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    • Technology as a barrier to social interaction (Last post by Edan)
    • I'm talking about offline rather than online. A common thing I see is people sitting or standing in places where they're supposed to be 'people facing'.. but they're actually staring at their phone. I find it quite annoying when I'm trying to talk to someone but they're more interested in texting. I generally think about it in the form of manners... but do you think that we (everyone we, not us Jedi we) are too 'involved' in technology and not enough in being conscious in everyday life?
    • disconnection from and reconnection with the Force... (Last post by Alan)
    • There are some genuinely insightful and helpful posts here. Thank you all for your sincerity and compassion. Den and Cyan, thank you for your trust in the sharing of your life's struggles and triumphs. The suggestions regarding the benefits of focus, attention, and mindfulness are true for me as well. Eventually, the mental attitude that one experiences in meditation can be applied in all of the rest of life as well. The quieting of the many voices that is the goal of sitting meditation can be expanded to all of our experiences. The existential enjoyment of our senses is for me a vital aspect of being Jedi. Not hedonism, for the enjoyment of our embodiment is to be one of balance without excess. So also the ascetic: seeking, inviting or allowing the joys of that which is plain and simple. Enjoy without guilt and without disappointment that somehow what we do and who we are is insufficient. Happiness arises from this inner peace.
    • Is A Fertilized Human Egg A Person? (Last post by Akkarin)
    • Along the lines of what Elizabeth and Proteus are saying: What is this obsession with life for life's sake? Does Living one's life not also matter? If you were given the choice right now between dying or spending the rest of your life in torturous and horrendous pain which would you choose? I would choose to die, because life for life's sake has no value in my mind. So what does that mean for Jedi recognising the "inherent value of all life"? Well it does not contradict this statement, because in my mind the inherent value of all life requires that one care for that life in the form of trying to provide the best and most meaningful experience one can to that being. Saint Thomas Aquinas was one of the most influential Catholic thinkers in the entire Church's history, he was given the title posthumously of Doctor of the Church a title in which only 35 people in history have ever been given (despite the almost 2000 years of its history and many hundreds of millions/billion of members). So please take that into consideration when I say that Thomas Aquinas would probably be pro-abortion. That is why my Anglican Priest lecturer always thought it was strange that many Catholics opposed abortion. Why? Well for the same reason Alex gave really, because sticking to a rule is of the utmost silliness. The reason for that, as Alex said, was because there are always exceptions to the rule. Aquinas was a strong believer in using reason and rationality to inform moral decisions, and strict rules as he observed sometimes force one to make an immoral choice - please see my metaphysical explanation of "mental boxes" and their inability to correctly "fit" to the universe, a general rule is another mental box, Let us use a modern example of one Aquinas used (he used a sword in his version). Thou shalt not steal. If one were to borrow a gun from a friend (for whatever reason) but during the time in which you were borrowing it you discovered your friend became incredibly mentally disturbed and you knew that upon giving the gun back he would use to t murder many people. What should you do? If you don't give the gun back you're a sinner for breaking one of the 10 commandments, if you do give the gun back then you are knowingly precipitating the deaths of many other people - not least knowingly allowing your friend to sin (which would not be caring at all - especially given his mental state). Aquinas reasoned that general principles (Thou shalt not steal, kill, commit adultery) etc many of which God broke anyway in the Old Testament, can be overridden in some circumstances by the idea of "proportionalism". That is to say that moral rules are absolute unless there is a convincing and over-ridding reason for taking an alternative course of action. Now Aquinas would say, if he was a pro-lifer, that the abortion was inherently/intrinsically wrong, but would most likely argue that in this action despite the fact that the abortion was wrong in itself the abortion was in fact the morally right decision to make. In catholic doctrine this is called "double effect". This thinking also puts much of the moral decision making on the intention of the person rather than the consequences i.e tying into the beginning with whether a life is worth living, does the intention in preventing awful and terribly suffering over-ride the consequence of killing? That woman in Br. John's article thought so and in that circumstance I would agree with her.
    • Ghosts! (Last post by Adder)
    • My view is if there is something supernatural that it might exist as a strata of energy which can absorb the energetic imprint of everything, it might thus be the only thing which remains of someones mind/body upon death. Further I'd like to think 'ghost' type phenomena is when that energy is picked up by a living person and either interpreted as various things. I think it less likely to carry consciousness, but who knows, its just a loose framework to work with. Unfortunately I have hardly little ghost interaction in the popular sense, but some interesting experiences which tend to reinforce my framework (obviously!) to some extent. I think the trick is that most detection is actually self created, but I choose it could be created upon a base genuine supernatural signal. The delusional aspect probably gets worse when people seek it out or surround it with a narrative, because I'd bet the subconscious starts actively building around that narrative to explain anything which might be genuine.... hence my very open framework. I'm only interested in the raw signal (if it exists), and not anything my brain might dress it up in in an effort to interpret - something I think would be inevitable to some extent anyway.
    • Advice (Last post by Arkayik)
    • Quote: What would a true Jedi do if he was being manipulated, bullied and walked all over? (Apart from not let it happen in the first place) Please feel free to share how this is affecting you, without going into details which might compromise your privacy... Your safety and well being are of paramount concern. All of us here will listen and share if our experiences can be of assistance. We may not have the answers, but sometimes the act of sharing helps you to clarify what you want to do about the situation. TotJO also has clergy who can likely be of great assistance to you with detailed advice. Those kinds of details would likely be best handled by messages if you can get it working on your phone...
    • Can mindfulness change the way you eat (Last post by Json)
    • I started a journey over a year ago to eat better. Eating mindfully was part of it. I found it amazing at the crap we stuff into our bodies without a second thought. Along with paying attenion to the moment of consumption I started reading labels. At first I was like OK it has all this crap in it... then I started thinking... wow I have all this crap in me. So I changed my intake. I have not had a sugar drink in over a year and I must say it has had the biggest effect on my enjoyment of food. I can taste so much more. I also have my "hunger" under control. I do not have food cravings and if I have a hunger pain it is because my body if running low on fuel! :)
    • Philosophy and the Sciences class (Last post by Edan)
    • I have to be honest and say I haven't been able to do the work.. I thought I could, and ordinarily I could, but my day to day work is long days right now and it's made me too tired to think :(
    • 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.
    • 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.

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