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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Jedi Perennialism - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

Jedi Perennialism

  • J. K. Barger
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J. K. Barger created the topic: Jedi Perennialism

***Didn't know if I should post this here or in the Philosophy section. I leave it to the Admins to decide that.

I wrote this to give context for future writings and musings. Please forgive typos, grammatical inconsistencies, and generally held assumptions. It is not meant to pigeonhole anyone's thoughts on the subject, only to create a forum for expansive and constructive debate and dialogue.

Enjoy, and may the Force be with you on this perennial excursion...




It has come to the point where things need to be shaken, moved, and adjusted. It is high time that those with eyes to see and ears to listen must critically re-evaluate the world they have been bequeathed. In this ‘metamodern’ context, where distance is spaced by the simple, internet-mediated purchase of a ticket, and time is punctuated by pseudo-poetic inspiration on Facebook, individuals are finding that their ideas of identity, culture, and spirituality are no longer free from “outside” contact and influence. Connectivity between things has been increased a hundred fold in areas we are still coming to understand, showing, however painfully, that the border between “inside” and “outside”, “self” and “other”, and “subjectivity” and “objectivity” is as arbitrary as the next reality-television series.

Technological advancements have far surpassed our moral imperative to each other, reifying a non-existent gap between the ‘outside’ and the ‘inside’. The results of which are as astounding as they are atrocious. Thus comes this paper. It is the author’s opinion that a new ground be paved to meet these changes head on. The meeting place is not in some galaxy far, far, away. It shall assert itself now, in the minds of those beholden. By formulaic expression of the ‘prime momenta’, it is believed that a new order will arise that bridges every expanse, giving the people a freshly relevant vision to endeavor upon and enrich their existence.

In a world that is slowly shrinking with every addition of wi-fi hotspots, the pursuit of an all-encompassing view to behold this world has never been more feverous. Scholastic literature and pop-culture media abound with references to what is collectively called the Perennial Philosophy. This “perennial philosophy” has as its foundation the premise that all (or at least the majority) world religions and spiritualities share a universal truth that all doctrine and dogma rests upon. This idea is nothing new to those who study this field of inquiry. It is found in texts around the ancient world; the ancient Indians and ancient Greeks traversing the Silk Road shared and delighted in its flavor. More recently, great minds such as Huxley, Campbell, and Guenon have reflected on it. Most relevantly, the concept has been incarnated again through the sci-fi classic, Star Wars, specifically in it’s monomythically inspired archetype, the Jedi. Fortunately enough, in this thoroughly modern expression of the eternal perennialist philosophy, an entirely minimalist and functional path is found that addresses our most primordial and immediate concerns in the light of present and future paradigms/ lives/ technology/ lifestyles. The range over the “field of meaning” for the Jedi is vast and it is in this way that the Jedi have come to represent the apex of symbolic, archetypal, and mystical thought.


Inclusivity
To prepare the ground for proper discussion, the first point of perennial classification if the Jedi’s claim to the Force. The Force, as a candidate for a collective term for the sum total of existence, is a unique technical term exclusive to the Jedi. By identifying the fact that all faith systems involve some sort of sublime absolute and making a space for them all to co-exist, the Jedi establish, develop, and retain the greatest amount of spiritual effort in one locus. This locus, as triangulated, defines the Jedi and the Order proper, in terms of it’s origins, development, and current role in the spiritual milieu.


Differential Unity
With the advancement of mechanical and digital industry, the edge of consciousness is slowly identifying itself with relatively recent cultural machinations. This apperception has lead many beings to value things that only have value in this manufactured context, making those without these established senses of identity feel separate from the deeper reality they are actually apart of. With the increasing feeling of separateness, the feeling of things as having their own existence becomes reified through successive events and lifetimes. Seeing the value that all paths of illumination share, the Jedi are free to draw from various streams to satisfy the spiritual hunger that plagues beings.


Relativity
Whether or not this is “good” or “bad”, we are shown a key ingredient in the dynamic of relationships- the fulcrum. By recognizing the duality of phenomena, we create a means to find the point of division “separating” one from the noumenal reality of Life. The Jedi find this point by reconciling the “pan-antiquitous” message with intergalactic (universal) existence. The monomythic element envisaged provides a full context for a ‘path’ to play out, giving substance to an idea. Bringing ancient wisdom into the forefront of materialist society has given the Jedi mythos a much-needed foothold in metamodern pop-culture to survive.

Fulfillment
The last point, which links all the previous points full circle, is the element of fulfillment. Perennially, all the institutions and their methods have had one reason for existence- the fulfillment of their adherents. Without a goal of to attain, adherents are left without any means to critical and honestly gauge themselves on their journey. The perennial idea of the summum bonum, or “greater good”, remains as the universal accomplishment to be attained by the Jedi through their metaphor of Light and its Illumination.

Reviewing the work of Campbell has lead to a deeper investigation on the Jedi and their relationship with pereniallism. By visiting certain thinkers and authors in this field, in this case Huxley, we can find scholarly evidence and sublime certitude that vindicates the ways of the Force and the Jedi path. While this is not an exhaustive or entirely academic essay, it is a starting point for the author. Vivifying the long forgotten roots of our spiritual heritage, the Jedi Order rises out of the ashes of the conflicts of yore to meet the challenges beings face today.

Th
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

That's a lot of big words! But somewhere amongst them I lost the point of this essay. You say, "I wrote this to give context for future writings and musings." Are you just trying to define a few terms that you plan to use in the future? Or perhaps you are just trying to describe what you see around you so you can have something to contrast with in the future? Was there some new idea there or some call to action? There doesn't have to be. It's just that at times you seem to imply so, but then I didn't see it. For instance, you say, "It has come to the point where things need to be shaken, moved, and adjusted," but this essay simply seems to describe the status quo. In the end, I found myself thinking, "Yeah, and?" Was this your goal or did I miss something somewhere?

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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Beral Khan replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

I do agree with Zen-Ryo. In communication, it is important to understand not only what you are looking to convey but also attempt to understand how it will be perceived by your audience. Perhaps a breakdown of what you mean to convey to us would be helpful.

As no one here claims that any idea we may have is a wholly original one, rather an amalgam of the best of which has come before (philosophically speaking) as seen through the filter of the originally fictional Jedi, there is only one major point I can draw from your post. That being: Jedi Realism has the ability to grow due to it's connection to pop culture (that being the filter of the fictional Jedi), is one that appears to have some truth but also appears to focus on a small portion of what Jedi Realism can be.

I would love to understand more what what you are attempting to communicate.

I used to trust my force of Will.
Now I trust in the will of the Force.

Jedi Communication? Well its removing assumptions, questioning the absolutes, and asking for clarity of statements.
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J. K. Barger replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

"Reviewing the work of Campbell has lead to a deeper investigation on the Jedi and their relationship with pereniallism. By visiting certain thinkers and authors in this field, in this case Huxley, we can find scholarly evidence and sublime certitude that vindicates the ways of the Force and the Jedi path. While this is not an exhaustive or entirely academic essay, it is a starting point for the author. Vivifying the long forgotten roots of our spiritual heritage, the Jedi Order rises out of the ashes of the conflicts of yore to meet the challenges beings face today."

Although not entirely emboldened, this was intended mainly to stimulate discussion to prepare for something deeper and more comprehensive. But you are correct Beral, it was mainly to get that point across. I'm glad you got that without me having to spell it out in thesis form. By roughly outlining some thoughts into manageable ideas, I was trying to be as subtle as I could without making it seem like there was the tone of "this is the way" in the writing, to get folks talking, mostly about the idea of "perennial philosophy" and how it potentially relates to the Jedi- so please excuse the passive voice.

It doesn't seem that there are any serious philosophic discussions going on here, so I wanted to start small and see what the community is "vibing" on in this instance. Campbell and his contributions are a central topic to Star Wars and the themes it deals with. "Perennialism" and its recent incarnation as "integral theory" are edgy topics right now, and ones that I think can be handled tactfully with a Jedi-styled paradigm. To my knowledge, this has not been brought up in the Forums. While this is not meant to address Realism in terms of "only this makes Jedi Realism", it is a foundational support. The Path is only as good as its Intent and its Method. Investigating this Method, it is only hoped that greater clarity to the uniqueness of the Jedi and their Way will ensue.

Th
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Beral Khan replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

Thank you for the clarification.

I used to trust my force of Will.
Now I trust in the will of the Force.

Jedi Communication? Well its removing assumptions, questioning the absolutes, and asking for clarity of statements.
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Jax replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

It seems like it requires the specific knowledge gained in various philosophy courses. Only a few have that experience, which is one reason why you don't see hard philosophical discussion. Hopefully those with the knowledge will jump in.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - Please forgive typos
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

... but there are moments of philosophical discourse... but you have to dig down to some of the earliest layers of the board...
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Taijibum replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

I am going to be honest and say the OP was very confusing. You want to discuss perennialism and spiritual heritage of Jedi realists? Does that even exist except on a personal level? The Jedi Order started as a fiction very recently but mystic warriors have been around since pre-history, I imagine.
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

Let me be clear up front. As I wrote this response, it is a little critical and in the emotionless realm of text I might come off as sounding like I am discouraging you. That is certainly not my intent and I am encouraged that you are trying to stir up discussion. I look forward to seeing where you go with this. However, I'm not sure your methods, so far, are the best way to approach this here.

I don't think that esoterism is a good way to approach Jedi Realism. To write things in such a way that only those who "get it" will be able to participate in the discussion seems a little elitist and may conflict with the idea of perennialism. If you want others to participate in a discussion you are better off to explicitly "spell it out in thesis form". Being "subtle" in the way you were here, assumes a common education and understanding that is not present in a group this broad and diverse. There's a lot of value in teaching others to be subtle, and great deep lessons can be taught through subtlety in one-on-one situations, but I'm not sure there's much value to teaching the masses in a subtle manner.

As to your original point, I see the Jedi as being intentionally designed to be perennial, so it doesn't seem like such a realization to me, but rather the starting point. There is definitely value in pointing it out rather than assuming that everyone understands it, but I don't see much to discuss about it. So I'm left wondering where you hope to proceed from here, or as I said earlier, "Yeah, and...?"

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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J. K. Barger replied the topic: Jedi Perennialism

You got it. I guess I could say I am nominating the Jedi as the apex of the perennial archetype. I hesitated to say it outright because with being such a broad and diverse group, one's generalities can become misconstrued fairly easily. By posting a step by step assessment of the observation (that, as we have both found out we agree to, is that there IS an element of this worth pursuing) I was just gauging what everyone thought.

It seem's like not very many folks think about it, but those who do, see it quite clearly. That's all. I wanted to see if anyone disagreed really. I dislike having these thoughts about being a Jedi, know that they are valid thoughts, and have no one to discuss them with deeply and fully. I personally think that's what these forums are for, and seeing time go by without and real progress towards maintaining the "Jedi" as a valid spiritual system based on the various very valid and very valuable spiritual heritage and traditions is frustrating. and most often, just disparaging. PM me if you want to delve into that.

All that aside, response on content and the follow through of the method of paralleling was what I was more concerned with- the nuts and bolts of the theory, not its bells and whistles.

Th
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