Some questions from a passer-by

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06 Jan 2016 18:09 - 06 Jan 2016 18:25 #219544 by tzb
Replied by tzb on topic Some questions from a passer-by
Ask a group of Taoists to define the Tao. Some may provide personal definitions, others may merely smile and direct you to the first verse of the Tao Te Ching, which suggests all definitions of the Tao fall short. Is Taoism not a religion because of this? While Taoists largely believe definitions of the Tao fall short (and therefore their religion is about the frame we create around an necessarily doctrinally absent "presence"), Jedi believe definitions of the Force are necessarily personal. The small core of doctrine on our Doctrine page gives you the ideas and principles we generally agree on, which are for Jedi extrapolations of the meaning of the Force. What is the Force? That which by being true, all of the things on our Doctrine page would follow. See also the Tao Te Ching (agreed, theirs is better; ours is a start). Other religions (Sithism for example) have different interpretations of what the Force means, practically.

Do all Christians agree on every part of Christian thought? No. Could you sum up the major, agreed-upon principles of Christianity in a page about the size of our Doctrine page? I believe so, yes. You yourself say what it means to be Christian is defined in the Nicene Creed, which is rather shorter than our doctrine. Why does a Doctrine's concision or the fact a core element of it is personal interpretation make its definition as a religion problematic? All religious adherents are also "personal", in that they are persons. As such, all religious people express their faith in (at least subtly, often wildly) different ways. Suggesting otherwise doesn't strike me as sensible or desirable, and as such it's one of Jediism's strengths that it doesn't seek for a single "true" definition of the Force or become overly prescriptive in how one should express their faith in it, just some central ideas which we as Jedi agree make sense.

The latitude of Jediism is not so wide that it lacks this general "sense" of what it means to be Jedi. In terms of this Temple's expression of that, the wellspring from which all of the ideas and discussions flow is all there in our Doctrine.

The other element I'd like to respond to... does a course on Poetry have less meaning because the professor didn't write all the poems? The Initiate Programme is not our doctrine, nor is it spoken of as such. It's a training course in ideas of comparative mythology, meditation, some core critical thinking principles etc etc... I don't find any issue in our use of third-party materials in an optional study programme which is there to elucidate upon some of the central ideas and principles we believe may be useful to newcomers to our faith. The core ideas and principles of Jediism (reflection, service, compassion, harmony, unity) are not new; we could try and write our equivalent of Alan Watts' lecture on Meditation, for instance, but why should we when he already speaks perfectly well of the same wisdom? And so we seek sources which resonate now, have broad appeal, are easily understood by those who arrive, but get to the same points. It's one of the joys of establishing a religion in the digital age that we can get these things from existing experts, rather than wait for new experts in these ideas to rise up, declare themselves Jedi and write something on Temple-headed notepaper - or worse still, allow less gifted orators to regurgitate their ideas second-hand.

As Senan mentioned, we also have reams and reams of community-generated, free sermons available at the site, and as yet others have stated there are many community-authored, free materials available in our library and elsewhere online. But for me those are not additions to our doctrine. I don't find any need for such additions; I walk my own path quite well enough by using what we already have here.
Last edit: 06 Jan 2016 18:25 by tzb.
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06 Jan 2016 18:25 - 06 Jan 2016 18:25 #219546 by Reneza
Replied by Reneza on topic Some questions from a passer-by

OB1Shinobi wrote: "your religion is apparently B.S."


I never said this

OB1Shinobi wrote: and not a religion at all


But I did imply this because nobody will give me any definition that actually defines it as such.

tzb wrote: Ask a group of Taoists to define the Tao.


They can define it quite well while simultaneously not doing so, actually. Go to any local Taoist sect-house/temple and they'll tell you exactly what it means to be a Taoist. The Tao is defined in almost exactly the same way as God is in Abrahamic faiths: unknowable but the origin of the entire universe and everything in it. Taoism as a religious tradition is quite clearly defined and has been for longer than most religions existing today.

tzb wrote: What if the Force? That which by being true, all of the things on our Doctrine page would follow. See also the Tao Te Ching (agreed, theirs is better; ours is a start). Other religions (Sithism for example) have different interpretations of what the Force means, practically.


Yes, but at least Taoists give you a general idea of its definition rather than vague completely inconsistent individual ones.

tzb wrote: Why does a Doctrine's concision or the fact a core element of it is personal interpretation make its definition as a religion problematic?


Many men worked on that particular document so it wasn't up to interpretation and so that it wouldn't be problematic. Groups that deviated from it were labelled as "not Christian" because words have meanings.

tzb wrote: does a course on Poetry have less meaning because the professor didn't write all the poems?



If the professor claims that he's a poet and then proceeds to draw a crayon picture of a goose, then yes.

tzb wrote: The core ideas and principles of Jediism (reflection, service, compassion, harmony, unity)


Why are these your core principles?
Last edit: 06 Jan 2016 18:25 by Reneza.
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06 Jan 2016 18:41 #219549 by Breeze el Tierno
I feel like we are almost working through a language barrier, here. There are words that we are using quite differently. Myth is an easy example.

Perhaps, it might be instructive for you to tell us a bit about where you are coming from, Reneza. It's hard to share when we do not know what our common ground is.

Maybe we can take a short break?
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06 Jan 2016 18:50 - 06 Jan 2016 19:00 #219553 by Reneza
Replied by Reneza on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Cabur Senaar wrote: I feel like we are almost working through a language barrier, here. There are words that we are using quite differently. Myth is an easy example.


I understand what you're coming from so perhaps I can define what I mean by myth as it means to most modern people in English, although not the strict original definition: "fictional story that may or may not contain actual historic fact, but used to explain a particular concept." This is the definition used by Campbell in his book. I do understand that the strict definition is merely story but this is not how it is used by most people today.

Cabur Senaar wrote: Perhaps, it might be instructive for you to tell us a bit about where you are coming from, Reneza. It's hard to share when we do not know what our common ground is.


Do you mean my own beliefs? I'd rather not at this point because I didn't start this discussion to do so and I don't think it's relevant right now. But if you'd like to understand certain definitions of what I'm saying, I'm more than happy to clarify :)

Cabur Senaar wrote: Maybe we can take a short break?


It's a good idea but I love to discuss such things :D
Last edit: 06 Jan 2016 19:00 by Reneza.
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06 Jan 2016 19:09 - 06 Jan 2016 19:11 #219558 by Jestor

Jestor wrote: As i said, TOTJO doesnt tell you WHAT to believe, that is left up to the individual...


It's clearly not about that though. It's about a self-proclaimed religious organization defining what its members actually believe.


Im sorry, "whats about"?

Your line of questioning?

TOTJO 'does' nothing, it is merely an entity...

It is the people that do...


Jestor wrote: We could have made/used non-religious titles, and someday, that may happen... Not today...


There are plenty of other ranking-titles that could have been used but religious (specifically Christian) ones were chosen. Obviously it has a religious motive otherwise it wouldn't have chosen them.


Well, thank you for letting us know our motives...

You provided your own answers, lol...

You dont need us!

Jestor wrote: Because 'the jedi path' is very individualistic, and, and to get all the combinations of possible definitions, you would have to ask all the Jedi...


The "Jedi path" doesn't even seem to exist but as a vehicle for secular free speech promotion by what you're saying. If it's definition is "individual" as you say, anyway.


Well, I can see why you say that... lol...

Jestor wrote: Somewhere, we talk about Jediism being a "synergistic ideology"... That probably sums it up best...


Can you define this?


Typo...

syncretic ideology








Need ideology too?

Jestor wrote: My 'thing' is "my life, and how I live it"...


So is Jediism libertarianism now?


If that is how you define it, sure...

IM not worried about labels...

You sure are, lol...

Jediism is however you are defining it for you... Its why you wont understand from the seat you are in, lol...


Jestor wrote: You are not judging without trying to understand...


Where have I judged anybody? I'm asking questions.


Sorry, you miss this? You quoted it...

It dosnt say you ARE judging at all...

You sure read a lot into stuff, lol...

You are "reserving judgement", that better?

Jestor wrote: Show me how this was rude?


You were very demeaning by saying "people like me" have a "minimalist understanding" while proclaiming yourself as some sort higher consciousness or something. It was rather unprecedented. You can see it in exactly the text you quoted.


Nope, you inferred that...

How would you have preferred I said that...

Thats twice now you have suggested I was insulting...

I am beginning to think you are just playing with us for fun...

I do have a higher understanding of who I am, and what I think a Jedi is, but that makes me no better than anyone...:)



Jestor wrote: I have a very minimalist understanding of many things...


So why did you say "people like you" and then "while jedis like me... etc."?


Cause you would fall into the "non-jedi' people... and I would fall into the other... :)

Jestor wrote: Then you must be a fireman, becasue only a fireman/woman knows what it is really like...


This is absurd logic. This is like saying "you need to try heroin before you know it kills you slowly"


No, you need to try heroin to understand what it feels like...

There are plenty of studies that tell show you it can kill you... :)

Jestor wrote: Are you missing the metaphor with this?


So what is a Jedi? I can't be a Jedi unless I know what it is, but nobody here seems to have a clear answer.


No... We dont...

You have to figure that out for yourself, lol...


Jestor wrote: By using titles that the rest of the world is familiar with, it is a little less explaining...


A majority of the world didn't grow up in traditionally Christian countries.


The founders of this temple did.. :)

Jestor wrote: that this was your argument for their definition...


Because that's what the films say, otherwise if it's any different nobody here has a clear alternative answer for me.


Well, that was your logic, not mine...

Perhaps you should not have provided an example...

I dont know, lol...

I was explaining the confusion from my end...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Yes, lets start from a common ground...

Please tell us what a religion is, from a agreed upon source...

Please feel free to share when you do...

On walk-about...

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


"Bake or bake not. There is no fry" - Sean Ching


Rite: PureLand
Former Memeber of the TOTJO Council
Master: Jasper_Ward
Current Apprentices: Viskhard, DanWerts, Llama Su, Trisskar
Former Apprentices: Knight Learn_To_Know, Knight Edan, Knight Brenna, Knight Madhatter
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Last edit: 06 Jan 2016 19:11 by Jestor.
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06 Jan 2016 19:25 #219563 by Reneza
Replied by Reneza on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Jestor wrote: Im sorry, "whats about"?


"Jediism"

Jestor wrote: Well, thank you for letting us know our motives...



Well, few others wish to tell me, so what else am I supposed to do other than deduce from what I read here?

Jestor wrote: syncretic ideology... Need ideology too?


That makes more sense, thank you. No need for the latter part.

Jestor wrote: IM not worried about labels...

You sure are, lol...


If by labels you mean words with definitions then yes. I prefer if when people claimed they were something, they were able to define it.

Jestor wrote: Jediism is however you are defining it for you... Its why you wont understand from the seat you are in, lol...


By what you say, it literally has no meaning.

Jestor wrote: Thats twice now you have suggested I was insulting...


The text speaks for itself.

Jestor wrote: Cause you would fall into the "non-jedi' people... and I would fall into the other...


So what is the line between Jedi and non-Jedi?

Jestor wrote: No, you need to try heroin to understand what it feels like...


So how do I "try" Jediism?

Jestor wrote: There are plenty of studies that tell show you it can kill you... :)


There are also countless things online that would suggest that Jediism is not much more than playing dress-ups and role playing but I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt by asking you people what you believe.

Jestor wrote: You have to figure that out for yourself, lol...


Then it's meaningless. But plenty of people have given vague definitions at least. Is it difficult for you to give at least one?

Jestor wrote: The founders of this temple did.. :)


Ok, but then it doesn't sound really universal then but rather chauvinistic.

Jestor wrote: Please tell us what a religion is, from a agreed upon source...


I didn't start this thread to do so and I don't see how it would help at all.
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06 Jan 2016 19:35 - 06 Jan 2016 19:50 #219565 by Edan
Pardon me... but this thread seems to have gone very far astray...

Reneza, you're asking people here to define something that has little definition beyond what you make it. We're not the only 'religion' that won't be able to present to you definite answers to similar questions.

My question to you is, why is it so important that you draw perfect lines around Jediism?

The simple answer to your questions, is that unless you hang around, read the discussions here, read the sermons etc. and explore our materials for yourself, you are not going to understand Jediism.

No one has the answers but you. Now I know that is probably an unsatisfactory answer, but it's the one that everyone else has been trying to explain to you..

QUESTION YOUR APATHY
Last edit: 06 Jan 2016 19:50 by Edan.
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06 Jan 2016 19:40 #219568 by Adi Vas
Replied by Adi Vas on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Reneza wrote:

Senan wrote: Not every Christian believes every part of the Bible because the Bible in it's entirety contains contradictions.


They are required to by definition otherwise they are not defined as Christians. The definition of Christian was made with the Nicene Creed and it has been agreed upon ever since that anything contrary to this is not defined as "Christian." If you just allow everyone to define words, there is no meaning to anything and dialog goes out the window.


A minor point to make here: Christians don't even agree on exactly what should be or shouldn't be in the Nicene Creed. What seems like a fairly trivial part of it on the surface has caused enormous schism between Christian denominations. There are also many Christians who reject the Nicene Creed entirely, saying that Scripture alone is the source of one's beliefs. This is a common belief among non-denominational evangelicals in the United States and others.

Finally, the Nicene Creed (well, the ecumenical version of it) does not say anything about Scripture except that it documented and prophesied the resurrection of Christ and that the Holy Spirit spoke through the Prophets (of Scripture.) It definitely does not say that every Christian should "believe" every part of the Bible, since various parts of the Bible (Joshua, for example) contain directives from God to wage holy war and commit genocide, among other pleasant things.
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06 Jan 2016 20:01 #219571 by Reneza
Replied by Reneza on topic Some questions from a passer-by

Edan wrote: Reneza, you're asking people here to define something that has little definition beyond what you make it. We're not the only 'religion' that won't be able to present to you indefinite answers to similar questions.


Then does this mean that the only thing Jediism is is a synonym for "individual belief system"?

Edan wrote: My question to you is, why is it so important that you draw perfect lines around Jediism?


I didn't say "perfect" but I am seeking explanations which I'm slowly concluding.

Edan wrote: No one has the answers but you. Now I know that is probably an unsatisfactory answer, but it's the one that everyone else has been trying to explain to you..


This seems to be exactly the reason that most western countries except the US refuse to recognize Jediism as a valid response on a census forms or as a religion at all.

Adi Vas wrote: A minor point to make here: Christians don't even agree on exactly what should be or shouldn't be in the Nicene Creed. What seems like a fairly trivial part of it on the surface has caused enormous schism between Christian denominations. There are also many Christians who reject the Nicene Creed entirely, saying that Scripture alone is the source of one's beliefs. This is a common belief among non-denominational evangelicals in the United States and others.


Actually mostly they do. The only valid thing which you pointed out was the addition of the filioque by Roman clerical authorities. But even regarding this, it's one word among every other one that has remained the same throughout history. If a Christian rejects the Nicene Creed they are not a Christian - this was established and has been the absolute definition since its foundation and only recently in the modern era have small sects (and the Mormons) began to use the term Christian despite not being defined by it.

Nonetheless even if we are to disregard the Nicene Creed there is still quite a good definition of what a Christian is in the person of Jesus and his teachings as presented in the New Testament. Less can be said about Jediism so far it seems.

Adi Vas wrote: Finally, the Nicene Creed (well, the ecumenical version of it) does not say anything about Scripture except that it documented and prophesied the resurrection of Christ and that the Holy Spirit spoke through the Prophets (of Scripture.) It definitely does not say that every Christian should "believe" every part of the Bible, since various parts of the Bible (Joshua, for example) contain directives from God to wage holy war and commit genocide, among other pleasant things.


I never suggested it did. In fact for most of Christian history until the protestant reformation when sola scriptura was a thing, the Bible was seen as secondary to the Church. But you must also know then that it has been almost a consensus for almost the entirety of Christian history that Christians no longer need to obey most of the 613 instructions in the Old Testament, having been made null by the coming of Jesus.

Also, your use of such a passive-aggressive phrase furthers my belief that among people here it seems eerily rather common to make snide swipes at Abrahamic faiths.
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06 Jan 2016 20:14 - 06 Jan 2016 20:17 #219577 by RyuJin
<yawn>

i hate dogma, jediism has no dogma...dogma is inflexible, inflexibility causes strife...the vast majority of mainstream religions thrive on causing strife and driving people to their "god"...this is especially common in some of the abrahamic religions....

to me jediism is more of a philosophical lifestyle. we don't tell you what to think, or how to think, instead we teach you how to think for yourself, how to decide for yourself, how to define your own path.

among the various jedi groups we share a few common beliefs...how we define the beliefs varies individually just like among various christian sects...judaism does believe in christ but they don't believe in his messianic nature the way other christians do...

we believe in the force...how each of us defines it is likely to vary. for me it's energy in all its forms, energy is quantifiable it can be measured and manipulated, there are also aspects of the force that as of yet cannot be quantified because we lack the methods to do so....this does not make them any less real...

personally i don't give two sh...ts about what others think of me when i mention being a jedi. if they laugh, they laugh...it just shows how closed minded they are and they will never know what it is like to walk my path. most people are actually quite interested once i start discussing it with them.

so take it as you will....or don't, either way i'm not fussed by it...we frequently get people seeking to "deconstruct" what we are....we're still here...we're still growing and evolving....how many religions truly encourage knowledge, understanding, and acceptance and truly mean it?

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