Commentary on the Dark Side

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Streen created the topic: Commentary on the Dark Side

The following is an email I sent to a friend discussing the nature of the dark side.  I'm very interested to hear what people think the dark side is.

I'm beginning to see how complex the dark side is, because it seems to defy definition, making it easier to fall to it.

However, I feel that Matthew Stover described it best in Traitor.  To fully experience the Force, to follow it, total surrender is necessary.  If that surrender leads to evil, however, it's not because the Force has darkness in it, it's because you do.  That still makes sense to me.  Instead of making the excuse that the dark side (or Satan) influenced you, you're faced with the idea that the dark side had nothing to do with it... your own soul is the source of your actions.

Perhaps there's more to it though.  We've been taught to believe that the Force is created by life, so perhaps the dark side feeds on our own dark emotions and actions.

The more I study the nature of the dark side, the more elusive it becomes.  Have you experienced this?  I mean, when I study the Force it makes sense to me.  But the concept of the dark side is harder to grasp, harder to define its causes and effects, its nature.

It's very interesting to me. 

I feel for people who say they are dark siders because I don't think they know what they've gotten themselves into.  It seems like they think it's cool or something to be a dark sider, without knowing what true darkness is like.  Having experienced it intensely myself, the despair that pushes you to become something you're not, I am far more aware of it's power, far more careful about what path I take in life.



I've wondered for a long time what exactly the dark side is.  Is it a seperate entity?  Is it just a set of emotions we experience?  Is it niether, is it both?  Perhaps, like the Force in general, it defies definition, and if that's the case, how does one avoid it?

Personally, all I can do is trust my feelings.  I can feel the difference between the light and dark, whether they are  sides of the Force or sides of myself.  The dark seems to manifest itself in my life as depression, threatening to hold me back from doing what I need to do, such as coming here.  For others I imagine it takes the form of anger, hatred, greed, apathy, or even something as mild as boredom.

My point in all this rhetoric is just to explore the different ways to look at the dark side so as to provide a better guide for new Jedi to stray from it. 

So... what do you think the dark side is?  How does it manifest itself in your life?

"When you’re deluded, every statement is an ulcer; when you’re enlightened, every word is wisdom."
— Zhiqu
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replied the topic: Re: Commentary on the Dark Side

I've been struggling with this question myself more of late.

There is that "fashion" since the mid-1950's that the "darker" image is more "sexy" and interesting than the lighter.  I am sorry to use those terms but I think they demonstrate the meaning.

I think that fad is passing after 50 years.  Being dark appears to be more complex because it is more problematic in society.  The "rocker" who has the classic rocker lifestyle is going to be out in bars drinking and doing other associated activity.  Most would consider that "dark" and "rock-star-sexy".

There is also a sense of "weakness" in following the "light" path.  Maybe not so much weakness as whimpiness.  As if we are afraid to walk outside the lines our parents and society have set for us.

There is also, it seems especially within the Jedi community, a sense that those who do not embrace some sort of dark side are not emotionally deep, because many take the codes literally.  I think that is why so many will not claim themselves as strict Jedi but "Gray", "Shadow", "Dark", "Sith", and also they hyphen-Jedi...   

To me the dark side is our biological and animal side of our nature.  It is a great part of what we are "in this crude matter".  If we allow someone who does not follow the rules to take all that we have we will starve, alone without habitat.  So being "dark" has a sense of being able to take care of onesself.

I find that rather shallow thinking, in that we can take care of ourselves without hurting others.  It is a lack of depth, strength and intelligence to not try to do what is so difficult. 

The the aspects of the Force are yet a little complex to me.  But I am always glad to see these questions.

In essence I agree with what you have said...and I do hope to hear other commentaries on the Dark Side.  I am yet questioning...

-Asta Sophi :r2top
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Jon Barris replied the topic: Re: Commentary on the Dark Side

I couldn`t agree with you more. It is confusing. But I also think that the dark side is an intended/accepted expression of the one Force which binds us all. Emotions, condition and will of the reciever dictate where it is going and the effects define its shade.
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Jedi Lawhead replied the topic: Re: Commentary on the Dark Side

This is how I see it, The Force is neither light nor dark, good nor evil, it is all pervading and thusly it is both and neither. It is in all of us to some degree, however once one learns to tap this inate and all pervading Force one must be in control of oneself to not stray into the darkness. It is not a seperate force in any way shape or form but a utilization of The Force by our baser side, greed, anger, lust, hate, that dark primal animal within us all is the source of the dark side. The enlightened Jedi master learns to keep himself controlled, detatched from emotion, detatched from the Egoistic self he remembers his state of oneness and no longer has a need to take what is not his or to hurt anyone, in fact. To act without personal attatchment is the essense of the Jedi. This is part of the reason that Anakin became Vader, his own personal interest was preyed upon and, lacking the proper self control, fell to the potential for darkness that resides within us all.

Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi's life. So, you might say that we are encouraged to love.
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David (Phoenix) replied the topic: Re: Commentary on the Dark Side

I wanted to reply to this BEFORE reading everyone else's replies, so sorry if I sound repetitive.


I too, have experienced the darkside. I am not bragging about it, gloating, or whatever.  The darkside is real.  Those who I think are a part of it fall into the category of either thinking its cool(which means they shouldn't be involved with it in the first place).  The other is those who are fascinated with it. 

We have to be careful when treading in this water.  I was apprenticed to a sith Knight, and I somewhat know where they are coming from.  Trust me, if you have not concerned yourself with the darkside- DON'T!  I may sound like an average preacher or whatever, but I am being serious and saving you a lot of pain.

As for my personal belief, the Force just is.  Neither light nor dark.  In fact, we can't even describe it, and we have even littler knowledge to label it.  All these perceptions and facts are just points of view.  OUR points of view.  What one person views as the darkside, may not be darkside to another(no matter how henious(sp) the crime is). 

The darkside, in conclusion, is just a manifistation of ourselves.  The part that wants to rebel against our spiritual growth and training.  That is my opinion at least, and the way I would describe it. 

Eventually every Jedi will have to come to know thier own darkness and how to approach it, but I urge those who haven't dealt with it, to not jump in or feel tempted.  Also if you are AT ALL concerned abou it, I urge you to contact one of the faculty members and talk with them.

:yoda
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Magdelene Nashira replied the topic: Re: Commentary on the Dark Side

Well I think the dark side is confusing by nature.  That's why it is the dark side.  We can't see our way around in there.  It's like walking into a dark room, unless you are a bat which has another guidance source or a nocturnal animal who has a built in makeup for allowing them to manuever in the dark, you are lost in the dark.  I think of the dark side the same way.  There is evil within the dark side, but also good.  If a person is naturally attuned to the dark side they can work within it without falling to its danger.  But a person who is naturally attuned to the light cannot do the same because they don't know where the danger is. 

I think the dark and light side are spiritual energies.  Parts of the force.  Evil is not exactly equated with the dark side, yet that is where it is primarily housed.  There is much that is positive about the dark side because chaos can be turned into creativity and creation, for one example.  Yet it is, just as Yoda says, seductive and quick.  It can be dangerous and explosive.  So don't do this at home, kids.  :trooper

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Commentary on the Dark Side


As many have stated.. the Force *is* ; it is neither Light or Dark.

It is the use (or abuse) of those energies which we then toss into the Light or Dark cubbyhole.

As with 'enlightenment' -- one can go to any extreme --- be it fasting and continuous meditation -or- taking whips and belts and beating oneself into a state.  Both work... neither is 'the best way'. 

IMO, Light users tend to see / use the Force as a tool in support of their own actions -- being 'doing for the common good'; dark users see / use the Force as a means to an end -- being 'accumulating power for powers (ego) sake'.  So, the user 'defines' the 'color' --- not the Force itself.

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inari replied the topic: Re: Commentary on the Dark Side

There is also, it seems especially within the Jedi community, a sense that those who do not embrace some sort of dark side are not emotionally deep, because many take the codes literally.  I think that is why so many will not claim themselves as strict Jedi but "Gray", "Shadow", "Dark", "Sith", and also they hyphen-Jedi... 



I know of at least a few people who have adopted different terms from 'Light' Jedi primarily because they did not want to be associated with the 'holier-than-thou' attitudes of some members of the 'Light' Jedi that was around a few years ago. I don't think that is so prevalent anymore (or perhaps I don't hang around at sites where it is, dunno).

(not responding to Sophie now)
It has been suggested (in some books, for example) that the darkness exists so that we can truly appreciate how beautiful is the light. Without the contrast, then appreciation is not possible because we do not know anything else. Death, and destruction, are also natural and not necessarily evil, would one describe an earthquake as evil? It can cause death, destruction, but I think we'd probably all agree that it is not evil, not 'dark', because there was no intent behind it. It just happened. It could be argued that it is 'dark' because it was an agent of destruction, but I think that when we talk of and understand the Dark side, as relates to humans, it is our choices that utilise the darkness or the light. Anakin made a choice to do something that, deep down, he knew was wrong, no matter how his mind tried to justify it. When we give in to our own selfishness, our baser emotions and work from that place, that is the Dark Side.

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Magdelene Nashira replied the topic: Re: Commentary on the Dark Side

As many have stated.. the Force *is* ; it is neither Light or Dark.

It is the use (or abuse) of those energies which we then toss into the Light or Dark cubbyhole.


Yes, I realize that is a prevelent thought among many Jedi.  But for a number of reasons I don't agree with it.  So I have a different way of seeing things than many Jedi do.  Similarly I don't see the dark and light side as only existing within the Jedi.  I see them as flowing through all that is.  The way we respond to them can cause different effects, yet we can also be effected by them.  The more we understand them, the better we can become at dealing with their effects from the outside and to their workings within us.  The place where we have the primary control is within us.  However, with practice we can extend this control outward.  In fact, sometimes we inadvertantly cause effects in the outer force with or without even knowing it.  For example, every word you speak has an effect on the outer force.  Our words can heal.  Our words can kill.  Our words can be originated in our own thought processes or originated from outside.  Based on what we do with these thoughts they may or may not have impact.  Should our thoughts be influenced by the outside, this is the major way the outside force has impact on our internal force.  But the way we internalize the information from the outside force effects the way we will again touch the outer force.  It's a continuous process.  This can be more than words.  Can be a word, a thought, a feeling, a prescense, etc.  Anyway, that is how I see it.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain
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