Post number 22 of 33 in The Ganymede Progression.

A secret is something we know, but cannot tell. Secrets are something all of us have at some point in our lives. Be it a regret, a surprise, or privileged information about another, all people have moments where they must “retain” information rather than share it. As a member of the Clergy, I am entitled to take confession and as such have voluntarily gained secret information from various members of our congregation. Because I am in a position of trust, I take the privacy/secrecy of this information very seriously.

Jedi work with secrets sensitively, exercising compassion. We understand that a person would be distressed if we were to transgress their wish for secrecy, however compelling our reasons for doing so may be. I’ve also worked in job roles where secrecy is a necessary factor – for example in former roles interviewing kids with criminal convictions for college or work-based training courses. In that instance my access to privileged information was something I earned by proving my trustworthiness and professionalism. I see it similarly in the Jedi community. I was not “given” a whole load of confession material just because I completed Seminary; I was given it because people learned they could trust me.

And what of the secrets people don’t tell me? I’m sure I’ve brushed against many in my time, either directly, inadvertently, or simply by applying my intelligence and intuition to the situations I encounter. “We don’t know what we don’t know”, after all, but we may suspect or assume much, and that can give us a good model of understanding things which are otherwise kept secret. Any such assumption must be recognised as such, however, and not mistaken for true knowledge. Perhaps it is more akin to a personal form of wisdom about someone else.

Secrets are also implied as part of the learning we undertake to know the Force. The Great Mystery is a secret, of sorts. It is something which is there, but withheld. We cannot “break through” the universe and come to the information within; instead we must work around, with, through the secret of the Force. We know nothing but the Force, any yet we can never conceptualise it fully. It is there, right before us; it is hidden in plain sight.

When people arrive at our Temple, much is hidden from them. Forums, conversations, attitudes, problems. Many arrive and judge things at face value, others arrive and are transfixed by a desire to know “the secret”. So what is “the secret”? Perhaps only that there is no fundamental secret. Jedi Knights and Masters are nothing more than human beings; fallible, at times weak. The Temple itself is a glorious hodgepodge of the efficacious and the broken. Things get better as you climb the ranks, and they also get worse in other ways. The truth is not necessarily hidden, because an alternative to what new arrivals see is only “hidden in plain sight” – but it is not well understood that as Jedi, we do not seek to “stand apart” – merely to stand together, side by side.

Is there a benefit in keeping these kinds of secrets? Sometimes, it’s not so much about effort to maintain, as a lack of effort to understand, or to communicate fully. Some secrets aren’t really secret, but they require a certain key of understanding or perspective before someone can appreciate them. The reality of the Force is a secret, viewed this way. I mean, it’s right there, but people don’t see it. They would need to have their eyes opened to its possibility; its probability. Its essentiality. For some who see, it is a reasoned thing, but for many, it simply “pops out”, like the hologram when the card is turned to a proper viewing angle.

And what of my secrets? There are things I do not say, or only speak of to a few of my most trusted friends. Details of my former affair, for example, are not widely known, and that is largely out of respect/consideration for the other participant in it. It is my habit to face my demons, to deal with my secrets and to find a way to be honest and authentic about who I am. This is something my path has taught me: it is only by baring one’s soul, that one learns how resilient it is. And it is only by baring one’s soul, that one learns where one’s weaknesses lie. Secrets are for other people, not for me. My path is one of honesty, of truth, of facing harsh realities because they are reality. Better the cold truth than the warm fuzzy lie, and better to move past the painful honest answer than take a detour around the obstructive secret.

We have but one life. We have our paths. We feel what we feel. Why pretend otherwise?