Some questions from a passer-by

  • Jestor
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
    Registered
  • What you want to learn, determines your teacher ..
More
8 years 4 months ago #219515 by Jestor

Reneza wrote:

Jestor wrote: Do you need an authority/someone 'Official' (who decides whos official?) to tell you right from wrong, how to live, what to think?


I'm just curious to know what self-proclaimed religious movement defines what they actually believe.


Of course...

And, I was answering your question, with a question...:)

As i said, TOTJO doesnt tell you WHAT to believe, that is left up to the individual... :)

Jestor wrote: I write, quite often, that: "we (TOTJO, the members) dont care WHAT you think, we only as THAT you think"...


So, again, the entire basis is critical thinking? If so, why does it present itself as a religion with religious titles (e.g. you are apparently a "bishop")


Sure...

Why not?

We could have made/used non-religious titles, and someday, that may happen... Not today...

I live my way of thinking, and way of life, as my religion... So, I see no issue with the symbolism presented by words already in use..:)

{Edit:In my 'looking over to click submit, I chukled, thinking, we are a 'non-religion religion, borrowing terms from a fictional story, and terms from established religions, to represent a belif, that we dont care if anyone else believes', lol...}

Jestor wrote: Could you describe yourself in a few sentences, could you describe yourself in a paragraph? Chapter, or complete book?


I understand what you're saying but all religions can claim what they believe, often in a few sentences. Why can't Jediism?


Because 'the jedi path' is very individualistic, and, and to get all the combinations of possible definitions, you would have to ask all the Jedi...

If TOTJO says "Jedi wear robes", and Jedi who disagrees is going to be put off, and say the things that non-robe wearers would say...

Somewhere, we talk about Jediism being a "synergistic ideology"... That probably sums it up best...

A 'philosophy of inclusion', lol....

Jestor wrote: Because we question authority...


Ok, but why?


For the same reason you are questioning us... Simply because we want to understand, and dont take things on blind faith...

Jestor wrote: However, as we understand more, and the more seasoned members you talk to, you will find that we really dont care, we will do our thing, DESPITE what others think/say... ;)


What is "your thing" though except for critical thinking (which is really all people seem to be saying)?


Ok, call it that....

My 'thing' is "my life, and how I live it"...


Jestor wrote: People like yourself, will only have the minimalist of understanding,


I'm not a very smart person but there's really no need to say such things.


No, you are very bright, and show it by remaining calm and asking questions... You are not judging without trying to understand...

Show me how this was rude?

I have a very minimalist understanding of many things...

It is not an insult, although, if you are insulted, well, I apologize I am not clear enough... ;)


Jestor wrote: becasue aswe grow to be jedi, we really only barely answer, as I am not a subject to be studied, and if I spend all my time answering you, how is that helping my personal development?


Why did you respond to my post message then?


Did I say I dont respond? I said 'spend all my time', there is a difference, ;)...

Did you see this line, a few lines later? "Problem here is, new people understand very little, and only have a few answers, and thus will not always know the 'right' thing to say..."

So, if seasoned members do not answer, then, only the newb perspective is seen...:)

Sometimes I do it for fun, but, I always do learn a little and it does help me question myself a bit as well... ;)

Jestor wrote: You wanna know what it is like to be a Jedi, be a Jedi... Just like if you wanted to know what it is like to be a fireman, be a fireman...


While I know what it is to be a fireman, I still don't know what it is to be a Jedi.


Do you?

Then you must be a fireman, becasue only a fireman/woman knows what it is really like... Only they understand, 'realize' what it is to be one... Even with the most amount of empathy that has ever empatied, no non-fireman can understand what it is like to be one completely...

Ok, then I will provide another example: "If you want to know what its like to be a Cargo Ship Captain, go be a Cargo Ship Captain... While "Captain Philips" is a great movie, I can bet it is but a small part of what a Captain does, sees and thinks...

Are you missing the metaphor with this?

Jestor wrote: New people want to be taken serious, 'older' people want to be left alone from questions and justification, lol... kiunda funny, lol...


Evidently, people wish to be taken with some sort of seriousness taking titles generally reserved for religious groups such as "bishop." At least it seems this way.


This title(s) can be rolled up, into a nice little tight roll, and stuffed into a dark crevice... :lol:...

They are symbols of hierarchy here and achievement...

Could have just said:

Knight 1, Knight 2, knight 3

Clergy 1, Clergy 2, clergy 3

But, heck, where is the fun and imagination in that,? What is a clergy 2, can they preform marriages?

By using titles that the rest of the world is familiar with, it is a little less explaining...

And we already do a lot, lol...

Jestor wrote: This shows how you, like the rest of the world, seems to see everything in the 'black/white' dichotomy, and, have trouble seeing the 'forest through the trees'... lol...


Not really. I suggested that this was what "The Force" is in the films so what else can I say it is? I have never said what I believe or disbelieve in this forum.


Fair enough...

But, I read this: "As these concepts are part of its dualistic nature, you need to define that certain things are objectively "dark" (i.e. evil) and certain things "light" (i.e. good)."

that this was your argument for their definition...

Whereas, I guess I should have responded with we dont all see the force as having two sides, it simply 'IS'...


Jestor wrote: Its not "dark OR light" its "dark AND light"... the force is a coin, flipping through the air, and sometimes something appears dark, sometimes light, but, in the end, it is a coin....


What does this actually mean?


Are you unfamiliar with metaphors, or simply having a tough time with mine?

The fact that you dont understand this, or feint lack of understanding, not sure which, speaks as clearly to me, as my sentence you quoted, lol...

On walk-about...

Sith ain't Evil...
Jedi ain't Saints....


"Bake or bake not. There is no fry" - Sean Ching


Rite: PureLand
Former Memeber of the TOTJO Council
Master: Jasper_Ward
Current Apprentices: Viskhard, DanWerts, Llama Su, Trisskar
Former Apprentices: Knight Learn_To_Know, Knight Edan, Knight Brenna, Knight Madhatter
The following user(s) said Thank You: Loudzoo
The topic has been locked.
  • Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
8 years 4 months ago #219519 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Kamizu wrote: Concepts of shamanism, Jediism, and various other beliefs or experiences.


How do you practice shamanism? Also what made you decide to reach outside of Jediism and embrace elements of other paths? Did you find the lack of substance in Jediism to push you into other areas?

Kamizu wrote: I grew up in a Christian church and one of the few things I look back fondly on is the community. My path is mine alone, but it sure is nice to be friends with other explorers too :D


Yes, it really does seem as if community is a big component.

Kamizu wrote: but a little over a year ago I decided to change it to shamanism because that more accurately describes my religious views.


What is shamanism to you?

Kamizu wrote: Jediism has become a philosophy for me that works very well


How?

Kamizu wrote: I think the IP was built to give people a foundation of critical thinking, ethics, other viewpoints and the like.


The books listed are mostly either new age, Buddhism, Krishnamurti or Alan Watts. Any reference to other paths, the "initiate" is told to go off and do their own research.

Kamizu wrote: I like the title of Jedi because it reminds me of how I felt when I was a child, looking up to these beings who struggled against the darkness.


That's a very sincere and lovely answer. Thank you :)

And thanks a lot to you as well for providing such a detailed response!
The topic has been locked.
More
8 years 4 months ago #219521 by Breeze el Tierno
You have received a number of other responses from members of the community more senior than I. To whit, I am not certain how much I can really add to the discussion, but I’ll give it a try.

You are engaging in the very critical thinking that we encourage, but I would ask that you temper it with a sincere effort to see it from our side for a moment. Many things seem unclear from the outside. I remember a time, while traveling in India, when a friend of mine asked me why the Christian god allowed his people to nail him to a stick. “Our Gods are too strong. They would never tolerate it.”

If you knew nothing of the theology of Christianity, that might seem a perfectly valid question.

So, walk a mile with us before shooting it all down. If you still don’t like it, no one will be hurt.

With regard to your four categories, this will require a bit of unpacking. Yes, most, if not all, of us are fans of the movies and books. That said, there are dedicated fan communities that have existed for thirty-odd years. If it were merely a question of fandom, we would not have invested the energy in building, sustaining, rebuilding so many groups that make up the Jedi Community.

With regard to the “somethingists,” there may be something to that, at least initially. Many people show up looking. Some stay, some move on. Many people have a very definite idea of what that something is. Some people show up looking for the very Star Wars fansite you described, but stay because they recognize that something more substantial is afoot.

With regard to theism, we have members that are adherents of major faiths, many that are spiritual without being otherwise affiliated, and members that are strict materialists. What might otherwise be regarded as inconsistency, we regard as a strength. This endeavor of ours benefits from many perspective sand many ideas.

That might be part of the crux, here. We do not, at least in this Temple, embrace a specific revelation. Again, where others see flimsy theology, we regard that as a strength. We are not terribly interested in having a revealed truth handed to us. Instead, we are involved in a great inquiry.

We discuss the Force. While there is not specific consensus on it, I suspect that most of us could agree that the central idea is Connection. Things are connected. Whether we discuss that in spiritual, theistic, chemical, psychological, etc. terms, it is unavoidable for us. But the question remains open.

What may not be clear is that this question is left open entirely on purpose. Why? I’m delighted you asked.

We did not receive a Gospel that we can now spend our lives considering. Many choose that path. We have not. Instead, we are involved in a spiritual and philosophical endeavor to cultivate ourselves. In practical terms, we aspire to become Knights, to conduct our lives in a certain way. There will be variations in that way, but some things are fairly common. As V-Tog pointed out, we are in our infancy. These things take time. This Temple only just turned 10. Most of us have not been here as long as that. We are learning, which brings me to another thing.

Another part of this endeavor is a relationship (sometimes, even that word is problematic) with the Force. That relationship, and the nature of the Force, is left to each of us to discover. Leaving the question without a final answer leaves room for that inquiry. From my perspective, to not give a Jedi the room to determine his or her own relationship with whatever we hold sacred would be something of a crime.

Is it messy? Sure. Will the results be consistent? Certainly not. It requires tremendous discipline and rigor to sit with unanswered questions and search the heart over the course of years. But, for some of us, that is the work we chose.

Again, some, even some of our own, might find that lack of certainty a problem. For me, the Path forward lays in confronting uncertainty.

With regard to the light-heartedness, for some there is an element of that. Musashi asked his future students to think lightly on themselves and seriously on the world. There may be an analogue to that herein.

To touch back on questions of belief, let me run an idea past you. Let go of needing the Force to be metaphysical. A more apt term might be sacred. Indeed, I think many of us would agree that we hold the Force as sacred. Must the sacred be supernatural?

Many things we hold to be sacred are quite un-magical.

With regard to sides of the Force, I suspect you misunderstood V-Tog. She said the Force is simply the Force. For you, it might seem a tautology. This is only because you lack context. Again, immerse yourself in these ideas, perhaps only to the knee ;) , and it will mean a very different thing.

From the subtext of your post, one might assume that you find what we do here upsetting or offensive. Certainly, we could say you find it challenging. Often, so do we. We do not believe everything we ask new people to read. We do not ask them to believe it either. We do, however, see the value of shaking off our old habits of thinking, especially in the context of a spiritual journey.

A Christian friend of mine here at the Temple told me once how her pastor admonished his church to be less about the religion and more about the relationship (in this case, with Jesus Christ). I thought it was a valuable piece of wisdom then and I still give it frequent thought.

Do the Jedi of this Temple have a Doctrine? Clearly, we do. And you are right to point out that it has indefinite elements in it. That is largely by design, and I believe we benefit from it. Those of us who practice this Path as a religion identify it as such because it is our encounter with the sacred. We seek out the Sacred and we choose to live a certain way. If we had the kind of certainty in our doctrine you might prefer, there would be no search. There would be no Path.

We took on the modern myth of the Jedi to provide a framework for how we think. It is where we elected to start. If it’s a child’s movie, it is the movie that moved me as a child. This was the myth that touched me and I chose to run with it. Other people will choose other myths, and they are free to.

You may feel free to dissect what I have written, but it probably won’t get you anywhere. We often think that if we can argue against something in a way that makes sense to us, we must understand it. I ask you to try a bit harder. Take this Temple on its own terms for a day. It will require some flexibility on your part. If you still find it objectionable, you are free to continue on your Path elsewhere. No one will kick you out and no one will try to keep you here.

In the mean time, please bear in mind that none of us came to your spiritual home and dismissed everything. While you explore, please be polite. Thank you.
The following user(s) said Thank You: OB1Shinobi, Loudzoo,
The topic has been locked.
  • Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
8 years 4 months ago #219522 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Firewolf wrote: I find Jediism fits into my existing beliefs very well and have always been a deeply spiritual person.


What are those beliefs and what is it within Jediism that aligns with them?

Firewolf wrote: I for one am not going to because i found that if you try to explain it to much you can miss it.


How does defining something lead to misunderstanding? (Also, thanks for the response :) )

Jestor wrote: As i said, TOTJO doesnt tell you WHAT to believe, that is left up to the individual...


It's clearly not about that though. It's about a self-proclaimed religious organization defining what its members actually believe.

Jestor wrote: We could have made/used non-religious titles, and someday, that may happen... Not today...


There are plenty of other ranking-titles that could have been used but religious (specifically Christian) ones were chosen. Obviously it has a religious motive otherwise it wouldn't have chosen them.

Jestor wrote: Because 'the jedi path' is very individualistic, and, and to get all the combinations of possible definitions, you would have to ask all the Jedi...


The "Jedi path" doesn't even seem to exist but as a vehicle for secular free speech promotion by what you're saying. If it's definition is "individual" as you say, anyway.

Jestor wrote: Somewhere, we talk about Jediism being a "synergistic ideology"... That probably sums it up best...


Can you define this?

Jestor wrote: My 'thing' is "my life, and how I live it"...


So is Jediism libertarianism now?

Jestor wrote: You are not judging without trying to understand...


Where have I judged anybody? I'm asking questions.

Jestor wrote: Show me how this was rude?


You were very demeaning by saying "people like me" have a "minimalist understanding" while proclaiming yourself as some sort higher consciousness or something. It was rather unprecedented. You can see it in exactly the text you quoted.

Jestor wrote: I have a very minimalist understanding of many things...


So why did you say "people like you" and then "while jedis like me... etc."?

Jestor wrote: Then you must be a fireman, becasue only a fireman/woman knows what it is really like...


This is absurd logic. This is like saying "you need to try heroin before you know it kills you slowly"

Jestor wrote: Are you missing the metaphor with this?


So what is a Jedi? I can't be a Jedi unless I know what it is, but nobody here seems to have a clear answer.

Jestor wrote: By using titles that the rest of the world is familiar with, it is a little less explaining...


A majority of the world didn't grow up in traditionally Christian countries.

Jestor wrote: that this was your argument for their definition...


Because that's what the films say, otherwise if it's any different nobody here has a clear alternative answer for me.
The topic has been locked.
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
8 years 4 months ago #219523 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Reneza wrote:

Connor L. wrote: Why am I a Jedi and call myself that?

Because why do fun and serious have to be separated?


Where did I suggest that they were mutually exclusive?


You have not. I don't think I implied that you implied that they were. I was just answering the question.
The topic has been locked.
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
8 years 4 months ago #219528 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by
Hello and nice to meet you Reneza. You ask some great questions and I imagine this will turn into a great exercise for many of us here as we reflect on how to answer. As with the others, these are my opinions on the subject, not to be confused with any official representation of this Temple.

To save some time, here's the TL;DR version of below: Trying to define Jediism and the Force is like asking a young child to explain what a lemon tastes like. You'll get a different answer from every child based on their level of knowledge, personal experience and the way their specific taste buds and brains translate the information. Rather than struggling to find the one "true" answer, I choose to make lemonade that tastes good to me.

1. Is anti-theism official doctrine?
1a) Why do we only promote new age writers and why no Jediism books?
2. Are we seeking official recognition?
3. How do atheists here reconcile disbelief in the metaphysical with metaphysical concepts such as Chi, or The Force?
4. Why is it necessary to maintain Star Wars terminology?
5. Why do some people practice sword arts and meditation? Are we more focused on image or substance?
6. What is the light side and what is the dark side?
7. Is there objectivity in Jediism? Is the Force a dualistic principle?


1. Jediism is often considered a syncretic religion/lifestyle in that it can operate side by side with other religious faiths. One can believe in the God of Abraham while also seeing value in aspects of the Temple Doctrine, Teachings, Maxims, etc. Not every Christian believes every part of the Bible because the Bible in it's entirety contains contradictions. There are certainly contradictions that can exist in Jediism too, depending on the viewpoint, but to say we are "anti-theist" is not only inaccurate, but could be inflammatory. We try to avoid such generalizations here. As to your point about "God Wants You Dead," I did read it and I found it to be very useful while forming my own opinions about the Force, mostly because of all of the things I disagreed with in the text. You will never think critically if you only study the things you already "know" to be "true".

1a. If you want to see original writing from Jedi, you can check out some of our 300+ Sermons written by members of this Temple. The Maxims and Teachings in the Doctrine are a good place to start as well.

2. We are an officially recognized 501-(c) (3) in order to operate as a tax exempt charity and this Temple is legally recognized allowing for our clergy to perform certain legal functions, hence the titles. Beyond that, anyone here seeking to be "recognized" is missing the point. The Jedi Path is a personal one, different for every individual. Anyone who has done any real study here realizes that the ranks and titles are formality, but necessary to designate one's level of experience.

3. The Force does not have to be metaphysical. Some would say the quest of theoretical physicist is to finally define a unifying force. Currently, Quantum Mechanics could explain the Force just as well as someone calling it "god". That is why we are here. We are exploring these questions together. A Jedi is not expected to believe any one thing over another. We are expected to do our due diligence to find the answers for ourselves.

4. Why do Christians maintain the traditions and mythology shared with Jews? It is because the original "Christians" were Jews. The Star Wars mythology was inspired by many ancient philosophies and religious texts including the Tao Te Ching and Bushido Code along with some newer ideas from Campbell and Watts among many others. We seek inspiration and the lessons from many of these same sources. The terminology simply points to the source of inspiration. We often speak of tradition, yet originality. To create a wholly original religion with it's own terms would be to create something wholly unrecognizable that nobody but the creator could identify with. Jediism is the name we use now because it allows us to identify with much of the ancient mythology in a way that can be understood in our current society.

5. Our Creed begins with "I am a Jedi, an instrument of peace". There are many ways to be an instrument of peace. Some practice meditation. Some practice martial arts. Others are military or first responders. We have musicians and poets here who use their talents as well. Our "image" and "substance" are defined by our actions. However we prepare ourselves to help our community should be considered worthy. If that includes wielding a lightsaber, so be it, but Jedi are not defined by this or any other "image". An EMT that saves your life may personally identify as "Jedi" and you may never know it, but his/her actions are worthy and valuable to you nonetheless.

6. This has already been answered, but I'll add this: Jediism promotes balance in all things.

7. Jediism represents a collection of individuals seeking ways to better understand the universe and our place in it. It is different for every Jedi, and we each walk our own path. To be "objective" suggests that one can remove themselves from the process of analysis, which I would say is impossible. Jediism will never be objective so long as it is a religion of subjective people. My journey has led me to incorporate my brand of Jediism into my path because it works for me. What I believe the Force to be works on a fundamental level, but it also changes as study and incorporate new ideas into my understanding of it. What is dualistic today could be wholly inclusive tomorrow if that is where the evidence leads me.

Thank you for taking the time to explore Jediism and our Temple. I hope some of our answers are helping. :)
The topic has been locked.
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #219530 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by
Wow. Lots of questions. That's usually a good sign. Forgive me if I don't answer them individually as some have. I will instead try to give you a brief overview of my Jediism so that you might understand how I see it.

Jediism is many things to many people. There are many types of Jedi as you have seen. Some love Star Wars, some actually very much dislike it. Some view it as a religion, some say philosophy, others say life style, and some (myself included) say what's the difference really? :laugh: I tend to say religion because it works for me.

One thing that Jediism seems to be, overall, is fluid. Some people can't handle fluidity, they require rigidity. They need told things, what to believe, what to do, things like that. There's nothing wrong with that (I'm marrying a woman very much like that). It's my opinion that Jediism may not be right for those people, but then again, that is only my opinion which I will not Force ( ;) ) upon others. Jediism is very fluid which does not appeal to everyone, which is one of the reasons we don't actively recruit like you see some other religions do. We know that our path is not the path for everyone.

As for the Initiate program, you asked why it's not more about doctrine. Well, from my understanding it is more meant to inspire thought as opposed to us saying "Believe this" or "Act like that." The IP is pretty much just asking for each novices thoughts on the presented material, almost a Get To Know You thing. I can tell you from experience that you get to know more about yourself just as much as the others get to know you from it too. Many times I see people ask "what if I don't agree with parts of it?" I always tell them to say just that and to put in why.

You also must remember that while Jediism holds a lot of it's roots in Star Wars, George Lucas didn't invent all of his ideas. He borrowed them from diverse sources and put them together in a way that spoke to people. One of the things we do is try to look at the inspiration behind our own inspiration.

I hope that helps. It is, by no means, a complete overview, but it's a start.
Last edit: 8 years 4 months ago by .
The topic has been locked.
More
8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #219532 by OB1Shinobi
EDIT

wow a lot of answers since i started my response - probably there will be some overlap here


i think the IP is not very good - campbell, yes, definitely
watts maybe (but also, MAYBE NOT)
the points made about the "world religions" area are totally valid - the literature in that area, frankly, sucks

i think an update would not hurt


"religion" is a difficult word to define

one of the criteria for coming to a definition of the word is that the definition cant be so narrow that it excludes existing religions

if people consider jediism a religion, then it is a religion

is it a well developed religion?
from what i have seen, no

is it a sincere religion?
from what i have seen, yes, absolutely
and by "sincere" i mean that the core of totjo are dedicated individuals, willing to put in real work, and sincere about growing and maturing as people, and building a community which fosters that same dedication


why all this "if you want to talk then we should PM"?

this is a valuable discussion

despite the fact that it makes people uncomfortable, the whole community can benefit from having it

the points being raised are not going to go away, and its best to get your responses and answers ready

the next wave of SW movies and franchising is going result in a lot of new people coming here - this one movie just beginning lol - the first of GOD (Force?) KNOWS how many more films and games and cartoons and comics - disney is an empire and theyre not letting go of S.W. EVER

i hope there wont be any legal issues with totjo


the Jedi ideal or Jedi archetype attracts a wide variety of people

some are just harry potter aspirants who want to have superpowers

some are basically cos players who want something that offers a sense of adventure and fun

and many dont really kn ow what they want - they just feel like what they have isnt cutting it or could be better and they admire the image and mood of the jedi in the movies, then when they find there are people who are apparently really living that way, they come check it out to see what it has to offer

when you build a community, especially in the early stages, you accept that the people within it are not all the same - they each have their own desires and demands and ideas, and so you work with what youve got

i remember that somehwere in my christian upbringing, i was told that the word speaks to each of us according to our ability to understand - that ten people may all read the same verses and each one wil recieve a personal revelation, which is appropriate to their own life and their own temperament, and that each of these revelations are valid for the people involved

well, each of us understands and can identify with the idea of THE FORCE in a way that is valid for us, and relevant to our own temperament

imo, the concept is big enough for "all" of our personal definitions, though i do admit that some people are going to put a higher degree of scrutiny and discipline of thought towards the concept than others

i think you bring up some valid points, and i dont think the community will be better off for disregarding what you say or trying to stifle the conversation

but id like to express that there are some very serious minded people around, and that this community is a valuable resource for personal growth for anyone who is able to recognize it as such

maybe there has been the interpretation of hostility on both sides - it certainly is easy to understand how a group of people might interpret hostility from someone who shows up and says "your religion is apparently B.S. and not a religion at all"

even if thats not the intent you are speaking from, its one that is easy to gather from some of the things youve said

maybe now would be a good time for us to set some guidelines for the discussion, in terms of etiquette?

People are complicated.
Last edit: 8 years 4 months ago by OB1Shinobi.
The following user(s) said Thank You:
The topic has been locked.
  • Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
8 years 4 months ago #219537 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Cabur Senaar wrote: Many things seem unclear from the outside.


Yes and you also "you need to feel the holy spirit/Allah/individualism in your life in order to truly understand Christianity/Islam/individualist secular humanism."

I'm "inside" by being in this forum and discussing with people who proclaim to be Jedi.

Cabur Senaar wrote: If you knew nothing of the theology of Christianity, that might seem a perfectly valid question.


Yes, but I'm not doing so. I'm asking what you people believe, yet I'm receiving very vague and inconsistent responses from everybody.

Cabur Senaar wrote: With regard to theism, we have members that are adherents of major faiths, many that are spiritual without being otherwise affiliated, and members that are strict materialists. What might otherwise be regarded as inconsistency, we regard as a strength. This endeavor of ours benefits from many perspective sand many ideas.


It seems that it really means being devoid of any real doctrine at all because even the fundamental aspect of the very first teaching cannot be objectively defined which makes it essentially meaningless:

" Jedi are in touch with the Force. We are open to spiritual awareness and keep our minds in tune with the beauty of the world. We are forever learning and open our minds to experiences and knowledge of ourselves and others."


What is the Force according to this document?

Cabur Senaar wrote: That might be part of the crux, here. We do not, at least in this Temple, embrace a specific revelation.


I never said that it did, nor did I suggest that it was a per-requisite of being a religion.

Cabur Senaar wrote: Again, where others see flimsy theology, we regard that as a strength.


How is it strength?

Cabur Senaar wrote: I suspect that most of us could agree that the central idea is Connection. Things are connected. Whether we discuss that in spiritual, theistic, chemical, psychological, etc. terms, it is unavoidable for us. But the question remains open.


This is a redundant statement though. What does it mean to be connected? Are there good connections and bad connections? If so, what is "good" and "bad"? What is the aim of connection? How does it relate to human beings? Even disregarding all these questions, others seem to have entirely different opinions on what it is, proving further that its inclusion in the 16 teachings is meaningless.

Cabur Senaar wrote: We have not. Instead, we are involved in a spiritual and philosophical endeavor to cultivate ourselves.


This is not a religious thing though. People have been doing this for thousands of years. Some people just call it "talking about stuff"

Cabur Senaar wrote: In practical terms, we aspire to become Knights, to conduct our lives in a certain way.


What is a "knight"?

Cabur Senaar wrote: Another part of this endeavor is a relationship (sometimes, even that word is problematic) with the Force. That relationship, and the nature of the Force, is left to each of us to discover. Leaving the question without a final answer leaves room for that inquiry. From my perspective, to not give a Jedi the room to determine his or her own relationship with whatever we hold sacred would be something of a crime.


Or in your terminology, the relationship with "connection" whatever that means?

Cabur Senaar wrote: It requires tremendous discipline and rigor to sit with unanswered questions and search the heart over the course of years. But, for some of us, that is the work we chose.


This is self-aggrandizing. Most who come to ask fundamental questions about the nature of this world and their existence in it, come to be that way via experience in their own live (usually youth). These questions never die in many people and they live their entire lives until death wondering and searching and cannot live any other way. It requires literally no discipline whatsoever.

Cabur Senaar wrote: Let go of needing the Force to be metaphysical. A more apt term might be sacred.


My own views on the metaphysical have not been made at all on this forum so whether it is relevant is not the topic, but in regards to your statement, what does "sacred" mean?

Cabur Senaar wrote: She said the Force is simply the Force.


A = A, it's a meaningless statement to make.

Cabur Senaar wrote: This is only because you lack context.


Saying that I lack something is unnecessarily pejorative. Just explain yourself.

Cabur Senaar wrote: Again, immerse yourself in these ideas, perhaps only to the knee


literally what I am doing right now.

Cabur Senaar wrote: From the subtext of your post, one might assume that you find what we do here upsetting or offensive.


No, just curious as always.

Cabur Senaar wrote: A Christian friend of mine here at the Temple told me once how her pastor admonished his church to be less about the religion and more about the relationship (in this case, with Jesus Christ). I thought it was a valuable piece of wisdom then and I still give it frequent thought.


What do you mean by "religion" here?

Cabur Senaar wrote: Those of us who practice this Path as a religion identify it as such because it is our encounter with the sacred.


What is "the sacred"?

Cabur Senaar wrote: We took on the modern myth of the Jedi to provide a framework for how we think. It is where we elected to start. If it’s a child’s movie, it is the movie that moved me as a child. This was the myth that touched me and I chose to run with it. Other people will choose other myths, and they are free to.


This is an interesting trend I'm noticing: that people here seem to encroach upon other faiths by referring to what they believe as "myth" so it seems, at least from here, that many of you are not simply allowing others to believe what they wish but instead are practicing a strange form of religious defamation whereby you define what other faiths are (in this sense "myth").

Cabur Senaar wrote: We often think that if we can argue against something in a way that makes sense to us, we must understand it.


Yes, this is generally how we come to understanding in the world: by discussing and defining what we mean.

Cabur Senaar wrote: Take this Temple on its own terms for a day.


How?

Cabur Senaar wrote: In the mean time, please bear in mind that none of us came to your spiritual home and dismissed everything. While you explore, please be polite. Thank you.


I'm not dismissing anything. I'm asking what people here believe. Yet strangely it seems some react rather strangely to such a thing.
The topic has been locked.
  • Topic Author
  • Visitor
  • Visitor
    Public
8 years 4 months ago #219543 by
Replied by on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Senan wrote: Not every Christian believes every part of the Bible because the Bible in it's entirety contains contradictions.


They are required to by definition otherwise they are not defined as Christians. The definition of Christian was made with the Nicene Creed and it has been agreed upon ever since that anything contrary to this is not defined as "Christian." If you just allow everyone to define words, there is no meaning to anything and dialog goes out the window.

Senan wrote: We are an officially recognized 501-(c) (3) in order to operate as a tax exempt charity and this Temple is legally recognized allowing for our clergy to perform certain legal functions, hence the titles.


How did it register? I mean, what definition did it use when registering?

Senan wrote: The Force does not have to be metaphysical. Some would say the quest of theoretical physicist is to finally define a unifying force. Currently, Quantum Mechanics could explain the Force just as well as someone calling it "god". That is why we are here. We are exploring these questions together. A Jedi is not expected to believe any one thing over another. We are expected to do our due diligence to find the answers for ourselves.


The Jedi simple oath asks you to uphold the "Jedi teachings" which include in the very first clause: belief in "the Force." What is the definition?

Senan wrote: Why do Christians maintain the traditions and mythology shared with Jews?


Again, this is a really interesting trend I'm noticing here among many people: imposing the idea of myth onto other religions who do not see their faith as myth but reality. This organization definitely does not seem to be neutral on the matter of other faiths.

Senan wrote: The Star Wars mythology was inspired by many ancient philosophies and religious texts including the Tao Te Ching and Bushido Code along with some newer ideas from Campbell and Watts among many others.


So is the metaphysics of the Tao Te Ching actually binding with this organization, or if not all of it, which parts?

Senan wrote: Jediism is the name we use now because it allows us to identify with much of the ancient mythology in a way that can be understood in our current society.


This goes back to what I said before: to make the statement with a hidden clause that other religions are not "relevant" to the world today but this one is. Very interesting stuff.

Senan wrote: 5. Our Creed begins with "I am a Jedi, an instrument of peace".


What is "peace"?

Senan wrote: Jediism represents a collection of individuals seeking ways to better understand the universe and our place in it.


Then it's not a religion according to you, I suppose.

Senan wrote: To be "objective" suggests that one can remove themselves from the process of analysis


Sounds like the opposite.

Senan wrote: What I believe the Force to be works on a fundamental level,


How does it work?

Thanks for the responses :)
The topic has been locked.
Moderators: ZerokevlarVerheilenChaotishRabeRiniTavi