In this exercise, we look back to lesson 4 and are asked to pick three of the darknesses we listed. I chose one from each portion; darkness from my upbringing, my culture and myself. Next we name what could be positive about embracing those darknesses. Embracing selfishness, even partially, or only for a moment, could yield personal rewards where a moment of selflessness could’ve come at great cost. Open-minded thinking is a Sith virtue, and identifying gold hidden in darkness is part of that thinking. To again quote Miles..
“In the end, the point of it all is to learn about and embrace the self, all that you are, good and bad, and find the gold hidden within. This is often done in stages, but the end result is to continually embrace the darkness until there is no darkness left to embrace. I refer to this condition as the Sith Paradox of Darkness.”
Quick Judgement: Embracing quicker judgements would lead to quicker decision making, resulting in a more decisive and most likely more resolute me. If I embraced this with the Initiative Darkness I could be a very different sort of person. Quicker judgements would cause me to be more certain of myself and confident, rather than contemplative and self-doubting.
Initiative is a positive trait in the real world. It’s often received well and is considered a mark of leadership talent. Without it being suppressed in me at an early age, I’d be a far more confident and able person. I am currently working on overcoming this flaw within myself, however. I have taught myself to identify what I should do, and then do it, by following an instinct that once made me stop in my tracks. Why the modern school systems attempts to drill it out of students is beyond me, save for an Orwellian theory…
Forgiveness: If I was a forgiving sort, I’d probably have better peace of mind (peace is a lie!) and far less resentful of some of the people who surround me. I’d be more sociable and less judgemental. I’d like to clarify that the aspect of forgiveness I perceive as darkness is the forgiving of intended insults, slights, and attacks on me or those around me. Minor inconveniences and annoyance I simply dismiss.
And now, onto the second part of this lesson. What would the negative results of embracing these darknesses be? By identifying the good and the bad we can make more informed decisions.
Quick Judgement was discouraged during my childhood for good reason; because it doesn’t give you time to consider the different sides of a story or the many possibilities of a situation. Embracing quick judgements may make me a quicker thinker but it would also lead to irrational or unfair decisions. It could also lead to me taking unnecessary risks in a situation that someone who gave it proper thought would avoid.
Initiative is a virtue, let’s face it. It’s a great trait to have. But without correct knowledge or application, it could bring about mistakes, or even disaster, in a teamworking environment. You can get something wrong or just be a hindrance to the team. In a schoolroom setting, initiative could lead you down an incorrect path of study, particularly if you’re working with an inflexible syllabus. But all in all, it’s a fine characteristic and would serve anyone well who had it.
Forgiveness: Why don’t I forgive? Simple. The emotional investment of forgiveness is far greater than the feelings of the person who has wronged you, unless they desperately seek it. If forgiveness is given without justice, the offender will not have learned their lesson and could even be the sort to do it again, particularly if the offence was pleasurable or profitable to them. Forgiving someone you shouldn’t will hurt you far more than them should they betray the trust of that forgiveness.
Now for the third part. This is a pretty long exercise that could’ve actually been made into two… A fairly Sith question here; what would be the benefits of embracing your passions? What strengths can be found there?
Our passions drive us from within. Whether we embrace or reject them, they’re in there, talking to us and they hunger. When we indulge in them we feel damn good. The rejection of one’s passion is a suppression of the self and is definitely not healthy for your emotional and mental wellbeing. By accepting and embracing our passion, we can connect with a deeper, fundamental part of ourselves and achieve greater understanding of ourself in so many ways.
We can find inner strengths and reveal hidden talents within us. Our passions are there, craving fulfillment, exploration, and attention. What would be so wrong about doing something completely honest for our core self?
And the fourth part answers my question there. It’s an obvious lead-on, see? What are some of the drawbacks of embracing your passions? What would be the price of the strength?
Embracing passion can be an exercise of inward thinking. The price of that strength could very well be a social one. Some activities just aren’t acceptable in some social groups or cultures. This passion I have found in theology would definitely be frowned on by some in my life, especially the smaller minded ones. There are always people opposed to our interests, and by exploring them we tend to open ourselves to their notice.
In my case, reading alternative theological texts in a public setting could cause severe backlash from the religiously minded. Perhaps reading Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible on the train isn’t that good of an idea?
In the end, you have to be true to yourself to even begin to explore the darkness, let alone find the gold. Self-deception is self-destruction and that is completely counter-productive. After all, the singers say it best; Embracing the truth will change your fate.