The Jedi Training Archive
Jedi- 29- Surak's Teachings

I know that fans of Star Wars and fans of Star Trek do not always get along with each other, but in truth, I see no reason why this should be so; in fact, I am a devoted fan of both. Even for those who may not like Star Trek, there are certainly many teachings which are useful to the Jedi learner. Here are some of the teachings of Surak, who is known as the one who turned the Vulcan people from a bloodthirsty, violent species to one that has near-complete control of their emotions. I have taken these words directly from a book called Spock's World, by Diane Duane:

"The spear in the Other's heart is the spear in your own; you are he."

"There is no other wisdom, and no other hope for us, but that we grow wise."

Cast Out Fear

"Here is the first part of the secret. Cast out fear. There is no room for anything else until you cast out fear.... Now, do not mistake me when I speak of 'casting out.' Some people will immediately think this means rejection of fear, by pretending not to be afraid. They are not the same thing. Pretending there is not a lematya in your house will not make it go away is there is one. You must first admit to yourself the fact that there is a lematya- you must first accept its presence. Then you can call the animal control people and have them come and take it away. But until you first admit that it is there, you are going to have a lematya in your bed every night. It may save your pride not to admit that it is there, but your bed will be increasingly crowded.

"So it is with fear as well. To cast it out, you must first accept it; you must admit that it is there. Is there anything a person would rather do less? The last thing you want anyone to hear is your voice saying, 'I am afraid.' The last thing you want to hear your enemy say before you kill him is 'I am afraid,' because- in our culture- it means he has been reduced to total helplessness. What our culture must learn is that that point, total helplessness, is potentially the most powerful in our lives. Just past it is the great leap to true power: the move through the fear and helplessness, accepted at last, to what lies beyond fear. So many things lie beyond it that pen and keyboard are helpless to write of them... but as more of us learn to move past that point, more will be written. Not that what is written matters so much as what one does with it.

"And the rest of the secret, is that all of us fear one another more than anything else in the world. The fear of the Other, of what the Other will do if he finds out we are afraid of him- that is what has brought us to this pass. We must turn and realize that the Other is afraid- and then say to him, 'You have nothing to fear from me,' in such a way that he knows it to be true. Another thing we have no desire to say! Each of us secretly desires to keep the Other in some slight fear of us, so that he will not harm us. But if we can only bring ourselves to say these terrible words, and have them be true, then the Other will become what he should have been from the earliest days- the constant companion, the source of delight in all his differences.


"Ideally, do no harm. Harm speeds up the heat-death of the Universe, and indirectly, your own.

"More practically, do as little harm as possible. We are creatures of a Universe in which entropy exists, and therefore see no way of escape, but we do not need to help it.

"Harm no one's internal, invisible integrities. Leaves others the privacies of their minds and lives. Intimacy remains precious only insofar as it is inviolate: invading it turns it to torment. Reach out to others courteously: accept their reaching in the same way, with careful hands.

"Do no murder. The spear in the other's heart is the spear in your own; you are he. All action has reaction: what force you inflict, inevitably returns. The murder of the other is the murder of your own joy, forever.

"As far as possible, do not kill. Can you give life again to what you kill? Then be slow to take life. Take only life that will not notice you taking it. To notice one's own death increases entropy. To die and not notice it increases it less, but still does so.

"Cast out fear. Cast out hate and rage. Cast out greed and envy. Cast out all emotion that speeds entropy, whether it be love or hate. Cast out these emotions by using reason to accept them, and then move past them. Use in moderation emotions that do not speed entropy, taking all care that they do not cause others pain, for that speeds entropy as well. Master your passions, so that they becaome a power for the slowing of the heat-death.

"Do no harm to those that harm you. Offer them peace, and offer them peace again, and do it until you die. In this manner you will have peace, one way or the other, even if they kill you. And you cannot give others what you have not experienced yourself.

"Learn reason above all. Learn clear thought: learn to know what is from what seems to be, and what you wish to be. This is the key to everything: the truth of reality, the reality of truth. What is will set you free."


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