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    • How do you keep your mind sharp? (Last post by Oneiros)
    • My job keeps my mind sharp usually. Translating can be pretty difficult, no matter one's profficiency in a language. I also meditate daily for at least 20 minutes. Once or twice a week I'll go to the Buddhist temple nearby and meditate with the monks in the evenings. Still haven't found a good sitting position that doesn't make my foot fall asleep lol.
    • What Are You Listening To Right Now? (Last post by Edan)
    • Bit political for a Tuesday evening.. but I do love this song.. some of the footage in the video is real footage from the London riots a few years ago. [video]
    • American men, American media, and the villificatio... (Last post by Oneiros)
    • Quote: I think the main concern is about young boys being harmed. The asumption that young boys are being "harmed" by this is wrong because the basis for that article and that line of thinking is also wrong. The sort of paranoia that that article is based on and promotes is not healthy or helpful to righting any of the imagined wrongs that it claims to point out.
    • Workout Check-In Thread (Last post by Edan)
    • Days 35 - 37 checking in Day 35 was a rest day Day 36 was 40 minute run at the gym (35 run + 5 cooldown). I'm definitely getting into the focus of running.. I run at speed intervals and I've become so focused I lose when I'm supposed to switch the speed. The music helps but sometimes I even forget that. Best track of the run was 'Coming Undone' by Korn. Day 37 was 30 minutes yoga. I am seeing the effect of all the yoga I am doing.. while I am not flexible particularly, my flexibility is slowly increasing, and the strength in my arms has definitely increased.
    • Taoism (Last post by Rickie The Grey)
    • This is for Alexandre. We spoke in chat the other day and I didn't have the likn available to show him; www.taowoods.org/quote/index.htm Enjoy
    • Forum Access Changes (Last post by Rickie The Grey)
    • Quote: Feel free to be dissapointed all you would like. Throw a temper tantrum too if you wish. While you do, we will still be here getting things done to improve matters just as we always have. This does not entail dismissing anybody, however those who scream and cry because everything did not happen the way they demanded will only be making things harder on themselves to be thoroughly considered. Going into threads protesting that the knights and council are all dismissive has no constructive basis and only contributes to the already existing conflicts that we are trying to settle. Seems strongly worded, maybe out of frustration? I'm not happy about this anymore now than I was when it first came out but I'm letting go of it. Maybe some/most of us should let this thread rest, take some time for the water to settle down and the air to clear? Peace :)
    • Course Comms (Last post by tzb)
    • Discussion 6 - The Road of Trials now available: www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/the-h...6-the-road-of-trials PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THE COURSE COMMS THREAD
    • Discussion 6 - The Road of Trials (Last post by tzb)
    • [image] We left our hero... in the belly of the whale, having crossed a threshold into the darkest point since they set out on their adventure. The odds are stacked against them, and there is no easy way out of their predicament. So how will they move forward from here? Our hero has left their ordinary world and entered the world of the adventure. But have they begun to change yet? Thinking of Luke as he enters the Death Star, he is very much the same person he was when he first met Ben - sure, he has his father's lightsaber and he's started to consider the Force, but what has he got to show for this? He has left Tattooine, been captured by the Empire, and now the work of transformation must begin if he is to survive, to "escape", and to become the hero he needs to be. The road of trials is a long, arduous and gruelling stage which will challenge the core beliefs the hero has about themselves, the world they have just entered when setting out on their adventure, and the world they left behind at home. The hero will face repeated challenges and must overcome them, potentially at great cost to themselves or those with them. It is this process of facing and overcoming challenges which enables the transformation and growth our hero needs to reach their ultimate goal. [image] The road of trials may not always be so obviously a road, nor quite so jolly... The "road" may not be a road as such, but it is a sequence of tests and challenges the hero must overcome to reach their eventual goal. The nature of these tests varies considerably depending on the hero's nature, and is likely to incorporate the next few steps along the hero's Journey (meeting the goddess, woman as temptress and atonement with the father), but there are two common elements unique to this stage of the quest: Brother Battle - Frequently the hero must battle someone they considered an ally, perhaps someone in their own quest party who turns against them or is revealed to be a traitor or spy. The hero must overcome this hidden threat and thereby learn a lesson about who they can and can't trust. An example from Star Wars is the battle between Obi-Wan and Vader. Dragon Battle - Dragons are powerfully symbolic creatures in mythology. They represent many things, including the challenges we and others feel are too great to be overcome. The hero is often tasked with confronting such an "unstoppable force", and often overcomes it using their wits rather than outright strength. An example from Lord of the Rings is Gandalf's confrontation with the Balrog. [image] Ultimately the road of trials is a surprising time in the life of our hero, where they are tested and find they have the reserves and ability to overcome the challenges they face. The early triumphs of this stage, immediately after the "darkest hour" of the belly of the whale, provide the hero with the confidence and self-awareness they need in order to achieve their eventual goal. No longer the fish out of water in the world of the adventure, they may find themselves a leader or important figure in the events which unfold. Their actions surprise and sometimes baffle others, but it is thanks to the hero that the road of trials can be passed. So, with this newfound courage and self-esteem, the hero may receive their first glimpse of the world beyond the quest - they may get some idea of the future which lies in store, should the be successful. Often this message arrives with another kind of herald - the goddess. Quote: In the vocabulary of the mystics, this is the second stage of the Way, that of the "purification of the self," when the senses are "cleansed and humbled,1' and the energies and interests "concentrated upon transcendental things"; or in a vocabulary of more modern turn; this is the process of dissolving, transcending, or transmuting the infantile images of our personal past. In our dreams the ageless perils, gargoyles, trials, secret helpers, and instructive figures are nightly still encountered; and in their forms we may see reflected not only the whole picture of our present case, but also the clue to what we must do to be saved. From The Hero with a Thousand Faces Examples Spoiler: * Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh travels through the Land of Night and crosses the Waters of Death on the journey to meet Utnapishtim * The Odyssey: Odysseus faces the trials of Polyphemus, the Circones, the Lotus-Eaters, the Lastrygonians, the sirens, Scylla and Charybdis and the cattle of the sun god * The Enlightenment of Buddha: Buddha is antagonised by "the evil one", including having hurricanes, torrential rains and even flaming rocks to deal with * The Crucifixion of Jesus: Jesus is flogged, mocked by soldiers, clothed in a purple robe, crowned with thorns, beaten and spat on before having to walk to his own execution * Beowulf: Beowulf must not only Grendel, but also his mother and ultimately a dragon * The Theft of Thor's Hammer: Thor must remain "in character" at the brial feast. He almost blows it with his rapacious appetite and red eyes, but Loki's silver tongue saves the day * King Arthur: Arthur founds Camelot, gathers his Knights and battles enemies such as Morgana * The Lord of the Rings: The road to and through Moria, and the breaking of the Fellowship * Star Wars Episode IV: Luke, Han and Chewie must navigate the Death Star to find Leia * The Karate Kid: Mr Miyagi teaches Daniel to fight ("Wax on. Wax off.") * The Lion King: Simba must make a life for himself in the jungle with his new friends Timon and Pumbaa * The Matrix: Neo encounters both the real, and the "hacking" possible in the Matrix, downloads of skills etc * Harry Potter: Again, almost all of Harry's story could be seen as this stage writ large Questions Spoiler: * Life presents us with many trials, and we are sometimes victorious, and sometimes overcome. Think of the two great trials in your life, one in which you were victorious, and one in which you were overcome. Do you feel one allowed you to grow more than the other? Why? * Brother battles are an important but traumatic aspect of this stage of the adventure. Can you think of a time when someone you trusted turned against you? Was your trust misplaced? What did you learn from the experience? * Myth and dream are closely related, in that both reflect the deeply symbolic relationship our imaginations have with our experience of the world. Read this interpretation of dragon dreams. When you think of dragons, how do they make you feel? What do you think they represent? Why do you think so many myths have a dragon as one of the first enemies the hero must overcome? * Fictional Jedi must undergo symbolic "trials" at the end of their training. At TOTJO we don't follow this practice. What trials to TOTJO Jedi face? Think of the benefits for the hero of the road of trials - self-awareness, confidence, early victories. Interesting further reading on the rich archetypal symbolism of the dragon. Next: The Meeting with the Goddess (Available Sunday 26th October)
    • Access Forum Changes (Refined) (Last post by SeventhSL)
    • As I opposed the initial changes I would just like to show my appreciation to the Knights for their efforts with this refinement and to make TOTJO a better place for all of us. I very much understand that you have a difficult task to manage the desires and expectations of so many and I thank you for not hardening your hearts and for listening to the voices of the lower ranks as well as the higher. I sincerely hope that this new solution, or some variation thereof, proves to be successful. I am very hopefull for there is more to a name than their appears. Time tells all things. Also thank you to those higher ranks who take the time to create and discuss topics with those below them. Though it may go unappreciated you act as mentors and guides to beginners like myself. Thank you.

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