Trimming the Roses
I’ve often heard our development compared to the growing of a rose bush. Whether we are talking children developing an education or our development here at TotJO. So I sat down and went over the comparison in my mind. There were some points that are vital in growing healthy roses that translate well into ensuring our healthy growth.
The first aspect to consider is the growth site. Roses needed at least six hours of sun to develop, so the location is extremely important. The same could be said for ourselves learning the Jedi path. We all have our own concepts and paths. These vary quite a bit from person to person. One site might be a perfect match for one Jedi and a terrible combination for another. So we need to make sure that we are in an environment that allows our successful growth. There are many factors that come into play here. Do we have enough challenge? Does the mission of the Temple doctrine align with my morals?
The second is the soil. To properly absorb everything needed to grow we need to make sure that the soil is able to drain the excess water well. This also compares to our journey here. Before we can even start to grow we need to make sure that we are able to drain the excess. When we challenge our beliefs, and question things, we need to be able to let go of what is no longer needed. If we can’t do this, we will never absorb what is needed. If we hold onto our false assumptions and expectations, we only hurt ourselves.
Third is the mulch. This helps prevent the plant from diseases. It acts like a barricade to separate the roots from the fungus that commonly grows on plants. This here reminds me of our ego. We need to learn, early on, the complexities of our ego and how to separate ourselves from the emotional reactions that commonly grow from it. By examining our emotional motivations and processes, we can better understand how we react to specific stimuli. This will help us choose to act instead of reacting without the guide of logic.
Fourth is water. Roses don’t require too much water. The soil simply needs to remain moist. Too much or too little can have severe consequences on the plants development. A big term brought up in Jediism is balance and our ability to find and maintain it. We are the only ones capable of honestly judging our needed balance. We are the only responsible party for making sure that we are creating the proper environment to grow, and that our indulgences or neglectful actions are not stifling that growth. The only authority in this matter is our own individual selves.
Fifth is inspection. You need to regularly check the roses for infections or insects that are damaging the plant. The same goes for Jediism. The only way to stay the path we have before us is to inspect ourselves honestly and without bias. This requires us to identify possible issues that could be damaging, inside and out. This is an extremely important lesson for Jedi. Many of us have things that we are ashamed of. We tend to hide our shame and pretend that it never happened, hoping that nothing brings it to light. Yet, if we cannot be honest with ourselves then we can never be truly honest with anyone. If we aren’t honest with ourselves, than we are living a falsehood.
That also leads us the the last point, pruning. Roses will not grow to their potential without regular pruning. We are no different. We need to ensure that we are not spending all of our energy and resources wastefully. If something is holding you back from becoming a better person, or changing into the person you want to be, you need to be able to cut ties. Whether it is people who are a bad influence, or a bad habit that you can’t seem to break. This issues, once identified, need to be removed before they create further damage. What good comes from leaving a problem to create issues? Where is the wisdom in allowing further damage? This is an extremely difficult process. It involves an awareness of our attachments and a great courage to act in the face of our greatest fears.
While it’s true that our own development is probably more difficult than growing a rose bush, there are also many great insights to be had when we help life to flourish. Insights that translate directly into our own experiences. An open-mind is capable of finding great beauty and truth in unlikely places.