Some questions from a passer-by

07 Jan 2016 03:13 - 07 Jan 2016 03:17 #219690 by Jestor
Yes Khaos... ;)

Out of your sight, in journals not for the public eye, our journals sometimes show and highlight the things we do for the world...

I, and another, are elected officials, doing our part for the citizens we represent...

I work in the.public sector... Donate time to my community to.make it fun, and safe... I'm the neighborhood block captain...

Two for sure work in the mental health field... One of my friends (here at TOTJO) has mostly overcome some life problems, and after some classes, offers their time to.volunteer to help others with similar problems that they experienced....

Some work in soup kitchens, some work and/or donate to then APL...

I also donate hundreds if hours to this website, the behind the scenes mechanisms that allow it to function, as do others...

What you see, is our relaxing down time... This is our "fun"...

You can't see the private conversations between members who just need an ear.. Need to vent, need some free advice (yes, always with the "we are not professionals), the advice as friends...

We are making the world better, even if its one person at a time...

Honestly, you.plain just don't know, cause you don't need to... lol...

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
Last edit: 07 Jan 2016 03:17 by Jestor.
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07 Jan 2016 03:19 - 07 Jan 2016 03:19 #219692 by Adder
You calling us 'dark' Jestor, from a certain point of view :P

ie; partially hidden

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 07 Jan 2016 03:19 by Adder.
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07 Jan 2016 05:09 - 07 Jan 2016 05:21 #219704 by Reneza
Replied by Reneza on topic Some questions from a passer-by
Ok, so unfortunately I can't reply to every single post since my last as I've been away and but the basic gist I got from them was: "there were many explanations, but for some reason they just weren't satisfying/Reneza is incapable of understanding"

While I appreciate your attempts at explanations, they were for the most part unsatisfying for a number of reasons:

1. While many concepts/terms are given in the "doctrine" they are unexplained and no baseline is given to what they actually convey. Many things that attempt to mimic real-world ideas and concepts actually come off as empty without any sort of foundation for their existence. This is problematic because it means that Jediism literally is just image and little more. If you suggest that it is a "platform for exploration of the spiritual" or something, this means that it is not a religion or anything really cohesive but a discussion forum online or otherwise for spiritual topics with the trappings of a film series.

2. While every other religion on the planet will tell you why its teachings should be practiced (if not proselytizing, it will tell its own members), Jediism seems to be both incapable due to lack of any real underlying teleological principle, and is terrified of doing so out of fear of receiving the same scrutiny as actual religions. Members repeatedly use circular reasoning such as "to give charity is good because it is giving charity which is good, etc." This is problematic because it seems that it's rather common around here to speak against "dogma" yet to make such audacious claims, as if certain concepts are objective, presumes there is an objective concept of "good" even though there exists no definition of it here. In the maxims it talks of what is "true" and "right" yet doesn't tell you what they are and just seem to rely on western cultural consensus on what these things mean.

Regarding "The Force":
A word cannot rely solely on on individual people's own definition. It needs to have a base definition at the very least least otherwise it's meaningless. The Force obviously has none. The reason for this seems to me to be for two reasons:

a) Fear of creating any kind of "dogma" out of a children's film series, perhaps due to embarrassment or for some it seems to be a case of fear that by doing so it will drive members away and leave just a small group. It is important to note that many people here seem curiously terrified of the concept of dogma but of course also have typically western attitudes to it, interpolating concepts like "ignorance" and "indoctrination" which are just not there in the first place.

b) Inability to create a consensus and resistance to doing so for the above reason.

The only definition I've been able to compile from all members' responses is that The Force means "personal opinions" and nothing more. It just seems insincere, at least to me, to mask it as anything more.

It is nice to be in a community and to experience a sense of belonging, and I do sympathize with a lot of the younger members here who have come to find something welcoming and a place to explore ideas, etc. But for the older members, in society you will always be considered as a ludicrous display of insincerity. I know that it is common here to act with a sense of hubris exclaiming that you "don't care what other people think" and that's all well and good, but if you don't care, why do you label yourself as something that has no real meaning outside of a fictional context? Why not simply explore ideas with other people without applying nouns or adjectives to yourself? - as it's all that this platform seems to be. The maxims themselves are just popular consensus in western society on how people should behave with the addition of extremely shallow new age "spiritual-sounding" concepts, e.g. "to accept the ego for what it is" or "to let the self be sole master of the self." The Force is repeatedly mentioned, e.g. "to be connected to the Force" and "to trust in the ways of the Force" yet again there is no definition so these phrases are meaningless and null.

Having no meanings is not "a strength" for a religion and almost all religions have broken into sects precisely because there is an extremely high level of ambiguity in regards to dogma. If you have no base at all and rely entirely on individual's own personal opinions/beliefs, then again it is not a religion, but a platform for discussion. There's nothing wrong with this and in fact it's a good thing, but to act as if it is a religion is ludicrous.

Regardless, I've enjoyed my attempt to understand and explore this particular little area of the internet and my understanding is better because of it. I really appreciate all the kind and genuine responses from everyone and I hope you continue to learn and grow in the world. But be careful when you use words, especially "IRL," as there are many who will ask you what they actually mean, and you will have to explain yourself. When people ask questions they are most often not being hostile but are curious and to act, as I've seen from the responses of several, as if the questioner is insincere and trying to "mock" you in some way should set off something within you. If you do feel this way, it is most likely because you cannot explain yourself and feel defensive because you've integrated something into your projected self (e.g. Jediism) and others see large holes in it. By refusing, you are failing yourself and become merely an image.
Last edit: 07 Jan 2016 05:21 by Reneza.
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07 Jan 2016 06:02 #219712 by Adder
And? Is that it...
I disagree with your assessment. :lol:

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
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07 Jan 2016 06:09 #219714 by Firewolf
Replied by Firewolf on topic Some questions from a passer-by
I get the impression any answers we give at all would not satisfy. I wonder why this is continuing. I no longer see a point
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07 Jan 2016 06:20 #219715 by Br. John

Founder of The Order
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07 Jan 2016 06:27 #219716 by Desolous
Replied by Desolous on topic Some questions from a passer-by
I agree with the assessment of Firewolf and Adder. This 'conversation' has gone on long enough.
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07 Jan 2016 06:34 - 07 Jan 2016 06:34 #219717 by OB1Shinobi

Br. John wrote:

those are brilliant! especially the last one
thank you for sharing

People are complicated.
Last edit: 07 Jan 2016 06:34 by OB1Shinobi.
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07 Jan 2016 06:50 #219720 by Bin Insignis
Replied by Bin Insignis on topic Some questions from a passer-by
Hi Reneza!

I'd like to participate in some of your questions with my thoughts. Please bear in mind I'm very new and not any kind of authority here.

Definition of the Force: a ubiquitous and metaphysical power that a Jedi believes to be the underlying, fundamental nature of the universe. I took this directly from the doctrine. This sounds like the same definition of the Tao, if the Tao can really be "defined." Why not just call it the Tao? No idea. But this belief in a higher or farther reaching power, so to speak, must classify as religious.

The remainder of the doctrine is a code of ethics, or how Jedi ideally want to behave. It's mostly a social code and not religious. The religious part of Jediism? Believing in the "Force."

I also like the Wiki definition of religion: Religion is a cultural system of behaviors and practices, world views, ethics, and social organisation that relate humanity to an order of existence.

To answer your question on legal status of religion, see page 9 of this IRS doc:

IRS requirements for a "religious organization" are pretty vague and don't require a denomination. But I'm not sure how TotJO filled out its paperwork.

I also want to address the idea of necessity of all those belonging to a religion to subscribe to the same beliefs without interpretation. Consider the many factions within one religion which disagree. I'll use Judaism as an example, between Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist. In fact, the Central Conference of American Rabbis of Reform Judaism say that "While we may differ in our interpretation and application of the ideas enunciated here, we accept such differences as precious and see in them Judaism's best hope for confronting whatever the future holds for us." And this goes on about the autonomy of the individual in Reform Judaism. ( ).

A lack of coherence in religion is, I believe, not unique to Jediism and TotJO.

To summarize my thoughts on Jediism, it is the belief in the "eternal Tao" (called the Force at TotJO) with a code of moral behavior written in the doctrine.

All that being said, I do find the road to Knighthood and all it entails rather vague, but then I am new here.

I also think you've posed valid questions and started a great conversation! Please let me know your thoughts on anything I've said.

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07 Jan 2016 06:53 #219721 by SeventhSL
Replied by SeventhSL on topic Some questions from a passer-by
Well his has been a most enjoyable and thought provoking read. Thank you Reneza and all those who commented.

Reneza, trying to pin down definite beliefs or definitions here is a bit of a comedy festival as you have no doubt discovered. They aren't joking when they say they tolerate opinions of every kind. You will find people who agree and disagree with literally every aspect (Is "Jediism" is religion or not, doctrine, vows, IP, etc).

If I had to try and define the most commonly held belief system here at TOTJO then it is this:

"Religion is just a myth. There is no super human controlling power. No god. As such there is no truth or lie, no right or wrong, no absolutes and no meaning to life. Thus these things are in the eye of the beholder. Or as they say a matter of perspective."

To extrapolate the belief system: "Jediism is a religion because it says it is", "You are a Jedi if you say you are" and "The force is what you think it is".

I hope that helps and I hope you hang around to share more of your thoughts.
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