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Author Topic: in which iaera posts about the force  (Read 855 times)

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Offline Iaera

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in which iaera posts about the force
« on: 12/25/17, 06:12:51 PM »
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it's that time again

Just kidding! You're in luck; no one has to suffer through reading a huge wall of text by Iaera. Instead, inspired by Jaade's terrible link in shoutbox, I was looking up some of my old RP friends who still play SWTOR on other servers. One linked to the following video.

It's long, but this dude gets it. Like, gets it. And explains and articulates it far better than I ever could. I'm not necessarily a fan of some of the esoteric PHI 101 stuff, but he does a good job of laying it out in more serviceable layman's terms and it thus serves as a useful frame of reference if nothing else. I highly recommend giving this a proper watch if you can spare 40 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EMc_S_vAsk
"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Iaera Farworlder - Jedi Master, lightsaber instructor, Jedi Custodum
Sibyl-ko Tanaji - ex-punk, fighter pilot, Argent Squadron
also many alts i never play ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Offline blingdenston

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #1 on: 12/25/17, 09:42:03 PM »
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It's funny how much of this comes down to corporate bookkeeping and linguistic trickery. The first mention of 'Dark Jedi' is in reference to our ol' friend Joruus C'baoth, and he was called that because Timothy Zahn didn't have access to the background notes that talked about 'the Dark Lords of the Sith'. He KNEW that there were evil Force-users, but, lacking the scribbles of ol' GL (and pre-dating the Tales of the Jedi and other products that would slowly reveal the existence and history of the Sith, leading up to their canonical introduction in 'The Phantom Menace), just dubbed them 'Dark Jedi'.

Thus, it seems like you get the second neologism 'Gray Jedi' (assuming that the core Knights are the 'Light Jedi', though nobody ever bothered to coin that, as far as I know) to describe...basically a cool-kid Jedi who ain't a Sith but gets to smoke and drink and complain a lot.

I dunno, always struck me as pretty specious. Is Luke a 'Gray Jedi', then? I mean, he throttles a pig-guard, he disobeys his Jedi Master, he carries a gun and tries to assassinate a slug-dude...doesn't sound very 'light' to me. I think that 'Gray Jedi' is overall a pretty useless idea.
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Offline Iaera

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #2 on: 12/25/17, 10:08:48 PM »
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Perhaps! But one of the things I like about the video is that it made me appreciate a little more why people gravitate toward the Grey Jedi concept. I can see where they're coming from a little better. Which is a helpful perspective!
"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Fiat justitia ruat clum

Iaera Farworlder - Jedi Master, lightsaber instructor, Jedi Custodum
Sibyl-ko Tanaji - ex-punk, fighter pilot, Argent Squadron
also many alts i never play ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Offline recoveringgeek

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #3 on: 12/25/17, 10:11:17 PM »
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I dunno, always struck me as pretty specious. Is Luke a 'Gray Jedi', then? I mean, he throttles a pig-guard, he disobeys his Jedi Master, he carries a gun and tries to assassinate a slug-dude...doesn't sound very 'light' to me. I think that 'Gray Jedi' is overall a pretty useless idea.

I always equate that to Luke not having a Jedi Master around to reinforce Yoda's lessons about the Dark Side being quicker, easier, more seductive. He respects the power he wields, and wants to do right by the legacy that came before it, but he's a Rebel Commander, having to fight the Empire, rescue his friends, and push himself to discover what else he can do with the Force.

So when a pair of Gamorreans get in his way? Please. I got places to be...
I knew some of the Palace history, but not the bit about Jaade crashing that barge. That's good lore, right there.  :grin:

Offline NovaZero

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #4 on: 12/26/17, 12:16:12 AM »
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I remember throwing a few of this guy's videos up in discord:

A few points I know someone pointed out: they disagree with a few of his points.

To that: yup. I do too -- but he covers the content really well.

On Gray Jedi:

I... disagree. The whole Black/Gray/White scale kind of moves drastically -- it's like using the whole left/right scale in politics -- it's insufficient to clearly state what a "gray Jedi" is. It changes with the time/over time.

Is Luke a gray Jedi? I guess? If we're talking the old Legends/EU Luke, then yeah. Although we should point out that how much of Jedi principles survive from the whole... "jedi book burning" kind of says something about that. I think of Luke as having his own idealized if grounded version of the Jedi and sort of... feeling it out as they go along.

tldr; kinda with bling on this.
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Offline Hawking

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #5 on: 12/26/17, 12:56:56 AM »
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Just realised that this guy is the same bloke who did the excellent video analysis of Kreia that a mate showed me. Very cool.

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Offline LVT

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #6 on: 12/26/17, 02:23:28 AM »
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Trying to pin down what a grey Jedi is is much like hitting a moving target. I think that's the problem that a lot of people, including the video makes. A grey Jedi could be anything that's not a Jedi or a Sith. That could be anywhere from the Jedi who just feel like they don't play by the rules to a neutral lawful paladin who's goals center not around the greater good or personal good.

I agree with the video in that I don't think being a grey Jedi is something that's a 'savior' of the force or something that will destroy the cycle of light vs dark. People will be people, and even if all the force users were grey somehow, there still would be disagreements. But I think there is space for there to be force users outside the the two orders, especially if they have set rules as do the other force users even if they aren't aligned. Just because you are grey, does not intrinsically mean apathy, and just because you are balanced, does not mean you are an equal mix of dark and light. Kreia herself defeats the point of the video. She is a Grey user who does *something*. It is neither apathy, nor is it so selfish to lead her to fall; when she is coming from such a place already. She has a code, and she manages her attachments carefully.

I do think his interpretation of 'balance of the force' is correct, in terms of the movie. I don't think that excludes the concept of someone who is a centrist in the force. While it may be tough to resist power, if there are people today who can resist such corruption and find such centrism today in such a flawed world as ours, you can be sure they exist in a mirror fictional universe. Not every Jedi will mismanage external attachments. They may make a mistake, but expecting the consequences of such a mistake to be a "oh hey I'm Sith now." is simply writing to be allegorical. More likely they go through stages of grief, and then try to learn from their mistakes and move on.

Funny that the video points out that the yin and yang doesn't work when the fact that video points out that the Jedi are emotional and suppress it to gain power and the Sith the opposite, and when you switch, you become who you hate and go the other way. That's pretty yin and yang to me.

With all of that said, I suppose I'm not a huge fan of the 'I choose to be what I want that suits me at the moment' type of grey either. That's why I think a code and rules are important, even if someone isn't Jedi or Sith. It is true that there are some rules of the force that are be one or the other, but your character shouldn't solely be defined by their use of the force; only a part of it. I suppose that's what Kreia was arguing in the entirety of KOTOR 2. The way well written grey Jedi exist is not through how much they mix light and dark which is a very difficult slope to run up, but the strength of their character and what their vector in the universe is agnostic of the force. The way they use the force should add to that.
« Last Edit: 12/26/17, 02:50:35 AM by LVT »
Turari (29, Major, jr. grade CEDF)     Silivia Fenir (21, Freighter Captain)
Lashila Sellara (25, Grey Sith)         Harkasone Milan (29, Philanthropist)
Reill Farr(31, Silent Mandalorian)     Mystenin Felsa (26, 'Green' Jedi)
Touko Saizar(19, Turari's underling) Temple Guard #124(35, Pro Spook)
                                                    Freya Merril (?, ???)

Offline Sotekh

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #7 on: 02/08/18, 02:04:13 PM »
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It's long, but this dude gets it. Like, gets it. And explains and articulates it far better than I ever could. I'm not necessarily a fan of some of the esoteric PHI 101 stuff, but he does a good job of laying it out in more serviceable layman's terms and it thus serves as a useful frame of reference if nothing else. I highly recommend giving this a proper watch if you can spare 40 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EMc_S_vAsk

Late to the party, but finally got around to watching this video. 

I think it was about 39 minutes too long.

In short, "Gray Jedi" as typically used is a misnomer, sure, I agree, but that just took considerably less than 40 minutes to express.  Much of the confusion about Jedi and Sith and "neutrality" that exists among fans could I believe have been avoided had Lucas et al. talked about bringing harmony to the Force, rather than balance, which would have been much more in line with what they meant, I believe.  I certainly find it a much more useful idea; after all, there's no question of being "sorta" harmonious: things either are, or aren't, and there is no "gray".

Rather than Taoism, I would have used Zoroastrian or Manichean dualism, or (perhaps better) Theosophy and the associated Rosicrucian/Masonic syncretic orders (Golden Dawn and its innumerable offshoots, and Ordo Templi Orientis come immediately to mind) and their notions about White Adepts and Black Brothers to discuss the Jedi and Sith.  *shrug*
Now is the Pillar established in the Void; now is Asi fulfilled of Asar; now is Hoor let down into the Animal Soul of Things like a fiery star that falleth upon the darkness of the earth.

Offline Iaera

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #8 on: 02/08/18, 02:51:11 PM »
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I suppose one could be that succinct, but in my experience it doesn't make for a very effective argument. If you are the choir, then sure, a 40-minute preaching-to might seem a little long (though I think it is still useful to hear such arguments articulated).

In RPing The Star Wars as long as I have, however, I've found that the "Grey" concept of a Force-fence-sitter who is neither light nor dark is a very common and stubborn idea, often complete with an extremely frustrating (and weird) claim to moral superiority via neutrality. This video addresses that brainbug in articulate detail. It deals with what I view as a serious misunderstanding of the Force, and I thought it might help people see why I think that. :)
"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Fiat justitia ruat clum

Iaera Farworlder - Jedi Master, lightsaber instructor, Jedi Custodum
Sibyl-ko Tanaji - ex-punk, fighter pilot, Argent Squadron
also many alts i never play ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Offline Orell

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #9 on: 02/08/18, 04:46:16 PM »
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...yeah, his analysis is downright fascinating, and I see a lot of truth to it. The notion that one can reach a zen state of selflessness... by no longer caring about the people they're supposed to be protecting.

It sounds cynical and dark... but then again, the hero who's response to "Why'd you help me?" is "Because you asked", just helping because... it's the right thing to do? On a good day, that's what the Jedi are supposed to be.

But honestly, this made me get thinking about Quarasha. Not because she's a Gray Jedi (she's not, and if anyone else tells her she's not a Sith she's going to skin some refugees in front of them, that'll show 'em!), but rather because the philosophy that she's been adopting over the last while is a bit of cynical Selfish Selflessness.

She's in a place where acting too Sithy (aka "Selfishly") will get her ass killed, because pretty much everyone that would want her dead has bigger problems on their hands. She can't get real minions, so she goes for looser means of power (finanical power). Basically everyone finds her untrustworthy, so she has to act twice as transparent and honest as others to get half as much trust.

Even if she wanted to be as evil and bloodthirsty as Darth Stabbiwonkers... if she wanted to survive, most of the options available to her are largely benevolent. Selflessism though selfishism. It's inherently unstable, of course, and prone to failure... but it might be a consideration in grayness beyond apathy: Someone who would act outright selfishly if they could, but are restrained by other elements into remaining benevolent.
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Offline Iaera

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #10 on: 02/08/18, 05:16:32 PM »
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...yeah, his analysis is downright fascinating, and I see a lot of truth to it. The notion that one can reach a zen state of selflessness... by no longer caring about the people they're supposed to be protecting.

I've always called this phenomenon "Master-itis," and Iaera contracted it years ago. I actually found it enthralling to watch as Iaera the character grew of her own accord and naturally found herself in this weird position of no longer caring as much as she should(?) about other people. It's this very frustrating ethical calculation of always trying to do the right thing for as many people as possible, which I think tends to result in this cold, sterile, and distressing aloofness towards the suffering around you.

As I've returned to RPing Iaera more regularly and intensively, one of the things I've been focusing on is Iaera (who is aware of this aloofness she has acquired) attempting to further her quest for enlightenment by seeing how far this rabbit hole goes and if there is a way to restore a more meaningful and warmer compassion to her worldview -- as she considers a lack of such compassion an essential component to failure as a Jedi.

Now I just have to figure out a way to get Iaera out of her introspective shell and actually communicate some of this stuff IC...
"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Fiat justitia ruat clum

Iaera Farworlder - Jedi Master, lightsaber instructor, Jedi Custodum
Sibyl-ko Tanaji - ex-punk, fighter pilot, Argent Squadron
also many alts i never play ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Offline Sotekh

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #11 on: 02/09/18, 05:05:49 AM »
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I suppose one could be that succinct, but in my experience it doesn't make for a very effective argument. If you are the choir, then sure, a 40-minute preaching-to might seem a little long (though I think it is still useful to hear such arguments articulated).

In RPing The Star Wars as long as I have, however, I've found that the "Grey" concept of a Force-fence-sitter who is neither light nor dark is a very common and stubborn idea, often complete with an extremely frustrating (and weird) claim to moral superiority via neutrality. This video addresses that brainbug in articulate detail. It deals with what I view as a serious misunderstanding of the Force, and I thought it might help people see why I think that. :)

I can see that angle, having encountered my fair share of the same over the years.
Now is the Pillar established in the Void; now is Asi fulfilled of Asar; now is Hoor let down into the Animal Soul of Things like a fiery star that falleth upon the darkness of the earth.

Offline Dassalya

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #12 on: 02/09/18, 10:39:49 AM »
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/derail

Now I just have to figure out a way to get Iaera out of her introspective shell and actually communicate some of this stuff IC...

I feel like Iaera, Niarra, and Doz brushed against an interesting discussion last time they were in the council chamber together. Perhaps actually getting the masters into a room and letting them speak freely without the worry of appearances and controversial messaging in front of more impressionable Jedi would allow for this kind of investigation and sharing?

/end derail

In RPing The Star Wars as long as I have, however, I've found that the "Grey" concept of a Force-fence-sitter who is neither light nor dark is a very common and stubborn idea, often complete with an extremely frustrating (and weird) claim to moral superiority via neutrality. This video addresses that brainbug in articulate detail. It deals with what I view as a serious misunderstanding of the Force, and I thought it might help people see why I think that. :)

Agreed on all points. The video actually helped me articulate feelings and thoughts I've had that, previously, I struggled to explain.
Republic: Brinla Ruun|Dassalya Nasadee|Mihzarwi Taan|Nulaa Ulair|Tamminick Nasadee|Doz Jalth
Imperial: Adeliey Innesaud|Sadhara Zinn|Vedriat Azaera

Offline blingdenston

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #13 on: 02/09/18, 03:56:25 PM »
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I rewatched the video, and found it to be tiresome, nihilistic, and self-referential to a fault. The central conclusion, that the only choices are eternal dissolution into either zazen stasis, hurricane self-obliteration, or retreat from responsibility into pathos and enervated malaise ignores the climaxes of, uh, almost EVERY single Star Wars story.

He brings up thesis and antithesis, but brutally rejects synthesis by, not inaccurately, pointing out the useless circumlocution of 'Gray Jedi' philosophy...but ignores the REAL synthesis from the (light-side) endings of KOTOR 1, 2, TESB, ROTJ, and TLJ...the understanding of the need to stand up to brutality and injustice; that the spiritual and the physical are related, even bound together; that a moment's mercy can outdo a lifetime of gruesome and depraved deeds.

This is repeatedly, endlessly hammered-in throughout Star Wars...Han takes the money and runs, but redeems himself by risking it all to save Luke from Vader; Yoda warns Luke that his friends must die so that the Rebellion can live, but saving Leia and Han is what enables the victory at Endor; Luke's lesson in the Cave of Eeeeeevil on Dagobah, and the revelation of his relationship to Vader gives him the insight to reject violence and redeem his father. The commentary in the video just sort of SKIPS over the endings to every single story.

Part of this, to be fair, comes down to the incestuous multiplication of Star Wars media; an endless array of products telling the same kinds of stories over and over, oftentimes poorly managed and even more poorly understood (<points directly at Dawn of the Jedi>)...but there ain't any movies where the triumphant ending is a dude sitting in a cave pondering the meaning of the wind in the branches while everyone outside dies and leaves him alone. That would be almost as bad an ending as the Death Star blowing up Yavin and Vader and Tarkin high-fiving before going off to kill some Bothans on the way back to Imperial City.
Pehn Qardaak - Captain of the Rodomontade
Ran-del Qardaak - Big Time Space Hero
Lastagir - Hunter for hire, no plans to retire
Hyse Qardaak - Scholar and Warrior of Peace

Offline Iaera

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Re: in which iaera posts about the force
« Reply #14 on: 02/09/18, 05:25:43 PM »
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I don't think that's really the point of the video, though. He's not talking about the struggle of good & evil, moral & immoral per se -- he's only addressing a sort of "have one's cake and eat it too" philosophy that is injected into Star Wars from an external frustration, out of a desire to turn "good & evil" into "lame good & awesome neutral & evil." He's tackling the misunderstanding of balance vis-a-vis the Force, correctly pointing out that there is no "light" side per se, and thus no "grey side" anywhere in the middle because there is no middle.

Though I'll grant you the nihilism, certainly... I think it's an unnecessarily bleak interpretation of the Star Wars universe, and I caution people against buying into Kreia's nihilistic BS. She's a very well-written villain, but she's a villain for a reason.
« Last Edit: 02/09/18, 05:29:10 PM by Iaera »
"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Fiat justitia ruat clum

Iaera Farworlder - Jedi Master, lightsaber instructor, Jedi Custodum
Sibyl-ko Tanaji - ex-punk, fighter pilot, Argent Squadron
also many alts i never play ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ