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  • #140291
    Stryse
    Participant

    The Trial of the Mark, one of the four Jedi Trials (at least as I conceptualize that concept of Jedi Trials) can be one of the most challenging.    Essentially, when you are Jedi (as far as the Force is concerned) you are changed and the universe knows it.  It’ll respond to it.  It will challenge it.   

    There is a Christian saying that God never gives more than you can take.  It’s meant to inspire hope in yourself.  Whatever the challenges you’re facing, you have that to fall back on in knowing that its within you to over come it.

    To become Jedi is to be marked as such, and essentially the Mark of the Jedi will reveal what you are to the world at large.  Its a subtle thing, people won’t stop and point and stare or anything.  Or maybe they will, but probably not because they recognize at a conscious level what you are.

    Nevertheless, as Jedi, you’ll find things drawn to you that are challenging and may even push you past your skillset to confront.  The Force is your greatest tool in confronting the Trials.  It may be your taskmaster in certain regards, but it is also your ally.

    Exposure can be an uncomfortable feeling.    Now, it’s been debated about how ‘out’ to your friends and family you should be and what not, and I’m not here today to talk about whether or not you should come out of the light-saber closet.  Discretion is something that a Jedi needs to excercise and you should certainly use yours in deciding if and when you do that.

    By being a Jedi, and having it basically imprinted upon your brow for all the Force to see, you’ll find yourselves in situations where its time to live up to your mark.  Its a fact of a Jedi’s life.

    Sometimes its easy, sometimes its not.  One variable that can affect it is how ‘public’ you are in the situation.    When you act as a Jedi, your actions are under scrutiny…  its not that the Force has eyes and is all Big Brother on you, but in a sense it is taking a measure of you.  Feeling you out, as you feel it out.  Its how it ‘knows’ how much you can handle, and thus ensures it doesn’t direct you to something beyond your ability.  It does, however, tend to have a much more honest assessment of where you’re at than you do and that’s why you may find yourself drawn into something that you feel is not only challenging a bit beyond your ability to actually get through.  Now whatever you walk into fully of your own accord, is not really the Force’s fault… so watch your step.

    The question of putting yourself out there could be construed in a couple of ways beyond “do i tell my friends.”    I’m talking about things like letting the Force whisp you where it wills, overcoming an innate shyness (i’ve struggled there all my life)—really just the degree of vulnerability you should permit.

    I’m going to say that I feel it unhealthy to completely wall yourself off from the world.  If you do that, especially post-marking, then you’re going to find yourself struggling with this Trial in particular.  You’re putting yourself in a state that kind of straddles the world of a Jedi and a non-Jedi.  Equally unhealthy would be the opposite side of that spectrum.. we can be open books, but only if we’re comfortable being read.

    There are times as a Jedi where I have to act.  Be it here in these forums, or out in the real world.  I have to honor my committment to my path.  This means putting myself out on a limb, taking a risk, exposing myself a little bit more than I may be comfortable with.  Yet it’s what I must do to get through that particular instance of the Trial.  There is a proverb amongst Dragons that what happens to one stone reflects upon them all.  As a Jedi, my actions reflect upon all of you, my brothers and sisters of the Force who have answered this same calling.  Its an additional burden of scruitny we must walk with.

    Ultimately, the question of putting yourself out there boils down to the balance of two things:    Discretion and Vulnerability.    Cops under cover have to be ultra discreet.  If they see something, that as a cop they really should put a stop to, they can’t as they’ll blow their cover.    There’s a time and place for that.    If you have a spouse, and you aren’t allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable to them, then there will be limitation to your closeness and that inevitably leads to problems in the relationship.  There is a time and place for ultra-vulnerability too.

    In general though, we need to keep ourselves somewhere inbetween.    Food for thought.    Especially in a world with Facebook and such.. there is a valid question in just how open one should be.

    As Jedi, what are your general rules of thumb in this regard?

    #159460
    RiddleNox
    Moderator

    I dunno. It’s better to let my actions speak. I find it’s better to keep my friends and close ones away from that life (except from my girlfriend, who is supportive of my decisions). I tend to tell strangers who I am helping out who i am if they ask. Outing myself is unnecessary. However, my father knows I use the Force as a philosophical aid and he is fine with that. My mother knows nothing. It’s just family specific. My mother doesn’t need to know right now. She might find out in a few years. But, for now… haha. I am excited about the future of the Jedi and how they will soon be respected (hopefully) as a great nonprofit organization. We have to look at this as how the world will view us. A warrior Red Cross. Or, something like that. Propaganda would stir and everything. We would be construed as loonies. Well, I am not afraid of that. :) I’m not. :obiwan

    #159466
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    Sometimes this strikes me as odd…

    We typically do not see people walking about, living their lives with signs above their heads saying “I am this or I believe that”.  Usually that kind of info comes out from more personal contact and/or working in groups where a common belief system or commitment is the point.  

    Two examples where folks literally were walking about practically shouting their affiliations — to the point of becoming annoying (to more then just me).  In the late 70’s the Hari Krishna were a really big deal.  They were robed and offering flowers and ‘free books’ (free as in .. must donate enough to cover the cost of the book) in just about every airport, train station and anywhere else large crowds would be passing.

    I travelled alot then and for a part of that time, was in the military, so I was bumping into ‘the robes’ on a weekly and sometimes near daily basis.  Finally, I kind of snapped… I ‘donated’ for one of their books… and took the offered carnation… thanked them and then started eating the flower.  It was not bad but had an off flavor since they had spritzed it with some perfume.  yuch.   However, after that, it seemed that the HKs never approached me again.. anywhere… so that was weird.    

    Point of the HK story… they were EVERYWHERE and in many faces and finally, the cities had to make ordinances to run them out of the airports and such because they were becoming more a nuisance then simply ‘offering a different way’.

    During that same time, it was almost ‘the thing’ to be ‘Born Again’… and practically have a tee shirt exclaiming such AND be sure to slip in that one was ‘Born Again’ every five minutes or so… kind of like a radio station giving their call signs so many times an hour.   I am not against anyone being ‘born again’…. but, it was more a fad / looking for acceptance then many actually being born.. or born again.

    ***

    What this all is about is … I am not sure why one needs to be telling everyone that they are Jedi.  
    I mean, I work and do the best job I can.  I really do not need to tell anyone that I am doing it because I am a Jedi or that I believe in the Force.    Same for my play activities or private endeavors.  

    Now, if, while playing, I keep winning… then I can claim ‘the Force was with me’…. even if I didn’t use Jedi Mind tricks to make the gaming die work for me.     Or, use my listening skills and then come to conclusions (or repeat what they had just said) and have THEM claim I must be reading their mind.

    It is typically in private conversations when the topic might come up.  I can offer my views; they can theirs.  It is not something I am afraid to voice or ashamed to admit; just not typically something I feel I need to share with just anyone.

    Now, if I am volunteering on a project and they specifically ask me who is sponsoring me and/or who I represent… then I tell them ‘the Jedi and all those geeks at the IJRS’      *TEASING* Never called you geeks.   :P

    #159472
    RiddleNox
    Moderator

    So, for you it’s just “actions speak for themselves”. Or am I wrong?

    #159474
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    I suppose so.

    I always thought chivalry was more then ‘just wearing armor and saving damsels’… so I have always tried to make my actions ‘speak for themself’.    Maybe they do and maybe they do not… guess it depends on how well others can ‘hear’ what the actions are ‘saying’.

    #159475
    Stryse
    Participant

    EDIT:  There have been two more replies, the below was in response to RiddleNox’s original reply.

    That’s interesting, and not uncommon… how we’re happier to just announce ourselves as a Jedi to strangers than to people we know better.  :)

    Here’s an example from just today of the mark in play…

    Well and the other day too… we’ll start there… even though it wasn’t really the mark of the jedi.

    This guy I recently met and I were talking about sci fi shows and such and he says to me, kind of shyly, ‘well my favorite sci fi show is … doctor who’  and I say  ‘i knew you were goind to say that’  (there was a pause before he named it, and I apparently read it (telepathically or otherwise i’ve been pondering)     “How did you know I was going to say that?” he asks, to which I reply…   “Im a Jedi, we have mind tricks.”   Insert sly smile here.

    So today.. i’m walking down the strip on my way to meet this same guy at the theather (we went to see Thor) and this guy is in front of me, and he turns his head around for whatever reason, turns back, turns again, turns back… and we walk a little ways more… just before the corner he stops again, turns around, gives me his story and basically asks for ten bucks.   We passed a bunch of people before he did.  Not sure why me…  but I got a good vibe from him (and really, it all goes back into my local economy… anything on the strip pays my state tax so I generally don’t care too much anyway) and gave him a five since that’s the only cash i had on me that i didn’t need for my ticket.     He expressed his thanks, gave me a hug, and we were on our way.

    #159476
    Angelus
    Moderator

    As I have been walking the Path of the Jedi for many years, I have reached a point where I am very open about my “Mark”. When you check my Facebook page you will see me dressed in robes and carrying a lightsaber. I will tell people that I am Jedi and what that means. What I have noticed is that people can see how seriously I take this path and how self assured I am. Moreover, I am compelled to carry my “mark” with honor, particularly since I am a leader. I can definitely relate to the saying “what happens to one stone reflects upon them all.” It is that knowledge that gives me strength for I know that I am not alone. For all I know, my resolve may be what leads others to become a Jedi as well.

    I admit, that it did take me time to reach this point. There were many “closets” that I kept closed. I would have to send out little “feelers” to see how one might respond. At times I would be fearful of a person’s reaction or that they would think me crazy. But those fears colored my perceptions of people. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally did come out of my various “closets” how much support I truly had. In the end, I realized that people who care about you want to see you succeed, they want you happy.

    My name is Gabriel/Angelus and I am a Jedi.

    #159478
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    lol…. to mangle a quote from “Fried Green Tomatoes”

        Evelyn: Excuse me. I was waiting for that space.
        Girl #1: Yeah, tough!
        Girl #2: Face it, lady, we’re younger and faster.
        Evelyn: … Towanda. (screams and smashes into the car) Towanda!! Yes ma’am!
        Girl #2: what are you doing? Are you crazy?
        Evelyn: Face it, girls. I’m older and I have more insurance.

    I’m older; got some insurance and do not give a wompa’s hind end about what ‘they’ might think of me.

    I salute the venerable (and pretty cool to boot) Gabriel/Angelus.  :obisaber

    #159482
    Stryse
    Participant

    I was trying to circumvent the ‘to announce myself a jedi’ aspect, as I knew it would invariably come up.  :)      It’s part of what I’m talking about, but I think has been talked about already and I was going to go towards another aspect of putting yourself out there.    I had intended to start off with an area I struggle with from time to time… but was distracted (those darn dogs…) and you all had already found it by the time I returned.  :)

    However, its still part of it, and you guys did already hit on something I did want bring up.

    I am about to head out to meet up with some friends… but I’ll post that tomorrow.

    #159489
    Jedi_Phoenix
    Moderator

    This is a very interesting post, one I had not considered.  I’m curious what you consider the other Trials of a Jedi to be. 

    As for this one, I ran with this path lol.  I tell those who ask(if a religious/spiritual debate comes up); but like Gabe pointed out, I do throw out ‘feelers’.  So my answer varies between the Spiritualist/Jedi realm, depending on the audience.  As for telling people, I share with those who will listen.  I find those who are closer to me: family, some of the friends at work and school, accept me for where I am at; and even help steer me in the right direction if they feel I’ve slipped from my Jedi path.

    On the flip side, I then have higher expectations from them, since they know I take my Jedi path seriously.  I also think there comes a point, where you ‘out’ yourself just to the Jedi community, where you begin to move beyond just a username with some posts, to a person who wants to contribute to the growth of the community.  At that point, I would say you have earned your mark with the Jedi (at least in the community).  And, I think this parallels what Stryse was getting at.  It’s subtle, it just sort of happens, but you know when it does because you find yourself setting new and higher goals as well as being more of a contributing force (no pun intended) both online and offline.

    Just one quick note, I hate facebook lol.  It seems to be my virtual black hole.  That damn ‘whats on your mind’ should be something different, because I’m aft to really say it and sometimes that’s not the best way or form to communicate (especially as a Jedi lol).  So that has been a particular challenge of mine.  But I guess, even if you have earned your Mark, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of trials ahead, in fact, I guess there are more lol.

    Phoenix

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