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What parts make up a lightsaber? Well, firstly we have a casing. This case is what gives it form and shape and is the part you grip. Then you have a battery, the thing that keeps the lightsaber going. You have an emitter, where the blade comes out. You have the switch, which turns it on or off. Then you have the kyber crystal, which is what actually converts energy into a blade.

It’s interesting to think about this in relation to yourself, however, and how we engage with the world. Oftentimes we view our beliefs or passions as a tool or something which we do, but consider it also as a part of ourselves. What it we chose to view our focus in this world as a lightsaber?

Let us now view your thoughts and beliefs around Jediism as a lightsaber.

The casing is the most visible aspect of the lightsaber, and usually what holds all the internal bits on the inside. Let us, for a moment, consider what you desire to do within your community and within the Force Realism community. What shape does it take on? Do you serve in the front of others, or maybe in the background? Perhaps you work closely with a few people on passion projects (double bladed lightsaber), or perhaps you have a focus on diplomacy and as a result you tend to present yourself in a different shape than others (Dooku’s hilt was curved for his more elegant fencing style of fighting). What shape does your hilt take on?

Obviously, the battery is pretty simple. It makes the thing do the thing! So, the question now, what is it that makes you do your thing? What makes you get up in the morning feeling ready to go; and for Jediism what makes you excited to engage with other Jedi? Something else to note, not all batteries have the same charging methods or even the same duration as each other. Do you need more time to recharge after doing a big project or perhaps you are okay with longer duration practices? What does your ability to actually engage with your focus in Force Realism look like?

Your emitter is a bit of a strange question, isn’t it? We don’t really think about it, but the emitter is quite important. Emitters add a sense of how you present yourself beyond the hilt. A hilt can be finely carved or decorated, but the emitter itself crowns the lightsaber and sometimes influences its shape. For humans, the question here is more about what it is you want people to think about when they see you do your work? Do you want them to respect you, and how does that look? Do you want them to fear you, love you, want to join you or stay away, how do you want people seeing you do your stuff in our community to behold you? This seems strange, but in many ways this is the most subtle part of your lightsaber. In truth, my emitter is that I don’t want to be seen, personally. I’d rather do my work and be done before people notice! This little bit of context completely drives the positions I seek, the ways I help, and how I engage with others. How do you want to be seen?

The switch is a bit more simple, but it’s fairly important! How do you want to be activated and when you are activated do you want a thumb on you or not? Some people need someone to push them into doing a project, whereas others just flip on a switch and off they go. Knowing what actually gets you started doing what you do in our community is very important so not only can you help yourself get engaged, it can help others understand what gets you going. I, personally, see a need and feel a need to fill it. The other aspect is if you need to feel a level of pressure to keep working. Do you need deadlines, do you need someone checking in on you, or are you completely okay doing as you do?

Finally, we come to our kyber crystal, that which shapes our actual blade. If you take ten lightsabers, construct them the same way, and then give them a crystal, each blade will be different. Sometimes it’s subtle, but they will be different. In the various lore, kyber crystals resonant with their wielder and call out to them, or find their way to their owner. Some lore even suggests that using someone else’s lightsaber can feel foreign or even make it harder to use. Sith crystals were originally manufactured and later in the newest canon were said to be kyber crystals that were tormented or something weird like that.

Kyber crystals in this case, however, refer to your individual reasons for doing things and what forms your opinions and methods. I can set ten other people who do jobs similar to my own down, but each person will have their own ways of doing things that are unique to them because of their training, experience, and history. Much like all of us have our own ways of thinking. The best way for me to help describe the kyber crystal to you in this scenario is if we take three foster care workers and explore their reason for doing their job. One might have a sense of civic duty to help the underserved, the next might have a sense of empathy to help those who need helped, and the third might have been through the foster system and wants to help improve it and look out for others like them. Your kyber crystal is what actually makes your place in our community unique and exciting.

When you pull all of these pieces together, does this give you a better idea of your place in both your community in general and in the Force Realism community? If not, does this give you some ideas on where you need to start asking questions about your next steps? No one can tell you the right way to make a lightsaber, but we can generally tell each other what might backfire, asking for help it always welcome especially as we explore who we are.

Now, I ask you all to raise your lightsabers with me.