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    • Drone Operators with PTSD (Last post by ren)
    • Alethea I have the support of the international community, if that is not enough please point me to any alien independent observers you know of. E-3 I am very well aware of how things are done. My concern isn't about trigger-happy soldiers or UAV pilots, american soldiers are treated like complete morons and haveall sorts of crazy rules... The problem is with their bosses, who in this case was the CIA, an organization known for its complete disregard of absolutely everything just and honorable. Adder I know pakis who live in the UK and have family in pakistan. The drone attacks CAUSED people to join insurgent forces and a severe increase anti-american sentiment. Just like the lack of action against israel is causing many muslims to become radicalized. And here I'm talking about people i personally know. Also the nation-state is a fairly recent invention. It doesn't work all that well everywhere, especially for young countries with old communities like pakistan. It is not surprising that many places don't have very good intra-border control. Americans and australians forget that they come from brand new countries. Absolutely everything is baggage-free. You go to europe, take a tiny country like belgium for example, and look: it's split in two communities which basically can't stand each other. Lots of regions want independence.... There are some in france, in spain, in italy, etc... And there aren't even any deep religious or cultural differences! Just because pakistan didn't build a giant fence like the US and israel did on their borders doesn't mean any particular areas are out of control terrorist cesspits.
    • Course Comms (Last post by tzb)
    • Discussion 2 - Refusal of the Call now available: PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THE COURSE COMMS THREAD
    • Discussion 2 - Refusal of the Call (Last post by tzb)
    • [image] We left our hero... hearing the call to adventure, something which challenges them to take on the burden of saving their normal, everyday world by taking a valiant leap into the unknown. But will they be brave enough to heed the call? The hero has heard the call to adventure, but remember, they aren't a hero yet. There are many reasons the hero might refuse the call, and decide to stick with their normal, boring lives; they may not feel ready or in a position to heed the call for a number of good reasons. This is a familiar experience for us all. Sometimes, we are brought an idea or a situation which we don't feel equipped to deal with, and find ourselves afraid, or our hands tied in some way. Perhaps we are married with kids and can't take the once-in-a-lifetime round the world trip with our friends. Perhaps we can't risk our jobs or our homes on a risky dream. Perhaps we're just too afraid to "follow the white rabbit" and take a leap into the unknown. Refusal of the call is less of a feature of ancient myth, where heroes were often portrayed as "fully" heroic, meaning no doubts could enter their mind or impede their quest. However modern stories appreciate that moments of doubt are natural, human and important to the development of a realistic and relatable hero. Where the heroes of ancient myth were frequently gods, or god-like (as in the cases of Jesus, King Arthur and Beowulf), other heroes are human, and this moment of doubt makes this possible. [image] There are any number of negative reasons someone might refuse the call to adventure. This is intrinsically related to character flaws, which as we discussed in Discussion 1 are a common feature of heroes before they set out: * Self-doubt: If someone doesn't believe they have the strength, skill, prowess or ability to complete an adventure they may hesitate to set out on it. This is the reason the ancient heroes were rarely shown to express doubt: their myths were calls to action rather than depictions of real heroes. Real people are flawed, and a lack of self-belief is a common flaw. * Cowardice: Self doubt taken to its logical conclusion becomes cowardice, a chronic avoidance of challenges and the unknown. Many heroes begin their journeys with a cowardly refusal of the difficulties which have fallen into their lap. Think of Bilbo Baggins' initial horror at becoming involved in an adventure with Gandalf, for example. * Arrogance: On the flipside, some heroes will not participate in an adventure because they feel it is beneath them. Characters such as Gilgamesh and Beowulf now seem almost preposterously over-equipped for the quests before them. Sometimes a hero may need to be persuaded of the benefit for them of actually participating in a quest. Thinking slightly laterally, Han Solo refuses to join the rebellion because he believes he is already outsmarting the empire; in the fullness of time he learns that there is more at stake than his own skin and he becomes a better person for it. It's worth considering, however, there are also many positive reasons a hero might refuse the call: * Duty: An ideal example is that of Luke in Episode IV. He pleads with his uncle to allow him to join the academy and is told he is needed for a few more seasons. Luke is not too afraid to go, far from it - he's well aware of what a fantastic pilot he would make. But he remains out of a sense of duty to his uncle and aunt. Other examples of duty include military or other forms of professional obligation. * Devotion: Sometimes a prospective hero may feel too devoted to something which is part of their ordinary world to consider leaving for an adventure. A wife, a child, a father or mother. There are many sources of devotion which may be enough to force a hero to reject their destiny. * Learning From Experience: Trying and failing is a perfectly valid reason for a hero to refuse the call. This simply shows the hero can learn from the mistakes or missteps of the past. Think of Simba's humiliation at being rescued from the Elephant Graveyard by Mufasa. He has learned a valuable lesson about his own weaknesses, one which in time he could have put into practice in a positive way, by working hard to become stronger. It is not wrong that he is more cautious as a consequence of his experience. [video] This stage of the journey is a challenging one. On the one hand, we can feel compelled to think a little less of our heroes if they waver on the threshold of adventure. How can we look up to people who hesitate at the first sign of difficulty? But on the other hand, how could we realistically appreciate the danger and difficulty of the situation the hero is faced with if they never pause for a moment? Remember, we've only just met this character; without this hesitation, for all we know Luke destroys Death Stars every week. There is a crucial role in a plot for this reflection on the difficulties the hero will face. In doing so, the hero reveals the areas in which they need to grow. But however much stands in the way, the call to adventure has shown the hero a larger world. The herald is an invader from a realm which was once outside of the hero's experience, and now they know the "bubble" of their boring, ordinary life can be penetrated, they can't realistically turn back. The refusal of the call is a temporary stage which cannot overcome the true hero; and of course, if the hero stopped here, we wouldn't be telling their story at all. Quote: Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or "culture," the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless [...] All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration. From The Hero with a Thousand Faces Examples Spoiler: * Gilgamesh: Journeying to face Humbaba, Gilgamesh expresses doubt: "I feel haunted. I am too afraid to go on" * The Odyssey: Odysseus' son, Telemachus has just been born and fatherly instinct compels him to stay * The Enlightenment of Buddha: Buddha becomes frustrated with the received wisdom of gurus and sages from existing traditions * The Crucifixion of Jesus: Jesus shows hesitation at the Mount of Olives before the Last Supper, asking God to "take this cup" * Beowulf: At no point do we hear Beowulf refused the call, although we do hear that elders in Geatland "spurred his ambition" suggesting he was encouraged to go, the only indication he didn't motivate his entire adventure himself * The Theft of Thor's Hammer: Thor is totally resistant to Loki's plan of dressing up as women to enter Jötunheim * King Arthur: Arthur is only a child and may therefore have doubts his ability to lead the kingdom * The Lord of the Rings: Frodo inherits Bag End, hides Bilbo's ring and thinks nothing more of it * Star Wars Episode IV: Luke's obligations to his relatives, his refusal of joining the rebellion, and of Obi-Wan's training * The Karate Kid: Daniel visits the Cobra Kai dojo and realises Johnny trains there. He leaves, dejectedly * The Lion King: Simba is rescued from the Elephant Graveyard by Mufasa and ashamed of his actions * The Matrix: Neo is captured by agents and subjected to torture. He wakes up in his bed and assumes the whole thing was a dream * Harry Potter: Harry doesn't believe he is anything special as The Boy Who Lived Questions Spoiler: * Have you ever refused the call? Do you regret it? Can you think of a time where you refused the call and it turned out to be the right decision? * What are the most common reasons people "refuse" adventure in their lives, and why? * Try and think of two reasons in addition to the ones listed above that someone might refuse the call, ideally one negative reason, and one positive reason. Do you think they are good reasons? * Think of our doctrine. Are there any reasons one might refuse the call based on something listed there? If so what, and why? Next: Supernatural Aid (Available Monday 6th October)
    • Zen Pencils (Last post by Invictus)
    • I love Zen-Pencils! Especially the drawing with Allan Watts. It's deep...and so true! :)
    • Going on a Trip (Last post by tzb)
    • And also with you. Safe trip, Silver and Mrs Silver :)
    • MJ Hannigan (Last post by Silvermane)
    • An old Druid proverb states that you can ask 3 bards to tell you the same tale and they will give you 4 different versions. Perspective is always the center of attention. What we understand and have learned at this Temple is slightly to really different that what someone else learns at a different Temple or Order. As Jedi we preach about being open minded and accepting of others, but if we start showing acceptance to those who only practice our ways, than we aren't open or accepting, we are simply just another popularity contest. I do not believe that and I know each and every one of you don't believe that either. We are Jedi. We stand for what we believe in: The Way of the Jedi. It is something we ALL want. Something we ALL strive for. It doesn't matter what the training looks like because everyone is different, therefore training is different for everyone. As for Mr. Hannigan, I took the facts that he himself posted and displayed them all together and he said that he did not care. I believe this is true, regardless if he feels remorse or not. He was asked multiple times to stop the personal attacks and the rude behavior and he chose not too. I am all for second chances, third chances, fifteenth chances. Read through my journal, you'll see what I mean. But with each chance I give, I also make sure people understand that my trust will take longer and longer to get back. Giving Mr Hannigan a month to think about what he has done and hopefully learn some respect and acceptance for ALL who strive to be Jedi would be an acceptable punishment for his behavior and the fact this is not the first time. I will always extend my hand to someone in friendship and be willing to help them out, but they also have to be willing to help themselves first. As I said before, I believe he has great potential and that he could be just as great as any one of us as long as he is willing to humble himself and accept others for who and what they are. It is a simple thing to do, but not always easy when we are set in our ways. It is all a simple choice: accept and respect or judgment and disrespect. I do not speak out of anger or any other emotions. I speak the truth as an unbiased Jedi would when presented with the information that we have all seen. Take it as you like and May the Force be with you all.
    • On Self Knowledge (and The Jedi Path) (Last post by Br. John)
    • On Self-Knowledge - Kahlil Gibran Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always known in thought. You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams. And it is well you should. The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea; And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure; And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless. Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth." Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path." For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.
    • Where is the line between freedom of speech... (Last post by Akkarin)
    • Quote: The working definition of a religion in my World Religions college course is from Invitations to World Religions, Brodd, Little, et al, Oxford University Press. "Religion is a cultural system integrating teachings, practices, modes of experience, institutions, and artistic expression that relates people to what they perceive to be transcendent" (page 9). I can't find the quote right now but Ninian Smart in "The Religious Experience" I think says that arguably there is no such thing as "religion" there are only the "religions". The outline of his point is below: What he means by this is that "religion" is a term given from the "outside" by people trying to classify what they think constitutes Christianity (or whichever religion) and then calling it Christianity. The "religions" on the other hand are instead that which people decide to call their faith (or whatever it is). This is essentially switching the focus from an outsider look in and saying "this is the name of what you're doing" to the religious person themselves saying "this is the name I give to what I'm doing". What does this mean for what is a religion or not a religion? It means that what the person is doing is a religion if they believe that what they are doing is religious. Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophical way of life? That depends on whether the Buddhist considers what they are doing to be religious or not.
    • helping the homeless (Last post by Brenna)
    • Quote: It's actually an excellent way of keeping warm AND occupied. Booze blankets dont count!!
    • Workout Check-In Thread (Last post by E-3_4L_Teeter)
    • Day 1-2 of returning to normal PT habits (4-5 times a week) post knee problems Day 1: Ran a mile and change up the biggest hill on the base I live on and did 3 sets of 25 push ups, 35 squats and 45 sit-ups. Ran back home and wanted to die Day 2: Ran three loops around base housing (provably in the neighborhood of three miles) took about 20-25 minutes (rough estimate) stretched. Feel like I got my butt kicked this morning
    • Keeping Calm and Centered (Last post by Proteus)
    • I once discovered that if I spend a whole morning (a few hours in a row) deliberately paying attention to my breath during whatever I'm doing, that I naturally end up breathing deeper. I found that I grew alot more relaxed than usual (I'm sure due to the extra oxygen to my brain) for most of the rest of the day. In that state, I was immensely more level headed and able to calmly handle and resolve issues that arose throughout the day. Try it sometime.
    • American Jedi (Last post by Talariq)
    • Quote: A quick web search brought up this short film: American Jedi (2002) Quote: Oh geeez....Now I hope Laurent changes the be compared to that 0_0 *shudders* I googled it as well and got really confused when I saw that IMDB page. I'm with you, Kit. I actually liked the title... until I saw that. >.<

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