Form Zero

There is an old saying, “The sharpest blades are kept within their sheaths”. Form Zero is the philosophy of the Jedi of knowing when to unsheathe their weapon or keep it at their side. It is the art of using the office of one that uses a lightsaber without having to use the lightsaber as a weapon. It is Form Zero that teaches us Jedi that we have other weapons in our arsenal that do not lead to violent outcomes but instead to peaceful resolution.

The most common technique for Form Zero is verbal resolution. I have used the following set of guidelines for my own personal expression of Form Zero based on the non-aggressive Soresu philosophy.

1)Never “go on the attack” in your negotiations. This is non-aggression. Never accuse the other of wrong-doing, for certainly they feel justified in their emotions and actions, we do not belittle this or dismiss this. Instead we present alternative views to their position in a non-threatening way in the art of compromise.

2)Don't spend time constantly defending yourself from accusations that may come your way. This is non-resistance. Accept what truth there is in what they have to say and redirect any false hoods they may have. Remember they are seeing this exchange from their own point of view, and their idea of “truth” will depend on their point of view, we must as negotiators redirect their view to one in accord with our own. We do not do this by simply contradicting the assertions of the entity we are negotiating with, but by gently bringing them to our own point of view.

3)Remember that a negotiation is NOT a competition. One should not have in their mind that there is a winning and a losing side. We do not come to the table with the intent of “winning” and causing for the other party to “lose” nor is winning or losing what is at stake for Jedi in a negotiation. The point of a negotiation is to come to an accord where all parties walk away from the table satisfied. In a way if everyone wins, nobody has to lose.

Form Zero is not just restricted to verbal actions. Many options may present themselves, perhaps with an action of offering a drink. Form Zero is also Formless. Jedi, allow the Force to guide you, along with Knowledge and Self Discipline, your actions with Form Zero must work in accord with the Force, never against it.

Be warned Jedi, Form Zero is not only the art of knowing when not to draw your weapon, but when to use force (not The Force). It is preferable that a Jedi resolves conflict without violence but we must listen to the Force and understand when we must employ direct action and heed that call.