Forging Meaning and Building Identity

  • David (Phoenix)
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David (Phoenix) created the topic: Forging Meaning and Building Identity

One of my new year's resolutions is to invest in life-long learning. In addition to the struggle of Duolingo(app that lets you learn languages for free) and whether a verb is masculine, feminine, or neutral; I also have made an effort to watch TED videos. I find TED talks very fascinating, captivating, and I learn so much about my own points of views and it challenges me on things that I just accept as fact.

This particular speaker really took a great concept, applied it to his life, and I share it with you now.

TED TALK

But here's the thing, I'm not talking about his topic (while equally a whole other conversation). I want to discuss this in terms of the Jedi Meaning and Identity. We come to these websites and we challenge ourselves to grow and to be better than the person we were yesterday. But what does that really mean? And, our we silent about what we do to others? Does that help our path? Your path?

Personally, I think for the longest time, we as Jedi have been the "yea, I'm part of this online group of Star Wars fanatics that love the Jedi and we talk philosophy." I mean, lately we've evolved to "And now, every summer, we stretch away from the computer and talk in person at some random location." But, is that the identity that we want? As the IJRS grows, and indeed Jedi Chapters grow; what new identity can we create? What new meaning can we forge?

In other words, when someone asks "What is a Jedi Realist?" What can you say and create now......

"...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. " ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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  • Connor
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Connor replied the topic: Forging Meaning and Building Identity

First, what language(s) are you working on in Duolingo?

Second, I love Andrew's TED talk. I've seen it before a few times. Forgive me, but I didn't watch it again because I am busy this morning. Ha! To answer your question, I think we need to take a step back and look at two things: Where we came from, and What we are doing today. Identity is a mixture of what we have done to get to the present and what we choose to do with it right now. The funny thing is, we tend to think the Past is this big huge thing when it isn't. I imagine most people feel that the Past makes up... 90% of all decision making. We dwell. We consider what we've done. And, we get bogged down by our points of view (leading us to make decisions consistent with our past decisions). This is why people are so pattern oriented. Past-focused decision making is comfortable. It makes sense.

I would challenge Jedi to remove that point of view. I think of it more as 50/50. 50% the past. 50% choice in the now. If you remove the Past from your decision making, you risk losing your mind. This is the state of being that gets you thrown in a mental hospital. All you truly need is a little perspective to help you understand where you have been. In that 50% of choice, though, you have immense power to CHANGE directions. When you had 90% of the Past making your decisions, you were almost predestined to continue down the same road. Now, your choice has as much power as your past. This is how we outcreate our self-sabotage. It begins with asking simple questions: "What else is possible?" "How does it get any better than this?" "What energy, space, and consciousness can I be to create ____ with ease?" These energetic questions guide our choice to new places, things we haven't considered before.

So, the Jedi Realists of today are not bound completely to what we have cobbled together in the past. David, you remember the old JEDI website. You remember that almost everything we did there was a conclusion based on pre-existing knowledge. We weren't creating... we were resketching from movies, books, philosophy books... This is why Jediism is considered syncretic. We had no idea what we wanted. The only thing we were choosing was that our energy guided us to "Jedi Realism" and we followed.

Now, we have the choice in every moment to create what a Jedi Realist is.

This means, yes, we need to remember our Sci-Fi roots. We need to recall the Hero's Journey. We need to give Joseph Campbell a nod every few years.

We also need to only let that make up 50% of our creation because the Universe is a big place. Jedi is what we want it to be. And, our energies will continue to guide us to create it in each moment. Recently, one of my creations was to realize the unimportance of the 'Jedi' name to my path. I mean, we're all just living, right? But, the Jedi is the name of a community, not an individual. So, that's why I continue to attach it to my identity. 50% past. 50% choice.

When somebody asks me: "What is a Jedi Realist?" I just tell them what I'm doing. I study philosophy and energy work. I help people actively in my community. I help run an offline Jedi group. I am the editor of a Jedi newspaper. I am a Knight at one site. I am a faculty member at another. All of these things, though, they are past. Where's my 50% choice? When people ask me what I do, I automatically turn to a biography of achievements. However, it's so much more important to say: "Whatever I'm about to do for YOU is who I am".

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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