Archive for the ‘OotS’ Category

LaRkEn’s Foundation Assignments

·         Assignment #1

What is the Dark Side?
What are some of your experiences in exploring it?
What does “darkness” mean to you?

What led you to the Sith Way, and how is Darkness relevant to you?

 

Answer:

What is the Dark Side? That really depends on what you are talking about…when something is referred to having gone to “the dark side”, it usually has some evil annotation to it, as if someone went from doing all the good and right things to doing the opposite which are all the wrong and bad things. Going to the dark side if often referred to as being traitorous to someone else’s wants…but in the case of Sithism, that is not what the Dark Side is at all (in my opinion). When it comes to being a Force User, one of the main differences between the Jedi and the Sith are their focus and priority. While Jedi-Realism is about bettering the self, ultimately, their goal is bettering the World, helping others, and focusing on peace.

Sithism is something different…it is not only the bettering of the self, it is control over the self, it is power through self, it is passion, and ultimately is considered more of a selfish art and lifestyle. Personally I consider Sithism to be more of the realistic side of things… But, to me, the Dark Side is merely part of the balance…part of the whole ‘truth’, and it is just another aspect of The Force that we are constantly trying to understand.

As I have mentioned in my introduction, my entry into the world of Sithism was as a spy. Just as I had come into Jedi-Realism, it was pure curiosity and boredom which lead me to investigate whether or not Sith really existed…and that’s when I found the Sith Academy. When I first started reading their forums and teachings, I was appalled. It was a male-dominated site and they did not seem like anything less than terrorists. Scared out of my mind, I informed one of Jedi instructors on this, and she laughed. She told me that the Sith were no threat to Jedi in any way, and that I was best just to leave the site alone and never go back. Still, I wanted to play hero, and so, I kept spying in hopes that I might find something to aid the Jedi community.

It was during this time that I started pulling away from Jedi-Realism because it felt like there was something missing. I did not agree with all the things I was being taught, and thus, I started to become more involved in Sithism…only this time, I dropped the spy act and took it on as an actual Acolyte…and I excelled. Taking the things I had kept bottled during my courses in Jedi-Realism, I found that these were the qualities that the Sith at SA were looking for. A realistic personality with passion and emotion…Someone longing for control, a life of power and glory. I was someone that had gone onto their site in a completely different skin, and shocked them with my knowledge, shocked them even moreso with the fact that I was indeed a female, and they were impressed with my addiction to learning.

I grew in ranks rather quickly…from a lowly Acolyte to an Apprentice of Ravenus. Then from there I was granted the title of Master where I taught Religious Studies and “Infiltration” (basically how to role-play and pretend to be someone completely different. Nothing difficult…but for some people, the task seemed impossible because they could not mask their true personalities). Doing real-world missions and exercises earned me the title “Lord”…for awhile (a couple of weeks) I even ran the site for Ravenus, and, when Imperius went missing (the one with the vision of Darth Omega), my insight in meditations was what made Ravenus make me the next Prophet…though that was quickly shut down when SA took its bad turn, ran off the Path to Endarkenment, and I left with one final blog and a bow.

My next run in with Sithism was when another Lord of SA joined forces with me and a few others to create TotSO (Temple of the Sith Order). The site had promise, and while I was not very active due to my job…I was “High Lady” and part of the “Council of Nine” which would develop the curriculum for others. The site only lasted a few months however, and was eventually shut down (much to my dismay)…thus, I have been wandering ever since, longing to find another home where I might share my experiences and regain my high title.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the word “darkness” is the void…something unknown, something very powerful, and something that is oftentimes feared because it is so unknown. Darkness to me thus screams a force not to be messed with, something very strong indeed. Because the darkness is something that is so unknown, it’s almost like a blank canvas. You make anything with it because there is nothing laid out in front of you…thus nothing you can truly expect, you can only create, fantasize, and make your own reality. Just as exercising has a different result with everyone, the Dark Side is the same. No one has the same outcome, learns the same things, and takes with them the same lessons which they will apply in their life…it is something personal and unique.

So…the reason I came to learn the way of the Sith was because I found that I desired a more realistic approach to things. I know that life is not all sunshine and rainbows and I need balance in order to advance, to keep growing, learning, and changing. Not only do the positive outcomes in life shape us…the negative ones shape us, teach us, and make us stronger as well. Life is all about the light and the dark coming together to form one entity of enlightenment and truth…this is what I believe. Thus, the Dark Side is relevant to me because it is part of that balance. It is the black to the white which creates that middle ground of grey. I need the control over myself, power through myself…so that I may then be able to truly help others in a more realistic light. This is why I have come to Order of the Sith, because there is still so much that I do not know, and there is so much I have yet to Master so that I may feel whole and balanced in all things.

·         Assignment #2

What is a Sith?
Where does your current understanding come from?
What makes the Sith, as a way of life, a path, important to you?

 

Answer:

These questions are harder to answer because some of what I believe Sithism is and Sith are…it was said in the last assignment (and if there is one thing I despise, it is repeating myself). A Sith by plain terms would be someone that has Chosen something of the left-hand spirituality, someone that has embraced the Dark Side and thus has embraced the harsh truths of reality. As the code says,”Peace is a lie”, and as another quote goes: “It is a dog-eat-dog world”…the Sith understands this better than anyone, and uses The Force to better themselves in order to face these challenges and overcome life’s obstacles.

My understanding of the Sith and Sithism started with Sith Academy (because that is where my training began)…so, to me, the ultimate goal of Sithism used to be the creation of a superhuman race of soldiers that would eventually lead the planet and be able to defend against outside forces within the endless universe. This is what Imperius saw…this is what he fed to us on that silver spoon engraved with the SA insignia. But, this was just something of a fantasy. While I still do believe that a true Sith can move past human limitations to reach new heights of Power…this vision of a super race of soldiers and a war-torn planet, barren and bloody…well, that vision from my meditation has long since gone, and I’m not sure if or when it will ever come back.

Nowadays…Sithism is still a way of selfish betterment. It is empowerment and the ability to overcome all obstacles no matter the situation. It is all about control…control over the mind, control over the body, control over spirit. In itself, Sith are people who are in control, that use their teachings to be able to not only read themselves and others…but also to manipulate and conquer. This is what I think because this is all I have ever known…but I am here to possibly learn something different if this is the case. I am here to expand on my knowledge…thus, as of right now, my definition of Sithism and the Sith as people are still under construction. I am still building upon that mental image of what I personally think a Sith should be. Calm, collected, powerful, and in control. Strong and solid…like a brick wall.

So…to answer the last question, I will say this: The one thing I have always struggled with in life is control. As a person, I have always felt like I do not hold the proper control over my surroundings and my situations. I often fall into bad instances and wonder what I could have done to have grabbed the reigns a little tighter…as a person, I fight often with my emotions which are fueled by my passions, and again, it is something I feel like I have no control over. Once that nerve has been struck, my emotions flood out like a stream of fire following a trail of gasoline…and I know for a fact that blind rage is not a power, it is a weakness which often leads to harm of self, and in more serious cases, can even lead to casualty.

But, if there is one thing that I have learned from my classes in Jedi-Realism it is that the body is always changing…and not only physically. Just as our tastebuds change and our eyesight gets worse, so does our mind continue to expand and learn and change according to the lessons we have taken and begun to apply to said-life. So as long as I am on the forums and in the Temples…so will my mind continue to expand and I will learn different techniques in which to strengthen myself in body and soul, and that knowledge will carry over to others in which I converse with…and this path and lifestyle is important to me because it does offer me what I want and the tools that I think I need.

Things to harness my visions, to gather my energies  and turn it into energy in which I can then materialize anything I want just by thought alone (same as the concept of Sympathetic Magicks in Wicca and other Pagan beliefs). The control needed to focus my energies elsewhere instead of fueling negative emotions which would get me nowhere. Sithism is important to me as a lifestyle because it is part of that balance that I believe to be my personal truth. I am a Grey aspect…and what is grey without the black to the white?

I have answered this question so many times. I answered it while at Sith Academy as an Acolyte wearing a different skin, I answered it several months later once I had ranked up and my true self was revealed…both times the answers were very different due to experience. This is where I stand with my answers as of right now…but I can guarantee you that these answers will change with time. I would truly think that this is the point of these exercises anyways…
As Darth Draconis said, “It is just a starting point”.

·         Assignment #3

What are emotions?
What purpose, if any, do they serve?
Which ones are most important?
Do you think it’s important to have an awareness of your emotions?

 

Answer:

I will start this off by saying that, when I started studying at IJRS, I did this test which determined that I was what they call an Empath. I am constantly being affected by the emotions of others, and have a hard time determining which emotions are my own, and/or how to control all my emotions at once…so, emotion has always been a struggle yet a fascinating subject for me.

So…emotions to me are like all the cogs that make up a machine. Every single one has its own function, and many of the cogs work together to make one motion. This is merely how I see it. Positive emotions fuel other positive emotions which then fuel and move the human body in a positive way. Negative emotions can do multiple things…sometimes they act as aggressors, pushing the other cogs harder and faster than they were moving before, which can sometimes lead to a meltdown. Sometimes, negative emotions can become stuck which then prevents other cogs from moving which is then considered a hindrance on the human body, keeping it from functioning properly.

Such emotions which are aggressors can be things like Rage, Hate, and the feelings of Vengeance and etc. When these emotions flood the mind, the body oftentimes acts without any sense of logic or reason, and can be very dangerous if not handled carefully (for the self and for others). Some people use negative emotions as a type of power, but in truth, they are more of weakness because the mind is so clouded and the body is then left open to attack. So, to me, they have no purpose…and cannot even be considered a last-ditch effort to get what you want. These negative emotions are (to me) a weakness, and the only purpose of having these emotions are to train the body to be rid of them.

Hindering emotions are sadness…things like loneliness, and depression. Things such as these generally have no purpose…if they did have one purpose, it would be as a trial. It would be a teaching experience in which one must overcome such hindrances, oil the cogs, and get the machine moving again.

The other emotions (the more positive ones) we know of well…feelings of happiness, of love—things like excitement, and surprise.  They are the memories and experiences that keep us going when we are at our lowest. They are a muse, they inspire us, they remind us who we are, what we have, and what we strive for. Love allows us to live and fight for something greater than ourselves…it can be selfish but at the same time, not so. It can shatter us into pieces, and it can lift us out of the dark. Moments of happiness are our goals and dreams materializing right in front of us…it is our family and the people we care about coming together and creating precious moments. It is a night out with friends that can never be forgotten.

Now that I think about it…the question asks,”What purposes do emotions serve?” — and I am not really sure if there is an answer to that. I know that, in Jedi-Realism it is said that the body can be trained to rid itself of the negative emotions which serve no purpose…but, as I mentioned above, negative emotions do indeed serve a purpose which is to test us, to try us, and to help us overcome obstacles so that we may learn from this and become stronger and better than before. Positive emotions…what do they serve then other than to remind us that we are alive? Other than to remind us that reality is not as dreary as it seems and that the world holds lots of love and beauty, what else can be said about positive emotions other than it is the Light to the Dark? Such as The Force is balanced between its light half and its dark half…so is the human body in a constant struggle for balance between positive and negative emotions.

Emotions serve the purpose then to help us find our true self and that middle ground.

With that being said, there are no emotions which are most important because they are all part of the experience. There are no emotions that stand out from the others because they will all be felt and we will learn from all of them in the quest to discover our personal truth.

As for the last question…I do agree that one needs a constant awareness about emotions. The thing is, we can do stupid things when blinded by both negative and positive emotions. While people have blamed their anger on making dumb decisions…how many times have you heard of someone making dumb decisions because they were in love?

Knowing your emotions is like having to know your surroundings. When I first came to Germany, I had no clue where I was, knew nothing of the culture, the language, or etc. It was really bad because I was dependent on so many people, it left me weak and helpless…I was vulnerable. Emotions are the same way. When you are unaware of your emotion, unawares of what is currently driving you whether it be anger or feelings of love, you are leaving yourself vulnerable. Vulnerable to hurt, vulnerable to foolish spending, vulnerable to harsh words which could end friendships or break a heart. Granted, these are all part of the experience, but through this experience, being aware of what is happening in your heart and mind is a good asset.

I am sure I will come to revisit this question later.

Assignment #4

What weaknesses and strengths do others see in you?
Where do you see shortcomings in yourself?
What are 3 aspects of the Sith Way that resonate with you, and why are they important to you?

 

Answer:

I can honestly say that my weaknesses and strengths have changed a lot since I started my Force training last year. Luckily for me, I chose a Jedi class which was all about oneself, and it helped tackle a lot of the things that I had trouble changing and overcoming, but, that does not mean that I am without flaw.

I will start with discussing weaknesses, since those are still so prominent within myself…

The biggest of my weaknesses is FEAR (and others point out my insecurity and paranoia quite often): fear of variables, fear of future hypotheticals, sometimes it can even be fear of change even though change is needed in order to keep the mind flowing and to grow spiritually.  Fear can take hold of me in a matter of seconds, and when that happens, it is like my whole body goes into a frenzy. I fall into hysterics when everything is up in the air (and nothing seems like it has found a foundation)—when I start to think of all the bad things that could pop up in the future, it makes me want to curl into my bed and hide.
I am not sure when this fear became so…restricting. I have always been someone who is slightly paranoid and afraid of the unknown…but as of when this fear of mine became crippling, I would not even begin to tell you. All I know is that this fear is the weakness which hinders me the most…and it is something I am constantly trying to cope with and overcome.

Lately, my tool for overcoming my fear is to live in the present. By understanding that the future is awhile away and that nothing is set in stone, I try and enjoy each day as it happens. I know that fear over the unknown makes me crazy, and because of that, it keeps me from focusing on all the good things happening around me. When I am gripped by this fear, I cannot enjoy the company of others, I cannot enjoy the small little moments like laying in bed with a loved one, or drinking a favorite soda. In fact, when this fear takes hold of me, I cannot even enjoy my hobbies such as playing video games…and that is when you know there is something extremely wrong.

Another one of my weaknesses is my mouth (when I have finally snapped). One of my greatest strengths is my patience (which many people can attest to), but, that patience does not last forever. There have been very few times where I have lost my temper…but when I do, it is like someone has released the floodgates. Words of all kinds come flowing from my mouth, and I lose all sense of logic and truth. I will sit there and blurt out everything that is mean, hateful, hurtful, and etc. without a care in the world…and when it is all said and done, I have not only made myself look like a complete fool and child, but, I have hurt someone else that most likely did not deserve it. The best example would be to look at my introduction thread here…imagine that Ravenus’ childish rantings were my post…that is what it might be like if I lose my temper.

I also have problems with my mouth when I feel that I have been trapped in a corner. Oftentimes when I am feeling like the victim in a situation, I tend to sit there and babble in order to defend myself. Granted, one should always stick up for their beliefs, but, I tend to take it to the next level. Some would sit there and listen, but, when I should just let the other person calm down, or wait for a situation to blow over, I tend to keep ranting and carrying on which only makes the situation so much worse than what it would be otherwise. The thing is, like my other weaknesses, I realize that these things are happening, and yet, I do not seem to have the power to stop these things before they begin.

Granted, this weakness of the mouth is something very small. It only happens once in a great while, and oftentimes I can bite my tongue. But, I will say that the urge is still there to let out the Hulk every once in awhile, and I have yet to figure out a way to subdue such an urge.

As for a third weakness…I would have to mark my Depression down. While my fear and paranoia is part of my depression, the whole of it all is based in sadness and feelings that the world is ending around me. While my depression is a medical issue that could be treated with medicine…it is always something that I have preferred to tackle myself. But, as time goes on, I have found that adults have more triggers for depression than children do, and it seems like (even though I have improved) I am still fighting the losing battle. When depression hits me, I am in physical pain. Every muscle is sore, every part of me feels too weak to move. I end up shirking responsibilities so that I can lay in bed all day, look at my ceiling, and pout with thoughts of “why me”. It’s a pathetic scene really, and why I cannot seem to overcome all this is beyond me.

I treat my depression numerous ways…I fight it with good company, endulging in good company, or something else. Basically, there is nothing spiritual about this strategy, it is merely keeping myself so distracted that I forget that I am even sad. Sometimes this works, and other times I barely fool others let alone myself. Again, this is something that is trial and error, and will keep working on it until I find something that actually works.

I have tried reading books, tried lessons in things like access consciousness…but so far, I have not gotten around to applying such lessons because I am rather skeptical about it all, and the books bore me to tell you the truth.

…and speaking of boring, that leads me to this additional weakness (which others like to point out), and that is my lack of motivation. Motivation is hard for me, there are few things that really drive me in this world. I can sit there and tell you a billion reason ‘why’ I should do something, but, even with those reasons, it is probably not enough to get me to do something that I do not want to do.

Back in the USA, I was an airsoft player…and surprisingly enough, that motivated me enough to work out because it as something fun, something that made me feel strong, and something that (truthfully) made me feel sexy. I was in an area of my life, where my only goal was to be strong and be sexy for my woman whom had just left for the Army. This is what drove me to go against those thoughts that ‘exercise is torture’, and really push myself to new limits. Plus, I was motivated by the fact that I was jealous of my woman for joining the Army when I never did…aaaaaand I was also training with an Army Veteran who would humiliate me if I performed poorly. So motivation for me, is a hit and miss. Sometimes, the only thing that motivates are the negative emotions…sometimes I have to use my other weaknesses and fears to motivate me. Sometimes, it’s the silly romantic things that motivate…and then sometimes, there is nothing in this world that motivates me. Again, still something I am trying to figure out so that I may come to better understand this weakness, and eventually, overcome it.

Now that we have discussed the weaknesses and shortcomings in myself, I can finally start to talk about my strengths (the ones others have seen in me as well).

I already mentioned patience. While it is something that does not last forever, I find that I am more patient than most people that I know. This is a great tool for both Light and Dark Aspects of The Force, and is something I am applying in my life constantly.

Another strength (that seems to go hand-in-hand with patience) is my understanding. Recently, there have been instances where I have been on a Jedi Forum, and rather than understand an individual, they start to make up their own diagnoses of why people do certain things, or act a certain, and/or even follow a certain path. Rather than understand someone’s calling, try and figure out their ideology and how they function, they want to slap labels on someone…calling them “sad”, “lonely”, and “attention whore” and such. That is not the Jedi way…it is not the way of understanding. Rather than continue to talk with someone and really study them, eventually, it is like they are playing with a new toy, and then they just get bored and will make up any excuse in order to get some new plaything. This is merely my opinion on what I have observed…but then again, I am always still looking and trying to understand. Because knowing someone, is only half the battle.

Another strength of mine, is the way in which I have been known to fuse together creativity and logical-thinking. It’s funny…they used to give us these tests every year in school (from 6th grade and up) to measure which side of the brain we were using more. In Middle School, I was lost in a fantasy world, and thus, the right-side of my brain was more dominant. Then, in High-School…I snapped out of that fantasy world, but only in a way that I could still use it as a muse, but apply real-world thinking to my studies, to my job, and to life in general. I found that the more years that passed in High-School, the more my brain became balance, until I was complete 50/50 in my senior year.

But now, looking at my brain recently, I have found that logical-thinking dominates me, and thus the left-side of my brain is used more than my right side. I attribute this to finally moving out on my own at 18, immigrating to another Country, and really just having to survive. Funnily enough, I still role-play on fantasy sites, still write my novels, still draw, still have crazy dreams…all the things that still make me a right-brained person, and yet, I am now left-brained, and it’s like I have the best of both worlds going on. I can take things that seem to not make sense, and I can make them work. Somehow, some way, I will figure out almost any situation if just given enough time. I find that this is one of my greatest strengths of all…only matched by my last strength, which is my determination.

Call it hard-headedness, call it stubborn, whatever you call it…I have determination like no other. When I found out that my woman was going to Germany, I freaked out. Everything was against. No one ever got their transfers approved for out of the Country when they weren’t sending away-teams. I could not get married (at the time) because of DOMA, so the Army would not sponsor me to go to Germany with my partner. I would only have 6-months to find a job once I got there otherwise I would get deported…either that or I could go to college there for 2 years, but either way, that was bad idea that would quickly fail because, I did not speak the language (fluently). I looked up plan A,B,C,D, and E…and even though everything looked grim, I was not going to give up.

Over a year later…here I am! Living in Germany after I got transfer. When I showed up here, I was homeless for 3 months, thought I would not get my visa. I have been kicked out of my apartment and had to get a new one, have been stuck eating soups for months just to get by at times…but I did it, I did it and will continue doing it until my partner and I can go home. Why? Because I am in love…and because I am determined. Because I like to figure out how to overcome all the obstacles in my life, because that is what I consider true power.

True power…”through strength I gain victory”, this is something that the Sith way is supposed to represent, and I believe in this and it is important to me because (as I just said) I want to overcome all obstacles in my life. Another quote from the Creed: “Peace is a lie”, this too is a thought in the way of the Sith which is important to me because one must not shield themselves from what reality really is, else reality will crush them. This is just my personal belief. As for a last bit of the Sith Way that resonates with me…I have not thought about it in so long, I’m not even sure really. I will save this last bit for the final resource assignment, I think.

I am sure I will revisit this later. But that is really all I can think about at this moment in time.

Assignment #5:

Is this code viable or practical?
What personal experiences, if any, validate it?
How might it apply to you?
What are some of the ways you apply Sith teachings in your life, offline?

 

Answer:

The Sith Code:

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

I think that the Sith Code is very viable and practical…it merely speaks truth about how harsh reality really is. The sole reason I am a Shadow Aspect is because I know the truth that the Dark Side tends to speak of…starting with the fact that Peace is a lie.
The thing is, we are creatures of greed…we are sinful, flawed, and we fall prey to things such as possession and gluttony. Humans would rather let others suffer if it means not having to suffer themselves. Look at how much we spend on the military (talking about the USA mostly). Billions upon billions of dollars go into making weapons, training soldiers, and researching new technologies to destroy our enemies quicker and more efficiently. The money we spend to help us in the wake of war, could feed those who are starving…it could almost end world hunger in itself.

But do we do it? Do we set aside the weapons and the pride? No.

Why?

Because…we know that were we to grow soft, turn towards non-violence…we would be overrun, attacked, ‘occupied’, seized by enemy forces, and the circle of balance, one of good and evil, would continue to turn. Even if we all set aside our differences, and gave up all we had just so that we could get by and nothing more…someone out there would be unhappy. Someone would think they deserve greater things, and, that ‘someone’ would find others like him or her…and conflict would come to the surface once more.

War and strife are inevitable…bloodshed between those with their differences, it is inevitable. There are two types of people in the world…those that serve others, and those that serve themselves. But, that does not mean those that serve themselves are evil…it merely depends on how it is they are serving themselves.

I have always seen Sithism as the pessimistic but logical world view…and Jedi-Realism was the dreaming hippie-vision of what the world would be if all people took good action. Jedi-Realism teaches the abandonment of negative emotions, and Sithism tells you to embrace such feelings in order to overcome obstacles. Sithism and the Sith Code preach ‘passion’ which to me roughly translates a deeper type of motivation for the body and soul. Passion is not just an emotion, it is a fuel…like gasoline to a fire. So yes, through passion (or passions), one would gain strength(s)…not all in a physical sense mind-you, but in whatever area the person had passion in.

Someone with true passion for art, strives to become a successful and highly skilled artist. Someone whom has passion for music, strives to one day have their songs playing on the radio. Someone with passion for physical strength, honor, and discipline might join the military, make a career out of it, and become an honored hero. Passion is more than motivation, it is a way of life in itself…and it drives people down the path to improvement, to self-empowerment, self-betterment , and etc.

Through this change…through this improvement…one would become empowered, would become successful in their own right, and therefore it could be classified as a personal victory. They are now (through their successes, through overcoming their trials and obstacles) unchained, no longer bound by what they used to see as limitations…thus again, Sithism and the Sith Code particularly is more the Path we walk in life every single day.

Therefore, the Sith Code applies to me merely because I am human. Not because I am half a dark-aspect, not because I crave power, but just because I live.

I apply these lessons, these words, and this mantra to my every day life…it flows through me every time I take a breath, every time I tackle a project, every time I search for the will to continue on. I am reminded that I am human, and that obstacles were meant to be broke…that, at the end of this long road of traps and tricks, I will one day overcome everything, and through this personal success, through this victory, I will then know what it is like to have no limits, and I will be free.

Sounds repetitive, but, what else can I say? My views are simplistic in words because, this is more of something one must feel rather than read about…it is something that is (again) ‘personal’ and different for everyone.

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