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

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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #373362 by Rosalyn J
Would it be worth it to consider some of the ideas available here:
https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/The_Force/Legends

Particularly, the idea that the Force, in legends, was broken up. Not necessarily seen as one thing. Seeing as the Force is not considered to be one thing, wouldn't it be prudent, as instruments of the Force, not also to be considered just as one thing, but to have multiple parts all of which need training to attain balance?

We are not just our bodies, and we are not just our minds, and we are not just our spirits, and we are not just our souls (though I still get confused on what the difference is between each of them) We are all of them.

I'll admit Locksley that I can see the Christian bend with #5 and I prefer the current version of this teaching better than the new one, because how does one train the soul or spirit?

It seems also that the current teaching #5 is more aligned with the tenents of Focus, Knowledge and Wisdom, but that is just my thought

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Last edit: 9 months 2 weeks ago by Rosalyn J.
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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #373368 by Alexandre Orion
When we are learning things like morals, ethics, mathematics, arts, sciences, Humanities ; developing emotional intelligence and discipline this is the training of the Soul.

Training the Spirit is curating our relationships with one another, in our communities, and as I said to Odin, refining our "eulogy qualities". Conditioning our openness to the "I - Thou" or just to the "Thou" tout court...

One cannot say that the Force is multiple. I don't know that it is singular either, but we've been on about the threefold nature of Humankind since Antiquity (Plato, for just one example, M. Fromaget for a more modern)

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 #373369 by Rosalyn J

Alexandre Orion wrote: When we are learning things like morals, ethics, mathematics, arts, sciences, Humanities ; developing emotional intelligence and discipline this is the training of the Soul.

Training the Spirit is curat8ng our relationships with one another, in our communities, and as I said to Odin, refining our "eulogy qualities".

One cannot say tha the Force is multiple. I don't know that it is singular either, but we've been on about the threefold nature of Humankind since Antiquity (Plato, for just one example, M. Fromaget for a more modern)


I can see where that would be true, yet I think the current teaching #5 does a better job of helping the general populace understand what needs to be trained, whereas the new version is quite open to interpretation and confusion. As much as the doctrine is for us, it is also for the general membership of the Temple

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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #373379 by Locksley
Alex, you wrote: "and accepting that there are sound reasons for the proposed version" (#373358). I accept that there are reasons, and am not willing to accept that they are sound, simply because I am told that they are sound.

Here, Alex writes about (what I presume to be) one portion of how the process of revising the Teachings 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." It is good to know something about the procedure that was undertaken, though it is hardly a surprising aspect of any reasonable revision process.

Now, I imagine that significant thought went into the revision, and that those who worked on it care about the hard work that they poured into it. As Alex wrote in a Discord message, he and "Andy worked pretty earnestly" on the teachings. I respect that earnestness - though earnestness is not an answer to my concerns. Likewise, anyone who worked on something like this might have strong feelings about how their personal views are represented - a point which mirrors my own concern. But neither does this addresses my concerns.

As Rosalyn mentioned, "As much as the doctrine is for us, it is also for the general membership of the Temple." This is a key point. I do not feel represented by the language of #5 - even though I am not blind to the argument that there is an attempt being made to connect to a certain philosophic legacy.

Now, I do not understand Alex's meaning in the phrase, "It is not a problem that two of us - especially the two of us we are - to have undertaken this project." If Alex's meaning is that the two people working on this project are such experts in the subject matter that their work is beyond critique, then I definitely have a strong objection. However, the gist of the remaining paragraph in (#373358) seems to be added background information on the Teachings as they currently are -- specifically, how the current teachings were devised.

If I am correct, Alex is saying that the current Teachings were created by a single person who lacked both formal training and sustained interest in the project. Alex seems to have some personal interpretations about the character and abilities of that person as well. This is all interesting, but it doesn't address my concerns.

I've had issues with aspects of the current Teachings as well, and it seems reasonable that an update of them take place.

I am not arguing against an update in any form.

I am concerned about this particular draft of this particular update. Specifically, as I have mentioned, the language of #5.

Therefore, let us take a stab at correcting this issue.

Alex wrote that "When we are learning things like morals, ethics, mathematics, arts, sciences, Humanities ; developing emotional intelligence and discipline this is the training of the Soul."

Fine, let us find a different word than "Soul."

Likewise, Alex wrote that "Training the Spirit is curating our relationships with one another, in our communities, ... refining our "eulogy qualities". Conditioning our openness to the "I - Thou" or just to the "Thou" tout court..."

Fine, let's find a way to describe that without the use of the word Spirit.

If we do away with those two words, and if we remove the language: "The Jedi comprehend that we are the fruit of a threefold essence," then we'll be a large part of the way to sorting things out, from my perspective. (My perspective alone, there may be other Jedi who, given the chance, have additional criticisms to levy).

Alex, in Discord, said that: "As I said, I'm willing to concede on [the use of the phrase] "mere matter"," which was another one of my concerns (though a less intense one that my points on #5). Clearly, therefore, we can reach a point of mutual understanding - or, at least, compromise.

I might still contend that, like Rosalyn, I believe "the current teaching #5 does a better job of helping the general populace understand what needs to be trained." But, this is also exactly the reason why a draft that has not been publicly critiqued and workshopped should not be considered for implementation. There are going to be things that don't work, no matter how earnest the original writers were, and that matters deeply in a community such as this.

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 #373380 by Rosalyn J
Hey . Sorry...this is a complete aside, but the person you are referencing in you're reply...his name is Alexandre or Alex

Not Alan

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9 months 2 weeks ago #373382 by Locksley
Dyslexic problems, I corrected that. If you see any point where I didn't edit that in my previous posts, please feel free to do so to avoid confusion.

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 #373383 by Rosalyn J

Locksley wrote: Alex, you wrote: "and accepting that there are sound reasons for the proposed version" (#373358). I accept that there are reasons, and am not willing to accept that they are sound, simply because I am told that they are sound.

Here, Alex writes about (what I presume to be) one portion of how the process of revising the Teachings 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." It is good to know something about the procedure that was undertaken, though it is hardly a surprising aspect of any reasonable revision process.

Now, I imagine that significant thought went into the revision, and that those who worked on it care about the hard work that they poured into it. As Alex wrote in a Discord message, he and "Andy worked pretty earnestly" on the teachings. I respect that earnestness - though earnestness is not an answer to my concerns. Likewise, anyone who worked on something like this might have strong feelings about how their personal views are represented - a point which mirrors my own concern. But neither does this addresses my concerns.

As Rosalyn mentioned, "As much as the doctrine is for us, it is also for the general membership of the Temple." This is a key point. I do not feel represented by the language of #5 - even though I am not blind to the argument that there is an attempt being made to connect to a certain philosophic legacy.

Now, I do not understand Alex's meaning in the phrase, "It is not a problem that two of us - especially the two of us we are - to have undertaken this project." If Alex's meaning is that the two people working on this project are such experts in the subject matter that their work is beyond critique, then I definitely have a strong objection. However, the gist of the remaining paragraph in (#373358) seems to be added background information on the Teachings as they currently are -- specifically, how the current teachings were devised.

If I am correct, Alex is saying that the current Teachings were created by a single person who lacked both formal training and sustained interest in the project. Alex seems to have some personal interpretations about the character and abilities of that person as well. This is all interesting, but it doesn't address my concerns.

I've had issues with aspects of the current Teachings as well, and it seems reasonable that an update of them take place.

I am not arguing against an update in any form.

I am concerned about this particular draft of this particular update. Specifically, as I have mentioned, the language of #5.

Therefore, let us take a stab at correcting this issue.

Alex wrote that "When we are learning things like morals, ethics, mathematics, arts, sciences, Humanities ; developing emotional intelligence and discipline this is the training of the Soul."

Fine, let us find a different word than "Soul."

Likewise, Alex wrote that "Training the Spirit is curating our relationships with one another, in our communities, ... refining our "eulogy qualities". Conditioning our openness to the "I - Thou" or just to the "Thou" tout court..."

Fine, let's find a way to describe that without the use of the word Spirit.

If we do away with those two words, and if we remove the language: "The Jedi comprehend that we are the fruit of a threefold essence," then we'll be a large part of the way to sorting things out, from my perspective. (My perspective alone, there may be other Jedi who, given the chance, have additional criticisms to levy).

Alex, in Discord, said that: "As I said, I'm willing to concede on [the use of the phrase] "mere matter"," which was another one of my concerns (though a less intense one that my points on #5). Clearly, therefore, we can reach a point of mutual understanding - or, at least, compromise.

I might still contend that, like Rosalyn, I believe "the current teaching #5 does a better job of helping the general populace understand what needs to be trained." But, this is also exactly the reason why a draft that has not been publicly critiqued and workshopped should not be considered for implementation. There are going to be things that don't work, no matter how earnest the original writers were, and that matters deeply in a community such as this.


I only disagree with the final portion of this reply. There are some people with whom I trust this project. They are clergy, which is why I am bringing it to you all. I also can appreciate the fact that we were given something to work with rather than having to start from the ground up. We'd be having to workshop it through about 300+ people if we'd want to bring it to the community. Each with their own opinions and baggage and we would not necessarily be guaranteed a better result. Besides, if the only major contention existing is #5, that's a fantastic result. That's 1/16

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9 months 2 weeks ago #373384 by BigGoat-Bodão
I will put my impressions on the table, on this subject.
In general, I think the new teachings are fine and time will tell us if any minor changes are needed. On the other hand, the most important issues need to be resolved now.

I have a problem with the question of the fifth teaching. Specifically with the issue of body, soul and spirit. The most important issue is to bring these concepts into our beliefs. Humbly, I don't recall in my training specifically going over these three points. I understand that the teachings obtained here permeate these issues, but do not effectively enter the heart of the issue specifically. This is the essence of the fifth teaching, we are one, but we understand ourselves as parts and if these parts are not aligned and healthy, then the whole will not be in harmony with the Force. I fully understand that this is an important triad for the entire development of Western philosophy, citing Plato, Descartes and Kant. That's the big problem for me.
Explicitly saying that I believe this carries with it all the implied meaning of these terminologies, their religious, cultural and philosophical meanings. We cannot for example prove a question like whether the Force is one or fractional, but in the same way we cannot prove the question of soul and spirit, especially in philosophy, there is no consensus, it is an open question. To disagree with this would be to incur an argument from authority, unfortunately, it is an open question. Bringing the meanings also brings the whole philosophical discussion to the table: we accept the soul as truth following Descartes' demonstration, as a consequence we have the discussion of how the soul/body relationship takes place, the same one that Descartes faced in his time and was unable to resolve .
This triad of body, soul and spirit, also exists in Buddhism, it seemed not the same, but it has: body, subtle body and very subtle body. If we put this into our beliefs, we would not only bring the debates that comprise this issue, but also the Buddhist meanings with this one.
As a suggestion, we could keep the old teaching without any prejudice, because the meaning remains the same, with more open terms that do not harm either those who believe in soul/spirit or those who do not.
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9 months 2 weeks ago #373392 by Alexandre Orion
There are indeed philosophical conundrums at play here. You're right, Bruno, the metaphysical aspects of humankind cannot be "proven" by the scientific method. It was not only a problem for Descartes, but also for the Monists (Spinoza, Leibniz et al.) but also for the modern-day dualists (David Chalmers et al.). Moreover, since these aspects of soul & Spirit would be imperatively dependent on the first-person point of view of existence, the scientific method's objectivity - that is, eliminating to the extent which is possible the subjective perspective - then what we would be effectively doing is eliminating the very thing being studied (cf. Thomas Nagel).

If you would like to keep N° 5 (mostly) as it is, we can concede to your misgivings about the terms we have employed. On the other hand, it would be very good to change "physical, mental & Spiritual" for precisely the same reasons. Especially "mental & spiritual" as, in the first instance, "mental" cleaves away most of our phenomenal personhood ; "spiritual" has even more perillous challenges as most of what we conceive of or idealise as "spirtual" is merely "mental" - thus dooming any conceptual "spiritual" pursuit to disappointing failure (cf. Martin Buber)

I'll not continue to explain these foundations until I can get Andy's input and he is still in Portugal. He may be able to communicate these things in a bit better way than I.

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 #373396 by Locksley

Rosalyn J wrote: I only disagree with the final portion of this reply. There are some people with whom I trust this project. They are clergy, which is why I am bringing it to you all. I also can appreciate the fact that we were given something to work with rather than having to start from the ground up. We'd be having to workshop it through about 300+ people if we'd want to bring it to the community. Each with their own opinions and baggage and we would not necessarily be guaranteed a better result. Besides, if the only major contention existing is #5, that's a fantastic result. That's 1/16


That's a lovely way of looking at this (the point that, so far, only 1/16 and some change is under contention). Given that, Alex and Andy should feel proud of the hard work they put into this draft.

As for my point about workshopping, I agree in return: perhaps it would have been better to say, “until this has been critiqued and workshopped by the clergy.” The Clergy of the Temple are those who have some degree of training in this area, and, perhaps even more importantly, a vested interest in the philosophic underpinnings of the Temple. That's a more reasonable body for a critique group than the full membership, I wholeheartedly agree. That such a critique and workshopping process happens is important, was my intended point.

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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