What's Wrong With A Pastor of Force Practice
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:
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?
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.
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.
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
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”
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.
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.
Thank you all for voicing conserns and real dialogue.
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.
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.