lectures

My Old Lectures

Sometimes, I’d like to disown some of the lectures I’ve written. Like when someone references it in a discussion. Or when I happen to be revisting some of my own, and see one that’s gotten worse with age. Fortunately the ones this usually applies to, with how far back they were written and the age I was, that’s not to much of a real issue… It’s not that I ever really want to pretend it was someone else that wrote them, it’s that I’ve come far enough in my understanding and actual practice that I pretty much just look down my nose at those past writings. None of them are that bad either, to be honest; especially not for what they were at the time.

Some of them, I even have enough fondness for to rewrite. I did that with The Necessity of Power. It’s just that I’ve come so far since writing things like Power, Arrogance, & Corruption and The First Line: The Lie, I hardly know where to begin when I think about revisions. They seem so alien to me, and clumsy as hell. The message wasn’t conveyed clearly enough, the tone wasn’t as confident or definitive. When it comes to catologuing though… whether they fall under the category of what I’m talking about here or not, it would be nice to have some of the dates for when I wrote them. A select few… their age really ought to show as much as possible, because they’re just so far off from what I might say now.

That is, if they’re included, because in the end maybe they just don’t deserve to be archived or preserved. Case in point being with something like Power, Arrogance, & Corruption. You could probably find it somewhere anyways, with enough research. But as far as making an effort to keep it “logged”, so to speak, it just isn’t good enough to include. I kind of revisited the same things I wrote about recently in Arrogance & Modesty, and while that’s far from what I’d consider an adequate ‘replacement lecture’, it still gets across a more up to date understanding of arrogance than what I had back when I wrote my first contribution to the written lectures of the Sith.

The Honesty of Darkness

The death of a star – falling in upon itself – takes place in those of strength; those to weak are consumed. This is the beginning of insatiable hunger, ambitions, wants, passion; and it is the end of contentment, rest, peace. The individual becomes a black hole, and has lost all convention, all comfort, for having dispelled the light that had once constituted his being.

You look into it, and it returns your gaze. The darkness that defines it – that creates an abyss – will begin to speak. Understanding will emerge, and you will come to realize that this abyss is within yourself. Eventually, it will dawn on you: the abyss isn’t merely a part of you, it is who you truly are. Formerly distorted by the surrounding light, it will become clear to you, ready to be embraced.

∞ ◊ ∞

I am the Heart of Darkness.
I know no fear; but rather I instill it in my enemies.
I know the power of the Dark Side.
I am the fire of hate; the universe bows before me.
I pledge myself to the Darkness.
For I have found true life, in the Death of the Light.
~Author Unknown

I read this code a long, long time ago. Vallen – the darksider, not Spark – had used it in a lecture. Then, I had passed it over years ago, having decided it was poorly contructed and didn’t represent darkness or the way of the Sith accurately. Later, I had a change of heart and used it in a lecture of my own. Here, now, I seek to present the treasures to be found in the ways of our archetypes yet again.

I am the Heart of Darkness.

There is Darkness within everyone; it is the home of painful truths, of secret wants and desires. It is the hiding place of those things we willfully ignore, and it is more. Above all, it is the cradle of the heart. Sith taste, feel, and accept that this is where their heart really is, that this is even what the heart itself is; and that alone is an acknowledgment that takes strength.

But one does not become the Heart of Darkness suddenly or effortlessly, even after having found it. Pain, sweat, and struggle ensue, for it remains an elusive creature, always prancing here and there. When the individual begins to look outward, he becomes acquainted with the nature of this playful, mischievous, slippery fish of a heart. Only with an inward gaze can an adept begin to fathom it, feel it, and let it guide his hand.

I know no fear; but rather I instill it in my enemies.

It is, at first glance, a poor choice of words to say that a Sith knows no fear. Nevertheless, a message of value can still be discerned, especially by those well versed in our ways. To paraphrase an old friend, “to be feared by a Sith is no benefit, for the object of his fear becomes a target”. While it is not always the case that it becomes targeted as a result, to be feared by a Sith is no advantage. Speaking for myself, I know fear well. But the difference evident to me, a line seperating a common man from a true Sith, is that we do not become crippled; it is passed through, and we draw strength from the experience.

I imagine this could scare other people when enountered in someone like myself, and it is also a given that instilling fear in others can have a desirable effect on the outcome of certain situations; but unless the outcome being aimed for is close to the individuals heart, unless the purpose of this kind of manipulation is sincere, it’s a hollow tactic.

I know the power of the Dark Side.

Darkness, the Dark Side, is something different to each and every practitioner; it is about the individual. For myself, it is the individual. The Dark demands strength, through which there is the potential to gain greater power.

Power, when bolstered by strength, can become self-perpetuating. To know power, revelation and understanding has a greater oppurtunity to flourish. And though power is not the “be all, end all” of our way, possessing it and expanding it is a defining characteristic of the Dark practitioner. The strong and mindful will always find ways grow their influence, both in range and intensity.

I am the fire of hate; the universe bows before me.

Another picture is painted in proclaiming one’s self to be “the fire of hate”, not unlike the earlier line on fear. For the discerning eye, this to is an attempt to put on diplay an adepts willingness to attune himself to his feelings; to not only stand at the edge of the chasm, but to leap into the dark abyss beyond. To jump into the black hole… into yourself. To embrace your true nature.

As to the ‘universe’, that too is simply the individual bowing before himself. Not in submission, but in enthusiastic service to his own life. For the dead star recognizes that it is an entire universe in and of itself.

I pledge myself to the Darkness.

I must reiterate that the nature of darkness is left for the individual to experience and describe. No one can do that for you, and few will respect the sacrifices and strife demanded of those that come to know the Dark intimately, viscerally. To stand by what you’ve discovered within and what you’ve grown to become, to commit one’s self so absolutely is something many will not or cannot do.

But there are those that have, and those that will. Most of these few will eventually comprehend that conviction is indicative of strength. Taking the risks of their conviction in stride, they pledge themselves unflichingly to darkness.

For I have found true life, in the Death of the Light.

The definition of Light: a force of distortion, a Lie. The light of an individual is who he thinks he is, who and how he thinks others percieve him, the very opinions of other people on who he is, it is the ideals that would sublimate his heart, his nature. It comes from looking outward for definition and direction. The death of the Lie – the Light – gives birth to true life.

“A monster is a person who has stopped pretending…”
~Colson Whitehead

∞ ◊ ∞

The death of a stars light can be the birth of a monstrous soul, a dark abyss. You need only dispell the light, to be shamelessly honest with yourself, to be reborn as an infantile monster, and to grow into something you’re proud to be.

(5-7-10)

Apprenticeship

Master & Apprentice

Some might say that a master passes on all he knows to his apprentice, and that the apprentice shares everything with his master. But to put it like that implies homogenization, carbon copies. That’s not how it works in actual practice. No, we all have our secrets, our personal truths and experiences, and there’s very little of it that can be shared so directly. To be sure, there are hidden secrets to be found, but they cannot be given, not by any mentor or friend. They must be gained by you, for you. The best a mentor can do is offer hints, track and evaluate the apprentices progression, give encouragement, furnish tools you can use, and point to things that might need torn down.

However… when it comes right down to it, one on one training arrangements are a luxury.

What can be gained through an apprenticeship can just as well be attained by any individual, alone, if he’s driven enough. The student that commits to one will probably be well off for the experience, but no one should get hung up hoping for a surplus of guides that isn’t there. For in truth we are few and far between, and the responsibility of guiding someone down their own rabbit hole takes time and effort, both of which are limited resources. Few would be making the smart choice in passing up the opportunity if it’s there to seize, but, more importantly than that… you’re not Sith material if you’re the type to let limited resources hold you back.

My advice:
When there’s someone that can be useful to your own growth, that’s able and willing, use them well.
If there isn’t, don’t use it as an excuse to let yourself down, to rot in place when you could be moving forward.
In the end it shouldn’t matter; the best of us, formally apprenticed or not, are self-driven.

Vulgar Displays of Power

The Nature of Power

The only time I ever seem to hear people talk of power is when they’re talking about politics. Or when someone commits genocide. Or else something of the like. I find this hilarious, personally, and I’ll tell you why. The only time they talk about this is when it is a vulgar display of power. It’s almost a profane word in the way most people use it. Me? I happen to like power, in fact I am exercising my power in writing, at this very moment. And these words have an affect; whether you think I’m full of myself and reject every proposition of mine, or you completely agree with what I say. Furthermore, how you react to that power is within your power. It’s your choice on what you take and what you filter out, it’s even your choice to continue reading or, alternatively, to ignore these words.

In the simplest terms, power is influence. It’s hardly exclusive to the politicians and the business executives. It’s comical to me that anyone would believe themselves not to have it. You don’t think your choices have affected what talents you have, what college you’re attending, or what hobbies you pursue? And what about your relationships, do you really believe you have no impact on the thinking and emotional state of people you interact with on a daily basis? You don’t think you have an effect on what your best friend thinks of you? No, you have power. The question isn’t “do I have it?”, but rather, “will I admit that I have power?”

There are what I might call different intensities though, if someone were interested in a sort of classification system. The kind most commonly cited today is, as I said, vulgar. It’s heavy, in your face, and is rarely seen in a ‘positive’ way.

The Role of Choice

Choice is the agent through which power is exercised; and we all have the power of choice, inevery aspect of our lives. Does a drug ‘addict’ have a choice in doing heroine? I would say yes, it was a choice to start, and the physical dependency is a symptom (or consequence, if you will) of that choice. Does a homeless guy have a choice between starving and stealing food? I say yes, because even if in some uncommonly principled man, the principles driving his decision would have been his choice. I could give you examples all day, or you could offer your own and I doubt it’d take long to see where it came down to individual choice.

This is what power’s all about: choice. Fate is a crock, destiny’s bullshit; if this life is a rollercoaster, I’m not just the one riding, I’m also the grunt that makes the tracks.

Ripple Effect

Consequences. When it comes right down to it, there will always be ripples, affects of the choices you make. If you just saved someone’s life, that wasn’t God, it wasn’t a miracle, it was your choice. If you just flunked an exam in your favorite college class, that’s a ripple of your choices.

Seeing power in a different light, almost to the point of trivializing it, is just a matter of accountability, to yourself above all others.

Responsibility

Yeah, that’s right, responsibility. To yourself and, by extension, to the people you care about. I’ve heard people talk about wanting to do whatever they want whenever they want all the way through high school, I’ve heard myself gripe about that to over the years. The only response I have to that these days is pretty straightforward… Everybody has the power to do as they please; the trick is to legitimately figure out what you want as an individual, what your dreams and aspirations are, to put value into saying “I want”.

And once you’ve done that, there’s no excuse. With that kind of awareness, you have responsibility to yourself to make choices and exercise your personal power, moving yourself closer to those dreams you’ve had. If you don’t, that’s your choice to… and it’s a weak one.

Concerning others, they are accountable to themselves to. As self-absorbed as I can be, I am not the only Individual in the world.

“Respect the Individual, not just yourself.”
~Khaos

Returning once more to this lecture as an example, I don’t feel I’m responsible for how you take my words. Do with ’em what you like, I couldn’t force them down your throat even if I wanted to. Power over others is just as much of an illusion as others having power over you, at least in the sense that most people seem to see it.

Vulgarity and Subtlety

Some of the examples, as broad as they’ve been, hopefully point out that those blatant displays of influence aren’t the whole picture. Power, like passion, is a defining point of all life, from one-cell organisms to humans.

Violence is blatant, and there’s power in it; legislative influence affects a lot of people, so it’s easy to see. But take a closer look, and you can see it’s a hell of a lot more than that.

It’s only a matter of awareness. Right under your nose is all the power over your life, maybe more than you would believe. It’s not something you can attain, just something to recognize. The air you breath, it’s there to, even if you don’t acknowledge it. You use it even if your ignorant of its presence.

Darth Kryptos (Sith Quote)

“There is no peace. Open a history book. Human nature hates peace.”
~Darth Kryptos

A New Project

I started thinking about an experimental project last week, and tried out a few different free forum hosts to see which I’d like to use and how I’d like to set things up. And now, there’s a new web site up called The Sith Resource (click here to check it out). It’s reminiscent of other projects, like the The Dark Holocron and the Sith Holocronoriginal, wiki-styled Resource site, but I think it’s got a lot more potential than either of those ever had. It’s kind of like a ‘Dark Holocron 2.0’ in a lot of ways. The content that’s being added is organized in a much simpler way though, and the fact that’s it’s on a forum instead of a blog or web page (like Adam Yaw’s Great Jedi Holocron, which was actually my initial inspiration for The Dark Holocron) means it can go as far – if not farther – as the Order of the Sith. And speaking of the Order, how it served as a partial inspiration is worth explaining.

If you spend any time at all at the Order – or, for that matter, the Force Academy – going upwards in the hierarchy has a lot to do with your role as a member of the place, the level of responsibility, and there are certain expectations that have developed for Knights, Lords, and other ‘leader-esque’ titles. It’s probably been a bit like that at the FA for most of that sites existence, but with OotS it seems more a part of the transformation it’s undergone over the last three or four years.

Anyways, the point is that the focus at the Sith Resource won’t relate much, if at all, to your role at the site. People of certain rank will be able to work one-on-one with less experienced people (e.g. newcomers), but it doesn’t mean there are any expectations that you do so. Leaders in these communities, including myself for a while, have gotten into a bad habit of expecting, pleading for, writing up a ‘call to arms’, or trying in some other way to illicit member contribution – and it can be done, because I’ve been one of the most accomplished in this, especially at the FA, in one of the most subversive, costly, and effective of ways – but we didn’t used to expect anything out of people, we didn’t used to act so entitled to membership interest and participation.

I think it came from the disappointment, the sense that there’s no point to it, the feeling of being sucked dry by everyone else when you’re the only one putting anything into a community… but the fact is, we aren’t entitled. And it’s a waste of time to expend more energy, more time, and more attention by worrying about whether other people are also doing something. If you want to expand your influence very far, it’s going to have to encompass some sheep to, so come to terms with it. If you’re one of the strong, dealing with, placating, and influencing the weak just comes with the territory. You don’t get to deal exclusively with the strongest no matter what you do, or how strong or successful you are. The best way to deal with it? Suck it up and deal with it.

That’s a pretty all-pervading theme of what I’ve done with the Resource so far; the way I look at it, I’m not aiming to judge anyone until I get to know them, and even afterwards it’s not going to be a judgement based on what they have or haven’t done for the site. Instead, it’s going to be based more on their own level of competence, their own state of being, their own passion as a practitioner of the Sith Ways, which doesn’t necessarily translate into high activity or contributions at a site, even at a site centering around their way of life. With an Order, I guess it only makes sense that it become more like an Order in that sense, but this isn’t an order, it’s a resource. Like I said in my personal intro, “the aim here is the study, showcasing, and development of Sith teachings and practices.” If you think about that, it doesn’t even necessitate individuals training and tacking their progression in a very personal or close way – if it happens it happens, I mean it’s bound to, but the focus is on the Ways of the Sith.

The rest of that post seems like a good closer for this post too, so to quote a bit more of it, “If you’re a Sith – or Sith Realism is just something you find to be interesting – then this site is here to serve you, and so am I. If you think you like the general idea of it and it seems like it might be worth exploring the content (or exploring yourself) then you’re not only welcome, you’re invited.” I’ll be there, doing my thing. And if you have any problems with the page loading, let me know. I still need to register on their support forum in case I need technical support from the web host at any point, but if there are any immediate problems I’ll make it a higher priority and try to get it fixed soonest.

Works In Progress

I’ve recieved a copy of most of my lectures from Kiss, so yipee for that. I really wish I’d put the latest versions of them in the wiki or something before doing my disappearing act though. They all still needed worked over a bit more, but the versions posted in the lecture hall under the Dark Council account wlre the very latest and I’m still holding out hope that I’ll be able to work on them from with the latest version as my starting point, at least for a couple of them. Barring that though, the drafts that were sent to me are the next best thing, so that’s a plus.

The Institution was pretty generic, and did little beyond state what should be obvious, but for lack of any material at all and given the atmosphere of the time, I think the message of it was necessary. It’s just not all that relevant now that the people that were bitching at me are actually doing something themselves (which is not to say I hold hard feelings; quite the contrary actually, I’m glad Richard, Khaos, and a few others are actively engaged in putting something into the DA again). And the Joining & Training snippet was never meant to be anything but a temporary placeholder, which, given the recent surge of production from others, is a quality that’s already rendered it obsolete and useless.

I think the rest of the leltures might be fun to play with and, in any case, will be nice to have for reference and historical value (Dark Teachings: Inherently Flawed preceded certain pieces that were posted – and ones that were never posted, even in the dark council draft section – with good reason. The Dark Side is a Poison, for instance, is not only rough around the edges, but intentionally flawed. It’s a nice piece, in large part, for that it might’ve been used to revise, rework, and branch off of into a gorgeous concoction of a few different contradictory ideas and concepts. I still rather like it, even as it is.

Dark Teachings: Inherently Flawed

Let us entertain the possibility that there are flaws in the teachings of any given darksider. Do these lead to the failures of students over the years? Of course. But it raises the question of whether the origin of these failures is in the lectures and practices espoused by one adept or another… or if the it is in the student that fails to advance. For some, in having watched so many crumble over the years, it does leave room to wonder. Not for the person reading this though: The teachings presented and offered at any given time by any given practitioner are always flawed, without fail.

The straigthforward teachings are only ever the best a practitioner can offer at the time they’re given. But being the best an individual can furnish, at one point in time, does not make them perfect. Some of the more brilliant, deceptive teachings are deserving of praise because of the flaws intentionally worked into them.

They are flawed, and many have crumbled, or remained content with mediocrity. But that does not eclipse the reality of others having succeeded with the same materials, the same lectures, the same way of life. The weak and malcontent, the failures and the mediocre, will always outnumber the strong and victorious. The ratio of succesful adepts to failed students is simply a reflection of that. However it is spun – that they were different, that their path led elsewhere, the dark wasn’t for them – the bottom line is that some people are cut out for darkness, and for success. Others, are not.

There are always going to be flaws, no matter what is taught. They are there to be worked through, lived with, for those that are able and willing. They serve a variety of purposes, one of which will be explained…

“We are all born weak; strength is something we learn. I believe all weakness can be made strength.”
~Luciana, Dark Knight

A competent Master will not drive away all but the best, at least not without providing the weak with initial opportunities to become strong. In this, the flaws serve students, forcing them to take what they have and work through its contradictions, shortcomings, and deceptions through their own application and experiences. This process in and of itself begins the process of culling the weak from would-be adepts. They aspirant will attempt to put it to use, fail, be confronted with the price of practice, and they will either turn away, deciding that the way of the dark is flawed… or they will stay with it, growing and evolving. Budding, unfurling. Becoming.

In relation to this, the failure of Dark Masters in the past has been their short-sightedness. With the idea of culling the weak and weeding out the unworthy, they approached newcomers early on, with no thought to timing, or to how the weak can be put to use for the advantage and growth of students that will stick around, that can hack it. Those that are too weak to endure or advance will be found out in time.

Dark Masters and Knights perceptive and experienced enough to work smart, rather than just working hard or with wasted intensity, won’t flush their time or efforts down the toilet. Instead, the weak are allowed to be weak, providing a backdrop for the strong to stand out from as well as a resource for them to exploit, and the mindful, seasoned Darksider will guide his own attentions to enabling the strong to become stronger.

The lectures, however flawed, will always have a certain essence, a sense of darkness pervades, and they act as gateways. Even the most flawed will appeal to someone, they will act as starting points, gateways, pulling them in with allegedly effective methods to get what they’re looking for, and forcing them to either grow or fall by the wayside as they go deeper down the rabbit hole. Because you will never know how practical, effective, or valuable any of it is, in any given lecture, technique, or exercise, unless it is worked with, refined or discarded, on the basis of trial and error.

Ask yourself how flawed this lecture is.

A Dark Blurb

If you keep an eye on the Facebook page for the Dark Aspect, you might’ve noticed a splurge of posts a few days ago. You might also want to watch the Dark Lecture Hall, a number of lectures have been added to the Soliloquies, Monologues, & Asides section of the lecture hall. Speaking of which, a criticism was recently leveled at that section, questioning the value of its contents. If you have access to the Dark Training forums, have a look for yourself here, and feel free to chime in. If you don’t have access, disregard.

∞◊∞

I’ve been experimenting with a new avenue of news & updates for the Dark Aspect, something that may scatter a few more gateways leading to the DA across a little bit more of the internet. The Dark Aspect on WordPress. The background and header were both uploaded by yours truly, providing what I hope is a more elegant – if slightly cliched – appearance. Regardless of its aesthetic appeal though, whether it’s seen as appealing and presentable or not, the visuals are symbolic.

So far, it’s featured excerpts from a few of the lectures in the section of the lecture hall mentioned above (Soliloquies, Monologues, & Asides), and announcements of Knighthood Recognitions (so far including Mwchael and Axael) have been posted. Along with that, there’s information pertaining to the purpose and potential of the Force Academy (specifically, the Dark Aspect and the people associated with it), what is expected of those who join, vague info on the nature of some of the training we can offer, and an overview of the Dark Wiki.

I’ve posted a link to various parts of it for limited amounts of time on the DA Facebook page every once and a while since posting, but I don’t think there needs to be any more sneak peaks. To kick off the New Year, I’ll start putting it to a little more actual use for others to see. Where and when links are shared to new posts on it, they will (usually) no longer be deleted shortly thereafter.

∞◊∞

I’ve had the information section of the dark training on my mind lately, so for those it may interest: it might be something I turn my attention to in the near future. No promises though. The recommended way in which training holocrons might be used, possibly an overview of Yami Doko, and the way in which the discussion, debate, and contemplation forum is likely to be used by members of the Dark Council (as well as how it, and us, might be exploited effectively by students).

Spread Of The Dark

What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?
~Daily Prompt, Nov. 12th, 2012 (from The Daily Post)

I really don’t know, at the moment. Originally, the intent was part of a littering campaign. That is, part of my spreading bits and pieces of dark teachings, opinions, perspectives, and breadcrumbs on the internet that lead back to gateways. The more this blog comes up in search engines, the more that Dark Aspect widget for the Facebook page might be seen. The more I write, the farther my darkness might spread. Nothing to ambitious, I admit, but still a worthwhile aim. Liesurely, largely excluding commitment or obligations.

I suppose it’s more or less the same now as it was than, more that a year ago now… my, how time flies by. I started this blog in September last year, I think right before my birthday. It’s purpose in the moment changes a lot, and has been many things thus far. I’ve used Maleficus Amor to showcase older writings, some of them terribly outdated. I’ve shared snippets of works in progress as well as pieces of writings and lectures that I’ve virtually abandoned. I’ve posted lectures that, while often reworked down the road, made their first appearance here.

I think if I had to sum up the change I want to make in the world with this blog though, I’d have to refer you to the custom title of the view counter on the main page, which I posted about recently after it exceeded ten thousand. It reads, “Spread of the Dark”.

That’s all I’m really doing here, however small. Each new view is a potential spread of darkness, big or small. See, I don’t always care much for the glory of a shooting star, dazzling and short-lived. I’m more a creature of what you might call the ‘unifying force’, and while I’m better for my immersion in the more immediate aspects of my Way of Life, my natural inclination is far more subtle. Point being, the simple truth of it is this website isn’t/wasn’t meant to be a treasure trove of gems, though it’s littered with references to just that sort of thing.

Maleficus Amor is full of unpolished posts, musings, and freewrites, as well as old writings, the start of newer ones, fragments of unreleased pieces, abandoned ones, and so on. Much of which you could consider fertilizer, if you like. The blog itself, a personal amphitheater. Or, as I described it way back when I started posting here, a playground for thoughts, ideas, musings, ramblings, info, and of course, playfullness. That’s not to say I don’t have much in the way of ambition, just that this isn’t necessarily the place to be looking for it from me.

Ω