Why do I return to this Path? For years, my guide has been: “As long as you find something within the path of Jediism that you require, something that inspires you, then it is serving its purpose.” And that guiding principle has yet to lead me astray.
I do believe that the philosophies and spiritualities we live our lives by need to be inspected. I believe that faith is mutable to circumstance and Will—but the converse is that I believe that Faith which leads us to do better is a faith probed by our inward eye. Faith can do nothing but ill if it works upon the world blind.
Faith also serves a role within us marvelous beings that cannon be defined. I believe in logical deconstruction, in scientific objectivity, and in the rule of practical and simple laws of patterning. I also believe that if we fail to let go, if we become so rigidly adherent to this or that ideology of “truth” derived from argumentation… we then lose the ability to move through life in an organic way.
In my life and work as a writer and volunteer for various socially minded organizations, I encounter many people from many walks of life. This has allowed me to peer through the windows of hundreds of different lives and hundreds of delusions. The spiritual teacher who leads his flock astray to a place of pettiness, the lawyer who thinks that there is a justifiable reason for putting people out of their homes, the hurting soul who becomes mired in conspiracy-thinking because the cruelty of the world makes any other recourse than abject rejection impossible. I’ve looked into the eyes of a man so filled with anger that he’s fit to burst and seen the change that comes from talking to that part of him which hurts, rather than rejecting that which makes his anger flare. I've looked into the eyes of people who spend so much time trying to do good that they lose sight of all the damage they leave behind.
What I'm saying is: we all hurt for different reasons, and we are all susceptible to the idea that there is only one way to be in this life, that one singular path is The Path from which all Truth springs. This is patently false! There are a thousand different truths that we inherit from our parents and our friends, a thousand more for every interaction throughout our lives; we are the continuation of a pattern of subtle truths and changes that have taken shape across the eons. It is within this that the Force makes itself known; it is within the great pattern of life being lived that we can see the Force at work. The patterns of the Force can be seen and felt in myriad ways, and the essence of this great pattern is included (in part) within every religion, great or small, and within science, philosophy, and every piece of fiction ever formed. Every so-called Truth we cling to was brought about through a tide far vaster than any singular mind could grasp, and it is through respect for that great flow, this mighty wild current, that we can begin to learn and truly grow.
A core tenet of Jediism is Betterment. This is not merely a suggestion of progression from one state to another as in “improvement”, but a spiritual experience of internal and external growth, a yearning for knowledge and understanding, and a humble recognition that the fulfillment of Betterment is a cloudy sea devoid of direction: it is not the horizon we search for! We are here to learn how to linger, how to settle, how to be ourselves as we are. The hilarious and wonderful truth of this is that, through our inward search, the horizons becomes clear; by learning how to connect with our inner world we learn how to better strive for growth and change within the outer. Within this, we here again find ourselves confronted with our place within a grand field, a network of utterly indistinct beings: this is the Force. The Force, in this way, makes clear the lie of the rational and disconnected individual charged by free will to cooperate through free contract—we have no choice! The contract has been made by the Universe itself; the Force works through us, and we are part of its field no matter which direction we go.
Yet the Force does require of us our participation, our willingness to rise to greet the challenges it provides. Our betterment is in service to the Force not because any conscious entity directs it so, but because the great field of which we are all a part demands it, as surely as one object’s gravitational mass influences another’s. But how much effect can we have? Unconsciously, we often find ourselves producing effects without realizing it, and in this way, under the thrall of the outsourcing of our inner awareness to some outer structure of thinking, we might find a negative ripple around the gravitational center of our existence. We alter that and create harmony by actively bettering ourselves and by serving as role models for others who must learn how to better themselves in turn. Jedi are symbols for the world, symbols of the best that humans can be—not perfect, nor selfless, nor infallible… but as examples of the consistent practice in the process of Becoming.