ATTN: COUNCIL; Updated Doctrine Proposal
- Kelrax Lorcken
as a practical matter where my own training through the IP is concerned, how soon might we expect a yay or nay on this? It would affect the part I'm about to do, so I'm particularly eager to see how this works out.
I would suggest do the assessment as per the criteria laid out at the time of assessment - ie, as it is now.
Training institutions are always working through updates at any given point in time, however I've yet to see one that has the teachers burst into the room mid-exam, kick over the tables, and screech "PLUTO IS NOT A PLANET! EVERYONE CHANGE THE ANSWER TO QUESTION SEVEN!"
Or, if you really want to be a labrat - do it twice, once with the current doctrine, and once with the proposed doctrine - that will assist the Master Jedi here with seeing how the changes may affect the IP and people's understanding of it.
Now, there's an idea! I like that!
I've always seen the doctrine as non-perscriptive. Carlos and ren pointed out exactly why in the last page: It's not meant to give all the answers, and also, it's used more as an example for any individual to build upon personally for them and their walk of life.
Whether or not what has been proposed becomes considered, accepted and implemented or not, I'm not worried about. The effect, at least for me, makes no difference because, as Carlos pointed out, this community by its nature helped me "learn how to fish" so that I don't need a document to tell me what is and isn't right or what Jedi are supposed to believe. Either way, I will derive my own view out of it.
Just, if I may ask, try to really consider what Carlos and I ren are trying to say, and try to consider it onto the work that has been proposed here.
Wonderful work, btw! Thank you guys for putting it together!
Ren if the document is so “dumbed down”, how come you couldn’t figure out 10 & 14?
In any case, I re-read 10 and 14 at different times of day under different personal conditions and felt differently about them, which suggests that either
A) I am insane by some measure and can't maintain coherent thoughts or ideals for long.
the phrasing and tone is unclear and does not give an accurate view of the meaning.
You can't help A, but B is only exacerbated by language or culture gaps.
It would depend greatly upon the team that works on it. Br. John and a I talked extensively about a flexible IP. The proposal I sent him and Neaj based on his vision included the idea of organizing a team of interested Knights, Masters and Apprentices to work together on building the program.
Given that the design requires 3 options per assignment, I imagine it will take a bit of time to match up appropriate materials and creative thought to design the program from the ground up. But if we have dedicated teams to this effort, I believe we can accomplish this within 6 months of starting in on the project. Though, a year may be a more practical answer. My personal hope is to have it ready and running by our 15th Anniversary (Christmas 2020).
The irony is, Ren has an opportunity here to actually defend his position on these matters by either:
1) Illustrating how the current model’s contradictions contribute to the growth of an individual.
2) Defending the 21 Maxims because “They are the original, in-house code of jediism. The purpose is to keep jediism jediist” and showing why it should be considered the superior document.
This isn’t Facebook, we have a lot of room to making decent arguments, rather than idle passive-aggressive shots designed to look like they are wisdom.
As to the wording in 10 & 14, I believe there’s still time for edits to be proposed to clarify things ^^, if you or anyone else can come up a constructive edit it would be quite helpful ^^.
Proteus: As for Carlos’s input on how they are more like guidelines- if that’s how the order chooses to look at them, it’s fine. But we still need to agree to one document. Two are still very cumbersome.
Though, I have to say- of it’s just some guideposts, why even call ourselves a Jedi? Because we believe in the Force? So do Sith. Because we want to help people? So did the Baran Do (there was a real life order for this a few years ago), they also believed in the Force. There are also Sith who believe in helping others. Are they all Jedi? They would tell you no- and truly to force a term upon them which they don’t believe suits them would be wrong.
A long time ago, Jestor use to say “If you call yourself a Jedi, you are one.” But in private he explained that this wasn’t the full measure of his belief. It was “If you call yourself a Jedi, you’ll want to become one and little by little you will become one.” He actually believed in a base standard for what makes a Jedi, but his belief in “Call yourself a Jedi, and you are” was about the psychological impact it creates within you to achieve it.
I’ll admit I understand that theory, but I disagree with it in terms of philosophy and religion. “I am going to be a a Jedi” has a more powerful impact and drives you to want to grow in the system. It gives you specific goals, rather than shooting your arrows in the dark hoping to hit a bullseye.
The Doctrine is the target, your effort the arrows, your sight picture and breathing the meditation put into hitting the mark.
You can seek personal improvement anywhere- but we all chose to find it in the Jedi Community. That has to mean something, right?
but just for the sake of 10 and 14
10 can easily be shortened to "A jedi understands the difference between courage and recklessness" - leaving the application of that simple assertion to the individual.
14 can also be cut to "A jedi recognises the value of inaction can be equal to that of action" - if you want to clarify further you can continue with "The weigh the consequences of intervention(*)"
* I don't like the term intervention much, could also phrase it something like " assess the higher impact of any given action" or words to that effect. - but that just might be me, I don't see the Jedi as the World Police, so I'm not sure they necessary "intervene" as if they're falling from the heavens with divine edicts for everyone else....
I'm also not sure about the tonal variation in some of the statements "A Jedi [Fact]" turns into a "must/would/could/should/know" sort of lecture.
Take 13 for example "A Jedi Does not let personal interest or bias determine justice" - that's a fine statement - or is it? if it requires another two sentences to explain the first sentence, then either the first sentence is poorly written, the author is labouring the point, or multiple principles are being jammed into a single point.
I understand that the most conventional view on Jedi belief is that a Jedi is what one "becomes", which I know has its benefits perceptionally. It's just that I had learned to take all of that a step farther with my personal realization of what the archetype of the Jedi already psychologically represents, as something that is already a part of all humans and their inherent journey of survival and growth as it already is, with or without the label. Realizing what the archetype says about the miracle of any of us being alive at all is, at least to me, what creates the motivation to grow and thrive.
The reason I bring this up, is because the conventional view of being a Jedi uses the idea of a doctrine as an exclusive, external device for manual qualification (you must adhere to what this document says in order to qualify as the label), instead of the intimate realization one should learn to discover within themselves of the fundamental reasons to make the most of who we are, how we are connected to the world, and what that means, by itself, regarding our contribution to it. This realization doesn't need qualifiers (at least not external) or labels, regardless of if you [think] you are Jedi or Sith. But again, this view of mine sees all people as part Jedi and part Sith, among which those who think they are soley Jedi have some Sith in them, and those who think they are soley sith have some Jedi in them. Self-labeling is just a game of ego draped on top of what is REALLY going on underneath the hood, and discovering one's own answers to the questions generated by an intentionally non-perfect / contradictory document is what lets us see past that ego game. Does that make sense?
I know that my view of this makes people ask "Well, why even use the term Jedi if you just mean "human being"? And they ask that frequently due to not really having grasped the whole picture that this is about. It's like when you look at a photograph of something that is very meaningful to you because it reminds you silently of something intimately significant about yourself, but that doesn't mean that you use that photo itself as a badge, because the photo itself is just a piece of paper with a picture on it, and it would be silly to mix up the photo itself for the important thing it represents. I see the AVATAR of the Jedi and THIS COMMUNITY as the photo itself, and I keep it close to look at. However, that avatar is not me and this community is an online forum. The personal connections on this forum are personally meaningful to me, but obviously this is not a literal Jedi Temple. It's an online forum used to house the IDEA of a church of people who all are also using the IDEA of the AVATAR of the Jedi to identify what is meaningful about themselves and life.
In the same way, the doctrine is only an idea. It's an idea used to stir something in us a principle on how to examine yourself and what you need from your personal point of view to thrive... and yes, that can directly include things in the doctrine literally if you wanted to, but at the end of the day, at least to me, there is a much larger and deeper picture of this whole thing than "this document tells me I have to meditate so many times a week in order to qualify as a Jedi." (That is just an exaggeration of the idea I'm getting at, to help get my point across)
But I get it, each of us have our own understanding and perspective on the premise of what being a Jedi means. You're allowed to use the idea of being a Jedi however you want. So don't let me stop you.
As Jestor also would say - We're just talking here. That's all.
The reason I bring this up, is because the conventional view of being a Jedi uses the idea of a doctrine as an exclusive, external device for manual qualification (you must adhere to what this document says in order to qualify as the label),
I'm not sure the principles are a checklist, like an auditor might use to determine if you've "Jedi'd" correctly that day are entitled to the appropriate tax credits.
More of an odometer, a reference, a check to see if you are on course compared to where you think you are....
I forgot my other thought, Maybe it will come back to me.
When it comes to the Doctrine, I don't see us as an "alternative" to abrahamic or faiths - I don't see the need for a list of "rules" for being a Jedi.
There are some common things some of us come to from our world understanding, but it's not a Rule as such.
I'll go with Attachments, as they were in a recent thread -
I am less likely to say "A Jedi Avoids Attachments" than "A Jedi recognises attachments for what they are, and seeks to balance their actions in light of their own bias"
but I'm not necessarily the right person to ask or have input, because I see it as more a Philosophy than a Religion.
All can come to the table, eat the beans, contribute questions or answers, and depart when they've had their fill.
Others feel it should be more of a Club, with specific bylaws, attendance requirements, votes at annual general meetings, and contribution to bake sales....
It's complex. TotJO/Jediism as a brand has to mean something, it has to have something that explains what it is to others, and a mission statement of sorts.
It's not a favour for a kingpin, you're not "in or out" before you even know the terms, but I also think it's not a self-help book. you shouldn't be able to summarize it on the dust cover as 15 things you can do to be better at everything! (number 7 will surprise you!)
Whilst I'm rambling -
So we've got the doctrine, now or later, maxims or teachings or principles, it matters not.
Are they the introduction or the Conclusion? Do we start with "A Jedi does this, and now we'll teach you how" or do we say "Here's something to think about" and hope that the student writes the answer as we would imagine it (without giving them the answer ahead of time)
I guess this is the difference between teaching rules and behaviours.
I know I can't (or must) do certain things, I don't know why I just know the consequences if I do. Those things are Rules.
There are other things I simply don't (or do) want to do, and I might not even remember why or when I came to that desire, but it's a part of me nonetheless - Those things are behaviours.
You can have the best looking list of fine qualities in the world - if they're not delivered and trained in a way that they become a part of the person, they're just rules. Might as well be A Jedi Doesn't Jaywalk.
Still rambling -
Allowing the student to pick and choose is risky, especially the immature student who may not have solid framework upon which to balance those selected items....
If someone has lied to you once, you are going to suspect them of lying to you about everything. It's how our prejudice works to keep us safe. I'm not saying that any particular principle is a Lie, just that once someone accepts even a single one as not applying to them, each one after that is easier and easier to dismiss.
If you list 10, very specific, very wordy "outcomes" of being a Jedi, if even one of those doesn't Mesh with that individuals understanding (and we allow that, because we're a pick and choose kinda religion) then they are more likely to also drop a few more that don't mesh perfectly, then maybe some others - because hey, they canned half already, and at the end of it, you're lucky if your person studying the Jedi path really cares about even one or two of your principles.
Better to keep it few, keep it broad, and not necessarily vague, but "unspecific" (unless, as above, you're willing to do the groundwork from the time someone can talk to ensure all their thoughts and habits are aimed towards what you think a Jedi is)
Take 4 - since Proteus doesn't like Meditating (by that word. I don't like it either, but I like swimming, which fills the same space in my day for breathing and head clearing activity)
"4) A Jedi Meditates regularly, to improve mental focus, clarity, and calm passions, allowing one to see the beauty in one’s surroundings and circumstances."
Why not "A Jedi seeks to improve focus, clarity, and calmness" - It is what you want, but it's not so prescriptive as to encourage a student to say "Well I don't want to do that, so I'm scratching that off my path"
I'm not on my own computer at the moment, so I don't have access to any of my training documents (also, apparently I don't believe in "The Cloud" so I am tethered, like a chained minotaur, to the heavy stones of physical data storage....)
but as a quick rewrite, not unnecessarily playing the thesaurus game and without questioning necessarily the relevance, or need for the principles themselves, which I would like to do later, because I believe it is somewhat putting the cart before the horse to quibble over the form of the criteria before accurately assessing the requirement or method of training to achieve it.
1) A Jedi seeks to better understand the ways of the Force in order to gain
balance and to know their place within it.
2)A Jedi has an intimate connection with the world.
3)A Jedi cultivates empathy.
4)A Jedi seeks focus, clarity, and calmness.
5)A Jedi recognises the influence of the past, and the potential of the future, but acts in the now.
6)A Jedi seeks self awareness.
7) Redacted. Concept covered in (4)
8) Redacted. The concept is encapsulated in (6)
9) A Jedi takes responsibility
10) A Jedi understands the difference between courage and recklessness
11) A Jedi seeks to improve (I dropped most of this one because I simply don't support the idea that Jedi can self-proclaim themselves wiser and more suitable to govern than anyone else, and I don't want the idea that they might be in the basic teachings provided to passers-by or junior students)
12)A Jedi seeks objectivity.
13)Redacted. Too similar to (12). (12) Can be rewritten to the suit the "mood" of 13 being that all decisions have an effect...
14) A Jedi recognizes the value of inaction is equal to that of action, (already talked about how this phrasing seems off for what I think you are trying to say)
15)Redacted. We get it, be objective.
16)This can be combined with (11). I don't have the sentence formed yet, but it feels close enough to be the same principle.
17)Redacted. This just says Don't be a Dick. Put it up with (3), or add the word Compassion to (3) or (4)
18)Redacted. Same as (9). Move (9) to Last if you feel it's the "Final" and therefore "most important to remember" principle.
So what are we at now? 11 Principles?
A final ramble? (everyone hopes)
Please note I am not (at this point) taking jabs at your principles themselves, just at the format and delivery and application. Proteus' points notwithstanding, I give my feedback from the perspective of "If I had to run a Jedi Church, and I needed some things I could hang on the wall, and build lessons around, and use as both inspiration, and assessment criteria for my happy little Jedi novices, how would I do it?"
I'm not an expert at training, but I met a teacher at a pub once, so I am trying to apply the concepts I was told about to this situation here.