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Esotericism - what is it and how does it apply to Jediism?
But in general, I'd be very interested in discussing the following, to see what common ground we may have that could generate a good SIG:
How do you define Esoterica, and/or how does it relate to the other faith forums already established?
What esoteric arts do you bring into your practice of Jediism?
My working definition of esoterica comes from the Association for the Study of Esotercism (an academic organization):
"Esotericism, as an academic field, refers to the study of alternative or marginalized religious movements or philosophies whose proponents in general distinguish their own beliefs, practices, and experiences from public, institutionalized religious traditions. Among areas of investigation included in the field of esotericism are alchemy, astrology, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, magic, mysticism, Neoplatonism, new religious movements connected with these currents, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century occult movements, Rosicrucianism, secret societies, and Christian theosophy." ( www.aseweb.org/?page_id=6 )
This has always been useful to start with a general field, and figure out the missing parts. I agree with it because it emphasizes that the esoteric interpretations of religions, or movements spawned, are generally separate things from the dominant or "mainstream" forms of the faith. Practitioners of many diverse esoteric religious forms frequently find they have a common language, more in agreement with each other than their own related faith groups (especially when there's been a history of conflict/persecutions).
For me, the biggest connection with my previous esoteric training and my personal expression of Jediism is Esotericism's emphasis on Nature, and the importance of creating integration between the realms of the intellect/mental awareness, body, emotions, and the environment. The big areas for me at present are:
*Alchemy as an area of investigation within natural philosophy ( this is a good general overview of what I'm talking about: zero-point.tripod.com/alchemy/alchemyclass.html )
*Contemplative astrology (which focuses on appreciating the cosmic movement rather than making predictions).
*Exploration of the Imaginal world (Tarot, symbolic art, dreamwork)
*Esoteric healing and energetic work (primarily practiced through internal martial arts these days).
I see these as ways of coming to a greater appreciation of the Force, and harmonizing with it in my life. Magick (using the Crowley-based "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will") has kind of complicated relationship with my Jediism now, after studying Taoist arts. My emphasis is on using the change-creation techniques upon myself to bring a greater ability to perceive the flow of the Force and move with it, rather than changing events to suit my desires; the years of practice within the Eastern based arts have really made me less focused on controlling events, and much more inclined to just move with what Life brings my way.
Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.
Manami wrote: Magick (using the Crowley-based "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will") has kind of complicated relationship with my Jediism now, after studying Taoist arts. My emphasis is on using the change-creation techniques upon myself to bring a greater ability to perceive the flow of the Force and move with it, rather than changing events to suit my desires; the years of practice within the Eastern based arts have really made me less focused on controlling events, and much more inclined to just move with what Life brings my way.
Oscar Wilde wrote: All things in moderation, including moderation.
I feel there's a balancing point between those two viewpoints--the Crowley and Taoist--that sits precisely within the confines of my personal Jediism, especially since I'm a fiction-revering Jedi. There are times the Force "wills" an outcome, and there are times we "will" an outcome. If we are for it and the Force is against it, our results will be small.. If we are against it and the Force is for it, suffering ensues. If we are in agreement with the Force, for or against, then woe betide those who would oppose that conjunction.
More than that, however, esotericism is the pursuit of myriad forms of knowledge, and knowledge has ever been a friend to the Jedi in my book.
I started my interest to connecting to nature beyond normality, very young, with a bee swarm experience when I was about 3 which I remember quite well. Ever since I've explored the path of nature spirits, communion with them and as them. So the unified aspect of Jedi's Force aligns in that regard. I currently just work on a triad of relating Vajrayana to Shamanism to Taoism, by the experiential route of course (what else is there).
Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.
Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem
By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.