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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - On Love

On Love

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One of the biggest misconceptions about the Jedi is that we are not allowed to be in loving relationships.  While this was true of Lucas’s creative vision of the Jedi, this does not mean it is a good idea for most people.  While there are a few spiritual traditions that teach celibacy as the only way to reach enlightenment, there are others who advocate the opposite of embracing sexuality as the highest spiritual expression.  As always there are no clear cut answers.

Humans are emotional beings.  We communicate, truly communicate, not through words, but through emotions and body language.  How many times have you noticed that words do not describe an experience accurately, especially when it affects you deeply?  Language is inherently limited.  How do you feel when you know your words are not being understood?  If you are anything like me, you find the experience frustrating.  This is because humans have a deep need to connect to others around them.  We connect by understanding others, sharing a moment together.  It is through these connections that we truly experience ourselves.  

How so?  Well, imagine you are locked in an isolated room, completely silent, solid white, with no way to distinguish one wall from the next.  First you may lose sense of the room, where it ends and begins, which way is which.  In time, you begin to lose sense of yourself, because you have nothing to compare yourself to anymore, besides the room.  Short of knowing you aren’t a room, who or what are you?  It becomes impossible to know because you do not experience yourself as anything except not a wall.  However, if you were released from this room, you would immediately begin to find yourself again, having a myriad of things to compare yourself to.  So interacting and connecting to other people is a way of finding and defining ourselves.

In my experience, finding a person to connect with on a long term basis, possibly for a lifetime, is the ultimate experience in the self.  While I knew many things about myself before meeting my wife, it was only through my relationship with her that I really started to see.  For instance, issues with jealousy and fear of loss cannot show up until you have someone to lose and be jealous of!  Also, you learn selflessness on a new level, learning to take into account someone else’s desires in addition to your own.  The other thing I have found is that she grounds me to reality.  She has helped me work through so many of my own issues, simply because I knew she was here if I needed her.  I truly feel as if we were meant to find each other in this life and travel this path together.  Otherwise how could we possibly have worked for this long considering how different we are?!

An important thing to remember about relationships is that they do not work without honesty.  If you are with someone who you don’t feel comfortable sharing your Jedi life with, then you are not in an honest relationship.  My wife may not share my views and beliefs on everything, but she gives me the room to grow and believe what I wish.  I afford her the same courtesy.  If both individuals in a relationship do not feel free to grow, the relationship is doomed to fail.   However, a relationship that allows growth and encourages honesty is well on its way to being strong and healthy.  Granted, not all relationships are meant to last lifetimes.  Remember that each connection we make happens at the time we needed it, and lasts as long as we need it.  Sometimes people come into our lives for moments, others for many lifetimes.  If you live in the moment you can enjoy each one no matter how long and learn.