“In peace are we warriors or keepers of the peace”? – Ahsako Tano
The Jedi are essentially depicted in the fiction as warriors. In a sense they are a version of the warrior-monk tradition of the East and West but without the religious fervor, cloistered monasteries and secret ceremonies and rituals. Conflict is still a part of the Jedi.
War is very much part of the Jedi mythos and while the Jedi had strong views around resorting to violence and the taking of life, they were not immune from fighting and killing if duty required it. Unlike some “warrior-monks” or religious fanatics in history, the Jedi did not relish violence and in fact they abhorred it and the act of killing. Never the less, Jedi trained to go to war, they kept themselves physically fit and mentally ready and trained in combat skills. Emotions and personal biases were set aside when duty called and mission success was paramount.
As a former “Grunt” (Infantryman) I can understand the need for following orders, for self-discipline, training and physical fitness. I am well familiar with the vital importance of “operational readiness” and “mission focus”. The Jedi were a pseudo military order and were integrated within the Republic Forces as senior ranks, making strategic decisions while advancing to the front to lead their troops in to battle. Jedi did not hide in the rear, they led the assaults on enemy positions or undertook secret and daring missions in to the heart of enemy territory often at great personal risk. They did not rush in “Light Saber” happy, they simply used their weapons to carry out their tasks without hatred, fear or lust.
During an episode of Season 2 of “The Clone Wars”, Ahsako Tano reflects that after so much combat she feels ill at ease in peace and cannot sit still. As a veteran I can appreciate this; many friends of mine who have gone to war and seen combat never really settled down afterwards. A part of them still craves the adrenaline, the camaraderie and the momentary feeling of being “completely alive in the moment”, something that only comes during the intensity of combat.
A part of all of us wants to go back and do it again even though we know that when we were “over there” most of us wanted nothing more than to be back home. Ahsako -Tano asks “In peace are we warriors or keepers of the peace”? This is a compelling question as it is one that every veteran asks when they return to civilian life from an operational environment. Some never really find the peace they deserve as war takes a part of you that you never get back. In life Veterans and survivors of trauma may appear reasonably successful and normal and fully integrated into society however war and tragedy marks every person that experiences it and in some way it never leaves you.
Our Inner Conflict
Fortunately most people will not have to experience war, however within each of us resides an internal conflict; we are at war with ourselves. Our wants and desires often conflict with where we want to go and at times we are torn between one thing and another.
We feel it is our duty to be a certain type of person or act in a certain way but within ourselves we know that it conflicts with who we truly are. As a result many of us live in imbalance. Being an alcoholic I struggled with an inner conflict for decades and finally came out the winner as I realized what I needed to do to recover from my addiction.
I have discovered a sense of peace in my life but I know that the shadow of addiction is always there and that I must remain vigilante, honest and humble if I am to stay sober. I never drop my guard or grow conceited in my sobriety and when I feel myself sliding backwards I double my efforts and apply my principles. Seeking balance, I have stopped fighting people, places and things, shifting the focus inward.
How do you deal with your own conflicts both inner and outer? Remember that the world that we perceive is largely of our own making. Often where we think conflict exists in our world there is only inner turmoil at play. The important question is how do you deal with peace? How do you keep the peace as a warrior and rise over the urge to find and engage in conflict? The choice of how you do so is entirely up to you. You can also practice the Jedi Code and be objective, remain calm, be present in the moment. Adjust your expectations and your perspective.