Being Jedi, What Does It Mean To You?

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24 Nov 2013 07:25 #126122 by OrvisOrenn
Being Jedi, What Does It Mean To You? was created by OrvisOrenn
I have taken these past couple months here to reflect upon this question myself. The conclusion I have drawn for my own purposes and meanings behind being a Jedi revolve around;

-Finding our inner peace and controlling ego.
-Discovering knowledge beyond the borders of our ignorance.
-Having passions, but not letting it consume us.
-Defending others in their time of need or distress.
-Becoming a stable conduit of the energy we call "The Force"
-Serving others and making their lives easier.
(I am aware these are very close to the Jedi code. I have my own version below so you may compare)


"Set aside emotion to find peace.
Overcome ignorance to discover knowledge.
Within our passion, seek serenity.
Amongst the chaos, defend harmony.
And in death we become one with the force"


However, I have come to understand that not all pursuits of being a Jedi are within this small, flexible code. Some may set aside negative emotions to find peace but keep positive, another might try to drop all emotion altogether. One may choose to stay ignorant of some things to acquire knowledge of another. Another Jedi might use passion to seek serenity whilst another dismisses passion altogether. Some defend harmony with words, others with violence. And some believe that the force is like moving energy, others may perceive it as "god". (I say that as a generic term)

I myself would like to explain my version to the code and my reasoning of it as opposed to the "traditional" code.

"Set aside emotion to find peace."



Artist: unknown


I wrote this as it is because I feel that most peace is disturbed by negative emotions or by overly powerful but positive emotions. As a Jedi, we are driven (most of the time) to solve a problem or neutralize a situation. This can be stopped by emotions prohibiting our thought processes from going beyond instinctive response. Leaving us little time to calculate cause and effect. So, in order to efficiently handle the situation, I believe that this clause should encourage us to know when to experience emotion and when to set it aside for the purpose of serving ourselves or others.

Traditional version: "There is no emotion. There is peace."
I believe that this is too simple, and fails to elaborate on how we can achieve peace by doing the action. Also, the mistake in all of the traditionalist codes is; Sith typically deal in absolutes.


"Overcome ignorance to discover knowledge."



Artist: unknown


As Jedi, I believe most of us are driven by our need to understand people, places, and the universe in general. Our ignorance however is the largest obstacle. For most in these modern times tend to keep ignorance for a stable life free of worry or obligation. However, there are those who stretch their minds and though it is a pain, they still wish to endure it for the sake of knowing. Some Jedi might not go so far as to learn how to build another Eiffel Tower, but any knowledge gained is ignorance lost in my opinion.

Traditional Version: "There is no ignorance, there is knowledge"

Again with the absolutes. There will always be ignorance, but knowledge is always a choice and knowledge is not always there. Get a room full of people who have never had to prepare their own meal before and get them to make a cake without any instructions and you may end up with a small kitchen fire.

"Within our passion, seek serenity."



Artist: Bedlamsbard


I think the most important thing that drives a Jedi is passion. The passion for knowledge, the passion for people, the passion for peace and prosperity. It is only when negative passions take over your life that things start to go downhill. So goes the old phrase, "Don't put all your apples in one basket" meaning, being overly eager and anticipating everything to work out as planned can result in disappointment, and disappointment hurts. This then loops back to the first part of the code involving emotion. Negative passions involve negative emotions, and we should strive to not let them get in our way. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, passions fuel actions of great valor, compassion, and skill. If one has compassion for his fellow man or his fellow animal, you may see him lift a truck's front end to save those whom are trapped, or you may see him draw his pistol before some assailant starts to rob a convenience store. But this is a sharply edged knife with two edges. Do not let the edge touch you, but also do not think that one could stand on the blade and support their weight with it.

Traditional Version: "There is no passion, there is serenity"

I will stop mentioning absolutes, as you may get the point by now. If there is no passion, then one cannot have motivation. I for instance, have a passion for writing and art, thus I produce art and writing that makes people think (most of the time). This is a simple point I know, but I believe it justifies this alteration.


"Amongst the chaos, defend harmony."



Artist: unknown


Perhaps my favorite part of the code. I believe that as Jedi, it is our duty to defend the harmony of society, order, and civility. Because if we do not, then we cease to have a society to defend, learn from, or experience life safely within. Some may not see this as one of the most important of the codes, but I believe that this is the core responsibility of a Jedi. I take time out of my day at least once to do something that makes someone's life easier. One day it may be hard; like standing up for someone and possibly being involved in a fight, or very easy like carrying someone's bags to their car. Making other's lives more harmonious and less chaotic is an important thing to me, and the primary reason I put this at the top of my list.

Traditional Version: "There is no chaos, there is harmony"

Without chaos, one cannot have harmony, and vice versa. Though I do aim for the idea of harmony, I do acknowledge the place of chaos in the universe. If there were NO chaos, how full of life would the universe be? Exactly. So, I make a point to say that we as Jedi require chaos, but we should aim not to produce it, merely suppress it for the needs of society and our own needs themselves.

"And in death we become one with the force"



Artist: AH!


I believe that once we die, we become part of the energy flow of the universe. Whatever negative or positive energy we have carried also goes with us. This, I believe, can effect anything and everything from the way someone feels about their day to how the world can interpret an international event. Likewise, once someone dies, have you ever felt the energy in the room drop or rise depending on the people in the funeral or depending upon the person who had died? I have had the misfortune of being at three funerals, none of them were the same in energy or feeling. This, I believe is because an action causes a reaction and the energies try to over or under-compensate for it to reach equilibrium. Anyway, there are a number of situations I can theorize that we have an effect on.


Traditional Version: "There is no death, there is the force"

While this particular part of the code is not necessarily false, it is not true either, it is rather stuck in the malleable state that can be bent or twisted to whatever someone wishes to perceive of it.

So here is my question; What is your version of the code (if any), and what does being a Jedi mean to you?

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24 Nov 2013 07:58 #126125 by Vesha
Replied by Vesha on topic Being Jedi, What Does It Mean To You?
“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” - Bruce Lee

In my humble opinion, there is no one path. I would hope this is a place that works more toward providing you with the knowledge and tools to become the person you want to be then telling you the kind of person you should be.

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24 Nov 2013 08:09 #126126 by OrvisOrenn
Replied by OrvisOrenn on topic Being Jedi, What Does It Mean To You?

Vesha wrote: “Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” - Bruce Lee

In my humble opinion, there is no one path. I would hope this is a place that works more toward providing you with the knowledge and tools to become the person you want to be then telling you the kind of person you should be.


I love that quote, and it is a shame Bruce is not with us, who knows what he could have done with the rest of his life.

But I digress. I found this rather convenient though, because the Jedi Code already had my basic beliefs, just not touching all aspects of life, which is perfect actually, due to the fact that not all situations are going to fit in a nice little box with a bow wrapped around it. :laugh:

I have found a large amount of knowledge here, and have enjoyed it thus far! Such interesting people and enthralling conversations happen here! :)

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24 Nov 2013 08:17 #126128 by Proteus
The Jedi code in my eyes, is a take on the yin/yang, contrasting two sides of the "human condition coin" and creating use out of it by self-psychological affirmation of - our natural tendencies on one end (emotion, ignorance, passion, chaos, death) and a Jedi's typical personal goal to attain toward on the other (peace, knowledge, harmony, serenity and the force). While the basic code tends to be easier to understand and adopt with its quite broad scope area to apply it:

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet the Force.

... the orthodox code is in contrast, a personally reality-defining motion for the intention of psychologically letting go of the former term and accepting the latter.

In any case, a past journal entry of mine further elaborates:

Date: September 12, 2012

There are a few reasons this is called a “code”. One of them is because, it is not to be read exactly as it sounds. Each line begins with “There is no...” Read literally, one will think it is actually saying “It does not exist”. However, what it is actually saying is “be not controlled/consumed by...” It can also mean “The Force will protect you from...” The second part of each line starts with “There is...” which means “reach for this instead”, or “reach for this in light of [the first half]”, or “The Force will guide you to/with...”. Essentially, it is a way of directing one away from the the potentially destructive force of the first idea, and toward the productive and balancing force of the second. The following applies to both the old and new code the same in my eyes.




“There is no Emotion; There is Peace.”

We all feel emotions and we all have to work with them in our day to day lives. For many of us, when something happens to trigger an emotion, we tend to have an instinct to grab ahold of it and drive it further and further into the direction it may take us. This is where we might become controlled by the emotion. The more we let emotion take the wheel, the less rational we become and we fall further from what we are (self-aware humans), and become more like primitive animals.

This line suggests that while we deal with our emotions, we should not let them take the wheel and drive us deeper into a hole. Instead, we learn how to disconnect from being the subject of the emotion, and observe it through a state of inner peace. Meditation introduces, and reinforces, the presence, feeling, and essence of peace and mindfulness. It helps us learn how to manifest and utilize it. We learn a stronger connection and access to inner peace and become better able to access it during times of strong emotional triggering, to help us maintain it efficiently. This is a vital advantage for clearer thinking in very stressful moments and times of life.

In short - The Force guides us to peace in times of raging emotion.




“There is no Ignorance; There is Knowledge.”

There are many aspects to personal growth. One critical aspect is the ability to gain knowledge and wisdom. Open your ears to listen. Open your eyes to see. Open your heart to feel. All experiences in life provide instant feeds of knowledge whether subconsciously or consciously. Even on the slightest of scales, ignorance is lessened more and more with each experience you have. Through the Force, this process may be exponentially accelerated on a simply intellectual level, or on a deeply intuitive level. Trust in the Force, open your mind, and the knowledge you gain can empower you to overcome fears and gain access to the keys of living life at your full potential.

As a Jedi, we are but one type of vehicle through which the Force works, teaching those who wish and need to know. Enlightenment, instruction, and example are powerful facets of teaching not only for Jedi, but for anyone who teaches.

In short - The Force guides us to knowledge (or awareness) in a state of ignorance.





“There is no Passion; There is Serenity."

Within this statement, passion is not to say “vigor for living a bright life”. It means “impulsiveness”. There are times in life when we are enjoying or wanting of something so much that we may become impulsive toward it and do something foolish. At times like these, patience is a critical thing to have, for within patience, we find the ability to be truly calm, to let things be the way they are meant to be and fall where they are meant to fall. Passion tends to act as a pressuring or rebellious resistance upon the current reality of things. Learning calmness allows us serenity and enables us to keep from being consumed by impulsiveness in the moment or circumstance.

In short - The Force guides us to serenity in times when passion (ie. attachment) may consume.





“There is no Chaos; There is Harmony.”

Chaos may abound any or every day around us, as far as many are used to recognizing and experiencing. For many, chaos can abound within as well, as a result or as a cause. A Jedi learns how to see and put the chaos into order, or into a state of flow, to then function in harmony. This reduces, even eliminates, stress and confusion, and opens up fuller potential within and around the individual. Mental, physical, and emotional harmony is the ideal state of motion that gives the Jedi more ability to utilize the Force in the most fluent, positive and beneficial way. Work may become play, and play may become critically productive.

In Short - The Force guides us into harmony among the field of chaos.





“There is no Death; There is the Force.”

Most people see “death” as an end. However, death does not mean “end”. It means “change”. When we die, we do not end. We change form. We graduate from our limited physical shells and change dimension. To say “There is no Death”, I believe, is speaking to the idea that “there is no end to you”. To say “There is the Force”, is reminding us that once we leave our physical bodies, we simply return to the Force from which we came from, and from which our life is currently powered right now.

In short - The Force maintains and further empowers life essence forever in the state of physical death.


www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/47-Jo...oteus?start=20#73149




****



As for what it means to me, to be a Jedi, I believe another entry I wrote not too long ago probably explains it the best way I know how:

Personal Log: What is a Jedi (Revisited)
Date: August 6th 2013

The longer I've been among the Jedi community, the more I've sensed a particular difference between myself and certain other people outside of the community. These "other people" don't necessarily constitute everybody outside of the Jedi community. It simply constitutes "most" people outside of it, for which there are those not within the community who share a particular awareness of things as those within it. This awareness is what I would like to talk about.

For most of my time in the Jedi community, I have wanted to give the objective meaning behind the real world Jedi some kind of easily understandable form, or image, that I can point to, as a way of differentiating a Jedi from a more typical individual in the world. The image of the fictional Jedi from Star Wars is not complete or accurate enough for me, and too diluted in mythology for the average person to decipher easily. So I've found myself looking toward another myth to give me a different approach - The Matrix.

I'm sure there has been somebody among the temple, who have asked "Why are we learning about mythology in religion and metaphysical philosophy?", and "What does that have to do with being a 'guardian of peace' and being 'helpful to our fellow humans and the world'?", and so on. These are questions that I had not asked myself directly but always felt a bit lost on the connection... until I looked toward the myth of the Matrix, and connected it for myself.

To start with a simple metaphor - When you have something such as a car, and you want to either maintain it properly, or improve upon it, you will have to learn about how that car works. If you want to improve the motor, you will need to learn what the motor exactly is, how it is constructed, and how it functions. Until you do this, you rely on the car, without any ability to help the car yourself. Without your knowledge and ability to maintain or improve it, the car, overtime, ages, breaks down, becomes more of a burden to you than a help, and you eventually hate having it anymore at all. You don't understand why its puttering or using so much gas, or why its steering has gone to hell, or why the breaks only work half the time. However, if you learn more about the construction and mechanics of the car, you gain the ability to fix these things. Putting in the time to learn and work on it, the car is no longer so much a burden, but can even be a work of art that you have expressed yourself through, with how nice it looks, and how great it rides - you did that, and it is something one would typically feel very good about.

In this same way, that car is much like life. And there are people out there in the world who do not really understand how reality Really works. Many among them think they do know, having heard rumors from a friend who heard from a friend who heard from some other such and such that believed this because it sounded good. So were they right? Have they maintained their car? Are they truly happy with it? Is it truly working for them now? Or does it still tend to break down just the same, and they find themselves damning it in secret, while pretending that everything is just fine when someone else walks by to possibly see what is going on? If someone else's car breaks down, do you think they will have the knowledge enough to help that person fix it? Some come along and claim they know exactly whats wrong, and tell the person "oh, it needs air in the tires!", when the issue is simply that their engine has overheated and needs a new cooling unit or fan. "I BELIEVE that this car broke down because it needs gas, because that's what tend to happen, and its what happened to the people that I know who run out of gas too, so it must be the truth!"... yet the gas tank is factually full. Apparently, their belief is not what is really the case.

But then a car mechanic, who has actually learned the physics of how a car motor works, comes along, and says "oh, the cooling unit went out. See?" The person gets the unit replaced and whalla! It runs like new again.

The real world Jedi, become Jedi, by becoming the car mechanic, among those around him who remain unaware of the facts about science, religion/mythology, history, psychology, and so on. This is not in a way that we say "I'm the mechanic, so I'm better than the person who owns this broken down car! They are just an idiot because they don't know how to fix it!" .. A Jedi's ethical position is more like "I am really no different than this person who needs help with their car, except that I have the ability to help them and letting them be able to enjoy that car again will make me happy."

In the myth of the Matrix, a Jedi is much like someone who has woken up (or during training, are in the process of waking up). They have discovered that the typically perceived reality is not at all what many think it to be. They have gone through much a personal trial to discover this, first, and then second, to learn why, and then third, to learn the responsibility they obtain to use this discovery to watch over those who have not yet woken up. In the shoes of a Jedi and becoming the "mechanic", one's own family, local community, online community, or even country, becomes the car to help maintain, keep clean and working well. Learning about the "matrix" gives a Jedi the ability and knowledge to more correctly help those who are still theoretically enslaved by it. Some may naturally discover what we have discovered ourselves, as we help them with something normally. Others may be so hardwired into it that any association with them may be ultimately pointless.

What Jediism teaches, I don't see as a belief, so much as a realization. Realization manifests beyond faith or speculation. Therefore, the idea of religion as part of Jediism, to me, is only a simple accessory to the rest of the point. It is but a personally chosen interface, or gateway, to the much larger "realization" of what is actually going on.

The point of the novice training material in the Initiates Program, is to educate a person about the true nature of what their beliefs might be (the mechanics of the car's engine). By beliefs I don't simply mean religious beliefs, but beliefs about their entire perception of reality in general. In regard to Joseph Campbell, we learn critical points behind the nature of religion and spirituality itself through its roots in mythology and the monomyth. It is essentially showing the us that behind all the supernatural magic that people introduce into a religion's stories (mythologies), its all simply a pattern of human society using poetic metaphor to try to make sense out of something beyond the immediate physical senses. In regard to Alan Watts, we are then taken into a more broad spectrum of shifted reality perception in general. Watts shows us how the implications of duality have made us think and feel that we are living in a strictly physical and time-bounded world. Simply elaborating the constructs of the illusion is done in effect to help one realize more and more just how much of an illusion it is and has been to us all our life. Watts shows us how the car is simply a machine that can in fact be stepped out of and maintained externally.

After one has woken up, there is a doctrine, a guide to the responsibility to the realization of things. This responsibility is service. Just as the mechanic services one's car to help it run better (someone who has not learned how their car actually works), a Jedi services others who have not yet woken up, who are having trouble with their life. The Jedi, being aware of the real state of things, now has a much more accurate insight into many types of issues that most people go through. In this way, through improved intuition, we are naturally good at listening, and giving our own suggestions if invited, and even taking further measures of tending to a situation more immediately where necessary and reasonably possible.

Obviously, it doesn't require listening to Campbell or Watts to wake up. We have all known somebody who is awake whether we knew it or not, who realized what the philosophers have taught, on their own, through simple personal observation and deduction. Many of these people will never have to join a community of someone like Jedi in order to do just what we do. On the other hand, the point of this temple's existence is for people, whether awake or not, to find it, to help naturally inspire and encourage that awakening, partly with the knowledge of Campbell and Watts, and then help teach them what they can do with it. That is the "calling", as some here have put it.

No more may one have to feel literally judged by the idea of a god, or that when they die, they will literally burn in a sea of fire endlessly because of a book that an ancient society wrote their own rules in for their people. As a Jedi, one learns what those myths were really about, and can live outside of its confines, with a much more informed purpose for life. It's not about being an intellectual. It's not about being deeply spiritual. It's simply about being aware of the true state of affairs about you, and taking the call to use that awareness to watch over your world. That is what a Jedi does.


www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/47-Jo...teus?start=60#114926

“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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24 Nov 2013 08:31 #126129 by OrvisOrenn
Replied by OrvisOrenn on topic Being Jedi, What Does It Mean To You?

Proteus wrote: The Jedi code in my eyes, is a take on the yin/yang, contrasting two sides of the "human condition coin" and creating use out of it by self-psychological affirmation of - our natural tendencies on one end (emotion, ignorance, passion, chaos, death) and a Jedi's typical personal goal to attain toward on the other (peace, knowledge, harmony, serenity and the force). While the basic code tends to be easier to understand and adopt with its quite broad scope area to apply it


All of that was very well said Proteus, quite the read! I see many similarities between the both of us in terms of how we view things. Your view on the basic code is also very well put. I agree, in it's simplicity there is good intent.

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24 Nov 2013 10:36 #126133 by Whyte Horse
It's impossible to understand Jediism with your mind; instead, you only need to realize there is no Jediism. One of the wisest things you can say about being a Jedi is that it is different for everyone.

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

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24 Nov 2013 16:42 #126151 by OrvisOrenn
Replied by OrvisOrenn on topic Being Jedi, What Does It Mean To You?

Whyte Horse wrote: It's impossible to understand Jediism with your mind; instead, you only need to realize there is no Jediism. One of the wisest things you can say about being a Jedi is that it is different for everyone.


Hence the reason for the question; "What is it to you?"

The purpose of this post is to explore other people's elaborations and perceptions on this.

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24 Nov 2013 23:38 #126216 by Connor Lidell
Replied by Connor Lidell on topic Being Jedi, What Does It Mean To You?

Whyte Horse wrote: It's impossible to understand Jediism with your mind; instead, you only need to realize there is no Jediism. One of the wisest things you can say about being a Jedi is that it is different for everyone.


Why can't there be a Jediism? What about crafting an order that dealt with doing work for good. An example is Chicago Jedi. To be a Jedi there, you participate in service and fellowship. Is there something inherently incorrect about that?

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25 Nov 2013 00:12 #126219 by Whyte Horse

Connor Lidell wrote:

Whyte Horse wrote: It's impossible to understand Jediism with your mind; instead, you only need to realize there is no Jediism. One of the wisest things you can say about being a Jedi is that it is different for everyone.


Why can't there be a Jediism? What about crafting an order that dealt with doing work for good. An example is Chicago Jedi. To be a Jedi there, you participate in service and fellowship. Is there something inherently incorrect about that?

What is service? Fellowship? Good?
Service and fellowship have different meanings to different people. My personal favorite is the people who dress up as superheroes and go around and ask people how they can help. I'd probably be down for something like that in my spare time. Or even building tiny homes for houseless people.

Anyway, most people negate their good deeds while performing them. Going to a big corporate chain store which is based on unfair trade, slave labour, etc. Flying in a jet burning gas to go save the rainforest and prevent global warming, etc. Joining the military to fight for freedom but instead murdering babies to protect oil cartels or spying on innocent Americans to quash their political opposition to a fascist police stte, etc.

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
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25 Nov 2013 00:19 #126220 by Whyte Horse

OrvisOrenn wrote:

Whyte Horse wrote: It's impossible to understand Jediism with your mind; instead, you only need to realize there is no Jediism. One of the wisest things you can say about being a Jedi is that it is different for everyone.


Hence the reason for the question; "What is it to you?"

The purpose of this post is to explore other people's elaborations and perceptions on this.

To me it's a form of spiritual enlightenment. An inner journey to the depths of discovery about who we are; our dreams, our passions, our loves, our spirit.

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

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