Darth Caedus

Altering The Past

People say you can’t change the past, but that’s not really true. All that survives of it is our rememberance, and memory… is just as malleable and imaginary as foresight. In fact, we alter it all the time. Drug addicts in “recovery” re-cast their indulgences as a sickness, as something completely different than what it was when they were high. Their present attitude changes, and that carries over, trasnmuting their weaknessor recreation into something very different than it had always been before, when their attitude was more receptive to the idea of drug use.

Folks change what their childhood was like, all the time: the serial killer who believes, in retrospect, that mommy and daddy kicking the shit out of him was the root of his later habits; the successful corporate douche who rose out of “poverty”. None of these examples apply in a general sense, nor do they mean that there wasn’t a solid, objective reality of what has occured… but all we have is what’s with us of it, in the present moment. Memories that we almost invariably alter in one way or another, in relation to the present, and to the potentials of the future we see in those present moments.

What I’m talking about is reminiscent of a fictional force technique.

When you drop a pebble into a river, what happens? There’s a splash, and then the splash disappears. The splash is real, but the river doesn’t change. It continues on just the same.
~Darth Caedus

Above is a metaphor used to describe the nature of that technique, by one of the most notable characters to use it. He further explained it to his apprentice at one point… and told her that the change was real, but that there was no danger of altering the objective past. Desperate to believe the changes she had made were real, Tahiri pointed out that while the objective reality of the past was unaffected, that pebble is still there. His response was that yes, it was still there, but only in her mind. My point, in recounting all of this, is that you can change the present and future by altering (a persons perceptions of) the past.

He used the flow walking technique to manipulate a woman into learning from him, supporting his efforts and values, and working with him against people they had both considered family, friends, and allies for the better part of their short lives. Not unlike any real, non-fictional person that changes his perception of the past to motivate him or herself, or to gain a sense of empowerment… or even of accomplishment. The only part of the past that needs to change in order to influence the present, is the perception of it. When that is transmuted, the reality of history (personal or collective) is virtually irrelevant.

In effect, for all intents and purposes, it’s changed all the time.

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Life-Sensitive

(Written March 16th, 2011 / Note: the termlifesensitivewas added, and is a (hopefully obvious) play on the termforcesensitive“.)

I was reading (actually re-reading) Exile, one of the books of the Legacy era during Jacen Solo’s transformation into Darth Caedus. I found myself thinking of my own situation…

“There was a thought circling the periphery of his awareness. It was something Captain Lavint had sparked into existence, something Wedge had fanned into a live flame. But he couldn’t quite bring it into focus.

Well then, he needed to look more closely.

Captain Lavint thought Jacen used to be a hero. Clearly, if such things were measured by numbers of admirerers, he was now a greater hero than he ever had been, and yet she thought he no longer constituted one. Why? Because he’d passed judgment on her? Perhaps. Maybe it was because the sentence he’d passed on her was one that would’ve broken his father’s heart, or the heart of any smuggler. Perhaps it was because he’d hurt her where she was most vulnerable. It wasn’t necessarily a heroic thing to do, he conceded, but it was fair. So let’s dismiss that for now.

Wedge thought the loss of his sense of humor meant that he’d become a fanatic of some sort. Whether it had or not, Jacen had to admit, it did mark a change in him.”
~Excerpt

In reading this, it fanned something of my own into a live flame. I’ve almost said it, in the past and even in my most recent posts, but the essence of one of the victories I take has only been alluded to. ‘Til now.

I am a life-sensitive person. My romanticism, my passions, my spiteful hatred, tumulteous descents, battered love, and more speak to this. This is why I have the capacity to thrive on pain and anger, and why I’ve been tentatively working with joy and happiness (even as my despairing boar sits atop the usually gleeful, downtrodden bullfrog, and even as my hate bites and snarls my loving bear even as the bear embraces it). I am sensitive, and so I feel with intensity, my emotions run high and animate my life. And they guide me towards passion manifest, because they’re its tendrils, reaching out.

I have had moments where I feel like I’m not hurting. This is disassociative from what’s really going on though, escape, numbness. But the pain is there, and it is precious. I’ve been on about it so much, it seems like I’m whinning, and it’s uncomfortable to do that, but what I feel is what I feel, and expression is liberating. I choose expression, openness, but I exercise this power with strength so that expression brings growth, serves my Self, my Passion. I am not always graceful.

My deep hurt at her betrayal and her dishonesty.
My worry for a fellow when reading about his seizure.
My desire, my yearning, to paint with words.
My pleasure and envy at the visual art another has shared.
My resolve to rise.

All of these and far, far more. They are mine and they are precious, they are Passion in so many forms, whispering, guiding, molding, growing, unfurling.

(Written March 16th, 2011)

Defeating Weaker Beings

“What is the point of defeating someone weak?”
~Sotonus

Sometimes it’s just necessary to do it, to “defeat someone weak”, or put another way, to remove the impediment they might represent to your goals. This line of thought reminds me of a lesson Darth Caedus emphasized with Tahiri Veila, his apprentice at that point in the mythos, when he assigned her to liaise aboard Admiral Pellaeon’s ship and to ‘stop’ him if he interfered with Caedus’s plans for the Battle of Fondor…

“Some deaths… some sacrifices are necessary, no matter how callous they may appear.”
~Darth Caedus

For Caedus, it was an important lesson. Earlier in the Legacy of the Force books/era, he’d come to an understanding of it in anticipation of the sacrifice that would mark his transition from Jacen Solo, Jedi Knight and Sith Apprentice, to Darth Caedus, Lord of the Sith.

He’d mused that the dirty work wasn’t pretty, that it was easier to be the hero, killing a big, horrible villain would leave him with adoration, admiration, but to realize his Vision for the galaxy, to do what was necessary to bring that to fruition, things had to be done that others would come to hate him for, and that that was the price for doing what was necessary. He believed it took a greater strength to carry out the thankless, dirty tasks that needed doing if he was to accomplish anything meaningful.

On the flip side of that, defeating someone weaker than you is probably meaningless if you’re not also willing to go toe to toe with someone of contemporary or greater strength than oneself. In the context of the example I’m using with Caedus, he was already well-seasoned in the “noble”, “good” way of confronting those as strong or stronger than him, and that was probably best illustrated in his confrontation with Luke Skywalker shortly after he’d been christened as a Sith Lord.

Point being that yes, if all you do is go after people weaker than you, especially if you’re trying to make people think your a bad-ass because you can kick a scrawny nerds ass any day of the week, that’s probably pointless and, more importantly, reflects how weak such a person really is. But that hardly means you should be merciful or kind simply for the sake of being “good”. You might have the moral high ground that way, but that’s also a good way to hold yourself back from what you could do with your life and ambitions. Besides, having the moral high ground is over-rated.

A few of my thoughts on that anyways.