For this sermon I would like to ask to empty the past and to look through the present at this live service.
[Please take a moment to empty your mind]
A Temple can have a large amount of opinions that may or may not be globally unanimous. Whenever opinions and ways of action are colliding, a creation of division will follow. For a healthy Temple we need to understand what drives things apart and what holds things together. If we where able to fill this in we could start to ask ourselves for ways to find rapprochement. Learning what is needed for rapprochement will be a key priority to any group of people.
For a good couple of years now, I have been honored with membership of the Temple and have seen people changed their lives positively because of their journey through our community. The Temple gave them a foothold to build on, to shape their Jediism into a way of life and/or religion. Some follow the Doctrine because of it, and others do not want to have anything to do with it. Who are we to say one is right or wrong? Who are we to say something is required to be? What makes the journey worth it?
[Please mind about the questions for a moment]
To find rapprochement we need to know what drives us apart, and we need to accept this in order to deal with it. Compare it with a soccer game, if you change the rules the game will be pushing its players apart like a diffuse blanket. I would like to continue with a story I did read a while ago, it discusses two monks who are on a journey together.
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side. The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman. Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey. The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them. Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?” The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”
What makes agreement or disagreement? Can we accept our differences and learn to live purely conform the doctrine? Change comes forth out of difference; difference is an insight on perspective, and it can be an adaptation. Often people assume what a journey would be like, but can it be that it is an illusion? If you have to let go a line in the Doctrine in order to aid your Journey, would this be against the Doctrine? How to draw or remove a line when the time calls?
Now, let’s look at another Buddhist story, this time about the concept of the objective world.
Once there was a monk who specialized in the Buddhist precepts, and he kept to them all his life. Once when he was walking at night, he stepped on something. It made a squishing sound, and he imagined he had stepped on an egg-bearing frog.
This caused him no end of alarm and regret, in view of the Buddhist precept against taking life, and when he finally went to sleep that night he dreamed that hundreds of frogs came demanding his life.
The monk was terribly upset, but when morning came he looked and found that what he stepped on was an overripe eggplant. At that moment his feeling of uncertainty suddenly stopped, and for the first time he realized the meaning of the saying that “there is no objective world.” Then he finally knew how to practice Zen.
The monk saw the world through assumption, and it turned out to be totally not what he expected it to be. His uncertainty created a window of mystery, what I personally find beautiful, but it also created fear in the monk. He did not know if he harmed his philosophy. Similar could be said about Jediism and live according to the Doctrine. We learn certain values and important basic fundaments of our Jediism described by the Temple Program, but it is up to ourselves to apply it, to take into us what matters, to develop it if required, and leave the rest open to be as it is. The future is a mystery, and therefore it uncertain what a person does or what would be reasonable for someone to do. Can a doctrine therefore be truly solid in saying what to do? Sometimes a situation is more complicated, and not every person can be made happy with the choices for the greater good. What would happen if we ask questions and keep thinking but not judging as soon as we notice it? How do you look to difficult situations and how would you respond?
[Take a moment to mind about this please.]
Sometimes a difficult situation might be unpredictable. Or maybe is always unpredictable? If learning to judge on the ‘right’ moment is an art, then being able and willingly to forgive another would be a craft; like building on friends and family takes time. One his Jediism is not formed in one night, please consider crafting your journey and taking your time to embrace the uncertainty, for maybe the world would be boringly static without.
Force shine with you,