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This sermon was written by and is published on behalf of Rosalyn Johnson :

 

Discipline Done Wrong

We extol discipline too much! It is a mark of character to be disciplined, but when we get down to it, what is it? Discipline is nothing more than operant conditioning. See below:

noun: discipline

1.      The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

We have allowed ourselves to believe that this sort of conditioning is acceptable, but it’s no less damaging if we are unaware. We may ask ourselves who makes the rules? Who trains the people? Who delivers the punishment? And we may never get a clear answer, but the fact that we are asking the questions is evidence that we suspect something to be wrong with the whole set up. It is more disconcerting to ask no questions at all and just blindly go through life existing as some sort of machine, then to lie on your sick bed and wonder what you did with your life and realize to your horror that you never had one.

 

How does it all begin? How do we become these miserable conditioned creatures? I submit to you three quotes from Jiddu Krishnamurti on the subject from the first chapter of his book “Freedom from the Known”:

 

“Man has throughout the ages been seeking something beyond himself, beyond material welfare - something we call truth or God or reality, a timeless state - something that cannot be disturbed by circumstances, by thought or by human corruption.”

 

“Throughout theological history we have been assured by religious leaders that if we perform certain rituals, repeat certain prayers or mantras, conform to certain patterns, suppress our desires, control our thoughts, sublimate our passions, limit our appetites and refrain from sexual indulgence, we shall, after sufficient torture of the mind and body, find something beyond this little life.”

 

“The primary cause of disorder in ourselves is the seeking of reality promised by another; we mechanically follow somebody who will assure us a comfortable spiritual life."

 

We… Are… Afraid… Afraid that there is nothing more to life than living and afraid that one day we will stop doing so. We let someone else tell us how to live and what to live for and we obey it in hopes that we will continue to live in some form or another. Of course, once we hand control of our lives over to another person the thing we most fear is realized, we cease to live at all.

 

A great many have already come to this realization and Jediism has provided us with the freedom to ask the right questions, but I sometimes worry that we as Jedi have the potential to travel down the same road of becoming conditioned in the name of being disciplined, so I wanted to end by offering you some counsel;.

 

We may pursue the practices of Jediism as far as we would like and with as much gusto as we desire, so long as we remain critical thinkers. We must critically think about our actions and our motives behind them. It’s easy to think of studying the Jedi Way as a means to an end, but it should be reframed as the end in and of itself. What are you reading? What are you doing? Why? How is it changing you? Why is it changing you? These are questions we should ask ourselves continually as we walk the Jedi Path. Then we will “know” as opposed to just “knowing”.

 

Poet Laureate Maya Angelou is often quoted as saying “When you know better, you do better”. This is the mark of true discipline.