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April 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm #140248StryseParticipant
A word I seem to be throwing around these forums a lot lately is the word known as ‘paradigm.’ Let’s see if I can outline this in an organized and coherent manner…
What is a paradigm? Essentially it’s a framework by which you interpret and navigate your reality. A context by which you come to understand that which you encounter. Everyone has one, though perhaps not all are as aware of this as they ought be. (I know that I know nothing is still a paradigm.)
As conversation keeps swirling around the question of defining what the Jedi Path is, I turn to some wisdom from the Chaos Mages. Perhaps no one group of force-adepts has done more to advance paradigm work than they.Quote:There is a reason chaotes are hesitant to define exactly what it means to be a chaote or if they do, why asking 5 chaotes, will get you at least 6 different answers. The reason is quite simple really, each understands that whatever definition they offer it will have its limitations, as it is based on individual experience and understanding. It suits the individual’s paradigm, and each understands that this will not necessarily match another’s, despite having a similar belief system.
Is that not also true for Jedi? As various propositions are put out there for the community to define the Jedi Path, they are analyzed and either accepted or refuted. What is the basis for this acceptance or objection? To some level, whether or not it fits the individual’s paradigm. Many of us have explored several Jedi forums and sites, and settled on one or two to spend our time in. We’ve likely all had a situation where a particular group or organization simply rubbed us the wrong way, and we went out and found an alternative.
Chaos Mages are not devoid of their dissent. That community also encounters some of the same strife and turmoil over what is the right definition, however as with our community, such passionate debates tend to illustrate where individuals are at on their own journeys. Elders within the community aren’t as eager to defend any one particular view over another, for they’ve long ago learned that both can be equally correct and yet still not get it right. Neophytes, for whatever reason, tend to be a bit more adamant about what is ‘correct’ and what is ‘incorrect.’ Believe in the truth inherent in all things and you too might just become a wise old sage one day.
However, a province of Chaos magicians is their dedication to being able to shift paradigms at will. It is not uncommon to have more than floating around the same head. (I have a couple of ‘base-paradigms’ I play in.) You could be a Bible-thumping Christian one day, and a Rede-thumping Wiccan the next. The really interesting part? If you’ve done it right.. these are not conflicting beliefs.
How does this apply to the Jedi? Well as a movement, it’s spent a lot of time sifting through the works of a variety of paths and traditions that came before it. The opportunity has always been to take what are often ancient traditions and re-evaluate them with 21st century eyes. Human understanding has grown, even though we have a long ways to go, and there are a number of constructs that may be a little bit antiquated for a more modern movement such as this.
However in adapting these various sources, one needs a framework to piece them back together. This is where the Jedi Paradigm gets born. Remember, it’s an individual paradigm that each Jedi will need to work out for them self. In turn, this will gestate certain consensuses on things that the community as a whole will share in their individual paradigms.
On the whole, there is very little guidance that can be offered, for a paradigm really has only two requirements:
1) It must account for EVERYTHING in nature, even those things the individual chooses not to involve themselves with. There can be nothing that exists, that exists outside the paradigm. How it’s reconciled into the paradigm will generally dictate how the individual actually views any particular thing.
2) I’ll get to here in a bit.
3) There might be a third, that of sovereignty, but I’m undecided on that at present, and so going to leave it off the list.
I have little use for the gods, but my paradigm needs to account for them somehow. Are they truly divine beings of distinct intelligence and consciousness? Are they merely pools of energy, built up and refined over the ages by those who put their energy into them? Are they arch-types of the human subconscious, personified for our consciousness to comprehend? I’ve approached it in all three ways, had my share of successes and failures, and still not found where I need them. However, there are many things I have little-to-no use for, that exists nevertheless, and that I must account for in observing my reality.
What of the Force itself? Part of our Force 101 course on that has the student looking into a few models that can be used to articulate the Force, and writing an essay about a model of choice. What’s not outlined in that course is that it, and some of the accompanying lessons, are an aspiring Jedi’s first steps in putting their own Jedi paradigm together.
Remember, it will be individualized, but there will be similarities to the paradigms of your fellow Jedi. This is, I think, what the whole dissection of the Star Wars mythos really is about… what aspects of that belong in your paradigm today?
The Force itself is, generally speaking, the corner-stone of all Jedi Paradigms. Just as God is the cornerstone of all Christian paradigms (and God=Force is one means of reconciling the new paradigm with the old, for whatever paradigm you use.. God and the Force need to be represented somehow).
Since opinions vary widely on just what the nature of God or the Force is, it allows for a wide variety of perspectives to incorporate these things into your paradigm. It’s not always easy work to do, but at the same time it’s something we can’t help but do. Our brains process a lot of inputs and that information is getting interpreted as its being brought in.
Paradox and Epiphany
Sooner or later everyone will run into these two. You’ll encounter something that is extremely paradoxical… you just witnessed something you can’t deny, but nor can you fit it into your understanding of the universe… Your observation is in conflict with what you think you know is true. Understand that there is no such thing as a paradox. Nature won’t let its rules be broken; we just often have no idea the totality of those rules. When you encounter what seems like a paradox, that should serve as a red flag that there is something in nature your paradigm is not properly accounting for. Nature will not bend for you, and so if you wish to truly be wise, you will need to rethink what you thought you knew. (This is, unfortunately, where many religiously-oriented paradigms fail.)
This could then lead you to epiphany. Whenever you have one of those, you can safely say your paradigm has just undergone a shift. You see, it should not remain too static. As you evolve, it needs to evolve with you. You can easily outgrow a paradigm, as your knowledge and understanding of things increases, the constructs by which you frame it may prove more hindering than helpful after a certain time. Few people get it perfect their first try, so you’re likely to undergo many, many years, refining it into something that actually meets the first requirement.
This is where the second requirement comes into play. The Jedi must live in their paradigm. So if you are the intellectual type, you might come up with something that seems really cool, but that you simply can’t fully buy into. I don’t want to imply that one should become rigid and unbending in their views. Quite the contrary. Having a paradigm does not preclude one from having an open mind (although Chaos Mages would be quick to point out that having multiple paradigms to shift in and out of lends itself well to open-mindedness).
Your paradigm also informs you of how a Jedi conducts themselves, and this is what I mean when I say a Jedi must live in their paradigm. Basically, I’m saying you can’t be a part-time Jedi. In any situation you find yourself in, ask yourself the question “What would Jedi do?” Your paradigm will help you figure out what, indeed, a Jedi would do in that circumstance. If you’re serious about it, you soon realize that everything you do starts to be done as a Jedi. That’s what makes this a living path, not a philosophical one. To be a Jedi, you must walk the Earth as a Jedi… not just walking around thinking about being a Jedi.
All a Jedi’s training works to build up their paradigm. A lot of time and effort is spent on retraining our minds, and this is largely all paradigm work for the trainee. To a certain extent, I view Jedi training as simply “how to be a good person” with an aside of “oh yeah, and this force thing is real, and you can do some nifty stuff with it… which we’ll get to… but for now, let’s just focus on how to be a good person.”
Your paradigm encapsulates your own moral code. Ethics are something imposed upon you by external sources. Don’t confuse them with morals, as while they often go hand in hand, they are separate things. Your morale code comes from within. Is it influenced by external things? Sure, but you, yourself, ultimately are the one deciding what is right, what is just, what is good, and what is not. What do you base those judgments on? That’s part of your paradigm. (Knowing this goes a long way in moral judgments you might make about the actions of others.)
As a seeker coming to the Jedi path, you already have a framework you operate under. Your time in Jedi training will challenge the foundations of that. There will be deconstruction. It is inevitable, and is also fully in line with one of the four trials all Jedi routinely undergo, that of Sacrifice.
As usual, I am curious as to your thoughts, my fellow Jedi.April 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm #158862StryseParticipant
Speaking of gods and a Jedi’s paradigm…
Another view… Aspects of the Force that our minds give shape and form (personification) to intereact with.
(See how paradigm building works… The next step would be to experiment with that and see how it goes for you.)April 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm #158863JaxKeymaster
“What would Jedi do?” – I have asked this question many times in life. I find it pretty helpful, but it’s only as helpful as your understanding of the Jedi path.
Thank you for this explanation. It’s very beneficial.April 29, 2011 at 12:46 am #158882Kol DrakeModerator
paradigms = 20 cents
Two thumbs up Stryse!
You chaos dabbling lately?
I’ve read some of the articles on Phil Hines site… interesting take on things.
*drags out his old chemistry set to grow a paradigm in a petri dish…*April 29, 2011 at 3:38 am #158895Jedi_PhoenixModerator
Wow, I read the title of this post, and made a point to come back to it when I had a free moment. I’m glad I did. This is a very interesting take, and something put in words that I have been trying to understand myself for a long time. Namely, why I’m still walking the Jedi path, I come up with those paradoxes of my own beliefs, or why I ‘switch’ my beliefs.
For some people, like my parents, they see that as a weakness, that I appear wishy-washy. However, I think it is more along the lines of I am allowing myself to be open-minded and opening up to possibilities I hadn’t considered.
But now this is making me think about the fictional Jedi…and I know, I know, not perfect by any means; but still. They must have had individual paradigms, as the Force appeared to them in many ways, and they saw it differently: Jinn with his living Force, Windu with the shatter points, etc. So now my question is…can you have individual paradigms AND group paradigms? Can they differ, but still be..the same? I mean we all see them as Jedi, but we see them as different as well. Would the cover paradigm be that they are trusting the Force and it’s will? And even if they hear the same will but act differently..is that a paradox? lol My head hurts now :ponder
What’s your thoughts Stryse? I think this might be something as a community that would help with working towards finding more common grounds…April 29, 2011 at 7:12 am #158903Kol DrakeModerator
Although kidlets were taken into training very young, they still were individuals and not clones… so I would hope, over time, they would develop their own paradigms of how they act/interact with the world… as a person and as a Jedi. Plus, they are taken under wing by a Master Jedi who should have a couple of decades to show them the greater world/Universe and let them explore just how they feel they fit into it.
As noted, Qui Gon was not a carbon copy to Mace Windu nor to Yoda. Many had Yoda as a teacher/mentor/Master and yet they all were individuals, etc.
And even after all that, the individuals worked together toward lofty goals… so they accepted the group paradigm as much as the individual one. Or, at least that’s how it seems to me at this late hour.April 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm #158906Jedi_PhoenixModerator
I think my thoughts were along the same line Kol. I just find it interesting, I think we focus so much on individual paradigms that we forget to work on a cohesive group paradaigm, or maybe its just not doable in our generation…. ??? :April 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm #158915StryseParticipantQuote:paradigms = 20 cents
Two thumbs up Stryse!
You chaos dabbling lately?
I’ve read some of the articles on Phil Hines site… interesting take on things.
*drags out his old chemistry set to grow a paradigm in a petri dish…*
Not any more so than usual… LOVE Phil Hines work though. He cracks me up, his writing style… but all very easy to follow, approachable, and generally devoid of unneeded fluff.April 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm #158916StryseParticipant
I think the way it worked, you were raised in the Jedi temple, so like any child, you grew up in a certain paradigm being taught to you by your legal guardian. However, we all hit a certain age where we start formulating our own thoughts on things and really start growing into a sense of self-identity. There is a time where a child blindly believes everything his parents tell him… then one day she starts to question what she’s being told and that’s usually the point where one is breaking from a group paradigm and starting to formulate their own.
Now, can one hold a group paradigm and a personal one together? Absolutely. The human mind is a pretty impressive piece of equipment. Generally though, one’s personal paradigm shapes their group one, and vice-versa.
As a community, we indeed have a few things already that fit into the ‘group paradigm.’ What we consider the traits of a Jedi, for example. Individiually we’ve layered our interpretation of that article, which would be part of our individualized paradigm. (Hopefully that is a good illustration.)
Now, speaking from my other activities in the paranormal… I am an initiate of a particular tradition, and they have their own paradigm about things (although they also devote class time to developing an individual one). When I am working with the group, I need to adopt the group’s paradigm, supplanting my own. This is to ensure cohesion of the group in their working, putting us all on the same page, and keeping whatever powers/energies we’re raising inline with one another.
So absolutely, there are times (unless you stick to a solitary practice) that one is going to have to temporarily suspend their own indivual one and work in a group one.April 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm #158918Anonymous
As part of our individual Paradigm as Jedi – or at least that go online to find others possibly like us – the other Jedi are part of our Paradigm for the better or worse. Or – isn’t that right? (I’m sort of a bit confused about the idea of paradigm I’ll admit).
The problem is that it hasn’t been a uniformly positive or supportive or even tolerant aspect to my Jedi path. I guess you could say it was a mixed bag – which is much of what life is like – but I suspect we all EXPECT more out of those on the Jedi Path than Joe and Jane Mainstreet.
So – let me ask this – are our unsure expectations also part of our paradigm being that they are unknown and set for the unknown future?
(Just trying to get a grasp on the idea.)
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