“There is no Passion; there is Serenity” – Jedi Code
The underlying message of the mantra “There is no Passion; there is Serenity” is acceptance. It is important to understand that passion is not a negative emotion and can be a virtue. However, passions can also become an obstacle to serenity if they are not controlled.
Expression of the Divine
Passion is a wonderful gift and provides the drive and creativity in all human endeavours. Without passion in the world we would see a stale and soulless world. Society could simply not exist. Imagine a world without art or music any other forms of human expression. There would be nothing, no creation, only nature as it was before.
I believe that the expression of passion is the expression of the divine. But passion can also be destructive. Anakin had great passion for his love and his desire to be Master; however, his passion consumed him and overwhelmed his humanity. His passion became an obsession as he attempted to control others, the order of the galaxy and life itself. Anakin struggled against the Force, the natural order of things.
When we are passionate to a degree that it enriches the lives of others and brings us closer to our true inner self is when we achieve true serenity.
The Power of Now
The purpose in life is to live to be whoever we choose to be and to fulfil our higher purpose as we define it. This can only be achieved by living in the now and enjoying life as a moment to moment experience rather than to feel regret or longing for a past that is gone forever and fear or false hope for a tomorrow that never comes.
The universe does not revolve around us, but we are all a part of the universe and have a right to be here. Life happens in the now.
As an alcoholic I was and remain a very passionate person. In the past that passion would get the better of me. I had energy to achieve what I thought were admirable and justifiable outcomes in my personal and professional life and would become resentful, obstinate and belligerent when I did not get my way.
My passion was in getting absolutely drunk. I showed a lack of emotional maturity and would funnel my energy in a destructive way, through drinking and “getting back at others” to such an extent that it cost me many relationships and opportunities.
With recovery came the realisation of my many character flaws and a shift toward a less selfish approach to what I consider as important to me. I believe that I do not have to compromise my values by being more tolerant and accepting of others and their needs. They are my values.
I can be firm without being disagreeable. I can demonstrate passion without harming others or preventing them from achieving their own goals. Everyone has a right to express themselves, but not at the expense of another. This realisation has bought me a greater degree of calm and serenity in my life and a deeper understanding of myself and others.
We see the Jedi and they look serene, nothing much seems to get them upset. They appear to be in a state of equanimity and non-attachment. This does not mean that a Jedi is an empty shell devoid of passion. Jedi don’t get too excited about what they can and more importantly what they can’t control.
To experience serenity is enjoy the beauty in all things and take wonder in the simple things, the flight of a butterfly, the intricate design of a snowflake or a seashell and the immensity and mystery of the star filled sky. We should accept things as they are not as we would have them be. Rest in the Now.
The serenity prayer best encapsulates the message behind the mantra “There is no Passion; there is Serenity”. Feel free to replace the word God, with “Force” or whatever you wish. The message is to learn to differentiate between the things that are in our control and things that are outside of our control.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, and
The wisdom to know the difference