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The Code itselfEdit
An interpretation of the Jedi code by Master Aldo Delar.
The Original Jedi Mantra:
Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force.
Concerning lines 1, 3, and 4: All sentient life feels emotion, but Jedi seek not to be ruled by it. For them, there is inner peace. Through meditation and discipline, we learn to accept our emotions and learn to not let them guide our hand, although to deny them entirely is foolish as extinguishing them entirely is ultimately impossible.
Passions, something closely tied to emotion, is also impossible to ignore. One may be inspired and feel strong passion for something, and none has a right to fault that. What we can find fault in, is how those passions are acted upon. A wise person knows that some passions can be destructive and irrational. For that reason, our passions must be tempered and controlled, the same as our emotions. It is the goal of the Jedi then to seek serenity, that is, a place of inner calm that we can hold to and go to when our passions seek to consume us. Only then, in a state of peace where we can think on the matter rationally, are we able to judge our impulses, weigh them, and consider the appropriate manner in which to act.
Both the issues of emotions and passions ultimately tie into the concepts of chaos and harmony. This is arguably the most important aspect of the Jedi way, yet it is the part of the code most frequently omitted. One who gives in to emotions without any thought, or is swayed and directed by their passions, becomes an embodiment of chaos. Alternatively, one who is able to find inner peace and serenity, that is, to own, reflect on, and moderate their feelings and impulses, achieves an inner harmony that serves the greater good. To be controlled by chaos, that is the path to the dark side. One who understands themselves, and overcomes their instincts without suppressing those instincts, that person walks the true path of the light.
Concerning line 2: If one is ignorant of the world outside, they will naturally be inclined to fear it; for fear of the unknown is natural for all intelligent life. If one is ignorant of their own nature, they will never be able to control it and therefore never be at peace. For these reasons, the pursuit of knowledge both of the self, and the universe in which we dwell, is absolutely essential for all Jedi; however, scholars must not become complacent in their knowledge. A true Jedi knows that there is always more to learn, and that total understanding, even of the self, is an eternal process. In this way, a Jedi must learn to accept the fact that they must always seek knowledge, yet will always be ignorant.
Concerning line 5: Death is not the end of being, merely the end of life as we know it. The Force fills us and surrounds us. Jedi seek to be servants of the Force. It guides our lives and gives us purpose. Death is not something to fear, for when we pass from this life we truly become one with the Force; however, death should also not be pursued and desired, for to do so would be to turn one’s back on the gift of the life that the Force has granted us.
The following is an analysis of the most common version of the code, popularized by Master Odan-Urr, as per this new interpretation.
“There is no emotion, there is peace.” – There is always emotion, peace only comes when we accept emotion and overcome it.
“There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.” – When one feels they have amassed enough knowledge as to no longer have any ignorance, they have only succeeded in deluding themselves. A Jedi knows there is always more to learn.
“There is no passion, there is serenity.” – All creatures have passions; we are no different. Part of the challenge of becoming a Jedi is creating and holding fast to an inner core of peace where we may reflect on our passions so that we can moderate them.
“There is no chaos, there is harmony.” – For a Jedi, this is absolutely true. By accepting and controlling our animal nature we achieve harmony. We do not deny what we are, but we do not let it guide our hands either.
“There is no death, there is the Force.” – There is no death, in the sense of death being the end of a person. The person becomes one with the Force where, hopefully, they may find true and eternal peace.
An explanation of the Code, as quoted by Jedi Master Firmus Piett (LadyVader):
"Accept emotion, yet find peace. Be ignorant enough to always seek knowledge. Feel passion, but act with serenity. Nature is chaotic, find the harmony within you. Death is the passage by which we finally become one with the Force."
As a Jedi you must know the meaning of the code, not just the words.
There is no emotion, there is peace
This tenet is not to be mistaken in the sense that emotions do not exist and Jedi are to be immune. It is there to ensure emotions must be understood, confronted and overcome in order to achieve peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge
This tenet teaches Jedi to always have an open mind, never to judge, never to doubt and not to be ruled by preconceptions.
There is no passion, there is serenity
This tenet is to teach Jedi to keep a clear mind, not to react to stress or emotion and only draw their lightsaber once all other options have been exhausted. A Jedi must always act with a calm hand and an even temper.
There is no chaos, there is harmony
This tenet reflects the ideals of the Jedi Order; a realization that all things are interconnected and interdependent, in a never-ending cycle of balance. Every event has a purpose, even if this is not clearly apparent.
There is no death, there is the Force
On the surface the final tenet teaches the Jedi to be ready for death, without fearing or dreading the inevitable. Deeper teachings show the Jedi that death is merely a part of the never-ending cycle of life. Without death, life could not exist, therefore a Jedi must celebrate death as they celebrate life.
In its true entity this tenet teaches Jedi to embrace life and death, decay and growth, purity and corruption as two sides of the same coin – one can’t exist without the other.
The first to break the Code's rule of attachment was Qui-Gon Jinn (LadyVader).