I tend to look at the stories involving Sith in much the same way Bane looked at the archives in Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. I look at them and how they relate to my life. And in the first book of the Bane trilogy, even though bane thought of a lot of the stories he read as exaggerations, they still inspired him to push himself farther than he otherwise would. Granted, I can do this with pretty much anything, but the stories in Star Wars resonate with me and the cookbook in the kitchen… just doesn’t speak to me in the same way, doesn’t catch my interest. That’s not the case with everyone though, not even all of the folks that call themselves “Sith”.
There was a pretty strong trend (in the forums I frequent) for a few years that I’m sure will return, in time. It was the attitude that the term “Sith” had itself become a chain for the people using it. I’ve never agreed with this sentiment of distancing one’s self from the word and the stories (disassociating from them), personally.
One argument I recall people using as their reason for discarding the word was that they had grown beyond it. And, of course, that associating one’s spiritual path with Star Wars was a burden, a pain in the ass. Fair enough I suppose… it was based on the belief that the Sith Way eventually killed itself; the approach of taking what is useful and discarding what isn’t, combined with the opinion that “Sith” was limiting and should therefore be discarded. Supposedly a burden with all its implications, all its associations with fictional stories and characters…and allegedly limiting to the individual himself.
All well and good, except that such a name will only hold you back if you let it. I talked about this in relation to traits, qualities, and various practices not to long ago (Escapist Practices?). In and of itself, a name, practice, quality, or decision doesn’t limit you unless you lack the perceptiveness to see how it can be given context, content. It can be a means of growth or an impediment. That isn’t inherent though, it’s up to the individual.
Getting back to what I want to talk about though, as an inspiration for a Way of Life the stories of Star Wars aren’t as silly as they might seem on the surface. Are the Bible, the Koran, or the Ramayana of a different genre than the Darth Bane Trilogy? In my own estimation, I’d have to say no. I’m not saying that science fiction or fantasy novels should be treated as scripture though. No… what I think is that holy books, the christian, muslim, and hindu mythologies, as well as other works similar to these should be treated as stories. Inspirational, allegorical, even related to historical events (in one way or another)… but not the word of god or completely accurate historical accounts. Stories!
So yes, they may be fiction, but Moon or Celtic Lore can be put in that same category, as can the Greek, Hindu, and Christian mythologies, in my opinion. The Star Wars Mythos have plenty of stories more appealing to me though, and I believe they’re valuable.