“There is no Emotion; there is Peace” – Jedi Code
“He who seeks to control fate shall never find peace.” – Ghosts of Mortis (The Clone Wars)
The underlying message of the mantra “There is no Emotion; there is Peace” is Equanimity. Emotion is a part of being human and to fully experience life one must embrace the full spectrum of emotions whether perceived as negative or positive.
The Buddha said that in life “there will be 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows”, that everything in life is essentially impermanent and transient. To grasp to anything, to build attachment, leads only to suffering. This includes emotions.
Equanimity is being able to experience emotions fully but without forming attachment to them. Without giving emotions free rein we can experience acceptance and peace.
In order to achieve deep inner peace one must be able to allow emotions to be as they are. To fight emotions such as fear, anger or grief is to give it life. What you resist persists. By being able to observe our emotional state, being aware of it and not letting it dominate our lives or dictate how we react to situations is the key to achieving inner peace.
The image of a Jedi calm in the face of adversity and completely at peace as a storm of fear and violence rages around him is in essence what this line teaches us. Think of Qui-Gon Jinn facing Darth Maul in the final scenes of the “Phantom Menace”. Before the duel Qui-Gon Jinn meditates despite the danger he faces and finds inner peace. Decades later when Obi-Wan Kenobi met his former friend and apprentice on the Death Star he also confronted the peril with equanimity.
Right now the world faces peril in the form of a pandemic. There has been nothing like it for over a hundred years. How this one will play out no one really knows and much of it depends on the actions that each individual takes in the face of this global threat.
No one is immune and everyone will be affected in some way. It is a reminder that we live in a global community. The most unremarkable acts, far away, can have profound consequences for all.
Will you face the peril with fear, anger and denial? Will you act irrationally and irresponsibly or will you find calm and peace amidst the calamity? Jedi Training prepares us for times such as these so that we can face them with equanimity. We accept that it is happening, we respond rationally and use self discipline to do what is expected of us without complaint.
Recovery means practicing our principles every day, not just when things are going well.
Use these times and every challenge you face to practice your principles. Embrace emotions as the divine gift that they are, but don’t let them rule you. Don’t give in to fear. Be “calm, at peace, passive”.