Order of the Sith

Heart of the Order

Looked at honestly, is (Order of the Sith) anything but a means of connecting with, using, and being used by other Sith practitioners? It can be used toward specific ends, for a greater purpose, but it also seems, over time, to have become a thing in and of itself. When you look at it like that though, you detract from what it actually is. What it can be. This order, in the scheme of things, is not very important in itself. What’s important is that it’s here for Sith, solitary practitioners, to use as they so choose. For a while we somehow seemed to fall under the illusion that training is practically the whole point of sites like this… and you know what, for a place that calls itself an academy, that might be a fair assertion. But this is not one of them.

It’s an order, and to put into words the way I’ve looked at it since its inception, it does not decide or even define what a legitimate Sith is. Here, individuals are welcome to share their ideas, practices, experimentations, and whatever else they so desire; inevitably, it shapes the Order, but that is only a side effect. Standards, responsibilities, and many other things begin to take shape and define the place, and they’re challenged, altered, championed… but all of it pales in comparison to the importance of the individual practitioner. Be what you are, and let the chips fall where they will.

It’s as simple as that, and their placement really doesn’t need to be engineered, because to do that is limited, contrived, and indicative of a persons limits. The trials here, for instance, consist of various questions that relate to your own development. They will require you to draw upon your work here at the Order, but their purpose is to get a sense of your comprehension and practice of the Sith Ways, how they apply to life in general, and how they apply to your life in particular. It’s not worth the time or effort when that time and effort can be better spent on things that truly matter. The work you do here needs to reflect the life you live, the person you are. Not whether you’re clever or eloquent. If it doesn’t, you won’t pass.

Membership here doesn’t make you Sith anymore than not being here makes you “non-Sith”. The recognition, the site itself, the connections we make with one another and the systems and methods we build around them… they’re all ripples, manifestations, of real people being here, people who live as Sith. Reptitious talked about a day at his job a while back… that is what makes him Sith. Not his membership here, or the training he’s been exposed to through this place (or others), or the recognition he might get. His practice, his life, may have been affected by all of that, but any recognition someone receives here is, ideally, because of where they’re at and what they’ve become in their actual lives. Without that the recognition means nothing.

The idea of it has always been to gauge as accurately as possible what rank best fits someone in their own lives; it’s one of the main reasons I’m always wary of over-emphasizing contribution here, or dedication, or even responsibility. All of that is necessary for this place to keep going, but none of them spring from roleplaying or intellectualizing. Stolas is another example; look through the forum and you’ll see evidence that his passion manifested in his time here. On Halloween last year he won a costume competition; more recently, he’s shared some of his music. Years before that he wrote an anthem for the Sith, applying his individual talents and passion for music to something here. What he added came from his life.

The same is true of all of us. I’m Sith because I live as one, I go to work and act as one, I get home and think like one, I call a few friends and party as one. Nothing I do is separate from my way of life. I, and others like me, are what give shape to the standards, ranks, advancement of the Sith Way, not the other way around. The heart of an Order like this one rests not in its teachings or systems of recognition, but in the people who those grew out of. The heart of it all, lies within the individual. Over the last few years, we’ve discovered ways in which the growth in the individual can be triggered through work done here, but ultimately, it’s what the individual brings and chooses to take, not what he’s told or given, that makes him a Sith.

(8-24-14)

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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.

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)

Blog Updates

A few new pages here have been up for awhile. They’re still kind of works in progress, but the indexing has come together rather nicely. I organized it by year, so the list isn’t ridiculously long per each section. Each sub-page is titled for the year of its listed posts (e.g. 2011, 2012, etc.), with it’s parent page being Lest We Forget.

The lectures I’ve written (and favor enough to have posted here and, in some cases, touched up), are listed, as is some of the poetry… however, the whole Vanitas section is still a work in progress. (By the way: “vanitas” is latin; feel free to look it up if it’s of any interest).

I’ve also been posting aphorisms. Started doing that on twitter, actually, but with the “aside” feature for posts I had been mostly using for quotes, I decided to post them here to, in a similar way. Who knew twitter would actually have any uses beyond the obvious ones.

I’d have included some of the quotes from others, but, well, it didn’t quite click with the way I wanted to use them for this site, so I’ve been using some of my own cute, concise one liners. That might change, but we’ll just have to see.

The Critics’ Trap

I’ve had my fair share of being burnt out on the force realist communities, but in all honesty, the source of all that dissatisfaction is almost always myself. There are and probably always will be plenty to criticize, but what matters is where you place your focus. If you look at the vast majority of students, for instance, you might see a disheartening lack of passion, dedication, or commitment. Or if you come to rely on direct opposition and challenges as the only form of interaction (i.e. conflict) that you find viable, it might be hard to see or use other forms.

I could go on, because in addition to the list of critiques someone else has recently been putting together, you can be sure I have a list of my own. But if I were to focus on the shortcomings or failings to much, or get caught up in them… well, it’s comparable to the differences I’ve pointed out between being ‘self absorbed’ and ‘self centered’ or ‘thinking’ and ‘overthinking’. You can compare it – to a certain degree – to the “traps” along our path, as Miles has described in the past, the traps of passion, strength, power, and even victory.

To do that is basically the same as looking at a quality and deciding it is entirely, irrevocably a weakness. But that’s bullshit; patience can be one or the other; stubborness can be one or the other. Name a trait, a quality, and whether it’s a strength or a weakness is mainly a matter of awareness, and choice. Being aware of them, even having to deal with them, is one thing; being tripped up by them is another. Getting hung up on any of these things is a choice though, whether consciously made or not, and I’m the one responsible for making it. Even the difference between a quality being a strength or a weakness is comparable.

None of these things, in and of themselves, are irreconcilable problems, they’re just challenges to deal with. Even opportunities to learn, adapt, and grow. Pretty much any and all problems one can point to in the communities are the same in that regard. They are the bitter that someone who’s been around the block a few times has to take with the sweet. And there’s really no denying that there’s a sweet side to all of it, because there have been a number of passionate, dedicated, and outright inspiring people exemplify (and share) the ways of the Sith.

All I can say, to anyone that believes the former eclipses the latter, is that you determine where your focus is at. Positives or negatives, useful or useless, immersion or escape, strength or weakness. Make your choice, and be honest with yourself about it. It’s no different from the practices some find worthwhile while others deem them to be escapist practices, nor any different from the exercising power, influence, while others obsess over how to control things, and fail.

The critics trap is defined by tunnel vision, by focus on the negatives, the shortcomings and failings of a thing, or of people, to the point that they overshadow and eclipse all of the victories, accomplishments, and overall value that a community can have. It can be climbed out of though, simply by focusing on the things that matter to you, the things you resonate with and feel are important, the things you care about.

Related Posts (by Me)

Ran Its Course
Escapist Practices
Due Consideration
Where’s Your Focus?
Degrees of Control

Related Posts (by Khaos)

Filters
Be Consumed By Your Passion
Passion & Reason
The Relationship Between Master & Apprentice

Status of the Order (Pt. 2)

A day after the first post of this title (Status of the Order) was put up here, an announcement was made at the Order of the Sith stating that the transition to the new forum was beginning on August 7th, and ending on the 13th. That transition is over and all the loose ends on the old forum are being tied up. Also stated then – and more recently in the announcement of ‘Official’ Welcome at the new site – was the status of the old site, the purpose it will serve. Out of convenience, I’ll simply quote what relates to that from the announcement at our new site…

“[The old forum] will remain accessible for those that would like to delve into its contents. It will be, in essence, an abandoned temple – filled with things of potential value and preserved for anyone that might take an interest in mining it for inspiration, or information. But aside from that, the old site is now officially closed in every other way, and we, here, are officially open for business.”

The foundation assignments have been revised and posted in the Sith Resource, which will more than likely be maintained on-site from now on. Stolas broke in the section for our lectures recently, and the library – housing lectures from a plethora of different sources and practitioners – is being steadily added to as we go. There’s already a table of contents organized by author, and there might also be one based on the sources, but that hasn’t been decided yet. So that, in short, is the current status update for the Order of the Sith. Anyone that’s interested in exploring what’s there can find the site here: http://orderofthesith.freeforums.org/index.php.

A Reflection

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?
Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall Aug. 14th

The title is Latin for Evil Love. It might be taken as a nod to the dissonant forces within myself, to the nature of polarities and how they coexist and compliment each other (e.g. passion and reason). Assuming, of course, that there’s an awareness of them and that the individual can be decisive. That there’s conflicting forces within (and without) that can be coupled together to great effect, directed, doesn’t mean choice gets taken out of the equation. If you’ve got mixed feelings on whether you want to buy a composition book or a leather-bound journal, if you don’t pick one you’re probably not going to get either… or you’re going to settle for something you’re not sure you want. Being indecisive isn’t ideal.

The theme was chosen because it appealed to my aesthetic tastes, it’s clean, simple…. I might even say elegant. Plus, the black and white is another allusion to polarities. The home page was a big selling point. It displays the latest post, so whatever was last posted (especially in a splurge of three or four posts at once) was posted last on purpose. So it’s be the one on display. Most of the time. And the widgets are set out in what I feel to be a simple manner, in line with the reason I picked it. The number of posts displayed on the home page is usually determined by how everything else looks with the size of the posts listed, and (more so) by what I know of numerology and the meanings associated with certain numbers – when I was the Head of the Dark Aspect at the Force Academy, there were seven of the most recent posts on display there; now, it’s set to nine.

On the home page are also included widgets for my twitter account, the Facebook page for the Order of the Sith, and links to my home sites. The last of which is due to be changed again, I think. There is still a link to The Sith Resource, and that might be removed since everything I was interested in exploring with that has been redirected to the Order. And though I still check in to see if there’s anything of interest, the Force Academy is hardly at the forefront of my mind. I’m really quite over the place, to put it in clearer terms. So it might stay there, but it might not. The twitter feed isn’t going anywhere though; I fucking love that platform. The last tweet I make on any given day, or the last of a bunch of them, is usually tweeted with the fact that it’ll show up on the home page in mind, as with the latest post.

Throughout all of this, my way of life (as a Sith) is impossible to avoid running into, in one way or another. I suppose one thing that’s obvious is my fondness for simplicity, and in presenting things with that in mind, and that I enjoy things having a meaning, even if it’s often hidden. I mean really, who the hell out of the people that read this would have guessed my choice in the number of recent posts displayed is almost always tied into the interest I take in numerology. Beyond that… what all of this says about me, I leave for the reader to decide. I could do what’s suggested in the prompt, tell you what I see in this ‘reflection’, but where’s the fun in that.

Status of the Order

As far as I can tell, the whole http://www.hostingphpbb.com site is down, which is the web host for the Order of the Sith. I don’t know when or if it’s going to be back up. Hopefully soon, but there’s not really any way to know, that I’m aware of. It could be back up sometime today, or it could be gone forever. It sucks, because there’s a substantial amount of material I want to transfer from there, but if you’re scratching your head about the status of the site, that’s what’s going on. In the meantime (especially if you’re currently a member) you can register here: Order of the Sith. Because of the shortcomings of our outdated web hosting, we were planning on moving soon anyways; what I’ve linked to is the new forum that was set up in preparation for the move.

This isn’t the way I wanted to do things, but circumstances have kind of dictated that things move ahead of schedule, and that instead of announcing it at the current forum first – as was the original plan – I’m announcing it here. Altogether though, it’s not to much of a problem, nothing that can’t be dealt with. Just sign up at the new forum (this one: http://orderofthesith.freeforums.org/index.php) and I (/we) will try to keep anyone that has an interest in this up to date on what the status of this little bump in the road is. For those of you that don’t know what I’m on about, the Order of the Sith is a site centered around Sith Realism (aka Sithism). It isn’t a fan site; a little research will go a long ways if you want to get a more in depth understanding of it.

Edit: The old forum (http://www.hostingphpbb.com/forum/index.php?mforum=sithdomain) is back up now, but the way I look at it what happened with it today just goes to show it’s time to have a more up to date, stable hosting set up. Stay tuned, I’ll probably post something as soon as an announcement of the move (and a link to here) is posted at the old forum. If you’re reading this though, you’ve already got the link above, so feel free to register at the newer forum.

Rising From The Ashes

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.

Motivations & Timing

The Sith Resource… why now? While I feel I still have plenty more to offer the Order, it’s a different style and has become the product of someone elses vision since I handed over the reigns, and while I’m not opposed to collaborating, offering support in a sense, and helping things along here, it doesn’t entirely satisfy what I would want to see in a site centered around Sith Realism. The resource is an opportunity for past teachings to be showcased and possibly dissected, torn down, or built upon, and its a return to the roots of the Sith. Miles has a peculiar relationship with the word ‘Sith’…

“This place frustrates the hell out of me sometimes.

Part of it is the association with Sith probably. The use of the term is difficult to preserve, in the way I use it to label my path. The symbol has such beautiful possibilities to me but it also has a major drawback. The origin is a symbol created in popular culture, and what has emerged as my path is nothing like that popular cultural identity. It may use that identity as a launching point, but it looks behind it for value.”
~Miles, Sith Lord

Which has, in fact, been a point of contention between us from time to time. Not that I hold it against him, but we’re not exactly the same ‘brand’ of Sith. Enough to co-exist, to help each other out, to connect and conflict with each other well, but there’s a subtle distinction between us, and what we resonate with. So when I say a “return to the roots of the Sith”, I doubt it is something he or others that resonate with his approach and outlook will always feel drawn to. But I have always possessed a certain passion for the mythos, for the older teachings (perhaps because of their flaws, rather than in spite of them, and for their burning passion, their brazen attempts to blaze a path forward and define what a Sith is). I might even go as far as to call it a sense of reverence.

The drawbacks of shallow thinking have always been outweighed by the benefits of dedicated, sincere, genuine practitioners of the Sith, and the count of how many will always remain one, for oneself, so – projection or valid observation – I rarely find it to be frustrating. Not to mention, shallow thinking (and it being shared) has always served as a potential gateway into something more. Not always… to be sure, some people are lost causes not worth knowing, but they’re truly few and far between, and almost inevitably weed themselves out or defy expectation to grow into someone that commands attention.

So the resource, as it exists now, is a showcasing of various highlights from different eras, many of them arguably a representation of the Sith Ways being articulated in a very early, infantile level of development, some being brilliant, ahead of their time, what you might call… “classics”.

As it may come to be, maybe others find resonance with the mythos, with older teachings and how they can be used as starting points, points of contrast or gestation for further evolution of different facets of the Sith Way, with a shameless willingness to draw on the fiction outright when it’s so desired, and in a place where recognition, hierarchy, and things of the like take a back seat, where the site itself isn’t so pretentious, doesn’t take itself so seriously (and this is less a stab at OotS than at other sites) that it requires regular activity on a weekly or monthly basis to retain the ‘privilege’ of an account, or attaches arbitrary standards to things like the ‘Darth’ title in an ass backwards attempt to give it weight and meaning.