Topics in Category: Abrahamic studies

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Latest Posts Comments Articles
    • Ghosts! (Last post by Goken)
    • I've personally never had any experiences that would make me believe that ghosts exist, but I keep an open mind, so if they do I won't be surprised. My girlfriend has had plenty of "ghost encounters." Enough that I ask her not to talk about them at night. lol
    • Is A Fertilized Human Egg A Person? (Last post by Rickie The Grey)
    • Quote: I only asked the first part of the question I had in mind. Here's the rest. At what point (or under what conditions), if any, should a woman be forced to continue a pregnancy against her will? I knew this was comming. :) ;) forced? NEVER.
    • Too much focus on individual words? (Last post by Json)
    • Words? I love words. They are the brush stokes of communication. They are so plainly written with so much hidden in them. We take what we want to see from them. Notice the sentence, We take what we want from them, we do not always take what was given in them. Emotions are much harder to convey in words and that is why I love them. I love writing and hiding the emotion so plainly in a lyric then tie them together for a message. I see it like dance. We dance to music not a single note. We do not look at a painting and question a brush stroke. Enter, the internet and message boards. Misunderstandings and arguements have been going on since their creation. Reason being is we, as humans, have a complex way of communication, far beyond words. The words are just the paint yet our actions and motions during delivery would be the brush that paints the picture. This makes the internet and forums a very poor tapestry for painting with words. Is there a way around this problem? No not really, not yet. So be honest and straight forward. If you feel someone insults you ask them if they meant to do so. This is harder said than done because of egos and a natural reaction to defend. I guess we just keep pushing forward. :) Just my 2 cents.
    • Critical Thinking! (Last post by Khaos)
    • My mother taught me critical thinking. Not any formal schooling. I teach my son. Best not to rely to much on outside institutions I find. I dont think the education system needs to get better so much as families and friends need to encourage such skills. Of course, the education system has some major flaws, but even if it was a perfect, well oiled machine, it would not be handling the whole of my childs education.
    • Insight Timer app for meditation (Last post by steamboat28)
    • In addition to that, prayers and mantras have been counted with beads for centuries--the beads don't help us pray, but they help us keep the habit of praying. (if anyone knows of a decent app purpose-built for those applications, do let me know. :P ) As to the Insight Timer app, there's also an email address one can contact to see about making guided meditations for the app. Perhaps, in the future, if we as a collective group came up with some in the course of TotJO activities or discussions, we could have someone (or a few someones) attempt to share them with our group on the app, too?
    • The Balancing Force - a Jedi Reading of The Jade P... (Last post by tzb)
    • The Balancing Force - a Jedi reading of The Jade Pivot Written on 31st October 2014 I thought I'd give a Jedi interpretation of the Yü Shû King, by Hsüan-yang Dze, also known as The True Classic of the Pivot of Jade, delivered by the Heaven-Honoured One, Who produces Universal Transformation by the Sound of His Thunder. This short Taoist text is central to religious Taoism and is part of many religious Taoist services. It also provides a brief, practical guide to those who would become one with the Tao. The purpose of the text is, the author tells us, "to teach men to discipline and refine their spirit", in line with a belief in the Tao. I feel this has value for us as Jedi and our central belief in the Force. As such, my Jedi reading follows. ----- 1 The Force is transcendent. The Force is impossible to know directly, and can't be adequately described except by itself. You can't see or hear it; all you see or hear are things. Things come, things go, but the Force is that which is beyond mere things, and remains constant throughout even these seemingly universal transitions. Until you understand the transcendent nature of the Force, you can't begin to approach knowledge of it. 2 Difficulty is valuable. If you wish to know the Force, you must approach it with sincerity. To maintain this knowledge of the Force once you have it, you must be silent. If you wish to use the Force, you must be gentle. If you're sincere about the Force, you'll look stupid to others. Similarly, cultivating the silence required to remain aware of the Force will look like you're unable to speak. Acting gently enough to use the Force looks like a lack of ability. However, if you can do these three things and truly know the Force, you will transcend your body, transcend mere knowledge, transcend even your notion of "self" and become one with the Force. 3 Intellect is limited. Even a passing knowledge of the Force is enough to understand one's intellect can't give the complete picture of it. Likewise, one who understands the Force is naturally valiant in action, without having to think about it. Finally, working with the Force reveals tremendous subtleties to everything, without engaging the thinking process. So understanding these subtleties, one attains an air of intelligence. In being valiant by nature, the air of a true Jedi Knight is acquired. And in putting aside the desire to understand everything intellectually, rather than over-thinking or worrying about everything, true wisdom is attained. This is how Jedi become one with the Force. True transcendence of one's self in the Force is something which becomes natural, with true understanding of the meaning of the Force. You can't lose it - you'll forget there was ever any other kind of understanding of reality. It is the underlying truth of all reality. 4 Ignorance is environmental (and the Force transcends it anyway). Jedi are sworn to the benefit of all life. Through service we become greater than our short lives. A belief in the Force presupposes a sort of "destiny". However we are wise and ignorant in equal, balanced measure; for knowing that destiny is the underlying truth is not enough to actually predict it in any meaningful way. We are human; we will never know the future with absolute certainty. The best way to approach this is, as the previous verse describes, recognising that intellect can't give us the complete picture. In doing so we make our ignorance a form of knowledge, and our weakness a form of strength.* Weakness and ignorance are natural for humans, but the way of the Force is also a natural current in human lives. To achieve knowledge and strength in this way, all we have to do is surrender to the current of the Force. This happens spontaneously, sometimes without intellect, will or desire, sometimes with the greatest intellect, will and desire in the world. The conditions for its realisation cannot be manufactured, because the Force is not predictable by human intellect, and thus appears inherently spontaneous. This spontaneity is even more mysterious than the understanding it imparts in us. This spontaneity is the true nature of the Force. The Force can't be known through conventional, coarse means. It can never be reduced, compromised, cheapened. This is why it is supreme. ----- *My interpretation of this passage: We give up self-destructive habits like over-thinking and worry, and instead trust in the Force and the path we're taking as the right one in each moment, whether that be moving straight ahead, turning left or right, or retreating. We accept the moment and stop obsessing over the future or the past. We accept our one life has one un-branching course, not many, however habitually we imagine we might have acted differently.
    • Be water, my friend (Last post by Alexandre Orion)
    • Yes ... I was just reading that. 98. ;) Of course, I've been reading it in the original French ... B) :blink: :lol: :woohoo: :laugh:
    • There is no Death (Last post by Streen)
    • I'm glad you found this thread useful, WRThore :) The original idea has very much changed my life and how I look at...well..life. Whatever the hell THAT is, LOL. A lot of things have been clicking into place in my mind that incorporate this sort of concept. It's Zen. Plays tricks with your mind, haha!
    • Course Comms (Last post by tzb)
    • Discussion 8 - Woman as Temptress now available: www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/the-h...8-woman-as-temptress PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THE COURSE COMMS THREAD
    • Discussion 8 - Woman as Temptress (Last post by tzb)
    • [image] We left our hero... meeting with the goddess, a powerful feminine force which gives their quest new light and hope. But not all feminine forces are positive. Will the next figure on their road be a friend or foe? After the previous topic, where the feminine force was a power the hero admired (or feared), this stage presents a fairly typical lesson about human nature: the hero begins to desire the feminine and wishes to make it his own. The hero is tempted. Interestingly however the typical mythic cycle does not reflect this as a failing on the part of the hero; rather, they posit the woman (either the Goddess of the prior stage or another feminine presence) as a temptress, guilty for alluring our protagonist from the path of their quest. Therefore the female force is presented mythically as both powerful enough to raise the woman to the position of a goddess, and insidious enough to lower her to the position of a temptress. [image] The most familiar example of this archetype is what we now refer to as the Femme Fatale. Present in much world literature (including the familiar figures of Lilith, the Sirens, Aphrodite, and Helen of Troy), Femme Fatales are seemingly wonderful figures who hide a dark secret - or perhaps reveal a darker side of the hero's nature. In modern storytelling the term Femme Fatale has become synonymous with the beautiful but conniving female leads of Film Noir stories, usually mysterious women who entrap, trick or otherwise manipulate the smitten hero. In Film Noir, Femme Fatales are often the cause of the hero's downfall. Often this is precisely because of the hero's good nature - they want to save the "damsel in distress", even to the point of committing atrocities. What they don't realise is she may not be as helpless as she appears. The narration of this video is sort of hilarious. The Hero's Journey is a transformative quest, as much about the growth of the hero as the situations they experience, or their underlying motive for acting. As such an experience of temptation is an essential "test" for the hero - a trial which reveals them as greater than their baser desires. Sometimes monomythic stories have no temptress as such, but merely place an item or idea in front of the hero which they want, badly. Temptation in general is a universal human theme - who among us hasn't been tempted by something we desire? When an adventure seems difficult or dark, who hasn't desired or been tempted to quit? The key lesson of this stage of the hero's journey is that not all enemies are dragons; they will have to battle their own flaws, their own weaknesses and their own demons. This transforming understanding of the obstacles they face is a crucial part of the hero's journey towards maturity. Sometimes the obstacle is our own selves - and other times it will look too good to be true. [image] It usually is. Quote: Generally we refuse to admit within ourselves, or within our friends, the fullness of that pushing, self-protective, malodorous, carnivorous, lecherous fever which is the very nature of the organic cell. Rather, we tend to perfume, whitewash, and reinterpret; meanwhile imagining that all the flies in the ointment, all the hairs in the soup, are the faults of some unpleasant someone else. But when it suddenly dawns on us, or is forced to our attention, that everything we think or do is necessarily tainted with the odor of the flesh, then, not uncommonly, there is experienced a moment of revulsion: life, the acts of life, the organs of life, woman in particular as the great symbol of life, become intolerable to the pure, the pure, pure soul. From The Hero with a Thousand Faces Examples Spoiler: * Gilgamesh: Siduri tries to tempt Gilgamesh away from his journey, telling him it is futile * The Odyssey: Calpso protects Odysseus but forces him to stay on her island. Circe also fits this mould somewhat * The Enlightenment of Buddha: Buddha faces continual temptation whilst beneath the bodhi tree, including "three voluptuous women" * The Crucifixion of Jesus: Mary Magdelene is present at Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Through much of history she has been painted as a sinful influence in Jesus' life * Beowulf: Beowulf gains great praise for his deeds and Hrothgar warns him about being tempted to pride, rather than remembering the role of god in his victory * The Theft of Thor's Hammer: The appearance of Thrym's sister demanding a bridal fee is an example of a female presence nearly pulling an adventure off course * King Arthur: Guinevere's dalliance with Lancelot threatens to destroy the harmony of Arthur's kingdom * The Lord of the Rings: Galadriel considers taking the ring and using its power * Star Wars Episode IV: Han and Luke compete over Leia's affections, Luke and Leia kiss (ew) * The Karate Kid: Daniel sees Ali kissing Johnny and is hurt by it * The Lion King: Nala makes Simba act like a horny teenager * The Matrix: Cypher is tempted by Agent Smith's offer of reinsertion into the Matrix - a "new life" away from the hardships of the Nebuchadnezzar's quest * Harry Potter: Harry sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised (another interesting subversion of the convention) Questions Spoiler: * What have been some of the major temptations in your life? How did you overcome them? Did they affect the course of your adventures? * Women are specifically mentioned at this stage of the Monomyth, but not men. What does this imply? How do you feel about your answer? * "The female force is presented mythically as both powerful enough to raise the woman to the position of a goddess, and indsidious enough to lower her to the position of a temptress." Why do you think this is? * What are some of the temptations which may lead a Jedi off their chosen path? Think particularly of the reference to Femmes Fatales using the hero's good nature against them, presenting an image of helplessness whilst secretly controlling the hero. Can you think of examples of where this type of situation might befall Jedi? How do we guard against it? Can we? Next: Atonement with the Father (Available Wednesday 5th November)

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