VII. On the Burden of Power

Power…one of the many things a Sith will crave and seek. I’ve said before that power is a necessity at the very least and a luxury at best, but this is true only for those who seek to be strong(or those who become strong as a side-effect of their beliefs{Jedi, for example})…Those who have no power of their own cannot hope to be superior to others, nor can one hope to protect those reagrded as weak without some measure of power; ironically, there are some who are inferior, but have more power than most other men/women.

There are numerous forms of power, far to many to name them all here, but I must address some of the most prominent types. Control over yourself provides power, you have less limits and more choices once a degree of self-mastery is obtained; once you obtain a high degree of control over yourself, you can move on to controlling others if you so wish. There is also physical power(and I don’t mean bulging, inflexible muscles), being physically powerful has nothing to do with body building either, to be powerful in this aspect you must improve upon your body’s flexibility, endurance, and strength. And again, by strength I do not mean “big”, soft muscles, I am talking about dense, hard, strong muscles. Useful, flexible muscles can be created by muscle toning; for some reason I don’t seem to comprehend though, exercises working towards this goal seem to be used mainly by women. Don’t disregard your bodies overall health either, some degree of proper nutrition can be extremely beneficial. Then there is the mental aspect of power, you can be intelligent and foolish, you can be wise and stupid, and you can even be stupid and foolish. For a Sith, intelligence, wisdom, and intellectual skills are important, I have an advantage in this area that a surprising number of people are lacking, I have a passion for reading and I enjoy figuring things out so I may come to understand them. There is also the emotional aspect to look at, I have a higher degree of control over my emotions than the average person does, and I also seek to understand them: why I have them, how they can be summoned at will, how they can be focused through sheer strength of will(which can be exhausting and is sometimes overkill/overexertion), etc. Emotions are usually deeply involved in another aspect where power may be gained: spirituality….

A Sith must bear power, but at great risk; power can be a burden, it pollunates the seeds of pride, and your pride can easily grow into a tree of arrogance and over-confidence…this is one of the greatest dangers for a Sith, this “tree” has consumed me before, as it does to all those ignorant enough to let it grow. The path of Darkness we walk is not a safe one, but there is no price to pay for being a Dark-Side Practitioner…only cause and effect. Being to weak to walk this path is a cause, its effect varies for each person, but the people seem to basically consume themselves if they are not strong enough, and they can potentially diminish themselves in every respect…

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm  Comments (2)  

VIII. Boundage of the Spirit

Chains. To many to count…but as a Sith, the chains serve a purpose. They motivate us to become strong so that we may break them. I suppose the end goals are power, freedom, and an attempt to reach perfection. Power can be for its own sake, but it is also another means to another end. I would argue that without power, there is little chance of freedom. And without freedom, how can we work towards the unreachable goal of perfection. It seems that the end goals are interconnected, they rely on each other. If you possess power, you have a tool that can be used to obtain freedom. If you have freedom, you have a tool that can be used to obtain near-perfection. In obtaining these things, I have no doubt in my mind that they change us. Now the question is, will we change for better or for worse? Will we deteriorate or evolve? That is a choice I feel we all can and must make. It is the transformation spoken of in what most of us consider Sith Lore, they were the words of the fictional Sith Lord, Darth Revan. Some would argue that these things are not within our control, but I beg to differ. It’s all a matter of choice, if you say you cannot control such things, you are likely weak and/or ignorant. If you say you choose to surrender control to the Force, that is your choice, and you must be prepared to accept the consequences, be they costly or beneficial. If you say you can control things of this nature with minimal effort, be mindful and make sure your words are not born out of arrogance or over-confidence.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

IX. Of the Subordinate Mind and Body

I see my mind as a tool for my spirit, the mind retains knowledge, but it isn’t all we are. The body is another tool for our true selves to utilize. Thinking of your body -quite literally – as a tool, the idea of honing it, maintaining it, and modifying it to be better suited for whatever purpose you might have in mind is is more viable, perhaps even more attainable.

Through our bodies, subordinate tools can be used: hammers, pens, baseball bats, lawnmowers, etc. But the body alone can only do so much, it is limited to mundane activities, in large part. This is where the mind comes in: to read a book, you must use your eyes(a part of your body) to see the words, then you process the information within your mind. And like the body, the mind cannot operate alone. Male and Female, interdependent.

While my spirit inhabits my body and mind, it becomes dependent on both, but perhaps immortality as a ghost can be reached by removing the spirit’s reliance on the matter our physical selves are composed of. Just a thought, but who knows? Point being that there is a kind of hierarchy of body, mind, and soul. I see the spirit as most important, but cooperation among these three aspects of the Self is wise if any one is to be improved.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

X. The Distraction of Energy Manipulation

The paradox of Force Abilities…I’ve encountered many obsessed with a quest to gain Force “Powers”, but there is a flaw in this. If you pursue only abilities, you will gain no wisdom from the Force itself, these “powers”are simply side-effects of our knowledge and real power, the Dark Side must be studied in depth, it should certainly be the higher priority; Force abilities should be secondary, they should not be the focus of your training. There is nothing wrong with honing the abilities you’ve obtained, but concentrating solely on those abilities means that they will not become strengthened. A certain degree of balance is required when dealing with matters of the Force, a Sith cannot limit himself to learning only certain things, a Sith should learn anything and everything that he can

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm  Comments (1)  

XI. On the Tradition of Apprenticeship

Some Sith focus on teachings that will help them only in matters of the mundane world, and others focus on the deeper, spiritual teachings, but both should be learned of extensively…what use is one without the other?

I have learned throughout my life that there are hidden secrets to be found, and they cannot be given, not by any mentor or friend, they must be gained by you for you.

That may cause some to question the purpose of a Master training an apprentice…but there is a simple explanation to justify the existence of this training system: A Master has learned secrets on his own, but his purpose is to provide his apprentice with foundations to build upon; and to help the apprentice understand things that he may not yet comprehend. Some of the things a Master teaches can be learned alone, without a Master; but with the aide of a mentor, an apprentice can gain knowledge more rapidly than he/she would as a solitary practitioner. Saying this makes it apparent that learning from a Master is an advantage and a luxury, but it is not required to be a Practitioner of the Sith Ways. The advantages are quite obvious…you form a bond of trust with a mentor, and this bond is difficult to break, even if you’ve never met face-to-face, so you can use your master for advice on matters you wouldn’t dare discuss with your closest friends or relatives; due to this bond, a Master and his/her apprentice become natural allies, the need to defend each others viewpoints may become something of an instinct. Some say that a Master passes on all he knows to his apprentice, and that his apprentice shares everything with his master…this isn’t entirely true though. Because of the individualistic nature of all Sith, each have their secrets, each have there prefered areas of study..they both continue to grow as Sith, but they grow differently from each other.

My point in telling you my perpective about this: An apprenticeship will likely be beneficial, but you can’t let the absence of a mentor hold you back. As you should well know about me after reading this much of my holocron, I believe self-reliance is an extremely important element of the Sith Ways; if you aren’t progressing as a Sith that is your own fault{even if you are apprenticed to someone of more experience). Something I think everyone should take to heart, “Results, not excuses.”

On a personal note, I had no Master for the first five years I was a Sith, and yet I am called a Sith Lord by some. Just something for you to ponder, should you cling to the notion that an apprenticeship is a necessity…

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm  Comments (1)  

XII. The Ups and Downs of Emotion

Each emotion has its advantages as well as its disadvantages, but as Sith it is my opinion that we can better overcome the disadvantages and put the advantages to use for a maximum of benefit, be it for yourself or others. I think mindful awareness of the self is key to productively utilizing one’s emotions, and from personal experience I would advise you to gain a decent understanding of yourself before you choose to begin toying with your emotions and passions. To give a few short examples….

*Advanatages(If anger is properly controlled)
-increased physical strength
-increased mental focus on a specific person, event, feeling, etc.
-increased self-control
-increased (but possibly temporary) connection to the Force
-Increased willingness to do things you couldn’t otherwise bring yourself to do.
*Disadvantages(If anger is not properly controlled)
-“Tunnel Vision”, you become so focused that you see only what you wish to see
-Your judgement is clouded
-If you believe you have more control over anger than you really do, you will become over-confident
-Can lead to poor health when used excessively
-Increased willingness to do things you couldn’t otherwise bring yourself to do.

*Advantages(If hate is properly controlled)
-Determination without restriction(Ruthlessness)
-Increased Concentration & Focus
-Increased willingness to do things you couldn’t otherwise bring yourself to do.
*Disadvanatges(If hate is not properly controlled)
-Increased willingness to do things you couldn’t otherwise bring yourself to do.

*Advantages(If fear is kept in check)
-Heightened awareness
-A burning desire to be safe or ok(for lack of a better word)
*Disadvantages(If fear is not kept in check)
-Loss of focus
-Physically shaky

*Advantages(If Love is kept in check)
-Undescribable ruthlessness
-The ability to do something your completely against
-A connection with the person or object you love
*Disadvantages(If Love is not kept in check)
-Sacrificing vital things for reasons unknown to you, such as: dieing in the place of a loved one, giving up a home, money or a good reputation, etc.

Understand, my short discourse on the pros and cons of love, fear, anger, and hate are meant only to illustrate a point, point being that no emotion can be considered a “negative” emotion. Any and all emotions are positive. The problem is that certain emotions can be percieved as negative if your perception of them is blurred.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

XIII. Guidance as an Effective Alternative to Submission

Emotions. To control them efficiently you can’t try to clamp down on them, you can’t try to extinguish them; if you do, you will fail more often than not. You have to try to guide/direct them. Over exertion has often led to problems for me in attempting to control my emotions, as it may have already led you to. It’s difficult to describe, but what I do is I gently guide my emotions in the direction I want them to go. I first became familiar with the concept of guiding through my interests in meditation. I have within my possession a book containing various categories of meditation, different forms of it, and explanations of why they should work. One of these meditations involved gently guiding my train of thought in the direction I wanted. The meditation is basically contemplating on chosen thoughts, ideas, or whatever else you wish to contemplate, and in the instructions for use of this particular technique, the book stated that my thoughts would inevitably wander and get off track. I new this to be true because it had happened to me often, but my solution failed more than it succeeded. I applied to much effort into trying to control my thoughts, trying to forcefully shove stray thoughts aside and summon thoughts pertaining to the subject I wished to explore. As a result of my over exertion, I would exhaust my willl power and stop the meditation before I could begin to truly meditate. It got to be extremely irritating. It took me a while to see the parallels between my thoughts and my emotions, but the similarities are there. The book suggested that when my thoughts are derailed from the direction I want them to go in, I should simply accept that they are off track and bring my thoughts back to what I wish to contemplate. With emotions, there are still the occassions in which my anger becomes to strong for me to successfully guide, but success occurs far more than failure. When you become angry, I would suggest that you try to recognize and accept your anger, make youself aware of it as soon as you can, hopefully before it gains control. Try to calm yourself enough to think straight if you have to, but do not over exert yourself, don’t be afraid of failure. Trial and error is how we grow. If you have a physical activity that might be made easier by the physical strength you gain from your anger, let the anger help you. If you wish to leave it inside, unused for another time, do so(this might be a good idea if you can think of no where to currently direct your anger, though cultivating such an emotion is risky and may make you prone to outbursts and an overall lack of control). If there is any other productive activity you can think of, be aware that you have the option of channeling your anger into it.

Here I am speaking primarily of anger, but it has been my experience that this methodology is effective for any other emotion.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

XIV. Of Uncertainty

In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith the fictional Jedi Master Kenobi makes an interesting assumption directed at Anakin Skywalker shortly after the young Jedi is reborn as Darth Vader, but many arguments have ensued about how true Kenobi’s statement is. When Jacen Solo was becoming Darth Caedus, I began thinking a bit more on the statement that only Sith deal in absolutes.

How often can we be absolutely certain of something? I think it is possible, but only rarely, and only in a fleeting manner. There are those who seem to have an abundance of certainty, but it is, in my opinion, born of arrogance or ignorance, both of which I consider chains. Arrogance is a trait that can seep in to your personality without your knowledge, and ignorance is, in most cases, a result of lazziness. Both of these grant certainty…but there is an old saying: “Ignorance is Bliss.” The same can be said of arrogance, because both provide a feeling of all-knowing, but how stupid must you be if you believe that you know everything? No, delusion weakens you. But what, then of uncertainty? It forces us to make decisions, adapt to the consequences – be they beneficial or costly- , and learn with the mindset that there is always more to learn. If you allow yourself to be ensnared by arrogance or ignorance, you will only present yourself with more shackles, and this is counter to the Sith Ways. Should you allow yourself to be trapped by either of these two counter-productive traits, you will lose the things you’ve worked for, little by little, or all at once(i.e. discipline, self-control, material possessions, relationships, etc.). And I feel obliged to inform you, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. You will have set backs on your path, you will occasionally get lost. My recommendation is that you take it as an oppurtunity to re-construct yourself and become stronger than you were.

In life, absolutes are rare, but I can certainly agree that Sith seem to have a preference towards these absolutes, though that can be a great hindrance due to the likelihood of self-delusion. I personally dislike unknown variables, but it is undeniable that through experience with these unknown variables we become adaptable and we learn what was once unknown to us. Really, it is only a fool that deals in absolutes absolutely. Uncertainty is something through which we grow, and it is not something we shun.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment