A weight can be a lightening of existence. Chains can be freedom. The prisoner knows what freedom is clearly.
The first principle being…
There is no emotion, there is peace. Emotion confines us to our restricted personal sensitivities, our compulsive habits. If we embrace the notion of the Force, and what it might have to offer us in understanding the world, we would come to see that at any given time everything and everyone we are dealing with either is experiencing emotion or triggers it, and either way as long as we remain compulsively immured in this emotional web, we can exercise no real self awareness let alone self control.
The core Jedi practice is meditation. Through meditation they do not so much put their emotions aside as recognize their presence and behaviour, their influence on personal perception, and in meditation they create a space for seeing beyond that narrow part of personal nature.
Why do they say there is no emotion if they are trying to not be controlled by it? There is no emotion in the Force, no single rule that must be reacted to. They seek both to control the Force as well as to understand their role in it. Recognize in what way they are controlled by it.
The second precept is…
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. Which of course touches on the first precept. Many make very strange attempts to explain things like predatory behaviour in nature. Their explanations are generally emotionally driven saying things like if it weren’t for original sin, there would be no predatory behaviour in the world at all, and stuff like that. What is it that makes us cling to any single idea, or body of ideas, as if our life depended on it?
I always wondered what original sin was, because in church they never really explain it. And recently I realized it’s probably the fact that we have to kill things in order to eat. Original sin was the knowledge of good and evil, emotional discrimination, or so they teach. You cannot comprehend one thing without being able to understand the other. What understanding can we have of great kindness outside of the context of great cruelty?
True. We take things for granted until they are gone. We have to have lows to appreciate the highs. Well, with the second precept, a path is offered beyond that binary thinking loop. We only think in a black or white, good or evil sort of way because we are emotionally motivated and seeking security, but we never find it by practising the same behaviour that leads us to seek it. Every time we come to really understand something, we also grow in our ability to accept its presence, to behave without disturbance in that context. If you did fully understand any of your personal problems in an unemotional way, though you might not solve them with this understanding, your thinking and behaviour would display no constraint because of them.
This is why peoples personal problems are so chronic, and the only reason why. With full understanding, unclouded by emotions of fear, which lead to the behaviour we call ignorance, you would not persist in the behaviour that makes that problem constantly repeat itself. As Einstein said (and I paraphrase), we can’t solve a problem with the same frame of mind that made us aware of it.
True, with full understanding you couldn’t keep doing it. It would be incomprehensible.
Any questions before we move on to the third precept?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.