Temple Renovation (30 May 2020)
The Temple has undergone renovations. Please see here for more details:
Have we become too generalized or too specific?
Love is a manifestation of the Force that unites all living creatures ...
As to how many never joined because of it, I doubt we will ever know. But I do know some who have left over it, and quite a few who agonized before posting theirs. Usually for one reason or another.
I say, probably got too generalized. Too "Secular". I'd be all for reinstating the Oath, or what have you, and letting the Temple become more distinct in it's presence, as well as it's function. Let room be made for those who are more sincere, because this isn't a digital playground, it's a temple.
I don't know what to propose for ideas on reform, although I do have ideas on more temple-like organization and structure? Not everyone within the Temple necessarily needs to be in pursuit of ranks/titles, similar to the lore, there could be those among us who seek to improve the world around us in particular ways, either by way of their actual occupations or on their own time- Obi-wan Kenobi, for example, was actually a member of the Agricultural division of the Jedi Service Corps. when Qui-gon Jin took him as an apprentice. So, what I'm getting at is, directed activity, rather than people just milling about? I"m not sure how that would be managed, operating exclusively as a website.. Some of us manage to meet up outside of cyberspace, so I know that kind of coordination is not out of the question, and if the Leadership was responsible for the organization, it'd be easier for members to simply show up and participate?
I hope I'm not diving off topic on a tangent, and that I'm making sense? Us coming together and just trying to do more as Jedi?
Kelrax "Stormcaller" Lorcken, Jedi Navigator
May The Force Guide You
First of all, we cannot escape that whatever cultural phenomena that manifests within TotJO is bound to be a reflection of the cultural phenomena at large. (A twist on the "as above, so below"?).
The past few years have seen a buildup in political polarization, with the antecedent of "extremist leftism" as a counter-cultural movement to the status quo, and the corresponding "equal but opposite force" of the "alt-right" rising against it. There is of course no right or wrong in absolute positions, the idea of describing this is to point out how this tribalism which was steadily rising gained momentum, especially with the postulation and election of Donald Trump as POTUS.
By the way, Donald Trump has not caused any of this. He is also a reflection of the dynamic at play.
This phenomena has left many people feeling fearful, and we all know that "fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate..." bit.
I mention this because I noticed how several Jedi communities were in fact, impacted by American politics, with people taking sides and fear rising in all. I might of course be wrong, but as an outsider to American politics, I might have the vantage point of seeing things without too much personal bias.
As I was saying *clears throat* , I believe some of this political and societal distress at large has worked its way into TotJO, with people being quick to pull the trigger at potential "threats" to the ideology/membership/etc. We've grown a bit afraid of the supposed domino effect of "what if x is accepted", and have become quick to take brief encounters with certain members at certain times under certain circumstances, and extrapolate to draw conclusions which are probably based on flawed logic.
The response from leadership that are simultaneously on Clergy, is by virtue of their tendency to play the "savior" role, is to step in an try to accomodate people so that they feel safe. This is not in itself a bad thing (many would argue it is one of our strengths and the role of the Clergy), but it can simultaneously dilute the Organizational mission and vision of TotJO, and create further separatism (as an example, the whole Discord issue we had not too long ago).
I do believe we both have the resources and the will to grow beyond the fear-driven culture, and come to a reassessment of what this particular Organization, TotJO, is to stand for.
The truth is something that burns. It burns off dead wood. And people don't like having the dead wood burnt off, often because they're 95 percent dead wood. - Jordan Peterson
Avalon wrote: I would disagree with your assessment that "every religion" requires those things. When I was part of a Christian church, I took no class before deciding to become a member and be baptised. When I was learning paganism, no oath was required of me.
…And the reason for that is because in those cultures, oaths cannot be retracted. There is no "I changed my mind"; they're a permanently binding thing.
Probably not all churches do that then, just the ones I have been a part of in the past. As for the Pagan part, sure you can learn paganism but if you ever want to be a part of a formal tradition the oath and the measure is required. And you are right, those oaths taken in formal traditions are a permanent binding thing. It is why the measure is taken, as a safeguard against that oath ever being broken even if the initiate leaves the tradition.
One thing that those oaths also entail is the taking of a magical name. And that oath is given under that name. So in regard to the temple here I see no reason why the screen names could not also be used in that capacity. It is a form of protection for the witch and it can be used here the same way.
So you mention that you took other oaths that you consider permanently binding, so what was the difference in being willing to take those oaths but your reluctance here to do the same? It can’t be just simply a lack of understanding or knowledge of the culture of the temple after so many years here. This is why trust is so important, it works both ways. The tradition/temple must trust that the oath taker is actually worthy of being let into the training as the initiate is that the temple will be something they can believe in. that’s part of the problem here, anyone can take the oath any time and that’s not the way it should be.
Another thing that is so lacking here is leadership. I see neaj pa bol talking about retiring now so I think I have a decent idea of the circumstances of my last banning. Always keep the spouse happy right! But quitting the temple in frustration or knee jerking and banning for the same reason are not strong leadership tactics. I used to be very vocal about the lack of leadership practices around here and all it ever really got me was in trouble. I eventually gave up on that, but if we are all being honest here that is why this place does not thrive. Leaders need to be out front and vocal and seen and present and making hard consistent decisions and that has never really been the case at the temple.
I am, to date, just a member here - not an initiate, apprentice, Knight, or Clergy. When I joined TOTJO, the oath was required to become a member. That made a difference to me; it made this online portal something more than just another forum, even though superficially it appears like my participation has been limited to that so far. It made even my light involvement here mean something more than just a place to banter with generally like minded people.
I've been inspired to study and reflected upon the fundamental elements of the Doctrine that are made public here. TOTJO has been one element in supporting me to maintain a relatively consistent meditation practice, and to sustain a set of aspirations that I might otherwise have surrendered to the mundane requirements of living.
I can understand that those whose displayed commitment has been greater than my own may feel disappointment in how things have evolved. I'm disappointed myself to learn that the oath is no longer required to become a member (though I do understand at least a reservation to provide birthdates ... since I've joined, I've learned more about online security, and requiring minors to post birthdates opens a door to potential legal liability). But I still see a lot of potential here, a lot of light. Even the caring opinions that comprise this very thread make that visible.
It appears there is a need for change to restore TOTJO to a place of relevance. I like the idea suggested earlier of a call to vote as a positive first step - whether I as an outer-ring member am allowed to participate or not.
Belonging here means something to me. I hope that can be the case for every member.
The upside of getting older is my navel is easier and easier to see.
What EXACTLY are you guys talking about when you say we shouldnt be a hub? If you had your way thered be no more guests accounts? No more open discussions? No more rants thread? Would we be still be allowed to talk about science? What about important trends in culture? Politics? No more “debating” allowed? If two people are discussing their opinions, it seems meaningless to me unless theres some difference between them. And difference of opinion is unavoidable even in spheres where theres very little interpretive freedom over subject matter- is discussing opions going to be against the rule? What about disagreeing and explaining why?
This is something ive never understood..Participation in “the hub” is entirely optional. If you dont want to debate toxic masculinity, or rant about your lousy day or share a funny cat-fails video in the humor section, you dont have to. Its actually quite a “jedi” thing to do to limit yourself to what you feel you should be focusing on, and disregarding the rest. One persons topic about aliens invading the earth does not have any bearing whatsoever on your ability to journal or teach/be an apprentice or have different conversation about what kinds of meditations are most useful for a Jedi on the go.
Theres been two or three people in my time here that when i see they post, i just dont care. I dont read what they write and i dont care what they think. I dont post in every topic - i dont even look at every topic if its obviously about something that doesnt interest me. The “we shouldnt be a hub” position (which ive seen different iterations of in my time here) always seemed like efforts at restricting disliked personalities or just plain code for “i dont like it so you shouldnt be able to do it”
If you cant breath then none of us can.