The Jedi Way, Part 1

As a Jedi you must always oppose those who revel in evil and seek power for the sake of power. They are the plague on society that the Jedi seek to cure. In the In the absence of the Jedi, evil will thrive. In the presence of just one Jedi, evil will evaporate. What the Force allows you to do also conferees upon you a great burden. To act without forethought and due deliberation is no longer possible. You have to be very certain of what you are doing, for a single misstep could be a disaster. While you may make mistakes, you have to do everything you can to minimize there impact. It is not enough to do the greatest good for the greatest number, you have to do what is best for everyone. There is no walking away from the new responsibility you accept. You might well choose when and where to reveal who and what you are, but there is no forgetting, no leaving that responsibility behind. Your commitment to others has to be total and complete. You are an agent of the Force every day, every hour, every second; for as long as you live, and then some.

Jedi skills in the Force are rooted in three areas. Control is internal. It is the Jedi's ability to recognize the Force in himself and to use it to his benefit. Sense involves the next step, in which the Jedi recognizes the Force in the universe outside him/herself. Here he/she feels the Force and is able to draw upon it for information about the world around him/her. Through it he/she is connected to the rest of the universe. Alter is the third and most difficult area to master, for it involves the student's ability to modify the Force and redistribute its energies. Through these skills, the Jedi can influence the Force, making changes as needed to accomplish its goals.

The Responsible Use of Power:

A Jedi acts from wisdom, using persuasion and counsel over violence and Force powers. The Force is to be used to serve the interests of the light. Using the Force for personal aggrandizement, for personal power or wealth, for convenience when other means would be more prudent --- all these are traits of the dark side.

The Jedi's guiding philosophy is to choose the peaceful, quiet, and subtle methods over the bold, active, and forceful. In this way, the natural order of events is disturbed as little as possible. For most students initiation into the mysteries is not an entirely likable experience. True enlightenment is a radical goal, requiring great sacrifice and fearless abandon in its pursuit. Realization of the goal can be devastating. You will discover knowledge, which will change you forever. You may forsake your old ways and beliefs, turn your back on your old ambitions and goals, and lose the loves of your life. Things, which are tied down securely, and ideas, which hold water, will survive, but impractical or useless artifacts, false or muddy concepts, questionable practices and sentimental attachments will be swept away or left behind. Expect the quest to break your heart at least once.

Be careful. You will probably have no conception of what you are getting into. However, if you insist, in spite of this warning, in going on with your training, there are many compensations. Remember that what you choose is what you get. The future you will discover is the one you have sought in your quest, whether you know it or not. You are both the sculptor and the clay. Seek danger and you will find it. Seek love, fulfillment, and knowledge --- whatever you most long for --- the cost may be great, but you will find it all. The quest for enlightenment in the Jedi Way is dangerous to the caterpillar, but essential to the butterfly.

The Way of the Force does not come easily for the weak-willed or for the arrogant. Study well, practice always, and find your strength in the Light Side of the Force. These things you must never abandon, for to do so would cast you closer to the thin division between the dark and the light.

Peace and tranquility benefit.

Tension and strain do not. Initially, the tranquil student may not achieve as much, or progress as fast as one who pushes and drives the body with mind and ego; but, in the long run, the student who maintains inner calm and stresses mind and body synchronization in his training will go far beyond the level which could ever be achieved by one who is forever straining and fighting to achieve a successful workout or other goals in life --- one to whom every training session is a test, and completion of every task the end in itself.
The Jedi Way can be applied to every situation in life. It is whatever you want it to be. You are in control of yourself and your situation when you accept the Jedi way as such. All the defensive and offensive techniques can be learned in a short period of time without great difficulty. A bright student can become adept at the physical aspects in a year or two. The purpose of the Jedi way, however, is not so easily revealed. A lifetime of devotion may not unfold the basic truths of which the Jedi Way consists of. A slow student requires more devotion, and, if he can find that dedication within himself, he has more chance of reaching the truth then a quicker student who accepts the knowledge casually. Devotion is the key, the question, and perhaps a large part of the answer, as well.

Learning how to use the Force is often a matter of unlearning many other things.

Once we all had a natural flow of the Force from the universe to us, and it flowed in turn from us to the universe. Just as a baby knows how to breath naturally, so too it knows how to use the Force. As people grow up, however, they tighten up, develop new habits, and gradually forget how to keep this natural flow. As a result, babies can sometimes do things adults cannot. They can, for example, keep their tiny fists closed so that they are almost impossible to open. Adults, however, can do this only with great effort. It is usually only during a crisis, or when under hypnosis, that adults can tap this hidden power and do extraordinary feats they could not do otherwise. When in combat a Jedi "empties" their mind of all thoughts. They do not "think" about what cut to make with their sword, where to put their left foot, or how fierce the opponent looks. This idea is not so strange if we think of ourselves riding a bicycle. After one learns how to ride a bike, it is far better not to think about how to peddle, how to steer, and how to keep one's balance. If one "thinks" about all these things at the same time, one is sure to fall off the bike. In this same way, a Jedi learns techniques in practice, and then in combat does his best to totally empty his mind.

Happiness depends on mental health and inner peace more than any outside factors.

Jedi study promotes inner peace, mental health, strength, fortitude, and patience. The Jedi Arts are not a cure-all, and instruction can fail to instill these qualities. However, given that the burden is on the student, Jedi Arts can bring happiness, long life, success, life without drugs or other crutches, self-awareness and self-confidence, freeing the mind to cope with outside forces more effectively, promoting understanding and eliminating confusion and frustration. Success in all endeavors follows. True Mastery of the Jedi Way cannot be accomplished solely through practice and study. Nor can the Master be the whole source of information. This is good enough for the beginning or casual student, but inadequate for the serious student. The student must rely on himself and other sources to complete his information. Philosophy, religion, medicine, art, music literature, and science (especially physics) must be pursued until the student attains reasonably full understanding of these things. The student must make his own way. If this seems a lot to accomplish, perhaps one should reexamine one's goals to find if one has the will required to go on with this quest.

Girls and boys of Jedi families begin training as Jedi when they are just five or six years old. (See Scholar Section for Ancient Jedi training regiment.)

From the very start they are taught to become great athletes --- to swim, dive, jump very high, run fast and long, ride horses, and climb everything from trees to walls. Training is very, very hard in order to prepare these young Jedi for the difficult work of later years. They should also be taught how to dislocate the joints in their body so they can actually slip out of ropes and knots if they are tied up. They should also hang by their hands from tree branches for a long time in order to develop both strong arms and strong minds. They should practice holding their breath, and also staying in one spot without moving for a long time. When they are twelve or thirteen years old they begin learning weapons and practice running. T hrough all this, they should also be taught the ways of the Force.

Many would-be Jedi encounter their first test of patience and perseverance in their search for a teacher. A teacher will only instruct those they believe most likely to complete the training. Some Teachers may even require a candidate to successfully perform a task or pass a test to earn apprenticeship. To teach a Force technique to an initiate, an instructor must have a basic proficiency in that technique that is higher then the students. As potential Jedi increase their prowess with the Force, they must locate more experienced teachers who can provide further instruction.

Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.

The most difficult things in the world must be done while still easy, the greatest things in the world must be done while they are still small. For this reason Jedi never do what is great, and this is why they can achieve that greatness. Deep knowledge of principle knows without seeing, strong practice of the Jedi way accomplishes without striving. Deep knowledge is to "know without going out to see, see the way of the Force without looking at it directly.' Strong action is to ' grow ever stronger, adapting to all situations.'"

Deep knowledge is to be aware of disturbance before disturbance, to be aware of danger before danger, to be aware of destruction before destruction, to be aware of calamity before calamity. Strong action is training the body without being burdened by the body, exercising the mind without being used by the mind, working in the world without being affected by the world, carrying out tasks without being obstructed by tasks. By deep knowledge of the Force, one can change disturbance into order, change danger into safety, change destruction into survival, change calamity into fortune. By strong action on the Jedi Way, one can bring the body to the realm of longevity, bring the mind to the sphere of mystery, bring the world to great peace, and bring tasks to great fulfillment.

If sensation is thought of as perception through your senses, Intuition may be thought of as perception through your unconscious.
Intuition operates in such a way that the awareness of something presents itself to us in consciousness as an already established whole. We are suddenly, and clearly, aware of something, just as we suddenly and clearly see a car coming towards us; except this "seeing" is through the unconscious, not through the senses. We do not know how we know it --- we just know it. It is necessary to abandon one's "preconceived impressions of the way things are." There is often a great gulf between what we want to believe and what is "real." The "desires" to be given up, then, are not so much the desires for material belongings and power, although these are also important things to look at in yourself, but the desires to see reality as we want to see it, rather than as it is.

These are the desires that "cloud the mind" and make us lose touch with the world. These are our self-deceptions. And these are "luxuries" a Jedi cannot afford. They have to see reality in all its harsh grimness. When I say we desire that something be a certain way, I do not necessarily mean that we want it to be that way. We want to think it is that way. If you think of a certain man as your enemy, then anything he says or does will be examined and found to be an insult or a threat. The identical words or actions on the part of a beloved friend would carry far different meanings. There is a saying: "Suspicious eyes see only evil.' Those not guided by the Force will see only what they desire to see." We human beings choose to see things as we wish. Few people seem to believe this, though. We decide to be jealous, or angry, or depressed, or happy, or bored, and these choices are often based on our biased interpretations of the thoughts of others. It is amazing how much psychological control many people relinquish to others. If we think someone else disapproves of us, we are worried. If we think that someone is pleased with us, we are happy. If we think that someone holds views contrary to our own, we are insulted. If we think that someone is contemptuous of us, we are angry. With all these others determining how we feel, it is sometimes difficult to find the actual self. These are the desires of which I speak, these mental barriers that prevent us from accepting fully all that life has to offer.

If a man wastes his time in emotional indulgence, he will be forever preoccupied and will miss much the Force would give him.
"There is no Emotion; there is peace." We aren't talking about getting rid of emotions themselves. We are talking about getting rid of inappropriate and useless emotional responses. For a Jedi to sense and comprehend after action is not worthy of being called comprehension. To accomplish after striving is not worthy of being called accomplishment. To know after seeing in not worthy of being called knowing. These three are far from the way of sensing and response a Jedi uses. Indeed, for the Jedi, it is better to be able to do something before it exists, sense something before it becomes active, see something before it sprouts, these three abilities develop interdependently. Thus nothing is sensed but is comprehended, nothing is undertaken without response, and nowhere does one go without benefit.

Those who assist someone by means of the Force do not use arms to do so, for these things tend to reverse --- brambles grow where a fight has been, bad years follow a war.

Weapons are inauspicious instruments, not the tools of the enlightened. When there is no choice but to use them, it is best to be calm and free from anger and greed, and not celebrate victory. Those who celebrate victory are bloodthirsty, and the bloodthirsty cannot be let free to have their way with the world. Remember anger and greed are fundamental causes of defeat. It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance