General Assembly of the Clergy July 8, 2023 10:00 AM Pacific

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9 months 3 weeks ago - 9 months 3 weeks ago #373167 by Rosalyn J
Good Timezone

I'm writing to let you all know that there will be a General Assembly Meeting of the Clergy on July 8, 2023 at 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
The Agenda is as follows:
What are we doing right now?
Who is writing sermons this month?
What are we seeing?

All Clergy as well as those in the seminary are invited. This meeting will take place in #clergy-general on the temple discord
We hope to see you there

Master Rosalyn J

Pax Per Ministerium
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Last edit: 9 months 3 weeks ago by Rosalyn J.
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9 months 3 weeks ago #373169 by Locksley
As always with me, it's a hidden variable whether I can make things, but I'll keep it in my mind.

We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away. -- J. Michael Straczynski, Babylon 5

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9 months 3 weeks ago #373170 by Rosalyn J
There are a few who won't be able to make it. That's ok. The minutes will be posted and then there will be a week set aside for replies and followup questions so if you can't make it, don't despair. We'd still like your input

Pax Per Ministerium
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9 months 2 weeks ago #373312 by Rosalyn J
Hi

Here is a draft of the revised 16 teachings that will also be discussed at the General Assembly of the Clergy:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1io9n9OJ6HItUOrS0pb4L1bNF412GF-Gu/view?usp=sharing. If you can make the meeting for the discussion part, great. If not, please post your feedback to the draft in the thread related to the meeting. We will make a decision to adopt them shortly thereafter in Council

Thank you and May the Force Be With You All
-Roz

Pax Per Ministerium
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9 months 2 weeks ago #373315 by Locksley
So, I have to say that I object wholly and utterly to the following:
  • The Jedi comprehend that we are the fruit of a threefold essence: we are Body,
    Soul and Spirit. The Jedi exercise the body and soul so that Spirit – that aspect
    of us which has direct access to the Force – may grow and flourish.

Firstly, I am curious about its inclusion in the first place: on what basis is this something that can be considered a foundational Jedi belief? Who argued for its inclusion and why?

Most aspects of Jedi spiritualism remain wrapped within the folds of "Force" metaphor, leaving belief in the specifics intentionally to the individual. We are brought together by the shared metaphor, the shared mythology, that draws a heavy inspiration from the aesthetic of the fiction. It is precisely because Jediism remains self-consciously tied to the fiction that it allows access to a spiritual dimension that someone like I - a highly agnostic individual - can access.

Now, while we find the Threefold Body problem in several traditional world religions, not merely one of them, the fact that it is a prominent part of such traditions, is one of the reasons I argue against it. By attaching so firmly to language that is used in Christianity and Buddhism, we too closely align to conceptions of those religions traditions. But Jediism works precisely because it is not attached to other traditions - or, rather, because it is attached to all of them in myriad tiny ways.

I further reject this teaching due to the actual use of the term "Soul" and "Spirit" which take on an active rather than general connotation here. Aside from the fact that those words are fraught--deeply fraught--it also seems, to me, that they're unnecessary for the actual point of the Teaching! The whole point seems to be that we are connected to "The Force" and that this connection can grow or deepen -- so why not just say that? Something along the lines of : "The Jedi comprehend that we are the fruit of the Force, and that as aspects of the Force our connection to all things may grow and flourish."

We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away. -- J. Michael Straczynski, Babylon 5

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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #373317 by Alexandre Orion
It is already there in adjectival form in the Fifth Teaching as it is currently written. The way it has been altered puts it in the substantive, and comes not from religious tradition, but from cultural anthropology. Soul and Spirit are not religious terms, but anthropological ones (abused by religious traditions perhaps).

Soul is that aspect of the living being which is non-physical, though they may have physical - especially cerebro-neural - correlates. This includes our mental faculties, but also our sentiments, our non-rational impulses and creativity.

Spirit is that aspect of us which is metaphysical - our eulogy qualities, if you would. This is a bit harder to define, but it is better to speak of cultivating Spirit than it is to speak of spiritual practice, which generally just boils down to another mental:intellectual onanism.

Please allow it to remain as it has been rewritten.

Be a philosopher ; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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Last edit: 9 months 2 weeks ago by Alexandre Orion.
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9 months 2 weeks ago #373318 by Locksley
I would actually argue that the current wording leaves greater room for interpretation.

"5. Jedi understand that well-being consists in the physical, the mental and the spiritual. A Jedi trains each to ensure they remain capable of performing their duties to the best of their ability. All of these are interconnected and essential parts of our training in becoming more harmonious with the Force."

Regardless of whether or not certain interpretations of Soul and Spirt differ from common use, they definitely carry connotations that extend beyond an anthropological perspective. The "threefold essence" language suggests this, and "Body," "Soul" and "Spirt" are language uses that hardly seem more appropriate to me than the current language.

Furthermore, the current language conjures a very specific focus: that of wellbeing as a holistic experience. The terms are more generic, with "physical, mental, and spiritual" uncouched in glossy terminology. That room for interpretation is precisely what I feel is muddied - and, frankly, outright lost - with the suggested changes.

Furthermore, the new wording loses the very valuable focus on the concept of wellbeing, which is actually quite important (and is also a matter for personal interpretation).


To be frank, I'm giving all these new Teachings a closer look now, and finding further areas where I disagree most heartily in the changes that are under consideration. The use of the term "incarnated" and the "mere matter" line in #7 bother me, and I stress that "mere matter" should be removed.

We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away. -- J. Michael Straczynski, Babylon 5

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9 months 2 weeks ago #373345 by Alexandre Orion
Could we discuss these disagreements in discord ?
I've sent you a message in there...
It would be good to have Andy (Loudzoo) with us in that conversation, but for the moment, he's in Portugal.

Be a philosopher ; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #373353 by Locksley
I'm certainly willing to discuss them one-on-one, but I'd also like to have this discussion present in public at the same time. Changes like this shouldn't be undertaken lightly, and not without some rather significant exploration by the broader community of Jedi present. Small-party design and implementation backed by council ratification is absolutely not acceptable.

Since the “decision to adopt them” will be made, apparently, “shortly thereafter in Council,” and since I cannot make the live meeting due to work commitments, it hardly seems like this is something that can be left out of the light.

The issues I have are pretty fundamental to the chosen language of the new Teaching #5. While I appreciate that, as you suggested in your Discord message to me, you “and Andy worked pretty earnestly on the linguistic soundness of [the new Teachings],” saying as much doesn't invalidate my points.

I am concerned that two people were (apparently?) the arbiters of their creation.

Likewise, about the fact that they will apparently be considered for ratification (rather than for merely further study and exploration, as would be proper for a community of peers).

And the mere fact that I am able to bring these concerns—that I have them in the first place—is proof positive that, regardless of their multifaceted meaning, or the intention behind them, they contain potential for problems.

Now, with all of that said, I'm willing to hear clear explanations and explore possibilities for resolving this. As I mentioned, I have issues with other areas. The word “incarnated,” for instance, carries commonplace connotations that I dislike - but the potential for exploration and growth is vast, here.


Alex, I'll reach out to you on Discord, as well as continue to keep an eye on this thread for responses.

We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away. -- J. Michael Straczynski, Babylon 5

Last edit: 9 months 2 weeks ago by Locksley.
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9 months 2 weeks ago #373358 by Alexandre Orion
This can be public, and probably should be. But this is going to require some flexibility in actually listening to and accepting that there are sound reasons for the proposed version. You have said that you have concerns about a few words. When this project was undertaken, the Teachings as they currently are were recopied, upon which the problematic phrasing in each of them was underlined, italicised and thus corrected. The problems with the current version are indeed many.

It is not a problem that two of us - especially the two of us we are - to have undertaken this project. The version of the Teachings we have was actually written by one person who - though he would listen to suggestions - was not old enough, open to insight enough nor literate enough to write them well (albeit he thought he was). Moreover, he is not here anymore and didn't care that much about this anyway.

As stated before, I'm willing to concede on a few alterations, but not the whole of the text.

Be a philosopher ; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
~ David Hume

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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