Meditating on Doctrine: One Pieace at a Time

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08 Nov 2017 11:35 #305655 by MAGNUS
Day 31: Jedi maintain a clear mind; which can be achieved through meditation and contemplation. Our minds can become unduly troubled and concerned with the happenings of the world. We must work on overcoming our individual issues through training and diligence.

Meditation is maxim 15, and training is maxim 16. Both are referenced in this teaching. Why is a clear mind important? The second sentence of this teaching explains why. I have recognized that my own mind can become troubled when I consider the increased amount of automation, and especially AI we see going forward. I've been tempted to despair wondering what exactly it will mean for humankind when we reach technological singularity, but who does that serve exactly? Is there anything I can do about it? No. I can only do the best I can with what I've got. We're not even there yet, so to spend time worrying about it wouldn't serve any purpose. This is why it's important to maintain a clear mind. We can imagine all sorts of horrible outcomes to our everyday actions, and paralyze ourselves with fear of nothing.

We keep from doing that by meditation, and training our minds to move positive things into our lives. Not to dwell on things that we can't control in the first place. We don't need to worry about what we can't do, just worry about what we can do right now.

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09 Nov 2017 10:44 #305749 by MAGNUS
Day 32: Jedi are aware of future impacts of action and inaction, and of the influence of the past, but live in and focus on the now. We let ourselves flow like water through the events around us. We embrace the ever-changing and fluid world, adapting and changing as it does.

I remember when I first started studying the doctrine, shortly before starting the initiate program, and thought how profound the concept of the impact of inaction is. It's not something we think about, but it's something we see all the time in the U.S. My dad recently had a heart attack. He's ok, but this was the impact of inaction. He quit his job as a welder, and started playing music at local establishments instead. It's less stable income, but he's happier than he's ever been. When he started doing this his exercise routines suffered. Without the structure of a daily routine, his meal habits and dietary choices suffered. He did not actively determine that he was going to try and have a heart attack, but rather didn't consider the impact his inaction would have on his body. I feel like the assumption we make is that if we do nothing, nothing will happen, but that's far from the case. If we do nothing, we pay the price.

So how do we live in the now? We make each moment powerful. Every moment has the potential to be life changing. It can steer our life in a positive direction, and help us grow toward a person who is closer to our best self in the future, or it can leave us suffering the impact of inaction. We consider the past for insight into how to make the present powerful, but dwelling in the future or the past will make the present suffer. Often leading once again to inaction.

Technological growth is a guarantee that the world will change, and fast. Everyone is going to have to adapt eventually, the key to doing this is in the last sentence of this teaching. Embrace the ever-changing world. Change with it. Don't let it slow you, let these changes grow you. Adapt, constantly moving forward into the present.

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13 Nov 2017 11:03 #305979 by MAGNUS
Day 33: Jedi are wary of attachments, both material and personal. The obsession over possessions and people can create the fear of losing those possessions and relationships, which can cause us to become trapped in a state of depression and loss.

It is disruptive to our peace to lose something we are attached to. Dwelling on things lost in the past chains us there, and keeps us from moving forward, prevents us from growing. I've seen it first and, and striven not to let myself live it as a result.

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15 Nov 2017 11:45 #306099 by MAGNUS
Day 34: Jedi understand that well being consists of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. A Jedi trains each to ensure they remain capable of performing their duties to the best of their ability. All of these are interconnected and essential parts of our training to become more harmonious with the Force.

After I went through chemo last year my physical heath had declined, I didn't feel like myself, I was quicker to anger, got frustrated easily. I feel justified in feeling this way. The drugs take a serious toll on your body, but a few months ago I started exercising again. Now I'm in some of the best shape I've ever been in, but I noticed something else. When I started exercising, my mind was on a more even keel. It was easier to feel the Force, and get in a good place emotionally and stay there. Not necessarily doing Yoga, which is supposed to bring your body and spirit into unity, but even mundane, purely physical exercises helped the other parts of my life. There is no one element of these three that's the foundation the others build upon. They really are completely interconnected, and when you build one up, it becomes easier to build up the other two, and as those get built up, it helps you have the mental strength, the fortitude to stay on track building up the one. As we are in harmony with our best selves, so are we in harmony with the Force.

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29 Nov 2017 11:08 #307228 by MAGNUS
Day 35: Jedi use their skills to the best of their ability. We do not use our knowledge and skills to boast or be prideful. We are mindful of the ego, and mindful of our actions, exercising wisdom and humility.

The point of performing any and all actions with the best of your ability is not to be the best. It's ultimately to make your best a personal habit. If you give your best to the small tasks, and the ones you don't like, you're naturally going to step up your game when it comes to important tasks that have a specific, personal goal in mind.

A man named Bob Lazar claims to have worked in Area 51, and claims to hold degrees from MIT and CalTech, but neither school has any record of him attending. You can fake having a degree. You can fake liking someone you have to work with, you can fake a positive attitude. There's one thing you can't fake and that's results. There's no reason to boast if you always give your best effort, because the results will speak for themselves.

And as for ego, the most successful and fulfilled human beings on Earth have tricks that keep the humble, and they revolve around gratitude. I have half-jokingly said in my life that if your claims are true, then it's self-awareness, not arrogance. As long as you stay grateful for what your effort has produced, and grateful for your struggles, your ego will be checked, but you will never be able to put your best into something mindlessly. Being mindful of your actions is automatic if something is receiving your best effort. Being mindful will also help you make wiser decisions. Wisdom is the application of accrued knowledge and experience through patient, good judgement. Using your skills to the best of your ability boils down to is staying patient, staying grateful, and building a habit of giving whatever you are doing your best effort.
The following user(s) said Thank You: INFJedi

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29 Nov 2017 12:47 #307234 by INFJedi
Thank you for this.

It's a part of my nature to understand and to be understood. More often than not, I'll share a personal story, to let people know that I can relate. My intention is not to "one up" anyone, but an intimate bond - opening old wounds - being vulnerable, is important to me.

So, not to walk on your post, but by way of gratitude for your insight on this, I feel the need to tell the community, that if any think that I'm out of my lane, please, let me know.

Again, thank you.

Go fuck yourself

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02 Dec 2017 11:24 #307405 by MAGNUS
You're not walking on my post at all. I have never been adverse to opening up a dialogue about my ruminations, and perceptions on the doctrine you're just the first to do so.

Recently I've been listening to a lot of motivational speeches on Spotify. The artist is listed as Fearless Motivation. I don't practice this teaching nearly as often as I should, but I think a lot of the Jedi Doctrine is best satisfied with mindful, deliberate action above all else.

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02 Dec 2017 11:34 #307406 by MAGNUS
Day 36: Jedi understand their limitations. We recognize, and take responsibility for, our failures, and develop a level of modesty about them. We respect others' rights to disagree and understand that they themselves are not perfect.

As much as it's important to understand your present limitations, it's also important to understand that your limitations can be overcome. For example, I can't bench press 300 pounds. If I tried I would probably be crushed, but if I worked slowly, stayed patient, humble, and hungry, I could develop a body capable of benching 300 pounds.

Above all else failure is an opportunity to learn something, and also helps keep us humble. When we're young we're not nearly as discouraged by failure as we are when we're adults. Take the simple example of riding a bike. We fall, and fall, and fall after the training wheels are taken off. Even once we get our balance, one turn too fast and we're back on the ground again. The only way to success is through failure. So much as we must recognize our failures, we should also recognize the opportunity they present us to develop our resilience. There's an adage that says "The difference between a master of something, and a beginner is that the master has seen more failures than the beginner has made attempts." Recognize your failures, own them, stay humble, and don't expect others to never fail either. But also understand that failure doesn't represent the end of your effort, but the beginning of it.

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11 Dec 2017 11:04 #308066 by MAGNUS
Jedi are patient. We work on training ourselves not to precipitate events around us. We know that becoming a Jedi is long and hard, and requires rigorous dedication and commitment. Jedi train to act with a conscientious state of calmness.

When I had just set my feet on the Jedi path, I felt the last sentence of this teaching was so profound, so important, that I would fake it. When I felt my own tension rising, I would ask myself how I would act differently if I were calm before I took some action in the heat of my emotions, and do that instead of whatever I was about to do. I still have trouble sometimes differentiating between when I'm upset and when I've had too much coffee.

I feel that the second and third sentences are curiously specific given that the teaching is to have patience. There is much more to patience than not precipitating events around us, and a long hard journey that requires rigorous dedication and commitment will help build our patience if anything. I feel like Leo Tolstoy has one of the greatest perceptions on patience I've ever read. He said, "Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is slow and hard - that is patience." I'm sure we've all experienced times when our progress toward something is slow and hard. Often it leaves us tempted to procrastinate, or give up. It's when the end goal is worth the trudge toward it that we persist. It's from our persistence that patience is built, and patience in turn is what allows us to be persistent.

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