Post number 27 of 33 in The Ganymede Progression.

Delusion is, as I seem to say at the start of every topic in this sequence, an important topic for Jedi. It is delusional for us to think of ourselves as isolated, delusional for us to imagine our actions and words (and even our thoughts) have no or limited impact. The role of Jedi is to make these realisations of the delusional nature of perception into action – to share a compassionate experience of life with the other elements of the Force, mindful of the consequences of the things we send into the wider system.

As such, it’s fair to say most people spend much of their lives deep within delusion. They believe themselves “islands” and are thus greedy, selfish, offensive, hurtful. People assume their actions do not affect the wider world, resulting in the kinds of “I’m Alright Jack” mentality of those who are complacent enough to feel if it doesn’t affect them directly, they need have no interest in something. This attitudes creates situations like those of the people I see at the homeless shelter – no-one was directly affected but them, so no-one cared to do enough to keep them off the streets. Happily many do not feel this way and organisations like the night shelter exist.

Delusion impacts us in other ways. Above, I undertook a reading of Musashi’s book of Void, wherein he spoke of the delusions suffered even by those who walk their paths in the pursuit of a noble and sincere goal. We see this even amongst those who walk the halls of our Temple, for instance those who suggest it is others’ problem if they are hurt by intentionally hurtful barbs or insults. It’s challenging to relate to people who cannot see, how backwards this is. That it is the onus of each actor to take responsibility for the entire play, to cooperate, to collaborate, to “raise up” others, whether it is convenient to do so or not.

Another type of delusion we see here at the Temple is that of rank; that one who has gained a badge is somehow worth more than someone who has not. Or indeed length of service, that someone who has been here a long time, has been walking the path a long time, is somehow better at walking than someone who has only been doing it a short while. The truth of this situation is, more often than not, it seems, that the longer a person walks, the further they stray from their home – from the foundations of their training and the reasons they set out in the first place.

I think of one long-standing Jedi in particular here… someone who takes great pleasure in recounting their length of service and history within the community. Whenever this person posts, boastfully proclaiming themselves an expert, my only thought is “You have lived with these values of egolessness, compassion, harmony for that long – and you have learned so little?”

One way we can tackle delusion, therefore, is to remember where we came from. To never see ourselves as experts. To never “get there”, to never harbour any idea of “getting there” in fact. There is no “there” on the journey of our lives, besides death. And that is only a perspectival thing, too – death is not the end. In life, we must fight these delusions. We must continue to cultivate our beginners’ minds. To listen to the words of beginners as a truer wisdom than the words of jaded “professionals”. We must seek to continuously integrate the good ideas, to improve things whenever we have the opportunity to do so, and to discard the old which persists “because it has always been this way”.

Jedi must work to rid themselves of illusion, but they must not lose it altogether. We must understand that many of those around us will be working from this framework of “!righteous selfishness”. That they will see no connection and that they will not understand the wide consequences of their actions, words, thoughts. It sounds a little pretentious perhaps, but I’m reminded of the film The Matrix – most of the “plugged in” people cannot see beyond what they are shown, to the underlying nature of their delusory reality. Those who are aware, still have to navigate their actions, thoughts, feelings. And as Jedi, this is doubly true – we are not ass-kicking, gun-wielding badasses; we are figures of compassion an understanding, devotion and service.

Human, yet the Force.