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July 21, 2008 at 2:35 am #139104JaxKeymaster
Alright, I figure it might be fun to see what you all think about the topic of spirituality. It’s to help me understand what you all view as important, and also to gage what you expect from a course.
1. If you were to take a spirituality class, what would you expect and/or want to learn? Why?
2. What are your concerns about a class?July 21, 2008 at 4:49 am #149016Kol DrakeModerator
(1) What would I expect from a class/course in spirituality?
The religious landscape of the world is changing. No longer solely dominated by separate and securely entrenched religious institutions, the religious lives of people, especially people in the United States, Canada and other postindustrial nations, are increasingly defined by a sense of individual freedom, universality and association with more than one religious or spiritual tradition.
By encouraging those upon the Jedi Path to learn of spirituality -and- how it is a part of their Life, we do not intend the blending of religions or the ending of religious diversity. On the contrary, by learning about spirituality, we hope to acknowledge spiritual creativity emerging from the meeting of, and dialogue between, the world’s major religious traditions… and how being a “Jedi” does not take away from that part of our lives.
This course would acknowledge differences between religions and ‘the Jedi Philosophy’ and should affirm the greater unity they all share. This view of ‘unity’ provides the common ground from which religious diversity flowers. People would hopefully discover that their respect for and love of the religion of their birth need not preclude a similar respect for the full range of human spiritual creativity nor an ‘abandonment’ of what they believe in by deciding to walk the path “to be a Jedi”.
(2) What are my concerns regarding such a class?
World religions are many and varied… even if you only intend to gloss over the ‘top five or ten’ philosophies. While talking of ‘spirituality’, I suppose one person alone would be able to teach a very general class — however — I would think no one person is really qualified to know of each and every religion indepth.. or in general, to be able to properly give the ‘unity and contrast’ for each and every religion…. let alone how even the ‘Big Three’ compare and differ from the philosophy of the Jedi Way.
There is also the potential for someone to slant the teachings to their own personal views versus keeping a truly balanced, unbiased approach and tone to the teachings.
and.. …. that’s a start….. let me thunk on this some moreJuly 21, 2008 at 12:48 pm #149019JaxKeymaster
To clarify, religion and spirituality are not one and the same. Religions can definitely be spiritual, but that is not a guarantee. That would be the first topic addressed in such a course, as it would not be based on any particular philosophy or teach about various philosophies. Spirituality is about a direct experience with the sacred (or divine, or the Force if you prefer). Many religions only pay lip service to this direct connection, instead placing intermediaries between the practitioner and the sacred. But, as you said, we aren’t trying to turn people away from their religions, but to deepen their experience with their religion (if that is their choice).
I don’t want to bias this too much, but don’t want this to turn into a discussion of religion and the comparison of such. I’ll have to double check and see if that is part of the explicit curriculum at this point, or if it was implied and has now gotten lost. I’m sure it is addressed somehow, just not sure at the moment. Thanks for bringing it up! I look forward to more of your thoughts on this. There are some really interesting points that I’ll be considering as I’m stewing on all of this stuff.July 21, 2008 at 2:21 pm #149021Anonymous
Spirituality is so personal – I’m not sure you could have a class on spirituality without also discussing the religions and the spiritualities behind those religions?
– AstaJuly 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm #149022JaxKeymaster
Sure you can. Just like personal awareness is clearly personal, yet we run many courses on it. There are a few books on this topic as well. Two that I’ve been exploring including Essential Spirituality by Roger Walsh (I think) and Spiritual Development for Beginners (by someone I can’t remember right now). Both guide a person towards spiritual practices and an understanding of common elements of spirituality without referring to religion. The thing is, spirituality is far older and more universal than religion, thus the discussion of spirituality doesn’t ever have to address religion in the least to guide people to a deeper level of spirituality. What I found funny is, looking at the 7 essential spiritual practices, we already include a few in other courses – like living ethically and the practice of meditation.
So, to summarize, working from the religions back is one way of doing it, but it isn’t necessary. It would also be more complicated. Instead we can work from the common elements and the students can relate it back to their own experiences, religious or otherwise.July 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm #149025XhaidenKeymaster
My expectations are fairly simple as it would be a class that would help give tools to people their own spiritual path. For people that are newer to finding their own spirituality some warning signs to lookout for when finding your own spirituality begins to become more negative as in cult like would be good to include. There are some great sites that exist that help people learn what to avoid so they can find their own way without it becoming destructive to themselves and others around them.July 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm #149026matt191Participant
i’ve sort of half studied the subject for a few years now, i’ve not been very dedicated as not very many people know i beleive half of the things i do, and my parents especially dont, i come from a very pushy christian society, and have just within the past year or so changed my views, i now claim no religion or label like “athiest” and i very highly dislike people calling me an athiest, because i refuse to take the name…so anyway
i think if a course was to be taught about spirituality, the first thing discussed should be the fact that religion shouldn’t be involved in it at all, because that only leads to debates which would waste time that could be used with something else.
I would like to see talking about instincts, energy work, empathy, and astral projection
insticts are something i have recently been getting to notice in myself more, i will be walking around my house before i leave to go somewere and for example see a pocket knife and think “i should take that with me today, then again..i never do, i dont need it”…later that day i may just happen to come upon a string that would be very convinient to cut, but i dont have the knife, if i would have listened to myself i would have had it…thats just one of the many examples you can use, it can also be applied to driving and thinking “it would really suck if i slid across the road, maybe i should slow down”..but you dont…..i did that once, and slid across the road less than a minute later.
energy work is something that i love, but havent really gotten to far into, i just like being able to feel energy around me, its a great feeling, but i’m still VERY novice with it,still, its good to get a feeling for.
empathy is a great skill when dealing with people, you just sort of know what feelings they have at the moment, so you can avoid pushing them very far if you are arguing with someone, solving a conflict easier, then i myself have been able to tell when someone is lieng to me, a skill i love because liers tend to cause more trouble than what they are worth
astral projection is just something that can increase knowledge far beyond what is imagined, i myself havent accomplished it yet, but i have good friends, and a relative that has been able to, and its amazing the things one can see….but i cant prove its possible, as i havent ever done it
i for one beleive these are all connected to spirituality, because they all have to do with getting to know your inner spirit, if you know what i mean…meditation is the key to success in this section, because when you clear your mind from time to time, and just think, and do some energy work while your at it ….well, i dont know about anyone else, but i have just opened up more to the things most people don’t notice.
..that was long…i hope you guys can read it all
feel free to leave me feedback, good or badJuly 21, 2008 at 6:48 pm #149027JaxKeymaster
Thank you for your thoughts. Knowing what you expect from a course helps me remember what to address, even if it’s in passing or in reference to another course. By the way Matt, if you really want to work on energy work and astral projection all at once, work with Robert Bruce’s Mastering Astralprojection book. It’s really good and works a pace that is great for building success. It’s set to be done in 90 days, but it can be spread out as well.July 22, 2008 at 6:15 am #149029matt191Participant
thanks for the sugestion, i’ve heard of it, but right now im sort of at a stand-still with the projection, i’ve just decided to work myself up slowly with energy work before i get into that hard again.
I forgot to mention though, that one ting that should be taught in the class is that when you first start with these things, you imagine almost everything you feel, but when you actually feel what is there, you will know it, its hard to explain, and im not sure if everyone else is that way, but i know i wasJuly 22, 2008 at 11:41 am #149030AnonymousQuote:Spirituality is so personal – I’m not sure you could have a class on spirituality without also discussing the religions and the spiritualities behind those religions?
I feel that it is best not to study the religions when studying spirituality. Spirituality is very personal and, to me, religion is very inpersonal. Studying religions with spirituality would cloud the mind, so to speak.
I might take such a class. It sounds interesting.
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