I Am

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03 Aug 2016 19:38 #250731 by Senan
Replied by Senan on topic I Am

Ryder wrote: I really get where you're coming from. It does seem off. I'm struggling with the IP currently, because I'm supposed to write my thoughts on everything. "Describe your understanding of the three tenets in their relationship to each other". I think the Doctrine puts it in better words than I ever could. How is this training? The only thing I could think of would be to nitpick and try to find problems in the doctrine to pass the lesson, but honestly it all looks ok to me.

The training that we do here is core to the reason many of us have chosen to call ourselves "Jedi". I do not seek to imitate the fictional Jedi. Instead, I look to the source material that inspired the fictional characters to begin with. The Jedi were not created by George Lucas out of thin air. They were inspired by the Tao (Yoda), Bushido (Vader), Jesus (Anakin), Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Greek mythology, Campbell's "Hero's Journey" and a hundred other sources including the teachings of Gandhi and MLK, Jr about non-violence.

Our Doctrine here is also inspired by many of those same sources, but in an effort to avoid becoming "sheeple", we ask each and every Novice to approach the material from their own perspective and give their own thoughts on it. If that means you agree with the Doctrine completely, great! If you think parts of it are horse manure, that is okay too. We simply ask that you explain why you feel that way.

As we grow and learn about ourselves, we acquire tools that allow us to be more effective instruments of the Force in our daily lives. We learn to use our strengths to help others and our community and we recognize areas where we are weak and we seek to improve. The goal should be to make your own life and the lives of others around you better, to work toward peace and justice, and protect those who cannot protect themselves. And isn't that what the fictional Jedi were all about?

I do not need to mind trick people or carry a laser sword to be Jedi. I have accomplished great things despite the fact that I haven't been able to "Force Jump" my way through life. I am a Jedi. The name seems quite fitting for what we (or at least I) do here, in the sense that I share the same goals as those of the fictional Jedi and I draw wisdom and knowledge from the source material that gave birth to the characters.

If this doesn't work for you, that is okay. I don't expect anyone else to grant their approval of my choices. Our paths take us where we are meant to go. Mine is the path of a Jedi.

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03 Aug 2016 21:08 - 03 Aug 2016 21:23 #250743 by den385
Replied by den385 on topic I Am
* I've been through many crisises here myself and I do understand you, @Streen.

* Personally, I don't believe in the Force. I have experience and trust.

* I think that Jedi path is not centered on the Force. It's centered on the feat. And philosophy etc is 90% procrastination.

* What I believe in is Life, perseverant and creative choice. Jedi way is creative as a philosophy, why else use it?

* When I registered, I decided that even if everyone here was a pathetic liar, I'll be true to myself & my Jedi path.
Last edit: 03 Aug 2016 21:23 by den385.

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04 Aug 2016 08:42 #250779 by Gisteron
Replied by Gisteron on topic I Am
I have trouble understanding why anything has to be real in order to be worshipped, revered, or used for guidance or support. Pretty much every god and every force used in these ways is fictional to all of the extents to which it would matter, and neither Chi nor Christ are an exception, and while that may stop some, it seems that reality is hardly what matters, when it comes to the value of a thing.
I also don't understand why either Star Wars is inferior to the Bible or why we would be better off having something like the latter in the first place. You say we don't have "an ancient document to guide us", as if it was a bad thing. Meanwhile, if anything, a document that is no longer subject to change or expansion, written in times fundamentally different from our own is perhaps the least appropriate thing to take for a guide, wouldn't you say so? Also, I'd call it a bit condescending to imply that our minds are so poor as to need guidance of this sort to begin with.
Needless to say I do understand your frustration with the recurring attempts to push for magical nonsense. Sometimes I like to think of myself as something of a hurdle to overcome for those who do, and to my astonishment their track record so far was abysmal. I would at any rate not say that this is something official or innate to TOTJO. Usually this kind of thing comes from the outside and in my four years here I haven't seen any of it adopted into any part of the doctrine (though I cannot speak for individual training masters' programmes). Now, is the whole meditation thing in the IP a tad superfluous? Maybe. I'd say its harm is limited in that while TOTJO provides third party materials on the topic, it does not itself explicitly endorse any of its supernatural claims.

Now, on to the Jedi Believe doctrine section cited by Br. John...
Not only does it take none of those beliefs to register to the website, even the Jedi application doesn't have a single question relating to them. So it literally takes none of these to become a Jedi by TOTJO standards.
To take a recent example, in post #250743, den385 is the latest one to admit that he does not actually believe in the Force. He does seem to be on some sort of Jedi path, according to the same post. So who is wrong about him, he or the doctrine?
This is why I find it a bit silly even bringing this up. The doctrine isn't there for us, it is for the outside visitors. None of us are required to believe all of it, few of us are encouraged to believe any of it and all of us have ideas incompatible with it to varying extents, right from the day we join and well until the day we leave. We do not represent the doctrine and the doctrine does not represent us. Indeed, this is so much the case that often a time a newcomer who only read the doctrine before they joined turns right around as they begin to interact with us, understanding that the doctrine is not even a description of what TOTJO is, let alone a prescription. This is not to mention all the users who stick to their journals instead of ever joining in on the great marketplace.

In conclusion, it appears that Streen is understanding that we are not a herd trapped behind a fence, not dogs guided by a leash. We do not collectively pretend that our gods control our every breath. We have no holy text to tell us what to think and what not to think. Does this mean we are stray? Blind and dangerous, created sick, yet with no prospect of a cure? I'd say that is a matter of interpretation. I'd then say that TOTJO Jediism is not a religion in any traditional sense. It is arguably for this reason so hard to tell a Jedi from a non-Jedi, because there is no central standard anybody has to meet, and thus nobody falls short of it. Now whether you like that is of course a different question and one we cannot help you with...

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned
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04 Aug 2016 10:26 #250787 by Silas Mercury
Replied by Silas Mercury on topic I Am
There is not an actual thing, the Force. But there is the idea, the concept behind it, that is driving Jedi to be good human beings. That's all we want to be. Humble defenders of justice.

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04 Aug 2016 11:53 - 04 Aug 2016 11:54 #250805 by Zenchi
Replied by Zenchi on topic I Am
Some here view the Force as the Tao, there are others who feel it is a bit different and perhaps harder to explain. Some don't believe in it at all. There is nothing wrong with any of those interpretations, as for the most part, they derive from personal experience, not what someone else has stated or written in a Bible. That means something. When everyone is not only permitted to interpret the Force and this "path" as they see, feel and live it, but share those Interpretations with the community as well, it ensures a diversity that strengthens this community as a whole...

My Word is my Honor, and my Honor is my Life ~ Sturm Brightblade
Passion, yet Serenity
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Last edit: 04 Aug 2016 11:54 by Zenchi.
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04 Aug 2016 13:11 #250816 by Streen
Replied by Streen on topic I Am
The responses you've all given are much appreciated.

What seems to be a common belief amongst most of you is the idea of a "doctrine". This is part of the problem. The TOTJO doctrine is even more fictional than the original beliefs expressed in the Star Wars movies. What is more frustrating is that every Jedi site seems to have their own doctrine. So, which do you follow? Which one is right? These questions are rhetorical, just things you might want to ask yourselves.

Don't allow yourself to be indoctrinated. Go back to the source. That's where the answers lie.

(None of this is meant to imply any of you don't already know these things, but this message is more for those who don't)

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04 Aug 2016 13:17 - 04 Aug 2016 13:18 #250819 by tzb
Replied by tzb on topic I Am
Those questions seem to suggest you believe people come here, read our doctrine, disagree with some or all of it, and are persuaded to stay, to "convert", to "believe". No-one is being indoctrinated. We are here, we follow this doctrine, because it fits for us. No-one is forced to come here, and no-one forced to stay - Guest, Knight or Councillor.

I'm sure those on other sites would say similarly.
Last edit: 04 Aug 2016 13:18 by tzb.

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04 Aug 2016 13:20 #250820 by Phortis Nespin
Replied by Phortis Nespin on topic I Am
My Idea of this Force thing...

The Force is a real thing. It is not a mystical anything, but a real living thing. The Force is the energy pulse of the Universe that is a part of everything. This is not mystical, it is proven science that states that everything in this Universe was created from the same singularity that exploded from the single point of collapsing whatever (I not a scientist). Don't confuse the Force as a religion, from the Force as an energy field created by the living Universe, or the Force as a movie mystical manipulative miticlorian count.

Having said that, the Force as the energy field of the Universe does not guide anything. The Force just exists in the Universe like electricity supplies a light bulb. It is the “driving” force that gives life, not a deity manipulating our lives.

The Force is the absents of all lies. Nothing that happens is the Universe is false. The Universal Force is the essence of balance. There is no light without dark, there is no heat without cold, there is no life without lifelessness.

You might say...”If the Force is balance, than for every truth there is a lie”. Don't confuse human concepts from Universal concepts. Lies are a human concept created for various reasons up to and including giving understanding to the unknown. The Universe just exists and goes about its day doing what it does.

We as humans feel its effect every day whether we know it or not. This is where I place my “Jediism”. I am a Jedi trying to connect with the Universal energy. To find my understanding of my place in the Universe and to rid myself of the lies that have blinded me. The dark side of the Force is this lie we as humans have created for ourselves. The light side of the Force is the removal of the lie and to see all things in the truth as the Universe sees it.

This is my belief and understanding which has developed over the last 6 years of study in the philosophies of Tao, Buddha, Christ, Samurai, Knights of Malta, Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, Scientists, My Wife, You, and everyone else that has given their time to talk to me.

Jediism and the Temple of the Jedi Order are the Way and the Place in which this Journey can be accomplished.

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04 Aug 2016 13:24 #250821 by Proteus
Replied by Proteus on topic I Am

Streen wrote: The responses you've all given are much appreciated.

What seems to be a common belief amongst most of you is the idea of a "doctrine". This is part of the problem. The TOTJO doctrine is even more fictional than the original beliefs expressed in the Star Wars movies. What is more frustrating is that every Jedi site seems to have their own doctrine. So, which do you follow? Which one is right? These questions are rhetorical, just things you might want to ask yourselves.

Don't allow yourself to be indoctrinated. Go back to the source. That's where the answers lie.

(None of this is meant to imply any of you don't already know these things, but this message is more for those who don't)

You're getting warmer! ;)

“For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.”
― Bruce Lee

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04 Aug 2016 14:24 #250833 by Alexandre Orion
Replied by Alexandre Orion on topic I Am
My approach to the Force is a little more mystical than Star Wars ever got around to. The contemplations that have led there have distilled this Jedi's perspective into some pretty fine "goo" making it so that I am quite dependent on the most trusted "prickles" to let me be cogent at all ...

That said, it surprises me, Streen, that you would bring up the topic at all. You've been around the community for quite enough time - with considerable involvement also - to know quite well that the Jedi confession as is practised in the TotJO is certainly not dogmatic, prescriptive spirituality. It is a rigorous self-exploration involving accidental adventures, climbing and falling and climbing again, failures, forgetting, remembering .... and so forth. Where the hell do you see a light-sabre in any of that ?

Our IP is comparative mythology and perspective shifting, with a little self-discovery and expression thrown in (because in our post-modern social organisation many people don't know what they think) ; our apprenticeships are accompanied explorations of that phenomenological terrain discovered thereby ... Why would anyone be trying to develop psy "powers" ? Certainly when many of the mystics up through the ages have cautioned against such delirium ?

You are certainly right to caution anyone thinking that they can become the very likeness of Yoda by signing up to any of the Jedi sites that they may need a consultation (either the psychologist or the dermatologist - whichever). But as to the supportive community for getting out of the post-modern mentality box ("I must obey my master $£€"), we're a pretty good company to be in. Many of the Jedi communities are ....

I'm the Pastor of this church. I have never read even one of the Star Wars Extended Universe books. Not ever. It would be difficult for me to maintain my position here if Star Wars were truly "canon". Hell, the materials in the IP aren't even "canon". The Jedi way is unique for the individual taking her/his steps toward knowing what her/his own life is really about. That is about it. It involves much more authentic feeling, expression and mistake-making than could ever be accounted for in the whole corpus of human literature. Stories only help to understand, but they are not the pre-recording of anyone's life. That is its own experience in its own time.

So, whether you want to call yourself a Jedi any more or not, you are still alive, here & now, and are very welcome to explore what it is to be a human being in a vibrant and ever-changing, ever-evolving world with us .... even reading a Star Wars book, if you like. That is more what we're doing, and honestly, it seems we're doing it sort of well.


Be a philosopher ; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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