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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Fair Weather Jedi - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

Fair Weather Jedi

  • Kol Drake
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Kol Drake created the topic: Fair Weather Jedi

Patrick Dunn wrote the article "Fair Weather Wizard" over at his Postmodern Magic website. It struck me that it also 'fits' how one should 'do' being a Jedi Realist. Not just 'do' an lesson or attend a class or seminar or weekend Gathering but how steady practice becomes a natural part of living your everyday life.

Below is his article surgically frankenstein'ed by me with the proper Jedi terms...

***

A lot of people work with the Force, or come to the concept of becoming a Jedi, because their lives are not what they want and they want to make them better. That’s awesome. Good for them. I didn’t, though. I mostly came to the Force because it was fascinating and I wanted to know what was really going on under the paper surface of the world.

Sometimes, those who come to the Force for utilitarian purposes abandon it once they get what they want. That’s okay too, really. Who am I to tell people what to do with their time? But the thing is, “getting what you want” is an illusion. We always want something else later, and there are always ways to become better, stronger, happier people.

A lifetime engagement with the Force is about being an all-weather Jedi, doing cool Jedi stuff in the cool times (offerings, meditations, and so on) and hot stuff in the hot times (spells, talismans, evocations, manifesting, and so on). It’s about balance.

It’s almost always about balance, of course.

At some point, it becomes impossible to 'do' the Force. I was working on a new set of tools (you outgrow them, you know — I should post on that). And it occurred to me that I hadn’t done any work with the Force in a while.

Except for two healing spells for friends, daily offerings, meditations, impromptu offerings while going for walks, mantra practice, maintaining my paredros, and a check in with the HGA. Yup, no Force work at all in the last few weeks.

***

I really pretty much just changed the word 'magic' to 'the Force'...
And Patrick has it right -- once you learn to work with and 'for' the Force, after a while you aren't 'doing' Force work -- the Force is there with you all the time and your every day life is one continuous time 'in / with the Force'. The difference between 'poking at the edges' and committing to diving into the deep end of the pool of practice and embracing the Jedi lifestyle.
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Aslyn replied the topic: Fair Weather Jedi

Interesting thoughts, Kol (and nice to see you again, btw), but I must admit, I'm not entirely sure that the nature of our studies can work like that: although it's true that some come to the Jedi path seeking comfort or trying to find their place in the world, only to abandon it later, I would not think that cause to refer to them as 'Fair Weather Jedi'. I think of it, in some respects, to being similar to partaking in a sport or a martial art: you join up with a club, you practice for a while, perhaps even for a good many years, but doing so does not make you a 'professional'. Very few have the dedication or the desire to go that far - if I play Tennis every week, does that place me on the same level as Andy Murray, or Novak Djokavic? Of course not. They are dedicated professionals at the peak of their game: my efforts would look amateur by compassion. Did failing to go professional make me a fair weather tennis player? Or have I simply taken what I wanted/needed from playing, needing nothing more?

I think, for me, the thing to remember about the Jedi Path is that it is, ultimately, a journey of self-discovery and affirmation. It's about learning things about yourself, and learning strategies to help you cope with adversity, opening yourself up to the wider world (and, yes, to the Force), adhering to a set of philosophies, methodologies and ideas that ultimately let us define ourselves by the label of 'Jedi'. Can we offer disdain to those who join us for a little while but turn away, their journey unfinished? The path can be hard sometimes, we all know this: we have to face realisations about ourselves and the world we live in that can be disturbing, or outright harmful to someone not wholly prepared to accept them. To be a Jedi is to weather this, as you've said: take that understanding and live with it. That's a very difficult thing to ask.

Some people, ultimately, come seeking something for themselves and either fail to find it (in which case, they're probably in the wrong place to begin with), or they come seeking something, find it, and turn away from our path because they have what they wanted/needed. Sometimes all we can offer is to place someone's footsteps on a path that isn't ours: and that they recognise that being a Jedi isn't for them is both reasonable and praiseworthy. We cannot ourselves seek understanding of ourselves and the path we walk if we fail to understand that not everyone has to walk with us the whole of the way. Sometimes just taking a few steps down the road can be enough for someone to find peace with themselves and their lives.

Only a very few will ever dedicate themselves wholly to our path, and even fewer still will be truly capable of it. That's a truism I've come to accept: to be Jedi is a challenge, a calling, a work that will remain unfinished no matter how long you live. Not everyone is capable of that, and not everyone who sets out to attempt it will find it right for them. To be a fair weather Jedi isn't to fail: it's to recognise that you're not willing to embrace the storm while walking your path, and thus turn away. There's nothing wrong with that at all. Better that honest response, surely?
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