I would like to begin with a poem by Mary Robinson, an 18th century poet who manages to describe, through her profound lyricism, the importance of understanding and practicing the Jedi catechism “There is no emotion, there is peace.”

 

Come, Reason, come! each nerve rebellious bind,

Lull the fierce tempest of my fev'rish soul;

Come, with the magic of thy meek controul,

And check the wayward wand'rings of my mind:

Estrang'd from thee, no solace can I find,

O'er my rapt brain, where pensive visions stole,

Now passion reigns and stormy tumults roll--

So the smooth Sea obeys the furious wind!

In vain Philosophy unfolds his store,

O'erwhelm'd is ev'ry source of pure delight;

Dim is the golden page of wisdom's lore;

All nature fades before my sick'ning sight:

For what bright scene can fancy's eye explore,

'Midst dreary labyrinths of mental night?

 

For a Jedi, the growth of reason is a joyous act, as well as a necessary one. Robinson’s poem offers a suggestion of how life feels without reason; in the face of a tumultuous mind, filled with wild and passionate fears, she calls out to reason to come rescue her and bring her the solace which all philosophy and earthly delight have failed to ensure. 

 

The Jedi simplification is: “There is no emotion, there is peace.”

 

It is too easy for our minds to become lost within the tempest of our passion; we can quickly find ourselves spiraling out of control, because the vast ocean beneath our conscious mind is, ultimately, beyond our conscious control. In the face of this great power which our emotions have, philosophy as practiced from the armchair is always inadequate. 

 

As Jedi, our goal is more: we seek to understand the causes of this tempest, to ride the rough seas and turn the prow of our soul’s ship into the swell of the storm. Put plainly: we do not seek to “overcome” our emotional states, nor do we revel in them; Jedi seek to flow with their emotional experiences and through this, find peace even in the midst of emotion, not despite it. 

 

Jediism gives us an answer, too, to the question which Robinson poses in the final couplet of her sonnet.

 

For what bright scene can fancy's eye explore,

'Midst dreary labyrinths of mental night?

 

This practice is, in many ways, unique among spiritual paths: it grew from fiction and accepts this fact as a fact -- Jedi do not need “proof” in the sense that classical religions do; we have no need for a messiah and we don’t rely on mysticism. We acknowledge that the work we do is inspired by art, that the fiction which opened this doorway says something vital and important in and of itself. 

 

Once we understand this, we also understand how the bright scenes of “fancy’s eye” can actually uplift us from the “dreary labyrinths of mental night.” The gift which we’ve been given is also a pathway through the night: the application of art. 

 

In my training curriculum, art is a vital part of the Jedi practice. Through an art form, we learn to wander with the strange twists and turns of the byways of our subconscious; we learn to pause and externalize the internal tempest of emotion; we gain the skill of attending to the things which make up our human experience of life. From the art of fiction we draw inspiration, and through our own return to the fields of artistic expression we gain access to the Force in the most natural and sublime of ways.

 

So, to end this sermon, I would like to make a call to action. Attempt art. Take this poem by Robinson, or a section of the Jedi Code, and turn it into art. Poetry, painting, fiction, sculpting, dance, song. Put your emotion into a physical form, give shape to it and learn to understand it, for through that understanding a form of subtle mastery will come, and a better Jedi you will be.

Comments (4)

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Thank you so much. I love your sermons.

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A call to action I intend to respond to. Thank you for your work, and for your guidance.

MTFBWY

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I paint play guitar I'm a poet and paint I understand

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Thank you

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