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  • #147429
    Icarus
    Participant
    Quote:
    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?

    I’ll take ‘application’ for 100, Alex.

    #147430
    Aslyn
    Participant

    That’s such a cop-out, Andrea!  :P

    #147431
    Jax
    Keymaster

    I also have a copout – I don’t care.  Whether I call my path Jedi, Peaceful Warrior, or anything I come up with on my own doesn’t matter to me.  I know for some people it makes a difference, but the way I see it, there’s really only one person in this world that really understands my path and that’s the person walking closest to me – my wife.  We don’t know where our paths lead.  So why does it matter what it’s called?  And considering all the resources that made a significant impact on me never mention Star Wars, I figure it isn’t important to call it Jedi or something else. 

    I do, however, support those who do care about the name and defining it.  It’s just not of interest to me at this point in time.

    #147433
    Icarus
    Participant
    Quote:
    That’s such a cop-out, Andrea!  :P

    Like I care. :P

    Actually, it’s not a cop out, and you know it’s the correct answer. So, why don’t you just explain it to us in your pretty language?  :-*

    #147434
    Kol Drake
    Moderator
    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?

    Aye, that’s the kicker as many have said.
    There are christians and buddhists and taoists and methodists and atheists who could all arguably say they follow those ‘dictates’ and … for all intents and purposes ‘be’ thought as one who exemplifies ‘the Jedi life’.  IF they never log on to the Academy, does that make the fact any less true?

    The collection of myth and religion and philosophy mixes and mashed and polished by Lucas was an effort to take ‘all those basic things which people can identify with’ and turn it into that group of folk who wear big bathrobes and speak of ‘the Force’ rather than the Tao or God or Allah or Goddess.  Does that make following a path based on ‘fiction’ any less real to someone who is exploring their own boundaries of faith, self, and the Universe which surrounds them.

    IMO, I think it matters not. 

    So, why do I not ‘go christian’ or ‘go zen’ or….?  I have a little.  I study to see what I can and incorporate that into my self ‘view’ of who I am and how I act/react to the Universe around me.  If I wish I suppose I could go years studying each and every faith, path, and way…. and get totally bogged down with the minutia of ceremony, creeds, ‘rules’ and authorities.  Instead, I wished to take the Jedi path…. which may still lead me along those wandering branches…. but still promises to lead me toward the ultimate goal…. self and Universal awareness.

    #147435
    inari
    Participant

    I’d say that the difference between the Jedi path and a religious one is that we do not worship, there are no periodic rituals to build and maintain power and authority, and we have no dogma. The closest I’d say it came to is the philosophical application of Taoism, rather than the religious one, but less ‘mysterious’, with more method being placed into ‘what’ and ‘how’ than just an acceptance of a basic concept.

    Or at least that’s what I’d like to see, anyway.

    #147436
    Anonymous

    I think I can say (at least for myself) what is different in following the Jedi Path than another religious/spiritual path…

    The Jedi do not claim an origin particular to them.  Yes – there is the mythos of Star Wars and the Jedi of Star Wars.  But what do the Jedi – including those of Star Wars – claim for themselves?

    Nothing.

    They live and learn and train and adapt to what they find in their explorations or missions. 

    Recently I’ve had to research the history of the Dao for my Qigong class.  Being an InfoHoover I went back to the origin of the major Asian/European religions – which is some few thousand years ago and am slowly working forward using the archeological information available to us right now.

    Many feel the Tao is most like the Jedi.  One might say that about the ideals of Plato as well.  One may add some of the Judahiastic ideals.  I suspect if I went into aboriginal religious archeology there would be Jedi-types there as well.

    Yet most religions have individual “creators” or “founders” of that spirituality/religion.

    This lack of individual Founder-based agenda causes the Jedi to be completely open-ended.  The Jedi even allow for an oppositional counterpart – the Sith and Dark/shadow Jedi philosophies – as part of their community and training. 

    How many religions allow you to train lifelong and not have some “fear” of the “other” relgions out there? 

    There is none for the Jedi because they are not religious at their very core.  Not the Jedi who are not also trying to tie into one or another “set” religion I suppose I should specify. 

    I feel it is the open-endedness of the Jedi which is most unique – and it is what makes me very happy and comfortable.

    We can train as we will as Jedi.  We can learn about what we feel we will need in our individual lives rather than having dictated “dogma” or even perscribed identity as someone else said.  There are practical foundational standards I think the great majority of us feel we should be able to follow – or we are not Jedi.  But a “method” is not demanded.

    It is a body/spirit/mind existance – the Jedi.  I don’t know very many religions that allow for training and exploration – including that of having jobs/families etc. as the Jedi Realists live their everyday lives as part of their exploration.       

    The Jedi will change and grow with the times – as they have done from the beginning. 

    I know I have said this before – but I often think those who have been with the Jedi Realist Community for a long time do not realize what an amazing thing they have created over the years.

    The Jedi are like a Koan – it is what they are not that allows them to be more.

    Heh heh… 

    #147437
    Beral Khan
    Participant

    I discussed this with my wife this morning:
    What makes Jedi DIFFERENT from other paths of “enlightenment?”

    It is true: Jedi is much like other religions and fraternal organizations who share the same values as those Kol listed.  Also, I believe Sophi mentioned that the path of the Jedi is flexible enough for those who wish to attach it to religious teachings can do so.

    What the Jedi do not currently have that makes it the same as others:

    Bureaucratic Rules.  While discussing what it means to be this or that, I realized that the Only true definition of Jedi is what the individual puts upon it.

    It’s new, as far as “Paths” go.  It can BE anything at this point and no one can really say definitively what is true and what is not.

    And this brings me to the Academy.  It is defining for itself and those who attend what those who are running it believe being a Jedi SHOULD mean. In my opinion, this should be clear and easy to read.  And like the US Constitution, be open to amendment when necessary.

    #147440
    Aslyn
    Participant
    Quote:
    I also have a copout – I don’t care.  Whether I call my path Jedi, Peaceful Warrior, or anything I come up with on my own doesn’t matter to me.  I know for some people it makes a difference, but the way I see it, there’s really only one person in this world that really understands my path and that’s the person walking closest to me – my wife.  We don’t know where our paths lead.  So why does it matter what it’s called?  And considering all the resources that made a significant impact on me never mention Star Wars, I figure it isn’t important to call it Jedi or something else.

    The name is perhaps not important, Jackie, but I will observe that your role here is as an instructor of Jedi teachings – which indicates that the knowledge you have was learned as a consequence of Jedi education/training, and is thus taught accordingly. I like that everyone has their own personal path, but there are points at which consistency is a necessary thing. Otherwise what do we have in common, as Jedi? Nothing, basically – we wouldn’t even be Jedi under those circumstances. The whole point of the Jedi path is not only to develop consistency of self and in training, but also to see to it that we can aid others in this regard. We don’t have the luxury of personal training – and allowing ourselves that bodes ill for our movement as a rule.

    Quote:
    Actually, it’s not a cop out, and you know it’s the correct answer. So, why don’t you just explain it to us in your pretty language?

    The cop-out was that you didn’t explain your meaning. I know what you mean, naturally, but not everyone will. Hence why I always post those huge and somewhat unwieldy replies, just so we’re all roughly on the same page. But since you asked…

    Although a good number of religions AND ideologies (note the difference, please!) possess values that are similar in nature to those of Jedi Realism and/or Jediism, the primary difference (at least according to Andrea :p) comes in what we do as a consequence of those principles. Say, for example, that we have a belief in the Sanctity of Life. For us, this equates to a set of applied moral principles that must be acted on at ALL times, and have direct applicative meaning – to act one way is moral, to act in another is not. In a good number of religions/ideologies, you’ll tend to get more direct ethical values: love thy neighbour, for example. Jedi Realism, however, tends to focus more on practical thought-based concepts – we define ethical and unethical, and offer a psychological process of consideration whereby you can run a situation through your own mental filters and work out the appropriate course of action.

    Of course, perhaps the most fundamental difference is our focus on Objectivity as being above other approaches. Yes, we have a spiritual/subjective element involved in our ideology, but our applied approach focuses a good deal on choice, consequence and responsibility. This, in turn, leads us to objectivity: how do we act in a way consistent with our moral codes, all the while remaining true to ourselves and not restricting others in their ability to exercise their autonomy in doing so? The answer always comes down to Objectivity – it’s almost a 21st Century equivalent of Kant and Descartes’ belief that reason is the most fundamental centre of human knowledge and understanding.

    And there are tons more, of course. I could go on forever (and have done, in some instances!), so I’ll shut up about that now. You get the idea ;)

    Quote:
    I’d say that the difference between the Jedi path and a religious one is that we do not worship, there are no periodic rituals to build and maintain power and authority, and we have no dogma.

    By ‘Jedi Path’, you refer then to Jedi Realism, since Jediism does all of the aforementioned ;)

    Quote:
    The Jedi do not claim an origin particular to them.  Yes – there is the mythos of Star Wars and the Jedi of Star Wars.  But what do the Jedi – including those of Star Wars – claim for themselves?

    That’s very good, Asta. I have to say, I’m impressed. The origins of our own particular ideology are somewhat hazy, to be honest. The most fundamental belief of our ideology – the existence of the Force – is one that’s been around thousands of years (perhaps moreso even than God, if you think about it). We’re essentially looking at Life Energy, that which is responsible for the creation and continuing maintenance of life. A very, very old idea, but one we’ve adopted and altered slightly, in keeping with our modern understanding of the world and the universe around us. I suppose you could say we have a different spin on the matter ;)

    Quote:
    This lack of individual Founder-based agenda causes the Jedi to be completely open-ended.  The Jedi even allow for an oppositional counterpart – the Sith and Dark/shadow Jedi philosophies – as part of their community and training.

    Well, the problem with that is that their not even particularly an oppositional counterpart – in all honesty, our focus is very much on the same thing. The primary difference between what you’d consider the modern ‘Jedi Realist’ and those that adhered to the aspectual systems is simply in approach – each had a focus, but similar objectives (whether they knew it or not). I suppose, if you wish, you’d be considering them akin to Christian Denominations, had there ever been a singular approach that continued to dominate our community. Sufficed to say, that’s just not the case.

    Quote:
    We can train as we will as Jedi.  We can learn about what we feel we will need in our individual lives rather than having dictated “dogma” or even perscribed identity as someone else said.  There are practical foundational standards I think the great majority of us feel we should be able to follow – or we are not Jedi.  But a “method” is not demanded.

    That’s as much our greatest weakness as it is our greatest strength, I’m afraid to say. We’ve had a community divided for decades with arguments and conflicts based purely over personal interpretation of something never wholly articulated. I daresay it would have been easier if we’d had doctrine to start with – you could argue with that until you’re blue in the face, but people would at least still be training according to a set system, which would allow for consistency. But because we don’t, people are concerned over the nature of what a Jedi ‘is’, and until we have one consistent answer, no two Jedi will ever be truly alike, nor have trained under the same system. I trained under several different people myself, and they were all different from each other, as I am from them. To a certain extent, that’s natural, because you introduce personal preference, subjective approach and interpretation, but the heart of the matter is this: we have no objective foundation of the Jedi, merely many hundreds if not thousands of similar but nonetheless different subjective approaches.

    Quote:
    I know I have said this before – but I often think those who have been with the Jedi Realist Community for a long time do not realize what an amazing thing they have created over the years.

    Oh, we know what has been achieved, but we’re never quite satisfied with the outcome. It’s a case of having a vision that extends well beyond what we have, but never being able to see that realised. It’s consequently very frustrating for most of us, and it certainly doesn’t help matters. What we need is one vision, not a hundred different ones. But working out the common elements is, again, problematic beyond belief. Don’t get me wrong – I know there is one, but convincing people to see that is even moreso problematic.

    Quote:
    And like the US Constitution, be open to amendment when necessary.

    The fundamental difference between what we have and the US Constitution is that the latter is one of those things that ‘is’, and thus cannot be contradicted unless amended as a consequence of the process of law. The Jedi ideology, however, has no such thing available to it, and thus there is no doctrine to amend or develop – just many perspectives, and little in the way of solid work saying that this IS, and that ISN’T. A huge problem, alas.

    #147447
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    Training…
    There should be a guideline of ‘what would be nice’ for training, though I do not think we need to be so strictured as to want cookie cutter results…. we are individuals not clones or robots.  That said — while looking at what would be appropriate for ‘ourselves’, we can still train under ‘rules’ — as when someone takes a martial arts class.  They are obliged to follow the rules and ceremonies dictated by the instructor and style. 

    After a night of sleep – the thought came to me that the Jedi are sought out over other religions or ideologies… due to the idea of iconic role models.

    Consider the following —
    Charles Barkley stands in a dimly lit gym with a basketball squeezed between his beefy hands. He is only filming a commercial. Or is he? As he looks squarely into the camera, he declares, ” I am not a role model…I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court”.  After he says this, a question begins to form in the minds of the viewers. Who, then Charles, should be a role model?  Now, just because this is a commercial for a basketball shoe does not mean Charles Barkley does not have a reply floating around in that shiny bald head of his. He retorts, “Parents should be role models.  Just because I dunk a basketball, doesn’t mean I should raise your kids”.  Whether many people care to admit it or not, Charles Barkley is absolutely correct.  Basketball players, along with other athletes, are experts at their chosen sport and not at guiding youngsters through their childhood years.

    And, that is the ‘kicker’ again.  Look around and who are considered ‘role models’ these days?  Movies stars?  Not with the plethora of ‘stars’ being arrested for drunken driving, drug use and other jailable offenses.  Sports figures?  Fifty years ago, folks played ‘for the love of the game’.  Some had exceptional talent and skill and crowds would watch out of admiration and a desire to see ‘someone like that’ who may show only once in a lifetime.  These days, it is not so much love of the game as love of a gi-normous multi-million dollar contract and commercial endorsements.  And, sports has been sullied even more with the various eras of drug abuse.  It is no longer shocking to most who read of another baseball player caught using steroids or a football player who, held high for being ‘an aggressive monster’ on the field of play, is jailed for using those same aggressive impulses on his wife/girlfriend/unknown person in public or private.

    The list of non-role models goes on and on… unfortunately. 

    Myself — I would like to have a chat with folks like Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Plato and Socrates — all men of remarkable minds and philosophies.  All role models in their own rights.    In fiction, there are the Knights of the Round Table and ‘the Fellowship of the Ring’ and others… all with some essence of traits or ‘action’ which make give them a life and ‘spark’ worth wanting as one’s own.

    Where does this wandering lead me?  To the Jedi.  They have that ‘essence’ of role model and iconic — probably near mythic character which resonates with a person… which makes one “want to be like that”.  And “that” tends to emcompass much of what I listed before and what the others have posted on… nobility of spirit, consistancy of action, forthright judgment, critical thinking with an open eye and mind to all views, and…. on and on.  Iconic figures.  Mythic men and women worth noting and emulating.  And, even if we never ‘meet the measure’, we can only better ourselves in the effort of trying to ‘be’ the best person/Jedi we can be… no matter if we never learn to block a spinning reverse heel kick or double block and slide a blade to slice a wrist or stop an intergalatic trade embargo.   

    Everyman becomes ‘Better man’ when we stretch to be more than we are.

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