What's Wrong With A Pastor of Force Practice

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17 Sep 2018 17:25 #326357 by Gisteron
I'm opening this thread because I felt that it did indeed go off the topic of the one it was raised in.

Here is a link to the post I am responding to in its original thread.
Without further ado, here is a full quote of that post, also:


Carlos.Martinez3 wrote: As clergy, may I ask why a faith based as well as world recognized idea can not be suppprted and receive the same freedoms as every other represented here? Because a few won’t support it ? They see it as wrong or non credible? Maybe this is a derail and if you feel so let me know and I’ll glady make another thread but I wanna ask G and Kyrin why this is a big deal? Enough to present like a big deal anyway.

There was no day in the past six-and-a-half years of my being a registered user here, on which it was in any way forbidden to express and discuss beliefs concerning energy healing. Some knights, if memory serves, were even free to explore these things with their apprentices. No freedoms are being granted now that have not been in place already. What is being granted is not "the same freedoms", as you put it, but a position of privilege. An office dedicated to the exploration, maybe even teaching of that topic. What other "faith based as well as world recognized idea", pray tell, enjoys that kind of official support? Do we have or are we soon going to have an Official TOTJO Pastor of Jesus? Well, that's definitely too far off the Jedi faith, one might argue (though I do recall that being different, too, back when much ado was done about rites of Jedi, and intersections with other religions), so how about, say, a Pastor of Atrology, or a Pastor of Telekinesis? I have seen some strong spirited (so as not to call them zealous) proponents of both. The only difference that they didn't think to call it a Force-something. And if that is not all it takes, then what exactly does make Reiki (or Qigong, for that matter) so special?

Note, I didn't go into the "what's the harm" question of content. "The harm" can be found in any and all religiously motivated pseudo-science alike, be it rooted in western or in eastern traditions, so specifics would do nothing to help a case against Reiki, and I'm also not trying to make that case, anyway. To point to the harm these things have done or have potential to do is, at the end of the day, fallacious, in that we do not know what actual harm will come to anyone actually involved with this place, because of the specific things said or taught here, in or out of a relation to Reiki. So I won't make that argument here. It is not about what I believe on the matter, it's about the fair treatment of ideas. I wouldn't dare say that TOTJO has always been a paragon of that in the past, let alone in latter years, nor pretend that I'm not myself to some extent or another culpable in that shortcoming. But this in particular is a rather... strong and illustrative symptom of that problem.

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17 Sep 2018 17:58 #326360 by Br. John

Gisteron wrote: Thanks for the heads up about that Pastor of Force Practice thing, I just now saw it. You'd think nothing of note to happen if you look away for a month or two, but then you come back and this is unironically and officially supported now. What an odd direction to go in, indeed...


I just had to ask someone what that is. The title is misleading, in my opinion, because it's not an official teaching of The Order. We have members that are, Agnostic, Atheist, Buddhist, Christian, ..., None of the Above, etc. Officially we do not define The Force and a person decides what it is or what it means for themselves. The title makes less sense than Pastor of Spells and Potions or Pastor of Placebo Effects because at least those give an idea of what it's about. How can there be an official Force Practice when officially we have no definition of The Force?

According to the Arabic proverb, there are no such things as a Phoenix, a Ghoul, or a True Bosom Friend, but I say to you that I found them all among my neighbors. ~ Kahlil Gibran
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17 Sep 2018 18:04 #326361 by Carlos.Martinez3
I can support any “branch” of faith a Modern day Jeddist chooses to pick or any balance they present. It may take my brain - as old as it is a bit of meditation and shaking to remind my self that as a real life Jeddist - I can connect with just about any body and with any faith possible . ( my choice) Some are more difficult than others because I DONT share that view directly. Some are just not my cup of tea. But that’s ok too. They don’t have to be to be real to others. If I can be a Jedi of that nature who subscribes to the ALL-MYTH * all myths can be for growth and experience * then can I support one who is a Jeddist and mono myth oriented or just Abrahamic in nature or has Buddhism as a center or not even centered but a dab in their practice. What about those who practice Zen and even practices I’ve never heard of? Can I give them those freedoms to organize and meet and grow - like I have? To each of us this is our own choice to make. How you act and how you choose your doctrine- and how you display it is to you and you alone. This is my choice and I think- others agree and share it with me - smiley face - I’ve met a few. So - as they become available and as we as a Temple grow , expect new faiths to emerge - expect different people to collect under one roof. Expect us to share and grow. That’s all. We don’t ask for you to love or hate any one. We ask that you come here to grow and help me- and others grow. It’s a constant change - this growth thing. I’ve had to grow up in many areas myself. There is a freedom in growth and in the Jedi faith of if you choose and allow it. You don’t have to either.
Remember - any reason you can “diss” one faith you can use for all. Regardless of where our faith is - there is a character and a virtue in each of them that can be a blessing to those around it. Some of those may be faith or science oriented but the virtues are the same. Some have 1 - 3 -5 -7 - 50 - 100 man- you could go all day with how many and from where they are but the point is as a human being - we hope this place can be a oasis or a good thing to those who find it. A place to grow and a place to learn and share their present faith and their faith - hoped for.

This isn’t a case of for one or against one - not at all- but the availability of the need and to be able to meet it.
How would you classify your faith or your ideas of the virtues you hold? Where did ya get them from? What ever your answer - I know some how if ya give me some time * I CAN support it and even grow with ya as a Jedi. Force be with you as you seek it and by what ever name you call it , may it find you in the seek of it - right there in the thick of it !
I hope we can all grow together in experience and sharing and learning and such cuz if we can’t then... why are we here?
This is the opinion and the practice of one person- me- although it may be shared by others in didrent measure and ways or not - I speak for only myself. These beliefs change from person to person and depending on situations- locations - choices - avaliniloty to things- this make a whole array of possibilities. Not one of us is the same yet - we choose to be called Jedi. That’s the joy of things and as one old Jedi says “ that’s what makes the color of life - us”

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17 Sep 2018 18:06 - 17 Sep 2018 18:23 #326362 by Carlos.Martinez3
@G and John - maybe we can work on a different name ? I see how that CAN be seen that way. Maybe ... ?
Edit
I myself am at a constant learning phase so as we go let’s grow a bit too?
Thank you for the conversation and the dialogue.

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Last edit: 17 Sep 2018 18:23 by Carlos.Martinez3.

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17 Sep 2018 18:26 - 17 Sep 2018 18:27 #326368 by Kyrin Wyldstar

Br. John wrote: I just had to ask someone what that is. The title is misleading, in my opinion, because it's not an official teaching of The Order. We have members that are, Agnostic, Atheist, Buddhist, Christian, ..., None of the Above, etc. Officially we do not define The Force and a person decides what it is or what it means for themselves. The title makes less sense than Pastor of Spells and Potions or Pastor of Placebo Effects because at least those give an idea of what it's about. How can there be an official Force Practice when officially we have no definition of The Force?


Dont look now John but that position just officially defined the force. It is now an official part of the doctrine here with the creation of that position. Its ok, as gist says, to explore possibilities and to even create study groups, christian, pagan, etc to talk about such philosophies. But what this position has done is take it one step further into the realm of an official stance that has an official governing entity as part of the TotJO.

The force is now defined officially here as an esoteric energy or life force that does exist outside of sciences capability to detect and can be manipulated through the human body to energetically heal ailments through a process that can only be defined as magic. I think you will find many Jedi that do not ascribe to this definition. I absolutely do not. The reason for this is there is no way to falsify the claims and no way to test its validity that has yet to be discovered. This is not to say that it wont be in the future but right now there is no evidence to support such claims and so it must be relegated to the realm of pseudo-science, and dismissed as non viable.

It actually saddens me to see this place go down that rabbit hole.

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Last edit: 17 Sep 2018 18:27 by Kyrin Wyldstar.
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17 Sep 2018 18:50 #326374 by Senan
We're actually having this exact conversation between a few Councillors right now. My opinion is that this is better suited as a group within the Temple rather than any sort of official position or title.

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17 Sep 2018 18:59 #326376 by Carlos.Martinez3
Give us a bit?

Thank you all for voicing conserns and real dialogue.

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17 Sep 2018 20:15 - 17 Sep 2018 20:16 #326379 by Gisteron
Actually, in all of this, I hadn't considered that this is, in a way, an attempt at defining the Force. The word in the title struck me as at most a way of getting it approved by painting it with Jedi colours, when of course a "Pastor of Qigong" would be the exact same thing, just by a more honest name, and probably judged inappropriate to be an official position.
But yes, indeed, it is in just as sleazy a way, an attempt to officially define at leat parts of the Force. Is that so bad? Eh, that's debatable. It sure doesn't serve inviting all, regardless of what they believe about the Force, nor to fairly represent those who are members already, but it may nonetheless help bring focus and consistency, and perhaps an end to some would-be discussions that may well be profoundly interesting, but at the same time, perhaps, somewhat aimless... for better, or for worse. There were days when I'd have been in favour of defining the Force officially, and see how many would call themselves TOTJO Jedi after it. These days, I'd rather we define it individually, and hash it out between each other instead.
I'm not sure I entirely mind that it's some magical nonsense either. Few successful religions manage to completely avoid those sorts of doctrines, and I for one am past trying to fix any of them at this point. What struck me way more, is that it was this one kind of magical nonsense and not others that, too, have had their supporters here in the past.
So it's not just objectionable in going against what... well, at least what I remember the spirit of this place being, but also in doing so in such a specific direction. And there really isn't a good way forward after that, too. Either one is going to stick with just the magic healings, and refuse offices on behalf of, say, intercessory prayers, or telekinesis, or tarot readings, or one has to embrace all of this nonsense, at last becoming the very cartoon people associate with the name, and that we were trying so hard to avoid looking like. The only sensible way, really, is the way back, to when all woo-woo was equal in being welcome to be practiced and discussed between individuals, and equal in not being an official position.

Last edit: 17 Sep 2018 20:16 by Gisteron.
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17 Sep 2018 21:50 - 17 Sep 2018 21:56 #326381 by Adder
Well, the first line of the Doctrine here has been "Jediism is a religion based on the observance of the Force, a ubiquitous and metaphysical power that a Jedi (a follower of Jediism) believes to be the underlying, fundamental nature of the universe." for at least the last 7 years. Having a focus area does not require a definition of it, it could simply be an application to define it. It need not be dogmatic to be in existence and functional. Having said that, I cannot recall if I have read any detail of the actual proposal or if one exists, or even needs to exist prior to establishment of such a position or subgroup.

I'd agree it would need to be open to a large extent (really large) to support individuals areas of interest which happen to fall within the broad scope of such an undefined concept as the Force...... indeed the scope of 'Force Practise' could be said to be defined by the lack of definition here in the 'Force', which means all those different systems and beliefs that do fall within Jediism would also fall within Force Practise is they happened to have a practise, or even if someone makes one up.

Perhaps its how different people define metaphysics which creates worries in people about this.

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Last edit: 17 Sep 2018 21:56 by Adder.
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18 Sep 2018 00:01 #326392 by steamboat28
"Force Practice" is the sum total of all the ways that we, at the Temple, view the Force, from philosophically to mystically. I see no problem with the title. I see people looking for things to get upset about.
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