Why I stopped and why I probably will not continue

03 Jan 2020 02:15 - 03 Jan 2020 02:16 #347910 by Corvan
Hey there, some of you might just remember me enough to be interested in this post. To the rest of you: enjoy your time here on these forums.
DISCLAIMER: In no way do I wish to discourage anyone who has taken this path in any way or form, nor do I wish to upset anyone or kick off a broad discussion. This post is based on my personal perception and feelings towards the social and religious structures here, as well as my personal views on the Force. Neither of this has to be true to anyone but myself and I can accept that. Most of these points have no practical solution and I don't intend to post this to demand or debate solutions.

I went silent a while ago on these forums and there are many reasons why. Starting off, my life got very busy and it still is, not giving me a lot of time to write long essays and this is partially my fault. I'm sorry to have bothered those I got along with by going silent and I want to apologise to the readers of my journal who spent time correcting it, willing to sponsor me. Thank you for our advice and your effort.
Now, to my problems.

Constant arguments:
Don't get me wrong, it isn't about discussing matters. It is important to discuss ideas, concepts and probably even politics. I just don't feel like this is in any way efficient. I have read a lot of these open arguments and yet I never once felt like a reasonable result came out of this. Most of the time it ends in division and no real conclusion. The thing is that this is an internet forum and while we may agree to stay open, most of these discussions are not about asking questions but rather hearing what we want to hear and disagree with anyone who disagrees with us. That is not a crime in any way, just highly inefficient and feels like a waste of time for all writers who try to argue the matter. It's not only the anonymity, but also the format. This is nothing the temple is at fault for. This is a widespread community and it is nearly impossible to gather all of us without the commitment and the finances, which is an unrealistic thing from the beginning. I just usually felt more drained from reading any discussions than actually enlightened.

Staleness of the structure
I am well aware that there has to be a structure in almost any group, it is completely Utopian concept that most people are equal in rank and see each other as peers. Yet I struggle with the staleness of the structure here. It feels like many work to reach the ranks rather than wishing to progress for themselves. This is an issue that comes with ranks in general but online this just makes things worse, especially when these titles are linked to the ranks of one of the most popular franchises on this planet (after Pokémon, google it), people will work to achieve these ranks. Who doesn't want to be on one level with the likes of Qui Gon or Obi Wan? I don't blame anyone, and I don't think renaming them or restructuring the temple would help in any way. I just don't see the point of progressing, but this is also linked to my next point.

The stiffness of the work
This is not about the amount of work to put into progressing, it is rather the texts and the way they have to be worked on. I understand that all religions and doctrines need their texts to justify themselves. You need your hoops to jump through. The issue I have is that many of these texts are extremely one-sided. Alan Watts is generally a great person and I would definitely use him for my own texts at university, yet he is such a primary source that it feels like you barely progress. This point is highly difficult for me to explain as a lot of my own work is very theoretical and I generally don't mind it, I just don't feel like I'm learning to understand. Asking the question of what you feel or understand is one step in becoming wiser, the way these questions are asked are just not very motivating nor is the entire structure of the IP program. As I studied teaching, work for my university and have spent a lot of time with writing and reading many assays, I can actually provide some help on this. Make the IP one large essay. Teach people to read sources properly for the first or maximum second step, then let them use their acquired knowledge to not only analyse the concept of Jediism, but also draw conclusions from further material they may choose themselves. Cutting down to five complete steps would definitely help with this.
1. Introduction
2. Theory
3. Analysis
4. Results
5. Conclusion
This way the IP becomes more personal as you can choose your own topic while learning about the tenets, how to structure arguments and do in-depth research. It limits the work to about 11 pages of text when put together and helps stay focused. This might be too scientific and I totally understand, the IP just feels like a huge repeat to me and while I personally want to invest a lot of time in understanding what the Force is to me, this just doesn't help me on my journey but I'm sure it probably helps many others. As I said, I'm not here to argue, just to clarify why I struggle to continue.

My views on the Force
I would consider myself on the naturalist side of this question. I see the force as possibly an actual physical force that binds our universe together and is generally what exists beyond time, being present before, while and after the universe's existence and therefore may have a set timeline that we experience and that may lead us when we focus on it. guiding us. But I also see it as a natural force that binds us and nature together. I feel connected to the forests I live close to and sometimes experience as what people would call the breath of nature. That it may all be chaos without and alignment, yet it all works together. That gives and takes life equally and is a harmonic chaos. I for myself do not know if these two views on the Force are connected or maybe two separate entities but this is how I view the situation. It is not that I wish to impose my beliefs onto anyone else, it just simply does not require me to work towards rising in any ranks to progress or argue with individuals on political topics, but rather that I go out and listen to nature and what it is trying to tell me, maybe one day understanding the melody.

The roleplaying
This is just a personal thing and is barely connected to the order, as you tell people this is not a roleplaying forum and that is great. This is really a purely personal issue and I don't blame anyone but myself for getting even remotely bummed by this. It just shows me that the separation of religion/philosophy is not disconnected from the franchise to the degree I feel comfortable with. The number of quotes I find from the franchise on here I enormous. While many of them are good, let us please not forget that there is a huge company producing this content for various reasons other than enlightenment. While not all monetised content is evil or bad, I struggle to see this as one great source. There have been great quotes from the films and books. I love some of the quotes from Qui Gon and the concept from this character is probably what partially inspired my beliefs to a degree, as they personally make sense to me, yet when I read about someone's holocron or datacron, something does make me cringe ever so slightly. For me, they're specific objects within a franchise. As I said, that is completely personal and there is nobody but myself to blame for this. Lightsabers are also a thing. Yes, I love them. Yes, I practice. But I see it completely disconnected from my philosophy. They have little for me to do with Jediism itself when talking about the philosophy. I don't want to discourage anyone from building their own or practising, even if it is for spiritual reasons. It just does not work for me. But seriously, they're still amazing.

If I feel like I forgot something I will add it and you're free to discuss, simply listen and respect or hate on me. Just don't expect replies. It's not that I mind different opinions or don't respect them, I just don't view them as productive on this platform. Then why did I write this? Because Some of you inspired me to search further into my ways and not all was for nothing and I want to show respect to those who tried. I may come back at some point if I'm still allowed and I change my mind on many of these points or things change within the structure in ways I feel interested to pursue.
I wish you all a wonderful upcoming year and hope that me sharing my opinion is not taken personally by anyone.

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old."
-Franz Kafka

Last edit: 03 Jan 2020 02:16 by Corvan. Reason: format
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03 Jan 2020 04:09 - 03 Jan 2020 04:12 #347911 by Proteus
Liu wanted to learn the ways of zen. So he goes to a zen master at the top of the nearby mountain. He gets there and meets the master. He asks him to teach him the ways of zen to be wise. The master responds in agreement and off they go. However, Liu notices that throughout his weeks and months with the master, he is not doing anything he thought he would do to learn this. In fact, everything the master had him do was regarded as downright ridiculous and not zenful at all. No meditation, no exercising, no studying. One day, he got so fed up with it, that he told the master that this whole thing was pointless and futile, and that he was going to leave and move on with his life. The master then replies: "At last, you have learned! Go elsewhere now and teach others."

This temple has many flaws and is always in need for improvement, revising, and continued consideration... with that said -

What you are doing here is not what you think you are doing - what you are learning here is not what you thought you would be learning. You are experiencing what is typically the precursor to "moving forward" with things, which is the opportunity to decide: what to take seriously, what not to take so seriously, what is important to you, what is not to be important to you, what is necessary, what is efficient, and what you ACTUALLY want / don't want as opposed to what you simply THINK you want. This temple and all of its shenanigans is, in my opinion, a necessity for being very good at making each person who gets involved enough refine these realizations for themselves. Before anything in the IP or an apprenticeship can ever be of any use to you, these realizations are necessary to develop, and even still well into an apprenticeship, they will be continuously tested. The more we refine ourselves through these social conflicts, the more we develop ourselves in exactly the way that is naturally necessary for us. However, keep in mind the dangers of blindly projecting your own personal issues onto the temple through demands for things that may or may never change. Most importantly, don't hang on to things - express yourself clearly, then let it go, regardless of outcomes or responses. If you get that down, then you've come a long way.

When you look around, what you will see are people who are all in different stages of this process. Some are very good at responding effectively to certain debates and grievances, yet with others, are still figuring it out. The real test is whether or not we throw in the towel and walk away from the temple altogether before we've had our realizations. There are many here who, while they are still rigorously working on themselves here and experiencing what you describe, they stick it out - and many of them experience enormous growth and change for it. That is the essence of the temple.

It seems that I know that I know.
What I would like to see is the 'I' that knows me when I know that I know that I know.
- Alan Watts
Last edit: 03 Jan 2020 04:12 by Proteus.
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03 Jan 2020 09:23 #347916 by forestjedi
Given your level of misgivings about this place and how it operates, it sounds like it's not a good fit for you.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and rationale. Force be with you wherever your path may lead you.
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03 Jan 2020 11:03 #347923 by elizabeth
I guess we all have different reasons for being here and for staying. I agree with a lot of things you bring up and your view of the force is similar to my own.
The only thing I would like to say is that this Temple goes through changes, the IP and structure, but that change comes from within. You cant make it better for others if you arent here.
Forget the titles and the set lessons for a moment because really they dont matter unless you wish to train others here one day.
You can learn about and discuss whatever you wish. You can stay a member or guest and still take lessons and use them in life. There are people here whos wisdom I respect yet they have no rank, they have been here longer than I have and consistently keep the Temple on track with science and other issues. They to me are the heart of this Temple standing equal with any ranked member.
I learn from them in many ways and I learn from everyone that is here.
You make a difference even if you don't see that and if your words and experiences can help the Temple move forward then great..
This is your Temple
This is everyones Temple and we all create its future togeather.
I hope you come back
But if you don't I wish you love and happiness in the next stage of your journey

I own my life
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03 Jan 2020 13:25 #347925 by Arkalius
One thing I want to touch on from your statements- all of which are valid- is the 'role play' aspect you mention. The use of franchise quotes, and of terminology from them. I simply wish to ask- isn't life just role play? Everything we say, do, or speak is a reference to what we have learned. Every religion is filled with quotes from a book. Be it the use of quotes from Star Wars, the Bible, the Quran etc, something someone said is quoted until it is maxim. Every thought we have is shaped from influence to some degree. Every action we take is modeled after example. We follow the in the footsteps of all those that came before- it only makes sense to emulate their successes.

That said, I can appreciate that it causes a personal disconnect for you. I am new here, and can not appreciate fully what your departure may mean in my personal growth- as now I will be unable to learn from and with you- but I wish you the best in what your journey brings you.
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03 Jan 2020 14:52 - 03 Jan 2020 14:53 #347926 by Alethea Thompson
@Corvan- If you happen to come back and read this:
Admittedly, I don’t see the role play aspect you mentioned. I don’t even see a whole lot of SW quotes floating around here. Though I must admit, my comparison is the Facebook Jedi Communities.
I understand your frustration, and I can see a lot of what you speak of. :) I hope you find what you are looking for. Something that inspires you. :)

There isn’t a dislike button, so instead I’m just posting that if there was I would have given you one. Why can’t constructive criticism be taken as something to reflect upon rather than respond to?

@Arkalius Welcome to the Temple, I hope you are able to have a valued experience. ^^
Last edit: 03 Jan 2020 14:53 by Alethea Thompson.
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03 Jan 2020 15:23 #347927 by Skryym

You put more effort into leaving the IP than many put into starting that. For that, you have my respect. While I think the IP is an excellent way to immerse participants in the basics of Jediism, I would be open to seeing it redesigned and reimagined.

The role playing has bothered me as well, but I’ve accepted it. Some people are more concerned with looking like Jedi than acting like them, just as some are more concerned with looking like Christians than acting like them.

If the temple ever goes through change, I hope we consider critiques such as yours - and use it to make this a better place for everyone. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. And I wish you the best wherever your path takes you.

There is no bad weather, only bad attitudes and bad attire. - Gandalf the Grey
TM: Loudzoo
Skryym's Novice Journal | Meditation Journal | Apprentice Journal
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03 Jan 2020 15:28 #347928 by Manu
Rock on Corvan, keep following that connection wherever it may take you.

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
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03 Jan 2020 22:44 #347963 by ghosty
dont leave corvan.
you already have done so much work, and inspire me.
and im not even an initiate. not yet...
you worked hard to get where you are.
as others have said, work within, to change without.
maybe someday you will be teaching me?
use what you have learned, and already knew.
sorry i am not trying to preachy. only sincere.
please do not leave. ive only just met you, and i have so much to learn from you.
stay, for me.

to learn, is to live.
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08 Jan 2020 14:04 #348153 by ZealotX
When I was growing up in the SDA church there were a number of issues that I disagreed with. I remember having a conversation with one guy (I was a kid, he was an adult) about the use of the cross as a symbol. I hadn't really even thought about that hard before but the use of this torture device, being used like an idol, was something he felt very strongly about. And I agreed with him. It was a good point. And it was there when our church had moved in and it was there when they moved out. I was also bothered by extremely long prayers, especially from people who were praying so radically different from how they normally spoke. Reverence is one thing. But it felt more like the prayers were for the audience. And it reminded me of how Jesus said to pray in your closet and not be like the hypocrites. I also had issues with this woman named Ellen G. White and how they were using her writings along with the bible as if she was a prophet but whenever you confront them they'll say that she only claimed to be messenger. Well a "messenger" who has visions of the future and is treated in that way is kind of the very definition of a prophet. Yes, she had some good things to say but I think a lot of it came from other sources that she simply failed to give credit to. And then there was the racial separation inside the organization of the church; at least in the United States. I believe it is different in Canada and perhaps other countries. But it bothered me that churches were regressive on the subject, rather than progressive.

I was willing to overlook the trees for the forest. After all, we were all Christians and I did believe in keeping the Sabbath which is the main thing for SDAs. So it wasn't enough to leave my friends and family behind. After all... a church is a congregation. It is the people. It's not all the processes and decisions and arguments and he said she said, its the people. And I really loved the church family I grew up with. We're still friends on Facebook. Each one touched my life in a positive way and helped to make me the person I am. What finally tipped me over was a doctrinal difference I couldn't ignore; too large to sweep under the rug. The Trinity. I knew it was wrong. It felt wrong. And I set out to study it and prove to myself that it was wrong. It contradicted the very first commandment and I found many statements in the OT where Yahweh said that there was no other god beside him, with him, etc. There was no one else (Isaiah 44-45). It was painfully clear to me that Christianity, almost in its entirety, had made a huge mistake. So I finally left.

My beliefs obviously kept evolving and instead of growing with Christianity I grew apart from it. So after all my years inside it and debating the bible with scholars, pastors, nonbelievers, and trolls alike, a kid comes to the door of my apartment and asks me, a stranger, where I wanted to spend eternity. And I felt bad for him because it was like he didn't even realize that he had just threatened my "immortal soul" (without any proof it exists) unless I joined him. That was like terrorism to me. And thought to myself, was I that bad?

What I would say to anyone inn the same boat at the author of this thread is this. If you don't like certain aspects... like people... maybe you just don't like people or large groups. But if you don't like certain aspects you have to consider how strongly you feel about each aspect. And then ask yourself what are they supposed to do instead. What is the alternative? And there's a good alternative (for example, I'm working on some things to recommend as far as the debating along with a manual for how to do it) then it should be everyone's duty to bring it forward. Get involved. Don't play from the sidelines. If you're here then this is your temple too. Take responsibility and do more than drop a complaint in the suggestion box. When I left the SDA church I had already made an effort to change some of the things I had a problem with. It even led to my parents church trying to form a bond with one of the churches from the white conference. And even though it didn't result in massive change and even though they chose a church that already had some black people going there, we had several joint worships so it was something I can look back on and say, yeah I influenced that happening. And, like Yahweh said in Genesis, it was good. So figure out how to make positive changes. In the process you may even learn how to compromise on some of your own ideas. And as you are willing to bend you may see that others are as well.

I left the SDA church, not simply because they were wrong about the Trinity, but because I knew that was too big of a mountain for even a thousand like minded people to move. It had become too much a part of the DNA of the church. Even if I was right, it didn't matter. But it was a violation of the law I didn't believe Yahweh could overlook and so I couldn't overlook it either. And I think anyone who leaves TOJO over issues of disagreement should consider whether or not these disagreements constitute some kind of violation to your beliefs. If not, why not let people be people?

We're not each others gods, each other's parents, and only a few of us are even each other's teachers. So why give up on people who aren't doing things the way you think they should? Why take your toys and go home? And if you're busy just say you're busy. No one really has to read the forums that are prone to debate or more prone to franchise quotes. Those things can be ignored. What other people do shouldn't bother you. That's their path. Not yours.

And that's one of the beautiful things about TOTJO. It doesn't tell you that you must use franchise quotes. And it doesn't tell you that you can't. It simply says we're not here to role play. If I want to quote something Yoda said, its not because I'm confusing fantasy with reality. I'll still quote things from the bible I regard as highly suspect. I use quotes I agree with or that inspire me. There's limits. I'm not going to quote Hitler obviously. But we don't create a whole bunch of rules to control people. Other religions use rules to control people. It's good that we don't. And I certainly wouldn't want to be in a place that doesn't allow free expression within reason. If you're free to be you I should be free to be me. So while we talk about complaints quite a bit I think its only fair to also give credit to the many things TOTJO does right. And this thread just highlighted a few of those for me.
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