Monday, 2 January 2017

Passion versus Peace: The Sith Code


So, this may come as no surprise to many of you, it looks like I may be more Sith than Jedi. I concur with the Sith code:
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.
Drawing a slightly problematic parallel between spirit and the force, perhaps made less problematic if we recast as "the living force", and seeing myself as a man of war rather than a man of peace, I can agree with this whole-heartedly. I fight just because there is a battle to be fought.

It is through strength we find freedom, and strength can be found in its passionate pursuit. Power is merely a side-effect of real strength (the direct pursuit of power is evil).

Actually the idea that Buddhism and Yogic teachings contrast passion with peace (or desire with peace - but passion is merely desire in motion) is a western misunderstanding of eastern teachings.

Buddhism teaches that craving is the cause of suffering. Both craving and suffering are inadequate translations of the original Taṇhā and dukkha. The craving (desire/passion) that causes suffering is a craving to escape suffering (the pain and basic dissatisfaction of life) through external means. Ultimately it is a desire for obliteration.

To earnestly, indeed fiercely, desire and pursue life and wholeness is not a cause of suffering but the motivation towards freedom - both for yourself and others.

To that extent the Sith code is correct.

The next mistake however is to confuse hardness and strength. Real strength is capable of great tenderness and of accepting pain without numbing itself. Strength is both gentle and fierce, one without the other is not true strength.

The root of the western misunderstanding comes from not really believing in life. No matter how small you dissect the frog you don't find the life; life is in the whole.

And of desire I say, well. Desire is beautiful. She may even be beauty.

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