The Force is perhaps the most fascinating and mysterious aspect of Jedi training. The nature of the Force is difficult to grasp. It is the power that comes from everything, not simply for combat, but for all endeavors, and for balance, health, and longevity. Using the Force is the drawing of energy from within and the universe. This is not dependent on, or even related to, size or physique. It has to do with learning to harness the power of one's mind.
Without the Force, life itself is impossible. Without life, the Force does not exist. When the Force is abundant, one has true power. Disease and depression vanish. Longevity is increased.
The Force can only be harnessed properly in the absence of fear or tension. These factors create imbalance. When relaxed, one is not in upheaval. One can concentrate and see clearly what it is that needs to be done, and do it naturally, spontaneously, and instantaneously.
As a connection to the Force develops within, control is vitally important. A casual tap with the fingers can do serious injury when the Force is strong. One must be very careful. Emotional content, such as anger, fear, or even just excitement, can bring the Force unbidden to the hand.
For this reason, the Jedi waits until proficiency in meditation, tranquility and the art of non-reaction have been established before one goes on to more specific, advanced Force training.
You must remember that becoming a true Jedi requires persistence, patience, and most of all, hard work.
After two or three years of this difficult Jedi training program, students often develop new misconceptions about the Jedi way. They are now in good condition, quite strong, and beginning to beat some of the other student in matches. Feeling invincible, sure they now know most of what there is to know, some quit at this stage. Those who stop learning at this stage are doomed to failure, as they have not yet learned enough about what it is to be a Jedi.
Others, however, wisely continue on to more advanced training, where they now encounter some of the older masters. As old and weak as they may appear physically, they are able to play with these youngsters as effortlessly as a cat plays with a mouse. Humbled by this experience, the students quickly realize there is certainly more for them to learn, and even more to learn after that. It is at this point, when they realize that there is really no end to learning and training, that they finally learn the Jedi way. For the Jedi way is much more than just self-defense techniques. It is an art form, a way of life, and a means toward spiritual development. As such, the Jedi way is a lifetime study.
At some point or another, many students experience a block in their studies. They get stuck on a plateau, apparently unable to progress further. Sometimes this is the fault of the teacher. If this is so, it is time to move on. A teacher can only teach up to her own level. More often, though, the problem is an internal one, caused by poor learning habits, problems with attitude or personal distractions.
When the student ceases to be totally self-involved, interested in his own growth only, he will begin to turn to helping others. At this point, regardless of prowess, the student becomes a true follower of the Jedi way.
One can study and study for years, hours and hours every day, and one may still remain a student. To leap beyond the barrier one must break the chain. Stop practicing and start doing.
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