There’s a hang up I’ve seen, in people… and in the past, I’ve even seen it in myself, of which the tendency of younger newcomers begging for a master is a crude and easily recognizable example. The hang up: that the knowledge of other practitioners with more experience will make you stronger and will mean you are worthy. In more seasoned students it’s less pronounced, but there is still the idea that pleasing those with more experience will be a key they can use to unlock their own potential.
The story of Darth Bane makes for illustration of this. Not long after his training began, he believed that pleasing the Masters at the academy was the key, and his aim was to one day sit among them. After he’d been written off, there was a lingering resentment for them and, from it, an insight into how deluded they were. He started off wanting to be like them, to sit among them, and he ended up orchestrating their destruction and becoming something greater than they ever could have been.
“…you must strive; you must demonstrate your worthiness, not merely to me but to the dark side.”
When the question of worthiness comes up, so to does the question of who must be shown that worthiness, and why. In an apprenticeship for instance, the individual acting as a guide takes on the responsibility of determining when and whether his student is worthy of shedding his role of apprentice. But the student does not need to prove himself worthy to his guide, and niether would he be expected to. He needs only to prove to that elitist part of himself – hidden away, immersed in the recesses of his darkness, lurking behind his innermost mask – that he is worthy. The guides role is to observe and judge whether his student has accomplished this.
Basically, you do need to become worthy and to prove yourself as such, but the only one you need to prove it to is You, the only one you owe that to is yourself. That doesn’t mean you don’t need acceptance of others to make good on your ambitions, to expand your influence on the world around you, and it doesn’t mean you can’t be emotionally invested in the approval of people you respect, but I think it’s clear what I’m saying. It starts with the the self, revolves around it, comes back to it. That’s what it always comes down to.