an empty vessel they said

       Outside Luke’s cockpit, hyperspace was an ever-changing tunnel of brilliant light. Inside, the rebel pilot had his eyes closed and was breathing slowly in and out.

      During their brief time as master and student, Ben Kenobi had taught him the basics of Jedi meditation, warning him that opening a connection to the Force was something even the eldest Jedi Masters studied over a lifetime. Luke’s first lesson had come just hours after the murder of his aunt and uncle by Stormtroopers, when Luke and Ben had stopped for the night on their way to Mos Eisley.

      Ben had told him to focus on whatever emotions were uppermost in his mind, being honest with himself about the feelings he was experiencing and how they were affecting him. And then, one by one, he was to let each emotions go, like pouring out a cup of water. The goal was to make himself an empty vessel. Only then, Ben had said, would he Force be able to fill him.

      What emotions was he feeling? Luke considered the question. He was excited about the successful completion of their mission –that was in his mind. And he was anxious –the Force was trying to tell him something, but had no teacher to help him interpret its messages.

      What had happened to Ben Kenobi? The old Jedi’s body had vanished the moment Darth Vader’s lightsaber blade touched him, leaving nothing but dusty robe son the floor. Luke had cried out in grief and rage, firing at the Stormtroopers and Vader. But then he’d heard Ben’s voice in his head, telling him to run. He’d heard that voice again above the Death Star, urging him to let the Force tell him when to take his shot at the battle station’s vulnerable thermal exhaust port, instead of using his targeting computer.

      But he hadn’t heard Ben’s voice since –and he feared he never would again.

      Luke pushed the thought gently away. Don’t center on your anxieties –keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs. Ben had taught him that, too.

Luke Skywalker on Jedi Meditation from The Weapon of a Jedi  by Jason Fry

2

11x16 “Safe House”
“They wither and die in the real world.”

Given the amount of foreshadowing over the season and the heavy emphasis in this episode on it once more, what Dean asks here is in fact the big question isn’t it? Not only is it yet another example of empty vessel, which has been a recurring theme and visual in various ways, be it empty food containers, emoty coffe bags or human vessels.

As I said before imo it is inevitable for Dean to reunite with Amara or be consumed in order to defeat her (while God and Darkness may need to reunite to cease to exist in a reverse big bang) but also become whole again. This episode laid it on very directly in terms of parallels between the soul eater and Amara as well as its nest possibly serving as a nod to the Empty - which I personally think could fit the description of a place outside of space and time rather well, something like anti-materia or a black hole (which would kind of neatly fits this season’s title cards) - imo that it begs the question when (and I really see it more as a question of when and not if) Dean’s soul may get yanked to the Empty with Amara to defeat her or rather to re-integrate her as she can be understood as an embodiment of his dark side (Dark!Charlie parallel) as @sleepsintheimpala also argued before, what will happen with Dean’s body topside?

Bobby said they wither and die, so I suppose the question is if that is what would happen too with Dean. Given that the safe house/nest and and soul eater only served as mirrors, I suppose Dean wouldn’t have to slip into a coma at all. All throughout Carver era we there has been a focus time and again on people losing their souls, well before the Amara issue arose, like in 9x17 “Mother’s Little Helper” for example. And it has been expositioned also more than once that everybody has a different reaction to losing their soul as Len’s cased proved or Sam.

So I’m going to go on a limp here and crazily throw the theory out there that in the season finale Dean’s soul will disappear in the Empty with Amara leaving an “empty vessel”: Dean’s body. But Dean wouldn’t slip into a coma as the soul eater’s victims, he’d be alive, but soulless. Or otherly worded “mindless” or rather “without the superego”: a robot-puppet-man, no longer just the tin man, but as @lost-shoe said before the scarecrow. No longer missing his heart, but also his mind. And FML but Carver would bring the show full circle that way.

Dean would methaphorically die, but come back to life or rather be re-souled when he has put his soul (dark parts and light alike) back together (*whispers* Dean is a horcrux and a christ figure). And man, I know it’s dreaming of a lot, but maybe then a Dean version of 6x22 “The Man Who Knew Too Much” would be in the cards to happen.

I’m so sorry for this long ramble, but I am overwhelmed by emotions right now. I mean, we knew it would hurt and we knew it would be dark, but sometimes it just hits you again especially hard out of nowhere. But what gives me hope is that all of this doom and gloom in the end will hopefully pay off and make Dean come back stronger (all the christ framings have to pay off, come on! ;), truly himself, complete.