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03 Aug 2016 19:02 #250716 by
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I really get where you're coming from. It does seem off. I'm struggling with the IP currently, because I'm supposed to write my thoughts on everything. "Describe your understanding of the three tenets in their relationship to each other". I think the Doctrine puts it in better words than I ever could. How is this training? The only thing I could think of would be to nitpick and try to find problems in the doctrine to pass the lesson, but honestly it all looks ok to me.

What's so bad about imitating fiction? I think we should all consider that. We shouldn't try to distance ourselves from the Jedi in the movies, because that's where we come from, but we should try to make a productive religion that solves problems in real life. YES, MAKE A PHYSICAL TEMPLE. Don't just waste your day arguing and nitpicking away at questions people have been trying to solve since the dawn of civilization. I've tried to come out and have a reasonable discussion about telekinesis, AKA FORCE MANIPULATION, and I've been mocked. Open your minds to new ideas.

I think Wicca would be a perfect example here. I'm aware that there are some Wiccans here at TOTJO. Some Wiccans call themselves witches, others don't. But what they all have in common, they practice witchcraft. We, on the other hand, don't all follow the doctrine yet all identify as Jedi, at least those who consider themselves part of the temple. To further confuse things, we have differing beliefs about what makes a Jedi, or even what the Force is.

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03 Aug 2016 19:17 #250724 by Ben
Replied by Ben on topic I Am

Streen wrote: The whole idea of the Force is purely fiction

I'm not sure that we're all thinking of the same Force here...? Semantics Strikes [strike]Again[/strike] Back... :silly:

That would be a really terrible movie, wouldn't it? :pinch:

Streen wrote: This isn't to discount ideas such as Chi or the Tao, as both are concepts older than Christ himself.

Ah, good, excellent! :)

Streen wrote: The point I am trying to make here has more to do with the mystical nonsense that we've clung to over, at least, the last 20 years (roughly the age of the online Jedi community).

No mystical nonsense to see here (or anywhere at TOTJO, as far as I can really see)...move along...

Who is 'we', anyway?

Streen wrote: But who are we? What right do we have as a people to call ourselves by a name that we cannot possibly hope to live up to?

We are Jedi who have every right to use that name/word to mean whatever we want it to.

My name is Victoria, which traditionally means victory/victorious. Do I not have every right to call myself Victoria regardless of whether or not I happen to chasing victory in that moment? Can I not use the name as a label to describe the unique human being that I hope I am? Maybe we should all have to keep changing our names to accurately reflect our thoughts and behaviour at the time (in accordance with the most common public perception of the meaning of those names, of course).

The question that you appear to be asking is not so much who are we as who are you? :)

And I can't tell you the answer to that, but I do know that you are Streen - and I wont be trying to tell you what that means, because I respect your right to decide that for yourself. :)

B.Div | OCP
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03 Aug 2016 19:21 - 03 Aug 2016 19:23 #250725 by Br. John
Replied by Br. John on topic I Am
Those that can do. Those that can't don't.

I don't remember us ever being about worshiping anyone. And if someone wants to be on a pedestal (I'd never risk my life on one. There's not enough between me and the ground.) that's their right - assuming they have a valid license and insurance.

A Jedi is busy enough being (and learning to be) a Guardian of Peace and Justice without having to worry about The Force. A good Jedi does not need a Lightsaber - she gets the job done with a stick. A great Jedi does not even need the stick.

There's nothing to worship here. There's ideas to revere though.

Jedi Believe

In the Force, and in the inherent worth of all life within it.

In the sanctity of the human person. We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment, including the death penalty.

In a society governed by laws grounded in reason and compassion, not in fear or prejudice.

In a society that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or circumstances of birth such as gender, ethnicity and national origin.

In the ethic of reciprocity, and how moral concepts are not absolute but vary by culture, religion, and over time.

In the positive influence of spiritual growth and awareness on society.

In the importance of freedom of conscience and self-determination within religious, political and other structures.

In the separation of religion and government and the freedoms of speech, association, and expression.

So close to Jesus we're mistaken for co-joined twins.

Founder of The Order
Last edit: 03 Aug 2016 19:23 by Br. John.
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03 Aug 2016 19:31 #250729 by
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Well we do have the Jediism Guide Book but it's talking about the philosophy.
Personaly I joined Temple of the Jedi Order based on the community and the good morals that we stand for.

When it comes to the force I don't think of it as a litteral force that flows in all of us.

On the front of the Temple of the Jedi Order website it says ''Jedi at this site are not the same as those portrayed within the Star Wars franchise''.

So what I try to do is to remove the Star Wars franshise from my mind when I am here.

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03 Aug 2016 19:38 #250731 by
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Ryder wrote: I really get where you're coming from. It does seem off. I'm struggling with the IP currently, because I'm supposed to write my thoughts on everything. "Describe your understanding of the three tenets in their relationship to each other". I think the Doctrine puts it in better words than I ever could. How is this training? The only thing I could think of would be to nitpick and try to find problems in the doctrine to pass the lesson, but honestly it all looks ok to me.

The training that we do here is core to the reason many of us have chosen to call ourselves "Jedi". I do not seek to imitate the fictional Jedi. Instead, I look to the source material that inspired the fictional characters to begin with. The Jedi were not created by George Lucas out of thin air. They were inspired by the Tao (Yoda), Bushido (Vader), Jesus (Anakin), Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Greek mythology, Campbell's "Hero's Journey" and a hundred other sources including the teachings of Gandhi and MLK, Jr about non-violence.

Our Doctrine here is also inspired by many of those same sources, but in an effort to avoid becoming "sheeple", we ask each and every Novice to approach the material from their own perspective and give their own thoughts on it. If that means you agree with the Doctrine completely, great! If you think parts of it are horse manure, that is okay too. We simply ask that you explain why you feel that way.

As we grow and learn about ourselves, we acquire tools that allow us to be more effective instruments of the Force in our daily lives. We learn to use our strengths to help others and our community and we recognize areas where we are weak and we seek to improve. The goal should be to make your own life and the lives of others around you better, to work toward peace and justice, and protect those who cannot protect themselves. And isn't that what the fictional Jedi were all about?

I do not need to mind trick people or carry a laser sword to be Jedi. I have accomplished great things despite the fact that I haven't been able to "Force Jump" my way through life. I am a Jedi. The name seems quite fitting for what we (or at least I) do here, in the sense that I share the same goals as those of the fictional Jedi and I draw wisdom and knowledge from the source material that gave birth to the characters.

If this doesn't work for you, that is okay. I don't expect anyone else to grant their approval of my choices. Our paths take us where we are meant to go. Mine is the path of a Jedi.

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03 Aug 2016 21:08 - 03 Aug 2016 21:23 #250743 by
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* I've been through many crisises here myself and I do understand you, @Streen.

* Personally, I don't believe in the Force. I have experience and trust.

* I think that Jedi path is not centered on the Force. It's centered on the feat. And philosophy etc is 90% procrastination.

* What I believe in is Life, perseverant and creative choice. Jedi way is creative as a philosophy, why else use it?

* When I registered, I decided that even if everyone here was a pathetic liar, I'll be true to myself & my Jedi path.
Last edit: 03 Aug 2016 21:23 by .

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04 Aug 2016 08:42 #250779 by Gisteron
Replied by Gisteron on topic I Am
I have trouble understanding why anything has to be real in order to be worshipped, revered, or used for guidance or support. Pretty much every god and every force used in these ways is fictional to all of the extents to which it would matter, and neither Chi nor Christ are an exception, and while that may stop some, it seems that reality is hardly what matters, when it comes to the value of a thing.
I also don't understand why either Star Wars is inferior to the Bible or why we would be better off having something like the latter in the first place. You say we don't have "an ancient document to guide us", as if it was a bad thing. Meanwhile, if anything, a document that is no longer subject to change or expansion, written in times fundamentally different from our own is perhaps the least appropriate thing to take for a guide, wouldn't you say so? Also, I'd call it a bit condescending to imply that our minds are so poor as to need guidance of this sort to begin with.
Needless to say I do understand your frustration with the recurring attempts to push for magical nonsense. Sometimes I like to think of myself as something of a hurdle to overcome for those who do, and to my astonishment their track record so far was abysmal. I would at any rate not say that this is something official or innate to TOTJO. Usually this kind of thing comes from the outside and in my four years here I haven't seen any of it adopted into any part of the doctrine (though I cannot speak for individual training masters' programmes). Now, is the whole meditation thing in the IP a tad superfluous? Maybe. I'd say its harm is limited in that while TOTJO provides third party materials on the topic, it does not itself explicitly endorse any of its supernatural claims.

Now, on to the Jedi Believe doctrine section cited by Br. John...
Not only does it take none of those beliefs to register to the website, even the Jedi application doesn't have a single question relating to them. So it literally takes none of these to become a Jedi by TOTJO standards.
To take a recent example, in post #250743, den385 is the latest one to admit that he does not actually believe in the Force. He does seem to be on some sort of Jedi path, according to the same post. So who is wrong about him, he or the doctrine?
This is why I find it a bit silly even bringing this up. The doctrine isn't there for us, it is for the outside visitors. None of us are required to believe all of it, few of us are encouraged to believe any of it and all of us have ideas incompatible with it to varying extents, right from the day we join and well until the day we leave. We do not represent the doctrine and the doctrine does not represent us. Indeed, this is so much the case that often a time a newcomer who only read the doctrine before they joined turns right around as they begin to interact with us, understanding that the doctrine is not even a description of what TOTJO is, let alone a prescription. This is not to mention all the users who stick to their journals instead of ever joining in on the great marketplace.

In conclusion, it appears that Streen is understanding that we are not a herd trapped behind a fence, not dogs guided by a leash. We do not collectively pretend that our gods control our every breath. We have no holy text to tell us what to think and what not to think. Does this mean we are stray? Blind and dangerous, created sick, yet with no prospect of a cure? I'd say that is a matter of interpretation. I'd then say that TOTJO Jediism is not a religion in any traditional sense. It is arguably for this reason so hard to tell a Jedi from a non-Jedi, because there is no central standard anybody has to meet, and thus nobody falls short of it. Now whether you like that is of course a different question and one we cannot help you with...

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned
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04 Aug 2016 10:26 #250787 by
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There is not an actual thing, the Force. But there is the idea, the concept behind it, that is driving Jedi to be good human beings. That's all we want to be. Humble defenders of justice.

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04 Aug 2016 11:53 - 04 Aug 2016 11:54 #250805 by Zenchi
Replied by Zenchi on topic I Am
Some here view the Force as the Tao, there are others who feel it is a bit different and perhaps harder to explain. Some don't believe in it at all. There is nothing wrong with any of those interpretations, as for the most part, they derive from personal experience, not what someone else has stated or written in a Bible. That means something. When everyone is not only permitted to interpret the Force and this "path" as they see, feel and live it, but share those Interpretations with the community as well, it ensures a diversity that strengthens this community as a whole...

My Word is my Honor, and my Honor is my Life ~ Sturm Brightblade
Passion, yet Serenity
Knighted Apprentice Arisaig
TM- RyuJin
Last edit: 04 Aug 2016 11:54 by Zenchi.
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04 Aug 2016 13:11 #250816 by
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The responses you've all given are much appreciated.

What seems to be a common belief amongst most of you is the idea of a "doctrine". This is part of the problem. The TOTJO doctrine is even more fictional than the original beliefs expressed in the Star Wars movies. What is more frustrating is that every Jedi site seems to have their own doctrine. So, which do you follow? Which one is right? These questions are rhetorical, just things you might want to ask yourselves.

Don't allow yourself to be indoctrinated. Go back to the source. That's where the answers lie.

(None of this is meant to imply any of you don't already know these things, but this message is more for those who don't)

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