chains

The Past is a Garden

I can’t think of a time when dwelling was ever really a good idea. I’m stubborn, and analytical, so I tend to do it often. But it’s definitely got a cost. There’s a reason I incorporated an aphorism to follow the first actual part of my holocron, the part summarizing my history with the online force realist communities:

The past is a garden of lessons, but chains can grow from any one of them.

Not very clever, but hopefully pretty clear about what I think when it comes to dwelling on the past. Take a walk through the garden every now and then, pick a few of the edibles, and be on your way. Stick around to long, poke and prod the fruits, wonder what they are, and they’ll sprout chains. To a point it’s unavoidable, we all walk into new chains all the time, but doing it when there’s no need is just stupid. Just as stupid as beating yourself up for being stupid of course, but the fact remains that if you’re being mindful you don’t always need to get wrapped up by shit like that. Walk in, pick a few fruits, and walk out. Instead of having the fruits of the past in your grasp, still on their trees and stalks as you study them, pick it, bite it, and decide what it is, whether you want more, based on how it tastes.

This isn’t a particularly unattached existence for people like me, what we learn is felt, tasted, judged. It’s visceral, and indecision, long pauses, tunnel vision, all get in the way of the next experience, the next step. “The Dark Side is a thing you must be enthralled in – in the grips of it, immersed in it, married and devoted to it – to truly perceive, appreciate, or understand. (~excerpt from ‘The Dark Is Nothing’). Continuing to move forward, evolve, grow, is part of what defines this path.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.

Right? Right.

Related to the Above

The Honesty of Darkness

The Room

Light & Dark (OotS Discussion)

The Dark Is Nothing

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Notables of 2013

Oh what to say – or even think – about the past year, for this blog. I usually don’t reflect on it that much, and I definately haven’t done so in “proper” blogging fashion. There was one post, probably the first year Maleficus Amor existed, where I listed a few things I was looking forward to – (which, by the way, I very much enjoyed, with one exception). But I rarely do well timed holiday posts to say Merry Christmas (for instance). So I guess this year must be a fluke, because I did a holiday post on the 25th and here you are, reading this.

So, how was 2013? In terms of this blog, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great. Writing posts here is a secondary priority at best, and often times it doesn’t even make it that high up, proving to be a distant question mark on the list. With how much this place has been neglected though, ultimately… it hasn’t been half bad. Hell, so far the tally now is up to over 20,000 views. No, all things considered that’s not bad at all. Given that, I guess I’ll furnish some highlights in ‘celebration’ (or whatever) of the past year here…

Notables of 2013

Feeling Darkness
A Monster
Chains of Shimmersilk
Apprenticeship
The Critics’ Trap
Arrogance & Modesty
Where’s Your Focus?
Sojourn

As far as other websites go… there’s plenty to tell, I suppose, but overall things have worked out pretty well thus far. That’s the long and short of it, for the moment. If you want to find out more about them you can always sign up at one of them (Order of the Sith), but I’m sure I’ll end up touching on that stuff here before to long into the new year, so if it’s of any interest you can also just wait for that to happen. In fact, you can probably expect something by tomorrow, if not within the next few hours. In any case, that about does it for this post.

Ladies & Gentleman…
Happy New Year.

Sith Aphorism

Iron and steel aren’t the only things you can forge chains with.

Chains of Shimmersilk

Iron and steel aren’t the only things you can forge chains with.

Through past experiences, from early on, I became acquainted with metal links.
I didn’t have the worst childhood in the world, but it was no fairy tale either.
School wasn’t a picnic most of the time, family life grew worse as time went on.
Violence, heartbreak, tears, split loyalties… all of these and more were recurring themes.

Things were hard in obvious ways. Each day was hard…
Fast forward a few years down the road, and here I am living a fairly comfortable life.
In the world I live in now, many chains are made of shimmersilk.
I sometimes worry about ‘getting soft’, as they say.

It’s not because of these soft, comfortable chains in and of themselves though.
It’s because of how easy it is to be seduced by the comfort they are defined by.
Some are worth keeping, while others are better off ripped to pieces.

I’ll tell you how they’re made. In a word: Victory.
The individual gets strong, puts himself into what he does.
Devotes himself to the pursuit of what he desires, and achieves.
He climbs, learns, progresses, and creates.

What the individual creates and accomplishes…
Seduces him into complacency.
It all becomes a world of bondage and encumberment.

How to break these sweet restraints or use them to go further?
Remember your inner flame.
If you don’t seem able to… it’ll remind you it’s still there.
Desire will only wait so long for attention before it makes itself known.

The circular part of this is that even in breaking these chains, more are forged.
The new ones are almost always a greater challenge than their predecessors.
To break them demands you grow stronger in new and different ways.
Keeping any of them forces your two grow strong enough to bear their weight.

Choosing to keep some of them deliberately, consciously…
Casting aside the ones that you no longer desire…
Is necessary, and should be decided from the heart.

Hope, Passion, Etc.

(Written May 14th, 2012)

To be without hope is to be weak(?). Is that an accurate statement to make? Maybe. Without there is no hollow within to fill or flame within to feed.

Relates to passion? Alone, passion means nothing. But passion that’s strong enough leads to (or is) strengthening. The greater the passion the stronger its vessel becomes. Either that or the individual (i.e. the vessel) gets fucked up early on – and I say “early on” because it’ll ravage you anyways, but not all vessels are equal in their capacities or potential. Growing stronger expands ones potential field of influence (or, to use alt. terminology, ones field of ‘gravity’). Exercising and integrating that strength into ones power yields victory. Victory, achievement, success… they lead to the breaking of some chains and the creation of others (chains which can often be more subtle, seductive, and/or comfortable than the ones that preceded them).

Ω

A Threat Of Death

Simply living isn’t enough. Life needs to be hard, there needs to be a struggle to keep it and guide it’s unfoldment and tranformation; it needs to be survivalism. That can be an excuse to continually wallow in a shitty life… but when it’s not, victory forges chains of silk, and for continual growth the risks, the danger, the heights one can fall from… all of this needs to be ever-increasing.

Some would say that such an upward spiral is just living life well or to the fullest, and maybe it’s exactly that, but – for me at least – “living” doesn’t carry the implied threat of not surviving. It has less of an edge on an emotive level or personal resonance. Ben (aka Smite) was definately spot on I think (in his journal entry at the Force Academy) when he wrote about the relation and importance of risks and risk-taking in matters of the Dark Side.

Imaginary Obligations

There are obligations that would seem to come with achievement or success. People look at your position, or look at what you’ve done, and they have their own expectations of what you ought to be doing. Those obligations are, more often than not, in the eyes of others though. The way it becomes a chain is in allowing the Visions of others to overwhelm and choke out yours. Attempting to make everyone happy isn’t what I’d recommend, in fact pissing everybody off feels like a better alternative.

Trying to please everyone dillutes the actions and decisions one might take, but anger – among other elements – can put pressure on them; solidity, focus, form, and ultimately ones Vision begins to take shape. I don’t think twisting everyones panties into a buch is necessarily the most desirable course to take, at least not all the time; but if one must pick between the two it’s classic Machiavelli, it’s better to be feared (or hated or despised in this instance) than loved, if you cannot be both.

Having said that, it pays to be mindful of such imaginary obligations. In being mindful, the things others would have you live up to become quite the opposite of what they would be for a fool with no awareness or understanding of them. Accounting for them becomes an option; to take it further though, you can use knowledge of ’em to exploit them. Synthesize what you have to work with in the minds of others and what you’re ambitions are. Experiment, do things to observe and understand the interactions and friction that comes about in enacting your will on an enviroment.

An individual unaware of the expectations others might try to place on him or her – in certain positions or following certain accomplishments – is at risk of being chained by them. It is through this lack of mindfullness that the imaginary obligations demanded of a person can become all to real. A form of boundage (and not the good kind). I could point out that awareness and use of them might also restrict the flourishing of ones Vision, but the advice I’d give for that is simple, straightforward, obvious… be subtle and insidious.

(Written March 22nd, altered April 21st)

Mercy Me… Right?

No, not really. Pushing myself, not allowing myself ‘mercy’ when I feel like calling it good for the day, that’s been important to me lately. “Those who ask for mercy are to weak to deserve it”(~Darth Bane) is kind of the attitude I approach myself with. And I’m starting to see a few new chains, soft ones, comfortable, seductive ones. I wrote a bit about it a few days ago. This is fairly direct in how it relates to how I’ve actively, ruthlessly been pushing my boundaries. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to what makes me uncomfortable to, as doorways to expanding my limits.

The idea of Dark Side healing, influenced in no small part by Khaos’s shows on the subject, is also something I’m… loosely working with, looking actively for things to do, to practice, to try. And I’ve gotta say, the Arming Meditation is one of my favorites right now, though my consistency in doing it every morning has lessened a little bit.

Peace as a lie, as something that gets in the way of being honest with myself about realistically taking a look and evaluating myself, where I’m at, and where I want to go, is still fresh in my mind and I’ve been thinking about the commonalities between it and rest.

I don’t know… I mean, I honestly don’t even like to rest, I have a hard time allowing myself to sleep, but I think that’s less to do with peace than with an angle of my resltessness I hadn’t even considered ’till one of ’till I read one of Luciana’s more recent posts. The idea that I have this want for control, and that rest seems like a surrender of it on some level… there’s something to that, for me. I really don’t mind it… something in this though is the idea of control. Let go of what control? I have influence, immense influence – and even more in my potential – but not any sort of absolute control, and my ability to affect people, situations, discussion, etc. varies in how effective it is, becomes less so as I try to affect things normally out of my reach and expand myself further into the world.

The difference between peace and rest, by the way… even while sleeping, I dream, there’s an active process, an active attempt of myself trying to comunicate and tie more tightly… together(?). Sleep, and whatever other kind of rest, is also kind of a recovery and healing period that moves towards more exertion and progress, more growth and in this there is still conflict and even hostility, between others and me, and within myself. The idea of reaching peace contrasts (for me) because it’s a standstill in my eyes, with no need (or, more importantly, desire) to recuperate energies due to no need to expend or put myself into anything.

(Written October 30th, 2011)
_______________________________

(Just FYI: I wrote this as a reply in a discussion at OotS the day before Halloween, which was only a few days after I wrote Shackles Aren’t Always Iron and well before I wrote A Sense of Peace, to give an idea of the timeline from one fragment to another.)

Shackles Aren’t Always Iron

Steel isn’t the only thing you can forge chains with. There’ve been mentions here and there, in the online communities and the mythos. Star Wars is the source I’d like to draw on at the moment…

“Zannah understood that chains were not always made of iron and durasteel; they could sometimes be woven of expensive shimmersilk.”
~Darth Bane, Dynasty of Evil

Ashton and Luciana are two names that immediately come to mind as individuals that’ve mentioned this in the past.

This is actually something that runs through my mind quite a bit, and it bothers me a lot. I didn’t have the worst childhood in the world, but it ain’t no fairy tale either. Things were harder in more obvious ways, each day was hard… and here I am a few years down the road, living a fairly comfortable life. I worry a lot about ‘getting soft’, as they say.

Right now, I’m weaker than I used to be. It’s not because of the soft, comfortable, seductive chains in and of themselves though; it’s because I’ve allowed them – shackles of my own making – to hold me back. Some are worth keeping, while others are better off broken.

To give a clearer picture of what the chains of shimmersilk are really like, I feel it’s important to explain how they’re made. In a word: Victory. I get strong, I put myself into what I do and into the pursuit of what I Want, and I achieve. I climb, I learn, I progress, and I create. What I create… It all becomes a world of boundage and encumberment, if I kid myself into complacency.

How to break these sweet restraints or use them to go further? I remember my inner flame – if I don’t… it’ll remind me it’s still there. My desire will only wait so long for attention before it makes itself known.

The circular part of this is that in breaking these chains, I forge more, and the new ones are almost always a challenge when compared to their predecessors. I have to grow stronger in new and different ways. And in choosing to keep some of them deliberately, consciously, I grow stronger in bearing the weight that comes from the chains I want.