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  • #138912
    Aslyn
    Participant

    Hey everyone,

    I’ve just been talking to Ellen, and she and I were discussing the idea of the Jedi ‘end product’ – that which you expect at the end of your training. What are we talking about there, do you think? Are we considering a point at which we say “you have done your courses to a satisfactory level, and you are therefore a Jedi”, or when somebody hands you a certificate, or a title (e.g. Jedi Knight etc), or is it simply enough that you trained for the understanding?

    It strikes me as oddly conflicting, when we talk about the reasons for why a person trains, and then compare that to our perceptions of the ‘end product’. Why did you choose to begin training as a Jedi? Was it because you wanted to find a path in life? Because you wanted to fit into the structure, and be a ‘Jedi Knight’? Because your beliefs and perceptions of the world lead you to think that the Jedi Way is appropriate to you? Why?

    I’ve personally been training for coming up on eight years now. When I first started out, I really had no idea what I wanted – why did I start training as a Jedi? Damned if I know, to be honest. I sought a path in life, a direction or an understanding that would offer me something a little more cohesive than “just do whatever you think is best”. And, over time, the very idea of what I see as the end result is still uncertain. I don’t care about the ranks, and I don’t care about approbation from others – although I do certainly see the need for a more coherent approach to what it is to be ‘Jedi’.

    So, in the spirit of Self-Realisation, and as much to stir up some debate and discussion (and no, let’s not get administrative here – I’m talking about your personal views!), I ask you: why did you decide to train as a Jedi, and what do you see as the end result of that training? What do you want from it?

    Regards,

    Alex

    #147416
    Beral Khan
    Participant

    I was drawn to it.  Probably to save my life.  “There is no Emotion.  There is Peace.”  So, yeah.  I nearly dropped it after my life turned upside down earlier this month.  But I found myself reviewing all of my 101 classes as I was finishing a grueling final exam.  I knew today that I am supposed to be here.

    It is a part of my destiny.

    I don’t care about titles, or pieces of paper, and I know that you can only become a Master when you realize it means you are the Servant.

    That is why I am here, to learn to be a Servant to the Force, to my community, to my family, and to myself.

    #147417
    Anonymous

    I just finished writing in my training journal at Jediism Way that I thought one of the most positive and optimistic things that happened to me in the year since becoming a Jedi was that training would never end…there is always more to learn.

    My training at various places has been very much me floating about and allowing others (and possibly the force? ;)) to guide me to training.  I really wasn’t looking forward to either of my last classes at Jedi Academy – but as almost always – they were exactly what I needed to learn.  I also feel I met some people that really helped me as well.

    I am now training more on my own – offline.  I will always be online – because it is here I find my support and fellowship.  I will likely take classes as I can find them.  But I have begun my physical training – and I took a year to find it or it to find me – Qigong – 8 Pieces of Brocade to begin.  It will be something new to me – and a discipline of morning and evening exercises.

    I love Jedi training.  What an amazing idea…lifelong training for a philosophy/spirituality/lifestyle!  It’s brilliant.  It’s deep.  It’s positive.  It’s open-ended.

    I believe a Jedi’s life is one of training and teaching…and exploring…and experiencing.

    #147419
    Icarus
    Participant
    Quote:
    It strikes me as oddly conflicting, when we talk about the reasons for why a person trains, and then compare that to our perceptions of the ‘end product’. Why did you choose to begin training as a Jedi? Was it because you wanted to find a path in life? Because you wanted to fit into the structure, and be a ‘Jedi Knight’? Because your beliefs and perceptions of the world lead you to think that the Jedi Way is appropriate to you? Why?

    So, in the spirit of Self-Realisation, and as much to stir up some debate and discussion (and no, let’s not get administrative here – I’m talking about your personal views!), I ask you: why did you decide to train as a Jedi, and what do you see as the end result of that training? What do you want from it?

    I started “training” as a Jedi when I was a child because when I first saw a Jedi, I believed that they, and their skills, would be needed in the world. And those skills are needed in this world.

    But, I think the real question is: Why did we start training, formally, with the Jedi Community? For me, it was a chance to learn and grow with other like-minded individuals, and perhaps… inact positive change (because of the numbers in the community) in our world.

    I do not think that there is an “end-product.” There cannot be. There can be a close approximation to a level of adept skill, but let’s face it, if we say that there is an end product, then we limit ourselves. Perhaps I am overly negative, or blind to the truth of reality, or some other possibility that keeps me from seeing truth, but I believe that the Jedi Community is off base in most of its applications. I feel that we are a selfish and lazy group (present company excluded) that is willing to settle for less than our true potential in order that we may have someone else call us “Knights” or “Masters.” I care little for what anyone else thinks of me, anyway, so I see this as useless and time-consuming.

    I feel that what makes a person a Jedi isn’t whether or not they are self-actualized, or whether or not they can perform 150 million martial arts moves, or even whether they are able to levitate stones bigger than their heads. It is their willingness to use any skill that they have to serve others. I don’t see a lot of that in this community. So, I guess, if I had to choose an end product on why we should be training, a goal… it would be that we are training, and helping others to train to put all skills into use for the good of society and to think of others before themselves, to live the path of a servant and not the master. I would like to see selfless individuals, fully competent in many areas, go out and give something back to the world that gives them life. That’s my end product. I know it’s very open-ended, but I like that. It leaves plenty of room for personal choice.

    #147420
    Silver Talon
    Participant

    I began training as a Jedi because I saw it as an extension and enhancement of my training as a “warrior”.

    This Academy and the other groups that I am involved with take an approach that I always felt should be taken by anyone who desired their Black Belt. My very first instructor taught me that a Black Belt meant far more than technical skill and knowledge in how to fight — it was about a journey to become a person of character, a leader, and a citizen. Unfortunately, I haven’t met many instructors who share that point of view and so I’ve only seen minor character and spiritual development in most modern martial arts studios.

    I was introduced to the Jedi Community when my cousin and I began to think about preparing a course on light-saber fighting as a fun gimmick for a children’s class. I discovered the Jedi Realist Academy and felt that it carried on the warrior tradition where the martial arts have left off.

    So, in order to really say why I train to be a Jedi; I have to go back to when I began training in the martial arts. First was the intense need to learn self defense due to dealing with bullies. But when I began reading texts on warriorship, something in me clicked and I realized that is what I was looking for. The goal at the time was to receive the awesome technical skill and expertise of a Black Belt – as I’m sure many people begin their training as a Jedi to hold the rather undefined title of Jedi Knight – but as you progress along the path the reasoning changes. You find that it is a journey and not a set destination. It’s a series of goals and achievements, all working towards becoming a better person. There is no single product at the end. It’s a never ending journey with a focus on just being the best person that one can be on a daily basis and learning what that means. That extends to doing our best to help other people based on the skills that we have.

    So far my skills have been the martial arts. I believe that everyone has a need of learning how to defend themselves and I’m very passionate about what I teach. If I see a need or a desire, I provide what knowledge I have for free. I’ve only earned about $30 in all my years as an instructor. But yet I’ve been paid so much. Hearing parents of children or even adults themselves come up to me and tell me how much I’ve changed the life of my student – it might not put food on the table, but it’s more valuable than all the money in the world. Being a warrior is about technical skill and knowledge, leadership and citizenship. A Jedi is just another name for warriorship and if one doesn’t give back and try to contribute to their community and work to change their world within their own sphere of influence, they shouldn’t call themselves a Jedi – so that is the closest that I would come to stating an end-product.

    #147423
    inari
    Participant

    I hope you’re comfy, folks.

    When I was young, I was interested in spirituality and the occult, an interest that was fostered by my grandma, who bought me some books on these subjects that I still have today. I was never attracted to religion, my early exposure to Christianity (of various flavours) and the hypocrisy I saw among the adults who were teaching Christian values kept me right away from that. I turned to science, and studied science at school and continued to study it in University, ultimately completing a bachelor of science degree. However, one of the electives I took at Uni, called the ‘Philosophy of Science’ crystallised the disenchantment I’d felt with my science training, it showed me that Scientists are just as dogmatic, narrow-minded, and adverse to change as many religious people. So I majored in Computer Science, which was a new discipline then and relatively free of the structured thought of the older sciences, and read such subversive authors as Carl Sagen, Stephen Hawking, and what quantum physics texts were available in the early and mid ’90’s. I didn’t understand it all, but I could start to see a different picture of the world that related consciousness to physics and matter, and it excited me.

    Through my childhood, and in fact for my entire life, I’ve always enjoyed fantasy, science fiction and similar genres, which are filled with characters that I wanted to be like. I certainly couldn’t find any REAL role models who attracted me. It was in the late ’90’s when I saw ‘The Phantam Menace’ that I realised that the Jedi of the fictional Star Wars universe (which I’d always enjoyed when the movies were on) had many of the properties that most attracted me…they undertook self development in many ways, physically, psychically, philosophically, they were tolerant and not dogmatic (at least not then), and I realised that if I was to say what kind of person I wanted to be, then I wanted to be like the Jedi in those movies.  It was at about that time, around 1999 or 2000 (I cannot remember exactly when) that I came upon the old Jedi Creed site and at least started reading about the offline Jedi movement, though I didn’t take it further for two or three years after that. Essentially, the path of the Jedi embodied the person that I wanted to become and live out the rest of my life as.

    I have, since, as I have struggled to recognise and overcome my own shortcomings, realised that those of us who are Jedi Realists or similar are human, we have failings, there is arrogance, narrow-mindedness, pettiness, the same as there is everywhere. I still have hope though, because not EVERYONE is like this, and some have realised this as well and are working on these problems. Sometimes I feel down about how far we haven’t come over the years, at other times I feel hope. Either way, I’m determined to continue what I think I need to do to be worthy to be a Jedi Knight.

    Now, we’ve had a lot of people thus far state that they are not interested in ‘ranks’. I’m going to be a bit different here and state that I do, in fact, believe that ranks are necessary, along with agreed-upon standards of conduct, knowledge, and prowess. It has been my impression, from time to time, that there have been two main problems with the creation of ranks. The first is that some people uphold a Jedi Knight to be a model of perfection, something that, in the end, a mere human being could never hope to live up to or attain. I think that it is worthwhile to have such a lofty goal as a model to strive for, but I also think that a certain level of realism is necessary, along with the realisation that humans will occasionally fail and make mistakes. The mark of a Jedi is how these mistakes are handled afterwards, not in the fact that they are never made at all. At least, this is my belief.

    The second problem has been that people who may be too lazy to put in the effort required, or have never developed standards, or for other reasons, have declared people ‘Knights’ (often including themselves in that ranking) because their ideals and standards were too low, and they were not willing to offend potential members by either asking them to get up to scratch, or to leave. Or they couldn’t be stuffed to do it themselves.

    So, we have two extremes here, one with perhaps unrealistically high standards, and one with perhaps unrealistically low standards. If we took this as a scale, with high standards  as 100 and low as 1, I think a Jedi Knight would stand at around 80, and a Master at around 95.

    Now, if I was to say what I see as the end result of this training, I’ll be facetious and say that the training never stops. Even once knighthood has been attained, like any profession there will always be a need to do further study, upgrade and hone skills, and learn new things.

    However, if I was to look at a Jedi Knight as an ‘end product’, perhaps as a product of this Academy, say, I’d look for the following:

    – a reasonable degree of physical fitness, relative to the persons age, any injuries they may have suffered in the past, and their activities. I say this because someone who’s stuffed their knee in the past and is now 50 should not be held to the same physical standards as an uninjured 22 year old, for example. The main thing here, to me, is that the person is able to keep themselves healthy and have a level of fitness that allows them to easily undertake the duties they need and want to undertake.

    – To be able to control themselves and their emotions to the point where they are not ruled by their emotions and responding to life from that viewpoint only. This is not to say that feeling emotions is not important, a Jedi should not be a robot.

    – Practice meditation, have undertaken self-understanding exploration, and used other tools in their self-development that will assist them in the control of their mind and emotions.

    – Know basic self-defence.

    – Study and understand such aspects of inner development as psychic development, philosophy, psychology etc.

    – Have developed a strong skill set in at least one area, not necessarily related to their Jedi practices but such that they have useful skills, have demonstrated discipline and perserverance etc. This could be in computing, in gardening, in healing, in mechanical repair.

    – Have demonstrated that they can apply their Jedi skills in a consistent manner in an offline setting.

    Well, that’s probably not all but it’s a start.

    Regards,

    Inari

    #147425
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    Having read inari’s novella  :P  I tend to agree with her latter half on ‘common sense goals’…

    My two cents worth…

    The ‘final goal’ is not to swing a saber (light or otherwise) or be a kick ass marital artist –
    – you can ‘be that’ and never ‘be’ a Jedi.  The Jedi ‘path’ can be seen as never ending…. that we should be ‘open’ to learning lessons no matter how ‘far along’ we think we are.  With that said, I would hope, after getting along a bit, we could have some common sense ‘goals’ as inari put forth;  perhaps the following?

    Teach patience to others and to yourself.
    Get along with all people and all living things.
    Don’t judge someone because of how they look.
    Find a good thing every day! (It’s easy to get frustrated every day, try and find something positive each day to remember)
    Start the day with a good attitude.
    If you see a wrong, right it if you can. If you can’t find someone who can.
    Don’t lie to others.
    Don’t steal from others.
    Don’t dislike things that you don’t understand. Make sure you fully understand someone or something before you pass judgement.
    Open your heart not to just those who are close to you, but to all humanity. Be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

    No different than following the basic tenents of all philosophies I suppose.  So, I suppose, if we wrap those around the Jedi creed/pledge/philosophy…

    Seek Justice —
    Seek always the path of Right, unencumbered by bias or personal interest. Recognize that the sword of justice can be a terrible thing, so it must be tempered by humanity and mercy.  If the right you see rings true, agrees with others, and you seek it out without bending to the temptation of expediency, then you will earn renown beyond measure.

    Have Courage —
    More than bravado or bluster, a Jedi Knight must have the courage of the heart necessary to undertake tasks which are difficult, tedious or unglamorous, and to graciously accept the sacrifices involved. 

    Be Merciful —
    Words and attitudes can be painful weapons in the modern world, which is why a Jedi exercises mercy in his or her dealings with others, creating a sense of peace and community, rather than engendering hostility and antagonism.

    Practice Generosity —
    Sharing what’s valuable in life means not just giving away material goods, but also time, attention, wisdom and energy — the things that create a strong, rich and diverse community.

    Having Faith —“Faith” means trust and integrity, and a Jedi is always faithful to his or her promises, no matter how big or small they may be.

    Personal Intergrity —
    Nobility — although this word is sometimes confused with “entitlement” or “snobbishness,” it conveys the importance of upholding one’s convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching.  Being ‘true’ to ourselves and to ‘the Way’ in all our daily activities.

    Hope —
    More than just a safety net in times of tragedy, hope is present every day in a modern Jedi’s positive outlook and cheerful demeanor, and inspires people all around. 

    Guess that is a mouthful.. but you should all be used to that from me by now.  ;D

    #147426
    Aslyn
    Participant

    But aren’t those tenets also true for other religions and/or ideological approaches, Kol? What, to you, makes the path uniquely Jedi, hmm?

    #147427
    Icarus
    Participant
    Quote:
    But aren’t those tenets also true for other religions and/or ideological approaches, Kol? What, to you, makes the path uniquely Jedi, hmm?

    That’s kind of the kicker, huh? I hate to point this out, but there is nothing unique about Jedi. Lucas took from so many different paths and tossed all of what he took into one big melting pot, stirred it up with a lightsaber, and you got the Jedi Knights… which means that Jedi is basically a spawn of about a hundred different things. So, maybe the only unique thing about Jedi is that it is a combination of so many different things.

    #147428
    Aslyn
    Participant

    Exactly so. But that which Kol cited were, well, the basic tenets of about 12 or 13 different groups I could name off the top of my head. What makes us different from them, in your view? Okay, I’m going wildly off-topic, but it’s MY topic, so I can do that, right?

    *goes to check the forum rules*

    Anyway, I acknowledge that the combination is what makes up a large part of the difference, but there’s a tad more to it. Anybody want to work out what?

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