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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - The Jedi Way, Part 2

The Jedi Way, Part 2

Those who are good at knighthood are not militaristic, those who are good at battle do not become angry, and those who are good at prevailing over opponents do not get involved.

Show me a man of violence that came to a good end, and I will take him for my teacher.

The enemy is fear. Most think it is hate; but it is fear.

It is important to have self-discipline and initiative: you should not practice only when your teacher makes you. A true Jedi is one who never fights, but always practices. Everybody on this Earth needs an activity. Most activities require a subject and an object. In the practice of the Jedi Way the subject and the object are the same thing --- oneself. Meditate on this and perceive the remarkable change it makes in everything. Without the sense of adversary, where is the problem. Where is the conflict? Why fear? Why hate? Anger? How can there be failure? Why do these things exist at all in a self-contained, sane organism? They certainly are not needed.

What would be the purpose for one who is aware of the Force, who is one with nature, to engage in combat with his fellow man? These are things to be eliminated in our lives, not encouraged. In combat, it is important that strategy be unfathomable, that form be concealed, and that movements be unexpected, so that preparedness against them be impossible. What enables a good fighter to win without fail is always having unfathomable wisdom and a modus operandi that leaves no tracks. Only the formless cannot be affected. Jedi hide in unfathomability, so their feelings cannot be observed; they operate in formlessness, so their lines cannot be crossed. This is why they are skilled fighters.

There are certain types of conflict where you might not even realize that you have an adversary. You would not even have a chance to defend yourself. How do you fight a sniper armed with a silenced rifle? How do you fight an assassin who stabs you unseen from behind? How do you fight the man who rigs your car to explode when you turn on the ignition? There is no way that you can fight him. Since you cannot successfully fight this adversary, you must learn to protect yourself in other ways. The Jedi refines his perceptive abilities to a level higher than most humans', and becomes sensitive to input from the Force in addition to his five physical senses. This ability to perceive this, is what we call 'premonitions of danger' or 'danger sense.' An attacker, whether man or animal, puts forth his harmful intentions as a sort of vibration or thought impulse. Just as we say that sights, smells, or sounds are things, we can also say that thoughts are things. These thoughts are there to be perceived, regardless of whether or not we are sensitive enough to pick them up.

When we are sensitive enough to detect this intention of harmful action, the Jedi can fight back by simply not being where the attack will take place. This ability to perceive potential danger is developed by learning how to tune into a level of thought higher than routine individual consciousness. Just as we all share a common realm of visual perceptions, tactile stimulations, and sound impulses, we share a range of higher frequencies broadcast through the Force. That is affected by thought impulses. If we are sensitive enough we can utilize the Force just as we utilize sight, or taste, or hearing.

A Jedi must see alone and know alone, meaning that he must see what others do not see and know what others do not know.
Once a student asked a Jedi Master how to defend against a strong punching or kicking attack. The reply was, "No matter how strong an attack is, if it falls on empty space, it is useless." In other words, the best defense is to not be there when the attack comes.
The Force flows everywhere. It fulfills its purpose silently and makes no claim. It does not show greatness, and is therefore truly great.
The way to the Force is to benefit, not to harm. A Jedi feels no heat or cold. A Jedi can extinguish pain. strengthen yourself with the Force.
Doing anything with haste can lead to impatience, and that invites the dark side.

Some will say that it is all right to use the dark side as long as it is used to do good. What they are saying is that the ends justify the means for attaining them, and that is wrong. It's as wrong as anything because it allows them to rationalize away any behavior as good. People start amassing power for this goal or that, and they convince themselves that it's for a good thing. Then when they get enough they find circumstances have changed. They find they need more power or they need to wield this power in ways they didn't expect before. An opponent who won't listen to reason becomes a bug who needs to be squashed instead of a friend who just needs to be convinced. Power comes to poison those who hoard it. They assume others want their power, will resort to any means to get it, and that frees them to retaliate in any way they can to protect their power.

There is no good that comes from evil.

Someone using the dark side for good seems fine perhaps. Until you ask why he would do it. Is it for his own good, and that of his people? If so, how will he deal with the next threat to them? Don't entertain the idea that you could remain uncorrupted by dealing with evil for what you see as a good purpose. That is setting the first foot on a very steep and slippery slope. If you slip it might be possible to get back to the top, but someone will pay during your descent, You should not wish to inflict that on anyone.

A Jedi's role in society is to take action and responsibility for those who cannot.

A Jedi places himself where he can defend the greatest number of people from the greatest evil. Even if it costs him his life. There are times when that sacrifice feels right. It's a judgment the Jedi will have to make for himself when the time comes.

One very important aspect of proficiency in the Jedi way and in all phases of life is purposefulness --- the ability to act deliberately rather that arbitrarily. Most of us spend our lives in a random fashion, reacting to stimuli without thinking, as though we were chemicals in a compound, instead of creatures of free will. The Jedi way teaches us to choose, to have the power to see all the alternatives and to act according to our own wills rather then on the whims of other people or events. This power is much more useful for self-defense than are mere kicks and punches.

A Jedi Master will usually not waste his or her time with someone who is interested only in self-defense. When such people appear, the teacher will usually tell them to carry a big stick and not bother him. The teacher prefers to teach small classes of dedicated students and leave the business of instructing poorly motivated students, who are only interested in fighting, to someone else. In the Jedi way one can be a student, a Knight, a Master, or a Grandmaster --- the student is often like the "son" of his teacher; should the teacher call in the middle of the night and ask for something, the student will do it --- this sort of response is not expected of the casual student.

There is no secret technique that will make you invincible. There will always be an individual or circumstance that will best you.

With the power of the Force comes a danger, which requires training to overcome, namely, to avoid manipulating people and events to our own advantages. The simplest example of this responsibility is the credo, which states that the power must only be used in self-defense. Even this statement falls short of the ideal. The true goal is doing good, improving (yourself and others), teaching, and healing.

A Jedi apprentice walks a long, difficult road to skill and knowledge of the Force.

Unless your mind is calm, you will never be able to concentrate.

A student studying with a master should not take on a student of his or her own.

As a Jedi if someone asks you who is the most skilled Jedi. Think on this before answering. "Some Jedi see the spirit of the dark side and remove it before it takes shape, so their names do not get out of the house. Some Jedi see the dark side while it is still extremely minute and cure it. So their names don't get out of their neighborhood. As for others, they see the dark side after it has blossomed and defeat it then. Their names sometimes get out and are heard by everyone." As this shows, that the less time the dark side is allowed to grow. Then the less direct conflict is needed the better, in the sense that knowledge of the problem is key to the solution.

To overcome the dark side without fighting is the best skill.

Mercy is first and foremost among a Jedi's virtues.

Everything has a pattern, starting with the subatomic structure of a pebble and extending to the stars themselves. Find the pattern; understand the manner in which it is woven.

There is no why. Clear your mind of questions. Then you will understand.

Unless your heart is wide open and your mind is orderly, you cannot be expected to be able to adapt responsively without limit, dealing with events unerringly, facing great and unexpected difficulties without upset, calmly handling everything without confusion. Deal lightly with matters of consequence, and decisively with those of little consequence. It is difficult to face a crisis and solve it gently, if you are not resolved beforehand, for uncertainty will impede your efforts. When the time comes, thinking forward allows you to deal lightly.

The Jedi seeks balance --- balance of the self, balance with society, with nature, with the universe.

The ideal state for a Jedi is to be neither hard nor soft, but to be both hard and soft. It is to be like water. Water is soft. It flows and will take any shape. If you press down on a pool of water, the water will give way to the hand. Yet if you have ever been hit by a wave at the beach, you know the tremendous power of water. As a Jedi one does everything in both a hard and a soft manner, much as a towel can be snapped. A towel by itself is loose, limp, and soft, yet if it is snapped quickly, like a whip, it becomes powerful and is rigid and hard at the moment of conflict.

No one Jedi fighting system should be considered superior to any other. Some people are tall, some short, others fat, and still others thin, so everyone's body will move differently. A system suited to one person's body might not be suitable for another. It is therefore advisable to seek a good teacher who may be able to tell you what system would best suit you. The Jedi way is directed toward the full discovery and use of a human being's full potential --- a potential that is barely tapped during the average person's lifetime. A Jedi must always remember danger when he is secure and remember chaos in times of order, watch out for danger and chaos while they are still formless and prevent them before they happen, this is best of all. If you are quiet and inconspicuous, others will not be able to figure you out. If you are accurate and orderly, others will not be able to disturb you.

A Jedi does not use arms because of his emotions.

The stillness in stillness is not real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the Force manifest itself. What this means in a very simple way is that it's easy to be peaceful and calm if you're alone on top of a mountain or deep in the woods, but try for that same peace of mind while moving through rush-hour crowds in a city, or while sitting in the middle of your screaming brothers and sisters. If you can feel calm during this, then you have truly accomplished something.

The Force is perhaps the most fascinating and mysterious aspect of Jedi training. The nature of the Force is difficult to grasp. It is the power that comes from everything, not simply for combat, but for all endeavors, and for balance, health, and longevity. The Force is the drawing of energy from within and the universe through the subconscious. This is not dependent on or even related to size or physique.
Without the Force, life itself is impossible. When the Force is abundant, one has true power. Disease and depression vanish. Longevity is increased. The Force can only exist in the absence of fear or tension. These factors create imbalance. When relaxed, one is not in upheaval. One can concentrate and see clearly what it is that needs to be done, and do it naturally, spontaneously, and instantaneously. As the Force develops within, control is vitally important. A casual tap with the fingers can do serious injury once the Force is strong. One must be very careful. Emotional content, such as anger, or fear, or even just excitement, can bring the Force unbidden to the hand. For this reason, the Jedi waits until proficiency in meditation, tranquility and the art of non-reaction have been established before one goes on to more specific, advanced Force training.

You must remember that becoming a true Jedi requires persistence, patience, and Most of all, hard work.

After two or three years of this difficult Jedi training program, students often develop new misconceptions about the Jedi Way. They are now in good condition, quite strong, and beginning to beat some of the other student in matches. Feeling invincible, sure they now know most of what there is to know, some quit at this stage. Others, however, wisely continue on to more advanced training, where they now encounter some of the older masters. As old and weak as they may appear physically, they are able to play with these youngsters as effortlessly as a cat plays with a mouse. Humbled by this experience, the students quickly realize there is certainly more for them to learn, and even more to learn after that. It is at this point, when they realize that there is really no end to training, that they finally learn the Jedi Way. For the Jedi Way is much more than just self-defense techniques. It is an art form, a way of life, and a means toward spiritual development. As such the Jedi Way is a lifetime study.