Art is Jedi Justice by MyCKs. Check out their art here!
Roz Johnson, or Falon De’Arius as she is known at Temple of the Jedi Order shares a sermon she wrote as a member of the TotJO clergy on the topic of justice.
Justice is one of those topics we think we know. We see a criminal get slapped with twenty years to life and we say “Justice has been served”. That’s fair. After all, the Latin root of the word justice is “jus” meaning law. So, when we “throw the book” at someone, we are only doing what the word commands, holding people to the standard of the law.
But a Jedi is different. In our statement of belief we say “Jedi believe in the ethic of reciprocity, and how moral concepts are not absolute but vary by culture, religion and over time.” Again we say in the 21 maxims: “A Jedi knows how contradicting beliefs of what is right and wrong can lead to devastating crimes and conflicts. A Jedi takes a step away from the subjectivity of opinion in favor of the peace of objectivity. A Jedi does not force their values upon others.”
Even as I quote this, I know there is still evil in the world. People are still going to get offended, there will still be felons and victims and so the question becomes how to handle these inevitabilities in a practical fashion beyond philosophy. For that, we have to look at the Knights Code.
A Knight is a warrior. If there is anyone who should be giving out a swift and sure justice, it’s them. However, look at the way that it is done.
A Knight is sworn to valor.
The knight makes an oath to valor, or courage; the willingness to do when others will not, when it seems uncomfortable, when it requires sacrifice. One courageous act that would inspire justice would be to go against the status quo, the majority, when we see that the majority is wrong, that their sense of justice is impaired by lack of critical thinking. As Knights, we must do what is right even when it isn’t popular.
A Knight’s heart knows only virtue
It is he who maintains his own moral code and ethical code in his heart, and I get the feeling that by leading by example, he persuades others to do the same. He doesn’t have to demand or command others to live by his standards, but he compels by his own lifestyle.
A Knight’s blade defends the helpless;
His blade, his gift, his power, is not used to attack others, but to defend. He could quickly cut down the “enemy”, but the problem with that is that we seldom know who the enemy is. We only think we do and we end up cutting someone down to have three more sprout up. But we do know who the helpless are. Those without a voice, those without a case, those with no support. So his power goes to them, assists them in obtaining justice.
A Knight’s word speaks only truth;
Because the Knight does not lie, he is trustworthy, and real and lasting power and authority come to those whom are trusted. He then becomes a bastion of justice not because he fought his way to power, but because he is a person that others can trust.
A Knight’s Shield shelters the forsaken;
Those which society has cast away, the Knight brings under his shield. “He is with me”, the knight says, by way of his protection, and thereby restores the forsaken. A knight is always looking for a way to shelter, but not simply shelter, but to put to rights those who have been for forsaken by society.
A Knight’s courage gives hope to the despairing;
His courage, or valor, which he has made an oath to, is a beacon of hope to people who believe that they are at the end of their capacity, the end of their hope and they are about to give up. They derive strength from his courage which allows them to continue to move forward.
A Knight’s justice undoes the wicked;
Notice here the words “his justice”. What is his justice? Well, we have uncovered quite a bit of it, and it isn’t in line with our traditional view of justice (the law). It is instead much more human. The question becomes how do we deal with the “wicked”? Well, the answer is “can one truly be ‘wicked’ in the presence of someone who is courageous, who lives his virtue, who defends rather than attacks, who is trustworthy, who is an advocate, and whose courage gives others hope”? I don’t think it is as easy then to be wicked, to do wrong, in that sight.
A Knight’s image brings peace;
This is a pretty self-explanatory. But I think its worth mentioning that even an “image” of him brings peace. Someone can bring him to mind with a story and that story will allow peace to wash over the listener.
A Knight’s code breaks the darkness;
The way he lives busts up the places where darkness is and floods them with light. So then, all the wicked and secret things others like to do in the dark when they believe no one is looking, can no longer be done.
A Knight’s legend brings light.
Like his life, the Knight’s story after his passing still brings life. I wonder what stories they will tell about us individually or collectively. Will our legends have that sort of power?
My final point is this: In order to be a bringer of justice, we don’t have to be bogged down by rules and laws, we just have to live what we stand for. We have to be knights 24/7 365 days a year. Justice will make an appearance then, not in the court room, but in our day to day lives.
Thank you and May the Force be with You.
Roz Johnson joined the Jedi Community in 2012 at Temple of the Jedi Order. Since then her goal has been to uncover and learn to accept her authentic self and to help the world as much as she is able. She recently obtained her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with an Advanced Certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation which she uses to help individuals with mental health challenges reach their goals. Roz continues to learn and pass on the path as best as she can, adding to her teaching as she adds to her learning.