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    Often, I see people saying that everyone has the ‘right’ to claim the name ‘Jedi’. Every time I see this, I wonder ‘Why?’ I have several thoughts on this and would be interested in hearing others opinion.

    One of my thoughts about this is that it is because there is no actual definition of what a Jedi is, beyond the sometimes vague outlines given in the fiction. Perhaps if a standard of training, a code of conduct, a code of ethics and other documents were made and agreed upon, then those who abided by those would have the ‘right’ to the name Jedi.

    Another, slightly more cynical thought is that people actually do sort of understand what a Jedi is, but since they cannot be bothered to do some self-work to bring themselves closer to the ideal, they change in their minds what a Jedi is so it is closer to how they are at that time and they can get the self-image boost of calling themselves Jedi.

    An even  more cynical thought is that some people think that they have an inalienable right to whatever the heck it is that they want whether it is earned or not. I have noticed that it is more often Americans who say this, I am not sure if this is just because there are more Americans on the forums or if it is part of the culture to use the word ‘right’ more often than some other cultures. Australia, for example, does not have a bill of rights and the word is used much less in the media and discussion.

    One thing I’ve been struggling with of late is how inclusive to make the training programmes. There is a part of me that shouts ‘If people want to be Jedi Knights, then they need to darn well earn it! If they don’t cut the mustard then too bad!’ and there is another part that understands when others say that there needs to be some sort of inclusiveness of those who do not wish to be Jedi Knights, but just Jedi at some other level. This part of me is sometimes uncertain where the line still needs to be drawn, though.

    So, what do you folks think? Does everyone have the right to be called a ‘Jedi’? Do standards, when developed, need to be strictly enforced? How much leeway is too much, or not enough?

    Silver Talon

    I didn’t see where you asked this; so I responded in PM. But I’ll answer here for everyone to see.

    My response would be that because the term Jedi isn’t defined enough and isn’t controlled by any one group. It’s a term that anyone can use as an identifier and there is nothing that we can do to stop them. We can’t set the standards for the whole Jedi Community, though hopefully in time others will come to agree with our standards. So, while we may not support someone else’s definition of Jedi there is nothing that we can do to stop them because they have the ‘right’ to use whatever identifier that they wish.

    It’s just like the martial arts. Anyone can claim to be a Black Belt and call themselves ‘Master’ ‘Sensei’ ‘Guru’ or even ‘Grand Master’ and there is nothing that can be done to stop them. It might be in bad form, but because there is no official group that acts as an authority over the martial arts to condemn them for using those titles. Just like Jedi. If we were to challenge anyone and say ‘what gives you the right to use the term Jedi’ they can throw it back in our faces asking the same question. What gives us the right? We have just about as much permission to use the term as anyone else, which is to say we don’t have permission.

    My perspective is that if someone wants to use the title of Jedi; then we should welcome them and give them as much training as they’ll take so that they will be better equipped to be Jedi and be encouraged to help their communities and be good people where there are many other Jedi groups that just play around at being Jedi and do nothing.

    I do believe that being a Jedi Knight should be earned and not given out and I believe that those standards should be high. However, just like in the fiction – not everyone is going to be able to live up to that standard and in the fiction those that couldn’t were sent to serve in various places and were still called Jedi. If people wish to work towards self improvement and to better the world around them as Jedi but can’t meet the requirements of Jedi Knight for whatever reason; what do we do? Just kick em out and tell them that they aren’t Jedi any longer or do we work with them and provide them with as much knowledge and skill as they can understand and allow them to be Jedi. (Just not Knights).


    My thoughts are focused on the teaching of people who want to be Jedi.  I believe in helping everyone who wants to learn – so long as they are actually doing their part.  Are they listening and considering what is being presented, or just blowing it off for their own ideas?  Are they trying out the suggestions presented to them, or are they simply wanting to vent and complain every day about their life? 

    I’ve worked with many people over the years.  Some have shown immense growth, some have been slower to change.  However, so long as they were still making the attempt to change I have given them my time and aid.  Yet there are others who haven’t shown that same attitude and instead have just spent their time complaining.  I have little time for those types of people, as my time is not plentiful enough.  That having been said, that same individual could come back a month or a year or more later with an attitude of change and learning and I’ll gladly help them out because they are now ready to grow. 

    We see this in classes, especially the first classes a person takes.  There are some who realize that it’s actually work to become a Jedi and they leave.  While I do contact them to make sure there isn’t something they are misunderstanding, I let them leave because this isn’t the right place for them.  But those that are slower learners who still put the work in, I’ll help them as much as I can. 

    As for who is Jedi?  I tend to differentiate, personally, into 3 categories.  A Jedi student is someone who is early in their training.  A Jedi is someone who is farther along in their training, perhaps already teaching others, but hasn’t become a Knight yet (which now is due to lack of standards and testing).  A Jedi Knight, which I don’t use yet because we don’t have that testing proces in place, would then be someone who has passed their trials and earned that title.  Though typically I simply use the terms Jedi and Jedi student.  I do this because a Jedi student can still leave the path, never to return.  They are still learning a lot of the basic skills and working to gain some of the attributes of a Jedi Knight.  Big picture, a Jedi student is someone actively learning knowledge (taking classes for instance), while a Jedi is now taking all that knowledge they gathering and deepening their understanding and application of that knowledge.  Does that make sense?

    I know these are subjective standards.  We have these throughout our world though.  For instance, when does a person go from being a martial arts student (or someone who studies ___) to a martial artist?  When does a person go from being a person who plays the drums, to a drummer?  Usually it is a level of expertise that is reached, along with the day to day living of that role.  A drummer and martial artist has a higher level of committment, focus, and ability along with usually a level of professional involvement.  And that’s where I draw that subjective line between a Jedi student and a Jedi. 

    I guess I don’t think too much about what other people call themselves.  I can’t do anything about it anyway.  I do, however, care what we call people studying here.  That’s why my focus is on following my simple rules of who to help train and who to let go.  I believe in helping everyone who is also helping themselves at the same time.  Becoming a Jedi is an internal path, one that only you can truly walk.  I can’t make anyone change, I can only help inspire that change.  In that process I learn a lot as well.  :-)

    Back to the topic at hand, I guess one way to look at it in reference to the academy is that, those in the first 2 levels of training would be Jedi Students.  They spend most of their time taking classes and taking in information.  Advanced students would be Jedi, digesting all they’ve learned and applying it all to their life.  I think there needs to be a bit earned even for the normal title Jedi, but we can’t control how people use it in their life. 

    I mean, in my life as a Marine I started as a poolee – someone waiting to go to bootcamp.  Then I became a recruit, actively training towards that title.  Then I became a Marine.  Each title required something of me, and showed others which stage I was at in my journey.  I think, so long as we are consistent on this site, we’ll have a good start. 


    Personally, I follow the Jedi Path and do not claim to be a Jedi. I do not feel that anyone has the right to ‘claim’ that they are a Jedi. That title should be one that is earned, over time, by their actions and such. It should be a title given to them by others, not taken by themselves. This is one of the reasons that I posted the farcical reproduction of Emz’ Jedi Statement at The Jediism Way. She had it right in that it is not the person who gets to decide if they are a Jedi; others are the ones that need to decide.

    Secondly, I have seen no one who has, in my opinion, earned the title of Jedi. One person comes very close, though, and I would have no problem with calling this person a Jedi. But others – no. For this reason, I have always questioned who has the right to teach what. Inari talks about letting others leave because they do not want to work at following the path. Others talk about individuals that will not follow their advice and even consider what they have offered to them. Perhaps those learners have considered what you have taught to them and rejected it. Does that make them less of a Jedi candidate? Additionally, what makes you the teacher and they the learner? Do we not learn from each other? Perhaps, just maybe, the learner has something to offer to you. Maybe it is the teacher that is being stubborn and not seeing what the learner has to offer as far as teachings. A wise sage does not consider themselves as knowing all that needs to be known. What I am hearing here, and you may correct me if I am wrong, is that if the learner does not accept your teachings, then they are at fault. The hubris in that belief will be the downfall of many Jedi teachers because the teachers in this community do not know everything and are still learning. Could it be possible that the learner has something to teach?

    In the same manner, I cringe at the thought of a Jedi Trial. It is not the fact that there will be physical fitness tests and such, it is the fact that the people who are going to put together this Jedi Trial are not Jedi themselves. In putting it together, what would prevent the developers from skewing the trial to benefit them in the beginning and then making the trial more difficult for subsequent candidates? How can one create a Jedi Trial when they are not a Jedi?

    These are the questions that run through my mind when I think about the title of Jedi and the idea of a Jedi Trial.

    As far as the title of Jedi Knight, I feel that there should be standards and that those standards should be met in order to be awarded that title. How will those standards be met, though? Through classes taken online at one of these academies? What role does practical experience and application have in the earning of the title of Jedi Knight? Anyone can be book learned but not put into practice what they have learned. Anyone can look good on paper, but it is the application that really counts. What I am saying is that academies are all fine and good but they mean nothing if people do not take what they have learned and applied it in the real world.

    Jade Light

    What I am hearing here, and you may correct me if I am wrong, is that if the learner does not accept your teachings, then they are at fault.

    That isn’t at all what I meant.  That’s why I said listen and consider, in comparison with those who just blow off whatever you have to say because they have no interest in resolving the thing they are complaining or worrying about. 

    Note, I also said that I learn a lot from working with students.  It’s not about what I have to pass along, it’s completely about whether they’re actually doing something to change their life, or if they just want someone to do it for them – as that simply isn’t possible to do.

    Silver Talon

    You are right Jade. What makes one person the teacher and the other a learner? I’ve learned quite a bit here from what the teachers have taught and the student’s responses to the teacher’s teachings. True instruction is a partnership.

    As two of my mentors liked to quote:

    “Is it what the teacher teaches?” Vergere countered. “Or what the student learns?”


    Teaching should always be student centered if you actually want the student to learn.  But that’s getting off topic of what this thread is about… We can always discuss teaching in another thread.



    Please note that I stated, “…and you may correct me if I am wrong…”. That means that I may not be understanding completely what you are meaning. You ask me to listen and consider but, yet, others are not listening and considering what I stated. I actually meant for you to correct me if I have the wrong impression. You seemed to have taken deep offense instead and seem to lump me in with those who blow things off. I left myself open to be corrected, not scolded.

    My apologies.

    Jade Light


    No, I didn’t take offense or link you in with those people.  I was just restating it in a way that hopefully was clearer than I originally said it. 

    Brandel Valico

    The short answer is a simple no not everyone has the right to claim the title or more accurately to claim what they follow is Jedi since a Jedi is simply anyone who follows the Jedi path as their primary path in life and apply it as such.

    If they don’t then not Jedi.

    I realize that this isn’t a popular answer for many and that some will now ask me who I am to say who is and isn’t a Jedi or to show them what is the Jedi path. Who decides what is and isn’t the Jedi path?
    Who gave me the right to say what is and isn’t the Jedi path? As well as no-doubt many other questions to draw the conversation away from the setting of anything remotely like a clear line in the proverbial sand showing this side Jedi that side not.

    My answers are simple ones. I’m a simple guy.

    Who am I to say who is and isn’t Jedi?  No-one of any real importance nor do I say who is and isn’t a Jedi. I leave that to them and others. If your following the Jedi path then your a Jedi. If your not then your not. It’s not me saying that. It’s simply what they are doing saying it.

    What is the Jedi path. At the core of it like it or hate it the Philosophies given in the fiction for the Jedi adapted as accurately as possible to fit within reality then applied as they are not adapted to fit each and every person who wants it to be this or that but instead by the majority of the people following it. IS the Jedi Philosophy. No it’s not an individual path thats open to each and every person to follow as they wish. Thats why its called the “Jedi” path and not “Insert your name here” path.  Yes there is room for vast individuality within that path. But there are also some things you will simply have to change in yourself to be a Jedi. If your not willing to then you won’t really be Jedi no matter who much you claim to be. The same is true of all paths.

    Who gives me or what gives me the right to say the above is the Jedi path, Again I’m nobody of any real importance and no-one or anything gives me the right to say that the above is the Jedi path. It’s not about what I say or they say. It’s about what the majority says. The Jedi path is not an individual path that is decided on by one person or another. If the majority of the people here can honestly say that the concept they hold in their mind of a Jedi doesn’t cause them to envision a fictional Jedi. Then the above isn’t the right concept of what is the Jedi path. The main thing to keep in mind that it’s not what I say that matters. Nor is it what those who fight against all concepts that draw that line say. But what the majority of the people who follow this path say that matters. If you take the time and visit the sites you will notice that it is almost always the same few people arguing against anything that might cause them to have to follow anything specific to claim the term Jedi or say they are on the Jedi path. Just as you will notice that it’s also the same people on all the sites arguing for those standards. Neither side has the right to impose their views on the other no matter how much they try or how many sites they say it on. In the end it’s what the majority agrees to that matters the minority or those left out may not agree but that isn’t the issue. They have the right to disagree. Heck it may even end up me being the person left out. If so to bad for me. It’s not up to me to decide who is and isn’t included.

    Long winded as this has become, in the end it comes down to this. Currently for the majority of people when they think of Jedi they do envision a fictional Jedi concept and all that it carries with it good and bad. As such thats what IS the Jedi path at this time. It may change in the future and it may not.

    So no the training classes shouldn’t be all inclusive. The concept they even can be is silly. Unless of course your going to translate them into every known language?

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