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    • Your Jedi Rituals (Last post by Adder)
    • I guess meditation could be seen as a ritual of transmutation in the experience of ones awareness. In the same way I do some rudimentary lightsaber stuff to assist my lucidity in dreaming, because if you could be anything in a dream why not entertain a Star Wars theme as a bridging foundation for lucidity :lol: I think I have others but I keep forgetting them, almost as if sometimes things just seem to deserve the sort of attention something might get like it was a ritual.
    • The Grateful Thread (Last post by Snowy Aftermath)
    • Grateful for having had a good day with my kid at the mall, shopping for a prom dress and then going to Build-a-Bear. You realize as your kid gets older that you've only got so many of these days left...
    • Application for Assistant Pastor for the Seminary (Last post by Rosalyn J)
    • Just wanted to give this a quick bump! Also, I wanted to let you all know that though the closing date seems far away, it would be wonderful if you could submit your name as early as possible. Even if you have an errant thought about the possibility of applying, do it. Your application needn't be anything elaborate. Just a simple note letting the Synod know you are interested Thanks
    • From time to time a poem (Last post by Edan)
    • Next random installment of my non-poetry... ~~~~~~~~~~~ It had been a while since the cathedral had served its first purpose, that of a place of worship. The stone altar, which had so far been swallowed by the shadow unnoticed, stood now in a pool of candlelight. A circle of red church candles surrounded it, each barely melted and smelling strongly of their wax. The book from the plinth now rested on the altar open to a page around the beginning, one of the earlier writings and less legible. The robes I barely ever wore hung heavy on me, a mirror of the feelings I had about not having performed the ritual more often. My finger on the page at the first words, I noticed suddenly that he was standing beside me. “This is for you,” I said, confused. “And I am here for you” he replied. I nodded. I lit the incense and together we spoke the ancient words, their sound echoing not just throughout the cathedral but through my own body. They sounded like nonsense but each word held a meaning understood by flesh as well as mind. I was the priest, not just in robe and word, but in feeling and knowledge also. I struck the gong and the sound reverberated through every cell in my body and every thought in my head… for a moment the two of us were one within the sound, both vibrating at the same frequency. I knew all that he knew, felt what he felt, thought as he thought… all manner of being directed into this channel, him experiencing my reflection in return. The sound dissolved, my consciousness returning to my own… I breathed deeply in the found silence and felt a new strength. “Thank you” I said, turning to him… but he was no longer there. And I noticed, as I looked down at my hand on the book, that I was now wearing his ring.
    • Initiation programme (Last post by Konstan)
    • Quote: It may help to remember the example you mention (Mark 11:12-14 and Mark 11:20-23) as metaphorical, since metaphor was a common way of conveying truths if not facts in the ancient world. A common metaphor for Israel, throughout its history, was a fig tree. It's a metaphor that the first readers or listeners of the Gospels would have been familiar with. Considering the context of the Gospels (Jesus upsetting the power balance of Israel - especially its religious authorities), it's not a stretch to see this (especially with the command that no one may eat fruit from the tree again) as a critique of the religious power structure in 1st century Judea. The verses immediately following the encounter with the tree (Mark 11:15-17) but before the verse about moving mountains feature Jesus going into the Temple and turning over tables of "money changers" and merchants selling doves, making a powerful statement through his actions (that is, that temples ought to simply be houses of prayer rather than functioning as banks/marketplaces as they often did in the ancient world.) Jesus was, in a way, doing literally what he did metaphorically to the tree, enough that the Jewish religious authorities immediately set out to try to kill him. So, there is more to it than Jesus simply killing an innocent tree, and that is the tricky part about myths. You can interpret it as a hungry, angry Jesus lashing out at a poor, hapless tree that would not bear fruit for him outside of its season, or you can see it as the metaphor it was *probably* intended to be. The Gospel of Mark is full of cases of metaphorical "side stories" like that which shed light on the "main" story being told, but seem to be irrelevant on the face of things. Thanks Adi, that's a great interpretation!
    • 2015-2016 Sermon Schedule (Last post by Rosalyn J)
    • Wonderful People, It is almost May! And look! Only 2 sermon slots have been filled Good news is that you can still submit your name :) Send me a PM if you want to be added
    • The TOTJO Liturgical Calendar (Last post by Goken)
    • I thought it would be interesting for people to share their individual Jediism related rituals but thought it deserved its own thread so I started one here. :)
    • J and K (Last post by Streen)
    • Also one of my favorite scenes. I get tired of scientists thinking they have things figured out, which is I think what K was alluding to. Imagine what we'll "know" 500 years from now...
    • School of Life Short lessons (Last post by Vusuki)
    • It's been a while... so here's a couple of horrors! *for all you with parents (everyone i would think?) and all you with or surrounded by kids. Enjoy! :D
    • Why do people here feel unimportant? (Last post by Whyte Horse)
    • I'd just like to add that I don't feel unimportant here. The council takes my posts very seriously and I can change totjo by saying something. It isn't like anything I've experienced before. There are some real stand-up people who are committed and will make the changes if needed.
    • The problem is the personal, and solitary aspects ... (Last post by Whyte Horse)
    • I can relate to what you're saying. Totjo is a very powerful tool for self-improvement. Beyond that, I don't know... It's like, OK so what's next? Many people disappear for a while and go on hero's journeys. Me, I'm like "hey let's form a rescue squad" or something like that. I get really beat up for it when I mention words like paramilitary, etc. but who cares right? We follow our hearts to the end. It's who we are. Some people go and do bake sales, others go on cross-country walks, and a few go march into hell and come back with refugees. We all have strengths and apply ourselves in that manner. In fact, I've been told outright that totjo will not support any type of vigilante superhero thingy and it's strictly for legal reasons. So we have to operate outside of the church and not seek protection from it. So don't give up just yet, but rather take the path that you know will take you to self-actualization. Quote: I knew that would get your attention, So I received an email asking not to post but to read through the posts about the clergy change, adi's posts, and of the feeling unimportant threads and what I thought about it all having been one of the recent Jedi that left for a while. I decided after reading through it all I would make this one post…granted its one big post, but this one post, and leave it for whatever comes of it. The first thoughts that ran through my mind after reading through all of this wasn’t so much on how true or what points were made, or who said what. It rather came down to thinking about where I was over a year ago, how I transitioned over the months etc. What were the things that held me back, what misconceptions about everything was a wall to climb over to having a better understanding etc. I’ve come to the conclusion there are 2 big problems that this temple actually handles both well and poorly. One of the advantages of this temple over the others is its open-mindedness. It does a good job of allowing just about anyone to be here even if they don’t follow the exact specific way that the temple teaches jediism, that feedback from other paths are still useful for discussions and learning. The disadvantage to this is a false sense of security that even though your path is not quite what the TOTJO envisions for the IP and knighthood that your positions and views and opinions carry a specific amount of weight. We get the false impression that the temple is about jediism as a whole, when it really does have its own specific version of the path and teachings, and there is a wave of conflict between the two that not everyone sees. I can see this more easily now having been out of the picture and following my own path. The other is the solitary experience of training, you have to go through the IP for lots of perfectly valid reasons but you do so alone, you aren’t really alone, but you are! Only in the sense you can discuss the ip with other students any time you want, but your not really placed in a situation or an environment where you can easily have those discussions along side other students who are in the same place as you etc. Especially when we all come in at different times, and learn at different speeds etc. A lot of the new members who come in, are still trying to learn the basics, they may or may not know there are many different paths out there, they may or may not know that the path that TOTJO teaches currently is the one that really fits them until they have time to actually try on the shoes and see how they work. I mean you can buy shoes, they fit, and you buy and wear them, but a few weeks later they really start bothering you something fierce and you go and return them and try something else. It can be very easy to fall into the hole that is sticking with it because someone sais it’s a good set of shoes and not being able to speak your mind about them because you don’t know if its going to work out or if your own opinions on the matter really carry any weight. There is such a where am I, what is going on, is my understanding of this new path really the new path, am I going to get this wrong/write etc? I certainly remember being in that situation where every couple weeks I have a repeat “ah ha” or eureka moment where I would be completely revisiting the big picture of what jediism is and what it is for me. I can’t imagine that it’s any different for any other newer members, and that can be a hard thing for them, was a hard thing for some of the other new members who joined when I did, when we had some of the same discussions. Some of that has been present and obvious in a few of my earlier blog videos that I’ve since made private. I think everyone has taken the wrong approach to the problem of not being heard or not being understood etc. Everyone has been trying to figure out how to solve a problem that I don’t think anyone really understands what the problem is. I don’t see the problem as not being heard, nor listened to. I don’t see a problem of ignorance on the upper staff as much as it Is ignorance of us as learners. Yes I called myself ignorant and I think most of us are that come into jediism. I mean who are we to think we’re not ignorant were only just starting to learn about this stuff as we come into our own paths and here we are claiming we know better. I liked the post where J & K where it sais how we have these epiphany’s and need to constantly wonder, how our beliefs and our view are going to blown away and changed tomorrow? The fact of the matter is until you have a few years experience and really have had the time to explore and understand jediism to some extent you may never truly know if this system will work or not, or if there are any huge flaws in it. For those who stay and do the IP and become knighthood you likely did so because you agree to the system and the beliefs and the path that is laid out, and thus won’t find any problems in it. Which is where you end up with the divide between those who think its fine and are doing right and those who do honestly believe there are problems. If they aren’t truly aware yet of what those problems actually are. If you read that last paragraph and think I’ve targeted you specifically, you are among the group I am targeting, not because I think your wrong, but because you think you are incapable of being wrong. You may be right but you taking defense of the last paragraph is just a possible proof that your gut reaction is to not quickly checking yourself and at least considering the idea that you could be wrong. You could be right, and hey go for it, but to assume you are not ,and not assume that maybe everything you learned or learned about any given topic doesn’t have another valid point of view, or that you may not have had all the knowledge and perspectives necessary to see what the actual truth is the foundation of closed-mindedness, which is what we as jedi should strive to avoid. If we we’re truly open-minded as Jedi, if that was an aspect to strive for in our quest for knowledge understanding and the eventual wisdom we hope to gain, there would be no accusing, there would be no defensive stances, there would be no giant arguments, nor disrespect. As a point Opie once made, if Jedi would be Jedi, there would be none of these things. We all have different points of views and they will vary from person to person, the community of like-minded individuals is what defines the community itself. I’m also not saying you have to second guess every decision, but I am saying you should review every decision. This is actually a big lesson in EMS, you run a 911 call to the best of your ability on what you know, learned, trained and experienced. You may have done it for 10 years even, but if you think anyone doesn’t sit down after every single call and think what they could have done differently and or better, you are crazy. The moment you don’t do that, is the moment you will kill someone. The same lesson can apply, you do what you believe and follow in, but if you aren’t always reviewing if that was the best thing or not, then you are not going to learn from your own experiences to better yourself. TOTJO has done a good job of creating and pooling together a community around the doctrine the IP and so on, and even though it includes members who don’t always agree with the doctrine and views of TOTJO they still provide very good conversations, discussions, and contributions because they do have different perspectives on any given subject. But I think when people first find TOTJO they see it as a home, but they may not realize that their own path they find, may not be the path that TOTJO has set out and followed as a community. This is where it can be frustrating, and where I think a lot of people have problems, they have good suggestions for changes and things they would like to see. This is really for their own path and how they believe and see jediism should be. As a result you end up with some conflicts of views and listen vs not listen as those who have climbed the trees and gone into clergy or knighthood have done so on the path that a number of others have followed and it is something that works for them, why change it for someone else? You can get in the argument that br john had pointed out of if this isn’t your cup of tea there are other communities out there that might be better aligned with your views. The big point to be made here is that no one really knows their own views, until they have done this awhile. It could be painful to be a part of a great community, figure out where your path is going and how you want to live it, or follow it to improve yourself to be a part of something greater, and find out that path isn’t necessarily in-line with this great community. Though anyone is free to stick around and still contribute as regular members, or even as guests. For some members, there may not even really be a group of people that really follow the same or similar path that works for you. The problem is TOTJO teaches how each path is their own, but also groups a pile of very well written life lessons and goals and moralities to live by together, and their own way of achieving those, which is a path in itself that might stray from the individual path it initially teaches. Rather than an exercise of posting what you think is wrong, or even saying hey what is right, let’s do an exercise that better help fill the idea of people are expecting. Jestor or Edan, or even Rosalyn, I charge one of you or someone more willing with the task of creating a thread to the following(because this is off-topic from this post): Create a thread that asks what is someone’s Ideal Jedi Temple, digital or physical or otherwise? Describe what it would be like to go from an initiate all the way up to potentially one day a master. How long it would take, what kind of lessons would you teach(like topics etc), how you would do those teachings, what you would expect of those learning vs those teaching etc. As an example here would be my response: My ideal temple, would be one where you start out as a “learner” rank where you do some introductory course work. Not something extensive like the IP is now, but a basic history of jediism itself, where it came from, how it evolved, what groups exist out there (because this is important, you can’t teach someone to follow their own path and then not share the possibilities of paths out there). After some paperwork that might take at most a month for even the average person they can start taking “class courses”. This would be in a similar setup as the 100 days of discipline teams, these are courses of a specific length (ie 30/60/90 day) courses that knights would teach when they were available, and start when they are available etc. Each of these courses would have a # of people wanting to take this same course, so lets say it’s a course on meditation, you might be in a group or class of 20-30 or even 5, and you have a place where you can chat daily to each other, discuss with others who are at a similar place on their paths to understanding jediism etc. You have some friends and daily discussions as well as lessons periodically though-out this time period from the knight him or herself as well. You aren’t in a battle of the general discussions and wide range of view points. You can more personally work with individuals more privately and get some more in-depth conversations of how each person does their own meditation in their own way. These classes would NOT teach you how to do YOUR meditation, they will teach you the concepts, goals, effects of meditation, and teach you how to find ways to figure out your own meditation in the way it works for you. All of the courses that you would take would be designed around learning the concepts of wisdom, peace, chaos, order, emotion, serenity, etc etc, meditation, maybe even some elective ones on lightsaber combat or fitness etc. After a certain amount of credits or completions of required “courses” which may consume a year or so of study you would be another rank, say novice or initiate or what have you. From there you would be a glorified Jedi or higher up jedi, and you could choose to aim for knight hood in the TOTJO specific doctrine and lessons(finishing the IP and apprenticeship as it is now), or remain where you are but have had an experience of actually still working with knights and a smaller portion of the community on a more personal level, instead of being thrusted into your own studies and hope for the best to finish it. It would also show that you have learned and understood some of the basic jediism concepts that applies to the majority of the possible paths out there going through that more initial program to help find your path and find yourself, then decide if the totjo knight-hood is for you. ----- But that’s My ideal temple setup, it may not be ideal for everyone else, it may not even be practical as of right now. The idea of that exercise is to maybe identify that maybe a number of individual ideas match up or maybe some idea’s will come of that, where a lot of people will agree on or like enough to warrant trying a change out to see if it will work for the temple or maybe work for a different project altogether. I have all the technical knowledge and ability to create my own website to do everything I put above, but I just don’t have the time, and experience to do so. I want to figure out my own path some more before I would even consider attempting to participate in that. Perhaps though if people post what they think they would look for and everyone respects everyones opinions and views of it all, we can have a positive discussion of some possibilities or at least some better perspectives of where everyone is coming from which might be insightful for understanding why they feel how they feel. That’s my 5 page rant, and back onto my journey I go! Hope this was helpful, and may the force be with you all!

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