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- LA -

Good evening. Welcome to today’s Live Service, and the second in this quarter’s theme of our Basic Teachings.

It would be well to take a few moments to settle into ourselves : to meditate, to contemplate, to intro- and/or outro-spect, or to pray – to actualise our connexion to the Force and to come together in the spirit of our unity …

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May the Force be with you …

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Now, please come with me into the Opera House. We should take our seats and get comfortable because the concert is going to begin soon.

 We see the musicians of the orchestra taking their places, arranging their scores out in front of them and installing their instruments. Here are the chords : violin, viola, cello and up-right bass. There are the woods : the flutes, the clarinets and oboes, and the bassoon. Behind them are the brass : trumpets, trombones and horns … The percussionists wait behind them all …

 Then they begin to tune their instruments, filling the theatre with a disorganised cacophony of random notes, tonalities, squeaks and blurts. Then the conductor steps up to the centre podium.

He now motions to the first violin. She stands, elegant in her shimmering black dress, places her instrument gracefully to her chin and draws her bow, slowly and steadily …

LA …    (note – A)

The other instrumentalists then join her in LA. What was discord comes together into harmony. The LA is the base, it is the fundamental reference for the orchestra.

Throughout the course of the concert, whether it be Bach, Beethoven, Elgar or the Beatles, the musicians will each play many different notes, with different durations, preceded by and following different notes and guided by the conductor.

Yet, the LA is the base upon which the harmony is established ; without it there is none.

As Jedi, we put an accent on harmony. And that harmony comes about by being ‘in tune’ with the flow of the Force.

This implies that we practice to know what to do effortlessly as one cycle of events closes and others begin – just as when one movement of a symphony ends leading into the next. As with the melody and the harmony of a musical piece, some of these movements are very up-front, some are going on in the background.

But throughout it all, and keeping it all together in a coherent flow is the base – the fundamental LA.

I would now like to invite, those of you who can, to listen to a piece, in the spirit of the message of this sermon, since, as words only convey so much of this message, we will use this to do such a bit more deeply. If you cannot watch with us, feel free to copy the link for a time after the sermon is over, to watch then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhnMd1Jl7SA

If we want to keep ourselves in harmony with the rest of the orchestra – the rest of the World – we must keep to the basics – to our LA.

Of course we are all individual Jedi, we each have our particular talents and weaknesses, our diverse objectives, hopes and fears. We are as the many musicians playing many different notes on many different instruments. But for all of our diversity, we have our common base.

Each of us desires to stay ‘in tune’ with the resonance of the Force, to do what is right, to act with mindfulness and empathy, to serve justice and peace in the World.

The World is a concert of many movements. In order to maintain our progress, and so that  we may serve as the creative,  audacious and resourceful Jedi we are, we would best not forget our Basics, the LA to which we all tune at the beginning …  LA Force.

Therefore, this concert comes to a close. As the conductor salutes the orchestra and the first violin, please applaud them with me by the recitation of our Creed :

I am a Jedi, an instrument of peace ;

Where there is hatred I shall bring love ;

Where there is injury, pardon ;

Where there is doubt, faith ;

Where there is despair, hope ;

Where there is darkness, light ;

And where there is sadness, joy.

I am a Jedi.

I shall never seek so much to be consoled as to console ;

To be understood as to understand ;

To be loved as to love ;

For it is in giving that we receive ;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned ;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

The Force is with me always, for I am a Jedi.

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May the Force be with you all …