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  • #140241
    sajekual
    Participant

    Hello,

    My name is Justinas, I’m from Lithuania. I suppose my introduction might seem quite extraordinary due to it’s length, therefore, I hope that I won’t cause a lot of headache to the people who will sacrifice their time reading this.
    I see that the most common way here to introduce one is to write a short post, and then direct questions to other sections of this forum, but as I tried to plan my course of action, I saw that my introduction and these questions are inseparable. So, I decided to post everything in one topic, hoping it will allow for better mutual understanding.
    There is another reason for this topic, rather than jumping straight to training. It is my doubts of my suitability for the Jedi path, despite the wish.
    Three more things before I begin. I have observed IJRS for some time, trying to understand the Jedi definition here, comparing to my definitions. Not everything agreed, not everything I did understand. Therefore, some of my thoughts and questions might seem like a criticism (some indeed are), but I would very much appreciate if this criticism wouldn’t be taken as an insult; criticism often derives from lack of knowledge, misinterpretation, and, most often, wish to make things better, encourage to rethink, explain, prove, finally – improve.
    Second thing is my English. I’m working on it. It’s hard for me to express complex thoughts and statements, so if I’m making myself unclear, just tell me, and I will try to address the problem.
    Third, since I have many questions, which are interweaved into my introduction, I will write numbers after each question, so these questions wouldn’t get lost in this big post. If some of you will take your time answering my questions, you can write the number of the question you are answering to. This way, there will be no need to ask again or desperately try to get attention. I will also write numbers after or inside some paragraphs, because I wish you to comment my thoughts.
    Thank you for your time.

    I’ll begin with my biography and description of my former and present thoughts.

    As I have said, my name is Justinas (I’m not sure about writing my surname here – it can be accessed from search engines on the internet, and I do not wish to be found by random persons), and I’m from Lithuania, small country in Eastern Europe. Currently, I’m dwelling in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius. In my knowledge, there are no Jedi here in Lithuania, at least none that I’m aware off. I’m 20, and I’m studying in Lithuania Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA in Lithuanian), 2nd grade, classical guitar specialty. No kids, no bad habits, except for sleeping until 1pm. My handle at IJRS is Sajekual, and I use it only here. A short list of my hobbies and interests: apart from music, which includes guitar, piano and composition, I’m interested in programming (especially the field of artificial intelligence), chess, aviation, astronomy and astronautics, craftsmanship (just making things), philosophy, and I’m quite into books. Maybe knowing these things, people here will better understand what I write.
    As I was a child, I was always the one to disagree with everything, make my own “truth”, never to go with the crowd. I used to dream, to have fantasies of things that would never be possible. The real world was too empty, too boring for me, I wished for it to change more rapidly, to feel the thrill, travel far, far away. To where? Far, far away, where I could find people like me, to be able to understand them and be understood, I told myself. That was the reason I was irreparable book-eater. Books let me forget the reality, fulfill my dreams. But what was about this reality that caused me so much unrest? Things that I saw as injustice, as senselessness, things I couldn’t change. I couldn’t stand myself being limited, like everybody. I wished to step further, to have power, knowledge, so I could make world “better” – in my way of understanding, what is “good”. But now, as I remember my youth, I question myself – wasn’t this wish “to make world better” only a shelter for another, hidden wish to have power, tools for these makings? Power just for power? I’m still not sure. One thing I know for sure – I never wanted to live a dull life, and do nothing about evil and injustice I saw in this world. Maybe someday I’ll understand what kind of ego was behind all that idea – it is said that our every action can be explained with our ego, just sometimes on the long run. Nevertheless, was the idea wrong? Whatever the reasons, I wished to make life better for others, and that was enough to go on.
    Far, far away… I’m not sure how old I was when I saw these lines on the screen of cinema. Seeing “Star Wars” made me feel I finally found my land of my dreams. The portrait of the Jedi looked like a complete embodiment of my ideas. Even now I understand that these movies were made just for the daydreamer kids like me (especially episode 1), mercantile, populist, with many unimportant, stupid elements (Jar Jar Binks, C3PO, etc), there was also something more. Something that moved me into realization of my dreams. No question, I wanted to become a Jedi! I wished complete command of the Force, to build a lightsaber, and join these, who make the world right! As I sat in my school chair, squeezing my head with dull math, day after day, I dreamt that the Jedi could fly in with spaceship, take me onboard, saving from this misery, and fly to the planet far, far away…
    But they never came.
    As a child, of course, I was impressed by the Jedi’s power, not choices. That lead me to great things – I started to learn AIKIDO at dojo, and did it for 6 years. I felt that I’m getting closer to my goal. I wanted to share my dreams, thoughts with others – friends, parents – and I told them. At first, they only laughed affably. But one day, parents told me, that it is time to grow out of that “childish nonsense”. I answered, that I’ll never grow out of it. And kept silence since then.
    When I was about 10-12 years old, I finally got access to the internet once a week. I discovered that a group of “Star Wars” fans announced themselves as Jedi. Afterwards, there were few more such announcements. I investigated, and left disappointed: these people were still “hot” after the movies and/or some RPG, and were looking for some fun together. It wasn’t what I was looking for. During this time, I started to understand what it means to be a Jedi more deeply – it is not only pushing things around with the Force, and slaying enemies with the lightsaber. I got interested in the Jedi philosophy. I wished to become a Real Jedi, not play RPG or wear Jedi-like cloak and walk around with a grin…
    After some time, I discovered http://www.jedi.org, which promised much more seriousness. They even organized training, sadly, online only. I signed up for the training. As much as I recall training program, it was a little unfinished, or, to be more exact, organized strangely, with questionable priorities.
    I couldn’t participate in the training due to lack of computer and ability to access internet for more but a few hours per week. I didn’t learn much. Wrote few articles, red some material. Late, at 14-15, I quit. Now, I’m not sure why. Probably, I got scared of what I did. Thought that this is childish, unserious. Maybe I lacked will. Maybe something more. So I left the site, the idea of Jedi, the “Star Wars thing” for at least 4 years. Probably because of shame of being childish. I quit even my attempts to live with the Force. Case seemed closed. What has changed during these 4 years? I can’t remember them at all. At around 15, I started playing guitar (it was the first touch with the music – I hadn’t any musical training). At some time, I left AIKIDO dojo, since it was incompatible with guitar.
    Later, after much attempt to learn what I missed during my former years in music (normal musicians learn to play instrument from 6-8 years, they go to music school – I did not, so I had to catch up, especially in theoretical disciplines, which I started to study only half a year left before trying to university – it was late decision to choose musician’s path). I was accepted into LMTA, almost by chance, since I was far weaker in music than my colleagues. In university, first time in my life, I had philosophy lectures. They made a huge impact on me. The ignited a new stage of life – first year in university was fast and uneven growth, like a teenager’s “jump” to maturity, just mines was mental. Almost everything changed – my core values, principles, methods, logic, ideals, goals, and so on. This was very painful growth, but unavoidable. And necessary. There were drawbacks, too. Life became faster, things that were difficult before, now became routine. But the most important gift I was given during that year was a will to think. It moved me out of lethargy, or some bed of ice. Before, I was lost in logical methods. I couldn’t find out how to think coherently, how to make some solid steps in philosophical thinking. I was haunted by uncertainty, re-thinking, being stuck in one place for too long, emotions clouding judgment, inability to think something from start to the end without being distracted, to find where to start solving problem from, and so on. With will to think, I built my logical method, and got out of the pit. My final conclusion, and the start of further progress, was that until then, I didn’t realize that my problem lied in lack of will. Will to think, decide and act. With this realization, came this growth.
    After first semester in university, I started to think about joining Jedi. I started searching for sites where I could find people with serious interest, not movie fans. I was directed to IJRS. And I observed it for some time. I planned to write this letter for more than a year, yet I waited, since I wasn’t certain of my choice, and of what I am. I wished to became stable, and grow confidence in my actions, be able to hold responsibility of my choices.
    There was heavy reason for me to doubt my wish to be a Jedi. I once again watched Star Wars, and felt the draw. But why I haven’t felt it before, I asked myself? Maybe this wish isn’t true, sincere? In my life, I was always getting “hot” from new ideas. Especially in my youth. If I watched some movie about Spider-Man, I wanted to be him for a few weeks. If I red some interesting articles about cars, I couldn’t help myself but to look for opportunities to drive – at least in computer game. If I red a book about war, I wanted to be a soldier. And so on. But when time passed, these wishes cooled down, and I saw that they weren’t deep, true. Only reflections of my current actions, only small passions. So I was worried if my wish to be a Jedi isn’t one of these passing passions. I knew only time can test this. So I waited.
    After half a year, I haven’t changed my mind, although there were many doubts. There is a great sacrifice involved in Jedi’s path. To me, it is a sacrifice of having to live a secret life. I’m afraid that, most probably, I’ll never be able to reveal myself as a Jedi to my friends, girlfriend, and parents. It is very hard to explain why. Where I live, if you told you are a Jedi Realist, people would look at you like you said you are a Spider-Man. Most people wouldn’t even try to think more deeply about what Jedi is. Preconception would suggest it is childish, stupid, and shameful. It is an imitation of movie character. Something that only children do. And mental patients sometimes. Maybe eventually people would leave you in peace, but relationship would never be the same. They would look at you as a mental patient. I remember when in my youth, I told my friends that I want to be a Jedi. Rumor spread across the school, and everybody laughed at me for a few years.
    So I’m forced to hide my identity as a follower of the Jedi path even from the closest ones. Right now, I have a girlfriend. We are together more than 3 years (before, we were friends for 3 more years). We understand each other greatly. Our partnership is more than I could ever expect. I can tell her almost everything. Except… about Jedi. I have made careful steps, examining her, trying to see how she would react if I told. And I understood that she may never understand me at this. She would laugh. My attempts to show her the Force were fruitless. She denies it. She doesn’t want to believe it. I had an idea: what if I shown her Star Wars, without telling that I chose Jedi’s path?
    I was quite sure that this would work, until I tried to watch Star Wars saga one more time, trying to pretend I never saw it before. I am not a Star Wars fan. For me, these movies have big symbolic and sentimental meaning. I grew up with those movies; I fall in love with them before I could see their flaws. But now I realize, that apart from the idea, Star Wars just aren’t good movies at all. I saw movies of Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin, Steven Spielberg, and when I compare their works to the one of George Lucas, sadly, I can’t help myself but think that Star Wars is just an another Hollywood series of commerce movies, orientated to kids and space franchise fans. Let me explain, since I believe most people here would disagree with me.
    What is good in Star Wars saga? George Lucas managed to create a strong atmosphere, a feeling of this fictional universe, with all its features. This was made solid. Having red the drafts of Star Wars, and saw the deleted scenes, I realize that these movies could be very different with little changes. But Lucas found the balance here. Fragile balance. Also, the idea of Jedi and the Force is great as well. I admire these things. But.
    What isn’t that good? Well, to start with episode 4 – plot is weak. It reminds me of some soap opera or primitive fairy-tale. Good guys never get hit, Luke becomes a hero in a day (what a talent, eh!), ending is sweet to nausea. Just another Hollywood space action movie. The idea of Jedi and the Force is presented primitively, without any deeper explanation. Use the Force. To push things around and fool storm troopers.
    Episode 5 is way better. It isn’t banal, is made with respect to realism, there is some philosophy, drama and tension no “happy ending”, yet, however, some nonsense wasn’t avoided (how much time does Luke spend with Yoda until he gone out to Bespin? Common sense suggests that no longer than 1 day. Quite a progress he made!).
    Episode 6 is banal too. I hate these “happy endings”. Usually, they kill all the drama. This is good example. It is banal to the point of no return. At least there was some drama and paradox in Palpatine scene.
    I won’t comment episode 1, 2 and 3. Jar Jar thing, and acting of Hayden Christensen speak for themselves. While old trilogy was made with at least some attempt for greater art, the prequel trilogy is just some money maker. Sure, the fictional atmosphere is strong, but that isn’t enough for a movie.
    To summarize, there is no great art involved, acting is average, there is great emphasis to show how “cool” special effects can filmmakers make today. And the only thing that interests me – idea of Jedi and the Force – is undeveloped, unexplained. Star Wars are just action-based movies. Can you imagine Star Wars without even a single combat scene? I can’t. It’s because that lightsabers, droids, blasters and spaceships are the spine of these movies. It’s how we recognize them. Most important things – what is the Force, what is the true path of Jedi, what is the Jedi’s place in the galaxy – are touched only a little. And it is obvious why – who would buy a movie with 6 episodes of philosophy, and no cool lightsaber action? Maybe the idea, that “Star Wars” truly means the wars in people’s hearts, of subtle changes  that affect more than any wars could, is lost in attempt to show how big  and explosive fighting scenes can get. The only thing apart from the idea of Star Wars, that I really like, is its soundtrack. John William’s work is so amazing, that I sometimes even wonder whenever it was a movie made after his music, rather than music after the movie. I couldn’t imagine Star Wars without its music. John Williams is the man.
    I understand some people would be angry at me because of this criticism, but let’s be honest. Watch the works of greatest directors of world’s history, and then compare to Star Wars saga. Idea is great, Lucas, but that isn’t enough! I expect movie to be a piece of art. Art that is free of efforts to please fans, of goal to hit box office records (#1 comment this, please).
    So I’m afraid, that people who never saw Star Wars in their young years, will have too many preconceptions, and will not allow themselves to look at these movies seriously. Stupid, non-important elements will create alienation, and the word “Jedi” will accrete with these elements. The essence of Jedi will become the ability to fight with saber, the Force – a magic to throw things around, and then, I have to admit, the whole idea will look childish indeed. It took me many years to finally understand what true essence of Jedi and the Force lied underneath the failed work of George Lucas. That’s why I can’t present these movies to people I care for, like my girlfriend. Until they are free of preconceptions, seeing these movies can make irreparable damage to Jedi idea’s “reputation”, imaginative conception, definition.

    Maybe I managed to explain why I cannot let anyone discover my identity as a Jedi. That would prove fatal. But it is hard to hold such a secret, to live a double life. I try to live as a Jedi, to think, to act like one, but simultaneously, never reveal why I do that, why I think like that, what are the roots of my life, what do I stand on, what I believe. This kind of loneliness – when you can’t even tell anyone that you’re lonely – is one of the greatest trials I have ever experienced. I suppose some of you may want to comment this problem – maybe you have felt this struggle? I would very much appreciate any opinion (#2).
    So, as I left off before, I have found IJRS, and examined it, to see if it is what I’m looking for. I red FAQ, some articles, browsed forum a little. There were things that I agreed and disagreed with. Many things I did not understand.

    I thought that before asking and commenting on what I saw in IJRS, it would be a good idea to present my definitions, concepts and ideas, so that it would be clear what I think.
    Most of my ideas were influenced by the Socrates, Plato, Bacon, Descartes and Nietzsche. Before I present my philosophical ideas, I must present my logical method, as it will be needed in order to explain.
    The idea of the closed system:
    It is a system, which, although may not be truly perfect in its purpose, must be closed in order to function. Every part of it is linked to others, directly or indirectly, and is affecting the whole system. Corruption of systems integrity may defeat the purpose of the system. Therefore, the part of the system is worth nothing until it is joined with all other parts again. While there isn’t a system that ideally fits this definition, a primitive example could be a sports ball. Or a logical method, like mathematics. Or an idea. To some degree, a computer. It is very important to understand the principle of this system, because I will use it often. In fact, the whole philosophy I have developed is an attempt to create closed system. Therefore, it may sound wrong until everything is explained. Please keep that in mind when reading further.

    #158708
    sajekual
    Participant

    The human flaws:
    During my late reflections, I have observed myself and others, and have tried to define major human flaws that limit him in many ways. Although this is a big topic, on which I’m planning to write an essay, I’ll present just a short description right now, so you could get the idea. Although this is not the thing to start with, I must early tell that I am not free of these flaws, and I do not put myself above other people: I’m just aware of some of these flaws, and trying to describe them. Probably the main and the most important flaw is the lack of will. I oppose the common misconception that the will is an ability to do something you don’t want to: this often leads to blind choices, trying to prove that you have the will. I see the will as an ability to do something that you are currently limited, restrained to do. There are three stages of the will: a will to think, to decide, and to act. While these may seem very similar, I believe them to be very different. A will to think is an ability to confront the thoughts and truths that are hidden by human’s sub consciousness, since they oppose needs, interests and self-preservation instinct. In other words, a power to overcome limitations put on by our nature. A will to decide is an ability to accept the price of the choice, even if you understand its inevitability. It is again a struggle against self-preservation instinct. The will to act is a power to execute your decision. It may seem the same as the decision, but in my life, I have observed that people often stop even though they have decided. I’ll give an example to explain these stages of will.
    Imagine a kid who has stolen a sweet from a shop (but didn’t eat it yet). He realizes that this is forbidden. However, his natural greed stepped over the moment he stole the sweet. In order to restore the harm kid done, he has to pass three stages of will. First, he does not wish to think about the crime he committed. Stealing a sweet was beneficial to him, it served his needs. While he realizes that stealing is a crime, he feels that if he confronts this truth, it will lead him to the renunciation of his loot. This conflict between his will and his instinct may lead him to giving up, forgetting the remorse, and eating the sweet. But if he is willful enough, he may force himself to think honestly: was that right to do? If not, what should I do now? Let’s say he has the will, and clearly realizes that he has done a wrong thing. He has now to decide what to do. While it may seem quite obvious – bring back the sweet to the shop, it carries a price. He will have to face the shame, to look at the eyes of people he stole from, to admit his crime loudly. The fear of this once again may stop the kid, and instead of doing what is right, he will stand by and do nothing but doubt (let’s say he won’t decide to do something else, because he had the will to realize the most honorable choice – to bring back the sweet and apologize). So he will delay to decide, until the decision will be made for him – for example, the shop will close down. Let’s say that he has the will to decide. He enters the shop, and approaches the shopkeeper. He knows what he has to do. There is no stepping back. But can he do it? To finally speak up, and tell shameful truth? It is not an easy thing to do, although it may seem that there is no other way. He may just stand there and tremble, unable to finally open his mouth.
    In second and third step, there is always a danger of falling back to earlier step. Most people I saw often do this, until they are finally tired to fight with themselves. If they fall behind the first step – will to think – they embody one of most fatal human flaws – think as you act, rather then act as you think. Mind becomes the lawyer for the actions, led by instincts (sometimes even the most advanced ones, like helping other people). Mind finds the ways to justify the actions. Until will is gained, human is set on a course of degradation. Unfortunately, I believe no man is protected from this flaw. The question is, on what degree. We do it every day. There are things where are will prevails, and things where instinct does.
    I wrote this early since I will mention the will later, when talking about my philosophy.

    I differentiate the philosophy into two streams: philosophy of the being, or the Force, or the universe, and philosophy of the world, or society.
    Philosophy of the universe deals in attempt to overcome human flaws (mainly – to dismiss the logical method of points of reference) in order to understand the absolute abstraction, which I believe universe to be.
    Philosophy of the world accepts the logical method of points of reference, so that humanity can make decisions necessary for its development.
    These two philosophical streams I differed are strongly separated, in order to avoid mistakes in logic when thinking. But sometimes, it is necessary to think on both streams, to blend them to some degree, so that major questions could be answered. While I won’t go into much detail on my philosophy, since it would span several pages, and this is only an introduction, I’ll try to summarize main ideas, to explain my point of view.
    I view the universe, the being, or the Force as an absolute abstraction. It is abstract in almost every definition we have about it – for example, the matter, the energy, the time, the laws of physics, the space, the dimensions. There are no constants in the universe. To understand it, we would need to dismiss our common logical method of points of reference, of limitations, of comparison. We are used to compare things, and create theoretical constants. While this is the way of science, it cannot help understand the universe. Here’s a mathematical explanation why.
    Imagine the infinite number system, from -? to +?. The science is trying to reach the limits of this system. It is developing the speed of calculating. It reaches great numbers, and will reach even greater ones. But if you understand what infinity is, you must understand that in fact, there is no speed of science, since there are no points of reference in infinity of number system. Only those we have created. But no matter if you are at 0 or at 200, you are no closer and no farther away from -? or +?. In fact, it means that there isn’t any difference between 0 and 200, or any other numbers. This model very well applies to our understanding of size, of scale.
    In the early days of science, people thought the continent is the biggest thing in the world, while a grain of sand is smallest. Later, they thought that Earth is the biggest thing, and the molecule is the smallest. Later – that our solar system is the biggest and the atom is the smallest. Later – that our galaxy is the biggest, and subparts of atom are the smallest. Now, I think, scientists think that universe is the biggest thing, and they suspect that vibrating strings are the smallest (String Theory). Don’t you see a pattern? Science will find bigger and smaller parts of the universe. But it will never find the limits, because there are none. If there would be limits, what would be behind them? Logic suggests that there is no nothingness. That means that behind the “limit”, there is something else. That expands the limit. This model proves infinity.
    Infinity also may be possible with time. This is quite popular idea. We seem to understand that there is no begging or end of the time. But we still seek ways to measure time. What about energy, matter? We are used to think of it like a constant. Laws of physics define their properties. But in the previous pattern of infinity, don’t you see that laws can be infinite too? If there are so many infinite dimensions in our universe, how can laws be constant? The infinity cannot define points of reference, which laws are. That is the main argument why I see universe as an absolute abstraction. But it is hard for a human to truly understand it, because we are used to think in limitations, comparisons. Just to see how hard is to imagine this, take an example: try to imagine that there so many dimensions, or alternate realities, that there can be the same universe as our own, but just with one random atom in different place. Or with different temperature. Or with different charge. Or any other different property. And if you know how many atoms there is in the universe, you’ll understand how much variations of dimensions there can be. Pretty much. Maybe this shows that it’s quite difficult for our minds to accept the infinity in everything, since we are used to measure thing. What does it mean to us to “understand”? Most probably, to put something unknown into known system, to systematize, to structure. Then maybe the best we can do to understand the infinity is to let go of attempts to systematize? That question, I believe, can only be answered by philosophy, not science.
    So, yes, I view the Force quite differently than George Lucas defined. I do not see as an external energy added to our current view of being: it is rather something that has been always there, something more abstract, like a sum of everything we know. It may be said that Force is connection between everything, the law of tension – the only true law I believe Force (universe, infinity, being) has. It means that everything affects everything: it is the main condition for a closed system, which the Force is. This way, we can imagine the Force as a water: smallest wave will echo across the ocean. Like a butterfly effect. There cannot be independent wave in the water, because it would fall out of closed system. So the Force can take any shape, but it will affect every part of it, echo will never stop. It’s like gravity, for example: no matter how small, there is an effect of gravity of Earth to the distant stars, even if they have other gravity sources to affect them much stronger. (#3 Should you wish to comment this, please tell)

    Now, about definition of Jedi. I see Jedi quite similarly to what is on Star Wars. With exceptions, of course. Lightsaber isn’t currently possible, so it can be replaced with some other melee weapon, such as katana, or something else symbolic. Such weapon may be viewed as ancient and inefficient nowadays, but it has great symbolic meaning: it holds the tradition, reminding that Jedi hold values which are not easily broken. Also, it reminds that anyone can press a button to drop a nuclear bomb, but not everyone can wield a sword. It also emphasizes the need of Greek harmony idea – “healthy soul in healthy body”. Sword symbolizes martial art, and the need to keep body in good shape. Finally, sword is a symbol of protection, which is one of primary Jedi’s duties. I would not wish to see Jedi as a group of monks who sit in some corner and philosophize all day long, then take their sticks, and crawl home. I agree with Greek harmony idea. I have learned AIKIDO for 6 years, and I see that physical fitness is one of most important requirements to achieving your goals, even if they do not require physical force. For me, learning AIKIDO deepen my connection to the Force, taught me how to apply it (not only believe it like some God), and improved my will – not only physical, but mental even more. So, I see no problem with Jedi having martial arts training as one of primary requirements for Knighthood, and wielding a sword as a weapon and symbol (#4 Please, comment this, I’m very interested in what you think)

    So now, I’ve taken my time to analyze the IJRS way, compared to how I would wish Jedi movement to go on, and I’ve struck some problems, things that I did not understand or agree with. So from here on, I’ll try to coherently analyze the formation and foundation of Jedi, and ask questions, maybe along with some criticism.

    First, I have some questions about the sources, the foundation of Jedi Realism way. Many people laugh at those, who declare themselves a Jedi, because it’s based on movie, that means, it is unserious, it has no “true” foundation, it is an offspring of pop-culture masterpiece. I red an interesting discussion on Lithuanian forum of Kendo martial arts club – they discussed about other martial arts, and someone showed a link to some old Russian Jedi website, where was some “training” organized with reproductions of lightsabers. Members of this Kendo club laughed at first, but then they began to discuss – why do we laugh? Why we consider Kendo to be “serious”, and that Russian Jedi club – unserious? After a long discussion, they explained why – because Kendo is a martial art with great history, founded by Samurai, it has long, strong and deep traditions while this “Jedi thing” is an imitation. Although it depends on your take what it means to be a “Jedi” (Realist), this discussion made me think. There is much truth in what they said, and it’s not to be taken offensively, but as a warning: Jedi movement has no strong foundation, so it’s vulnerable to many dangers: if it is just an imitation like that Russian Jedi club – then it will extinct when people will lose interest in Star Wars. If Jedi will separate itself from the movies, as to show that they are not imitating, then might find themselves without any foundation at all. Since Jedi Realism stands somewhere in between – keep some ideas, while dismiss others – it is unclear what will be inherited, and what will be new. What the source of new ideas will be? It is clear that movies were just a boost for this movement, but it cannot be a strong foundation, because movies weren’t deep enough, and they weren’t meant for this. Many philosophical holes have to be filled.
    One of the first things that was changed – interpretation of the Force. While the Force of Star Wars was of dualistic model, IJRS, as I suppose, uses tripartite model, much more developed and advanced. It is obvious, that many things will be changed and created as well. Movement must evolve. But what will it be based upon? Combine other philosophies? Then who will decide what and how should be combined? Who will decide what is Jedi Realism supposed to be? Christianity has its Bible. Islam has Koran. Buddhism has Buddha as an example. What do Jedi have? Since movies aren’t deep enough to be our Bible, we must draw from other sources. What will they be? And who will be our leaders who determine this? (#5 Please, answer these questions) In case of many opinions, there is a risk of Jedi Realism movement breaking into several, which can happen if no distinguishable leader is present. And the last thing this young movement needs is breaking into several. The risk is great, since shaping our “Bible”, our foundation, is an open-ended quest with many people who would see it in their own way.
    Talking of religions, I look at the evolvement of Christianity, and try to learn from it, since I believe that Jedi, despite it’s not a religion, can suffer from similar problems. In its history, Christian Church is known to be very conservative. In the Middle Ages, Church has hunted scientists, which offered a different explanation of world. From then on, Church has lost its power, because it would want to conform to the modern world. This conflict is especially strong today. Pressure on the Christian Church is great: people laugh at “old” things like celibate, anti-sexuality campaign, “dark” mood of holidays (All Soul’s Day, for example), confession and repentance, they can’t see why churches cannot be modern – less sadness, more joy, more light, more spirituals instead of psalms and chants, more today’s aesthetics, and so on. But Church doesn’t hurry to become modern – it is afraid. And with a good reason. There is a great conflict. If it becomes too modern, too conformed, it will lose its sameness, its original face, will blend in and become indistinguishable, unrecognizable. On the other hand, if it becomes too conservative, trying to preserve its principles, traditions, strictness, requirements, it will lose people’s support: less and less people will want to “do it the hard way”. Church would become like a bad seller, and people would go to look to more attractive choices – other “churches” or even other religions.
    There is one big difference between Christianity and Jedi. Christianity is a mass-based religion, that means, it is meant to fit almost everyone. At first, it wasn’t, it was a religion of slaves in Ancient Rome. You had to “have guts” to declare yourself a Christian – it was dangerous; it meant a life of refusal, of surrender, of sacrifice. As the time went, this religion became less and less requiring. Only priests had to live with some restrictions, while all the rest of people were free to live a life of their own will and desire – the later, the more.
    Jedi is a way of life. In the original idea, there were only a few Jedi, since it was demanding way of life, one that required much to sacrifice, much to achieve. To deserve the name of Jedi, one had to train hard from youth, nothing to say of hard selection of who can and who can’t try to become a Jedi. It’s a shame, when in the infamous 2001 Jedi census, people called themselves Jedi just because they liked Star Wars. Like many people today call themselves Christians only because they believe in God. Or because it sounds good. What I want to say, is that Christianity is a popular religion, or way of life, while Jedi (in the original, Star Wars sense) was a way of life meant only for a few, embraced only by the few, which had enough commitment, enough will, and passed many other requirements and trials. At least in the original idea. It wasn’t sitting in front of computer, chatting about what should be done. It was a tough life. Defying wealth, defying family, defying pleasure. It was a life of a warrior, in whatever sense, with an attitude of warrior, with inner or outer strength of a warrior – and philosopher too. It wasn’t “Register for classes today!” (# 6)

    If you feel where I’m going to, you’ll understand why I mentioned the Church popularity-vs.-identity problem. I see the same conflict of Jedi movement.
    But let me be coherent.

    #158709
    sajekual
    Participant

    To start with, I must say that I question the so-praised democracy, or its interpretation today. It worked well Ancient Greece, but I it doesn’t seem to work so well today. It looks like we took earlier society example, striped off their model of government, but forgot that this model could only work with certain fundamentals – for example, highly developed culture and education (especially the fields of logic, philosophy), a small society, which allows direct democracy, not the representational one, which we have today, and most importantly – people had strong consciousness and common-sense, which allowed society to improve over time. So in fact, democracy was a product of that classic society, not the condition of it.
    Since I believe that human nature, when free of mind, tends to destroy the products and restrictions of the mind. Democracy is form of government, which, except the anarchistic forms, is probably the one which gives individual most freedom, or illusion of freedom. Maybe that’s why democracy is still worshiped, despite the obvious fact that society is going downhill in terms of spiritual (nothing to do with religion, I mean moral) state of mind. Freedom is what democracy gives, together with illusion of being able to make a change, that is, to state your opinion, to give your vote. People love freedom, instinctively. What most people don’t consciously realize, is that freedom is cannot be the ultimate objective. Freedom is a tool to accomplish an objective. Freedom is ability. If one states his final objective to be ability, such man is in quest of power without application. History shows, that if one has no destination, a power to do anything distorts the mind. Man is shaped by his purpose, if one doesn’t have it, or doesn’t know it, freedom becomes a tool for self-destruction, which is inevitable when one has no purpose.
    There is one small, but important offset of this “freedom!” philosophy – a goal to make “things easy”, in almost everything. It’s a pursuit of better, easier, more comfortable, rich, and trouble-free life, something that humanity sought from its early beginning. While it may seem natural, rightful, and very attractive, it is not necessarily good on the long run. History also shows that an individual is most motivated to develop, when he has an obstacle. Obstacles and hardship hardens the man, as they require him to develop in order to survive. While the state of no obstacles, of no challenges, of safety encourages vegetation and degradation. This is natural adaptation to the environment – what is needed, is gained, while what is useless is discarded. With the non-stopping improvement of technology, this goal becomes more and more fulfilled.
    If you look at social image, you will see that mass media is offering ease. “It’s simple: just do this and that”. “The easiest way: …..”. “Everybody can do it!”. “Made to fit anyone!”. And etc. It looks like mass media, and the whole attitude of society is trying to protect individual from a challenge, make things easy for him, clear the path, never make him lost or confused. Individual accepts it – why seek a challenge when society can carry you on its hands over the mud?
    That is the main thing why I highly dislike the American pseudo-culture which is effectively sold to Europe, at least in my country. Just walk on the street and you’ll see: Easy! Cheap! Fast! For YOU! Fits everyone’s needs! And so on. And people like it. Why not? When I look at all this, I think I start to understand why, for example, in Africa, in countries where most children die until reaching 1 year, where every day is fight for survival with little food, water, and hope, there is almost none suicides, while we sit in front of TV with life full of everything, and still feel depressed, searching for a magical potion of happiness.

    Probably my most favorite character of Star Wars is Galen Marek. For those, who don’t know – it’s a novel from Extended Universe, side story about a little boy whose father, a Jedi, was murdered by Darth Vader, and Galen himself was taken as an apprentice by Vader. Raised under his fist, with no love, no pity, only punishment as means of nurture, and constant fighting for his life, Galen was made into cruel, cold killing machine, meant to exterminate Jedi. Betrayed by Vader several times, fueled by hopes of the day when he, together with Vader, would defeat Emperor and finally, Vader would appreciate Galen’s ability and loyalty, Galen went on to be Vader’s slave. In the end, when he went to the light side, he was betrayed by Vader once more, and died not knowing if he has ever made a change.
    Although Marek’s example isn’t what I propose to be Jedi training, this story has something sight worthy. The boy was raised under the hard fist, with no one offering him mercy or help, only when he was completely lost, and that resulted in him being tough, capable, having strong will and determination to go to the end, whatever it might be. This is an extreme example of what happens when you sacrifice humanism, individuality, and keep the man on the edge of life. But is the opposite better? While I don’t propose any extremities, I think current society is misbalanced in these terms. (#7 What do you think?)
    Now, a word of honesty.  Although I can’t find it anymore, I do recall that once in IJRS FAQ (or somewhere else) I red that training program lasts for more than 6 years (I don’t remember exact numbers, just remember it was a lot of years). That was something I was greatly impressed with! All training programs that I encountered before offered quick, less than a few years training. Needless to say, if we hope to be as close to the Jedi ideal we saw in the movies, training can’t be like a fast food restaurant – a little this, a little that, and you’re a Jedi Master! Although I think that real Jedi training should begin at childhood, the decision to make training longer than 6 years is a great step towards it. Nothing else, only time, can so surely test the strength of decision, the sincerity of commitment. I was very, very happy to see this philosophy in IJRS. Sadly, my happiness wasn’t destined to last long.
    When I found IJRS, I hoped that I’ll find challenge. Something that will test my determination and commitment. I didn’t want any welcomes. I didn’t want to hear that I as welcome as any other, that I just have to show strong wish, and I’ll be led by the hand, have everything prepared – I’ll just have to learn hard. I don’t think Jedi is only knowledge that you can pour into any mind. It is a choice. Just like in the Star Wars: there was only hundreds or thousands of Jedi in the galaxy, and “the galaxy is a pretty big place”. What does that mean? Maybe that becoming a Jedi is so difficult, that only few people have the will, determination and ability to achieve the title of Jedi. There was hard selection from youth – you must already possess the potential, and in the training, if you don’t keep on the top of the line, you’ll be out. I expected Jedi teachings – online or not – to be hard to reach, much more private, not so advertising itself. So that you should show the deepest commitment even to start the training. Like today’s monasteries of Shaolin – I heard stories, that sometimes, if an foreigner would come to monastery, and ask for teachings, monks would beat him hard, until he would lose consciousness, and throw him outside monastery. If the man, beaten and hurt, would crawl again towards monastery, monks would accept him. If he would crawl away – then it is clear that he did not possess the needed commitment. Of course, that’s an extremity, maybe too cruel, but isn’t there something to think about?
    And what did I saw, when I entered IJRS website? Welcome, welcome, welcome! “Providing quality Jedi education”.  “We don’t just teach the old, we stay ahead”. “Teaching Jedi in Mind, Body & Spirit”. “Work at your own pace to fit the schedule”. Then a bunch of photos of some people in front of computers, which look like people working in the office, banal picture of a man meditating at dawn. And some feedback, like “The Jedi at IJRS represent the most thoughtful and pleasant group of Jedi I have ever met.”, which looks like a bunch of false praising feedback on some website, selling computer applications to clean up registry. Come on, what the crap? It looks like you could replace word “Jedi” anywhere with almost anything else, and it would fit… The thing that’s missing to finish the picture is big “BUY NOW!” button near to “Register for classes today!” button. No offense, but the website’s question of aesthetics and symbolism looks answered by putting on some kind of stencil, borrowed from some professional school, mixed up with some crap-selling website, and putting the word “Jedi” where necessary.
    While I don’t propose IJRS to look like some webpage of sectarians, with everything dark, except for a few lightsaber pictures, and big “The Force is with you…” banner, don’t you think that some kind of Jedi-representing symbolism would serve good purpose? And what I said about the “welcome, it’s easy, everybody can become a Jedi, register today!” attitude, what purpose does this serve? Why this Jedi Realism proposing website devalues the image of Jedi Realist, by making Jedi teachings so easily accessible, so that “everyone is welcome” to see what is it all about, and to start right away? Shouldn’t there be some kind of test, hard way and obstacles to even start the training? I can’t help but imagine silly average kid, still “hot” from the Star Wars movie he just saw, finding IJRS, and clicking “Register today!”, only to find that after a week he got bored of this Jedi thing. And I imagine another situation – a guy like me, with many thoughts, many doubts, not “hot” anymore from the movies, searching for the right path, finding a website for Jedi – but no welcomes, only a clues on how to enter. These clues would lead me through the difficult puzzle, testing my knowledge, commitment, awareness, seriousness, will. And I know, that to get through, I must already make my commitment. I must wish it with my very heart, and have enough ability, maturity and will to reach the training. Maybe I would fail at first, but I would try until I succeed. Or I would give up. But then I would surely know that I’m too weak to be a Jedi. That I lack necessary qualities, necessary resolve. And if I would get through, I should seek the training, I should ask for knowledge, make my best to reach the goal, not the teachers would jump around me, trying to preserve my fragile enthusiasm, welcoming and leading by the hand. (#8 Comment this, please)

    To add up, I think that Jedi Realism attitude towards religion serves the same “welcome, welcome, welcome” philosophy. I was truly shocked and confused as I red these lines in IJRS FAQ, and in Introduction document. In FAQ:

    “Is Jedi a religion?
    No. While some individuals choose to follow Jedi as a religion, referred to as Jediism, the Jedi Realist path does not require this. Individuals following the Jedi Realist path may follow any spiritual path they choose so long as the values of that path are in agreement with the Jedi path.”

    And in the Introduction:

    “If you are currently practicing a religion, you may be pleased to know that we fully encourage you to maintain your practice, and also perhaps to look further into your religions esoteric history, for all religions have roots in the study of the internal mysteries.”

    Well, I fully agree that Jedi isn’t a religion. But does that really mean it is compatible with religion? I find myself to disagree with this statement. As I have mentioned, in my view, I define the Force to be absolute potency, a connection between everything. That is similar to the definition of the God (Christian, Islamic, and many others). But there is crucial difference: God is incarnated, or at least appears to have the will, some kind of moral values, and purpose. While I’m not against religion, I find such personification of the Force to be a product of human’s mind, as Ludwig Feuerbach said (“<>…man created God in his own image.<>” ). Human’s mind, logic is based on cause-result principle, so it searches for purpose: in inability to find it, or accept that there may be no purpose, human creates purpose for himself. To complete the image, he puts purpose to everything else. And wishes that this connection-between-everything would have the purpose, too. God, which possesses will (to seek purpose), becomes the most acceptable shape of what I call the Force. Just like one man said: “I think man likes to put God in a man shaped box, placing on him traits and limits we have, when in reality God is so much more.” So, in strict terms, I believe religion to be on the wrong track, but it doesn’t change anything. It has its part in society, important and necessary part, and nothing should be done about it.
    Understand me correctly: I have nothing against religions. In my youth, I was a Christian. I believe that religions gave much of the world’s culture, values, philosophy, it inspired people, gave them shelter and belief in hard times, directed them to greater choices, encouraged people to create harmony. It also found a way to control primitive people, and by restraining their primary urges, lead them to greater development. I am very interested in religion culture and history; it is one of my hobbies to study religions. But I don’t see how religion can be compatible with Jedi path. Of course, my definition of the Force is one of many, and I suspect most people here would disagree, so let’s take a different approach. In Star Wars definition, the Force is life energy, dualistic, and appears to have some kind of will (“the Force will guide you…” thing). Or, it may be interpreted that the Force is only a mirror of one’s intentions, and it provides guidance according to these intentions, so in fact, it doesn’t have a will. Anyway, there are some moments when it is obvious that in Star Wars definition, the Force has a will (“Finding him was the will of the Force, I have no doubt of that. “, “They continually speak to you, telling you the will of the Force.” and so on). This raises a question, what difference remains between this definition of the Force and God. Maybe the sides (light, dark), although almost any religion has an antipode to God (devil, etc.). Maybe that the Force isn’t personificated, Jedi don’t pray to it. But I’m afraid that here the difference ends. So in this approach, the Force is very similar to God. So how can be these two similar views of “higher power” be compatible? It seems like there is a choice: to believe that there is personification, or to believe that it’s something more like nature, life energy. You can’t believe in both at the same time, because one denies the other (of course, I’m talking about classic, personificated God here, like Christian or Islamic).
    I understand that this suggestion might seem as direct insult to the people here in IJRS, so please forgive my strictness. But this attitude of IJRS raises possible explanation that this “compatibility” with other religions was made to help increase already low number of people interested in Jedi Realism, in other words, do not cut them off because they wouldn’t give up religion. (#9 Please comment my arguments about Jedi and religion correlation; explain this kind of attitude of IJRS)

    #158710
    sajekual
    Participant

    So maybe the purpose of this whole criticism is better explained by asking the question – didn’t Jedi Realism stray too far away from the original idea of Jedi – only hundreds of them in the galaxy, but the best one’s there is? I can’t imagine Jedi becoming some kind of open-ended half-religious sect, advertising itself and pulling inside as much people as it can. Do you want Jedi Realism to be recognized by such face? I’m truly, truly afraid here, for I deeply care about this young Jedi movement. I do not fear that there will be too little people who want to join IJRS. I fear that in becoming too accessible, too easygoing, Jedi Realism will lose its quality, its individuality, will not be able to preserve its distinction, originality, and will cheapen itself. (# 10 What is your opinion in this matter?) 

    So I’m not even sure how IJRS philosophy truly defines Jedi Realist and the Force. Here I quote the official FAQ:
    “Jedi Realist is a term meant to distinguish the Jedi of the real world from the Jedi of fiction, often shortened to Jedi, leaving the term Realist implied. Jedi are people who seek to emulate the Jedi Knights as presented in the fictional Star Wars universe by embracing the Jedi’s virtues and strengths and expressing them in the real world. Jedi are called by the Force to direct their actions and passions in a direction that serves humanity, seeking to embody the principles outlined in the Core Values, and constantly pursuing self-development and training in all areas of mastery, including mental, physical, spiritual and psychic.”
    Such statement raises many questions. If Jedi Realist is meant to be distinguished from Jedi of the fiction, than what does distinguish them? (#11) What does define Jedi in fiction? Guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. It is an organization of warriors, with the Force which they use and listen to, to achieve their goals. Their traditional weapon is lightsaber. They are also recognized from the traditional tunics they wear.
    First, what features does Jedi Realist inherit from Jedi of the fiction? Guardians of peace and justice – philosophy, I think, yes. What about sense and use of the Force? Is the Force something to be used and mastered, not only a philosophical idea? I mean, what original uses of the Force we saw in the movies is implemented into Jedi Realism? (#12 Very important) Lightsabers – FAQ answer isn’t too clear. If technology of lightsaber isn’t invented yet, is there (symbolic?) replacement of it with some invented melee weapon, a sword, or something? Or is this cut out from definition of Jedi Realist? (#13) Reason I ask, is because I’m afraid that Jedi Realist definition is going to develop into another semi-religious movement with saber as a symbol, Force as an idea, and so on. Finally, Jedi Realist will have almost nothing in common with the original Jedi. Only the names of changed ideas.
    “Jedi are called by the Force to direct their actions and passions in a direction that serves humanity{…}”. Does that mean that Jedi are supporters of humanism? (#14) Because I do not truly think that humanism is the answer. Human is part of the nature, of the Force, and humanism is a creation of human to keep himself in environment where humanity can develop (as he thinks) – until its degeneration. If human do not realize that humanism is an extreme, an opposite of nature’s evolution way, if they do not find the synthesis between humanism and evolution philosophies, it will lead to catastrophe, as all extremes do. So does really Jedi serve humanity, and humanism in that way, rather than trying to lead humanity away from extremes?  Because I believe that “serve” and “lead” are very different things. So, what does that statement I quoted really mean? (#15)
    Next, I have to commend the definition of Core Values. They are written very well, I’m very happy to see such way of seeing a Jedi. It is very clever and deep. Sincere respect. Just few things that were unclear to me: “3. Disciplines and trains the body to develop and maintain health and wellness in support of the Jedi’s work{…}”. What is the work of the Jedi that requires health and wellness? (#16) Do not mistake my tone, I totally agree with this statement, I just wish to know exactly what is that “work”. Since the Jedi of the fiction had a lot of “work” that required physical effort… And nowadays we have a situation that requires different kind of work. Probably.

    Until that is explained, I sadly have to accept that probably, the way of Jedi Realism is going towards what I criticized here the most. As Jedi Realism is young movement, it pains me to see that it’s already on a path of losing the little distinguishness it has, rather than preserving itself in a shell until it is strong enough to meet the world with raised head, so that the name “Jedi” would mean something truly valuable, wonderful, and deeply respected, because it is so hard to reach.
    You know, like a diamond: to be valuable, it has to be perfect. And perfect is rare. If diamonds would lie around, they would be nothing but rocks. And I don’t want a Jedi to become a simple, ordinary rock. (#17)
    I said a lot of criticism here. As I said before, please do not mistake my intentions. I deeply respect people who started this movement, who organized this website, who organized offline activity, and I wish to join and help, but there are things that, in my view, are just incomprehensible. All these welcomes, all this toleration, such attitude gives me an impression of inseriousness. I just can’ help but feel helpless seeing such over-liberalism, which fades the original definition of the Jedi. Just imagine: Jedi Realist: he believes in the Force, but simultaneously, he believes in God, he doesn’t use the Force in traditional sense, he just thinks, debates and maybe “feels” it, he has no lightsaber, only something in his heart with the similar idea, he doesn’t learn to be a Jedi from childhood, because it is “never too late”, he doesn’t go to any Jedi Temple, because there isn’t one, and also, he has a family to feed – so…… come on, what has he in common with original Jedi? I am very, very afraid of this “anyone can become a Jedi!” stuff. (#18 Please comment this)

    As I perfectly understand, all that I said might never change anything about IJRS. One man rarely has an ability to shape things. And one man might be wrong. I do not pretend to be right. I just said what I believe in, and I’m ready to stand for my words, to explain them, to prove them, and admit, if I’m proven wrong. I just sincerely hope that the essence of Jedi will prevail, will survive, and I want to fight for it. More that to become a Jedi, I wish the Jedi movement to perpetuate – with or without me. Maybe you will find me unfit for Jedi training. If so, I will respect that. And if you accept me, I hope it will be one hell of a challenge.

    I’m truly looking forward to a reply. PMs are also welcome, of course.
    P.S. Please… Something can be done about 20 000 character per post limit, right?

    #158712
    Anonymous

    Firstly, you’ve told us much of your life. Helpful to understand you, but won’t we discover who you are by seeing you in action? Will you ever change, since the past would become part of your old self and irrelevant to who you are now or in future.

    Your personal preferences about art and such are for you and only to be criticized.
    I am 24 hours without sleep lol and my head is spinning around. Such an awesome challenge to answer this intro of yours.

    Quote:
    So I’m afraid, that people who never saw Star Wars in their young years, will have too many preconceptions, and will not allow themselves to look at these movies seriously. Stupid, non-important elements will create alienation, and the word “Jedi” will accrete with these elements. The essence of Jedi will become the ability to fight with saber, the Force – a magic to throw things around, and then, I have to admit, the whole idea will look childish indeed. It took me many years to finally understand what true essence of Jedi and the Force lied underneath the failed work of George Lucas. That’s why I can’t present these movies to people I care for, like my girlfriend. Until they are free of preconceptions, seeing these movies can make irreparable damage to Jedi idea’s “reputation”, imaginative conception, definition.

    Maybe I managed to explain why I cannot let anyone discover my identity as a Jedi. That would prove fatal. But it is hard to hold such a secret, to live a double life. I try to live as a Jedi, to think, to act like one, but simultaneously, never reveal why I do that, why I think like that, what are the roots of my life, what do I stand on, what I believe. This kind of loneliness – when you can’t even tell anyone that you’re lonely – is one of the greatest trials I have ever experienced. I suppose some of you may want to comment this problem – maybe you have felt this struggle? I would very much appreciate any opinion (#2).

    If it is necessary then it is necessary. Relax, let go of you worries. Not everyone needs to know everything about you. Especially if they are unable to understand you and your chosen path.

    Welcome among other jedi!

    Quote:
    So, yes, I view the Force quite differently than George Lucas defined.

    While Lucas’ Force is an interesting concept it is totally irrelevant to real jedi. You may find that there are real Force power equivalents though. The fiction is still a fiction. Why would you want to live in a fiction instead of a real world?

    Quote:
    I see no problem with Jedi having martial arts training as one of primary requirements for Knighthood, and wielding a sword as a weapon and symbol

    What was the sword used for. To make bacon out of human beings. To slice and dice a living human being. What honor is there in it? What high ideals? Mere barbaric worship of tools of brutality. So I don’t agree. Unless you use a toy or nonlethal weapon just to train your skills vs someone else.

    Quote:
    One of the first things that was changed – interpretation of the Force. While the Force of Star Wars was of dualistic model, IJRS, as I suppose, uses tripartite model, much more developed and advanced. It is obvious, that many things will be changed and created as well. Movement must evolve. But what will it be based upon? Combine other philosophies? Then who will decide what and how should be combined? Who will decide what is Jedi Realism supposed to be? Christianity has its Bible. Islam has Koran. Buddhism has Buddha as an example. What do Jedi have? Since movies aren’t deep enough to be our Bible, we must draw from other sources. What will they be? And who will be our leaders who determine this?

    People who think that their particular take on jedi path is worth something build websites, put up forums and call themselves “Masters”. Some prefer to not force others to follow their personal preferences. Since they understand how such things are personal flavors of jedi way and not the one and only true jedi way.

    You must realize that you can separate application of path from the path itself. This institute is one of the places where jedi have so many personal ideas of training, philosophy, tenets, etc.

    Don’t forget, not all jedi inspire to be noble-warrior like knight. For some it’s the path of a scholar or a mystic. Yet another person may include them all or live by a totally different take.

    It is what you make of it.

    Quote:
    This is an extreme example of what happens when you sacrifice humanism, individuality, and keep the man on the edge of life. But is the opposite better? While I don’t propose any extremities, I think current society is misbalanced in these terms. (#7 What do you think?)

    I find it an example of how fiction writers wanted to make something happen and that is it.

    Quote:
    While I don’t propose IJRS
    ….
    (#8 Comment this, please)

    Jump in, start conversing with jedi and you will learn or get help with becoming a good jedi.

    Quote:
    (#9 Please comment my arguments about Jedi and religion correlation; explain this kind of attitude of IJRS)

    Very valid arguments.

    Quote:
    I do not fear that there will be too little people who want to join IJRS. I fear that in becoming too accessible, too easygoing, Jedi Realism will lose its quality, its individuality, will not be able to preserve its distinction, originality, and will cheapen itself.

    Jedi path has nothing to do with easygoing. It can be easy, if you learn it from an experienced jedi who is also a skilled teacher.

    Quote:
    Is the Force something to be used and mastered, not only a philosophical idea? I mean, what original uses of the Force we saw in the movies is implemented into Jedi Realism?

    I can’t explain you jedi realists take on this, since I am not one. I simply call it jedi/(insert inspiring label here) way, or jediism. Jediism is about finding the real equivalent of the Force and basing your jedi way around it. Just like jedi in fiction aspired to keep to Light Side by following their tenets. So do real jedi want to manifest Light(metaphor for all good things) in Force via their tenets.

    Lightsabers, why? they were a gimmick to make jedi feel special in fiction, nothing more. Certainly more mysterious and effective in terms of coolness than blasters or swords.
    You see everyone takes from fiction what they feel like. Some take only the ideals, the oath, the dedication of a jedi. Others take their practice and learning from fiction as much as it feel OK for them.

    Quote:
    “Jedi are called by the Force to direct their actions and passions in a direction that serves humanity{…}”. Does that mean that Jedi are supporters of humanism?

    Not really. It means we serve our fellow people for greater good.

    Quote:
    Because I believe that “serve” and “lead” are very different things. So, what does that statement I quoted really mean?

    What does it matter? Serve where proper, lead where called for.

    Quote:
    What is the work of the Jedi that requires health and wellness?

    For each their own. But for me mind-body-spirit/Force are ONE. So I train my body because it helps my mind as well. It is also so I could always be ready to help and defend those in need. Training and improving oneself in all areas is part of the jedi way. Well not in absolutes of course. Think of Jedi Knights, Mystics, Consulars, Guardians, etc…

    Quote:
    come on, what has he in common with original Jedi? I am very, very afraid of this “anyone can become a Jedi!” stuff.

    Fear leads to confusions. Confusions lead to blindness. Blindness leads to inability.
    Everyone feeling the inspiration to become a jedi rather than anything else can become a jedi.

    Make difference between a student of a path, a good jedi and not so good jedi.

    #158716
    Jax
    Keymaster

    i am not at a computer to begin replying. i can say a few quick things. 
    1. you are looking for something that will require generations to accomplish.
    2. the only training given to everyone is the short intro course. that is the test  of will. many do not complete it and therefor do not receive the morein depth training.
    3. your questions about the definition are bbetter placed in the thread about the  core values rather  than this thread.

    sorry for typos and such. my phone is acting strange.

    #158719
    sajekual
    Participant

    Thank you for your quick and comprehensive reply, Neo.

    Quote:
    Firstly, you’ve told us much of ypur life. Helpful to understand you, but won’t we discover who you are by seeing you in action? Will you ever change, since the past would become part of your old self and irrelevant to who you are now or in future.

    You could discover me. Is that something bad?
    I wrote about my past, because I believe the past is the basis for the present and the future. By knowing my past, you can forecast the tendencies of ,my future. My past is my present: like a tree rings, which show the past of the tree, and structure it today.

    Quote:
    While Lucas’ Force is an interesting concept it is totally irrelevant to real jedi. You may find that there are real Force power equivalents though. The fiction is still a fiction. Why would you want to live in a fiction instead of a real world?

    I would not like to live in fiction. But I think that digression from fiction is something that should be done carefully, since we have to replace it with something – and that is difficult. You cannot remove the ground you are standing on before creating a new one: you will fall.

    Quote:
    What was the sword used for. To make bacon out of human beings. To slice and dice a living human being. What honor is there in it? What high ideals? Mere barbaric worship of tools of brutality. So I don’t agree. Unless you use a toy or nonlethal weapon just to train your skills vs someone else.

    Well, Jedi were warriors also, not only philosophers. And there is the brutal side of being a warrior, that is war. And weapons do terrible things. Sword is just one kind of many types of weapons. There is no worshiping the weapon. War does not make one great. Honor lies in other things, in other ideals, like what are you fighting for. Nevertheless, warriors use weapons for whatever ideals they fight for.

    Quote:
    People who think that their particular take on jedi path is worth something build websites, put up forums and call themselves “Masters”. Some prefer to not force others to follow their personal preferences. Since they understand how such things are personal flavors of jedi way and not the one and only true jedi way.

    You must realize that you can separate application of path from the path itself. This institute is one of the places where jedi have so many personal ideas of training, philosophy, tenets, etc.

    Don’t forget, not all jedi inspire to be noble-warrior like knight. For some it’s the path of a scholar or a mystic. Yet another person may include them all or live by a totally different take.

    Yeah, I noticed that kind of tendency. However, I’m talking about IJRS. I think young Jedi movement does not need polarization, like many small websites with many different ideals. If I would think that way, I would have made my own website, instead of writing this post. But I think that key to development is consolidation. IJRS looks consolidated enough, so now it is the question of which path it will take.
    I believe it is necessary to implement some kind of requirements, instead of “be what you like to be”/”be a Jedi like you imagine it”. Although it sounds very liberal, it does not serve good purpose for Jedi movement – everybody for his own. What’s that going to achieve?

    Quote:
    Very valid arguments.

    Thank you, does that mean you agree? Can you explain this kind of attitude of IJRS?

    Quote:
    Jedi path has nothing to do with easygoing. It can be easy, if you learn it from an experienced jedi who is also a skilled teacher.

    I do not know what kind of hard or easy it is when you start the training, but what I meant is that when I look at the IJRS website, aesthetics and presentation of Jedi, it looks easygoing. I explained it in my introduction.

    Quote:
    Jediism is about finding the real equivalent of the Force and basing your jedi way around it. Just like jedi in fiction aspired to keep to Light Side by following their tenets. So do real jedi want to manifest Light(metaphor for all good things) in Force via their tenets.

    Then what about using the Force?

    Quote:
    Think of Jedi Knights, Mystics, Consulars, Guardians, etc…

    Don’t you think Jedi movement is too young to already make such parting of roles? Usually, it is done when very difficult levels of many degrees is achieved, and one cannot cover all branches. Then he chooses. But since Jedi Realism is just starting, wouldn’t be it better to achieve higher general level, before separating into narrow fields?

    Quote:
    Fear leads to confusions. Confusions lead to blindness. Blindness leads to inability.

    I’m not talking about that kind of fear (blinding one). I’m talking about metaphoric fear.

    Jax, thank you for your reply, too. I hope you will have time to answer more thorough. I would be very interested in your opinion.

    Quote:
    1. you are looking for something that will require generations to accomplish.

    What exactly?

    Quote:
    2. the only training given to everyone is the short intro course. that is the test  of will. many do not complete it and therefor do not receive the morein depth training.

    Interesting. How deep training is available right now?

    Quote:
    3. your questions about the definition are bbetter placed in the thread about the  core values rather  than this thread.

    I know, but as I mention in the beginning, my questions are inseparable from my introduction, so I had to post them together. I hope that it is okay to discuss it here as well.

    #158721
    Anonymous
    Quote:
    You could discover me. Is that something bad?

    Yes we can discover all your thoughts and even location of where you live and work.  ;D

    I am just joking

    I meant we can start to understand you  by interacting with you.

    Past is like a heavy weight not allowing you to change yourself for the better in future, is what I meant to say.

    Quote:
    I would not like to live in fiction. But I think that digression from fiction is something that should be done carefully, since we have to replace it with something – and that is difficult. You cannot remove the ground you are standing on before creating a new one: you will fall.

    Some of us have moved further away already with their progress. Some still need the help and guidance of fiction. It is not about saying what is wrong or right, it is about personal growth of each and every jedi.

    Quote:
    Nevertheless, warriors use weapons for whatever ideals they fight for.

    Warriors use weapons to fight for… their ideals. How many examples can you bring from history that were about warriors fighting for their ideals?

    It has been primitiveness of people wanting to PWN and OWN what others have that is why the warriors have been fighting, in most cases. It’s not the warriors who fought for their ideals. It’s the leaders who fought for their disagreements and ego by using… warriors… to dominate some other point of view.

    The warrior who seeks for glory in battle and slaughter is nothing but a blind tool for the inept leaders.

    Our forum debates and argues 2000-10 000 years ago would have led to genocides and total eradication of humanity.  ;D
    Humanity has learned to not slice and dice each other just for strong personal convictions.

    Quote:
    I believe it is necessary to implement some kind of requirements, instead of “be what you like to be”/”be a Jedi like you imagine it”. Although it sounds very liberal, it does not serve good purpose for Jedi movement – everybody for his own. What’s that going to achieve?

    We have a requirement. Follow the jedi ideals.
    Want more? Build an Order. This is a place for all perspectives about jedi ideals.

    Quote:
    I do not know what kind of hard or easy it is when you start the training, but what I meant is that when I look at the IJRS website, aesthetics and presentation of Jedi, it looks easygoing. I explained it in my introduction.

    I am not a particular fan of some graphics, but the text speaks to me of some experience and wisdom gained over years of participating in jedi online movement. Someone with less experience always looks for strict rules and difficult concepts. Whereas from more experienced point of view it all gets simpler and easier.

    Quote:
    Don’t you think Jedi movement is too young to already make such parting of roles? Usually, it is done when very difficult levels of many degrees is achieved, and one cannot cover all branches. Then he chooses. But since Jedi Realism is just starting, wouldn’t be it better to achieve higher general level, before separating into narrow fields?

    I wasn’t speaking of roles exactly. I meant them as an examples of how jedi can be different. You seem to only consider what made Jedi Knights as the only jedi way. Realize that some follow another path.

    #158723
    sajekual
    Participant
    Quote:
    Past is like a heavy weight not allowing you to change yourself for the better in future, is what I meant to say.

    You’ve got a point. But I’m quite conservative. It’s my opposition of todays “life fast, change fast” philosophy.

    Quote:
    Some of us have moved further away already with their progress. Some still need the help and guidance of fiction. It is not about saying what is wrong or right, it is about personal growth of each and every jedi.

    That raises many questions, the ones I asked in my introduction. What differs Jedi Realist from Star Wars Jedi, and what is similar?

    Quote:
    Warriors use weapons to fight for… their ideals. How many examples can you bring from history that were about warriors fighting for their ideals?

    It has been primitiveness of people wanting to PWN and OWN what others have that is why the warriors have been fighting, in most cases. It’s not the warriors who fought for their ideals. It’s the leaders who fought for their disagreements and ego by using… warriors… to dominate some other point of view.

    The warrior who seeks for glory in battle and slaughter is nothing but a blind tool for the inept leaders.

    Our forum debates and argues 2000-10 000 years ago would have led to genocides and total eradication of humanity. 
    Humanity has learned to not slice and dice each other just for strong personal convictions.

    Very good point. However, Jedi should stand for a philosopher-warrior, not blind bloodthirsty warrior. There is an higher command, the Order, but each Jedi has his own perspective, and it is based on strong philosophical foundation.
    What I mean, is that Jedi should avoid war, but be always prepared for it.

    Quote:
    We have a requirement. Follow the jedi ideals.
    Want more? Build an Order. This is a place for all perspectives about jedi ideals.

    You read my thoughts, I just couldn’t find the right word. The Order. That’s what I propose. Debates and dozens of websites with hundreds of people with different opinions is good, but that isn’t enough. The original Jedi idea was that Jedi were united into Order, strong organization with specific ideas, core values, and goals.
    I believe individualism isn’t the answer. It leads only to endless debates. They are necessary, but action is also necessary. I propose that specific plan of creating the Order is to be made, there would be specific discussions to decide the plan, and then execute it. It will not be final, but it’s better than none.
    In other words, I think we need to act – on unification. Let it be Order or some other name.

    That’s why I criticized IJRS. Too much individualism, too much open-ended philosophy, too little strictness with particular way.

    As someone said, you can’t go in all directions at once…

    Quote:
    I am not a particular fan of some graphics, but the text speaks to me of some experience and wisdom gained over years of participating in jedi online movement. Someone with less experience always looks for strict rules and difficult concepts. Whereas from more experienced point of view it all gets simpler and easier.

    I’m not sure what you mean.

    Quote:
    I wasn’t speaking of roles exactly. I meant them as an examples of how jedi can be different. You seem to only consider what made Jedi Knights as the only jedi way. Realize that some follow another path.

    You’re right – I’m talking about the primary Jedi way. The basic one. Something that everyone has to pass before dedicating to some specific field.

    #158729
    Anonymous
    Quote:
    You’ve got a point. But I’m quite conservative. It’s my opposition of todays “life fast, change fast” philosophy.

    There is a difference between the easy and simple of an experienced and well versed jedi and one who is just starting.
    A student needs and also demands structure, order, strict planning. Someone who has gone through all this or is strong and clever enough to not need such supportive measures, has the discipline and strength within oneself. Such person finds endless ways to express jedi ideals and concepts. A student needs to yet achieve such an inner discipline by keeping to a narrow path.

    Don’t try to make a one and true way of jedi for yourself. Use what works for you. Learn, practice, train. You’ll come to see how the path expands beyond what you initially thought of it.

    That it seems so liberal is a result of many years of practice of jedi. They have grown out of the narrow system needed by a student.

    Quote:
    That raises many questions, the ones I asked in my introduction. What differs Jedi Realist from Star Wars Jedi, and what is similar?

    I already answered this above.

    Quote:
    Jediism is about finding the real equivalent of the Force and basing your jedi way around it. Just like jedi in fiction aspired to keep to Light Side by following their tenets. So do real jedi want to manifest Light(metaphor for all good things) in Force via their tenets.

    See more in

    Quote:
    Very good point. However, Jedi should stand for a philosopher-warrior, not blind bloodthirsty warrior. There is an higher command, the Order, but each Jedi has his own perspective, and it is based on strong philosophical foundation.
    What I mean, is that Jedi should avoid war, but be always prepared for it.

    Prepared to defend, yes. Prepared to attack and assault, no!

    Quote:
    That’s why I criticized IJRS. Too much individualism, too much open-ended philosophy, too little strictness with particular way.

    It is like an University. A university is not a military and dogmatic order. Our concepts and understanding of jedi way can be flawed, one sided, impartial or be diverted toward our personal paths. That’s what I meant with the example of the paths of knights, mystics, scholars or other personal tendencies.
    We help each other to grow and not seek to brainwash others to only think and act like we do.

    Quote:
    …the text speaks to me of some experience and wisdom gained over years of participating in jedi online movement. Someone with less experience always looks for strict rules and difficult concepts. Whereas from more experienced point of view it all gets simpler and easier.

    I’m not sure what you mean.

    It means what it means.

    Quote:
    You’re right – I’m talking about the primary Jedi way. The basic one. Something that everyone has to pass before dedicating to some specific field.

    I’ve have answered that to you now 2 times in different forms. I hope this post has been easier to understand.

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