“Conquer the temptation to create specimens that are superior in every way. The danger of such monstrosities being turned against you is too great.”
~Darth Sidious, excerpt from The Creation Of Monsters
While a part of a treatise on Sith alchemy, this is the kind of thinking that led to apprentices like Maul, Tyranus, and arguably Vader. All of them falling short when measured against him. In fact, very similar sentiments were expressed by Darth Sidious in the Telos Holocron directly in relation to the selection of apprentices. The irony here is that the Rule of Two, when put into practice, made the creation of a superior specimen paramount to the coninutation of the Sith line. Whether intentionally or not, it kind of went against the grain of the guiding principle Darth Bane established when he reinvented the Sith Order – probably intentionally, given that both he and Plageuis saw the rule as obsolete.
I personally like the idea of the rule of two over the intentional handicapping of alchemical subjects and apprentices, especially in my context (as opposed to the context of a fictional universe). Even were it to result in potentially fatal situations I think that it makes for a more effiecient system of growth, especially in the long-term. Take the Force Academy for example though, a place where nobody has to worry about anybody else murdering them as a means of proving their superiority (at least as far as I know lol). If you happen to be a catalyst for someones growth, and their understanding, competence, or capabilties start to surpass yours, whether in their own life outside of the FA or on the boards in some way, you can either shift your focus to other areas orwork towards regaining your superiority.
Granted, that’s not the best of examples because when it comes right down to it, not many seek dominance in that sort of setting, and fewplace any importance on it. But like I’ve pointed out a few times before, whether you want to focus on it or not as something that’s important, a kind of hierarchy does in fact exist.
It might actually be more accurate to say a few overlapping hierarchies exist, as far as competence in training others, running things, garnering the respect of others enough to have sincere, two-way conversations with them, etc., but firstly, it’s a moot point because every hierarchy is multi-dimensional with various areas one could consider, and secondly, you don’t need to know or even care about any of this. It is what it is, and it’s not necessarily worth getting absorbed in, nor is it helpful to give it more importance than it actually has. But I’m indulging in a look at it because I find the contrast between the results of an approach based on an outlook like Sidious’s versus one that’s similar to the notions and insights underlying the Rule of Two to be a striking one.
Guiding others might lead to competition, fragmentation of a given administration in a given time-period, and so on, but if someone else were to become superior to you in some way, a) you can turn your attention to other areas, assuming they’ve layed claim to responsibilities or roles that previously fell to you, or b) you can always keep at it with them. *shrugs* The quote and the Rule, with their apparent dissonance, is food for though anyhow.