the jedi path


Beginning the Path

The Jedi is neither born nor made, but evolves of inclination, determination and effort. Without the inclination, there will be neither determination nor effort. Without effort, the inclination atrophies.

The Jedi is always seeking to perfect himself and his craft. The Jedi actively seeks occasions for learning and experience. He or she is intently interested in truth. Not content to rest on laurels, the Jedi strives to know that which is real, pure and enduring. This knowledge goes beyond the gathering of intellectual facts; it must be an experience which touches the very core of the self.

The way of the Jedi is concealed in simplicity. Ancient sages realized that the tendency of human nature is to second- guess itself. People expect secret things to be obscured beneath a veil of complex formulas and arcane writing. They are so caught up in complexity that they fail to notice the obvious. Realizing this, the ancients passed on their lore in simple terms. These are so obvious that they pass by the average person undetected. More astute souls, recognizing that something special is afoot, search for complicated riddles and patterns. They are fooled by their own intelligence. Jedi know that truth and reality are simple; therefore, it remains hidden while standing in plain sight.

The Jedi develops understanding, self-control, and the perception of the many levels of existence. His work, training, tools and intentions are meant for abetting his own development and the benefit of those around him. This is an ongoing process, for the Jedi is always seeking the knowledge and experience of Life. He must become an astute observer of people, nature, the world and himself. Those dedicated wholeheartedly to this path must be willing to face challenges. It is not a path for those who seek "security" and safety from the world at large.

The Levels
The Jedi recognizes four levels of growth and four states of human living. They serve as indicators of the stages by which a person develops into a Jedi. The levels also indicate the various lifestyles within humanity. Let us examine each in turn:

1st Level: The student follows instructions. She does as she is shown by her teacher. In effect, she is passive and receptive to the example given their by the instructor. To learn the fundamentals, a person must give themselves to the instructions wholeheartedly. This requires effort, diligence, and repetition. The student does nothing by without the direction of the teacher.

2nd Level: People who have become independent of the need for direction. They can think for themselves without prodding by others. At this stage, the individual does not automatically adopt the generally-accepted viewpoints of society or his fellows. He chooses his own beliefs, plots his own course, and lives as he sees fit. Many independent types make good leaders; however, being totally free, they are not fit for hierarchical systems. The truly independent person relies on his own thoughts. He sees himself as having all he needs to make it in this world.
The Jedi at this level is also independent. Having learned the fundamentals, he can now use them as he sees fit. he can adapt and adjust to situations without reliance on rote formulas. The Jedi frees himself from the limited beliefs and attitudes of society. His thinking is independent and unique, for he is not tied to the priorities and logic accepted by everyone else.
The danger of this phase is that a person can turn independence into hostility. When an individual becomes uncontrollable in a way which threatens those around him, they will gather together to crush him. Independence requires the skill of getting along while remaining free. Another danger is the downward thrust of poverty and of feeling isolated. Many will try to convince an independent person to conform, especially when he is facing difficulties. The cattle will want to make him one of the herd. The Jedi can resist and strive for growth. He is truly alive and renewed by maintaining his integrity; the upward growth removes the pressure.

3rd Level: The third level is the antithesis of Divinity; it is the adverse thought and opposing circumstance. People at this stage of society are inimical toward their fellows, their government, and general well-being. These include rabble-rousers, criminals, extremists, chronic complainers and destructive elements within society. They stand against their fellows, either physically, ethically, ideologically or otherwise.
For the Jedi, this stage is a time for coming to terms with opposition, inimical states, and the "dark" side of oneself. The initiate must reconcile the opposites within and around himself. He must also develop the will to take a stand and oppose that which impedes him. It is the point where old, outworn morals are trashed in view of a higher law.
This stage sometimes requires a person to do something he would not normally have to do, out of necessity. It breaks the frozen veneer of "civility" and frees the individual to act effectively. The obstacles faced are not only barriers, but treacherous patterns of thought and belief. This state also begins the process of attainment, and propels the individual forth to seek further.
The danger of this stage is in taking an inimical stance toward humankind as a society. The attitude which says, "I can do as I please, to whom I please", is a hotline to disaster. In conventional society, an independent person can cross the line to hostility if he lets his whims get the better of himself.

4th Level: is the stage where an individual is past the initiations, and is ready to begin the everlasting journey of the Jedi. The individual recognizes their own innate Divinity and, in so doing, the potential Divinity of others.
In society, this manifests as creative people, especially those whose work improves society. Artists, musicians, healers, poets, and writers of literary works are obvious. We can include those whose very presence is harmonizing. Those who inspire others to excel are also expressing this.

This stage recognizes and reconciles Divinity in the world around oneself with the Divinity abiding within. This achievement works both expansively and inwardly , recognizing both at once.

The average person takes things at face value. He accepts what is presented to him. The problem is that what is given may not be what is really there! The Jedi knows enough to look at the obvious facts and to use them as a gateway to approach that which lies beneath them. He does not accept what he is told, but seeks further. This is like an investigative reporter who has been presented with official statements that government is eradicating poverty. Rather than rely on the statistics which were given to him, he looks at the obvious facts: more welfare clients, more people on the streets. This tells him that the statistics are contrived. Seeing through this, he realizes that the poor are being maintained, not helped. Poverty programs are only a "patch job", not a remedy. The Jedi sees what people recognize as true, but looks at common-sense indicators which show that their truth is mistaken. He then uses these indicators to open a gateway to the real truth beneath the surface. The Jedi is a skeptic when it comes to man-made facts. He lets nature and the things staring him in the face reveal the reality of situations.

To do any of this, the Jedi has to know what truth is. Reality has successively deeper levels. By challenging his old beliefs and the accepted notions held by society at large, he exposes errors and reveals facts. The Jedi needs to work first on his own doubts. It is fine to be uncertain about some things. One can seek to reconcile that uncertainty; she should not accept a pre-made idea just to cover over the gap of doubt. Truth reveals itself subtly and gradually. Patience and observation are necessary. Rather than decipher facts, The Jedi will let them reveal themselves. He will also regard the obvious before all else!

A Jedi always looks at what is in front of him first. This is true in all things, human and otherwise. Recognizing facts comes from intense study of oneself.

The Jedi's work entails development of several capabilities:

The Will: By mastering himself, the Jedi becomes a master of living. The powerful will manifests in the ability to make a decision and follow it through.

The Emotions: The Jedi works to harmonize the emotions, blending them into a balanced aspect of the self. Emotional strength imparts tremendous reserves of energy which carries them forth like a mighty river.

The Intellect: The Jedi becomes a master at assessing thing clearly and thinking objectively. He learns to think effectively, dealing in facts rather than random speculation. The sharpened intellect can separate fact from fiction, useful from detrimental, and worthwhile from wasteful. Like the sword, it can segregate, separate, and detach one state from another.

The Body: The Jedi maintains physical health, extending this throughout his personal life. The Body includes the body of his daily affairs: home, family, friends and obligations. This is maintained and kept in balance.

The Initiative: The Jedi adapts himself and things around him to work progressively. Using initiative, the he creatively forms himself and his life as vehicles for further expression of good.

The work imparts an ability to face people and life objectively. The Jedi is not fooled by socially nice ideals which obscure facts. He does not regard everybody equally, but takes each individual on his or her own merits. The Jedi deals with each accordingly. He seems baffling and mercurial only because he follows a truer light than the mores of others. Percieving a greater reality and acting from that perspective, the Jedi is a bafflement to the unenlightened and a beacon of truth for the sincere. Most important, the Jedi accepts facts as they are, not as he wishes they were. He faces pleasant and unpleasant realities with equal candor. This provides a tremendous edge in meeting life on life's terms.

Having discussed cunning when dealing with the false, we must recognize that sincerity and integrity are essential for a Jedi's success. A Jedi must develop self-honesty to a high degree. He must extend this to his fellows, letting discretion guide just how much to reveal in any given situation.

Though there are flaws in human behavior, there are also virtues. The Jedi gravitates toward those who exhibit honesty, sincerity, dignity, integrity, fairness, even-temperedness and wisdom. Like attracts like. While developing these principles within herself, the Jedi will automatically gravitate toward people of similar intentions. The Jedi is transcendent of human foibles, seeks to climb above shortcomings and unprincipled attitudes.

Priority is essential. Unlike the blind outpouring of monotheistic "charity", the Jedi gives wisely. He gives a helping hand, not a hand-out. This is like the Chinese saying: "Give a man a fish, you feed him for one day. Teach him to fish, and you feed him every day." Charity begins at home and trickles outward concentrically. One's best is reserved for home and family. This also includes manners! Next comes friends, and then acquaintances and neighbors. The Jedi realizes the folly of contributing to distant charities while people near to her need a helping hand. Charity is an example of priority, which places the most emphasis on those closest to oneself.

The Jedi can only develop properly in an atmosphere which encourages principles, priorities, and proper discourse. Our brief discussion of these matters can be extended into other facets of life and work. It is essential that the individual take the initiative to do so.

Life is not an enemy or a hard battle, but an opportunity for greater living and happiness.

The road to initiation is work. The Jedi constantly strives to perfect herself through inner exercises, study, and action.