I can't tell people I'm a Jedi. Can you help me?

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25 Apr 2019 22:27 #337703 by Axid
I tried to think of the least click-bait title I could, and that is the best I came up with. This is hard for me to talk about, so bear with me. Here is what I would have wrote if I wasn't concerned with length:

The only person I've told that I am studying Jediism is my wife, and that is only because she accepts me for all that I am, but also because she is open minded, and realizes that it goes beyond the fictional religion of the Jedi in Star Wars. That said, I work in a very machismo environment, in which all members are expected to be generally open-book, and this subject threatens to come up every day. In all honesty, I feel afraid to confess this belief system of mine, and its all because of the attachment it has to a world of fantasy, and people's viewpoint on that world.

So, I have a few questions....

1. How do you get around this fear? My instinct is to be non specific, maybe talking about the teachings rather than the name of our belief. But that feels like I'm running from my problem.
2. How do you get over this fear? Part of me wants to just not care at all, and just be out with it, but that almost seems like a shortcut, too. If I just dump it out, perhaps it will seem insincere.
3. Should I even try to explain myself?
4. Does anyone else have this anxiety? How do you deal with it, what is your experience?
5. How do you separate (if need be) Jediism in real life from that of the films? I've been around Star Wars all my life.

I genuinely believe in Jediism and its teachings, but I am fearful of the judgement of others. That said, I am committed to the Maxim of defense of the faith, and this is a first step in that direction for me. Thank you, all, for your consideration.

DO, OR DO NOT. THERE IS NO TRY.
Axid's Initiate Journal

May the Force be with you, always.
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25 Apr 2019 23:08 - 25 Apr 2019 23:10 #337708 by Adder
A. How do you get around this fear? My instinct is to be non specific, maybe talking about the teachings rather than the name of our belief. But that feels like I'm running from my problem.

Ask myself why I have a need to communicate it to others, firstly. Secondly consider how often others tell me their belief system.... and then on a purely superficial level I compare my need to express it (1) with the norm of expression of that type of thing (2) and see if its balanced.
If it is, then I'd go deeper and consider the nature of what parts of my belief would cause confusion or anxiety by being known.
If its not then it might be something about how I see myself rather then a real need to express it.... probably that I'm not being it in real terms enough and so feel a need to use the classification instead. Be the Jedi action through results, rather then appearance. Consider in the fiction the Jedi probably don't go around telling anyone who they are... its a bad strategy.

B. How do you get over this fear? Part of me wants to just not care at all, and just be out with it, but that almost seems like a shortcut, too. If I just dump it out, perhaps it will seem insincere.

I do what you probably already do, approach it backwards. I demonstrate, be it talking, doing, making etc... and then when people ask, I explain it in frames of reference they understand, before finally letting them know what I call it and why. This way it reinforces you are not putting the label on a pedestal, so won't judge the label as much.

C. Should I even try to explain myself?

If they ask yeah, unless your not comfortable. Of course we need to balance trust, its easy to reveal too much personal detail to the wrong person.... some people are just abusive and two faced unfortunately. It's probably better to be more interested in them then oneself, but if they ask, I would/do.

D. Does anyone else have this anxiety? How do you deal with it, what is your experience?

Everyone probably should care about first impressions or others having an accurate understanding. Labels are vehicles for people to have a better chance in making accurate assumptions, based off the associations those labels commonly have in a population ie stereotypes. Jedi obviously has the fiction, and lets be honest a lot of the fiction is a bit trashy :pinch: Plus of course Jediism has not much to do with the fiction necessarily anyway.

E. How do you separate (if need be) Jediism in real life from that of the films? I've been around Star Wars all my life.

Ignore it entirely from your path, unless it aligns with your path, and even then don't be limited in how you use it in your path by how it exists in the fiction. There are more important things then aligning to fiction.

Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 25 Apr 2019 23:10 by Adder.
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25 Apr 2019 23:35 #337709 by Proteus
Don't take it seriously. Just be sincere about it.

- No need to bring it up unless someone specifically asks you about it.
- If someone does ask you about it in any kind of way, be playful about it. Laugh it off. The principle ways of the Jedi might be what inspire you as an example of being a better person, and that isn't something anybody can chastise you for. Believing in life being manifested through universal energy isn't so strange these days either. Perhaps you just "liken it to the Force, in Star Wars" (see what I'm talking about here?)

Compare that to someone saying: "Me? I'm a Jedi! I believe in the Force!" Whether or not you elaborate and explain yourself, the first impression people have is always the most ignorant on multiple fronts. So no matter if you say "Wait, let me explain!", they might let you explain, but its not going to dissipate that first impression, at least not for a while. It's too much out of left field for them to be ready to understand.

Anyway, It isn't so much what you claim that is a threat, but how serious you come off about it that creates the issue. Being playful means being personable, and if someone does express a serious issue with it, that is their burden to own, not yours. Don't take it as such.

It seems that I know that I know.
What I would like to see is the 'I' that knows me when I know that I know that I know.
- Alan Watts
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25 Apr 2019 23:37 #337710 by Carlos.Martinez3

Axid wrote: I tried to think of the least click-bait title I could, and that is the best I came up with. This is hard for me to talk about, so bear with me. Here is what I would have wrote if I wasn't concerned with length:

The only person I've told that I am studying Jediism is my wife, and that is only because she accepts me for all that I am, but also because she is open minded, and realizes that it goes beyond the fictional religion of the Jedi in Star Wars. That said, I work in a very machismo environment, in which all members are expected to be generally open-book, and this subject threatens to come up every day. In all honesty, I feel afraid to confess this belief system of mine, and its all because of the attachment it has to a world of fantasy, and people's viewpoint on that world.

So, I have a few questions....

1. How do you get around this fear? My instinct is to be non specific, maybe talking about the teachings rather than the name of our belief. But that feels like I'm running from my problem.
2. How do you get over this fear? Part of me wants to just not care at all, and just be out with it, but that almost seems like a shortcut, too. If I just dump it out, perhaps it will seem insincere.
3. Should I even try to explain myself?
4. Does anyone else have this anxiety? How do you deal with it, what is your experience?
5. How do you separate (if need be) Jediism in real life from that of the films? I've been around Star Wars all my life.

I genuinely believe in Jediism and its teachings, but I am fearful of the judgement of others. That said, I am committed to the Maxim of defense of the faith, and this is a first step in that direction for me. Thank you, all, for your consideration.


Thank you for your questions . Every Jedi will have a set of answers that differ so keep that in mind.

When I was before Jedi time - lol I was something else. When I became that something else I wanted to tell the whole world and knock on people doors - scream it from on top of buildings and tell the the greatest thing I had found out. Not wrong at all but that’s what I was told was “supposed” to happen. Later in life I read Jiddu Krishnamurti and a few others that said the same things ... we are often spoon fed things as children and even some of our ways of feeling can be too. Too often they can be automatic. I know I was at times. Zeal is never wrong and neither is pride. Both can be great tools to create or inflict pain and hurt others and ourselfs if we are not carful. I personally don’t tell people I’m Jedi but I do have a business card an a ID card that say I’m a knight and clergy. Rather people in the thick of things ask me - “what I believe and how do I do that?” My actions in real life speaks waaaaay louder than words. That’s me.
Over time and study I have chosen to make connections and seek em out. This type of study helps me create bonds that are common and some of em - I had to learn what other people had and see if I could even bond with. Takes time and study .
When I explain myself in real life - there no way to refute things because I never argue with folk. Hard. Possible . Hard. My focus is the bonds and connections which I have found studied and learned. To me and my path - my codes maxims and ways are universal beginning with the first - the inherit worth of all. This makes my saber glow purple for me - it helps me keep my focus often. The Jedi faith is that of what you choose and how YOU balance it. If your focus is like mine and you turn to yourself and find ways and seek out those connections - people will start asking you - how what where and all those type of questions as you seek them out. It will take everybody their own space of time to find their faith and even when you do - like me you may keep growing and changing and learning and never get a whole actual “proper” stance as some put it. I’m constantly meeting new people and new ways and new ways to form new character... life can be amazing like that. My hope is when we meet, we learn from each other. We are better for it . That’s my path. Some can share it or in parts or at none at all. That’s what I do. How about you ? When that fear hits - ever wonder where it’s from originally ? That’s the whole part of learning : finding out so you can grow.
My inbox is always open and I got a number of ways to be reached if you ever have need. May the Force we share - be with you still!’ Happy seeking !

Contact The Clergy
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The Block
Build, not tear down.
Nosce te ipsum / Cerca trova
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26 Apr 2019 00:17 #337712 by JamesSand
For the most part, people believe anything of me, which is or isn't a good thing, depending on the issue at hand.

If for whatever reason a mote of concern about telling people about jediism strikes me - I introduce it with humour, almost as a joke, and don't get too deep into the details.

By the time they realise (and I mean, over months, not later on during the same catch-up) that I'm serious, the idea has already been planted one way or another, and the acceptance of it is less of a leap.

On the other hand, I've been outright abused for it too, but I've been outright abused for a lot of my beliefs, that might seem quite mundane in comparison, so I don't really lose sleep over it.

Once folk know you, they often don't care so much about the hows and whys of who you are - so just don't discuss the Jedi part.

"I do this.."

"why?"

"Because I can"

"Oh..."


Is easier for a lot of people than

"I do this"

"why?"

"because [volcano aliens] [obi wan kenobi] [beardy sky git] [spirits of ancestors]"
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26 Apr 2019 02:01 #337718 by Kelrax Lorcken
I myself sometimes have this dilemma, "Do I bring this up, or not?"

A part of me occasionally wants to just bring it up, even if only tangentially relevant, because I am proud of my involvement in and association with this temple. However, the part of me that keeps me here, the more Jedi part of myself, typically reigns in this urge, as I wouldn't think of myself as being very mature about by broadcasting or bragging about it.

There's also a cultural element, however. I don't know how well this applies to "The West" in general, but certainly in United States culture, with it's largely Christian cultural influence, there is a tendency towards an "in group/out group" mentality. Christian/Hetero/etc. tends to be the default in many peoples' minds, and any deviation is going to be met with curiosity at best. In those situations, the worst you can anticipate is going to be some degree of naiive, innocent questions, and at worst, some overt support/tolerance that just sort of calls attention to your status as "the other"/"the outsider"/"The Weird One", well intended as the behavior is.

On the flip side, there will be those for whom the conversation simply shuts down, and an awkward silence overtakes the group/individual, at ANY mention of ones "other"-ness, no matter how relevant it's mention is to the conversation. To such an individual, there is no way of broaching the subject, or speaking directly about it, that isn't "rubbing it in peoples faces", because they're quite frankly uncomfortable with being reminded that they share space with their perceived "out groups". Think of a discreet version of pointing and making some kind of throat-screeching, like Invasion of The Body Snatchers, the ones who are not kind or polite when calling attention to your "Other"-ness. Suspicion also tends to be there, because, in this example, largely christian influence coloring one's world-view, thus an assumption of intent- of what? Why, to convert the heathens, of course. If someone is ever awkwardly defensive, or combative, about the expression of your faith, this is why. There is no good way to be open with such an individual.

A good example would be an anecdote I once read, wherein someone, who was lesbian, was out with their friends, everyone they knew. Everyone was verbally super supportive, but whenever any reminder of it came up ("Oh my god, my girlfriend is the same way!"), the conversation dies, and the tension is palpable. It was very unpleasant for them.

The important, and good part about all of this? None of it is really your problem. Just as the Jedi Sentinals of "Lore", you are best served, in my interpretation, by never advertising or broadcasting your presence. You've gotten some pretty solid advice from the previous posters, here, just don't call attention to it unless you're really comfortable with someone, or otherwise forced to. It's not actually their business, and there's some virtue in discretion. Defend the faith, certainly, and be proud, but discretion is not shame.

If it comes right down to it, think of it in terms of "Gay Pride", and similar movements; it's not about being proud, it's about not being ashamed, and there is a difference.

I hope I've made sense in my barely coherent ramblings, and May The Force Guide You.

Kelrax "Stormcaller" Lorcken
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26 Apr 2019 04:11 #337720 by Deimos
I do have to issue as well, albeit only around my dad as it feels like he doesn't take the things I say seriously, but if you do want to talk about it, if not then don't. I myself am slowly talking to some people about it, or at least the one's who won't automatically judge me for it, and they've been really receptive of it. Not necessarily sure if it helps but I figured I'd try ^_^

-Dei'mos
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26 Apr 2019 04:56 #337723 by Gisteron
Not sure I quite understand. What is the risk, exactly? Are you just afraid of not being taken seriously right away? Why? If you care for people around you to understand what you believe and there is no material, physical, or emotional risk in letting them, then you can just explain it. Granted, putting out the label first may not be the fastest way to get their appreciation for your religion because of the association with the fiction, but nothing forces you to start with the label in place of the beliefs and in all likelihood you will get to the latter anyway since the former wouldn't tell them much about it. If you want them to know the label, you can say that, too, and a few may laugh in your face for it. Unpleasant that may be, but I don't understand why one would be afraid of that, if one feels secure in oneself. By secure I don't mean a strong faith here, but just a kind of peace of mind about the opinions or reactions of others. Those interested in you and your beliefs will be hearing you out, if only to understand, and it is fine, I think, to allow for that to not be everyone.
Now, it's different if you face some kind of violent abuse for professing the wrong faith in the environment you live in, and in that case you may well be better off keeping it for yourself. The OP didn't sound like there was necessarily any risk of this nature, though.

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26 Apr 2019 05:14 - 26 Apr 2019 07:29 #337724 by Adder

Gisteron wrote: Unpleasant that may be, but I don't understand why one would be afraid of that, if one feels secure in oneself. By secure I don't mean a strong faith here, but just a kind of peace of mind about the opinions or reactions of others.


Efficient expenditure of energy; assessing the appropriate proportional amount of information to the enquiry exchange, the necessity of the label and fictional association to that enquiry exchange, and in making the distinction in what they are actually looking for by asking or why your wanting to talk about. For it uses a lot of energy and time to go around in circles missing the point. The neatest way to navigate the unknown is less likely to cause stress. It's pretty normal for people to not want to be misunderstood because its often harder to correct it later on. Much like how there is a trend these days for thinking 'its easier to perhaps sometimes have to say sorry, then do the right thing in the first place all the time'.... the mantra of the lazy, as not many people are interested in the truth and instead just want something to make fun of - and so avoiding that, or being in a better position to manage it, makes life easier. I find social identity theory rings true, with people more interested in taking sides often. Unless they are Jedi of course :D

Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 26 Apr 2019 07:29 by Adder.
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26 Apr 2019 05:51 #337726 by Axid
Thank you all for your helpful replies. I'll address a few that I have coherent thoughts on...

Adder wrote: Be the Jedi action through results, rather then appearance. Consider in the fiction the Jedi probably don't go around telling anyone who they are... its a bad strategy.


I've come across that thought a few times. The only problem there is that my actions and behavior can sometimes be so different than that of my coworkers that they begin asking questions about why I am the way I am. And now that I type it out this way, I think the best solution if I find myself in a position where simply dodging the question would be inappropriate, instead of coming out with, "Oh, well, because I'm a Jedi, of course!" I should instead simply state my beliefs. You know, say something like, "I believe in the sanctity of the human person and reciprocity, compassion, etc." That isn't really dodging the question, and it might help them understand where I'm coming from better than if I were to simply say, "I'm a Jedi."

Kelrax Lorcken wrote: Just as the Jedi Sentinals of "Lore", you are best served, in my interpretation, by never advertising or broadcasting your presence. You've gotten some pretty solid advice from the previous posters, here, just don't call attention to it unless you're really comfortable with someone, or otherwise forced to. It's not actually their business, and there's some virtue in discretion. Defend the faith, certainly, and be proud, but discretion is not shame.


You know when something is so simple and plain, you somehow skip it over? That is the sensation I feel right now. I've been having so much anxiety over what I would say, that I haven't given all that much thought to how realistic it is that I would even be put in a situation where someone would simply ask straight out, "What religion/philosophy/belief do you belong to?" Thanks for such a straight forward answer.

Gisteron wrote: Not sure I quite understand. What is the risk, exactly? Are you just afraid of not being taken seriously right away?


I admire your confidence and self-security, but can't say that I share it myself, if that is indeed what leads you in this sort of issue. I take seriously the impressions I leave on others, and I believe that I can do real damage to valuable relationships that I have if I am not sensitive to cultural and social boundaries. Therefore, I am always cautious about these kinds of important interactions. Perhaps to a fault. Sometimes the person that I think might laugh at me for it, is a relationship in which I'd rather the other party continue to behold me in a more serious light, you know?

Thanks, again, all! I've got a lot to think about here.

DO, OR DO NOT. THERE IS NO TRY.
Axid's Initiate Journal

May the Force be with you, always.

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