The Jedi Master, Part 1

Wisdom for Jedi Teachers:

An individual who decides to take on a Force student must tread carefully. The responsibilities associated with such a position may not become apparent until it is too late. An instructor must constantly watch for pupils with a propensity for seeking the easy path to power, who do not possess the will to resist the temptations of the dark side. Empowering such weak souls can have dangerous consequences --- for both the instructor and the universe as a whole.

All Force teachers develop a permanent relationship with their students --- the Jedi Way demands it. If a Jedi turns to the dark side, the Jedi's instructor must expend every effort to return them to the light, or to destroy them if efforts to severe the dark side's grip fails. The taint of darkness does not easily wash away, and cannot be hidden. Any Jedi who commits an act of evil should know to expect a visit from a former mentor in the near future.

You must examine everything about a person before you consider teaching them. Go and see them assess what sort of a person they are. Find out what they are like. Annoy them, and then study what they say and whether they get angry and whether they are arrogant. It is only after testing a person well that you can know whether you can teach them.

Training Jedi is a most rewarding pursuit, but one ringed with unseen perils. Never, oh master Jedi; rest easy when your pupil begins to grow anxious to learn at a pace greater than that which you have set for him. Such impatience is natural in the young and inexperienced, and a commendable trait in a student. But it also signals a time when the pupil is most open to the temptation of stepping onto the broad path of instant gratification and easy advancement that leads to the dark side. Beware, Jedi Master, lest through carelessness and inattention you loose on the universe a monster…

Jedi training must proceed at a slow pace. Too much power gathered too quickly can corrupt even the most selfless and devout apprentice Jedi. A Jedi student must be properly humble in his powers, and mature enough to embrace the tremendous responsibility that comes with wielding the Force.

A student impatient with the slow pace of tutorship, a gifted student eager to dispense with "pointless exercises" and embrace the "true" powers of the Force misses the entire point of being a Jedi. The Jedi does not crave power, but seeks to serve others, without the expectation of becoming "great in the Force." The true Jedi is cautious, and reluctant to learn too much to quickly. Overeager students run a fearful risk of opening themselves up to the temptations of taking the deceptively easy path of the dark side.

Whatever the teacher teaches, it will add up to only one quarter of the student's knowledge. A quarter he derives from his own personal interest, and from hard work; a quarter comes from the Force, and the final quarter comes in his old age from his own personal experiences.

Those who come to learn from you have already made a decision to explore a new life. You need to let them do that. You need to challenge them, and challenges aren't just those involved with their skills. You must also challenge their characters. Some students will fail, and if they don't learn how to deal with failure, if they don't have the spine to recover from it, you should not teach them. The path to the dark side is not one found by failure at a skill. But by failure of the character.

At times, a Jedi may wish to use the Force in a way not explicitly covered by what he is being taught. Feel free to allow this. If the proposed attempt is consistent with the spirit of what he has been taught. Experienced Jedi, especially have learned to subtly alter the Force at a subconscious level, enabling them to extrapolate from the rigid parameters normally followed during training.

Only certain individuals can recognize the Force for what it is. They will no doubt be mercilessly labeled: charlatans, fakers, mystics --- and worse. Even fewer can make use of it. As it is usually beyond their control, it frequently will be too powerful for them. Their fellows --- and worse will often times misunderstand them, because of this.

Among those who learn to manipulate the Force, the Jedi is but one path. Each Jedi relates to the Force in a different way, drawing upon a wide variety of powers --- different manifestations of how the Jedi can manipulate his own internal Force and the Force of the universe around him. Students of the Force can learn to slow or stop their own life functions, accomplish physical tasks that others would consider impossible, and even move physical objects by the power of the mind alone.

Others beside the Jedi know how to manipulate the Force. They often attribute their powers to different sources --- magic, shamanism, religion, meditation, ancestor worship, or any of a million other forms of insight --- but through whatever means, they are using this mystic energy to change the world around them for better or worse.

Most people outside the Jedi Way think that the Master is the highest level, the mark of an "expert" but this is not at all true. While Master means one has worked hard, and is good, this rank is only the first level out of many more levels. Master means that the student has learned the basics well, is a serious student, and is now ready to learn what being a Jedi is really all about. It is during the next ten, twenty, or thirty years as they progress that they truly earn this title. In the Jedi Way as in all things, there is no end to training. One can always learn more.

If the Jedi would guide the people, He must serve with humility. If he would lead them, He must follow behind. A Jedi teacher will seldom take on more then one pupil at a time, but some instructors will accept several students at once.

When training students test them to find out where they are sufficient and where they are lacking.

The master teaches the student. There are twelve lessons; each of them is an accepted truth:

1. Follow the heart.
2. There are no secrets.
3. Laugh at the cleverness of the darkness and the darkness will defeat itself.
4. Death is nothing to one who does not fear death.
5. Love, in the pain of its loss, is finally gained, for the first time.
6. You, yourself, are your only teacher.
7. Kindness is cruelty, cruelty is kindness.
8. Stop for charity, no matter what the cost, and there will be benefit instead of cost. It does not matter for whom.
9. It has all happened before. Everyone and no one has been here before, and no matter how obscure it may seem to you, "the universe is … unfolding as it should," or more precisely, as it cannot help but do.
10. There are no prizes worth having.
11. The ultimate quest has no ending, and that fact is what gives the quest its ultimate value.
12. Tie two birds together and they can fly, if they become one.

If you take on too much without a solid foundation, you will eventually be drained, leaving you with embarrassment and bad luck. Understanding how people can be manipulated through emotions, for example, is as useful for those who wish to avoid this as it is for those who wish to practice it.

A Jedi should have three treasures that he keeps and prizes: one is kindness, second is frugality, and third is not presuming to take precedence over others. By kindness one can be brave, by frugality one can reach out, and by not presuming to take precedence one can survive effectively. If one gives up kindness and courage, gives up frugality and breadth, and gives up humility for aggressiveness, one will die. The exercise of kindness in battle leads to victory, the exercise of kindness in defense leads to security.