The Cosmic Force
During the Jedi’s long history, there were many explorations of the Force, not only to master its power, but also to understand its nature. These philosophical explorations led the Jedi to the understanding of three accepted aspects of the Force, the Living Force, the Unifying Force, and the Cosmic Force.
Belief in the Cosmic Force was by far the least understood of the philosophies, rarely being practiced during the time of the Jedi Order, mostly due to its difficulty to conceptualize. Proponents of the Cosmic Force saw beyond the Living Force’s present concerns, utilizing the understanding that as all things are connected through the Force, then all things are part of a larger whole. Through the idea of the Unifying Force, proponents of the Cosmic Force believed that the greater Cosmic Entity of the Force was, in fact, the culmination of all living things being connected through the Living Force, and that the Force itself was a vast living thing made from the energy given by all things, not just those that were living, but also those that had passed, those that had never lived, and even those things that do not “live” as we understand it to be. Through this understanding, proponents of the Cosmic Force were able to avoid the temptations of the Unifying Force, those being the trap of working to fulfill a predisposed destiny, and a general ignorance of the moment. They were also able to avoid the pitfalls of the Living Force, being the tendency to react only on instinct and to ignore greater events in the universe. Instead, proponents of the Cosmic Force understood that the actions of all energy producing forces shaped every moment of the universe, and the constant ebb and pull of all these polarized energies moved the future in tandem, and by understanding these energies, and actively working them, they could both shape the future and be aware of the present.
Qui-Gon Jinn, through his unique will and nascent awareness of the Cosmic Force, found that he maintained his consciousness after he was slain. He discovered that all energy from the Living Force fed into the Cosmic Force, which enabled his communication with Yoda. Later, he gained the ability to use the energy of the Cosmic Force to manifest his appearance, and passed this knowledge on to Yoda, and later Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ironically, the Sith were the first to widely accept the concept of the Cosmic Force, and through this knowledge they were first to discover this power, manifesting as Sith Apparitions to prospective apprentices.