Jedi Knight – A Jedi, Part 3

MAKING THE WILL SINCERE:

What is meant by "making the will sincere" is that one should not deceive oneself. This sincerity should be like the sincerity with which we dislike a bad smell or love what is beautiful. This is called satisfying your own conscience. Therefore a Jedi is watchful over himself even when he is alone.

People usually lose their sense of judgment toward those whom they love, toward those whom they despise or dislike, toward those whom they fear, toward those whom they pity and towards those whom they pamper or are proud of. Therefore, there are few people in this world who can see the bad in those whom they like and see the good in those whom they dislike. As Jedi we seek to overcome these habits in ourselves. Thus seeing the truth in all people. A Jedi first searches himself before he demands it of others, and makes sure first that he himself is not a transgressor before he finds transgressions in others.

Jedi should try to avoid completely four things:

Arbitrariness of opinion.
Dogmatism.
Narrow-mindedness.
Egotism.

It is difficult to see examples of true Jedi. Everybody errs a little on the side of his weakness. Therefore it is easy for others to point out the shortcomings of those who follow the Jedi way. Then it is to point out their good qualities. Humility is near to moral discipline; simplicity of character is near to the Jedi Way; and loyalty is near to sincerity of heart. If a man will carefully cultivate these things in his conduct, he may still err a little, but he won't be far from the standard of the Jedi Way. For with humility or pious attitude, a man seldom commits errors; with sincerity of heart, a man is generally reliable; and with simplicity of character, he is usually generous. You will seldom make a mistake if you use these points to begin from.

A Jedi has no worry and no fear. For if he looks within himself and is sure that he has done right in all things, what does he have to fear or worry about?

A Jedi should be ashamed if his words are better then his actions.

If you have the insight to perceive a truth, but not the wisdom to keep to it, you will lose it again, though you have discovered it.

A Jedi Knight must Remain Focused. Mastery of the Force requires that one purge all unnecessary activities from daily life. A monk cannot fulfill the Jedi Way if he does not manifest compassion without and persistently store up courage within. If a warrior does not manifest courage on the outside and hold enough compassion within his heart to burst his chest, he cannot become a Jedi. Therefore, the monk pursues courage with the warrior as his model, and the warrior pursues the compassion of the monk.

A Jedi Knight seeks excellence in all endeavors, martial and otherwise, seeking strength to be used in the service of justice, rather than in personal aggrandizement. A Jedi strives to excel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and can put these in motion instantly. This requires discipline, patience and perfect practice, for a Jedi is always mindful of what lies behind and what lies ahead.

Being a Jedi Knight often means choosing the more difficult path, the personally expensive one. Be prepared to make personal sacrifices in service of the precepts and people you value. At the same time, a Jedi Knight should seek wisdom. This also means taking the side of truth in all matters, rather than seeking the expedient lie. Seek the truth whenever possible, but remember to temper justice with mercy, for the pure truth can bring grief. However, it must also be noted that to a Jedi, to be brave in battle proves nothing, as bravery itself proves nothing. A Jedi should be prepared to put aside fear, regret, and uncertainty and either act, retreat, surrender or perish.

Value first the contributions of others; do not boast of your own accomplishments, let others do this for you. Tell the deeds of others before your own, according them the renown rightfully earned through virtuous deeds. In this way the office of Jedi Knighthood is well done and glorified, helping not only the gentle spoken of but also all who call themselves Jedi Knights.

Seek great stature of character by holding to the virtues and duties of a Jedi Knight, realizing that though the ideals cannot be reached, the quality of striving towards them ennobles the spirit, growing the character from dust towards the heavens. Nobility also has the tendency to influence others, offering a compelling example of what can be done in the service of rightness.

It is true that actions speak louder than words. However, behind every action is motive and a purpose. Without a sound motive and purpose, action has no meaning, no destination, and lacks a foundation. Action without motive and purpose does nothing other than to move for the sake of moving, beating the air to appear to doing something, when in fact is doing nothing, the proverbial spinning wheels in the mud. A Jedi moves with the Force. He meditates upon the Will of the Force. A Jedi's actions are firmly based upon a deep motivation to serve the Force of Light, and is deeply rooted in purpose. There is no wasted movement, or the need for action when none is required, for to a Jedi, action means nothing without a pure motive, or a sound purpose.

A Jedi's mind is a calm ocean, like a sea of glass. He realizes that it is in conquering the tides of the emotions as well as reactions to stimulus that allows the Jedi to be victorious in all things, for he is vessel for the Force, an extension of the Will of the Force. This inner stillness requires much discipline: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. A Jedi by nature is highly disciplined in all levels of his being, that in the fiery moment where the Force must be released to defend self or others who deserve that loyalty, the action is a clear extension of many years of training and inner discipline.

It is sometimes necessary for a Jedi to practice discretion. Jedis do not actively interfere with the lives of the common people. Jedi stand for order and justice; however, Jedis prioritize and streamline their involvement, and do not allow the misdeeds of the few to interfere with the conscious direction received as to the Will of the Force and how their office as Jedi helps brings these into fruition. The goal of the Jedi should be to create and preserve an atmosphere where justice can flourish, rather than try to create justice themselves. A byword of Jedi could be, "I may not always agree with your choices, but I will defend your right to choose with my very life."
Being a Jedi:

Being a Jedi involves a commitment within the person and a devotion to higher ideals. While a diplomat may choose the lesser of two evils or a scoundrel the more profitable of the two, a Jedi is held to a higher standard, and with his greater abilities comes increased responsibility.

The Goal Of Peace:

The Jedi works first for peace, acting without consideration of costs to themselves or with an eye toward personal power or gain. Peace is not the result of a strong emotional drive (for emotions cloud the correct use of the Force) but rather a clear, dispassionate goal for the Jedi. Peace born of anger is no peace at all, and cannot last. Individual Jedi strive for the goal of peace without emotion both within and without. The Jedi works toward his goal with unflinching devotion, untroubled by strong emotions. As a result, powerful Jedi have a cool, detached demeanor that some mistake for apathy.

Situations that challenge the Jedi often involve combat, particularly mindless combat for no clear purpose (this doesn't just mean physical combat). For a Jedi, peace is much more then a cessation of war. For a Jedi to meet this goal, he must look to root causes and complaints, and to deal with basic conflicts between the participants. A Jedi who wins the battle but sacrifices the ability to judge dispassionately has lost his own personal war.

The Goal Of Knowledge:

Ignorance kills as surely as anger. A little knowledge might be dangerous, but a lack of knowledge is deadly. Ignorance of others, ignorance of facts, and ignorance of truth sets individuals apart and leads to contention and violence. A Jedi spreads knowledge that unifies, binding peoples and countries together. This knowledge begins with the Jedi knowing their own capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Pride can cloud the mind and make them blind to their own flaws, which might be exploited by others. Failure causes doubt, which causes the Jedi to be less capable of realizing their own strengths. Jedi continually test themselves to see where the limits of their abilities lie, not as a goal in itself, but as a means to the goal of better understanding themselves.

The Goal of Serenity:

In striving for serenity, the Jedi seeks more then just remaining levelheaded in a crisis. He finds a calm place within, and then projects that inner peace outward to affect others by word and deed. This serenity grants the Jedi a firm resolve.

The center of serenity is moderation in all things. Excessive emotions, whether positive or negative, upset a Jedi's touch with the Force and create an imbalance within the self, similar to an imbalance within the Force. Challenges to a Jedi's serenity are many. The forces of the dark side always encourage the Jedi to give into hate, anger, and rage, and facilitate those feelings by giving the Jedi good reason to feel those emotions. Those close to the Jedi might be targets of attacks, or the ideals of the Jedi themselves might be sullied. The seduction of the dark side is more insidious, because less powerful or less positive emotions might be harnessed to provoke a rash action. Concern, affection, and even love can upset the balance of a Jedi's serenity and force the Jedi to choose between personal desires and the good of the Order.

The Unity of the Force:

The Jedi Code represents the embodiment of the universal nature of the Force. The Jedi see themselves as the guardians of society, holding themselves to a high moral standard. They are role models, leading by example. The Jedi do not desire to rule, but rather wish to instruct so that society as a whole acts with greater justice and equality.

The Force is not inherently good or evil, it has it's light side and it's dark side. It is a tool, and like any other tool it can be misused. Ignorance leads to improper use of the Force; the unwise use the Force emotionally. Incorrect use of the Force can lead to death and destruction. Only through proper training can the Force be justly applied. In addition, the Force is a necessary and vital part of the universe. Think of the Force as more than merely the means by which you gain skills and power. It is a metaphor for the universal nature of life itself, vibrant, dynamic, and dangerous. All Jedi are permeated by the Force, just as all beings are, but the Jedi are most aware of it. Events in one region might affect another, as if the universe were one interconnected being, with the Force as its blood and life.

The Internal Journey:

A Jedi grows in power as he experiences the world, gaining more proficiency in combat and in applying the Force. In turn, the Jedi affects the world around him, spreading the doctrine of the Jedi Code and making the universe a better place for all. This external growth and effect reflects an internal growth of the individual Jedi. As a person becomes more attuned to the Force, he is challenged to fully embrace the tenets of the Jedi Order. Every Jedi to the humblest student to the greatest Master has room to grow and develop. The nature of the universe is such that new challenges continually arise to test a Jedi, as he questions old assumptions and deals with new situations. When teaching Jedi, stress the internal development of the student. Often a Jedi may have to sacrifice personal desires or goals for the good of the greater number. Jedi must deal with their own self-denial for the good of others.

The Challenge of Temptation:

Temptation poses the greatest threat to a Jedi, and the fall of a Jedi Knight often begins with one rationalized decision or errant choice. The nature of temptation provides a continual challenge for Jedi. Temptation takes myriad forms. The simplest urges the Jedi to provide an easy answer to a complex question. The answer might be immediately satisfying but creates long term problems. The arrest of a crime lord, for example, might be immediately fulfilling, but unless the crime lord's empire is also shut down, the arrest merely creates a situation in which another being will assume the crime lord's role. Usually after a bloody civil war within the group that almost always endangers countless innocent lives.

Another form of temptation comes from power of adulation and the threat of success itself. Accepting personal rewards is dangerous for a Jedi, for it inspires belief in his own abilities that might exceed the truth. In effect the Jedi comes to believe his own hype. The Jedi should learn instead that true satisfaction comes from the sense of well-being within, not from the approval of others. A Third form of temptation is the nature of power itself. The Jedi should be a force for good, which keeps them from using their abilities to rule others. This is an extremely powerful temptation, because Jedi often face ignorance and folly in their daily lives. The Jedi can be tempted to deal with such folly (bureaucracy is particularly rife with it), yet once that kind of interference starts, it soon escalates to a point where a Jedi encourages the very ignorance he once fought against, in the name of ruling others "for their own best interest." Temptation starts small - using the Affect Mind skill to deal with a petty argument, losing your temper when making a point, taking pleasure in battle. From these small blemishes the corruption grows.

Rising From The Ashes:

Would-be Jedi must understand that failure should never be the end. The Jedi Code places a heavy load on the Jedi, requiring almost superhuman abilities for them to accomplish all it's demands. In large and small ways, all Jedi eventually fail the challenges posed by the code in some way. They might feel anger or succumb to temptation. They might work against the balance of the Force, even with the best of intentions. They will fall from the high ideals they hold. The true failure of a Jedi is not stumbling or failing to live up to the ideals of the Order. The true failure occurs if, once having fallen, the Jedi fails to rise again. Many Jedi who have failed in one of their tasks consider themselves beyond redemption or forgiveness, and in doing so open themselves to the dark side.

Jedi strive to live up to the Jedi Code and the teachings of their masters. When (not if, but when) a Jedi fails to attain those goals, the only choices are to let the failure dominate his life, or to rise from the ashes of that defeat and strive to make peace with himself through the Force. That is the way of the Jedi.