through water, and it pulsates through every vein in our bodies. Within us it whispers on. Many of us habitually disregard thoughts or feelings deep down inside us, perhaps messages from subconscious aspects of ourselves. We discount possible insights as illusions; that is, as fantasies or anxieties, hopes, doubts, daydreams. We don’t hear the closest whispers of all: the whispers within ourselves.

Our three tenets speak of focus, knowledge and wisdom. Intuition is an important source of knowledge for Jedi, but it takes a degree of focus to hear it. Intuition can scream, for example when we find ourselves in mortal danger and know nothing but “I must escape”. But for the most part, intuition is quiet, only whispering. A half-seen movement. A dimly-remembered connection. An oddly familiar feeling. Our subconscious mind can pull these barely-noticeable occurrences to the forefront of our attention, but only if we’re prepared to let it by quieting our thoughts, and hearing the whispers of our intuition.

Learning to listen is no great feat. Meditation is one technique which enables us to hear these whispers of the Force. Once we quiet the booming of conscious thought, we begin to hear the whisper of intuition almost by accident. If we follow it, we learn that the noisy thoughts we are used to are no more important than the whispers within us – just louder, more “present”. Intuition is strange. It feels mysterious when it arises, but that doesn’t make it worthless. On the contrary, it is essential. Intuition enables us to begin learning at all. We aren’t born with wisdom or knowledge, just an intuitive focus. Something inside us, whispering “listen”.

But why should we listen, once we feel our conscious mind knows enough? What benefit does intuition have for full-grown Jedi? It enables us to be quicker than our thoughts. Instinct requires no conceptualisation, it just IS. It acts, and like any muscle, by exercising our instincts more, we hone them into powerful assets. We learn to perceive the world more directly, as it is rather than as we’re used to seeing it. Think of it as wiping a misted window – our thoughts are a layer on top of what’s actually there, and they can obscure it. Our intuition is bare, not of our making, and not ours to control. Better still, we can use our voices to amplify these intuitive whispers of the Force. Give them to others. And if we listen, if we trust our instincts, we turn our whispers into shouts.

The Force whispers within us all.