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The Trials of Kishi, the Gray Jedi: Genin


Kishi

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So, true story: my first bit of nerdery was Star Wars. Yes, yes it was. I might lapse into Japanese every now and again and break out the demon animoos once in a while, but for me, Star Wars is where it all started. And with the return of these films come later this year, well, it just kind of feels fitting to build my challenge around that.

 

Of course, if it turns out to suck, or else gets pushed back to next year, that kinda axes my theme on a certain level. Oh well. I'll take the risk. As the kids say, carpe diem.

 

A Jedi-themed challenge suits me perfectly. For starters, why be a smuggler or a soldier or a senator when I can be a magical kung fu space knight? Just saying.

 

But I can't do the standard dichotomy. I can't. I don't really consider myself to be a Jedi in my methods. I'm very much of the sink-or-swim, do-or-die Sith methodology. I believe in pressure-testing my technique and taking the knocks if it doesn't do what I need it to do. I also don't think that the Jedi mindset is strictly correct. As written in the Jedi Code, it seeks to build a mental landscape that denies certain truths of the world that should be explored.

 

On the other hand, however, I don't really buy into the Sith mindset either. I can see how it's ultimately about being the person you mean to be, but following it ultimately comes at the cost of others. There's no room in it for you to have compassion or to develop your virtue or to be the best self you can be. Power is the only truth there.

 

Enter the Gray Jedi.

 

The Gray Jedi is a piece of Star Wars fanon which attempts to create a third order of Force-users who are neither truly good nor truly evil. I like the concept because it allows for a much more subtle, much more nuanced exploration of ethics and morality and how the choices we make affect what we do and ultimately who we are.

 

Frankly, I think the whole idea was written so that people could make Force-users without all that pesky space-Buddhism-or-space-Objectivism stuff getting in the way, but screw it. I like this concept. I will use it.

 

This concept is useful because my big epic goal for the year is to attain some degree of balance in myself. In driving pain from my body in the past year, I've noticed that I'm not quite... right. That a lot of what I do stems from broken understandings of not only my world, but of myself. I want to take this year and... well, if not fix them, at least understand them and maybe do something to set them right.

 

And where do we start? At the beginning.

 

Genin is the first and lowest rank of the Gray Order, an initiate sort of similar to a padawan.

 

His primary responsiblity is to meditate on the Gray Jedi Code, which has been changed and adapted many times in the millenia since the old days. It reads as follows:

 

There is neither darkness, nor light;

There is only the Force.

There is passion, yet peace.

Serenity, yet emotion.

Chaos, yet order.

I am the shadow cast by the sun,

I am the candle burning in the night,

And the Force alone shall guide me.

 

As an apprentice, my duties are to do chores and meditate and reflect, as these are things that develop discipline and ultimately make me a better Jedi. This on top of the training, which is without question. :) So, without further ado.

 

Goal 1) Clean one box of detritus from my quarters per week

 

I have a small room to myself, and it has enough room for my bed. There is barely enough room for me. But it feels like so much work to take care of just one box that I don't even want to. That stops now.

 

Goal 2) Meditate 2 minutes per day

 

I have some wonderful resources on meditation. They all take time, though. And the perfect fifteen minutes that I don't do are inferior to the two minutes that I accomplish. No excuses.

 

Goal 3) Read My Bible

 

This also is a thing I need to accomplish. I'm bad at it. I don't want to be anymore. Though, tbh, I'm not sure where to start. Probably could use a read through the Gospels. Maybe start with Mark, since it's the shortest?

 

Goal 4) Write

 

I can do one page a day. Now I want to go a little harder - no less than one page, no more than two.

 

Basically, this year, I want to understand myself better and clear out the inconsistencies I've noticed. Dunno how that'll work or what'll end up happening, but that's what I wanna do.

 

Let's get to work, Rebels. May the Force be with us.

 

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Love it!  I'm more of a "Grey Sith", if there is such a thing, but I love your whole challenge and especially the theme.  I was thinking of doing a Star Wars theme when it gets closer to the Ep7 release date.  

 

 

Goal 3) Read My Bible

 

This also is a thing I need to accomplish. I'm bad at it. I don't want to be anymore. Though, tbh, I'm not sure where to start. Probably could use a read through the Gospels. Maybe start with Mark, since it's the shortest?

 

Might I suggest Proverbs?  There's 31 chapters, which works perfectly to read one chapter per day for a month, and it focuses a lot on mindset.  

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"Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." - Captain Malcolm Reynolds

 

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Basically, this year, I want to understand myself better and clear out the inconsistencies I've noticed. Dunno how that'll work or what'll end up happening, but that's what I wanna do.

 

I am really looking forward to witnessing this ^ exploration and adventure.

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“It’s the sensible, logical thing to do, of course, which is why we don’t do it.” -Tanis, Dragons of Autumn Twilight

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Hell yea, Grey Jedi.  I freaking loved JoLee in KOTOR.

 

Last year was a hyper physical challenge year for you.  So make this year a crazy mental one.  I know you got this.  You have a good head on your shoulders - I've seen it, and can confirm it's existence.  You just need to start believing it (says the pot to the kettle). :P

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

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Hell yea, Grey Jedi.  I freaking loved JoLee in KOTOR.

 

Last year was a hyper physical challenge year for you.  So make this year a crazy mental one.  I know you got this.  You have a good head on your shoulders - I've seen it, and can confirm it's existence.  You just need to start believing it (says the pot to the kettle). :tongue:

 

While I haven't actually seen your head, I still firmly believe RP is correct! 

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Kishi.  Kishi.

 

YOU NEED TO BEAT STACI AT BURPEES THIS CHALLENGE:

 

http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/58847-jan-5th-challenge-open-to-everyone-2015-burpees/

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Kishi, I've been gone for like a year. I saw your thread and immediately checked it out. I'm very excited for you! Working the mind is just as important as working the body. And I think you'll learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person by sticking to this challenge

Level 3 Martial Monk, True Neutral

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A focus on the mental priorities is good for you.

 

While I disagree with you on a philosophical level, one Force user to another, the Force is not the same thing to all people.  Even if the Sith is the right way to do things.

 

I think it would be! That's why I did it.

 

The Force is the Force, but that's probably why not everyone just up and goes Gray, you know? And anyway, you Sith belong.

 

Love it!  I'm more of a "Grey Sith", if there is such a thing, but I love your whole challenge and especially the theme.  I was thinking of doing a Star Wars theme when it gets closer to the Ep7 release date.  

 

 

 

Might I suggest Proverbs?  There's 31 chapters, which works perfectly to read one chapter per day for a month, and it focuses a lot on mindset.  

 

Eh, I mean, the whole concept allows for a spectrum of interpretations and such. That's what neutrality is.

 

Ooh, Proverbs could be fun. Or I could read it in the order the books were written. But I asked for suggestions, so I'll do Proverbs first.

 

I've never heard of the Gray Jedi explained that way. I can see the appeal now.

 

Absolutely. I think I can see why it wouldn't appeal to people - lots of Naruto influence which is... a mixed blessing.

 

I am really looking forward to witnessing this ^ exploration and adventure.

 

Oh, it'll be a ranty one this challenge. This I'm sure of.

 

Hell yea, Grey Jedi.  I freaking loved JoLee in KOTOR.

 

Last year was a hyper physical challenge year for you.  So make this year a crazy mental one.  I know you got this.  You have a good head on your shoulders - I've seen it, and can confirm it's existence.  You just need to start believing it (says the pot to the kettle). :tongue:

 

JoLee was the man. I lurved him pretty hard.

 

"Crazy Mental"? Really? :P

 

While I haven't actually seen your head, I still firmly believe RP is correct! 

 

Thank you!

 

As another believer in the Third Way of the Force, I shall stand with you on this challenge, Kishi! I had to go with a Star Wars theme too... after all, I'm starting lightsaber class tomorrow! =)

 

Nice! Way to be on that. I was kinda worried I'd find myself in a bad way, with all the Sith around here. Also, yeah, you are doing lightsaber class. I'm kind of hoping to find my way back to martial arts, which would mean kali as far as weaponstuff around here is concerned...

 

 

Ooooooh.

 

MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

 

Well, she is stronger than me. I need something on her.

 

Kishi, I've been gone for like a year. I saw your thread and immediately checked it out. I'm very excited for you! Working the mind is just as important as working the body. And I think you'll learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person by sticking to this challenge

 

Cob! Welcome back, man. Good to see you again. I kind of agree with you - mind and body, I've learned, are way more intertwined with one another than I have been inclined to give them credit for. We'll see what the year brings.

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Nice! Way to be on that. I was kinda worried I'd find myself in a bad way, with all the Sith around here. Also, yeah, you are doing lightsaber class. I'm kind of hoping to find my way back to martial arts, which would mean kali as far as weaponstuff around here is concerned...

 

Sith isn't necessarily evil, though.  I'm sure we could derail the hell out of your thread with a philosophical discussion about the Force, but I won't do that here.  

 

In any case, burpees!!! DOO EET!!! 

"Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." - Captain Malcolm Reynolds

 

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Also, I Agree With Tank™

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Nice! Way to be on that. I was kinda worried I'd find myself in a bad way, with all the Sith around here. Also, yeah, you are doing lightsaber class. I'm kind of hoping to find my way back to martial arts, which would mean kali as far as weaponstuff around here is concerned...

 

I may not be a great Jedi, but I am definitely no Sith. Anger and hatred may be powerful in the moment, but they are inherently unstable. Our balance of peace and passion shall stand against them. =)

 

I'm not overly familiar with kali. What is it, where does it come from?

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

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Power of the mind is of course crucial to any jedi training - I thoroughly approve.

 

I also like the idea of the third way on a personal level, but had it been an option for Anakin I don't think Vader would have materialised... and where would SW have been then?? (Sorry, my fandom is restricted purely to the movieverse!) ;)

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I also like the idea of the third way on a personal level, but had it been an option for Anakin I don't think Vader would have materialised... and where would SW have been then?? (Sorry, my fandom is restricted purely to the movieverse!) ;)

 

I don't think Anakin could have managed the third way. He was ruled by his emotions, unable to get them under control even when he absolutely needed to. Admittedly, quite a lot of that could arguably go back to the utter denial of the Jedi to see themselves as anything but perfect and all-knowing, but even if Anakin Skywalker had been shown the possibility of a path between light and dark, I still think he would have fallen all the way to the dark side eventually. He was just too corruptible.

 

It might have taken longer, but you'd still have gotten Darth Vader when Palpatine got his spindly hands on Anakin.

 

Anyway, that's just one nerd's opinion >.>

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

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I don't think Anakin could have managed the third way. He was ruled by his emotions, unable to get them under control even when he absolutely needed to. Admittedly, quite a lot of that could arguably go back to the utter denial of the Jedi to see themselves as anything but perfect and all-knowing, but even if Anakin Skywalker had been shown the possibility of a path between light and dark, I still think he would have fallen all the way to the dark side eventually. He was just too corruptible.

 

It might have taken longer, but you'd still have gotten Darth Vader when Palpatine got his spindly hands on Anakin.

 

Anyway, that's just one nerd's opinion >.>

 

Honestly, without Palps, I don't think Anakin would have fallen at all.  Palp was manipulating him pretty much from birth.  Without that, Anakin wouldn't have had such a dark influence and should have been able to control himself much more.  Surely he would still have been a pompous brat, but I don't think he would have gone pure Dark Side.  

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"Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." - Captain Malcolm Reynolds

 

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love this.

what are you using for your meditation tracking/app/whatever?

"Come with me if you want to lift" -The Brominator

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Love the theme.  I haven't read much of the expanded universe or fanon so I'm not really familiar with the grey sith but that makes a lot of sense.  Very little is actually black and white.

 

 

There is neither darkness, nor light;

There is only the Force.

There is passion, yet peace.

Serenity, yet emotion.

Chaos, yet order.

I am the shadow cast by the sun,

I am the candle burning in the night,

And the Force alone shall guide me.

 

LOVE this.

 

Reading some philosophy may help you as well.  Having disconnects between your actions and your core philosophy and beliefs cause stress.  Re-examining your mind and reconciling belief/faith/philosophy and bringing it all into a balanced whole is the most monkish challenge in a while depending on how you look at it.  Within is even more important than without.

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I really like this challenge, honestly i think this challenge will be harder than some of the more physical ones i've read

 

oh and of course because I am a nerd, I love the presentation, the force is awesome :)

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Reading some philosophy may help you as well.  Having disconnects between your actions and your core philosophy and beliefs cause stress.  Re-examining your mind and reconciling belief/faith/philosophy and bringing it all into a balanced whole is the most monkish challenge in a while depending on how you look at it.  Within is even more important than without.

 

This is a great point. Reading your Bible is definitely a good start, but if you have the time/energy, reading other philosophical and religious texts is very much what a Jedi would do. Just look at the size of their archives!

Level 3 Martial Monk, True Neutral

STR: 6.5 | DEX: 6 | STA: 7 | CON: 9 | WIS: 8 | CHA: 6

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I'm mostly here for the vicarious burpees - if that wasn't a thing, it is now.

Actually, that's not true <waves Pom-poms> very best of luck with your goals

 

Vicarious Burpees - the name of my next gym-bros band.

 

Sith isn't necessarily evil, though.  I'm sure we could derail the hell out of your thread with a philosophical discussion about the Force, but I won't do that here.  

 

In any case, burpees!!! DOO EET!!! 

 

I didn't say they were necessarily evil. Ultimately, they're agents of change. The Jedi Order is ultimately about stability, but there's never a guarantee that the stability they support is righteous or good. See Episode I, where an entire planet is blockaded in the name of politics, with the citizenry taken hostage, and the Order does nothing. See also the outset of the Clone Wars: they do nothing to prevent the war at all, working ineffectually in the shadows and the bureaucracy of the Republic until the Wars break out.

 

The presence and antagonism of the Sith (from a Gray standpoint, I think) is to express the dynamic nature of the Force that ultimately acts against entropy and ultimate universal decay. If there were no Sith, the Grays would have to make 'em. However, you gotta admit: willingness to murder an entire quasi-religious order down to the children? Destroying worlds? Pretty dickish. Remember, this is the order that is so consumed with self-interest at all costs that there can only be two Sith at any given time, and even if they have extras in the wings, they're constantly trying to kill each other.

 

Perhaps not necessarily evil so much as a necessary evil?

 

I may not be a great Jedi, but I am definitely no Sith. Anger and hatred may be powerful in the moment, but they are inherently unstable. Our balance of peace and passion shall stand against them. =)

 

I'm not overly familiar with kali. What is it, where does it come from?

It's a Filipino Martial Art.  My main exposure to it has been through the Karambit, though there's quite a bit more to it than that.  

 

It's mostly just terrorists beating each other with sticks in their backyards.

 

Power of the mind is of course crucial to any jedi training - I thoroughly approve.

 

I also like the idea of the third way on a personal level, but had it been an option for Anakin I don't think Vader would have materialised... and where would SW have been then?? (Sorry, my fandom is restricted purely to the movieverse!) ;)

 

It's more crucial than I ever would have thought it was a year or so ago.

 

SW would have been plenty interesting with the third path. But it was never about morality and ethics, not directly. It was about the Hero's Journey, and the Big Archetypes, Good vs. Evil and all that. Muddying up the waters with a third path would have been counter to the mission of the films, I think. (you are wise. you see how fandom imploded when the expanded universe got cut?)

 

I don't think Anakin could have managed the third way. He was ruled by his emotions, unable to get them under control even when he absolutely needed to. Admittedly, quite a lot of that could arguably go back to the utter denial of the Jedi to see themselves as anything but perfect and all-knowing, but even if Anakin Skywalker had been shown the possibility of a path between light and dark, I still think he would have fallen all the way to the dark side eventually. He was just too corruptible.

 

It might have taken longer, but you'd still have gotten Darth Vader when Palpatine got his spindly hands on Anakin.

 

Anyway, that's just one nerd's opinion >.>

Honestly, without Palps, I don't think Anakin would have fallen at all.  Palp was manipulating him pretty much from birth.  Without that, Anakin wouldn't have had such a dark influence and should have been able to control himself much more.  Surely he would still have been a pompous brat, but I don't think he would have gone pure Dark Side.  

 

Nerds.

 

love this.

what are you using for your meditation tracking/app/whatever?

 

A stopwatch. Going retro on this one. :P

 

Love the theme.  I haven't read much of the expanded universe or fanon so I'm not really familiar with the grey sith but that makes a lot of sense.  Very little is actually black and white.

 

 

LOVE this.

 

Reading some philosophy may help you as well.  Having disconnects between your actions and your core philosophy and beliefs cause stress.  Re-examining your mind and reconciling belief/faith/philosophy and bringing it all into a balanced whole is the most monkish challenge in a while depending on how you look at it.  Within is even more important than without.

 

Well, yeah. That's honestly part of what makes me so impatient with the films sometimes - so much possible depth, so little exploration. But on the other hand, it works well dramatically, or at least the Original Trilogy did.

 

I agree, and the time is probably there. I have read some Socrates, and I've been meaning to dig into Plato's The Republic for a while. Just hasn't happened yet. You're right, though. Without is an extension of within.

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I really like this challenge, honestly i think this challenge will be harder than some of the more physical ones i've read

 

oh and of course because I am a nerd, I love the presentation, the force is awesome  :)

 

Hopefully it'll be interesting to watch. :D

 

Glad you liked it. I actually stressed more about that than about the challenge itself. Go figure, huh?

 

This is a great point. Reading your Bible is definitely a good start, but if you have the time/energy, reading other philosophical and religious texts is very much what a Jedi would do. Just look at the size of their archives!

 

Oh, yeah, absolutely. But have you seen the size of the Mahabharata? That's no manuscript, that's a frickin' codex. But you know, I'd really love to explore the Stoics and learn to understand them a bit better, or maybe the Sufis as well. I seem to gravitate toward discipline of some kind, though I rarely think I know what.

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