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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Why I am not a Millionaire (link) - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

Why I am not a Millionaire (link)

  • Connor
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Connor created the topic: Why I am not a Millionaire (link)

longevitywarehouse.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-i-am-not-millionaire-by-david.html

Do you think the life of an aesthetic is the proper life for a Jedi (and, this is not meant to be general, I mean YOU in particular as a Jedi)? Does it mesh with your ideals?

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Kol Drake replied the topic: Why I am not a Millionaire (link)

Do you think the life of an aesthetic is the proper life for a Jedi...


Since the definition of aesthetic is -- as an adjective: concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.
Or as a noun: a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement.

Yes, I believe a Jedi or the community as a whole should strive to be concerned with and appreciate beauty -- be it in form, function, or spirit. Some of the 'ugliest' (by traditional standards of snobbery) have had beautiful spirits and souls.



Now, I am assuming you MEANT to use "ascetic" -- adjective: characterized by or suggesting the practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons. And as a noun: a person who practices severe self-discipline and abstention. Synonyms: abstainer, puritan, recluse, hermit, anchorite, solitary...

While the older, "desert" Obi Wan Kenobi was hiding in the wastes "looking out for the young Luke" the question could be -- is that the lifestyle demanded of a Jedi or was that the best way (simplistic desert hermit) to keep a low profile and watch for any lurking Imperial snoopers? Same for Yoda on Degobah -- the abundance of life helped cover his Being; making him very hard to locate. He lived in a basic domed 'hut' -- but he did not want for beauty (or food). Was this demanded of 'being a Jedi' or the smartest means of hiding from death squads and to make the least 'footprint' so as to stay invisible?


Living a Life Without Attachment

“Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is central to a Jedi's life, so you might say we're encouraged to love.” -- Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” -- Yoda, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

“You’re [Jedi are] allowed to love people, but you’re not allowed to posses them.” -- George Lucas, On the Force - 2010


During a Clone Wars Writers’ Meeting in 2010, George Lucas gave a short talk about how he envisioned the Force, saying the core of the Force -- the Light Side and the Dark Side -- one was selfless and the other was selfish. It was this core of selfishness that leads to the Dark Side. According to Lucas, if one is selfish, that leads to greed. The wanting of things -- for the Sith -- usually wanting power. Obtaining things leads to momentary pleasure, but it is fleeting. In order to keep the pleasure, one must obtain further things. This ramps up and soon you begin to fear losing it. Not for the possession itself -- but the pain of not having it. This fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering, usually the suffering of the person with selfishness.

Having things one fears to let go of is also having an attachment. Attachments are not necessarily physical things, but can be merely the desire. Desire for physical things are not the only attachment, but the cautionary tale of Anakin Skywalker, a powerful attachment can be wanting things to be different than they actually are. This is not to say one should be content with injustice, poverty, hunger and other ills. One should work with what means they have for beneficial social change. The attachment addressed here is desiring changes that are beyond one’s power to do anything about, such as events that happened in the past, or hanging on to things past their time.


Personally, I do not know if it is possible to live completely without attachment or if this is a desirable thing. It *is* quite possible to let go of all *unnecessary* attachments. Basic living means there are some 'basic things of life' we all need to have to survive. Need in this case not being so much a desire or attachment but the general dictates of biology which say, you MUST have food, shelter, etc. to have more then a basic subsistence. Technological conveniences allow us to do things we would not otherwise be able to do -- and while 'nice to have', they are not essential to basic existence. I do not think the Jedi Path is an ascetic one, nor is it a life of extravagance. Somewhere in the middle is the right way, I think. Balance. In balance, it is permissible to have such comforts as long as one is not afraid to let go of them -- if it becomes necessary to do so.



Now -- pertaining to the link provided...
Interesting. Though I wonder -- he has started, owned, and sold several enterprises... I can envision someone making $999,999,999 and saying "I am not a millionaire," and TECHNICALLY be telling the truth. Tons of Fudge Factor though.

Yes, he may live simply; that is his choice... and from all he espouses on YouTube and in his books, it seems to work for him. I am aware of some who live out of converted school buses... and 'make do' with solar heat and energy, sleeping in hammocks, and working the land. Again, their 'way' by choice. Does it make them 'better' then someone who prefers a 'real bed' or cooking on a stove verses an open fire? I think not. Again, choices.

Mostly it is as I wrote above. One can become 'attached' to the extreme of wanting to be 'unattached' to everything as much as having attachments WITH everything. A Jedi should find balance in how they live. If one finds it with a DSL connection and a handheld supercomputer while another wishes to commune 'simply' in a cave... those are personal choices... not mandated by a Jedi Council or "Jedi Rule", imo.
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Jax replied the topic: Why I am not a Millionaire (link)

I believe that we must be able to appreciate beauty in everything, for that brings us closer to connection with the Force. :-)

I am unable to answer more fully right now though.
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  • Memnoich
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Memnoich replied the topic: Why I am not a Millionaire (link)

For me it all comes down to who you are. Living a forced Spartan life, is a lie, you aren't doing it because you want to, so the attachment to physical things is still there. Doing it as a choice is a different matter altogether. For me, it's like anything else, moderation. I, personally, could easily live without my cell phone, it's nice n convenient, but I'm not like others around, that check their phone constantly, updating FB every 2 minutes, checking txts, etc. I'm well known for forgetting my phone, the only reason I have one, is it's required by my job. I have things for convenience, and enjoyment. As it is, I'm trying to remove excess, the problem I have is a lot of my stuff is useful, leather working equipment, brewing/vinting equipment, tools, etc.. I could live more simply, if I had access to things I need when I needed them. I'm happy with books and internet for research, but I have a kindle, for access to more, cheap books, I have a computer and internet, for work and for reading about anything that catch's my imagination. The only way I could live in a dorm cell, with just a bed, bathroom, and desk, would be if I had unlimited access to whatever reading material I want, books, internet, etc... and the tools to try new things.

I think I rambled there, but basically, it comes down to 2 things for me, attachment and moderation. Aside from the Basics, I don't "Need" anything, I could get by, but why go without if you can go with moderation. Why turn yourself into a hermit, if there is no need. Does being a hermit make a person more spiritual? Better? To me, only because it gives them nothing else to do but introspection and reflection, however, too much, could have a bad effect.

YMMV though, but my 2 pennies.

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Asta Sophi replied the topic: Why I am not a Millionaire (link)

Agreed...

Over the years I've noticed people in the Jedi Community comment how they shed many belonging - and feel the need to live more simply.

I wonder if the author isn't confusing money with the distraction from having "too much", or wanting what really will not fulfill us?

That is what I found. Most of us here in the West have more than is healthy of one thing or another. Once it begins to interfere with living life, rather than living around "stuff" - or feeling the need for stuff - well, it ain't the dough, it's what is bought or wanted.

I love clothes, I like jewelry/art/books, I like pretty dishes, I like all sorts of stuff. But "owning" them isn't as necessary as appreciating them at the proper time. I am very careful about what I choose to own now.

You CAN be a millionaire and still be centered and healthy I do believe. Especially if it is sitting in a bank for future need or to help others - and still a living and useful thing rather than a status symbol or other "thing" that does not truly fulfill?
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