There is no Emotion; There is Peace.
There is no Ignorance; There is Knowledge.
There is no Passion; There is Serenity.
There is no Chaos: There is Harmony.
There is no Death; There is the Force.

The code presents the underlying wisdom of the Jedi path. It shows the dichotomies of weak and strong, male and female, high and low we encounter and understand reality through, and echoes several sections of the Tao Te Ching, such as in the second verse:

Recognize beauty and ugliness is born.
Recognize good and evil is born.
Is and Isn’t produce each other. Hard depends on easy, Long is tested by short,
High is determined by low, Sound is harmonized by voice, After is followed by before.

The Taoist tradition perceives the world as defined by opposites in this way, and the Taoist symbol of the yin-yang (the interlocking black and white “fish” creating a perfect circle) is a clear demonstration of this. Without the opposite force acting, the initial force doesn’t make sense – no high without a corresponding low, no good without bad etc. The code expresses this in the most important Jedi areas of focus, those of helping others, mastering our own minds and achieving oneness with the Force.

There is no Emotion; There is Peace: the Jedi recognises emotion exists and flows through all human life. However, in the interest of finding balance, the Jedi desires always to come to peace through this emotion; to find the opposite and restore harmony. The Jedi guides those around them to peace through their emotions.

There is no Ignorance; There is Knowledge: the Jedi recognises the limit of their understanding, and that human understanding will always be fundamentally limited. However, they strive to achieve balance in this by widening their knowledge down the most useful paths; they use their focus to study those most useful elements which increase their wisdom, and they use this focus, knowledge and wisdom to benefit those around them.

There is no Passion; There is Serenity: the Jedi is an instrument of peace; as such, the Jedi acknowledges their passion and the ferocity of their emotions, thoughts and feelings, but they are not controlled by them. The Jedi achieves peace through their own quiet calm, their inner serenity. This extends, reaching out through the Force to all those they meet. Thus the Jedi calms the passions of those around them with their patient calm.

There is no Chaos: There is Harmony: the universe is chaotic, and it is only our minds which “channel” this manifold of existence and sense data into a meaningful, comprehensible “reality”. Also, we can never understand the universe to a sufficient level that we will never be surprised or shocked by some emergency. The Jedi understands this, and rather than trying to “fight the tide”, works with the flow of the universe, a boat bobbing in the stream rather than fighting against a torrent. The Jedi uses their stability to show others they don’t have to fight against the chaotic universe, but can instead move in harmony with it and find peace.

There is no Death; There is the Force: All that is alive dies, yet life as a whole goes on, grows, moves, evolves. We must all come to terms with our mortality, but at the same time we must recognise we are part of something bigger than just our mortal bodies. We are chemicals and energy, intention and force. That doesn’t just “vanish” when we die. We live on in the memories of others, we return to the earth and the sky and eventually to other life. Our bodies break down and move on, still within the “lifestream” of the Force. Thus the Jedi does not fear death, or pine away for those who are lost. The Jedi understands they are part of something bigger, that life only has meaning in relation to death. The mortality of the Jedi inspires them to find harmony with the Force; the Force was here before them, is moving through them, and will carry on after they are gone.

One of the fundamental elements of Jedi wisdom, then, is that extremes are not useful, and binary (yes or no, this or that) modes of thinking do not represent reality. By recognising something, anything, the Jedi also perceives its opposite, and recognises both the impossibly complex system of balances and opposites we find ourselves in the midst of, but also the fundamental meaninglessness of defining anything; if it only exists in relation to its opposite, does it really exist at all? If everything is balanced, every score a tie, can there ever be more than just the whole, the totality of existence?

Nothing, yet everything.

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