By Derek Thompson
How relative to the Ashla Philosophy, Practice & Path is the above topic? I’d say quite relative. Chaos, disorder and darkness are not simple notions that represent the opposite point of view, nor are the mere aspects that describe the alternative, they are crucial dynamics essential for balance and/or harmony. Harmony, both as a state of mind and a condition of being for those of us who walk paths of light strive to attain, (overtime and mainly due to so much overlapping information, conflicting points of view and misunderstanding) often mistakenly associate harmony as a state of bliss and constant well being when harmony is nothing of the sort. The word harmony comes from the Greek and means “joint”. It is described as “a pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts”. In other words, harmony is a state of mind and/or a condition of well being that can be achieved when one has reconciled two parts, or aspects of a whole to achieve a “pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts”. For the sake of this topic; these parts being light and the dark, good and evil, right and wrong, destruction and creation, chaos and order.
A core tenet of our philosophy is that we recognize darkness, chaos, destruction, evil and also the character aspects and emotional by-products associated with such constructs as necessary parts of the whole because without them, there is no balance and thus, no harmonious state of being to aspire. For an Ashla Knight this fundamental truth is essential for a Knight’s ideological learning, philosophical development and spiritual reconciliation…and I would boldly state that any tenet or philosophy of Light attempting to avoid or side-step this truth by way of teaching students to live in a constant state of (mis)defined harmony and bliss is not only doing their students an ideological disservice, but is damaging them as human beings. Darkness and light, good and evil, right and wrong, chaos and order are not only “joints” that comprise the templates of character, facets of social paradigms and discourses of geopolitical dynamics, they are elements in the cosmic elixir that delineate all things from the micro to macro in our universe by keeping existence non-static.
Rejecting this synergy is why “happy teachings”, taught by “happy people” at “happy camps” do not work, for it is an unreasonable expectation to achieve as existence is not…never was and never will be in a “happy” static state. Darkness, disorder, chaos and evil (by way of both physical and emotional response) force individuals to recognize, accept, adapt, perform and achieve. All while taking a moment to internalize the accomplishment of having triumphed over adversity while he or she reconciles the experience as lessons learned that will help them prepare for the next evolution of challenges that are certainly on the horizon. Nothing in existence is at a state of “constant happiness” so why would anything in our lives be? Life is about the “moments”. The moment of a realization of insight and understanding, a moment of development and progress, a moment of happiness and elation, a moment of feel good bliss and ecstasy, a stolen, private moment, a mischievous moment and so on. All these moments culminate into a non-static, memorable and fulfilled life.
When we try to live a perfectly blissful static life we struggle more and suffer greatly because we are failing to recognize a fundamental not just in the way we live but in the universe. The older we get the worse it becomes for we become physically, mentally, philosophically and/or ideologically sedimentary, or “set in our ways”. This is in my opinion, is a primary reason the Sith were able to actualize their revenge on the Jedi and reclaim galactic power.
The Jedi Order…due to overlapping, confusion and conflicting teachings of attainment of a false characterization of both a harmonious state of being and spiritual balance in large part due to the Order’s 900 year old Grand Master who had become “rigid, fixed and in varying”, in other words, “set in his ways”, had become philosophically lethargic and thus grown spiritually complacent and in many ways, emotionally apathetic. Yoda’s neophobia, his fear change and things new had come to shape a state of static existence incubated by a centuries of perceived harmony and peace, which to the Jedi…was the absence of tyranny defined by the oppression of the Sith. Darkness, chaos, wrong, injustice and destruction was rampant in the galaxy, but as long as it wasn’t Force assisted and/or induced Darkness, chaos, wrong, injustice and destruction then all was fine. Philosophical lethargy begets philosophical apathy. By failing to take the darkness, chaos, injustice and evil on the micro (or creation) level as serious as that of the macro (or cosmic) level, by ignoring the emotional derivatives innate in all sentient living beings essential for individual growth and development, they convinced themselves into believing they had eradicated the “great evil”, therefore allowing the Sith to trick the Jedi leadership and usurp their dominance.
Ashla Knights must recognize darkness, chaos, destruction and evil as constructs interwoven in the eternal fabric of existence and they must reconcile the emotional by-products of these constructs as essential to their ideological, philosophical and spiritual growth and development. They must face them and conquer them not once and for all, but again and again…over and over.
I said “recognize and reconcile”, not accept and proliferate”… there is a difference.
Acceptance is not only the complete giving over ones self to darkness, chaos and evil, but it is also the reject these notions and allowance of philosophical lethargy and spiritual apathy to lull you into complacent, static state of being. In my opinion this is worse than freely giving yourself to the Dark Side. In ignoring Darkness and evil while proclaiming your allegiance to the Light and all that is righteous and just, you become a philosophical sickness that infects others who in-turn, affect others and the malignancy spreads on and on. Though preaching and teaching you provide Darkness and evil with allies and agents whom at any time, without their knowing and understanding could be called upon and/or conscrip
ted to do battle against the forces of Light. By not getting involved, by neglecting to act, by choosing to ignore, by striving for a static existence…you become a conspirator in Darkness, and a consort to evil and personified by statements such as “only a Sith deals in absolutes”, you without realizing it, have come full circle in becoming the very thing you swore to stand against.