Jedism and Sithism is not really religion but a way just like The Tao.
Taoism is not religion. It is about here and now, the present moment, its about how to live a balanced life, without causing disruption to oneself or another.
Tao, means the Way. The Way is part of natural universal law that is behind all of The Creation. The one who can observe this law and synchronise with it will find themselves more relaxed, focused and in the present moment.
Taoism as it is known today started with the book Tao Te Ching and its writer Lao Tzu (Old Master). The Old Master wrote this before the time of Master Sun (Sun Tzu) the compiler of The Art of War.
Lao Tzu is considered the first Taoist, for he was the writer of The Tao Te Ching, the original text of Taoism.
Another Taoist Master who came after Lao Tzu was Lieh Tzŭ who said:
“There is a Creative Principle which is itself uncreated; there is a Principle of Change which is itself unchanging. The Uncreated is able to create life; the Unchanging is able to effect change. That which is produced cannot but continue producing; that which is evolved cannot but continue evolving. Hence there is constant production and constant evolution. The law of constant production and of constant evolution at no time ceases to operate.”
This shows that there was a deeper understanding of nature and how the energies behind the Universe work. We call these energies – God, Allah, Ram, Creation, Evolution – whatever, but what matters is that whatever we call it or consider it – it does not change what IT is. And that is what The Tao (Way) teaches as well as Star Wars Jedi or Sith philosophies.
Basically there is already the truth and regardless what we consider it – the truth remains the truth and will not change however much we wish it. Some consider this cosmo-religio-philosophy part of a much older system of belief on this planet from ages past. But we won’t go there in this article.
Now think of Star Wars and the Jedi and Sith, both are part of The Force (The Way): In Tao we acknowledge the good and evil, light and dark. This is ‘Yin Yang’. In The Tao Te Ching it is said
“When people see things as beautiful, ugliness is created. When people see things as good, evil is created. Being and non-being produce each other. Difficult and easy complement each other. Long and short define each other. High and low oppose each other. Fore and aft follow each other.”
Which means within this Universe neither the good or evil, the darkness or the light, wisdom or ignorance are the absolute truth or have the absolute power for these words are beyond describing the Ultimate Truth. Back to Star Wars if you look at Way of the Jedi (or Sith): There is Wu Wei which is translated as “non action or inaction,” and appears in verses of the Tao Te Ching: Act without doing; Work without effort. – Chapter 63. This means to work without attachment – let your moves be natural and without effort. This is also part of martial arts philosophy.
The Tao is a living concept as is The Force in Star Wars. Like the Force, the Tao one conforms to it and through that flows our strength and action which is the Wu Wei.“The Tao never does anything, Yet through it all things are done.” Chapter 37.
Understanding this ‘energy’ and working with it in harmony with the Universe or Nature or what is around us is the key – the most dangerous aspect of the Tao in its Ultimate stage is that it exists beyond our thinking of what we consider good or bad – its above our reasoning so the one who works with this can use it for either good or bad – most use it for what is considered good. If we look at Master Sun (Sun Tzu) and The Art of War there are Taoist principles throughout in how to carry out war successfully – peace and war are a state of mind and we need to understand that within us all however good we may consider ourselves or others – there is a darkness, dark energies and what maybe considered evil – the key is to understand the dark side within us all and deal with it – do not deny it. Master Sun taught us to find ways of confronting these inner emotions, passions and ego through his work.
There is what is called the Dark Energy Meditation which can be taught alongside breathing exercises that helps the common person deal with their dark side and at the same time toughen up their light side as The Tao (like The Force) is about balance.
The following quotes are from The Tao on War and Violence (this is not to promote war or violence but for the reader to understand that within such teachings from our ancient books there are messages that resonate on a deeper level that asks the one reading to understand and contemplate. So it is not that simple to just consider these as good or bad, we need to learn from both sides – remember the quote that went something like this ‘The Right Wing & The Left Wing Are Part of The Same Bird”. Your sides (wings) make you whole and you must understand how these different energies within call for you to raise your life.
If you have read the Art of War a few times and want to understand it deeper – study Tao Te Ching this shows how Master Sun came to uncover the deeper lessons within what then became of The Art of War.
From Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Here are quotes from the Tao Te Ching, the Taoist classic by Lao Tzu, about war and violence.
War and Violence
Those who advice the ruler on the Way, do not want the world subdued with weapons.
Thorn bushes grow where armies have camped.
Battles are followed by years of famine.
Weapons are ominous tools. They are abhorred by all creatures. Anyone who follows the Way shuns them.
Weapons are ominous tools. They are not the noble ruler’s tools. He only uses them when he can’t avoid it.
Peace and quiet are preferred. Victory should not be praised.
Those who praise victory relish manslaughter. Those who relish manslaughter cannot reach their goals in the world.
When many people are killed, they should be mourned and lamented. Those who are victorious in war should follow the rites of funerals.
Those who defeat others are strong, those who defeat themselves are mighty.
The fish cannot leave the deep waters. The state’s weaponry should not be displayed.
The forceful and violent will not die from natural causes.
When the Way governs the world, the proud stallions drag dung carriages. When the Way is lost to the world, war horses are bred outside the city.
Those who have compassion when they do battle will be victorious. Those who likewise defend themselves will be safe. Heaven will rescue and protect them with compassion.
Excellent warriors are not violent.
Excellent soldiers are not furious.
Excellent conquerors do not engage.
Warriors say: I dare not be like the host, but would rather be like the guest. I dare not advance an inch, but would rather retreat a foot.
No misfortune is worse than underestimating the enemy. Underestimating the enemy, I risk losing my treasure.
When equal armies battle, the grieving one will be victorious.
The unyielding army will not win.
When bitter enemies make peace, surely some bitterness remains.
Although there are weapons for tens and hundreds of soldiers, they will not be used.