Spiritual awakening is a process of transformation that is proven by a demonstrable change in state noticed by our peers. In popular culture, this is beautifully dramatized by the change in Luke Skywalker as he grows from naive farm boy into the Jedi knight we meet in the opening scenes of Return of the Jedi.
Luke has come to rescue his friend from a wicked warlord, but instead of executing a clandestine extraction plan, he simply walks right into the lion’s den wearing the robe of a spiritual knight, and with a calm demeanor revealing formidable inner powers. Gone is the cocksure provincial from a desert planet; in his place is a spiritual warrior fighting for the good of the galaxy.
Luke doesn’t merely exhibit greater maturity or judgment—what might at best be called character traits—but rather a change in ontological state. He has become a different kind of being. A true adept into a knightly order, he has made contact with a supernatural power that he can now bend to his will.
Luke’s words are direct, his demeanor impassive, like the statue of a deified figure. A higher power has been ignited within him, and now pulsates around him—a kind of Force field—subordinating his personal ego. This divine power now permeates his consciousness, directing how he interacts with the world.
To reach this point, he underwent the trials associated with our earthly Wisdom Tradition. In the Star Wars saga, this is personified through other characters, with Han Solo as shadow figure, Leia as sister-anima and Yoda as a reflection of the mediating faculty between Luke and metaphysical reality, or what we might call the Spirit. Finally, he has learned that he is of a “royal” bloodline, as his father is none other than the great dark lord.
The concept of regality appears throughout the world’s spiritual traditions as an expression of divine lineage—man created in the image of God—with the crown symbolizing achievement of this realization. Reaching the epiphany in which the soul becomes wide awake, and one’s consciousness is suddenly flooded with awareness of its divine origin, is neatly expressed in the Tantric tradition, where the experience is likened to an exiled prince who is raised in another land, unaware of his royal birth. After the shocking revelation of who he really is, he gradually becomes certain of it, finally knowing in every fiber of his being that he is, in fact, a king.
This experience can be ours. The sacred sword in the stone, the crown—they’re all there for the taking. We just have to look.