The Jedi Way, Part 5

To give a person one's opinion and correct his faults is an important thing. It is compassionate and comes first in matters of service. But the way of doing this is extremely difficult. To discover the good and bad points of a person is an easy thing, and to give an opinion concerning them is easy, too. For the most part, people think that they are being kind by saying the things that others find distasteful or difficult to say. But if it is not recieved well, they think that there is nothing more to be done. This is completely worthless. It is the same as bringing shame to a person by slandering him. It is nothing more then getting it off one's one chest. To give a person an opinion one must first judge well whether that person is of the disposition to receive it or not. One must become close with him and make sure that he continually trusts one's word. Approaching subjects that are dear to him, seek the best way to speak and to be well understood. Judge the occasion, and determine whether it is better by letter or at the time of leave-taking. Praise his good points and use every device to encourage him, perhaps by talking about one's own faults without touching on his, but so that they will occur to him. Have him receive this in the way that a man would drink water when his throat is dry, and it will be an opinion that will correct faults. This is extremely difficult. If a person's fault is a habit of some years prior, by and large it won't be remedied. I have had this experiance myself. By bringing shame to a person, how could one expect to make him a better man?

Throughout your life advance your body and mind daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending.

It is not good to settle into a set of opinions.

It is a mistake to put forth effort and obtain some understanding and then stop at that. At first putting forth great effort to be sure that you have grasped the basics, then practicing so that they may come to fruition is something that will never stop for your whole lifetime. Do not rely on following the degree of understanding that you have discovered, but simply think, "This is not enough." One should search throughout his whole life how best to follow the Way. And he should study, setting his mind to work without putting things off. Within this is the Way.

Even a poor penman will become substantial in the art of Writing if he studies by imitating a good model and puts forth effort. A student should be able to become substantial too, if he takes a good teacher as his model. At times, however,there are no models of good teachers. In light of this, it would be good to "make" a model and to learn from that. To do this, one should look at many people and choose from each person his best point only. For example, one person for politness, one for bravery, on for the proper way of speaking, one for correct conduct and one for steadiness of mind. Thus will the model be made.

When a person is extremely busy and someone comes to them with some business or other, often there are people who will treat them coldly and become angry. This is not good at all. At such times, the etiquette of a Jedi is to calm himself and deal with the person in a good manner. To treat the person harshly is unworthy of a Jedi.

There is a way of bringing up the child of a Jedi. From the time of infancy one should encourage Wisdom and trusting in one's own abilities and avoid trivially frightening or teasing the child. If a person is affected by fear as a child, it remains a lifetime scar. It is a mistake for parents to thoughtlessly make their children dread lightning, or to have them not go into dark places, or to tell them frightening things in order to stop them from crying. Furthermore, a child will become timid if he is scolded severly and unjustly. One should not allow bad habits to form. After a bad habit is ingrained, although you admonish the child he will not improve. As for such things as proper speaking and good manners, gradually make the child aware of them. Let him not know avarice. Other than that, if he is of a normal nature, he should develop well by the way he is brought up.

Moreover, the child of parents who have a bad relationship will be unfilial. This is natural. Even the birds and the beasts are affected by what they are used to seeing and hearing from the time they are born.

It is spiritless to think that you can't attain to that which you have seen and heard the masters attain. The masters are men. You are also a man. If you think that you will be inferior in doing something, you will be on that road very soon.

If one is but secure at the foundation, he will not be pained by departure from minor details or affairs that are contrary to expectation. But in the end, the details of a matter are important. The right and wrong of one's own way of doing things are found in trivial matters.
Whatever you do should be done for the sake of your teacher and parents, the people in general, and for posterity. This is great compassion. The wisdom and courage that come from compassion are real wisdom and coruage. When one punishes or strives with the heart of compassion, what he does will be limitless in strength and correctness. Doing something for one's own sake is shallow and mean and turns into evil. There are times when a person gets carried away and talks on without thinking much. But this can be seen by observers when one's mind is flippant and lacking truth. After such an occasion it is best to come face to face with the truth and express it. The truth will then be arrived at in one's own heart too. Even when greeting someone lightly, one should consider the circumstances and after deliberation speak in a way that will not injure the person's feelings. A Jedi must be careful not to become more and more prideful if he gains a little understanding. Doing so may make him think he knows his own limits and weak points. However, it is difficult to truly know one's own limits and weak points.

Covetouness, anger, and foolishness are things to sort out well. When bad things happen in the world, if you look at them comparatively, they are not unrealated to these three things. Looking comparatively at the good things, you will see they are not excluded from wisdom, humanity and bravery.

A person who knows but a little will put on an air of knowledge. This is a matter of inexperience. When someone knows something well, it will not be seen in his manner, this person is genteel.

When you are listening to the stories and legends of other men and the like, you should listen with deep sincerity, even if it's something about which you already know. If in listening to the same thing ten or twenty times it happens that you come to an unexpected understanding, that moment will be very special. Within the tedious talk and legends are the keys to wisdom and insights.

If a Jedi will just think about what he is to do for the day at hand, he will be able to do anything. If it is a single day's work, one should be able to put up with it. Tomorrow, too, is but a single day.

There is nothing so painful as regret. We would all like to be without it. However, when we are very happy and become elated, or when we habitually jump into something thoughlessly, later we are distraught, and it is for the most part becuase we did not think ahead and are now regretful. Certainly we should try not to become dejected, and when very happy should calm our minds.

To ask when you already know is politness. To ask when you don't know is the rule.

The essentials of speaking are not in speaking at all. If you think that you can finish something without speaking, finish it without saying a word. If there is something that cannot be accomplished without speaking, one should speak with few words, in a way that will accord well with reason. To open one's mouth indiscriminately brings shame, and there are many times when people will turn their backs on such a person.

To be anxious is to be worried about some uncertain event or matter. It is not unnatural for a person to become anxious over the future, and it is easy to become overly anxious about the future, as it is always in motion and difficult to see. It is also a simple matter to become anxious about the Dark Side, since its paths are clouded from our view. However, anxiety over the future or the Dark Side (and those who follow its paths) is easily converted into fear. Fear is the beginning of the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.

a Jedi must always remember that the actions he takes in the here and now will affect the future, perhaps drastically altering it. A Jedi must carefully consider all possible outcomes of whatever action he takes. While others blunder through life without contemplating the Will of the Force, a Jedi must always be mindful of this, and act so that its purposes are fulfilled.

A Jedi must not spend so much time meditating on potential outcomes and possible futures that he loses sight of why he is making the choice. Too much time spent contemplating what could be, will cause the Jedi to miss an opportunity to act. And to not act is sometimes worse than to act wrongly.