weakness

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.

Arrogance & Modesty

There’s something to be said for demureness. Brazen, unapologetic arrogance has been all the rage at times, but it doesn’t suit me. Of course that’s far from saying I’m humble (lower, or less than), or that I’m lacking in arrogance, but pride, confidence and modesty aren’t mutually exclusive.

For me, their co-mingling has always been the most to my liking, the most honest demeanor I’ve been seen to embrace and express. It’s an interesting shift in perspective on this, for me, if I look at how it’s changed over time, because years and years ago I wrote what was probably my first ‘lecture‘ (entitled Power, Arrogance, and Corruption) and the essence of it was a warning about the danger to oneself and ones progress posed by becoming arrogant (the tell-tale sign that power had corrupted).

Somewhere along the lines though, I ended up on the other side of the spectrum. It started to look to me as though humility was a cop out, a nifty device to fall back on; in other words, a person being humble only acted that way because they couldn’t handle the baggage that comes with arrogance, and they didn’t want to admit that their weakness – their inability to act or feel secure in their sense of importance – was the reason.

On some level, I still think that’s right on the mark, but what I’ve since realized is that the two (arrogance and modesty) aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s one of those things that seems like it should have been obvious, but it took a while to fully dawn on me. Not to long ago, I was of a like mind to something David Edge said…

Pride and arrogance are so easy a child can do them, seemingly. The problems people have with pride and arrogance is that it is NOT easy to do, at least not well. So, in an effort to mask inadequacywe have conceptualized humbleness. People think its better to claim theyre not playing than to admit they play poorly.”
~David Edge

At first glance the statement he made didn’t seem to me to leave any room for humility or modesty; that is, if you were someone that could ‘play well’. If that is really what’s meant by it, then from that perspective any sign of humbleness or tendencies to be unassuming becomes anathema, signs that you play poorly and don’t want to admit it. At least that’s the way I took it for a while, kind of on the other end of the spectrum from my earlier views, and I came to agree with it. But my view of all this has changed as I’ve reflected on it lately.

The way I see it, arrogance tempered by modesty is playing par excellence, because I still have an underlying belief that I’m better than others, but I don’t usually assume that about any specific ‘somebody’ I meet or talk to or don’t know. I’m very unassuming in that sense, in that I take people as they are. It just doesn’t take away from the underlying belief I have that I’m better than other people, generally speaking.

As far as the cost of such a stance… if I interact with you, whether it’s the first time we’ve had an exchange or it’s the thousandth, my view and attitude towards you specifically isn’t going to be affected in a ‘bad’ way by my ego. If I don’t know you, then I don’t know you, so there’s no reason to say “I’m better than you” or, really, even think it, because I wouldn’t know (yet). And if we’re talking about someone I know, then what I think about who’s better than who is going to depend on context and on what I know about that person.

(Written awhile ago, still more or less applies…)

Unplugged…?

Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

Daily Prompt: Unplugged, October 8th, 2013

I guess I kind of play it by ear. When I get tired of all the different parts of the online world, when I feel overwhelmed by all the different things I might do, or all the things I probably ought to be doing, or even when I can’t make myself feel interested in any of it, I just take a break. The “how” of it is pretty simple: I just don’t bother going online, or don’t sign on as frequently as I usually do, and don’t go to more than one or two different platforms. Basically, I don’t bother if I’m not feelings moved to it. I suppose that’s really the long and short of it… at least, in terms of how I currently approach “unplugging” (though I have to say, I don’t usually think of it that way, it’s not normally that deliberate).

The “Current Year” Index

Another page is up, at least for now. It’s gone through a lot of changes so far, in structure and title, but what it is right now is decent enough to be a published starting point. I think at this point I should tell you something about things here, something that is easier to see, in how it applies to the new pages I’ve added and the ones I might still put up, than it is in anything else here, posts, essays, whatever. It’s all a work in progress. The things are only ‘good enough to post’, but I leave myself the option to come back to them wherever and whenever I please. I think that’s important to get across, you shouldn’t take what an opinion I express or a stance I take as my final word on the subject, because a lot of the time right after I post something “current” I’ve written, I’m already churning through ways I can clarify something I just posted.

When I post something old, it’s because it didn’t seem to come across clearly enough and I got tired of it, but eventually came back, re-read it, and figured “fuck it, I’ll just hit the ‘publish’ button”, which is something I’m just kind of sick of doing. So that’s where my attempt to communicate the ‘work in progress’ nature of my posts and writings here come in; I’d kind of like to start saying what I want to say in the moment, and letting it stand. Returning to it or clarifying when or if I want to. It’s a habit I got back into in that blog I started under a different name (you know, the one I keep mentioning lately but never tell you the name of). Part of the reason I hadn’t been doing that much before I stopped visiting here and everywhere else I usually haunt online… was out of one of my few remaining insecurities.

See, I tend to think of it like this: an artist is only as good as his latest work (in the eyes of most onlookers). And for some reason I can’t seem to fathom, my self-consciousness emerges for it a lot. The idea that “this is all I’ve got right now, and it’s not what I think I want it to be, it’s no ‘good enough” in my eyes’ starts gnawing at me sometimes. I have periods where it subsides, like right now, but that’s one of the reasons I post old stuff. Not that it should overshadow others, like my penchant for trying to give a greater context to my entire progression (of thought and/or personal development) over time, or that I’m simply uninspired at the time. But it’s still one factor that plays a part often enough for me to feel the need to mention. One of the perks of posting something that was written a month ago is that it’s crystal fucking clear that it’s not ‘up to date’. Hopefully, fresher writings can be taken in a similar way to that.

I’m not sure if this post is addressed more to anyone that might read stuff here, or to myself. I’m gonna go with both. This is more for me right here though: don’t worry, if I didn’t say something the way I wanted to, or want to hit on another angle of it, there ain’t a single goddamn things stopping me from doing so. You know now that I say that… I think part of what’s at play with my occasional insecurity is that if people leave me alone, I can do it at my leisure, whereas if someone asks me, questions me, or criticizes me, I feel obligated to do it then or I feel like I’m snubbing him/her/whoever. Not sure why snubbing someone would bother me… but, umm, yeah, that’s an interesting aspect of it that just bubbled to the surface of my mind. On the flip side though, I’m afraid of letting that get the best of me because I know full well the benefit of such poking, prodding, and prompting.

This fragment is dragging on though, and I’m getting baffled by self-reflections and bored with circling around the point I had here, which is that you should take everything I say as a ‘work in progress’ in that it’s subject to change, refinement, and clarification. And concerning my little bout of introspection just now… well, let’s just say I’m conflicted and leave it at that for now.

The Greater Perspective

Riddle Nox has, for the last couple weeks, been putting new material onto a blog called Project Jedi. The most recent spat of posts were interviews of Jedi throughout the communities, from names I know (Hannigan, Jackie Meyer, Sara Evans, Gabriels{of Chicago Jedi}, Jordan Bates, Kitsu Tails, Sammy Jay, and Charles {Lightning Strike}) to ones I’ve never come across before (Nick Bush, Stela, Paladin Carl, Ricky Gofourth, Jerry James Chubb, Matthew Wight, Karen, and Zeni Oba). The latest post is part one of Riddle Nox himself going through the interview questions and giving his own answers. And part of it was curious to me.

“They sought to bring order to the Force by helping the people of the galaxy act in Accordance with the Universe and Greater Perspective.”
~ Riddle Nox

Before this, he touches on seeing as the Universe sees in order to contribute to the Greater Perspective. The thing is, the Jedi sought to help people act in accordance with what they believed was in accordance with the Universe and the Greater Perspective. But let’s say they were wrong in what they believed that perspective to be though. What then? The fictional Jedi believed that they were Seeing the universe clearly as it was, they had an immense faith in their wisdom and understanding of the Universe, but on who’s authority could it be said that they were right? The Sith apparently disagreed.

(Written July 11th, 2012 // Unfinished & Abandoned)

Cruelty Ain’t Weak

“All cruelty springs from weakness.”
~ Seneca

You know, I read this on twitter and my knee-jerk reactionary thought was this: “Bullshit.” And then I started to wonder why. See, I’m not a particularly cruel or sadistic person, but I have no problem with cruelty, don’t feel that it’s “bad”, and feel no shame for my willingness to be cruel when and where the urge to act on malicious urges strikes me. And in my experience, if you think it springs from weakness you’ve over-thought it. There doesn’t have to be a reason, or any sense, or anything inherently wrong with it. The need for that, far more than the capacity for cruelty, springs from weakness. 

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This (above) is as raw and unfiltered as I can be haha, I didu’t think it out as I was writing, and I’m not going to think about it before posting. If I’ve got more to say, I’ll just say it in rjother post. I’m sure if I have the (intuitive) sense that there’s anything wrong with my reasoning, it’ll bubble to the forefront of my mind and make itself known.

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I didn’t hit publish after I was done with this, so here’s some more (below) basically starting from right where I left off in the first paragraph…

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So does the unwillingness to be cruel, as well as the condemnation of it – whether because your scared or you can’t back your shit up or impose it when push comes to shove (which is still usually a fear-based approach, funnily enough), or for some other reason – you don’t have the strength or the backbone to be mean or cruel, so you avoid impulses, desires, and urges to act in such a manner.

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Damn. I lied, I’ve got more to add (below), starting with another quote from someone a little brighter than dear old Seneca…

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“Pride and arrogance are so easy a child can do them, seemingly. The problems people have with pride and arrogance is that it is NOT easy to do, at least not well. So, in an effort to mask inadequacy – we have conceptualized humbleness. People think it’s better to claim they’re not playing than to admit they play poorly.”
~David Edge

This is basically the same idea as the way I look at cruelty as far as people who’d rather appear kind or nurturing all the time. It’s easier to mask inadequacy – that is, the inability to be cruel without shame and/or with the capacity (or willingness to try) to survive the consequences that might follow from being cruel – by demonizing cruelty and conceptualizing humaneness, kindness, mercy, compassion,politeness, etc. and placing those on a pedestal. As with pride, people generally prefer to claim they’re not playing, or that they’re above playing, thav to admit they play poorly.

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*laughs*, I seem to have gone on a bit of a tangent. Oops. But yeah, those are just the thought a flowing as sort of a gut reaction to being slapped in the face with that silly philosophers quote.

Sith Quote (D. Draconis)

“Hate weakness all you want, but the weak have their uses.”
~D. Draconis

Flawed Teachings Or Weak Individuals?

(Written January 10th, 2012)

Some, from time to time, seem to become convinced that there are flaws in the teachings of the Sith (or other darkies), that in having watched so many crumble over the years they can’t have possibly just all have been failures. I’m not so sure though. I made it this far; they could have to, but they were weaker, less capable, and just couldn’t hack it (apparently) – at least in terms of this path, this Way. Use whatever words you want: that they were different, that their path led elsewhere, etc., basically, they just weren’t cut out for this. The ‘flaws’ that are there… they’re there to be worked through, for those that are able and willing. They serve a purpose.

There is something missing though – that is, if one’s ambition involves perpetuation and eventual strengthening of the Way itself. Some time ago the validity of the Jedi Code was brought into question by Opie, and I myself defended it for the same reasons I would defend continued use of my code, the Code of the Sith. What’s lacking though… is perhaps in the way of experienced guides, Sith Masters, that can competently guide, and accomadate newer members without driving all but the absolute best away.

To a point, the idea of ‘culling the weak’ is fine… but also to a point, the strong are defined by the weak. And as a natural consequence of the shark tank mentality, it is, quite possibly, a hindrance to the advancement and development of the Sith Way. There’s a time for sowing and a time for harvest, as they say. A kind of solution in this case, and at the OotS, seems to depend on the existing Knight and Masters reserving their strength and their brutality for those that deserve it, that can handle it, and ultimately, for those who are worthy. 

When it comes to newcomers, the strength directed towards them, the harshness of a seasoned adepts perceptive stabs, is not only wasted on someone new, but utimately works against the progression of the Aspect and those individuals already within it. There’s something to be said for timing; or, if you would, for ripening before plucking. A needle/scalpel to a ripe fruit is a towering sword to the small buds. You’ve got to encourage them to grow before you can cut away from them or poke them.

And with the Jedi… they are not like me, or us. But they used to be adversaries to the Sith in a very spiritual and worthwhile sense. They used to stand for something, and even now in their heart of hearts, most of them probably harbor a belief in the superiority of their path over mine. Or I should say, I hope they do. Otherwise, what business do they really have to call themselves Jedi?

Their problem, and ours as Sith, doesn’t appear to be based in the teachings though, but in the failure by members in the present to accomadate the weakness of initiates and to milk the members that have an expiration date before they leave. And beyond that, in the failure to be shrewd in who, how, and why they gift a given individual with the more volatile forms of conflict they’re versed in.

The Jedi would do well never to admit the parallel, just like they would be best off if they abide by Opie’s definition of darkness as it is within the Jedi paradigm, instead of trying to adopt mine or that of some other Dark pathwalker, instead of trying to be so accepting of Paths they really ought to detest and undermine every chance they get. The flaw though doesn’t seem to lie in the teachings, but in the individuals that were to weak, and in the strong that were to stupid or imperceptive to allow for weakness to have a place and flourish.

(A Fragment | Rough thoughts | Written January 10th, 2012)

Choice & Accountability

(An Old Rant: Choice & Accountability)

You are what you decide to be. I believe in choice, free will, independence, strength… what I do not believe in is some predetermined path, whether by god(s) or circumstance, that an individual inevitably walks upon simply because it’s fated. The only fate or destiny that exists is the one we create for ourselves. We all have the power of choice, everything is choice, and in many ways it is the ones we make (or don’t make), the manner in which we deal with challenges, adversity, and lack thereof that define us as individuals. With the average person, there is an obscene lack of any accountability or drive to excel that, to be perfectly honest, astonishes me. There’s always someone or something else to blame when an individual makes a choice and must deal with its undesirable repercussions, there is always someone else who can do the footwork, always someone else that can get their hands dirty because most people are unwilling to do it themselves.

Confronted with this, I’ve often asked myself: what happened to putting effort into what needs doing? You see, in reality I don’t believe we’re obligated to do much of anything, it all comes down to choice, and it is for that belief that I must ask: if you’re going to do something at all, why not do it well, why not make an effort towards excellence? If you don’t want to live in filth, take out the trash, wash the floors, vacuum, wash your clothes, etc. If you want more money, work more hours, do your job more thoroughly, more efficiently, seek promotions, or look for a better paying workplace.

What is the point of being alive if we don’t use our time to learn and improve upon ourselves through what we do, and change what we do to suit what we desire when the need arises? Why can’t people, especially the elitists among us, put in the sweat, the effort, and the work to accomplish something with their time instead of complaining about how hard everything is or else avoiding it entirely? I don’t have all the answers… but what I do know is this: these people are weak. And many of us are, or have been, just like this.

Given that, this is the point where most people saying what I’m saying adopt a more forgiving tone. I accept there’s weak people, that I have been one of them, in some ways still am, and may find myself to be that way in the future. But I also believe that for some to be on the top, it’s inevitable that others will be stepped on in their rise and will be stood on until the strong fall. Whether I’m weak or not doesn’t change that, and pretending that’s not a) the way it is and b) fucking awesome won’t change my personal situation. So I don’t forgive people for being weak, and I don’t spare myself from that. I think this is where a lot of older Sith teachings appealed to people, frequently resorting to the metaphor of Sith as wolves, as those that worked to be above the weak. I came across lectures like that in my early teens, during a time when I despised society and nearly everyone in it. When I felt I was surrounded by people that, within those metaphors, were sheep, and when I wanted nothing more but to be a wolf among them. But I’m getting off track here…

With regards to the metaphor and mentality of “sheeps and wolves”, I think that it was an invaluable inspiration at the time, that it can inspire others, and I think it places an admirable emphasis on the stance that, as Sith, we should continuously work to strengthen ourselves and we should put effort into everything we do. But such an opinion should only need to be voiced so many times; those that get stuck in a “me against the world” mentality indefinately, failing to pass through it as a stage of devedopment, are weak. Even revisiting it isn’t necessarily contemptible, but it can only take you so far.

If you are going to do something, do it well, pour your soul into it. Hell, if need be ask yourself this from time to time: If I were to die at this very moment, would I be satisfied with how I am spending my time, or would I see it as a waste? By no means does this mean you shouldn’t have fun, or relax, but live life to the fullest extent you are able to, experience as much as you can, don’t be afraid to feel, and live as if every moment is your last. And hold youself accountable (to yourself above all others) for what you do, whatever the benefits and costs of your choices. Forge your own path, and acknowledge that you are the one doing so.

(This is an old post from my journal at Order of the Sith. I started cleaning it up and making adjustments to it back around the time I started this wordpress blog and never got around tofinishingthat. I played with it a little more the other day though, and despite its slightly “unpolishedquality Im tired of revisiting it, so I figure what the hell, why not post it. I can always revisit it again if I want. Really, the whole thing could be rewritten to better reflect my current outlooks, but well see.)

Hope, Passion, Etc.

(Written May 14th, 2012)

To be without hope is to be weak(?). Is that an accurate statement to make? Maybe. Without there is no hollow within to fill or flame within to feed.

Relates to passion? Alone, passion means nothing. But passion that’s strong enough leads to (or is) strengthening. The greater the passion the stronger its vessel becomes. Either that or the individual (i.e. the vessel) gets fucked up early on – and I say “early on” because it’ll ravage you anyways, but not all vessels are equal in their capacities or potential. Growing stronger expands ones potential field of influence (or, to use alt. terminology, ones field of ‘gravity’). Exercising and integrating that strength into ones power yields victory. Victory, achievement, success… they lead to the breaking of some chains and the creation of others (chains which can often be more subtle, seductive, and/or comfortable than the ones that preceded them).

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