Materialism restricts our vision.
On their way to Alderaan, Ben Kenobi is teaching Luke how to wield his lightsaber by using the Force.
Materialism, Faith, Action, Supernatural, Unseen
Luke is warily eyeing the remote training device that hovers around him ready to hit him with a painful burst of energy. Ben says, "Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him." Luke asks, "You mean it controls your actions?" Ben explains, "Partly, but it also obeys your commands." Luke loses sight of the remote for a second and it swings around and hits him with a laser bolt. It stings. Han Solo, pilot of their ship, laughs and decides that it is time he gave Luke some advice, "Hokey religion and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." Luke asks Han, "You don't believe in the Force, do you?" Han explains, "Kid, I've flown from one end of the galaxy to another, seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe that there is one all-powerful force controlling everything." He says that there certainly isn't anything controlling him. "It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense." Ben, seeing Han trying to instill doubt, picks up a blast helmet with the visor down and places it on Luke's head. Ben says, "I suggest you try it again, Luke, but this time let go your conscious self and act on instinct." Luke, surprised, asks, "But with the blast shield down I can't even see! How am I going to fight?" Ben tells Luke that eyes can deceive and so should not be trusted. Luke tries without his eyes and is almost immediately popped by the training robot. Ben advises Luke to reach out with his feelings. Luke prepares himself, and then as the robot fires, he whirls his lightsaber about, deflecting the shots. Excited, he removes his helmet and Ben praises him. Han is not convinced, "I call it luck." But Ben replies, "In my experience there is no such thing as luck." Han tries to undercut Luke's accomplishment by saying that beating a remote is not the same thing as beating a human opponent. Then Han leaves the room. Luke tells Ben that he did feel something, "It was like I could almost see the remote." Ben praises him, "That's good! You've taken your first step into a larger world."
Those in the West who are still captivated by a modern, scientific philosophy concerning the nature of the universe, have a saying -- "Seeing is believing." Astronomer Carl Sagan used to begin his famous book, "Cosmos" by saying the "The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be." C.S. Lewis regarded the philosophy of scientific materialism as one of the chief enemies of the faith because it limits our vision by telling us that what we see is all there is. When Lewis looked at his students' parched spirits, he said that his job as a teacher was not to protect his students from becoming raging supernaturalists, but to encourage them to leave behind the "cold vulgarity" of a materialistic world view to embrace the true nature of reality. The Force is not God, and some have accused the Star Wars films of encouraging paganism. In some cases this might be true. The larger question is can it open the eyes of materialists to think that there may be something beyond the materialist world. If so, then it can act like the pagan philosophers of Athens that Paul quoted. He took aspects of their philosophy which spoke of a god "not far from each of us" and used it to identify the personal God, Jesus. When we limit ourselves to believing only in what we can see, we become guilty of worshipping the things created rather than the Creator -- for God Himself tells us that He is invisible to humans. Belief in God is not a backward view that restricts progress, but a forward view that opens the door to a richer life experience and communion with God. It is not just an idle fantasy, but a way of thinking rightly about the world and God that leads to action.