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June 4, 2010 at 2:33 am #139801StryseParticipant
Although the basic ‘movement’ has been alive and well for at least a decade now, the notion of Jediism is a bit muddied in meaning. Different groups have arisen from those inspired to take up the mantle of Jedi. Their differences are what they are, and tend to amount to little, for they are all united by very common ground. One of the interesting subsets of these groups is the Jedi Churches that dot the globe. Not all Jedi view their path as a religious one. Indeed there are many who we deem the faithful of their respective religions, who nevertheless walk the Jedi’s path. So too are there many who claim no religion but yet are indeed Jedi. Whether or not to view the Jedi Path as a religious one is, of course, a matter of personal choice and tastes.
How though, should we look upon these Jedi Churches?
Jedi are known for their wisdom, and wisdom suggests that Churches have the potential to great good in the world, as well as possessing an equal capacity to do harm to the world and its denizens. Thus I believe a Jedi should view such churches with the wisdom that all things in our world are dual in their nature. Jedi, however, are also known to be a fairly open-minded bunch and ones not overly eager to disregard another perspective out of hand. Thus I suspect a fair- and open- minded approach is also advisable when approaching Jediism as a religion.
To really get to know a Church, and by extension, its people, one should have some tools by which to conduct proper analysis. To this end, I would like to arm you with a few important terms, as they represent things you should get to know about a church in order to make an informed opinion of them. While I intend these as tools toward comparative-religion, they can often be well suited toward the understanding of orders of a non-religious nature.
Doctrine – A Codified set of beliefs.
Orthodoxy – Aligning to a specific doctrine.
Dogma – Doctrine that is enforced. In a religious context this is what turns something from a recommended practice into a mandate. (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!)
Heresy – Teaching that contradict dogma (not doctrine)
Blasphemy – Anything that is untrue to a true believer, and generally taken as an insult. Irreverence.
Praxis – The practical application of knowledge.
Exegesis – Interpretation of a text, often of a religious nature (for Jedi, it would be useful to know the Exegesis of the Star Wars mythos the Jedi Church you are studying has arrived at on whatever matters interest you)
Metaphysics – Study of the nature of reality itself, typically an excercise of intellect.
Ontology – Study of us, who and what we are.
Cosmology – Study of the Universe/Creation – literally study of everything.
Cosmogony – Origin of the Universe/Creation
Eschatology – Study of the afterlife – what happens to people after death, typically in a religious context (becoming one with the Force, perhaps)
Epistemology – Study of how knowledge is aquired, inquiry into the processes of learning and understanding.
Apology – Writing that defends the faith or beliefs.
Apostacy – The renunciation of a religious belief.
Mystery – (As in Mystery Traditions) – “Psychic” fermentation that can not be hurried, but that gradually transmutes knowledge into personal awareness. (Most Jedi seek to understand the Mystery of the Force. Jedi Mystics dedicate themselves to this pursuit.)
Also, as it may be of use when looking at non-Jedi groups that you have an interest in, here are some additional terms you might be interested in knowing:
Theogony – Origin of the Gods
Atheism – Belief in no gods
Theism – Belief in at least one god
Deism – Belief in a grand creator that is uninvolved in our day to day lives.
Agnosticism – Having no certainty one way or the other about divinity.
Gnosticism – Spiritual tradition that actively promotes direct knowledge of spiritual matters.
Monotheism – Belief in only one god.
Duotheism – Belief in two gods, or polarized force that comprises “god”: yin/yang, male/female, alpha/omega
Monism – Belief that the universe/creation is a single entity.
Polytheism – Belief in many gods
Pantheism – Belief that the universe/creation is all part of many gods (gods for everything…)
Henotheism – Acknowledges existence of multiple deities, but worships one (personal god) or a specific pantheon
Dualism – Doctrine of opposing principles, such as good and evil; religious idea that beings are dual in nature.
Animsim – Belief that everything is ‘animate’ and has a spirit, if not a consciousness.
Sin – To miss the mark. (Personally, I view this as a good thing for people who genuinely seek to learn from their mistakes.)June 5, 2010 at 7:48 am #154877Brandel ValicoParticipant
My final thoughts on the specific person in question not the Jedism Church as a wholeQuote:A Jedi’s every action reflects on the entire Jedi order/group. Good deeds serve the reputation of the Group/Order. But poor behavior does incalculable damage. Every Jedi should try to remember that each person he meets might never have encountered a Jedi before. How he behaves establishes a first impression of the Jedi, as a whole, in the person’s mind. When a Jedi behaves badly in public, an observer might think, ‘If this Jedi is a representative of the whole Order, then plainly no Jedi is worthy of respect.’ On meeting a second Jedi, who behaves better then the first, that same person might think’ Does this say that half the Jedi are good, and half bad?’ On meeting a third Jedi, who behaves as well as the second, the person thinks, ‘Was the first Jedi an exception, then?’ In this way, only by the good behavior of several Jedi can the public be certain that poor behavior of one Jedi was unusual. Thus, it takes many Jedi to undo the mistakes of one.
A useful list of terms Stryse thanks for sharing them. Other then Jedi I have yet to find a term that represents my own view on what some call God/Gods. But it is always good to know the terms that apply to certian common views. While most were all ready known Monism is a new one to me. So thanks for sharing it and the rest as well.June 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm #154884StryseParticipantQuote:A useful list of terms Stryse thanks for sharing them. Other then Jedi I have yet to find a term that represents my own view on what some call God/Gods. But it is always good to know the terms that apply to certian common views. While most were all ready known Monism is a new one to me. So thanks for sharing it and the rest as well.
I have often pondered a good term for what generally are lumped into the category of god too. I sometimes wonder if regarding them as the true ‘Masters’ of ‘Jediism’ might be appropriate.June 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm #154887Brandel ValicoParticipant
I would for myself leave what to call the “God” concept for “Jediism” to one of them or a group of those who follow it. As one who doesn’t do so. It would be arrogant for me to try and make those descions for them.
As for myself I am among those who see the Jedi path as simply a Philosophy/Way of Life and open to the practioner following any Religion they wish. Including Jediism as well. Your own views on what makes a Religion are interesting and well thought out. The idea of personal Religions and each of us following our own unique varation.June 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm #154912StryseParticipantQuote:I would for myself leave what to call the “God” concept for “Jediism” to one of them or a group of those who follow it. As one who doesn’t do so. It would be arrogant for me to try and make those descions for them.
As for myself I am among those who see the Jedi path as simply a Philosophy/Way of Life and open to the practioner following any Religion they wish. Including Jediism as well. Your own views on what makes a Religion are interesting and well thought out. The idea of personal Religions and each of us following our own unique varation.
I might have misread it, but I think we were talking about how to personally view them, not how Jedi everywhere should come to accept them. Of course that relies on the acknowledgement such entities, whatever they might really be, exist at all in the first place.June 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm #154926Brandel ValicoParticipant
Just a shift in thought on my own part for the second reply.
I for myself don’t believe in the concept of God/Gods/Goddess’s be they of any varity. But I do believe that they exist for those who do believe in them.
As for a term to lump the God concepts into. Since God is a generic term I use it for that concept. When I spoke of not knowing a term for my beliefs in Gods. It is the above concept I was speaking of. Someone who doesn’t believe that any of them exist for myself. But I do believe they exist for those who feel they do.June 8, 2010 at 8:46 pm #154927StryseParticipantQuote:Just a shift in thought on my own part for the second reply.
Well that is certainly allowed.July 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm #155455StryseParticipantQuote:I never told my own religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another’s creed. I am satisfied that yours must be an excellent religion to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged.”
Taken from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1816
When it comes to the religions of others, I think the words of Thomas Jefferson are rather inline with the Jedi path. Its not really whether we agree with or disagree with the beliefs and practices of any religion; what measures whether or not we are being true to the ideals of the Jedi is in how we approach them. We don’t have to endorse a religion as good or bad, nor do we have to agree with what is practiced within that religion. We do, however, need to conduct ourselves with respect and thoughtfulness in regard to the beliefs held by others.
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