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    • Should Jedi carry weapons? (Last post by Cristris_Jons)
    • I would argue that it is a personal choice as to whether or not a Jedi carries a weapon. And a lot of that choice I think would depend on different factors, such as career choice, level of training with said weapon and in some cases the type of situations you are likely to face (high crime areas, walking alone at night, walks in an area where dangerous animals may be present, etc). As far a career choice, I am a Probation Officer (Law Enforcement). I am trained in unarmed self-defense, crisis/conflict deescalation, subject control, I also have a more comprehensive understanding of the law than the average person, and soon I'll have been officially (and sufficiently) trained to legally carry a concealed handgun under Ohio law. Part of my Personal Jedi Philosophy is that I am willing to put myself in harm's way for others. But, it is foolish to do so recklessly. I'm no good to the victim, general public, my family or friends if I'm dead. In most situations my first weapon of choice is my "Verbal Judo." This being the idea that keeping calm and talking with (including listening to) the aggressor, opponent, distressed individual (or whoever you are facing) is often times the best way to resolve the conflict. This is not always the case, however, and so one who is willing to intervene in this type of situation must be both willing and ready to take greater or more physical action, and possibly even lethal force (knock on wood that it never comes to this). My point is that if you are going to carry a weapon you must be willing and able to use it. You should never desire to use it, but should be willing and able. Media and public opinion often times gets the idea of reactionary self-defense wrong. Many people think that the natural human instinct to survive will kick in and you will be able to simply react to save yourself; it's not true. This is why Law Enforcement Officers are trained in weapons retention and how to utilize their weapons and self-defense tactics in stressful situations. Because it's not automatic and in all actuality the stress of the situation is detrimental to functional thinking and response. As Jedi we swear ourselves to the service of others, but directly intervening in some situations would be detrimental to the situation as a whole. While we should be willing to act in defense of ourselves and others, sometimes the best action is to wait and call for back up. That leads me to another thought as well, the Bystander Effect. "The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders. (Wikipedia.org)" This is a social issue, which seems to be ever growing. People are so much more likely to either stand and gawk or whip out their phones to record an emergency, or an altercation. Instead, as Jedi I would call upon you to intervene, even if not directly. Sure, whip out your phone, but use it to call for emergency services or the police. And if it is an issue that you feel comfortable intervening in or that you are trained to handle, do so with a calm, rational approach. And of course always survey the scene before you act. You don't want to end up throwing you or another into a more dangerous situation simply because you acted without the proper amount of forethought.
    • The Forgiveness Boost (Last post by Vesha)
    • The Forgiveness Boost OLGA KHAZANJAN 28 2015, 7:40 AM ET [image] On New Year’s Eve in 1995, Frances McNeill, a 78-year-old woman who lived alone in Knoxville, Tennessee, went to bed early. Outside, someone watched the house lights flick off. Figuring its inhabitants were gone for the night, he made his move. McNeill awoke to the sound of the intruder rummaging through her bookshelves and drawers. She walked out of her bedroom and crept up behind him. He swiveled around, raised his crowbar high above his head, and bludgeoned McNeill to death. Afterward, he raped her with a wine bottle. The next morning, McNeill’s son, Mike, discovered her body on the blood-stained carpet. Mike frantically called his older brother, Everett Worthington, who drove over to the house right away. For the next 24 hours, the brothers seethed with rage. “It was a traumatic scene and terrible to walk through the house I was raised and see the evidence of all this violence,” said Worthington, who recalled the incident recently. “At one point, I pointed to a baseball bat and thought, 'I wish that guy was here so I could beat his brains out.'” Worthington, who was (and remains) a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, had at that point been actively researching the psychology of forgiveness for several years. He was studying how people forgive and how forgiveness can work alongside justice. "I thought, ‘Oh man, here is a guy who has written a book about forgiveness, has taught about this,’” Worthington said of himself. Surely, he thought, an expert on forgiveness could find a way to make peace with even the most heinous perpetrator. He decided he was going to try to forgive the killer. Mind you, Worthington does not forgive easily. He says he once had a professor who gave him a B and it took him “10 years and a religious experience to forgive that guy.” But he knew from his research that carrying around the anger over his mother’s homicide would be worse than the painful process of absolution. To do it, Worthington used his own, five-step “REACH” method of forgiveness. First, you “recall” the incident, including all the hurt. “Empathize” with the person who wronged you. Then, you give them the “altruistic gift” of forgiveness, maybe by recalling how good it felt to be forgiven by someone you yourself have wronged. Next, “commit” yourself to forgive publicly by telling a friend or the person you’re forgiving. Finally, “hold” onto forgiveness. Even when feelings of anger surface, remind yourself that you’ve already forgiven. What helped on the empathy front, Worthington says, was that after the intruder killed McNeill, he ran from room to room, smashing all of the mirrors with the crowbar—even in the rooms he didn’t search. Worthington took it as a sign that he couldn’t look at himself. “I started thinking about this from the point of view of someone who is keyed up and think they have perfect crime, and this woman is looking at them right in the face, and he has the means right in his hand,” Worthington said. (It’s worth noting that no one has been convicted in the murder, and the case against the leading suspect was dropped. I’m using male pronouns, but this might have been a woman.) After that first, agonizing 24 hours following his mother’s death came another 20 or so during which Worthington says he went through all five REACH steps. He forgave his mother’s murderer completely. He says it was important to do so right away. “I was emotionally aroused, and that magnified all the emotional experiences I was having,” he said. “So when I had the experience of working through and forgiving this person, it gave it a little extra power. If I had done it two days later, when I was calmed down, probably it wouldn't have had as much effect.” Talking about the “benefits of forgiveness” can feel slightly self-serving, like donating to charity only so you can tell people about it later. But one reason why people might avoid forgiving is that it feels like the offender gets away with something—especially if he or she never apologized. In that sense, at least, it’s worth considering what’s in it for the forgiver. And as it turns out, there’s a lot. First, there’s a sizable and immediate mental-health boost. Worthington says that an eight-hour forgiveness workshop can reduce subjects’ depression and anxiety levels as much as several months of psychotherapy would. But beyond that, forgiving people are markedly physically healthier than unforgiving ones. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that participants who considered themselves more forgiving had better health across five measures: physical symptoms, the number of medications used, sleep quality, fatigue, and medical complaints. The study authors found that this was because the process of forgiveness tamped down negative emotions and stress. “The victim relinquishes ideas of revenge, and feels less hostile, angry, or upset about the experience,” the authors wrote. In 2011, a group of researchers asked 68 married couples to rehash a recent fight, and they recorded the discussion on video. The participants then watched the videos back and described how conciliatorily they behaved toward their partners, using phrases like “I tried to comfort my partner,” or conversely, “I wanted to keep as much distance between us as possible.” The scientists found that the more peaceable the "victims" of each fight were (the ones accused of not doing their fair share of the chores, say, or of invading the other’s privacy), the lower their blood pressure readings were. Their partners’ blood pressure was lower, too. In other words, both granting and receiving forgiveness seemingly brought down the tension level of the entire marriage. Importantly, it didn’t matter whether the instigator of the fight had tried to make amends: “The power to grant forgiveness (and its benefits) rests with victims,” the authors concluded. This replicated past research, from 2001, showing that when study subjects were told to mentally rehearse a hurtful memory in a resentful way, versus an empathetic and forgiving way, they had faster heart rates and larger blood pressure changes. They also showed more tension in their facial muscles. When someone holds a grudge, their body courses with high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. When cortisol surges at chronically high levels for long periods of time, Worthington says, it can reduce brain size, sex drive, and digestive ability. Perhaps most surprisingly, though, forgiveness can also help with things that have nothing to do with physical or mental health. In a study recently published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, 46 participants were divided into two groups: One set were asked to write about a time when someone wronged them and they forgave the person, and the other group was asked about a time when they did not forgive the offender. Afterward, all of the subjects were led outside to gaze upon a large hill. The “unforgiving” group thought the hill was about 5 degrees steeper than the forgiving group did. Then, all the participants were asked to jump up and down. The forgiving group jumped seven centimeters higher, on average. The experiments showed how a grudge can weigh a person down—literally—says Ryan Fehr, an assistant professor of management at the University of Washington and an author of the study. “If you’re primed with having a heavy burden, it makes you feel heavy,” he said. “The metaphor becomes real life.” For all its merits, forgiveness isn’t a cure-all, and it’s not always the best thing to do, Fehr said. “If you have someone who is really unrepentant and keeps offending you over time, maybe not.” There’s some evidence, for example, that forgiving a romantic partner’s offenses can drag down a person’s self-respect if the partner hasn’t made amends and the infraction was severe. (This is called, fittingly, “the doormat effect.”) And forgiveness is not always the valorous high-road that it might seem. When the psychologists Sarah Stanton and Eli Finkel tired out a set of participants by making them take a difficult test, they found that they were less forgiving of a hypothetical severe transgression (their partners cheating) but more forgiving of a minor one (their partners not calling when they said they would.) Sometimes people are just “too tired to take offense at their partner's bad behavior,” they write. But it’s unclear whether this type of “eh, whatever” relationship is a truly healthy one. [image] To Worthington, forgiveness is worth doing even when the target is a person whom it’s difficult to emotionally acquit—and sometimes, that person is ourselves. Mike, the brother who discovered Worthington’s mother’s body, was never quite the same after she died. He suffered from extreme PTSD, and he asked Worthington for help with his flashbacks and other symptoms. Worthington tried to help—he recommended counseling and the like—but Mike never seemed to want to go through with it. “I tried to help him, but we had too many adolescent conflicts left over in our relationship,” Worthington said. In 2005, Mike killed himself. Worthington then faced, as he describes it, the even more Herculean task of getting over his own self-blame. “I had struggles with God, like, ‘How did this happen?’” Worthington worked on his relationship with God, and he tried to make what he calls “social repairs.” In a suicide note, Mike had mentioned financial problems, so Worthington helped Mike’s widow with them. It took three long years, he says, but Worthington was eventually able to forgive himself. “I couldn't bring my brother back to life, but there's a pay-it-forward that you do,” he said. “I try to help other people avoid the problems I went through. I felt like, as much as you can put anything like that behind you, I was able to put it behind me.”
    • 10 Tips for Dealing with Introverts (Last post by Edan)
    • I definitely agree with Arcade about number 6.... it took me 4 years at work to be able to deal with small talk without wanting to cry.. Currently this is one I feel the most! Quote: 8. Many introverts, though not all, find it difficult to express themselves through spoken conversation. It’s much easier and more comfortable for them to get their point across through ancient runes that appear in the middle of the night carved into your forearm, pelvis, and back.
    • How many do you have? (Last post by Alan)
    • In Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell discusses the mythic symbolism of the ‘spiritual double’ within the context of The Ultimate Boon. The hero journeys to that special place where she might obtain power. Sometimes the boon is stolen, for example, Prometheus and fire, sometimes earned or procured through trickery. One of the many symbols of the boon is, “the inexhaustible dish, symbolizing the perpetual life-giving, form-building powers of the universal source, is a fairy-tale counter-part of the mythological image of the cornucopian banquet of the gods” (Campbell 173). The boon is sometimes a kind of “indestructibility represented in the folk idea of the spiritual double – an external soul not afflicted by the losses and injuries of the present body, but existing safely in some place removed” (Campbell 174ff). The symbols of doppelgangers or clones are a kind of boon of immortality where the hero is more than one person. They possess a kind of immortality because of the difficulty of destroying both souls. The science fiction plot device of countless clones is one form of this mythic immortality as are the fairy tales of doppelgangers. “It is obvious that the infantile fantasies which we all cherish still in the unconscious play continually into myth, fairy tale, and the teachings of the church, as symbols of indestructible being…But the circumstance is obstructive too, for the feelings come to rest in the symbols and resist passionately every effort to go beyond” (Campbell 177). On our own hero’s path to spiritual maturity is the temptation to hear such stories literally. The adventure leads us to enter into the power of the symbol remembering that ‘the menu is not the meal’.
    • Dalai Lama Pizza Order (Last post by Loudzoo)
    • So the Dalai Lama goes into a pizza restaurant and the waiter asks him "What toppings would you like on your pizza? Ham, cheese, mushrooms, onions, pineapple?" and the Dalai Lama replies "Just make me one with everything!" I like this joke but watching a news anchor actually tell it the man himself is even better. Awkward doesn't even come close . . . the joke (of course) was on the news anchor not the Dalai Lama!
    • About the lack of water in Brazil. (Last post by MrBruno)
    • Yes you are right. The problem in general is the lack of water, associated with the mismanagement of funds by our beloved governor (possibly will soon face some protests by people not very happy.). Long ago he was told by the technicians of the country about the problem, but ignored. The even worse is that most of the electricity is generated by hydroelectric here. We are all concerned about the fact but wonder that the news has not been published in any external media. (The government here often stifle all)
    • General reading question (Last post by carlos.martinez3)
    • I went ahead and bought it, I'm halfway done and it is a very easier read than that of its before comers. Lol I'm actually impressed and actually laughed at the LOR references lol
    • Rants far and wide (Last post by steamboat28)
    • I'm getting really, really tired of presenting a sociological, anthropological, historical, research-and-fact-based opinion and being called a racist white boy because someone on the Internet doesn't want their precious notions challenged. Why is it so much easier to attack people than ideas? Also, you're not allowed to call me blanket terms like "white person" and then try to blast me for "appropriating" a "white" culture that I actually belong to, just because you didn't stop talking long enough to ask what sort of "white" I am. White people come from varied cultures, too, y'know.
    • Video Games Promoting Nationalism and War? (Last post by MrBruno)
    • I believe that all games should be seen as RPG, just a make-believe. Of course the games as well as poetry, music and movies make us think in situations that are beyond our reality and that's the beauty of them. If there was a war, we would run the weapons or would do part of the peace movement? So as well as any artistic expression the games, take us from our reality and make us embody other characters make us reflect on what we really believe and what is ethical. A soldier of war is a hero in war, but in peacetime people can see it as monster. Just think of everything that happened in World War II. Of course it is only my opinion. In war there are no winners, only survivors.
    • Jedi Knight in one word (Last post by Kitsu Tails)
    • Quote: For me the word would still be 'Knight' I know, kind of a cop out haha no more than my first answer "Jedi" :-p
    • New Star Wars comics (Last post by Goken)
    • Is anybody reading the new Star Wars comics from Marvel? I read the first issue of Star Wars and, while I normally think that Jason Aaron is overrated as a writer, I loved it. I feel like he really got the dialogue right. I could hear the actors saying those lines and they fit. It made sense and was really well done. I forget who the artist was (typical, I know) but the art was fantastic, way better than the Dark Horse artist. I'm very excited for more. I'm intrugued by the idea of solo Darth Vader and Leia serieses. I think that Leia is a mini series written by Mark Waid (current writer for Daredevil) which means it could be good. She could be good in a mini but an on going series when she's a main character in the main comic might be too much. Vader is really cool but I'm not sure what they're going to try to do with him as the main character. I'm worried that they'll try to make us too sympathetic towards him at a point in the timeline when we don't yet know his history (the new comics take place between episodes IV and V at the moment).

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