Some questions from a passer-by

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06 Jan 2016 12:08 #219447 by Djavik
Replied by Djavik on topic Some questions from a passer-by
If you already know the answer to your questions...why ask them?
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06 Jan 2016 12:10 #219448 by Reneza
Replied by Reneza on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Djavik wrote: If you already know the answer to your questions...why ask them?


Apologies if I'm misunderstanding anything you said.

But if my last post was correct, thanks for the answer :)
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06 Jan 2016 12:11 #219450 by Djavik
Replied by Djavik on topic Some questions from a passer-by
I believe you had an answer before you asked your question.
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06 Jan 2016 12:13 #219451 by Djavik
Replied by Djavik on topic Some questions from a passer-by
You had "your" answer. But is it enough. Was it really sstirring the pot that brought you here? Or something more?
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06 Jan 2016 12:13 #219452 by Reneza
Replied by Reneza on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Djavik wrote: I believe you had an answer before you asked your question.


I was quite unsure whether it was that The Force was defined in terms of the film or something different, but if what you say is the general consensus among self-proclaimed Jedi, then thanks for the responses :)
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06 Jan 2016 12:18 #219453 by Djavik
Replied by Djavik on topic Some questions from a passer-by
It's been a pleasure meeting you! Ive got to get some rest. I work late. Night. I pray you fin what you seek. Just keep seeking!
May The Force be with you, always.
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06 Jan 2016 12:22 #219454 by Ben
Replied by Ben on topic Some questions from a passer-by
Crikey, that's a lot of questions! :laugh:

Welcome, by the way...

I'm only going to address them briefly...please note that these are of course my opinions/perceptions, not an official line...

God Wants You Dead - it's an optional lesson in the IP, and quite frankly no-one ever chooses to do that lesson. This should hopefully answer your question about how 'official' it is - if we thought it was vital reading, it would be compulsory. Nothing in the IP is to be taken as an authority, and the questionable nature of some of the material (Lynne McTaggart's 'The Field' being the most commonly used example) is part of the lesson itself - we hope that it will encourage members to learn critical thinking and teach them not to take things at face value. The only 'official doctrine' that we have here is that which you will find on the doctrine page .

Material sources - Bear in mind that this religion is still in its extreme infancy. We don't want someone to just sit down and come up with some doctrine/material because they have to - it's better, I think, if it arises naturally and out of collaboration. It's not something to be rushed...it could take 10, 20, 30 years before we have that kind of material, because at this point, we're kinda still figuring out exactly what Jediism is (there are a lot of different opinions!). In the meantime, material like Campbell and Watts seems to fit very closely with what many of us believe (George Lucas was strongly influenced by Campbell, and you see the monomyth symbolism throughout the Star Wars movies), and it's a good starting point for us to come up with our own interpretations (which, in time, will become more concrete material). You also seem very certain that a religion should be telling people what to believe and what to do - why should it? A lot of people come here because they don't feel comfortable with religions that take that approach. We're different - but different doesn't mean bad!

Anti-theism - Well, we don't actively promote theism, because Jediism doesn't have a God or conscious divinity. I'd also argue that we don't promote anti-theism - many of our members are also members of other (theistic) religions, and any such members are welcomed here with open arms. Some of our study material may perhaps appear express anti-theistic sentiments at times, but I'd argue that, firstly, that's partly a matter of interpretation, and secondly, as I mentioned above, the study material isn't doctrine. You wont find explicit anti-theism anywhere in our official doctrine.

Atheist views of the Force - You'd have to get some individual views on that. There are lots of different views of the Force and people reconcile it with their existing beliefs (or lack of) in many different ways. I don't even really know where to start, but I can say that I don't believe the Force to be conscious or to have a 'will' or any of that stuff. I don't see it as being remotely similar to a God, so being an atheist (well...agnostic, anyway) isn't a problem for me. I'm happy to talk about it further but I'd suggest PM because I'll ramble on forever if I get started here. :laugh:

Terminology
- Now, this is a debate that does come up from time to time. A large part of me has always wished that we would rename everything to words completely unrelated to Star Wars. But, the question that always remains is whether any of us would be here if the terminology were different? Not because we are attached to Star Wars, but because the majority of members seem to admit to 'stumbling' across TOTJO whilst Googling 'Jediism' or 'The Force', etc. Once they're here, they realize very quickly that we're not a fan-community (we actually don't mention Star Wars very often at all), and that if they want to study here they're going to have to be prepared to focus on mythology, comparative religion, general self-reflection and self-improvement, and so on. If all you want is to be able to say "I'M A JEDI!", you don't last long here, trust me. But the terminology is important because it brought us to this thing that many of us didn't really know that we were looking for, yet couldn't imagine life without once we'd found it.

Dualistic nature of the Force
- This kind of thinking is a symptom of someone who is assuming that we base everything on the movies. ;) I would suggest (I hope correctly) that the majority of members here don't believe the Force has a light or dark side. It's just 'The Force'. Light and dark, good and evil, yin and yang...these are concepts that we can explore as metaphors that help to illustrate certain aspects of life, but the Force itself - no. It doesn't have sides (as far as I'm concerned). As you said, 'negating the entire concept of the Force as it exists in its fictional representation'. Yes, this is what I'm doing (well, not the entire concept, but a big part of it anyway). Because Star Wars is not our religion; Jediism is...and there is no universal law that says that just because the name is pinched from the movies, everything else has to be the same too. It isn't. :)


I have to go to work now...but if you want to discuss any of that further, please feel free to message me.
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06 Jan 2016 12:45 - 06 Jan 2016 12:47 #219458 by Kitsu Tails
Replied by Kitsu Tails on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Reneza wrote: Hi there everyone. I'm not sure if I should have posted in the introductory section first so excuse my abruptness. Lately I've just been interested in the Jedi census/faith phenomenon and while I'm not a super fan of Star Wars by any measure, I've noticed a few things about the phenomenon and would love to know what you think.

From my understanding, the population of Jedi across the world seem to be split into 4 demographics (though there may be grey areas so forgive me if I seem to be making generalizations):

1) Star Wars fans who seek a more holistic and communal expression of their interest

2) "Somethingists" - English-language surveys often list people who "believe in something/a sort of life force but are not sure what it is". Jediism offers an expression of this in proclaiming the concept of a metaphysical life force (e.g. qi/ki/élan vital) while also providing a sense of belonging/community and also not enforcing boundaries on the lives of its adherents which seems to be important, especially in the Western world.

3) Self-proclaimed atheists who use Jediism as a means of communal belonging but occasionally to mock religion by presenting theistic systems as absurd (more on this below)

4) People who don't take questions of religion in a serious manner and so have labelled themselves light-heartedly as "Jedi" on census forms (this seems to be the vast majority). These people have no true affiliation to Jediism.


Your points here seem a little bias and....aggressive in judgment? There are certianly folks that fit the bill in these points, but does not represent the whole of the Jedi Community.

I would most probably fall under number 4. Except that I do not label myself "Light-heartedly" and actually take "Jedi" Very seriously. I simply do not see it as a Religion and instead a Lifestyle. And there are many others with this same mind-set and are very much affiliated to Jediism. I am.

Regarding books, why is the selection of books a sporadic collection of writings from new age people and 60s orientalists such as Alan Watts


Not everyone in the whole Jedi Community use these texts. This temple does and I will let this Temple answer for you :) However it leads into -

and not any official works written by actual Jedi faith people (I haven't found any other than posts on these forums and elsewhere)?


Did you try looking on Amazon?

Jedi Compass (Written by several community members) - www.amazon.com/Jedi-Compass-Community/dp...eywords=Jedi+Compass

Jedi Circle by Opie (Among many others he wrote) - www.amazon.com/Jedi-Circle-Philosophy-Ev...keywords=Jedi+Circle


To name just a few :)

Another question is that if you actually expect to be treated seriously as a religion, why is it necessary to maintain Star Wars terminology such as "Jedi" and "the Force"?


Why must Christians insist on being called Christian? Or Muslims Muslims? Or Buddhists Buddhists? Star Wars was an inspiring spring board that started the practice of "Jedi" in real life and has been forever part of our history....Why not? Speaking only for myself I have invested over 15 years to this path :) It has a purpose and meaning to me and it would be nice to have that recognized rather than discriminated.

However yes. Jedi teach to Conquer Materialism. For some people, dropping the titles could be a solution - That is for them to decide however.


As for the rest :) I will let a more official representative of this temple handle :)
Last edit: 06 Jan 2016 12:47 by Kitsu Tails.
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06 Jan 2016 12:45 #219459 by Reneza
Replied by Reneza on topic Some questions from a passer-by

V-Tog wrote: Crikey, that's a lot of questions! :laugh:


I'm just interested in these topics :laugh:

V-Tog wrote: God Wants You Dead - it's an optional lesson in the IP, and quite frankly no-one ever chooses to do that lesson. This should hopefully answer your question about how 'official' it is - if we thought it was vital reading, it would be compulsory.


Why is it there though?

V-Tog wrote: Nothing in the IP is to be taken as an authority, and the questionable nature of some of the material (Lynne McTaggart's 'The Field' being the most commonly used example) is part of the lesson itself - we hope that it will encourage members to learn critical thinking and teach them not to take things at face value.


Oh alright, I see now. But if the lessons are mostly just to teach critical thinking why does this group claim to be a religion as I see many do?

V-Tog wrote: The only 'official doctrine' that we have here is that which you will find on the doctrine page .


Yes, I've read it, but it's too vague to be considered its own religion in its own right.

V-Tog wrote: Material sources - Bear in mind that this religion is still in its extreme infancy. We don't want someone to just sit down and come up with some doctrine/material because they have to - it's better, I think, if it arises naturally and out of collaboration. It's not something to be rushed...it could take 10, 20, 30 years before we have that kind of material, because at this point, we're kinda still figuring out exactly what Jediism is (there are a lot of different opinions!). In the meantime, material like Campbell and Watts seems to fit very closely with what many of us believe (George Lucas was strongly influenced by Campbell, and you see the monomyth symbolism throughout the Star Wars movies), and it's a good starting point for us to come up with our own interpretations (which, in time, will become more concrete material). You also seem very certain that a religion should be telling people what to believe and what to do - why should it? A lot of people come here because they don't feel comfortable with religions that take that approach. We're different - but different doesn't mean bad!


So may I assume that you're suggesting Jediism is a sort-of "open-source" religion? If so, is this to suggest that certain doctrines will come to prominence and eventually become official over others? And if this is the case, how is it determined?

V-Tog wrote: Anti-theism - Well, we don't actively promote theism, because Jediism doesn't have a God or conscious divinity. I'd also argue that we don't promote anti-theism - many of our members are also members of other (theistic) religions, and any such members are welcomed here with open arms. Some of our study material may perhaps appear express anti-theistic sentiments at times, but I'd argue that, firstly, that's partly a matter of interpretation, and secondly, as I mentioned above, the study material isn't doctrine. You wont find explicit anti-theism anywhere in our official doctrine.


If people from other faiths can retain their own faith and still call themselves a Jedi, then by definition it's not within the category of religion and it's misleading to write as such in census forms.

V-Tog wrote: Atheist views of the Force - You'd have to get some individual views on that. There are lots of different views of the Force and people reconcile it with their existing beliefs (or lack of) in many different ways. I don't even really know where to start, but I can say that I don't believe the Force to be conscious or to have a 'will' or any of that stuff. I don't see it as being remotely similar to a God, so being an atheist (well...agnostic, anyway) isn't a problem for me. I'm happy to talk about it further but I'd suggest PM because I'll ramble on forever if I get started here. :laugh:


The other member who posted here, Djavik, said that The Force was merely defined by individual interpretation. If that's true, then it has no real definition and so what does it mean to "believe in The Force" as the Simple Oath says?

V-Tog wrote: Terminology - Now, this is a debate that does come up from time to time. A large part of me has always wished that we would rename everything to words completely unrelated to Star Wars. But, the question that always remains is whether any of us would be here if the terminology were different?


If people really believed in what it actually is and not its superficial appearance, yes. Otherwise I dare to say it's just communal role playing.

V-Tog wrote: Not because we are attached to Star Wars, but because the majority of members seem to admit to 'stumbling' across TOTJO whilst Googling 'Jediism' or 'The Force', etc. Once they're here, they realize very quickly that we're not a fan-community (we actually don't mention Star Wars very often at all), and that if they want to study here they're going to have to be prepared to focus on mythology, comparative religion, general self-reflection and self-improvement, and so on. If all you want is to be able to say "I'M A JEDI!", you don't last long here, trust me. But the terminology is important because it brought us to this thing that many of us didn't really know that we were looking for, yet couldn't imagine life without once we'd found it.


The appearance of words is not important to the definition of words. What is symbolized is much more important than the symbol itself and if people wish to hold onto terms rather than meaning, they are playing games within a community and not adhering to any sort of genuine system.

V-Tog wrote: Dualistic nature of the Force - This kind of thinking is a symptom of someone who is assuming that we base everything on the movies. ;)


Yes, as I said I'm exploring what exactly it is you people believe and all I have to base it on is the movies, and I'm sure you can sympathize when that's what I base my questions on.

V-Tog wrote: I would suggest (I hope correctly) that the majority of members here don't believe the Force has a light or dark side. It's just 'The Force'.


This is like saying: "hot dogs are just hot dogs" and means nothing. Words have definitions and need them to exist. If a word has no real definition, it serves no real purpose. If that meaning is vague, which the meanings of many words are, it's fine but if you don't have any foundation for what it conveys in language, then it's just a meaningless abstraction.

V-Tog wrote: Light and dark, good and evil, yin and yang...these are concepts


They are concepts that have basis in human thought. They were not created simply to explore meaninglessness but to explain reality as we experience it as human beings within language.

V-Tog wrote: that we can explore as metaphors that help to illustrate certain aspects of life, but the Force itself - no. It doesn't have sides (as far as I'm concerned). As you said, 'negating the entire concept of the Force as it exists in its fictional representation'. Yes, this is what I'm doing (well, not the entire concept, but a big part of it anyway). Because Star Wars is not our religion; Jediism is...and there is no universal law that says that just because the name is pinched from the movies, everything else has to be the same too. It isn't. :)


But while claiming it as a religion, your definitions do not define it as such.

V-Tog wrote: I have to go to work now...but if you want to discuss any of that further, please feel free to message me.


I really appreciate all your responses. Hope you have a nice day :)
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06 Jan 2016 12:54 #219460 by Jestor

All opinions expressed here are mine, and I am not speaking for TOTJO... ;)

Thanks for the definition. But it's your own and not anything official. So from this I guess I can conclude that "The Force" is an abstract concept with no definition whatsoever except those of the people who believe in it?


Do you need an authority/someone 'Official' (who decides whos official?) to tell you right from wrong, how to live, what to think?

TOTJO tries to not limit thinking...

I write, quite often, that: "we (TOTJO, the members) dont care WHAT you think, we only as THAT you think"...

Could you describe yourself in a few sentences, could you describe yourself in a paragraph? Chapter, or complete book?

Thats how everything is, and you are getting exact answers from but a few that have varying beliefs...

We have a few in common too, dont get me wrong, lol...


Regarding books, why is the selection of books a sporadic collection of writings from new age people and 60s orientalists such as Alan Watts and not any official works written by actual Jedi faith people


Because we question authority...

And, who is to say I am the end-all, be-all of the Jedi? SAme for any who have books at this point... There are a few books out there, and we may begin to use those once they get some consistent reviews, but, we really detest being told HOW to be, or WHAT to think, and, of the two authors I know in print, yea, they seem to have some pretty solid ideas, and are not flexible enough for me yet... I'll wait for reviews from my peers....


If it is true that people who call themselves Jedi seek legitimate state religious recognition and from what I read, regularly complain that governments are not taking it seriously as a religion


Like a child, we all want recognition for how 'cool' and individual' we are when something is new...

Two thing new people want to know, "is this real" and when we gonna build a temple'... lol, becasue they are new...

"look at me mom, look at me"

However, as we understand more, and the more seasoned members you talk to, you will find that we really dont care, we will do our thing, DESPITE what others think/say... ;)

People like yourself, will only have the minimalist of understanding, becasue aswe grow to be jedi, we really only barely answer, as I am not a subject to be studied, and if I spend all my time answering you, how is that helping my personal development?

You wanna know what it is like to be a Jedi, be a Jedi... Just like if you wanted to know what it is like to be a fireman, be a fireman...

You cant feel the flames of the fire listening to a story... Gotta get close to the action, lol...


Another question is that if you actually expect to be treated seriously as a religion, why is it necessary to maintain Star Wars terminology such as "Jedi" and "the Force"


Again, it goes back to 'who are you (anyone) to question it'?

New people want to be taken serious, 'older' people want to be left alone from questions and justification, lol... kiunda funny, lol...

Problem here is, new people understand very little, and only have a few answers, and thus will not always know the 'right' thing to say...

We are nerds in the way that a 'jock' is a sports nerd, or a 'scientist' is a science geek...

We are 'life nerds' trying to tie sports, and science, and ethics, and biology, and, and, and etc all together...


In regards to what I can only call "theology," what is the definition of the dark side and the light side of the force? As these concepts are part of its dualistic nature, you need to define that certain things are objectively "dark" (i.e. evil) and certain things "light" (i.e. good). If you can define them, this presents a problem to atheist members "objective morality" is non-existent within the atheist material paradigm



This shows how you, like the rest of the world, seems to see everything in the 'black/white' dichotomy, and, have trouble seeing the 'forest through the trees'... lol...

Its ok, so many people do, most of us here did too, lol...

Its not "dark OR light" its "dark AND light"... the force is a coin, flipping through the air, and sometimes something appears dark, sometimes light, but, in the end, it is a coin....

Perceptions and perspectives vary, and so does everything else... lol...


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Trying to keep up in the forum will soon be difficult, with answers coming from all sides...

If you find someone you wish to talk to more indepth, for their PERSONAL views, shoot them a message...:)

That help?

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Sith ain't Evil...
Jedi ain't Saints....


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