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An in-depth look at: The Teachings of Odan-Urr- Jedi Code

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An in-depth look at: The Teachings of Odan-Urr- Jedi Code

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Aurbere
01.01.2013 , 04:55 PM | #1
"Certainly a Jedi should know the Code, by word and by heart."- Odan-Urr

The Teachings of Odan-Urr served as a foundation for the Jedi Order and would be used by the Order up until its destruction at the end of the Clone Wars. The Teachings included Odan-Urr's revision of the Jedi Code and a Code of Conduct that he created for the Jedi. This thread will serve as part one where we discuss the Jedi Code.

Master Odan-Urr believed that the Jedi Code was a stepping stone to Mastery of The Force, that only through fully understanding the Jedi Code could a Jedi master The Force. The Jedi Code was created as a guide for a Jedi to fully master The Force. While many Jedi study the Jedi Code, few actually understand it. Which led to the Jedi Code turning into something that Odan-Urr did not intend (I blame Atris, personally). This 'transformation' caused confusion in the Jedi ranks, and the Code became a major tool for the Sith to turn Jedi to the Dark Side.

But let's see what Odan-Urr originally intended with the Jedi Code:

"There is no Emotion, there is Peace"

Surely this means that a Jedi should be emotionless, yes? No. This line refers to a Jedi's clarity of mind. Odan-Urr believed that emotions were necessary for the Jedi to have, but understood that these emotions should not interfere with the decisions a Jedi makes. The actions of a single Jedi can impact the entire galaxy, and emotion can influence the decisions a Jedi makes. So Odan-Urr taught meditation to his students. Meditation allowed them to control their emotions and maintain clarity of mind, but he did not teach Jedi to ignore or purge them. He taught mastery over emotion: the first step to mastery of the Light Side.

"There is no Ignorance, there is Knowledge"

The galaxy relies on Jedi wisdom, whether it is during war or at peace times. A Jedi must be very knowledgeable in all things. Even in Jedi and Sith knowledge. An interesting question was posed to me on whether ignoring Dark Side teachings is ignorant. To that I would say, yes it is. But it would also be ignorant for a Jedi to study the Dark Side even when he is not ready. Master Odan-Urr studied the Dark Side more than the majority of Jedi. He studied the Dark Side simply for knowledge's sake. He understood that great power was held in Sith teachings, and Jedi should not shy away from these teachings. But he did not pass Sith Holocrons out. Odan-Urr knew that the lure of the Dark Side was difficult to resist, and that only the most steadfast of Jedi could resist it. So he locked the Sith teachings deep within a maze within his Great Library, so that only those that could study the Dark Side could study it. Jedi should not shy away from the teachings of the Dark Side, but they must also be wary of the corruption of the Dark Side. Odan-Urr understood this and only taught those that fully understood the first line of the Code.

"There is no Passion, there is Serenity"

This particular line refers to the inner calm of the Jedi. Passions, like emotions, impact the Jedi. Much like the first line, Odan-Urr believed that passions should be accepted by the Jedi. He believed that passions were much like emotions, and that they can be helpful. However, he also believed that passions (no matter what they are) shouldn't take precedence over duty. Duty to the Jedi, to the Republic, and to The Force itself. Odan-Urr preached meditation to calm the Jedi and sort out passions and emotions, to remove them from a Jedi's duty. Not to purge them or ignore them, but to simply seperate them from a Jedi's duty. As mentioned before, passions and emotions cannot interfere with a Jedi's clarity of mind. When lives, or even the fate of the galaxy, are at stake, a Jedi must have a clear mind to make the best judgment.

"There is no Chaos, there is Harmony"

Usually this line is ommitted from certain Jedi texts, but the line itself is important. Chaos itself refers to two things, but the primary purpose of the Jedi Code itself is for the Jedi to master themselves in order to master the Light. So we shall discuss inner chaos. Inner chaos refers to the chaos that is created by emotions and the Dark Side. Odan-Urr used meditation to calm his inner chaos and sorted through his emotions and calmed the turbulent seas within him. Through meditation, Odan-Urr was expanding his knowledge of The Force he was able to achieve perfect harmony with The Force and his surroundings. However, this is not easy. Calming the inner chaos requires extensive knowledge of The Force, much meditation, and fulfillment of the previous lines. It requires that a Jedi make peace with their emotions, their passions, and even the Dark Side. The Dark Side lurks in all Jedi. Making peace with it will allow the Jedi to calm their inner chaos and allow them to achieve harmony with The Force.

"There is no Death, there is The Force"

The ultimate conclusion: Death. This line is the final step to mastery of The Force. The Jedi must put aside the fear of Death and accept that he is but a tool of The Force, a servant to the ultimate power in the galaxy. Odan-Urr believed that Death was not the end, that Death was only another path. When the Jedi's time among the living ends, he is enveloped into The Force, and becomes One with it. Surely accepting death is the easiest part, yes? Indeed it is. But when the time comes, can you accept Death?* In doing so, the Jedi becomes One with The Force. The ultimate destiny of the Jedi. True harmony with The Force.

The final line is the most understood line of the Jedi Code. The true meaning of the other lines is lost to all but the most wise of Jedi. The sense of restriction the Jedi Code gives is the most used weapon that the Sith have to turn Jedi to the Dark Side, but the Code is not necessarily restrictive. As we have discussed, the Code is meant for control. It was created by Odan-Urr so that Jedi could learn to control themselves. When a Jedi fully understands the Jedi Code, they will have mastered themselves and the Light Side of The Force.

How is this possible? The Light Side deals with controlling the inner Darkness and mastery of ones self. Odan-Urr's rendition of the Jedi Code teaches Jedi to master themselves, for only through mastering the self can a Jedi master the Light Side. Unfortunately the true meaning of the Code has been lost. Is this Odan-Urr's fault? Did he make a too complicated Code? No, not really. The fault lies in the Jedi Order and future Historians (Atris) for failing to understand Odan-Urr's intentions. This greatly hurt the Jedi Order.

Addendum of the fourth line

Quick addendum here. When a Jedi is supposed to make peace with their inner Dark Side, it does not imply that using the Dark Side is good or anything like that. It is more of a matter of control. By making peace with their inner Darkness, the Jedi are able to control themselves and prevent it from causing them to commit atrocious actions, or even fall to the Dark Side.

The Jedi Code is open to interpretation, but this was Odan-Urr's original intention with the Jedi Code. It was, unfortunately, turned into rules for the Jedi and taken to extremes. The next thread will cover the Code of Conduct that Odan-Urr had created.

Have a request? Post it below, in the index, or PM me!

*Answer the question if you were a Jedi. Simple yes or no will do.
Added Chapter 29 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
01.02.2013 , 07:23 AM | #2
Very enlightening. The first line in particular will greatly aid my understanding of Kreia and how she used the Force. I'm currently in the process of defining Kreia's beliefs on emotions and how they should be used. I think she believed in the first tenet of the Jedi Code but in the sense of Odan-Urr. She mastered her emotions but also used them to fuel her dark side power.

But back to your post, I still believe that the Jedi, even in the times Odan-Urr, were at fault. Odan-Urr studied the dark side as you said, for knowledge's sake. But what use is that? Other than to be used as a weapon against the Sith if they were ever to resurface? Odan-Urr failed to use that knowledge to reconcile Jedi with Sith, and so failed where so many other masters would fail before and after him. I also believe Odan-Urr is partially at fault for the misinterpretation of the code, I for example, did not interpret it in the way he did. The main cause of this misunderstanding being the use of "no". He says there is no emotion or passion, and yet there clearly is. He says there is knowledge, yet warns against the study of dangerous knowledge. He says there is no chaos, and yet does not define 'chaos' and so immediately places all Jedi in the dilemma of causing chaos for the greater good i.e. war.

Ultimately however, even in the intended understanding of the code, it is fatally flawed. Because the Jedi don't make peace with their inner, or the outer, darkness. They banish it, only for it to return again and again and so they fail to achieve long-lasting peace or harmony. They fail.

EDIT: Something very interesting has been brought up on the 'Your Take of the Jedi Order and Sith Order' thread. The philosophy of the Je'daii Order. They believed in balance between Ashla and Bogan, light and dark, true harmony in the Force. But the Force Wars broke out when certain members believed Ashla to be the greater power, which encouraged those who believed Bogan to be stronger to fight against them. This shows that reconciliation with the dark side is possible. If the Jedi only understood that the light is as flawed as the dark and achieved balance, then there would be peace. Your thoughts?

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.02.2013 , 11:45 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
Very enlightening. The first line in particular will greatly aid my understanding of Kreia and how she used the Force. I'm currently in the process of defining Kreia's beliefs on emotions and how they should be used. I think she believed in the first tenet of the Jedi Code but in the sense of Odan-Urr. She mastered her emotions but also used them to fuel her dark side power.

But back to your post, I still believe that the Jedi, even in the times Odan-Urr, were at fault. Odan-Urr studied the dark side as you said, for knowledge's sake. But what use is that? Other than to be used as a weapon against the Sith if they were ever to resurface? Odan-Urr failed to use that knowledge to reconcile Jedi with Sith, and so failed where so many other masters would fail before and after him. I also believe Odan-Urr is partially at fault for the misinterpretation of the code, I for example, did not interpret it in the way he did. The main cause of this misunderstanding being the use of "no". He says there is no emotion or passion, and yet there clearly is. He says there is knowledge, yet warns against the study of dangerous knowledge. He says there is no chaos, and yet does not define 'chaos' and so immediately places all Jedi in the dilemma of causing chaos for the greater good i.e. war.

Ultimately however, even in the intended understanding of the code, it is fatally flawed. Because the Jedi don't make peace with their inner, or the outer, darkness. They banish it, only for it to return again and again and so they fail to achieve long-lasting peace or harmony. They fail.
I think you have the same understanding of the Code as many Jedi do. Each line deals with a specific aspect of the Jedi.

The First and Third lines deal with clarity of mind.
The Second line deals with knowledge(obvious)
The Fourth Line deals with calming the turbulent sea of the Dark Side within oneself to achieve perfect harmony with The Force
The Final line deals with the inevitable end, and accepting that end

It's not like Odan-Urr didn't tell people what the Code meant, just that few could actually comprehend it. The fault partly lies in the use of 'no', but also with the Jedi's inability to comprehend Odan-Urr's intentions. They viewed the Code as rules for the Jedi, but it wasn't rules. The Code served as a path to mastery of the Light Side. It was turned into rules by those who failed to comprehend Odan-Urr's intentions.

As to the reconciling. Odan-Urr never really had a chance. By the time his studies of the Dark Side were 'complete', the only Sith Lord around turned out to be Exar Kun. When Kun entered the Great Library, Odan-Urr felt his intentions. Exar Kun was going to kill Odan-Urr, take Naga Sadow's Holocron, and later destroy the Great Library. Odan-Urr couldn't allow all of that knowledge to be destroyed, and he could feel that Exar Kun would never listen to him. So he was forced to defend himself.

What if Exar Kun came in peace? Would Odan-Urr be okay with that? Yes. He left the Library's doors open to anyone who wished to learn. Obviously Odan-Urr would see Exar Kun as unfit to study the Dark Side without being taken, but like we have agreed upon before, both sides have to reach out. Odan-Urr took the first step with leaving his doors open to anyone, Exar Kun would take the next step by entering the Library with peaceful intentions.

On the topic of chaos. The Code wasn't meant to deal with wars and such. As noted above, the Code dealt with the inner being of a Jedi. There were other Jedi teachings dealing with a Jedi's role in war. The Code dealt with fighting the chaos within, other teachings dealt with a Jedi's involvement in wars.

Can the blame be put on Odan-Urr's shoulders? Partially. But here's another question: Should Luke's struggles with Yoda's teachings on Dagobah be Yoda's fault? Or should Luke's failure to comprehend the meaning of Yoda's teachings be at fault?

But really, the person to blame here is Atris!
Added Chapter 29 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
01.02.2013 , 11:48 AM | #4
Seems to me that Odan-Urr went a little overload on trying to learn everything, but never lived long enough to fully use his knowledge, ah well. You make a good point, about comprehension and that. Food for thought...

But I noticed you didn't catch my addendum, take a look and see what you think.

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.02.2013 , 11:49 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post

EDIT: Something very interesting has been brought up on the 'Your Take of the Jedi Order and Sith Order' thread. The philosophy of the Je'daii Order. They believed in balance between Ashla and Bogan, light and dark, true harmony in the Force. But the Force Wars broke out when certain members believed Ashla to be the greater power, which encouraged those who believed Bogan to be stronger to fight against them. This shows that reconciliation with the dark side is possible. If the Jedi only understood that the light is as flawed as the dark and achieved balance, then there would be peace. Your thoughts?
While that would be possible, and Odan-Urr's Code points to such a thing being possible (reference to the Fourth line), but again, both sides have to be willing to bridge the gap. Luke and Krayt managed it briefly, but even then it didn't turn out well.

Maybe such a thing will happen, but so long as the Sith continue their murderous rampages, the Jedi will continue to fight them.

I think the main reason the old Je'daii were so successful was because of their small size. They were more of a sect. But now we see armies of each side battling. I would prefer the smaller sect.
Added Chapter 29 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.02.2013 , 11:52 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
Seems to me that Odan-Urr went a little overload on trying to learn everything, but never lived long enough to fully use his knowledge, ah well. You make a good point, about comprehension and that. Food for thought...

But I noticed you didn't catch my addendum, take a look and see what you think.
Well he did study everything in the Great Library. I dare to say he could teach Yoda a thing or two.

But I'm sure he relied heavily on the Jedi Order's comprehension of the higher meaning in all things.

Edit: Yeah, I missed the addendum, but I made a response to it.
Added Chapter 29 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
01.02.2013 , 11:57 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
While that would be possible, and Odan-Urr's Code points to such a thing being possible (reference to the Fourth line), but again, both sides have to be willing to bridge the gap. Luke and Krayt managed it briefly, but even then it didn't turn out well.

Maybe such a thing will happen, but so long as the Sith continue their murderous rampages, the Jedi will continue to fight them.

I think the main reason the old Je'daii were so successful was because of their small size. They were more of a sect. But now we see armies of each side battling. I would prefer the smaller sect.
Agreed, that was what was discussed after, how it could come about. I believe Luke had the opportunity, the Jedi and Sith had both been utterly destroyed, but he didn't take it. A smaller sect would probably be difficult though, as more force users would be denied and go untrained, which is dangerous. And while even with the Je'daii Order established, the Sith threat would still remain, however it would be a much lesser one, and at least the Je'daii Order would be in the right. However I believe the transition would be best handled slowly, over years, maybe even centuries, in periods of peace. That's at the center of my argument, rather than in the periods of peace, wait for another Sith threat to spawn, the Jedi should evolve.

And on the larger scale of things, it would lead IMO to a much wiser and more powerful Order, better equipped to defend the Republic and maintain peace. Like Kreia says:

"If you are to truly understand, then you will need the contrast, not adherence to a single idea."

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.02.2013 , 12:07 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
Agreed, that was what was discussed after, how it could come about. I believe Luke had the opportunity, the Jedi and Sith had both been utterly destroyed, but he didn't take it. A smaller sect would probably be difficult though, as more force users would be denied and go untrained, which is dangerous. And while even with the Je'daii Order established, the Sith threat would still remain, however it would be a much lesser one, and at least the Je'daii Order would be in the right. However I believe the transition would be best handled slowly, over years, maybe even centuries, in periods of peace. That's at the center of my argument, rather than in the periods of peace, wait for another Sith threat to spawn, the Jedi should evolve.

And on the larger scale of things, it would lead IMO to a much wiser and more powerful Order, better equipped to defend the Republic and maintain peace. Like Kreia says:

"If you are to truly understand, then you will need the contrast, not adherence to a single idea."
You're right. But change happens slowly and is difficult to get underway. Luke had the chance, but I think Palpatine's actions were a main reason Luke preserved the Jedi way. I don't think he would want another Palpatine to come about. And yet, he came back lol.

Anyway, I think everyone knows who is to blame for this: Atris
Added Chapter 29 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Warren-Stride's Avatar


Warren-Stride
01.02.2013 , 03:55 PM | #9
I always thought it was interesting that Odan Urr always carried a Sith Holocron on his person. He found it shortly before retreating to his private library to write the Revised Code. I think.

Conspiracy Theory!
The Revised Code was meant to be misunderstood and therefor weaken the Jedi, just as the dark side spirit from Odan Urr's holocron that was influencing his mind wanted! The Revised Code is an evil Sith plot!
~~ AiR ~~
What are you more afraid of?
A weapon that could destroy you?
Or a weapon that could turn you into a monster?

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
01.02.2013 , 04:16 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Warren-Stride View Post
I always thought it was interesting that Odan Urr always carried a Sith Holocron on his person. He found it shortly before retreating to his private library to write the Revised Code. I think.

Conspiracy Theory!
The Revised Code was meant to be misunderstood and therefor weaken the Jedi, just as the dark side spirit from Odan Urr's holocron that was influencing his mind wanted! The Revised Code is an evil Sith plot!
Um... I don't know. I'm not going to say it's impossible, but improbable.

Odan-Urr was a very devout follower of the Light. He wouldn't have studied the Dark Side teachings if he wasn't. Not to mention Odan-Urr didn't delve into the Holocron that much. He mainly kept it for safe-keeping. Is it possible for the evil spirit to influence him? Probably. However, he and several other Jedi Masters were able to study the Holocron without being tainted.

An interesting theory, but I just don't see it. I think it was just Odan-Urr's complex mind that caused the Jedi to misinterpret the Code. His fault? Maybe. Or simply the Jedi Order failed to see the true purpose of the Code.

But anyway, I'm going to answer the question in the OP and say yes.

Edit: And yes, Odan-Urr kept the Sith Holocron closely guarded, though it did spend some time in the Chamber of Antiquities. He probably kept it in case someone wanted to steal it from the Chamber. Unfortunately, Odan-Urr couldn't stop the one man who did want to steal it.
Added Chapter 29 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus