Here, I shall try to assess each and give my own interpretation.
“It is a Jedi’s duty to become highly proficient in the many skills and abilities required of a Jedi mentally and physically. To become so skilled takes many years of focused and extensive training and learning. To become highly proficient you must train you mind and body, so when you are confronted with a challenge in life, you are so well trained you all ready know what to do. We are to show great strength and courage in times of adversity.”
I would add to this to not only be prepared for the challenges of life and adversity, but to accept the Force in it’s totality, one must be adept as well; that is to say, one must be adept at the simple act of acceptance. This can be a monumental task when you consider that the Force is all things, accepting the myriad aspects of which may well leave us, shall we say…….questioning?
“A Jedi us to uphold what is right, especially fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, and the law. We are to treat everyone with the same fairness and respect; all are equal in the eyes of the Force. A Jedi seeks the right and just path, being mindful of the actions of the people we are seeking to protect and our own actions as well. A Jedi’s actions should always be seen as just, never selfish or irrational by others who are observing.”
I would caution that Justice is a matter of perception, perspective, culture & place, and therefore when we Balance ourselves toward Justice, we should consider where we are, whose laws are present, why they are being enforced, and how. This may well represent a situation that is not wholly righteous to us, and yet we may have to restrain ourselves lest we become the unjust in this different clime; a tricky Balancing act, indeed.
“To defend is not necessarily implying a physical activity. A Jedi’s first line of defense is their Mind. Jedi always strive to avoid physical conflict at all cost but in case the defense of someone or ourselves results in physical activity we are to be prepared. A majority of situations can be diffused, just by our choice of words.”
To my eye, the first line of Defense should be the SOUL of the Jedi. Then the Mind, then the Body. The physical synapses of our Mind may do the labour of controlling everything, but Purpose comes from the soul, and Defensive Purpose should come from there as well. If not, the Mind may solely resort to computer-like solutions, relegating Compassion, Honour and Peaceful action to minor roles in it’s own Defense. Think of it like this; the Soul can defend on nearly impercievable levels by acknowledging an event before it ever happens(some call this precognition, or simply, a “gut feeling”), but the blunt perceptions of the Mind are quite limited if we rely only on our memories and existing synaptic structuring to handle any situation; talking our way out of a fight may work, but I sense we can do better such as using our Soulful instincts to avoid such scenarios even before they occur. Some may say that the Soul and the Mind are inextricably interlinked, but then how do you explain such phenomenom as “death experiences”? I can attest that after being killed by asthma as a child, deceased for nearly 10 minutes, that my mind was truly dead, as was my body. Nevertheless, I was revived by an unknown and exist on to this day. What moved me to live? Was it the Force, or was it simply my Soul reaching back from beyond? Some combination of these? Something else? I feel it was my Soul refusing to leave, empowering my Mind to revival, and commandeering my Body to follow. In any event, the Body should be employed as the last line of defense, or as we in the Marines used to say, the “final fire”. As I see it, to employ the Body first is to ignore the Soul, & misguide the Mind by superimposing physicality over thoughtful progression. If unrestrained by the Soul, and commanded not by the Mind, the Body alone serves one Purpose, and that is physical effort, all too often egotistic physical effort.
“A Jedi will always show courage in the face of adversity. To let fear take a hold of you will lead you down a path not wanting to be traveled. Take that fear, learn from it, and let go of it. Do not let go what you have learned, let go of the emotion. Do not step away from a task due to fear or being scared. Learn from those emotions then let them go and face the challenge in a smart and intelligent manor.”
If you look up the word “Valor” in the thesaurus, you may well find the next underlying entry to be “Audacity”, defined clearly as recklessness. I would suggest that caution by held in high regard when employing “Valor”, for if we exert it too forcefully even with the best of intentions, it may well turn us onto a ‘reckless’ Path.
“Training is a key component to the Jedi. You must constantly be training your mind and your body. Training will allow you to be ready for any mental or physical obstacle you may come across in your path. To train is to teach your mind and body how to act in times of need. To learn how to do this you must set yourself a routine that is vigorous mentally and physically. It’s not the quantity of training; it’s the quality of the training.”
The concept is fine here, yet again, there seems to me to be a gaping hole. Where is the Soul with regard to Training? Believe me, I’ve seen plenty of examples of something driving not only the Body, but the Mind as well! I have been privvy to witnessing several “Special Olympics” wherein the athletes were clearly motivated by something that drove them on relentlessly, well beyond their bodies’ capabilities. Training for most of these folks was demonstrated to me as being sheer acts of will, not simply as commands of a determined Mindset being carried out by the Body. I will go as far as to say that in many cases, the athletes’ Mind was almost as hindered as the Body, but the spirit of the Soul was never in question….you could see it in their eyes, & hear it in their wrenching cries as they drove themselves on. Nay, my fellow Jedi, concentrate not on Training the Mind and the Body so much as the SOUL. All other Training will fall into easily into place, I foresee.
“A Jedi must take all things with moderation and self-control. To be one who does not overindulge, and one who does not allow reckless emotions to guide one’s decisions or actions. A Jedi does not over react, we show control over our decisions. To apply this to your life takes much discipline and hard work.”
Substitute the word “must” with “should”, and I like it! “Must” is just a little too ABSOLUTE for my tastes.
“It is a Jedi’s duty to work with others for the sake of making everyone’s views and opinions heard and understood. This does not mean you have to always agree with everyone but work together to reach a common goal.”
I would suggest that instead of making others’ opinions “heard and understood”, we simply make them “available”. One of the greatest downfalls that I’ve ever seen comes from the major religions trying to make everyone’s opinions “heard and understood” so that their concepts seem to fall in line with most human beliefs. When one tries to convey another’s opinions, invariably something is lost in translation, or is corrupted(inadvertently or otherwise), so understanding becomes a moot point. I contend that it would be better to make the opinions of others available to be viewed clearly, concisely and without interpretation by us as Jedi. Hearing and understanding is a very individual effort, and should be left to the individual if at all possible. If a Jedi wishes to truly be Harmonizing, I suggest LISTENING more with internal reflection rather than external response.
“A Jedi has unwavering adherence to a strict moral and ethical code while being in accord with standards of right or good conduct. Every country and society has its own standards of moral right and wrong so caution is to be taken when visiting a different country or society.”
This goes back to Justice and Laws. The difficulty lies in the Balance of Morality, for truly as humans are diverse, so go these things, and often there will be glaring disparities. Cannibalism is the Moral duty of the victor to a fallen enemy in some cultures……think on this, you should.
“A Jedi’s first loyalty is to the Force and to each other. Loyalty also means being dependable, devoted, accountable, and being responsible for our words and actions. In being loyal to the Force and each other, we strive to do our best to improve ourselves, those around us, and our communities. We help when we can, offer advice when asked, or just listen to others when they need someone to listen to them.”
If one of our first Loyalties is to us, above Compassion, Justice and Peace, are we not “putting the cart before the horse?” May I suggest that our Loyalties should be Force, Compassion, Peace, Justice…and then, each other? I am not trying to be picky here, but if we focus our Loyalties on each other, and not what should drive us, then to my eye, we are “treating the symptoms, not the patient.” Another way to look at this is “Give a man a fish……teach a man how to fish……” In both cases, one is being Loyal to assisting another, but the latter Loyalty seems to have a more enduring outcome, methinks.
“A Jedi must be focused at all times. To lose focus is to fall off the path. When a Jedi is focused it will allow them to be more observant of their surroundings. To lose focus of your surroundings could be detrimental for a Jedi. A Jedi must also remain focused on their studies. To lose focus when you are training your mind or body could cause great harm to yourself or others. Do not let that focus take control. There is a difference between being focused and being so focused you lose your awareness of your surroundings. When that balance is found you have found true focus.”
Whew! I could write a book here! I can attest that Focus is the most heinious of the “double-edged” swords. It can serve you better than just about anything else, but it will cut you quicker than a laser-scalpel if it becomes all-encompassing or worse, you flit from one Focus to another without concern for what is left in the wake. I agree wholeheartedly that “There is a difference between being Focused and being so Focused you lose awareness of your surroundings.” I would say that Focusing outward gives attentuation of your surroundings without loss of your focal point. And once again……”MUST be Focused”????
“A Jedi should live a life worthy of public esteem, to be viewed as a person of value and a credit to their community. However, we are to be careful that we do not act so we can receive public esteem. We act and live for the improvement of the lives around us.”
We should live an Honourable life worthy of the Force. If we do that, we will indeed meet the criteria of value, credability, and most assuredly enhance the lives of those around us. I think that esteem should not enter into the equation. “Look not, want not.”
“A Jedi is to use extraordinary sagacity when dealing with ourselves and with all of humanity so that none shall fear or question our motives or our efforts, and all shall come peacefully to the Force. A Jedi exercises their most profound wisdom in ensuring our actions are wholly of a beneficial nature, beyond reproach and admired by all humanity. We do not act to seek rewards or benefits. We do because it is what’s right.”
Oh, I think there are those who should most certainly fear and question our motives. I must confess here that my lack of ‘word-smithing’ will no doubt fail me here, but I must comment nonetheless. The Force is an active Balance, and evil is most certainly part of it’s formulae, so to say that we should use Discretion to be admired by all humanity is to forsake the fact that not all humanity is good, appreciative or even tolerant. We should do what is right, because evil won’t; thus is Balance maintained. Yes, our Discretionary efforts should be profound, but even here there is great latitude, and if we limit ourselves to actions that are “beyond reproach”, some will take overt use of this. Think of getting kicked in the face whilst helping an aggressor to their feet after defending yourself.
“A Jedi is humble before the power of the force. Just as the Force flows through every rock, leaf, or creature without becoming noticeable, a Jedi flows through life without becoming noticeable. Humility is the essence of the Jedi. With Heart, a Jedi knows that the only meaningful reward is the satisfaction of having done the right thing. A Jedi is to be humble before all, not modest, but humble.”
“A Jedi shows compassion, sympathy, and understanding for all humanity. This means not you have to agree with all views and opinions but you should show and understanding and respectfulness of all views and opinions. To do this a Jedi needs to have a love of all life and an understanding that all are equal in the eyes of the Force. To show true empathy takes a complete understanding and application of all truisms and the Jedi Code.”
I agree that Empathy is a necessary part of a Jedi’s being, however I tend to think of the Balance of the Force differently, and thus employ Empathy differently. To my eye, the Force is comprised of mostly of benign entities, simply carrying out the immeasurable pattern of the Force, but there are those entities which are distinctly polarized. We Jedi are usually benevolent, bent to the taskings of Compassion, Peace and Justice. Conversely, the evil of the Force is usually quite malevolent, lending itself to ego, patronizing itself to the forsaking of all others, treading on all without regard. Now, here’s the rub. If you reflect on all the humans you’ve come in contact with, how many where relatively benevolent? How many where clearly malevolent? I reflect back, and come to count about 90% of all I’ve contacted to be either benign or benevolent & worthy of Empathy, and the other 10% or so to be truly malevolent in nature. Now, this would suggest that the Balance of the Force, at least concerning the microcosm that is humanity is mostly benign and/or benevolent, and evil a substantially minute faction. But Balance is Balance, so on the scales, evil must be much more potent and intense per capita given it’s smaller numbers. This also suggests that Empathy should be delivered under a watchful gaze, as it may come to pass that our Empathy is given inadvertently to one of the malevolent beings. I have come to realize that truly evil types cherish getting in close to the benevolent before they strike, and accepting Empathy is one of the easiest ways for evil to enter, corrupt and attack.