Halloween/Samhain-Inspired Philosophy Question

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22 Oct 2021 22:01 #363510 by Alethea Thompson
“We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment” is from the TotJO Doctrine. On the surface, this simply informs the legal and physical realms of how we treat one another. But more recently, as Samhain approaches, I’ve begun questioning it’s relevance to the concept of Curse Work.

If Jedi believe “in the inherent worth of all life within it”, wouldn’t that also mean that we shouldn’t engage in curse work? Not that I ever have, but I certainly know a few that claim to be Jedi which do- so are they going against the Jedi Path by doing so? It’s a line of thought that has sparked some interesting debates in my head, and as we get closer to the witchy holiday, I wanted to see what thoughts you all come up with.

I hope to see some interesting discussion from this. :).

NOTE: I thought about putting this in the Pagan Discussion, but if you read the Bible you can find that followers of God were known to cast curses as well. So Curse Work isn't Pagan-Specific.
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22 Oct 2021 22:15 - 22 Oct 2021 22:31 #363514 by dwagoonie
Like love spell-work, curse spell-work is one person's attempt to control another in some form. For me, they are the head's and tail's of the same coin.

“We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment” - Also an attempt for one person (or group) to gain control over another. Often times, because the person initiating such punishment does not feel in control of themselves. Also often, because the initiator feels they need to force their Will onto another. Which reflects back to both love and curse spell-workings.

I would then venture to say that Jedi wouldn't participate in or initiate either of these kinds of spell-workings.


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Last edit: 22 Oct 2021 22:31 by dwagoonie.
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23 Oct 2021 17:09 #363534 by Alethea Thompson
So I ended up writing a rather lengthy piece on this topic. I wanted to share my thoughts on Facebook as well, and realized it would be a good idea to not just use the TotJO doctrine as proofs, but also a the Compass and Fictional sources so it speaks to everyone. :). I even looked at the Principles of Jediism the temple membership helped put together two years ago to see if it all checks out. Anyways, it is over 4K words long. What I loved about this exploration was that it exposed different angles by which I could better see how the tenets integrated across the board. Much of that I don't go into, they were just extra thoughts I had along the way.

Here's the full text if you'd like to explore it. :).

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24 Oct 2021 12:22 #363549 by Carlos.Martinez3
This is strictly for discussion.

Why I stopped cursing. There came a time in my life where control was a big thing. In every avenue in my walk, control was needed.

I will never tell some one what to do.

I don't even speak to my own family with certain "words" anymore. All my own choice. Something happened when I stopped "cursing" on the inside. Think about that. I find nothing wrong with a curse or a bind or even a guard. My family line goes back to curses to help heal and even re grow things. Are those really curses if you use them for help? Is a red lightsaber never to be drawn because its red? The path beyond the screen is a awesome one and I am glad there are those who take it.

There are some things I dont do anymore. That list can come from any section of my own path. One of those things is curses. My choice.

The Skywalker in the First Nation stories is a person, hmm, a human, Sent from the Gods who was given extraordinary powers who usually uses human feats to find solutions.

The further I look from the screen, the more I can see the human aspect. It is my own personal focus to be like mike or in this case, be like Hiawatha and walk around and find a way. I know of a healer in Mexico that can remove ANY doubt. Thats his gig or his ministry. Ask me if he spoke to me. I will tell you he didnt charge me for it and he didnt hound me about anything either. When we start talking of curses and bindings and even magic, I want those who do not understand to be aware that there are those who practice- not to practice as well. There are levels as much as there are seasons for everything. I was born into many things. I stand for those I choose. What grows is what is watered. It is wise to weed and cull as well as water and plant. Weeds can grow strong too.
What do you want to come back is the old adage. Plant and it will sprout.

What it comes to is that balance. Individual balance and can we make it? I believe we can and I believe we will. Funny thing about magic is that it is directly for you, the individual, the things and stuff ya find. That's all you and no one else. That's kinna one of the hardest things of being a Modern day Jedi- everything we find is directly for us. Others may benefit from it and some may even be influenced but at the end of the day - it can be that intimate.

Now, I am an open book for you and this place so feel free to shoot me a message or here for any questions comments or just to say hi.

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26 Oct 2021 15:17 - 26 Oct 2021 15:30 #363598 by Alethea Thompson
As I went to go post the blog today so I can share it on FB, I realized that I didn't quite flesh out the segment on Respecting the All Life. So I took portions of that section and put it under the final question unaddressed, and reworked Respect All Life. Here's my findings:

Relevant Community Citations-

“We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment” (Temple of the Jedi Order Doctrine)
“Jedi respect all life, in any form.” (Skywalker Code)
“Jedi Believe…In the Force and in the inherent worth of all life within it.” (Temple of the Jedi Order Doctrine)
Discussion

Torture Definition (Merriam-Webster): the action or practice of inflicting severe pain or suffering on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something.

With the exception of Death Curses, curses are intended to cause suffering or pain to punish a person or force them to do something (change). Whether you intend for it to achieve justice doesn't matter, the suffering a curse worker intends to occur as the result of a curse is still present.

Suffering and pain can actually be quite debilitating. It can create broken spirits, PTSD, an overly suspicious nature, and many other things. Which can lead to other problems, such as lashing out at others, turning to addictive substances, or even becoming more engulfed in the habits that earned them the curse in the first place. Already the perceived potential of using it for justice workings is starting to fall apart.

In the real world, physical torture has been proven to produce false confessions. People will do anything to stop something from happening. But it doesn't mean they'll change. Addiction isn't just something you have to a substance, it's something you have to your habits. It's something you have to work on to overcome. That's why you'll hear people who have come to terms with their substance addiction continually say "I'm a recovering (insert addiction here)".

Let me give you an illustration: Have you ever heard someone declare "if I can just through X, I'll give up Y!". How many of them were able to keep up with giving up Y? Sure, they may have managed for a little while, but there are plenty of times when they fell back into it, because the declaration wasn't enough to break the habit. Assuming a curse was effective, it wouldn't mean that the person will keep up their end of the bargain in the long-term, it may only be the short term. This isn't actually helping them.

So let's turn to the physical realm here for a moment, because although a curse worker is enacting a Metaphysical Curse, the manifestation of it takes place in the physical realm. Temple of the Jedi Order (TotJO) is the only Jedi Organization that spells out "We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment", but anyone who truly meditates on "Jedi respect all life, in any form" should reach this same conclusion without having to be told. The expansion that TotJO adds here, is that the terminology of "Cruel or Unusual Punishment" includes any kind of punishment that causes humiliation. This is another form of work that creates psychological damage to the individual. They all come down to the same issue: They are forms of suffering inflicted upon the person being punished.

One may look to the prison systems and make the statement that these are creating undue suffering. So is one form of suffering more acceptable than another? The prison system is one that still needs a great deal of work. What's difficult for me to contend with, is that from first hand experience of my husband and myself, Prisoners of War are treated with more dignity, respect and given far better conditions than many of the stories we hear about from people who have worked Corrections or been Inmates here in the United States. What we do know, is that Restorative Programs have had a very positive impact on the road to learning the best balance of the system. These also help to decrease the problem of recidivism, and feeling of the system being about their suffering. Unfortunately, these programs are not sufficiently active around my country, let alone world.

Torture and Cruel or Unusual Punishment have been so widely documented as inhumane, and ineffective, that the vast majority of the collective nations of the UN have agreed these are unacceptable under any circumstance. This is also reflected in the agreements of the Geneva Conventions and Hague Laws that dictate what is and isn't acceptable during war.

And it's not just modern laws and programs that have tried to illustrate the value of mercy, compassion and forgiveness. The power of these have been spoken of in stories across various cultures around the planet for millennia.

While the system may not be perfect, it's not for a lack of trying. But part of the problem isn't just while people are going through the legal and prison system, it's also about us letting prejudice, hatred and anger command how we interact with each other. It starts with us individually, and that's why it's important that we individual Jedi work on our value of "respecting all life, in any form".

One might argue that this leaves the Death Curse as the only other option available to the Jedi to use. To which, I'll leave this for you to contemplate-

Honor Life

"Listen to the Force, Cade. A Jedi's first concern is to preserve life."
―Kol Skywalker
Jedi were expected never to commit murder, for any reason. However, if confronted with a life-or-death struggle, a Jedi was permitted to kill to complete their mission. This act was not encouraged, as ending life strengthened the dark side; however, if the act was justified—if it saved others' lives, or if the Jedi was acting on the will of the Force—then the light side was equally strengthened. Jedi were also expected to think of those they had killed, and to think of the suffering caused by their deaths. A Jedi who did not care about his victims was on the path to the dark side.
Last edit: 26 Oct 2021 15:30 by Alethea Thompson.
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27 Oct 2021 10:36 #363620 by Wescli Wardest

Curse, love spell they are you assaulting another's free will with your own desires.
It is a form of violence against another. Specifically, a violent assault on their freedom of choice, determination and will.

Force is what we use to defend ourselves against such violence's.

Jedi should not use violence nor attempt to control others.
One person's will should not be used to dominate another.

Jedi should use force to defend against such actions for themselves and those that can not defend themselves.


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28 Oct 2021 09:15 #363636 by Vincent Causse
I m not really sure or should i say confused about the subject between , talking about violence made me think about Anakin who was teared appart by emotional, psychological and physical pain. All this blinded his heart totally of the good that was in it, his self totally broken as a whole. The plan was well laid by Palpatine. Everything fell into place and making Anakin dependant of his body suit was the last straw of the torture, the last step of breaking him.
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30 Oct 2021 20:34 - 30 Oct 2021 20:34 #363685 by Alethea Thompson
During the conversation on Curse Work over on Facebook, the topic of “Binding” came up several times. Although I could have waited until next year to address the topic as another “Halloween Special”, I know myself well enough to know I’ll completely forget about it. So, I thought I’d go ahead and speak on it while I still have the thoughts fresh in my head.

The Metaphysical Last Resort: Binding

“When you feel the dark side energies turned against you, you just use your Jedi abilities to take power away from your opponent, rather than to inflict harm. This technique blinds your enemy to the Force with a wall of light, a permanent blockage if you so choose, rendering him unable to use Jedi powers. It is difficult. And it is the most devastating attack possible using the powers of the light side. To block a Jedi from the Force - even a Dark Jedi - is a terrible thing.” - Udan-Urr

Sometime last year, MadHatter put forward a challenge to create an Jedi’s Escalation of Force Model. I took up this challenge and even wrote up a model for a Metaphysical Escalation of Force Jedi could apply. In a Physical Self-Defense model, the last resort is “Lethal Force”, and should only be applied in the case of imminent loss of life, limb or eyesight. But where you would see “Lethal Force” on the Metaphysical model, I put in “Binding”.

Bindings are explicitly outlined for those instances where the target believes (or had actually) murdered someone using the Force. Murder being defined as “premeditated killing”, not accidental, but rather the intended outcome of a metaphysical attack against someone else. But it’s something you really need to give weight thought to.

Our Star Wars counterparts rarely ever used a Binding, which they called “Force Severe”. From the above quote, one might come to the conclusion that one of the reasons it is rarely used is because it is difficult to pull off. But honestly, I believe the emphasis is more on the last part of that quote. And I kind of wonder if the real life author of this quote was/is or at least heavily researched paganry to determine the devastating blow that a binding would have on a person.

So let’s dive into a couple relevant community citations:

Relevant Community Citations

Defense- A Jedi understands that defense is not purely physical, but that there are many ways to defend a person or property. As such, it is important to understand that Jedi are not vigilantes. If, however, they are in a position where they are called to defend themselves or someone else against loss of life, limb or senses, they are allowed to apply the appropriate amount of force necessary for defense. (Jedi Compass)
Recklessness- A Jedi does not take unnecessary risks, knowing that their life is important to the Jedi Mission of bettering the world around them. In overcoming recklessness, a Jedi acknowledges and is mindful of how small the impact is perceived to have on themselves or others. (Jedi Compass)
Responsibility- Responsibility is at the heart of learning to overcome our problems. A Jedi should be held responsible for all of their actions. Without it, we cannot grow, we cannot help others and we cannot justify why we are to be taken seriously.
Jedi respect all life, in any form (Skywalker Jedi Code)
Justice: To always seek the path of ‘right’. A Jedi is unencumbered by bias or personal interest. Justice is a double-edged sword, one that protects the weak, yet also passes judgements according to a set of values. A Jedi tolerates that which is not Jedi and does not pass judgement on that which causes no harm for it is just. (Temple of the Jedi Order’s 21 Maxims [modified from Chanada’s Work])
Courage: To have the will. To be a Jedi sometimes means choosing the more difficult path, the personally expensive one. A Jedi knows they must make the right choice, take the right side and that the weak they have sworn to defend often stand alone.  A Jedi puts aside fear, regret, and uncertainty yet knows the difference between courage and sheer stupidity. (Temple of the Jedi Order’s 21 Maxims [modified from Chanada’s Work])

Some of this may be difficult to see how it comes together, but when you read them all as part of the same guidance it will hopefully begin to make more sense. So let’s talk about the ramifications of a Binding.
As my friend Juli pointed out at Jedi Church, “Binding is simply removing the tools someone is using to harm”. At the same time, it removes their ability to protect themselves from metaphysical attack. To be fair, I don’t believe Juli intended for the term “binding” to mean a complete disconnect from using the Force metaphysically, because she goes on to say “If you are going further-- severing someone's connection to the Force (impossible btw), making defense impossible, and so on, then you are once again, not binding.” But I want you to picture in your head the following:
Say you’ve learned how to only fight with one singular weapon your whole life (it can be a knife, a spear, a sword, a firearm, etc), then suddenly it’s taken from you and you can no longer use it. You’ve become very reliant on that weapon to protect you, and then you come into a situation where you need a defend yourself or someone else against an attacker. You may have the physical capability to overcome your assailant, but because you never trained your body to utilize that muscle, your actual ability puts you at a major disadvantage.
That’s the risk you are taking when you bind someone (which relates to “overcoming recklessness, and the line regarding respecting life). You are cutting them off from being able to defend themselves. And let’s be honest, if they are so entrenched in metaphysical workings that they have gone to the lengths of using it to murder- it’s quite possible they have or will made some enemies amongst other magic practitioners.
Which brings us to our responsibility as Jedi once we’ve done this. We have to be accountable for our actions. In the real world, when a police officer binds someone (which is more legally referred to as Detaining or Arresting), they have to assume responsibility for their care until they are released. Realistically, that should be how we Jedi look at such an action as well- because we are rendering them “weak”. This ties into verbiage of Temple of the Jedi Order’s rewrite of the 21 Maxims tenet on “Defense”. Although one could say that the next portion of that sentence allows us to cut them loose and leave them to contend with the consequences, such thought processes completely ignores the intent of mercy reflected in the Jedi Code regarding “respecting all life, in any form” and the Maxim on “Courage” that speaks to making the righteous choice. It also happens to make a point of reiterating that Jedi defend the weak.
Binding a person metaphysically is a serious matter. If you want to fully live up to the Jedi Path, it means that you have two choices in order to ensure that you have integrated the whole of what it means to be a Jedi when you make this choice, given everything listed in our philosophy-
You can make it a non-permanent binding and become the person’s metaphysical guardian until you feel the binding can be released.

OR
You can make it a permanent binding and become the person’s metaphysical guardian until you have sufficiently ensured that they can protect themselves using other tools that they have access too.
Binding isn’t the only way to deal with this kind of problem though. If someone believes they have or actually did use Metaphysical attacks to murder someone, then this speaks to a much deeper problem within the individual. In truth, perhaps the most responsible answer to the problem, is to insist they reach out to someone for counseling. Because the root of the problem will echo in different ways around their life if it’s not attended to in the here and now, regardless of whether or not they can use the Force for attack.
Last edit: 30 Oct 2021 20:34 by Alethea Thompson.

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01 Nov 2021 01:57 - 01 Nov 2021 02:28 #363705 by OB1Shinobi
Specifically about curse work -

There is an old adage which goes something like this: when seeking revenge, dig two graves.

To those who wish to Curse:

You are casting yourself into an Ocean with overwhelming and unforgiving tides. An Ocean full of biting and stinging things which you will never see coming.
Be careful the Path that you choose to walk.

We always have excuses and justifications when we want to do cruel or oppressive things to others. Most of the time the real truth is that we are hurtful because we want to be hurtful. Its not just that what we do comes back to us, its that who we are comes back to us. If you are someone who believes they can just cast curses then guess what? Its coming back to you. Just a matter of time.

Another Way

If you have the power to curse someone into debilitation then why dont you also have the power to bless them into insight? If you believe that you have this power to effect others then why do you focus on how you can dominate and punish rather than on how you can enlighten and uplift? If your impulse is to deliberately curse and harm then maybe you arent really looking to walk the Path of a Jedi.

But if you have a sincere wish to pursue what is Noble - what is Jedi - then I challenge you to look for ways to use your Power so as to strengthen what you believe is Good and not spend so much time dedicated to punishing what you see as bad. Dont be a Curse, be a Blessing. Thats the Jedi Way.

People are complicated.
Last edit: 01 Nov 2021 02:28 by OB1Shinobi.
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