way of life

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.

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Contamination

Written June 27th, 2011…

Masks are a relic of the past when it comes to conveying what my path is all about. So is aloofness, escapism, playing the victim, forsaking compassion, and so on. As is the shrewd selection of ‘proper’ friends. I do not “pick my company wisely”. I interact with people in the world around me, and I contaminate them; not the other way around.

I know, I know; we are not islands unto ourselves. Blah, blah, blah. I know. But the influence other people have on me is up to… guess who… That’s Right! Me. And the avoidance is not my only option in dealing with influences I don’t care for.

I am the way I am.

I know the kind of qualities I admire, and the ones I despise. And I’ll say so. Some people don’t like honesty, and they avoid me. People more akin to what I like, and that like me, tend to gravitate towards me. I don’t move out of the way of people I don’t like, nor of those that don’t like me. They want me out of their world, they’ll have to run, ’cause I won’t.

I am open to the virus of undesirables, the contagion they carry, but I try to be aware of how that can affect me, how I want it to affect me, and I decide. I do not believe in avoiding them, or their weakness and decadence. I am the one who decides how people affect me. When it comes to Me, their power is within Mine.

(Inspired by Luciana)

Note: this was a journal entry from one of my more memorable journals online, the one I kept at the previous version of the Order of the Sith (before we moved to new web hosting). Don’t have much to say here at the moment but I happened to log in today and remembered this was in my drafts folder.

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.

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.

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.

I’ll Eat Your Heart

Cartoony Heart

We all want something.
Or lots of somethings.
You do, and so do I.

We’ve all got hearts.
You can follow yours,
And I’ll follow mine.

But if you take what I Want,
I’ll eat your heart,
If only to please mine.

daenarys-eating-heart-600-thumb-560x300

Sith Aphorism

Iron and steel aren’t the only things you can forge chains with.

Shedding Things

“The Force will change you. It will transform you. Some fear this change. The teachings of the Jedi are focused on fighting and controlling this transformation. That is why those who serve the light are limited in what they accomplish. True power can come only to those who embrace the transformation. There can be no compromise. Mercy, compassion, loyalty: all these things will prevent you from claiming what is rightfully yours. Those who follow the dark side must cast aside these conceits. Those who do not, those who try to walk the path of moderation, will fail, dragged down by their own weakness.”
~Darth Revan

I think the idea put into words here, of embracing ones own transformation, is a quintessential part of what a Sith is. And it fits in nicely with the idea of monsters (that is, as a lens through which the practice of Sith alchemy can be applied to individuals) that I’ve explored off and on. How the two relate? To stop thinking so much, and start being, mercy, compassion, equality, guilt, shame… a great deal of notions lots of people like to hold near and dear, they start to fall away. They’re shed, like dead skin from a snake.

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

From some of my notes: A monster is someone who has stopped lying to himself. For a while, after discovering the value of it, he tests this new approach of honesty. It’s taken not just with himself but with other people. He drops all the bullshit, the posturing, the masks, the armor, and even the composure; it’s taken to the extreme. But in time it always comes back to the self, full circle. For while learning to express your true nature is essential to the evolution of a monstrous soul, it is just as important to restore the lies that had previously protected others from you, so that you might now protect yourself from them.

Putting it that way, it sounds worse than it really is when it’s truly understood. I don’t have to actively lie to keep myself at a distance or hidden from others, none of us do. All I’ve got to do if I want to keep something from someone is not say much about myself. Thing is, engaging in this actively only works in the short term; long term, your spirit, the real you, always shines through well enough for someone to see. So aside from it being a learning experience (both in dropping all pretense and in learning to use pretense), it falls away in the end to. Because it circles back again to just being what you are, with minimal self-conceptualization.

The intellectual elements involved are just a doorway to walk through in a lot of ways, and after that they become indulgences. Wanted by some, maybe, but not really needed and not always the best means for stimulating further transformation; it can be pretty easy to get absorbed in the reasonswhy‘, the justifications, the mental gymnastics, but that absorption is usually a sign of getting bogged down, stagnating.

However, contrary to what’s said in the red text, rotting isn’t stasis, it’s a part of the process:

“Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem for the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.”
~Pat Barker (Regeneration)