“Only dead fish go with the flow.”
“Only dead fish go with the flow.”
“Only dead fish go with the flow.”
Monsters came up in a conversation a while ago (on Mother’s Day), and I guess it caught me a little off guard… see, I don’t know that I did the outlook justice as I’ve come to understand it, and my mind was kind of blown just from the experience of that evening. If I had to guess, I’d say for each of us it was more about wanting to know, take each other in, and take it as it came; at least for me, it was about wanting to connect and see what it was like, rather than expecting it to be like anything… I just wasn’t expecting anything in particular, including that. The ‘mind blowing’ part of it, was more than just that, but suffice to say I’d like to talk about that particular subject (monsters) again, maybe more clearly.
Especially since having read something on Khaos’s blog – his mention of monsters, and of serial killers (among other things in relation to it) is very much in line with the way I look at it (e.g. some rough notes). In fact, it’s not at all unlike things I’ve already said between notes and an essay or two under this name, and most of the things I wrote (fictional and otherwise) during my term-ending “break” from the FA.
When I say I’m a monster, this is what it boils down to: I’m an animal. Maybe a clever one, but still just that. Despite me not being an expert in any of these… murder, violence, and serial murderers are among the more noteworthy things that had a lot of influence on the development or, to use what might be a better word, coalescence of this for me.
From some rough notes here…
“If you want to look at some of the more extreme/repulsive/blatant and obvious/easily discernible monsters, take some time to study serial killers, especially some of the ones to be found in fiction, like Hannibal Lecter or Dexter. A lot of them are vicious, sadistic, and depraved. But they also don’t pretend to be something they’re not. They hide it from others, keep it to themselves as much as they can, but they don’t pretend like a lot of more “normal” people do. There’s no wondering “why”, no suffering over the pointlessness of it all. They simply are. I admit, I’m no serial killer. But if I was, I wouldn’t lie to myself about it.
It’s like the differences between the fool (the average man), the wise man (the smart/perceptive/wise man), and the leader (the elite, the best, the ones that sit atop the pyramid and look for ways to make the whole thing/pyramid/structure move). Though the attitude varies, the fool buys into the theatrics, the wise man sees through them, and the leader puts them to use. The average man buys in to the lies he tells himself, a wise man will know, acknowledge, and perhaps even accept what he is, and a deified man will embrace it. In doing so, he will become more sophisticated.”
I mean this is why someone like Mortose isn’t someone I mind for being who or what she is. I don’t hold it against her, in fact, damaged though she may be from certain perspectives (even my own, actually), she knows what she’s doing. It’s not something I’m inclined to make a moral call on. My thing is instead of “you’re not like me, so fuck you” or “fuck you, you’re evil”, I tend to see it more along the lines of “I can see that in myself, and that…”. I mean honestly, one of the biggest differences between me and people like that is I’m probably not a danger to you, I can identify with and empathize, and I’m just generally more likable (or so my mounting years of social experience would lead me to believe).
Or same point, but with another example, this one from a fictional story: Brian Moser; I like him. Unrestrained, simply acting on his nature, no guilt, no shame, no needless dwelling or over-complicating things in his head asking ultimately pointless, disheartening, or otherwise daunting, wearing, ‘drag me down’ questions. Not a whole lot of doubt going on there. And of the few people I’ve met that are sociopathic, arguably dangerous, the most danger they tend to pose to me is the perception people have… there’s a sort of ‘guilt by association thing’ that comes into play; but the people themselves, I just don’t usually mind; they can be very fascinating to learn about and spend time with.
I never forget that line from the litany against fear that I (fittingly) mis-remembered for years. The original is “fear is the mindkiller”. As I’ve tried to flesh out this idea of what a “monster” even is, it’s all been collapsing to a very basic thing, and I can’t help but associate my variation with that thing: doubt is the mind killer. Because what it all boils down to: we’re animals. Animals can be scary, even sophisticated, intelligent; being a beast doesn’t preclude that. Hell, some are mostly benign, even pretty kind-natured in most contexts. But the point of that essential piece, is that there is a core, true nature from which every ‘complexity’ springs, and it I think it awakens when reason starts to sleep. And when you’re just being what you are… how is there even any room for remorse or shame or… well, you get the point.
The funny thing is, I’m not a very malicious person by nature. I’m certainly no serial killer… hell, I’m not even a sadist or psychopath. That’s not really the kind of monster I am. And I don’t know how much shame, self-doubt, or insecurity is at play with real people who make a habit of murdering other people, but I don’t think Ted Bundy had much of that going on. So I am not quite the same as people like that, and admittedly can’t be sure of what’s going on underneath the surface with them. In any case though, there’s something in all of that I identify and resonate with on some level… I prefer fictional examples for one main reason: you get a more in-depth look at them, into their psyches. Maybe as deep, at least for the creators of such characters, as one can go without actually being one of them. Like something Khaos mentioned not to long ago…
“I’m reminded of The Silence of the Lambs novel (much better than the movie) in where Clarice Starling, upon first meeting Hannibal Lecter, tries to appeal to his Vanity in making him take a test to which he asks why he should. She replies that he might be interested to know what happened to make him what he is. To which he replied…
‘Nothing happened to me. I happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences.’
Which I thought showed more self understanding than any other answer would have.”
~Khaos, No Answers
I feel at bottom we’re all quite simple, much more so than folks generally like to pretend. And no matter how complex a person might seem… it’s been my experience that there’s an essence there, a base, a ‘true nature (as I like to call it) that all of it springs from. That doesn’t mean it’s all working smoothly, or that some of us aren’t a complete mess (hence this idea that we’re so complicated, when in fact we’re just simple creatures with a divine drive to expand, connect, attach, lose, suffer, contract, and round again to expanding…). What seems like complexity is only really conflicting extensions off of the same foundation or basis. Like a tree with branches growing across and into each other, growing downwards… kind of like that.
(I wrote this out in June, and apparently never got around to posting it… I noticed it was still in the drafts section today though and thought, what the hell, I might as well post it now.)
A recent journal entry at OotS, posted here as Motivations & Timing, seems to have acted as a catalyst for shifting the attention, intentions, and experimentation I’ve been giving to the Resource over to the Order of the Sith. I’m personally both glad and irritated, because on the one hand the success of the former has been on a fairly rapid rise. I know there’s interest, even if most there are quiet and the rest read through without bothering to sign up, because in places like Facebook people are all over it (at least in comparison to the Order), not only in likes, but in that it catches peoples interest. I’ve also enjoyed the blank slate it’s allowed me, among a few other perks.
Hence the irritation. But I suspect that in some ways it’s going to go the same way as the ‘mystery blog’ I started when I went on my little break from the communities; that is, I had a blank slate and got a lot out of it, in part because it was something entirely new, but when I ‘returned’, I realized that it wouldn’t be a satisfying substitute or replacement for this blog. So I took what I’d experimented with and liked, and the things I learned, and integrated them into what I do here. Best of both worlds if you ask me.
But the bitch of it is still this: the fate of the Sith Resource is up in the air, and if we’re making comparisons to that blog I did for a while elsewhere… then it’s future isn’t looking so bright. So there’s irritation, but on the other hand there’s that process of integration, and further, when you get right down to it the Order of the Sith is my home site, which is touched on a little more in the announcement I made over there, so I’ll share that here as well (below).
The Announcement (as it was posted at the Order)
Nearly four years ago, I handed the reigns over to the two most competent, pro-active Sith Lords of the time.
In the announcement that made it ‘official’, the opening paragraph was this:
“I may have started this site, but recently me being the sole administrator – especially with my increasingly extended absences over the last few months – and my shifting focus on where my path as a Sith is going has caused me to come to a decision. I will not be leaving the Order of the Sith, but I am stepping down from leadership and administration responsibilities. While I will retain my abilities as an administrator, I will not be acting as one except to help the new Leaders when possible.”
As I made an announcement back then, it makes sense to do the same now.
So for anyone it may interest, I’d like to announce that I’m stepping back up.
Rising from the ashes, so to speak.
For me this comes after a time of reflecting on changes, personally and in relation to the Order. I know that this place has been described recently as a monastery, and it brought to mind a question: is the state of the place as a monastery really viable or, more to the point, desirable? My own answer: It doesn’t entirely satisfy what I would want to see in a site centered around Sith Realism. Initially I created the Sith Resource as an outlet for that dissatisfaction. But this is my home site, a place I’m very fond of and attached to, so it is here that I’ve decided to redirect my enduring desire to see the Sith Ways continue to develop and evolve as I believe they can.
So while Miles isn’t going anywhere, I’ll be taking lead in the direction of the site overall. However having said all of that, the strength of this site is only ever augmented by the members here and their participation, which will always be both welcome and encouraged. Of course, along with that I feel compelled to say… don’t feel obligated, as this is an invitation to be as involved as you wish, not a demand. But with every change, large or small, I would appreciate feedback if you have any to give. And if you have any questions, now or along the way, feel free to ask.
In the meantime, as always, don’t hesitate to start or participate in discussions if you feel moved to do so.
Above all, make sure you’re getting something out of being here.
I have been harping on the darkness and convoluted mazes of delusion and self-deception at play in the would be practitioners of light for years now. One of my favorite being a series of posts entitled The Flowers of Evil (which, while in and of itself a piece of sincere propaganda aimed toward dark siders here, hit on the blindness of the light quite well for something that wasn’t even primarily targeting their group(s) or teachings). And I am hardly the only one. A few strokes of brilliance on Khaos’s part took place when he expressed what he observed in the Jedi from where he stood; a few more sharp observations came from David. But oh did those light siders squirm and struggle to rationalize, refusing to concede that the heart of the light teachings was beyond them, lost to them… out of their sight.
“So is this how Jedi or the Light, or whatever you want to call it come to decisions?
Certainly, in the Dark, we would use favoritism, play politics, etc, and certainly, you can compare your coup to us, but if that‘s the way you want to achieve victory, our way, well, that‘s just delicious.”
So deep into our way of doing things that they can’t avoid having their noses rubbed into it, not in their most ideal, best case scenario of coming to a resolution, and not in the means that have been employed. In the vehicle that is being used, that quite frankly must be – to some it means to get on board with Charles’ vote. And in itself the existence of such a vote necessitates a stance anyways, so even those not voting ‘no confidence’ are shown to be tainted. The process of finding their way necessitates they pass through more of the darkness they’ve become swaddled in.
“I cast a vote of no confidence.
Not mainly focused on Han‘s decision though. I cast it on the base that the LC has lost focus on furthering the LA and this has affected its message and growth. It has become exclusive instead of inclusive and has turned away many potential students with its ongoing indifference or inability to facilitate positive change. It has strangled itself to a complete standstill of action and positive affect on its community and through its behavior no longer reflects the values it was once founded upon. If it can‘t lead by example, it forfeits its right to lead and represent.”
From the mouth of someone who hasn’t lost sight of what lies at the heart of a light path. Of course, that he was formerly one of the better known and respected dark siders – with a resume reading that he was the first leader of the Dark side of this academy – isn’t lost on me. It’s really quite poetic. One of the darkest, once upon a time, and now one of the lightest. And only now does a substantial portion of the other light practitioners here see how they’ve fallen from grace, only now can they actually agree with Darius…
So says Darius, who is echoed by Vandor, whose statement is proven by Charles and his loyal puppy dogs, and is further validated by Sotunus’s clear, splendidly truthful admission.
“It is time we air the flaws of the Aspect and ourselves as a group, and to discuss those and to move forward from this position of greater insight.
As it stands; we are failing our students, of which this vote is but one further failure. A necessary step but as a group of teachers a further failure.
We have moved away from the heart of where we began and our roots. We have moved away from the archetype of Jedi, we have embraced restrictive legislature which cripples our efforts as much as enables us. If we require so many rules for ourselves; than where does our training stand? If we cannot trust ourselves and our students on the basis of conscious than what audacity do we have to claim the titles of Knights.
Our training amounts to ticking of boxes that exemplify an archetypal superman able to achieve all while maintaining a stable life. We have placed our faith in lectures and written word and in doing so have forgotten we are teachers. It is we that have the wealth of knowledge, the feed back our students need. We are not posters on a forum, nor our students mere numbers on the viewing column.
Furthermore; and I have contributed to this, we have over focused our energies on the issues of the greater FA. We have made ourselves instrumental parts in the drama that the DA suffered and we have assisted in propagating the Mando situation.
Lastly; now, we have reached so great an impasse we cannot achieve serenity among our own council. We have all failed to lead by example; none of us can claim to have an impeccable record in what has brought this situation about.
So I ask those of the Light, as fellow Jedi, to remember this vote is to do with failings of us as an aspect as much as us failing as a council.”
Ladies and gentleman of the light, I would like to thank you for allowing me such a pleasing way to unwind at the end of a long day, by providing such a beautiful opportunity to gloat, and to say ‘I told you so’. I really enjoyed writing this. Just because I’m being dramatic and theatrical in the language I use here… don’t think I haven’t gotten a real kick out of this deterioration coming to a head, or that I didn’t truly enjoy pointing, laughing, in having posted this. It’s completely off the cuff, so do forgive any poor or unfair spin on the current situation; it’s all in good fun. Well… mostly.
For your viewing and listening pleasure…
“It is such a quiet thing, to fall. But far more terrible is to admit it.”
∞ ◊ ∞
(Notes for the Reader: Written June 15th, 2013. All quotations here, with the exception of Darth Traya, were pulled from a discussion being held in the Light discussion forum under the guise of a poll: Vote of No Confidence in the Light Council. I s’pose I should say, this is both mocking and whimsical. Tongue in cheek and off the cuff. Sincere, in a way, but… If it inspires any serious discussion, I’ll be surprised. The tone of this bit of writing, in itself, is less than ‘serious’. Hence why it was posted in the Fun Stuff forum of the Force Academy.)
A few quotes I put into my Facebook profile…
“You have to carve a niche for yourself. That’s the strength required here. No one is going to believe in you FOR you. That’s the Sith Path. Are you worthy or aren’t you?”
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make [it] drink. That’s the horses responsibility.”
“Human beings that have no passion, have no drive. If they have no passion, they have no goals. A life without passion is a life without love, a life without substance. A Sith should live life, with burning passion to expierence all there is. A life without attachments is a wasted one.”
“Life is messy. Being covered in mud means you were in it, not just looking at it.”
“I walk a Path beyond words, because there are no words for it, and even if there were, only those already along it would understand them, and this writing would be silly, as it would become a matter of course and not worth mentioning.”
“A life without fear would be very boring.”
If there’s another post centering solely around “sith quotes” it’ll probably reflect more diversity in the sources I’m going to draw on.
(Living (not fictional) Sith Quotes)
(Originally Compiled/Written January 6th, 2012)
Bullying is such a popular thing to talk about these days. Khaos touched on this once or twice, most notably in The Adversary, A Fool For Passion the show that foreshadowed his resignation as Head of the Dark Aspect. Alethea, a Light Master of the Force Academy that’s pretty well known throughout most ‘force realist’ circles, has started and participated in a number of discussions at the Order of Ashla Knights and the FA if memory serves, and on her own show (Force Realists Radio) she recently did an episode on the subject.
I rarely say anything about it, but to be perfectly honest this issue is a pretty big deal to me, as big as anything I could rail against endlessly. Be aware though, the references littering this post notwithstanding, that this right here is my amphitheater, and I wouldn’t presume to speak for anyone but myself, so if you don’t like what comes next remind yourself that I’m the only one talking (or writing) here. If you want their opinions, listen to their shows – or hell, ask ’em about it. Anyways…
If you listen to the Dissonance show, Khaos’s perspective is similar to mine, just maybe not as… violently conveyed. To drive home some of what he had to say in it, he’d noted that people don’t face their bullies anymore, instead they avoid them, many even going as far as to kill themselves. That’s just an observation I remember him making and you can listen to the show if you want to know the context – or the rest of – what he has to say (edit on 12/30/13: most of the dissonance shows weren’t available for a while, but the one linked to in the first paragraph still is); but as far as what I have to say…
If you don’t like bullies and you’re one of those people on the ‘anti-bully’ bandwagon, chances are you were bullied or else have seen others get bullied and felt sorry for them. To the former, I have this to say: learn to cope you fucking pussies. Survive; fight back, or endure. If you give up on yourself you deserve the consequences. If you end your life, there’s no one but yourself to blame. To the latter, I say this: your cheating the people you seek to ‘protect’. Let people fight their own fights, stop trying to deprive them of the trials, struggles, hardships, and adversaries they deserve, stop trying to protect them from experiences that will strengthen them. Stop encouraging them to be weak.
(Written June 2nd, 2012 // Unreleased and, until today, thought to be Unfinished (I changed my mind on the latter and remedied the former))
Here’s one way to look at it…
Richard says: Darkness is about the Individual.
Darkie-Wannabe: Everything it about me. Me, me, me.
Khaos says: Respect the Individual, not just yourself.
Richard says: Bah, this is self-centeredness perpetuates the teribble lie that any of us matter.
Draconis says: There is a difference between being Self-Centered and Self-Absorbed. One is effective, the other is self-deceit and self-sabotage.
Khaos says: Respect The Individual, not just yourself.
I say: Yep.
I hardly need to entertain the notion of not mattering, it’s old ground to me; the primary value of Richard’s critique is probably to those that haven’t considered this, so as Khaos said earlier on in the discussion that followed, if you have something different, put it up. Individuals will decide what training they want or need. Diversity provides for people to find their own way, often through violently conflicting, polarized teachings.
Below are two fragments of thought on the idea of ‘breaking the same old ground’, something I think many of the people that stick around for a few years are confronted with from time to time. I’ve had to come to terms with it anyways, and one of the ways I do that, apparently, is through examination and pondering/dwelling on it until I kind of ‘understand it’ better. lol Think of it as a coping mechanism if you want to ‘organized’ them like this because, well, they’re unorganized, mostly frewwritten little streams of thought on the idea.
Sometimes I even get tired of my own vocabulary. A while back, there was a period of time I felt something like despair when I’d sit down to type or to write by hand because of constantly recurring words. Passion, strength, effort, power… words like these began to wear on me a little, reminding me every time they sprang from my fingertips that they had come from my head, my heart, my hands, countless times before. Every thing seemed exactly the same.
This is the curse of being , innately, naturally inclined to informally play the glass bead game and draw connections constantly, without end. This is the curse of seeing from a more objective perspective, seeing the long view and the bigger picture. This is the curse of remembering what’s been said before and seeing how the new things said are just variations.
Or… since the above is more about me than about the idea of bricking the same old ground, you could say this is the curse of experience, I suppose. A “been there, done that” mentality, expressed in dismissal of instances where people are exploring it as something new to them, because it’s not new to you. And if you have it, I know better than most that you’ve got to learn to deal with it.
Speaking for myself, I tend to lose a feel for any sense of purpose, satisfaction, meaning, or even desire (in certain contexts), and have found myself to be rather useless at times, when left to my own devices, cut off from the value of my own feelings and desires in relation to something simply because it feels so familiar, so stale.
People scoff at the old wolf and sheep anology now… and the way its refered to, as if it’s beneath them, is honestly something I sympathize with. Because really, for someone like me, it’s breaking the same old ground. I liked the change-up when Khaos used the idea of sharks and a shark tank. I adored Draeth’s pirhana lecture. But there are two things that I think of when it comes to things like this: the fishy metaphors are a different way of exploring the same thing, and for some people, the classics are fairly new to them.
The water-dwelling creatures, as with other spins on social dynamics, are fresher, newer, with a sense of originality to them – and I have to admit their appeal in that sense – and their novelty allows for more exploration, oppurtunities to see new dimensions and angles to ideas we might feel like we’ve explored inside awd out. And when I start to read something that uses the old school terms, it tends to temper my enthusiasm from the get-go simply for the lack of change in vocabulary.
But the thing to remember is that some of these have remained discarded for years, and resurrecting their use can bring the same sense of crisp, fresh perspective that a novel metaphor can. In addition to the fact that they still are new to a newcomer, lenses like that can also feel that way for the ones that’ve seen ’em used before. Half-familiar perhaps, but after being shunned and shut out for months or years, revisiting them is still a rediscovery.
(Written August 24th)
“Theatricality and deception. Powerful agents for the uninitiated. But we are initiated. Aren’t we, Bruce?”
~Bane, The Dark Knight Rises
This quote was brought to my attention when Khaos referenced it in a discussion at the FA ( have, unfortunately, not yet seen the newest Batman movie). I saw it being used, and thought to myself, “Exactly.”. The initiated can see through the theatrics. Fresh out of the box they tend to realize that there were these elements to everything, and that from where they were at before it was muddying the waters, so theatrics at that stage might be something the individual feels inclined to sneer at. Initiated or not.
Over time though, the more experienced practitioners can come to appreciate the power of mindfully using deception, manipulation, misdirection, extravagence, and so on. Always keep in mind, not everyone is “initiated”, and giving people the benefit of the doubt or depriving them of the opportunity to learn how to see through and, eventually, use theatrics on their own, will often be a waste of your time. Pay attention to what you’re doing, be aware of the kind of people you’re dealing with. Don’t assume everybody is to stupid to see through dramatic language, but don’t expect everyone is perceptive enough to know what you’re really on about.
I like quotes, and consequently have ended up ‘following’ quite a few twitter accounts centering around quotation tweets since registering an account on that site. A while ago, I started running into a lot of old popular ones that I’ve come across before. Some of them, I only ever read once or twice a few years ago and didn’t quite know what to make of them. There’s been a couple lately that’ve made me smile though; they’re so widely known and accepted… and they’re so outrageously misguided.
A couple months ago I had to nab one of them and tweet it with what I felt – and feel – are appropriate hashtags, just for kicks:
#Idiocy #Stupidity #Mediocrity “Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity. Reduce selfishness, have few desires.”-Lao Tzu
If you like that little tweet, Khaos did a show a few months ago entitled Conventional Wisdom = Mediocre Reality that might be of interest, it has what I consider to be a similar theme, as hinted at in the title. There was another quote I just stumbled onto in my twitter feed that I thought about adding to this post, but I didn’t feel like throwing it in. *shrugs* There’s plenty of them out there though. So many of which are the sentiments of idiots or their champions, protectors, and abusers/users. (Nothing wrong with that of course, but like I said, they sure get me grinning sometimes.)
Check out the show I mentioned. And/or follow me on twitter. lol Or not.