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We… must live in two worlds:
The World of Form and the Otherworld of Force,
For a true existence involves the constant intercourse of both.
~ from The Yellow Book of Ferns.

My apologies for the lateness of this reply. Recently I have gotten well behind in my studies here and elsewhere due to the fact that I have been sick in bed with gods knows what for the past little while. In fact I still am while I write this. So, if I start to ramble on about happy fairies, Tinkerbell or the like you know why.

I have been here over a year. I have been part of the Light, Shadow and the Darkness; albeit unofficially. As such I have observed some rather unusual trends and motifs that permeate some of the councils here and how they, and the people that follow that specific side, act and respond to various situations. Some of which are unpleasant and some of which would probably get me into a heepload of trouble if I said; so I won't.

One of these primary motifs is how long people actually stay on the various councils. When I look at the Light Council I stare in wonder where all of these people came from and how adequately they where trained. Granted, some of them have been active posters for quite some time while others I have barely heard a peep out of during the past four months. Then, of course, with the light there is the constant shifting of leadership that seems to happen every few months or so. We had JediKnight G, Calvodic, Ellen Merritt, Spark Vallen, Mark Faulnker and now I don't know who. Some of these people have done a rather great job of pissing a lot of people off, myself included. And some of these people have done a rather good at leadership and are respected by many, myself included.

Yet, despite this constant shifting of leadership the light has always remained one of the primary sides here at the academy. Is it because they adhere to a stricter code of morals and ethics that they feel a need to conform to? Or perhaps it is the fact that people always feel the need to be drawn towards the light like moths to a flame? Honestly, I don't know.

Perhaps it is just because the members of that side are fairly active posters upon this board and no Shadow sider really makes any effort to post anything in response. If they post anything at all. Leaving the opposition to the Darker cast for the most part. But, I remember the words that a Shadow sider that is now fairly inactive said to me once, "If only one side of the argument is heard. The outcome is already set in stone." Here at the academy, the only people that really truly and actively post their thoughts and ideas are those that ally themselves with the light and the darkness. Thus, now, even though two sides of the argument are being heard the future is already fairly firmly in stone.

The heads and the tails have been shown and have clearly been marked; both through life and through the movies via which most of us came here through. Yet, there are far more than two sides to this dice. Nay, I say to anyone that asks me heads or tails when they toss a coin. For this is something far more complex that we are dealing with than a simple piece of metal; an antiquated lump of monetary value left over from a bygone era.

We are dealing with a piece of artistry that rivals the workmanship of any smith or sculptor; poet or writer. We are working with the finite strands of fate and destiny; thought and idea; light and dark; good and bad; happiness and joy. Above all - progression, power and knowledge. All of which combine into a chaotic form of reality that can not be put onto paper or even truly told; only experienced and lived.

I can show you the door to that experience. I can help guide you down that path; giving you advice and a well needed helping hand. Yet, in the end, at any moment, this is a path that you and you alone have to walk. The door is there; all around you. You only have to walk through it once you begin to perceive it for what it is.

Then, within another facet of the jewel there are those of the darkness. The outspoken ones that are in search of power; both over themselves and over others. So that they might help others and themselves; or perhaps simply because they have come to terms with that which is in the depths of their heart; the more individualistic side of things that strives forth like a hungry and rabid animal thirsty for the blood of knowledge and understanding. The more predatory nature that is within the human heart and spirit; that which stalks their prey as well as themselves ruthlessly like the wolf driving the weak from the rest of the herd.

Yet, at the same time; through all of their individuality, through all of their ruthlessness and cunning, they still have within them the other side of the wolf; the side that you rarely see. The side that works towards the nurturing and education of ones young. Of the protection of ones pack and those that they are loyal too; their family, their friends, and above all those that they love. For the safety of the whole of the pack comes first. And even though one member might be needed to be sacrificed to save the many they will not let go still the bitter end. Playing all of their cards till all of their options have run out and they are forced to do that which they must do.

Their leadership was once questionable, most undoubtedly due to the fact that no one had really questioned it before. Their order separated into three factions that did do war against each other. The axis of power shifting from the more spiritually oriented Sith to that of the intellectual and political Krath. A lone member of the Dark Jensari, a practitioner of the more physical aspects of the dark arts, who incidentally enough, turned back to the more spiritual ways of the heart, speaking out against this course of change in a most indignant and rather whiny way in which he soon left these virtual halls, even though he doth come back from time to time to pay a welcomed or unwelcomed visit.

The Darkside archetype wars soon issuing forth from this confrontation. A war that was waged with words and binary code upon a chat line; one in which the members of the Krath won. Though, in the end, they lost to a certain degree; having to revamp the whole training curriculum from the crumbled ruins of what survived the war. Perhaps, in a way they had it much easier. Fort they could learn from the mistakes of their elders that went before them; only one of which survived through the war and, he too, was only recently brought into the fold. Not much older than the rest, save for in that which he knew and practiced; as well as that which he is still learning yet teaching at the same time.

Now, out of the ashes, the Fatum Operandi has been born as but a phoenix of new hope for those that follow the path of darkness. A chance to rebuild that which was torn down to an even greater level of splendor than before. A chance to rebuild an empire that never truly existed save for in binary code and fiction.

Then there is those that walk within the shadows of day and night; striving for balance between the bi-polar extremes through several different means. Some through the dynamic balance of their actions; a tit for tat philosophy that is much like the ebbing and flowing nature of the waters of this earth; pulsing backwards and forwards between the bi-polar extremes like the wave pattern of a photon. Others doing so through the realization that there is nothing to balance in the first place; that there is no differentiation between light and darkness save for that of perspective. Making it so that there is no real light or darkness; only the varying shades of gray that the canine race doth see in.

Some of their followers walk upon the line between the light and the darkness; teetering on the tightrope, the line that separates light from darkness. Still others perceive the ideas and ideals of light and darkness as limitations that must be pushed back. Then, there are those that are but as the walkers between the worlds; neither belonging within either the light or the darkness. Looking for sanctuary and refuge from the duality that is forced upon them from an early age. These are the emissaries that serve as a go between; a middle man, between these opposing forces. Helping to alleviate whatever conflict and imbalance there is within these worlds through whatever means they deem necessary. Sometimes making only minute changes, subtle suggestions with their voice while at other times lashing out with their words and their thoughts to do what they know must be done. Regardless of whether or not people approve of it, or hold them in high esteem because of their actions.

This balance is perhaps the Shadows most vital asset, even though the practitioners of the light and darkness have their own ideas on balance it is not as promoted to such a level as that which is found within the order of the Shadow. Yet, it this sense of balance is perhaps also their most prevalent weakness. For it is because of this sense of balance that they wish to maintain they sometimes feel, perhaps, afraid to post their ideas and ideals on certain controversial topics. If they even post at all.

Once the Shadow side here at the academy was one of the most prominent of the three different orders; not to mention one of the most widely practiced. Then there where large amounts of lectures, both new and old, that new practitioners could look upon in awe and realize that this was sounded right, that this made sense; that this was who they where. This was when there was actual activity from the Shadow side and the Shadow council; both within the chat room and upon the webboard. Now, things have changed within the council; most likely for the worse. They have become lax and argumentative among themselves. Or at least there where last time I checked; which was quite some time ago, so I really shouldn't talk all that much right now.

With this change in council also came a change in what the Shadow really was; a shift from the perspective that the Shadow was merely the differing shades of gray that some would consider to be 'in-between' the light and the darkness. To something different now, something that is not between the light and the darkness. At the moment, what that perspective is still a mystery to me for through looking at the few lectures that have been put in place within the Shadow lecture hall; which has not been truly updated in I don't know how long.

At one point in time there was over forty different lectures within the Shadow Jedi Lecture hall. Ranging from the perception and sensing of auras to tales about shamanism, perspectives, perception and the like. About extraordinary experiences that take a step into the realm of the paranormal as well as stories that touched your heart and soul. The opinions of Lady Redlum, Andrew Watson, Justin Tallant, Trevor Robson and a few others which, while they played a minor role, play one none the less. And yes, one of my old lectures actually made it up there for one reason or another. Oh yeah, lets not forget that beautiful lecture about Saiminjutsu that Shinobi put forth quite some time ago.

I say unlock the floodgates of the past. For the longer you wish to withhold the past; to imprison it, the more you will become a slave to it. Post ideas and lectures from knights and padawans, apprentices and masters; either within the empty Shadow Jedi Discussion hall or within the unused lecture hall. For if these ideas and opinions merely float around in ones head, or even if they are put forth within the chat room at a certain point in time they will only do good for a select few and not for the many. Yet, in doing as such; do not sacrifice quality for quantity.

Now, where do I fit into all of this random mass of words thoughts and ideas? In truth, I know not. Yet, what I do know is that before now I was trying to lead by example to a certain extent within the Shadow Jedi Training hall, which, one of the original purposes for creating such a thing was to hone the apprentices skills and lecturing. I was trying to combine all of my thoughts, ideas, ideals and teachings into one place. At the moment I have somewhere around fifty odd pages of lectures that will be posted within the Public Lecture hall once I stop seeing dancing fairies and my fever goes away, along with this nice ear splitting headache.

Post; put forth your ideas and your progress. Not because it is right, not because it is wrong; but because it is a voice that needs to be heard. Be it a whisper from the shadows or a mighty roar from the screaming cliffs. Stop, speak quietly, ponder, question and, above all else, live.

- Arithion