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What is a Basic Teaching?

Good evening to everyone who joins us here today.

This sermon will focus more on the aspects of the above question as they relate to basic teaching materials.

What is considered at the Temple as being the most ‘basic’ part of our religious teaching is probably expressed the most completely in our Doctrine.

The Doctrine is the heart of our Temple. Now how does it teach us?

Well the answer is that it doesn’t. It can inform people what Jedi at this temple believe and understand but it doesn’t give them the experience of what those Jedi believe and understand.

This is probably all well and good because if it did let me assure you, it would be hundreds of thousands of words long…

That is because we do not use the Doctrine as a teaching resource by itself. You begin exploring the teaching resources in the Initiates Programme and further in your Apprenticeship and further still when you realise you’ve done all that and still don’t understand it all!

The Doctrine could best be thought of as bullet point form for learning, for what is in the Doctrine is also in the materials we use to teach here. They are not separate; they are one and the same. The only real difference being that each piece of teaching material talks about perhaps only one or two parts of the doctrine –going into each at length.

Any material out there can be used to teach us something, whether it is a lesson learned or simply an example of what not to do. We are familiar with the works of Watts and Campbell, but there are countless other books, myths and even pieces of artwork that all make us think. If it makes us think then we can learn from it.

Our doctrine is knowledge, understanding it is wisdom. Without the materials we use to understand what it means, our doctrine is nothing more than an intellectual curiosity.

Our creed, the one on our doctrine page, was adapted from the ‘Peace Prayer’ of St Francis of Assisi.

I think it is fitting tonight that we use a different creed, adapted too from another prayer. This alternative is based on the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr.

As we have not said it before there is no need to respond, you may simply read and consider each line as it presents itself to you.

 

I am a Jedi:

I accept the things I cannot change;

I have courage to change the things I can;

I have wisdom to know the difference.

I am a Jedi:

I live in the present;

I enjoy one moment at a time;

I accept hardships as a pathway to peace;

I take this world as it is, not as I would have it;

I am a Jedi:

I trust The Force;

In doing so things become right;

In doing so I am content;

Forever in our everlasting life.

You are a Jedi.

May The Force be with you, always.