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Some questions from a passer-by
It seems you are having trouble in understanding the explanations. It is a hard thing to pin down especially when you require clinical definitions to something that cannot be described. However lets just take one aspect of this and see if we can quantify it for you. this is my definition of "The Force". Let me know what you think.
The term “The Force” is simply a poetic label we assign to the emotion we feel and the beauty we derive from our connection to each other.
For some this connection might be interpreted as supernatural in the idea that The Force is an esoteric or otherwise subtle energy field that is outside the 4 quantum forces of nature and is an emergent property of physical life itself. This would be analogous to our consciousness being an emergent property of the function of our physical brains. Something not quite fully explained by science. This falls completely into the realm of faith however.
For others this connection is interpreted in a more natural form within the laws of the universe. Those aspects being the very idea that we are all evolved from a single ancient form of life that emerged from a set of elements created out of the same stardust that emerged into existence in a single event called the big bang. We are literally the stuff of stars and the ratios of elements we find in the universe are the same ratios we find in ourselves. There is something we find beautiful in that.
No matter what form you ascribe to, all existence is energy and energy is just energy. It has no opinions and it is not aware of itself nor does it feel. It is us as humans that feel. We too are not good or bad but simply human. And in that we are capable of good or evil acts. It is not the energy that is light or dark. It is the way it is used by us as humans. Energy in this sense can either be that esoteric energy above that some draw a strength from either imagined or real through faith or it can be simply the fuel we derive from the food we ate that allows us to move and interact with this corporeal world.
Even the matter of our bodies is just a form of energy. These are the things that connect us and for some of us we find great majesty in that. An awe and a wonder that deeply moves us. It is not a logical thing but one of deep emotion. The particular terms and descriptions we use to describe these emotions we feel for this connection make up our mythology. And the poetic label of the central theme of this mythology we call “The Force”. And because we are pack creatures and derive pleasure in shared experience we come together to celebrate and share these emotions and we call it our spirituality.
The main difference is where Jedi see Jedi as the goal, Sith, the path,
fireman wants to be a fireman, or a Jedi wants to be a Jed
Gonna have to disagree with ya here buddy..
Most Jedi want the world to be a better place... Although, what that means, and how to achieve it, differs...
If I had to generalize, I mean...
Since we are all generalizing... lol...
We (Jedi) like being lumped together about as much as anyone else... :lol:
The fireman, may be following a family tradition, and would prefer to make furniture... lol...
I think I'm coming to a pretty solid conclusion that the Jedi faith really is based on communal sentiment rather than any solid concepts.
There's a few other Jedi groups out there I heard, as well as many individuals who just proclaim to be Jedis as they relate to the movies. Our group here has a solid doctrine and a ritual process dealing with membership, a hierarchy with a leadership or council, the traditions of basically learning, discussing, self-exploration and reflection. If religion is just "a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny," or "an institution to express belief in a divine power," the power we believe in is the Force. Our doctrine lists our tenets, code, teachings, practices and core values or ethics. The doctrine is the foundation of our beliefs and judgement (for most of us) so while there is a lot of communal sentiment here on things outside that doctrine (some about it too, sure), the doctrine itself contains very solid concepts.
So the preferable alternative in your opinion is perhaps no official doctrine?
No, there needs to be a clear doctrine that brings everyone together in a religion I think. I was just saying that since we explore many religions, philosophies and ideas we may be able to relate to and understand a more variety of people involving the complex issues of religion, philosophy, psychology, etc. I'm not on a high horse and thinking to stay with one faith is bad, because by adhering to your original faith or one you become involved with dedication, you might have a more intense and complete experience of that religion that can be very positive for you. Compare that to constantly jumping around looking and hoping for something perfect to believe in like some people I know. It's a personal choice for everyone to decide if they will follow something like a faith, religious doctrine, philosophy or a set of ideas. It all depends on what one is looking for, if they're looking for anything at all as I'm sure there's plenty of people just not interested in this sort of thing.
Then this is hardly anything more than telling people to go research something which they could have done on their own without such an institution. But if someone is aiding them, who is? And what is the standard for aiding/teaching "initiates"? Logically there must be some sort of standard in an institution that claims to be religious as this one does on the homepage.
Of course they could have done it on their own, but what's more than that is we are all doing the same thing together which offers us all a chance to share, learn and reflect on other's experiences and ideas as we all move forward together with whatever else we are doing.
There is a standard and even a degree scheme, however me being just an apprentice I'm not exactly aware of the standards other than that when you complete the IP you're eligble for apprenticeship. A Knight comes along and reads your material and decides whether or not it's a good match and if so you begin. You basically then go on a shared learning journey with them that is meant to last years. The Knight assigns the Apprentice lessons whatever it may be, reading a book, listening to a lecture or watching a movie and writing about it. Writing your interpretation of various material, sharing observations and expressing your feelings about whatever it is. Each Knight has their own way of teaching and giving lessons, some may personalize it entirely on the individual, some may have a set syllabus for all their students. A Knight or someone should be able to clarify exact standards and the basic outline for the system that which is what or how much determines a member's advancement.
It's hardly genuine doctrine if it uses terms that nobody can seem to define in any collectively agreed and objective way. You could equally put a nonsense word like "shperlg" in place of "The Force" and it would make no difference.
Have you read the doctrine? I think it is very clear and defines itself. Interpretations of it may differ slightly but that's like in any other religion. There are questions about it often, and each Jedi can give their basic understanding of it and how it applies to them but like anything else it's up to the individual to decide for themself how to apply the doctrine to their life as their life is different but the doctrine offers a general outlook for various situations and behavior that could work for anyone in a sense. I don't think "shperlg" would work, I mean if you defined "shperlg" with the same definition as the Force, sure I guess you could be right, but also the world force by itself implies the definition itself due to it's image and original meaning.
Pure conjecture and even if you take the discredited argument that Jesus was fictional, he was not a children's film series.
Can you explain to me what that "way" is? I'm still quite unsure.
When you examine the book used to tell the story of Jesus it uses symbols, metaphors, experiences to empart knowledge of morals, traditions, ethics, struggle, psychology, philosophy, basically material about life and like other holy books it has it's own ideas about what's right and wrong through stories. While Star Wars may have been directed at children it doesn't mean it was just for children only, there still plenty of complex subjects that actual children may not even understand, specifically the political climate of the Star Wars movies. A child might not be able to relate to or fully comprehend the overall themes of the movie, the empire, the rebellion, the battle between totalitarianism and liberty, the spiritual battle between dark and light, how individuals choose to act and live in such a climate.
Conjecture maybe, but that idea and "the way" has to do with how people interpreted only what Jesus supposedly said and non-Christian accounts/witnesses of the guy and what he did. Through all the metaphors he could've just been a good guy, acting with a conscious awareness of what was going on around him, that led him to do and say things that surprised and inspired people. All the dogma surrounding him like the virgin birth, ressurection, blah blah blah only seems to have came after the Holy Roman Catholic Church was formed and they masked their own religion with the story of Christ to continue their own worship and rituals.
A vast majority of websites, articles, facebook groups, and other pages online would say otherwise.
Yes but it should be distinguished that we are not that vast majority. I've been here for 5 years and I haven't read much about anyone wishing that we could have churches everywhere, political recognition on a mass scale, like on an evangelical level. Yes there is that census ordeal which some were definitely joking and pushing it along because of the Star Wars connection, but there sure is a vast majority of people who do feel they can honestly identify with Jediism whether they specifically roleplay like in the movies or they just take the ideas and apply it to real life without roleplaying. We would all love to have real temples in our own countries to congregate. I just don't see it being pushed but maybe since I personally don't care much about all that I could just be ignorant of it happening here.
What definition did it use to gain this national recognition?
According to the IRS, "Organizations exempt under IRC Section 5O1-(c) (3) are further classified as either public charities or private foundations. We determined you're a public charity under the IRC Section Listed at the top of this letter." I'm not specifically aware of what they used. But I thought that those becoming ministers here actually become officially licensed too.
By making this statement you are making a making a rather hubristic statement about religions and adherents of certain religious groups. Is this what was intended by including that particular book by Campbell?
Well Campbell made that exact statement in an interview. Hubristic? Sure. Of course it doesn't negate the fact that religions are also unique traditions and ethics that were tailored to or for usually a certain group of people at a specific time in history. The problem today especially with children is that these stories, these traditions and yes metaphors have a hard time being relevant and appealing for the younger generations. If you go through Campbell's works he obviously has very much respect for religions and even the primitve cultures and their ideas. He analyzes a lot of it but of course it's from his perspective, his perspective and the story of Perennialism is quite interesting in my opinion because it tells a lot about how everyone's faith is similar and again the violence that comes about from disagreements and misunderstandings with each other's faith is one of the biggest issues we live with and our ancestors lived with and even died for too. The part in the IP dealing with Campbell is a series of lectures entitled The Power of Myth.
So am I to make of this that Jediism is some sort of syncretic faith?
You could. According to Br. John who is a Bishop, "You could truthfully say it's a form of Zen-Gnostic-Taoist-Universalism." V-Tog said that for years she described it to people as, "Adapted Taoism with roots in mythology and comparative religion."
Can you explain what you mean by this?
Humans have the same body structures and systems. We go through and are susceptible to similar psychological patterns, emotions and feelings. We participate in the same social structures like churches, schools, jobs, recreational activities.
Did you just read this in a Deepak Chopra book? What is a polarity to you? What is a "frequency matrix" to you or a frequency in general? I'd really like to know what you mean by these things.
I don't even know who Deepak Chopra is. A polarity to me is it's definition, I used it in the context of meaning positive and negative and neutral being all separate poles or ends of a spectrum that influence and/or determine a fundamental feature or characteristic of something, anything that differs from the others. When I am saying frequency I mean like frequencies of sound, light or electricity, a frequency matrix being our field of existence created of, influenced and perceived by interacting frequencies in a "biophysicalelectromagnetic" way. Sounds pretty New Agey or really nerdy like a preacher of quantum physics I know.
But to me if that's the purpose of a lot of people here, doesn't it just seem like an adult playing dress-up games if they call themselves a "Jedi" too?
Maybe if they're dressing up with all the stuff in the doctrine, ideas and concepts discussed here? Which of course could be just a game to them to have a debate or discussion, try to find something out or try to tell people about something. There are plenty of people here who are not claiming themselves to be Jedi and don't do the IP or join officially but are just here for the discussions and kinship. There are people to who also get dressed up and pretend to be Star Wars Jedi.
If the entire religion is just about people exploring ideas with no base whatsoever, then it isn't a religion in the slightest.
Ah but most of us here might be exploring and interacting with the base of the doctrine, no?
What is the Force? What does it mean to "embrace it"?
In short, the general consensus is that it is just the connectedness and interdependence of the universe, planets, our environment, humans and our lives, inner mental and biology working, just the Force of life I suppose, which in it's dualistic nature could be simplified into consciousness and unconsciousness in regards to everything from living to non living, right and wrong, whatever.
Which makes things destructive or constructive? Which one is better and why?
Depends, what's good for everyone or what's good for you, what's good for long term what's good for short term, all of this stuff has been debated and debated since the beginning of time. Like I said it can be entirely subjective, sometimes destruction is just a natural process or even a positive one, you have to break things down to rebuild sometime. I don't have moral superiority here and my thoughts and opinions I'm talking to you about do not represent the opinions and beliefs of this organization or everyone here.
My fellow Jedi have each acquitted themselves here with integrity and patience.
There were some new (to me) voices who wrote thoughtful and sincere posts.
And as always, my fellow Knights each demonstrated those ethical qualities and insightful wisdom that makes this Temple one of my favorite places.