The Jedi Code and the Mantra Code, Two Perspectives
Hello everyone, and good timezone! May this find you wherever, whenever, however you are, as a peaceful moment of respite. To begin, let us recite the Mantra Code. You need only do so once and hold it in your focus for just a moment. Let it sit, and then let it pass away as it wishes to.
Emotion, yet Peace
Ignorance, yet Knowledge
Passion, yet Serenity
Chaos, yet Harmony
Death, yet the Force
I always find it difficult to remember where the comma goes in the Mantra Code. I could see the argument for placing it before the yet, after it, or perhaps even two commas either side of the yet! I was thinking about this as I was getting up today, and came upon a fine way of remembering; the yet is on the side of the Jedi, with Peace, Knowledge, Serenity, and so on. This form of the Code promotes our ability to flow between two extremes and to recognise their reality independent of one another. Here, it is the part of the Jedi to embody the "Yet" of the moment, that trickle of water that breaks away from the lake to join rivers further afield.
It has been a topic of debate, sometimes serious, sometimes half serious, as to which formulation of the Code is the one we should hold ourselves to. Looking at both of the popular formulations as creeds or oaths to a certain style of living, they do seem to say very different things. One rejects it's opposing half, while the other invites it. My answer to this question emerged recently.
A mantra is not spoken. To speak is to put meaning behind one's words in an attempt to communicate. A mantra is chanted. It is enjoyed for the quality of its sound, for the experience of it. The Mantra Code's meaning exists only to sate the mind's need for meaning. By giving the thinking mind something to dig its teeth into, we pacify it and allow ourselves to continue towards deeper levels of contemplation. By accepting how the world appears to us in the Living Force, our everyday lives, we surrender our need to stay in this one, living moment, and gain the key that allows us to travel in search of other perspectives. So, I do not believe that the Mantra Code is primarily an oath or creed by which we are meant to live our lives. Its primary function is simply to break us out of our pre-established boxes, our set ways of thinking, and accept a more fluid style of being.
The other popular formulation of the Code demands a stricter standard. It rejects Emotion in the name of Peace, Ignorance in the name of Knowledge, and so on. It calls for total purity in each of these aspects of the mind. At first, these standards seem totally inhuman, so much so that they do not provide a lick of good information on how to attain such a focused state. How can one be expected to hold themselves to such high standards?
Yet is on the side of the Jedi. This formulation of the Code exists in parallel with the Mantra Code and has a purpose of its own. The Mantra Code frees us from the side of our awareness focused only on our humanity, the state we embody when bound in the flesh and blood present moment, to go searching for other modes of being. The Jedi Code is one such state. It elucidates the stairs one must climb before one steps into the Mystic Center, the Je'daii as my master calls it. It is no coincidence that the original name of the Jedi highlights this place of awareness. And so I would encourage you not to hold yourself unerringly to the Code, but rather, to see it in contrast with its mantra form. They are both codes rather than oaths, keys that open certain locked doors and allow us to discover more about ourselves than we otherwise could. Seek to embody the Code for a minute, ten minutes, an hour, seek out its eternal embodiment but do not dwell on your inability to find that eternity. The practice can take a lifetime, sometimes longer!
In these trying times, I hope to leave you with two messages. Firstly, yet is on the side of the Jedi. We are Jedi and yet we are human. We have clear and yet clouded minds, emotion filled and yet emotionless minds, and this is the way things should be. Embrace every moment as it comes upon you and do not dwell on your perceived failings. So long as you are sincere, your feet are still firmly on the Path.
Secondly, the Je'daii is there for those who seek it. It is a lofty goal, the attainment of these moments of peace and knowledge. It will surely be a long path before it is reached, but no matter how long the Path may be, it remains there for those who seek it. There is light at the end of the tunnel, attainment at the end of the practice, and freedom in the steps we take to get there. The world may be filled with darkness today, but I hope that you are able to find some solace in the acceptance of the Mantra Code, and the promise of the Jedi Code.
. . . . .
I have strayed from the Code, master.
How have you strayed from the Code?
I spoke angrily to a fellow apprentice in discussion, thinking that I was misunderstood.
Now, you are straying from the Code.
I do not understand, master. I have stood against the winds with mountain-strength. I have reflected upon my failings with stability.
We conform to the Code not as the winds must conform to the mountains, but as the tree conforms to the Sun, seeking it. Your Sun lingers behind a passing cloud, a foggy mind. This is what it is to stray.