Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Gail Allen
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Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Gail Allen »

You will have heard the mantra of the Jedi Code countless times during your training and doubtlessly, you will be hearing it countless more times before you are knighted.

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.

This is because the Code is so integral to the Jedi way of life: It is there to ensure peace and justice and to avoid any Jedi falling to the dark side. But just because that is it's purpose, it does not mean that we cannot think critically about it. In fact, critical thinking is very much encouraged as that is what makes you learn. So for this task we would like you to think about the Code and answer this question: Do you think there might be another way to achieve justice and peace or indeed a goal that is more important than that. Or additions or changes that should be made to the code? What would you put in the Code if you were to make it?

Post your answer below by 11.59 pm on the 31st of May to earn 5 points.

*You are welcome to answer this question as yourself, but you are also more than welcome to answer as your character.
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Prof. Sky Alton
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Prof. Sky Alton »

I think what’s lacking in the code for me is the importance of changing one’s mind and adapting based on new situations. While this is partly covered by knowledge triumphing over ignorance, I think there’s still a danger of a Jedi being so set in their ways under the guise of being serene that they seriously misjudge a situation and cause harm. I might introduce a precept that says ‘there is no complacency, there is growth’ or something slightly more poetic sounding. Jedi’s are not islands in the grand cosmic ebb and flow and they shouldn’t allow themselves to sink into a state where serenity, harmony and peace turn into inaction. While these states suggest a readiness to treat all change with magnanimity and poise, I still think it could do with hammering home given a sentient beings tendency to stick to what they know to the detriment of themselves and those around them.
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Maxim Trevelyan
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Maxim Trevelyan »

I always thought that the Jedi Code was too rigid and too strict. I believe that most Jedi want to serve the Light and do the right thing, but their code, especially with the “there is no emotion” part, comes in the middle and they tend to lose their compassion along the way. Love, compassion and a good moral compass are the traits that a typical hero, as Jedi want to present themselves as, would need to have and the Jedi Code serves as an obstacle to doing the right thing.

On another hand, on the surface The Sith Code might sound better, until you realize that means that unless you subjugate and are at the top of the food chain, you are a lesser and must be destroyed.

I think a happy medium can be achieved. My perfect Jedi code would actually be one that already exists in Star Wars fanon, dubbed The Grey Jedi Code.
Flowing through all, there is balance

There is no peace without a passion to create
There is no passion without peace to guide
Knowledge fades without the strength to act
Power blinds without the serenity to see

There is freedom in life
There is purpose in death

The Force is all things and I am the Force
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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black »

Lufta, on her home world, had followed (and studied) the exploits of some of the most famous Jedi Knights ever, being interested in them because that was her inclination (as shown by her family background). She began to believe, before coming to the school, that the Jedi Code, as it is written (whatever versions you might follow) are sort of like a Beginners Manual Guidelines. Maybe this is something which the established Jedi Knights would view as heresy, but one of the very most famous Jedi Knights ever born said to 'burn the books'. And when the person who was going to burn them failed to do so, he (apparently) burned them himself (which is a whole different story in itself). Thing is, he was teaching the Jedi Knight who failed to burn the books that the books only are words, and words are only of the intellect. They might point to something but they are pointers only. “Skywalker. Still looking to the horizon. Never here, now.” The only place to find answers are 'now'.

There was a question, earlier on in this training, about someone who had cheated on their test, and then studied up and passed it. Would Lufta write all the results of the testing? She wondered at whom the question was aimed. Did not the Jedi Masters in charge of the testing already realize that that person had cheated? After all, cheating leaves a taint, a slur, on the aura of the person who cheats. It was already known, for those who could see (and surely the Masters in charge of this training could see such a thing), that the person had cheated. Then it was known, when the person took the test, that the person had studied enough to pass it the next time. They had obviously felt bad and changed their mind about what they would do. So who was being tested with that question? Was it following the code to be asking questions like that? Or is it part of the training -- to be exposed to things which are possibly tricks and to become aware of them?

Lufta feels that the creed, as written, is based on intellect and not on intelligence. But it is a starting point. And from that starting point, there is always the ability to choose otherwise -- and to be the rest of who and what one was born to be.
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Iverian Gnash
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Iverian Gnash »

April had had difficulty with the code. She was a trusting creature, full of emotion and love. Asking her to take that away almost made her rethink ever joining. For her, 'There is no emotion, there is peace' is what she thought had to be changed. Perhaps emotion was not the right word there. 'There is no regret, there is peace' or 'There is no anger, there is peace' would fit better.

A Jedi shouldn't hold grudges and regret about any event in their life as it takes away from what's most important at that particular moment. These feelings could lead a Jedi to stray from the mission for their own personal reasons. Likewise, having anger towards anything and anyone fogs your vision of the mission. Being emotionless isn't the issue, the issue is harboring negative feelings towards things that get in the way of you being able to think clearly and accomplish the mission at hand.
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February Fortescue
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by February Fortescue »

Lyra believes the biggest issue the average human has with successfully following the Jedi Code is their emotions. The Code is always seeking harmony and balance, and yet most people, including herself, are out of balance. We have strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others. Instead of tuning into The Force, we listen with our Hearts, and allow them to choose our actions. Remembering the student who cheated, in Lyra's opinion, if that student were connected with The Force, they would "see the glass as already broken." Their thoughts would possibly be something like: "even if I became a Jedi, one day I will no longer be a Jedi. Loss is loss. The only difference is when that loss occurs." (Lyra's opinion). While the student would be momentarily upset if failing the test would keep them from becoming a Jedi, the mental pain would not last, and they would still choose to not cheat. Their teacher, meanwhile, knows the student is ill, and whether or not the student chooses to respond by cheating is also a test, all by itself.

Human beings do not think like this. We feel badly for the ill student, because of their potential. We believe a wrong has been committed, we sympathize with the student who cheated, and we look for ways so that this wrong is not repeated with the next student. After all, the student can't help it if they were sick! We FEEL. This is our inherent nature. Lyra feels the same way.
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Prof. Will Lestrange
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Prof. Will Lestrange »

If I were to make the Jedi Code, I would slightly alter the line "There is no ignorance, there is knowledge". As written, it seems to imply omniscience: one is to already know everything relevant. But this seems to elide the process of how that knowledge is obtained: in order to actually know something, often you need to find it out from others - or engage in research or reasoning to figure out the answer yourself! And as dangerous as ignorance is, false confidence in what you know can be even worse (especially if you end up influencing others to act in accordance of that false confidence).

My revised version of that line would be "There is no ignorance, only learning" - to make it clear what one is to do when one has no idea about something: act to find out the information so that you will no longer be ignorant of it!
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Isa Vestal
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Isa Vestal »

A rewriting of the Jedi Code is actually one of I’sa’s very goals in becoming a Jedi. She feels as though, over the course of history, Jedi have become against any emotion or passion in themselves and any who join the Order. This passion has led to the demise of many great Jedi as they have felt compelled to suppress emotion, leading it all to rush out in an unhealthy display of emotion such as a fit of rage or anger. I’sa knows that there is such a thing as positive emotion— and even attachment— and strives for more Jedi to see this as well. She sees the Jedi indoctrination of children to ignore natural emotion as destructive as it breeds an environment that blames the student themselves instead of the indoctrination process when some students inevitably fall to the dark side. She also believes this kind of emotional gatekeeping to a community who holds much power in a galaxy full of beings to be unreasonable as it lets a group of people who have no sense of emotional connection, something that is necessary in understanding the interactions that occur between beings. Furthermore, I’sa believes, the idea that emotion should be disregarded has left many younglings who end up failing their apprenticeship training or padawans who fail to become knights stranded in the galaxy with no marketable skills, friends, and family. Because of the ideal of emotionlessness and passionless that Jedi hold, they have turned a blind eye to the struggles that they, as an organization, have caused. This inability to see their own moral downfall whilst simultaneously holding some amount of pride and a sense of moral dignity over those who are not Force-users disturbs I’sa and she wonders if finding true passion and building strong relationships will help solve this problem.

Furthermore, an introduction of a more emotional and passionate side would lead the Order to not recruit children at such young ages. Part of the reason why the Dark side and grey Jedi have been able to access stronger, more complex Force powers has been because of their ability to channel their emotions through the Force. If Jedi Apprentices were taught to channel emotion— a natural part of life and, therefore, a natural part of the Force— I’sa believes that they could unlock a multitude of unknown abilities and would make it unnecessary for the Jedi to recruit at such young ages as they would be able to more quickly teach older younglings when incorporating the aspects of emotion and passion.

One other thing that I’sa wishes to see change in the Jedi Order is a convergence toward more of the Jedi Sentinel school of thought. I’sa found the Jedi Guardian way of thinking to be lacking as the sole focus of training was on Force capabilities while Sentinels would also include training in more practical skills such as technological workings and planning. The Sentinels were also less blinded by their religious beliefs compared to their Guardian and Consular counterparts, leading them to be more analytical than spiritually guided, though the Force and their spirituality within it was still strong.
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Emily Spencer
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Emily Spencer »

Ky'lia respected the Jedi Code. She respected all that it stood for, and she even agreed with most of it. But its rigidity seemed almost an invitation to failure, especially for someone like herself. Ky'lia was not a bad person intrinsically, but she certainly could not take the moral high ground with anyone, either. She firmly believed that no one was all good or all bad, but a mixture of both. After all, if history is to be believed, even Darth Vader had found redemption in the end. And while she understood the reasoning behind it, leaving a teenage boy burning to death as Obi-Wan-Kenobi had done was not exactly 'good' either.

If Ky'lia seemed overly fascinated with the history of Anakin Skywalker, it was because she saw much of him in herself. Therefore, the line that bothered her the most in the Jedi Code was this

"There is no emotion, there is peace"

For Ky'lia, that was a real problem. After all, she had lived most of her life not expressing emotion, and yet she would not say that the lack of emotion had made her a better person, nor had it given her peace. And perhaps, if young Anakin had been allowed to vent his earlier feelings of rage and bitterness more freely instead of being encouraged to suppress them until they disappeared, he would not have taken the road he did. Perhaps, if compassion instead of 'no emotion' had been present in Obi-Wan that day, Anakin could have still been turned from the Dark Side. A better line, in her opinion, would be:

"There is emotion but there is restraint."

Another line she would change is:

"There is no chaos, there is harmony."

To Ky'lia, that was, quite frankly, a very naive way of looking at things. Like it or not, there is chaos in life. You cannot just go around ignoring it and pretending it doesn't exist. Sometimes, dealing with chaos head-on could bring a moment of clarity, resolve, and an inner strength you didn't even know you possessed. In her mind, rather the line should read:

"There is chaos, it is up to you to bring peace."

In all truth, Ky'lia would find it much easier to embrace the Grey Jedi Code, for they recognized that both light and dark exist within the Force, and to separate the two could potentially bring very dire consequences. "Peace" could become "apathy", for example. Both were an equal part of the Force, and as such both should be embraced, studied, and accepted. That is a concept she could really believe in with certainty. She had read that Master Qui-Gon Jinn had been considered by many to be a Grey Jedi. Ky'lia firmly believed that following in his footsteps would not be a bad thing at all.
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Prof. Polaris Black
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Re: Week 4: The Gathering - Reflection on the Code

Post by Prof. Polaris Black »

At first glance, the Code implies that a Jedi should strive to be devoid of emotion, ignorance, passion, and chaos. While these attributes contribute to unpredictability, they have their time and place. Life is not an existence of absolutes but rather facing a series of challenges that makes the good great. In truth, there will always be a faster time, a longer distance, or a new trick so resting on one’s laurels is not an option. Also, striving to achieve the unachievable is demoralizing. My proposed addition:

"There is no perfection, there is improvement."
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