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    (I just found this in my blog and wanted to bring it here since it pertains to some questions David has been asking)

    What do I want from a Jedi Order?
    25 August 2008 — butchjax
    I posted this elsewhere in response to some questions about what we want from a Jedi order and such, and in the process of asking myself some slightly different questions, I came to some new understandings.  Therefore I’m going to document them here so I don’t lose them.  I will need to go back through this later and work on actually feeling good about it all so I’m helping to create it faster, but I need time to do that.

    What do I want?

    I would like a more organized group of Jedi, which I suppose we can call an order.  I would like those people who have rather similar ideas of what the Jedi path entails to come together, sharing their strengths and compensating for other people’s weaknesses.  For the time being, I am focusing online as that is where we can reach the most people without limits of location, time, and money that limit our activities offline.  I’d like to see a strong group pulling together and sharing their path for whoever else is interested.  I’d like to see growth from everyone, not just those we call students, because we all have our weaknesses and limitations that I don’t see being trained very intensely except in a few situations.  And this, I believe, is our biggest hindrence to moving forward as a community.  (that may have been a bit circular, but it works for me today)

    Why do I want this?

    I believe having a core group of people that are actively training offline, but sharing their experiences online, will provide a good example for all the many independent people who explore the various websites trying to find someone similar enough to them to stick around for a bit.  I can’t think of many websites where people share their actual real life training experiences.  Even more infrequent do you see anyone sharing their training challenges, for any number of reasons.  But when we do we increase the level of trust among everyone involve and occasionally learn something!  *gasp*

    When we have shown that we are truly all working together, learning and growing together, everyone benefits.  Students stick around more because they have an actual relationship with the other members.  The reason I have stuck around is due to the relationships I have forged with certain people in the community, both more experienced and less experienced than me.  Honestly, there are still plenty of people in this small group that I couldn’t tell you much about.  I don’t know how they train on a day to day basis, I don’t know what their normal life is like, I don’t know their predominant focus, really all I have is what they present online, which is minimal.  I find myself saying things like, well, I don’t really know them, but this person says they are trustworthy, so I guess I’ll trust them.  But that isn’t satisfying, and doesn’t ring true.  The word of another only goes so far.  And in the end, those that I trust the most are those who I actually know through their online blogs and training journals.  I know their trials and successes, I know what they study in their offline time, and I know they speak from experience that I’ve seen to some extent.  There are very few I can say that about.

    Realistically, I don’t think we’ll see anything of a Jedi organization or order without transparency.  Otherwise we lack trust or just basic information about individuals.  I know everyone is doing their training offline, away from the computer, but we are organizing online.  We can only work together online, there must be a greater sharing of knowledge online or we will continue to just have little splinter groups that are left without the greater support of all the other Jedi training earnestly because there is no actual relationship with others.  And no, I don’t think meeting up once a year for a gathering is enough.  Who knows what people are doing for the other 51 weeks of the year?

    What do I want next?

    Once we gain some transparency and sharing to form relationships, we work together to create more training documents.  The Academy will have a lot of information in that area, but there is always room for more self study material, the equivalence of small seminars and such.  In the core values we mention passing on our knowledge.  I accept their are varying degrees of ability in this area, but I think we need to start pushing ourselves to write things down.  Find a way to explain things and share them.  We can pass along some of this at gatherings and individual training groups, but it must be able to be passed along online as well, otherwise we are severely limiting our growth.

    At that point, once we have real relationships between various groups online and off, and we have gathering training material, I think we are then actually an order.  We can then provide training, support, and resources in general to Jedi online and off.  Until then, I don’t see us getting very far, and this will continue to be an endeavor by only loosely connected individuals.

    Why do I care in the end?

    I’ve put countless hours into training myself and others and trying to leave behind training materials for those who can use them.  I want to feel that, if I decide to step down from actively teaching, things won’t just disappear or fall apart.  I know there are typically people that step up, but there are also plenty of websites and groups that have dissolved, never to be seen again.  There is a lot of benefit from the Jedi path for an individual if they stick with it.  I don’t want to see that lost because we couldn’t pull things together.  At some point I know I will not be able to train people in general because I will be raising a family.  I would like to leave in the future confident that my vision of the Jedi and my cohorts vision of the Jedi won’t be lost.  If it is, so be it, but there’s no real reason why it must, and why we can’t create something more from what exists now.

    In the end, this is just my perspective.  Some of these perspectives have only just now been made conscious to myself, some are ideas I’ve had for a while.  I really believe that half of our problem is that we know so little about each other.  My blog has always been open to the public, and will continue to be so.  I don’t hide my training, even when it is haphazard or I am not reaching the goals I set.  At first I worried this could be a problem, but in my experience it only helps others when they know I am not only human, but I understand their own struggles and can help them get pointed back in the right direction.  I would challenge everyone to do so as well (if they aren’t already.)

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