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)

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.

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.

We’re All Selfish

“Genuine selflessness usually lies in the more mundane of actions. Of course giving 10 bucks to a charity is indirectly self-serving, it makes me feel better contributing to the community. However, getting up at 6 AM with the kids so that my mother might get some much needed rest, is not. That’s because I love my mother and I want to make her life a bit easier when I can.”
~Anirac Morgan

And yet…

“That’s because I love my mother and I want to make her life a bit easier when I can.”
~Anirac Morgan

I’m failing to see how it’s not self-centric.

Nothing you can do will ever revolve around someone else.

There’s a difference between being self-absorbed and being self-centered. There’s also a difference between those two things (both categorized hapharzardly by you and Vandor as ‘selfish’) and ‘true selflessness’. The latter is mistakenly believed to be different because of an incomplete awareness. See the above quotes. Self-centric, despite that you’re not focusing on the source of your actions.

We’re all selfish. Recognizing that is just a matter of self awareness.


(Posted in Happiness & Service ♠ a discussion thread at the Force Academy.)

Mindful Corruption

If strict adherence to set instructions doesn’t sit right with you, then don’t adhere to them. Twist it to be used in whatever way you feel is best. The end result may not be what any instructors might have wanted you to get out of it, but the point is ultimately to get something out of it. I’ve always approached lectures, exercises, and means of training with the idea that they are meant to serve me. Whether it’s as their creators intended or not.

On the other side of that, I’ve long since learned the benefits of mastering something – skills, techniques, etc. – ‘properly’, but basterdizing these things into something I feel more in tune with or that I like better is always a possiblilty. It’s part of what has often made the teachings from one Sith to another so diverse. No one feels bound to honor the intent of the teachings from Sith that have more experience, or that were around long before they themselves were.

That is, of course, different from when you’re involved in a one-on-one training arrangement. If you aren’t looking to learn something via the manner a more experienced practitioner wishes to teach it (more or less), then there’s very little point to it. But in terms of independent and solitary study… I say be mindful of the possibilities. If you come across material that seems like it’s to much to handle as is, or that resonates in spirit but not quite in the details… play with it.

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)

Merry Christmas

Christmas… A time to celebrate and revel in the connections we have with one another. Perhaps to reflect on the influence I’ve had on those around me, and the affect they’ve had on me. It’s not that different from how I saw it when I was a kid, actually; I use different words, but in many ways it’s still the same.

It’s fascinating, really, in the sense that gift giving, family gatherings, and parties are all customs that we engage in which demonstrate the connections we have to others, and the ties they have to us.

Cut out all the religous and anti-religious crap, all the commercialism and the griping about said commercialism, and that is what you’re left with. Demonstrations of the webwork of power we all exist within. It’s not about spreading love, being jolly, or giving and recieving; it’s not even about family or friends. Not exactly. All of these things come into it, but underlying everything…

…Christmas is about power.
How much we have, and how much we allow others to have over us.
The ways we all exercise it with one another, and the intensity of those influences.
The place (within) that it springs from.
The tapestry our connections make between us.

So fellow practitioners, and casual roamers of the internet…
Merry Christmas. Have a good one.