Sithism as a Formless Path

{ The following is an excerpt from our next book in the “Nine Echelons of Sith Mastery” series: Dark Side Philosophy. }

In 1938, the influential Zen teacher D. T. Suzuki wrote the following about his religion:

Zen has no special doctrine or philosophy, no set of concepts or intellectual formulas, except that it tries to release one from the bondage of birth and death, by means of certain intuitive modes of understanding peculiar to itself. It is, therefore, extremely flexible in adapting itself to almost any philosophy and moral doctrine as long as its intuitive teaching is not interfered with. It may be found wedded to anarchism or fascism, communism or democracy, atheism or idealism, or any political or economic dogmatism. It is, however, generally animated with a certain revolutionary spirit, and when things come to a deadlock—as they do when we are overloaded with conventionalism, formalism, and other cognate isms—Zen asserts itself and proves to be a destructive force.D. T. Suzuki, “Zen and Japanese Culture”

If we replace the word “Zen” in the above quote with the word “Sithism”, and say that it “seeks unlimited power and immortality” instead of “tries to release one from the bondage of birth and death”, we are not far from our conception of the Sith Path. While we may prefer certain philosophical and political forms, finding them more congenial to our spirit or susceptible to our influence, a true Sith Lord can work within any ideological milieu and co-opt it for his own ends. For Sithism, like Zen, is a path of intuition and flexibility rather than rigid adherence to dogma. We are only concerned with the inner nature of individuals, with their Dark Side power and perception, and understand that powerful beings can be found at the top of any social system. If a given society requires us to adopt a particular form to become powerful, then that is the form we will adopt. The strength of Sithism is precisely this formlessness—this chanbrânûk. For the Dark Side, like the shadows, has no inherent form, but only takes temporary forms depending on the nature of the light that is cast upon it. By staying as fluid as the Darkness, the Sith Lord can hide in plain sight, gathering formless, invisible power.