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November 3, 2007 at 6:53 pm #138834Beral KhanParticipant
Today I have been given thought to the purpose of being a Jedi.
What, exactly, is the point?
Is it personal: I want to be a better person.
Is it external: I want to be a better person for my family and community.
I suppose the answer can be that it is both but is this it?
What is the drive behind the desire of becoming Jedi. Why has the Force brought us to this point where we have all met online? When you reach out into the future and follow the strands from this point, what do you see?
Are we here to become stewards of the Earth?
Are we here to become shining beacons of Hope for those who would not otherwise have it?
Are we here to become protectors of those who will not be able to protect themselves?
Will we, like our fictional counterparts, one day be outlaws because we stand for what is clearly right and just?
What, exactly, is our purpose as Jedi?November 3, 2007 at 8:49 pm #146774IcarusParticipant
This is my opinion, and it is shared by a few in this community, though I GUARANTEE someone will disagree with my words. Anyways…
Our purpose in being Jedi is layered.
We are to defend the innocent, protect the weak and defenseless, educate others to other options that may be available, protect the earth, assist in disaster relief and recovery efforts, teach, raise up future generations to seek enlightenment and unity rather than division and warfare, feed the hungry… house the homeless, find alternatives to current social issues that divide us all… We are to be that lighthouse on the shore for all of the weary sailors on the sea of despair.
We are to be the examples to our brothers and sisters in this world, to show them that it is possible to live in peace and serenity, to love without expectation, to serve without thought of reward. We are to show others that there is an alternative to the pain and suffering that so many in this world feel.
We are also progress. We are the inventors, the scientists, the innovation that creates a better world. But, we are also the keepers of tradition.
But, in the end, we could do this all on our own. So, why bother dedicating ourselves to this one ideology called Jedi? Why be part of this group, this community, or future Order? Because…
We cannot do this alone. Together, nothing can stop us. Alone? We are just a single soul out on a crusade that is destined to fail.November 3, 2007 at 11:36 pm #146775Silver TalonParticipant
I agree completely with Icarus.
On a personal level; I am a Jedi because there is a fire burning within me that tells me that I have the potential to be more, to be a force for change in the world. Then, somewhere in this desire to be ‘more’ is a realization that in order to be ‘more’ one must become less; That in order to grow and feel more power, I must empower others.
Thus the process is to grow as much as I can personally, so that I can gradually expand my sphere of influence to be able to lift others up to help them to grow. To be a positive role model to the world instead of the negative influence that many popular icons are making on our youth. To be servant of mankind; knowing that as I want to be used, there is so much to do and so little time in which to do it that I will most certain feel used and under appreciated for my efforts, but since I’m not looking for appreciation or recognition, I can toil in obscurity – changing the world one perspective at a time.
Realizing that we can not do everything on our own, we come together as a group to focus on our personal specialties to make the biggest impact within that area as possible.November 3, 2007 at 11:50 pm #146776AslynParticipant
For a change, I pretty much agree with Andrea, odd though that may seem.November 4, 2007 at 1:59 am #146777JaxKeymaster
Lol, well that’s cause she’s right!
I can’t really add anything to what has been said. But I think that’s good! A lot of us are on the same page. It’s a start.November 4, 2007 at 2:40 am #146778AslynParticipant
Yeah, but now I’ve let her enjoy the moment a little, allow me to offer an alternative hypothesis. What is the first aspect of Jedi Training? Well, it’s simple: it all starts with the individual. We are each unique in our own way, and we come to the path for different reasons. Whatever those are, inevitably we come to see that it is the right way for us, and so we continue our training. And that training initially focuses on us: on the people we have been, on the people we are, on the people we wish to be. Our hopes, our dreams, our desires, our eccentricities, our attitudes, our approach to the world. Basically, all about us.
What does this mean? Well, simply put, in developing the individual, in demonstrating to them not only the varying degrees of their nature, we come down to the understanding that life is all about personal choice. And, consequently, the first part of the Jedi way is about individual empowerment: giving us responsibility over our lives, because most of us were too unaware of our ability to take that control beforehand. It’s not uncommon, and we see it all around us. But we come to realise that we’re autonomous, and therefore limitless in potential. With that in mind, we move to stage two: developing that potential.
Here, we get introduced to the techniques and concepts of autonomic practice: Mindfulness, Detachment, Stimuli-Response, Interpersonal Psychology, Emotional Process, Mental Process, Subjectivity, Objectivity, and so on. All those little things which inevitably permit us to exercise our individuality to the fullest extent we know how to obtain. But with this comes a second aspect: Ethics. We believe in the Force, and we understand that it connects life in a way that nothing else possibly could. We realise, considering the implications, that our own actions inevitably have consequences for others. And, so, we have to consider others when we act.
Enter stage three: the development of the notion of service. If we can exercise our own autonomy, make choices for ourselves and accept the consequences for those, it seems only logical that, in order to live in a society where intervention is less and less required, we should perhaps offer our understanding in that same regard. You’ll hear a lot, as Andrea indeed noted, about protecting people, about helping them out of crisis, and so on. But my perspective: it’s about empowering others to do that for themselves.
What was the quote? “Give a man a fish, and he can feed himself for a day. But teach him to fish, and he can feed himself for a lifetime.” And therein is your guiding principle: we can exist as reactive Jedi, beings who simply step in to minimise consequences or clean up problems and mistakes made, because we have the knowledge to do so, or we can be proactive: teaching people how to handle those things for themselves. A protected society is rarely a strong society – adversity equates to growth. If you shield a society, it doesn’t grow, but stagnates. Our job isn’t to eliminate or introduce adversity, but rather to teach people how to handle it for themselves, with their own choices, so that it is for them to determine how they live their lives.
If we serve people, it comes down to whether or not you serve them by acting in their best interests, which presupposes that we know better than they do, or if we better serve by teaching them how to exercise their own autonomy, so that they choose what is best for themselves. That’s the Jedi Way.November 4, 2007 at 11:38 pm #146779Beral KhanParticipant
Yet again, I find myself in gratitude and impressed by your thoughtful statements.
If I may, yet again, say that it is these kinds of words, much like the others you have responded with in other posts, that I believe should represent the philosophical backbone of the Academy.
It generates a resonance that I sense as a truth that many who come to the Academy would find inspirational.
BKNovember 5, 2007 at 1:38 pm #146780AslynParticipant
Well, appreciate your words though I do, most of what I say tends not to be drawn from the overall ideal of the Academy, but rather what I see as reflecting Jedi ideology as a whole – hence, something that the Academy must be reflective of, rather than as something independent of the rest of the Community. Although the Community as a whole tends to disagree massively on many issues, there tends to be an almost unstated agreement as to the various fundamental tenets of our ideology – and often enough, these are never sufficiently articulated or expressed as to permit everyone to be aware of them. I can, in reflection, see how difficult it must be for the majority of students to arrive and find themselves confused as to what it is we even stand for!
But I’m glad I can help. As an instructor, that’s the best I can hope for, to be honest.November 8, 2007 at 1:20 pm #146811YoshioModerator
To add my personal thoughts to this, I like the things which Icarus wrote but also those points which Aslyn mentioned.
More or less I think the same way as Aslyn. It’s important to bring people to the point where they are able to help themselves. But before they are able to do so, they have to learn. In this stage they are like we are here. They are students/learners who need teachers, guides whom they can follow and from whom they can learn.
This is then the point, where I think we as Jedis can/should step in. For the beginning can help them, protect them, guide them and by doing so, teach them to develop there selves for becoming able to do does things for themselves.November 8, 2007 at 1:26 pm #146812AslynParticipant
The trick of it is not to approach them in the same way we would approach a student of Jedi Realism training to develop their own autonomy, however – inevitably, there are aspects of our ideology that the majority would not agree with, simply based on preconception. And it’s not for us to actively work to change their minds – part of being autonomous is making your own judgements, so that’s fine. So, as a consequence, you should all be wary of directly using the things you have been taught to teach others – the way you help others is not through direct instruction, but rather through an understanding of what you have been taught as it applies to life.
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