Did the jedi outgrow their own philosophy?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by MOC Yak Face, Mar 24, 2006.

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  1. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    There have been quite a few discussions on the boards recently about the jedi and their philosophies regarding love, attachment and other "vices" These got me thinking that perhaps the jedi were no longer able to uphold these philosophies because they were no longer living the lives that those philosophies were designed for. From other SW `sources it seems that the order was initially a meditatitive type of "study group", similar to an order of monks, rather than warrior monks. In that type of setting, it would be far easier to avaoid attachments and focus on the force than it would be in the situation that they now find themselves in. Has the change made it impossible for the jedi to keep their original philosophies alive? Is this a source of the problems that arose with Anakin, whose attachments and feelings of love supposedly led him to the dark side?
  2. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

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    i think it's much like christian philosophy and views. the love they proclaim, which only god has, is so high up, it's impossible to ever really get there, but you keep trying to love unconditionally anyway. and you forgive yoursefl for being fallible. with thejedi i have the feeling they don't forgive human nature anymore.
    you cannot live a life of absolute perfection, because we aren't designed that way. it's not bad to try and work on yourself, but you must be able to forgive yourself, too.

    sort of like that.
  3. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

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    I agree that they are attempting to reach a fairly abstract level of perfection however I don't view the Jedi as no longer being able to live up to their philosophy though they of course can never reach the perfection that they strive for. I think that they were living up to it in the face of the Force being out of balance and the Sith beginning to gain control and even corrupt the Chosen One. I think that the Jedi policy regarding love, attatchment, etc. isn't the horrible atrocity it is sometimes made out to be given that the Jedi do love, they just don't get attatched. Attatchment in Lucas's vocabulary and thus the vocabulary of Star Wars seems to be closer to obsession instead of what one might think attatchment means.
  4. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    The Jedi weren't trying to be perfect. They were trying not to become like the Sith. That's why they lived the life that they did, in an effort to protect themselves and the rest of the galaxy. The only difference with the Jedi was they needed to adapt to fighting the Sith. They needed to avoid being so arrogant. And they did need to continue to learn from the Force. Anyway, as you mention Starwalker, attachment as Lucas defines it is bad when it comes to being Jedi. Attachment does lead to obsession and this is where the threat of the Dark Side lies.
  5. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    Yes, I agree with all of those ideas. I know the jedi weren't trying to be perfect, but they were trying to achieve a certain state of (and pardon the use of this word) enlightenment, in terms of the force. Similar groups tend to try and achieve this through meditation and contemplation, generally somewhat removed from worldly distractions. If the jedi were indeed originally such I group, I can see the goal fitting the practise.

    In the saga, though, they have moved a million miles away from this function. They are now in the midst of the cut and thrust of politics, war etc, and engaged in many and varied relationships and situations. Was it not inevitable that in this environment, the goal of avoiding attachment was going to fail, and with dramatic consequences?
  6. AlrikFassbauer Jedi Master

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    Shaak Ti in principle says so on the last page of the "Shaak Ti" one-shot comic.

    I agree to that. I think that the Jedi Code is really ancient, and that the life has just changed. But on the other side, there are principles so fundamental they cannot be changed.

    Look at Bhuddism. Look at Yoga. The underlying philosophy still works, simply because it is so fundamental. It is so deep, most people even don't know or understand it. I find many similarities with it and The Force.


  7. anakin_luver Jedi Grand Master

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    I agree with you. The Jedi were no longer protecting the peace of citizens individually. They were the Republic's special group of soldiers, whether or not they wanted to be. With the war came death and even though they don't believe in mourning, it's difficult. Not only did hundreds of Jedi die, but so did ordinary beings. The Jedi have a huge responsibilty of protecting the entire Galaxy, and when people die, their goal fails and ultimately they do as well. They were aiming for the impossible.
  8. BoShek04 Jedi Padawan

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    Mar 26, 2006
    bahh this ones too complicated for me! [face_plain]

    Anakin_luver, check ur PM's!!


    Bo \m/
  9. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    Yes, exactly. Those who dedicate their lives to ascertaining as much knowledge about Buddhism as they can generally don't spend a lot of time flying around in spaceships and carving people up with lightsabres. They contemplate, meditate, discuss and then contemplate and meditate again. Just like the jedi apparently did in the early stages of the order.
  10. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

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    True that was what the Jedi did when the Order started and in hindsight the Jedi weren't trying to be perfect as if they had been the Jedi would then have been far more critical of even the slightest flaw and wouldn't have tolerated a dissenting view even though they even highly respected Qui-Gon who was one of those dissenting views.

    However I'm of the opinon that the Jedi needed to start that way and while they possibly should have maintained that more, the Jedi also needed to take on the more martial peacekeeping aspect that they have as well. The fact that the Sith were still there to cause trouble to me shows that they needed to be stopped and only the Jedi or other Force Users could do this.
  11. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    Yeah, I think out of necessity they needed to change, but maybe they needed to change their philosophy as well, in order for it to match the new role.
  12. Carnage04 Jedi Grand Master

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    I would saw that they didn't outgrow their philosophy, but maybe forgot parts of it that were important...the parts that Qui-Gon believed in. That in itself did not bring about the fall of the Jedi Order - The Sith did.

    The Sith of old lined up Soldiers against the Jedi Civil War style. You and your army stands here, the other army stands across from you and you fight. The Side with the most/best warriors emerges victorious.

    The new Sith did not fight that war. It was no longer a battle of power, it was a battle of secrecy and wit. The Jedi marched out rank and file like the old days while the Sith (At least the Master) lurked in the shadows, killing the Jedi by playing on their compassion, chipping away at their weaknesses untill the Order was spread thin, the pieces were all in place, and an excellent time to strike arrived.

    Qui-Gon changed some parts of the Philosophy, indeed, but Yoda realized that the battlefield had changed. The war was not one waged solely by strength of arms. He (And Obi-Wan) retreated into exile like the Sith did years ago and formulated a more covert plan to defeat the enemy.

    Carnage
  13. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    I also think that the jedi at the time of the PT were incapable of facing the dark side in the manifestation of the Sith. All of the philosophising about avoiding the dark side is OK when it's relatively dormant, but it isn't much use to you when the dark side is presenting itself in front of you at every turn. At that point one must acknowledge it, face it and deal with it - within and without.The jedi had fallen out of balance in the Force, due to their denial about the dark side's virulent nature and their refusal to acknowledge its pervasive influence, until it was too late.
  14. Master_Shaitan Jedi Grand Master

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    Not sure I really understand what you are saying here Frared.

    Of course the jedi understand fallibility and understand how the normal people arent as restrained as they are. If this werent the case they wouldnt have continued to serve them.

    Im sure that once the empire took over the people truly understood what Jedi love was.

    Im surprised people can be so negative about the jedi. These guys sacrificed themselves for the greater good. That means a lot to a guy like me who truly apprecitates the free world.

    Dont you agree Frared?
  15. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

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    However falling to the Dark Side(and falling really is the word that I think best describes going Dark) is allowing yourself to become a monster as well whereas the Jedi view is far more like the quote that says "Those who fight monsters must be sure they themselves do not become monsters."(it was something along those lines). The Jedi also clearly were aware of the fact that the Dark Side was pervasive and like a plague given that they knew the Dark Side surrounded the Chancellor, knew the Force was out of balance, knew the Chosen One had been born to bring balance, and knew by AOTC that the Sith had returned.

    Lucas also has said that to bring balance is to destroy the Sith.

    You aren't the only one
  16. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    The jedi certainly knew that it was there and of it's nature, but they were completely unprepared for the way that it was ultimately weilded. They were only prepared to avoid it, as that was all that they'd had to do for a millennia - not to confront and defeat it.
  17. AlrikFassbauer Jedi Master

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    Interesting parallelity, so to say. ;)

    The last Jedi acting the same way the Sith always did ...
  18. vaders_cape Jedi Knight

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    For me the jedi were like the Knights Templar meets Buddhism - unmarried, warrior-monk guardians of the Republic but with some Eastern philosophy in there.

    Now this could just be my take on some of the Buddhist, and therefore jedi, principles on desire and attachment, but I feel that not becoming too attached to something is a means of not enslaving yourself to someone or something. It's not that you don't love or develop attachments, but you try to maintain a degree of detachment. Similar to the beliefs you find in 12 Step programmes. It's about letting go of the desire to control everything in one's environment. The desire to control is very human but can cause a lot of problems and upset - as well as being downright impossible sometimes.

    Did they outgrow their philosophy? Hmmm, nothing is static - all religions undergo change. Change and adapation are part of survival as much as anything else. Religions that don't change tend to die, or worse....they attract fundamentalists...:eek:

    Frankly I think the jedi should've allowed marriage and been just a tad more open about the Dark Side. :eek::eek:
  19. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

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    If the Jedi had allowed use of the Dark Side however many of the members would likely have become twisted and evil as Vader did. Marriage also was allowed in limited circumstances such as Ki-Adi Mundi's species having such a low birth rate.
  20. vaders_cape Jedi Knight

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    That didn't stop Anakin though, did it? The Dark Side is and was always there.

    It would have been better if the jedi had dragged the topic of the dark side out of the shadows and into the light (so to speak) - get rid of the mystery. Explored it for its weaknesses as well as for its aspects that could act as temptations. It would also have allowed for great self-knowledge, which spiritual paths are all about.

    This where you have to rely on the individual's integrity and moral character to stay on track.

    Just imagine if they'd allowed marriage across the board, though - that would've been some pretty powerful gene pool there....[face_thinking]

  21. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    Yes, the dark side is always there - within and without. Short of shutting yourself away in a room for your whole life, you can't avoid coming into contact with it. The Force in balance isn't the Force with no dark side, it's the Force with the dark side under control, rather than in control, which is kind of what I'm saying. Perhaps over the millennia the jedi should've moved more towards and acknowledgment and control approach to the dak side rather than a "must avaoid altogether" approach.I think a lot of Anakin's problem was that he was never able to process his feelings, he was continually told that he simply mustn't have those feelings as they would lead to the dark side. As we know from Luke's conduct in ROTJ, this isn't necessarily true. When he fought Vader he was fearful for his friends and darn right angry, but he didn't allow those emotions to override his judgment and ultimate belief in the light. All of those dark side emotions - anger, fear etc - can quite easily destroy a person if they're not acknowledged and brought under control.
  22. vaders_cape Jedi Knight

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    Exactament, Duckie.

    And people don't get me wrong, when I say the jedi should've have been more open about the dark side I didn't mean for them to actually tinker with it, but to be open about its existence, lure, etc, etc. The "wooooo, beyond there there be dragons, there be!" approach is not very effective.

    Denial is never a healthy path to follow. But to be open and accept the existence of something does not mean you embrace it. It's all about balance.....


    ....and dragons! Wooooooooo!

    By the way, good topic, Duckie.

    [face_dancing]

  23. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

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    Exploring the Dark Side often leads even the greatest of Masters to become consumed by it. Marriage also only allowed for a Jedi when they can be married but not attatched in the Lucas sense of the word which seems to be far more of an obsession than anything.

    Luke however let go of his anger, fear, hate, etc. when he threw down his saber and said "I'll never turn to the Dark Side, you've failed your highness I am a Jedi, like my father before me." The Jedi also are fully aware that the Dark Side exists and many sources have established it as being semi-addictive given that it gives you an incredible amount of power it just destroys your soul.

    Except that the Jedi do say more than "There be dragons!" They tell their apprentices what emotions can lead to the Dark Side. The Jedi also attempt to master their emotions and practice they're removal of the Lucasian Attatchment because they lead to the Dark Side. Hence why they practice compassion and not Lucas's version of attatchment which seems to be far more like an obsession than what most people think of when they hear the word attatchment.
  24. vaders_cape Jedi Knight

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    And yet from the discussion we see Palps have with Anakin there is the suggestiong that there is much about the dark side that Anakin does not know about - the suggestion that the jedi have kept much under wraps.

    My point is that a greater awareness of all aspects of the dark side would be an appropriate course of enquiry for advanced jedi - not padawans obviously.

    If Lucas' definition of attachment = obsession, then I think that both unfortunate and misleading! Being attached to something/one is not the same as obsession by any stretch of the imagination. We can all become attached to something or someone and move into areas of trying to control that thing/person at certains timees, but attachment does not necessarily lead to obsession and therefore the dark side - for me that is too simplistic. There are other aspects such as personality, motive, etc.

  25. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    Except that the Jedi do say more than "There be dragons!" They tell their apprentices what emotions can lead to the Dark Side. The Jedi also attempt to master their emotions and practice they're removal of the Lucasian Attatchment because they lead to the Dark Side. Hence why they practice compassion and not Lucas's version of attatchment which seems to be far more like an obsession than what most people think of when they hear the word attatchment.

    I wholeheartedly agree about what Lucas intends to mean when he talks about attachments. To continue with the dragons metaphor, couldn't it be true that the jedi are still just saying "There be dragons which will lead you to the dark side" in the way that they address things like anger and fear? Luke did let go of all those things and avoid the dark, but I think he was able to let go of them because he was allowed to acknowledge them within himself more than some of the Old Republic jedi were. I think Anakin got angry and became fearful and immediately thought there was something horribly wrong with him and that he must surely be on the track to the dark. With Luke, it seemed more like he was feeling that - yes, I'm angry, but it's human to feel anger at times, and it won't consume me. I'll process it and then let it go, without sacrificing my core beliefs or myself.
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