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What Separated Jediism?

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Curious - what separated Jediism from other faiths that you've investigated, if anything?

Apologies for the brevity, but to avoid unnecessarily prejudicing anybody, I'll refrain from listing even broad categories.

Posted on: 2007/3/14 20:40
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Re: What Separated Jediism?
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Erisian, you have asked a phenomenal question here. There is no specific answer as it varies from person to person, but I can attempt to give you my answer. My answer is a blanket one, as I have never thought of this before, except maybe briefly as an observer when I first came here last year. The following is an excerpt from my online blog and honestly, I think I did better answering that question then, than I would now. I know that sounds ridiculous, but at least I am honest.

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Just as I said on my home page, I was fortunate enough to speak at length with a Jedi Master and co-founder of the site my first night in the Temple. He is well educated and was brought up Christian, just as I. He has educated himself on religions across the globe. Though he no longer classifies himself as Christian, he did make some very interesting points. We had a great conversation where he asked me to tell him about the Holy Trinity. Now, like a lot of you out there would have, I told him that the Holy Trinity consisted of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (he already knew this of course). He told me to tell him how I knew it even existed. I told him FAITH. Good answer right? Yeah, ok.

As a child that was the answer I had been given. I was content with that. That was enough to satisfy me. My next question is why? Is it not a child's nature to explore everything before just accepting that there really is nothing more to investigate? I still very much believe in the Holy Trinity, but now I am I on a personal quest to find out WHAT IT IS AND WHY I BELIEVE IN IT.

Journal entry dated: 6/10/2006


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Alright, I am off to a good start here. I have just recieved more study materials from my master to begin working on! Twenty full pages, hard copy to give you an idea! Earlier today I decided it would be good of me to hand write the sixteen teachings of the Jedi (it helps me to remember them better) when I came across some potential conflicting ideas between Jediism and Christianity. Uh oh! Did I mention at this point, I am sooo glad to have a master, she is really great at answering questions like this! Being this excited about learning, I tend to get ahead of myself and forget things I should remember.

My first issue came up with teaching #10 (you can find a complete list of these on my home page)- "Jedi trust in the will of the force and accept that nothing happens by accident. Jedi believe in destiny and there is some method to the madness of creation." My question with that was, "With my Christian background, how can I accept things that happen in our lives as the Force when I have been taught to believe that God is in control?" My master very wisely told me, "Destiny is in the Bible. Trusting in the Force and accepting that nothing happens by accident is the same as trusting in God, for God has a plan for each of us. Jedi believe in destiny as Christians believe in God's eternal plan. When it is said the Force creates all things (the motivation of life is probably the easiest explanation), God is the creator of the Universe and all things...God is the creator of the Force." No conflict there. She has essentially told me that God IS in control. He alone dictates the Force's actions and puts its will in motion. It is His will. We are simply listening and obeying it, just as we do our conscience. As Jedi, we call this the Force.

The second conflict I came to was in teaching #13. It states: "Jedi believe that the soul survives death...We trust the Force to take care of our loved ones." Again, as a Christian, I believe that the soul survives death, but returns to God in Heaven. I can see where our physical bodies return into the Force (ashes to ashes, dust to dust), but I wasnt entirely sure how the Jedi broke this up into two seperate actions. Again, my master, much wiser than myself (thank goodness) replied, "Jedi and Christians believe the same principal and the statement, "We trust the Force to take care of the our loved ones," is the SAME thing as trusting in God to take care of those we love." She then went on to say, "Look at the teachings as comparisons, not as a Christian, but with an open mind, as if you have never heard any of this before. You'll see they mean the same thing, just worded differently..."

My final question as far as the teachings went was concerning teaching #13. It states, "Jedi are encouraged to use the Force, but only for reasons of training, defense and knowledge...Never to show off and impress others..." This one kind of struck me as really strange!!! This to me implied that at this point, Jedi had to power to move things with a wave of the hand (among other things)! My very patient master yet again responded, "Well, this is a strange teaching, because in our society the openess that is needed to understand a Jedi's life is not an existence we see everyday, where in the teachings, Force abilities are considered ESP, witchcraft, ect.., in today's world. Technically, we are mere babies in this and we must begin brand new and learn. It will take great time for this to happen. Through the creation of the Force from God, we are just learning about its mysteries. In those mysteries are the unknowns and in time as we learn, those unknowns may come to be known if God wishes it so. The Bible tells us there are mysteries and in time, God will unveil some as he feels we are capable of understanding."

So in answer to my own question, this is my thought. There is no Christianity versus Jediism. They are essentially one in the same, we have only to choose to see it. It doesn't stop there, oh no. Jediism embraces every religion and every sense of spirituality around the world. There is no right and there is no wrong (at least not in this sense).

Journal entry dated: 6/11/2006


So you see, as indicated by my entries as a padawan, that one begins their quest in this faith by challenging what they already know. Jediism can take any faith to the next step. Granted, I am still very much Christian and grounded in the teachings of our Lord, I do try to attain some answer to the question why. And you know what, I am a master now, and I still ask the same questions. The road of the Jedi faith is one that forks and turns, but I believe, in the end, this faith runs parrallel with whatever one might hold as their own personal truth.

Posted on: 2007/3/14 21:43
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Re: What Separated Jediism?
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We are not separating from other faiths by using the term Jediism.
Separation from other spiritualities is only an illusion we create in our own minds.
I talked to a devout Hindu man who sees God in everything & in every being. We talked about the many Gods & Godesses of his belief system. He said that there was the One Creative Power Brahman and everything else are all aspects of the One Brahman. Like the infinite facets of a single Univeral multidimentional gemstone ... Brahman is the concept of the Godhead found in Hinduism. Brahman is the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all things in this universe ... in other words another way of describing the Cosmic Universal Living Force.
There is a chicken & egg question that comes out of this. Which arrived on the scene first? God(Elohim, YHVH, The Word, The Son of God, Brahman, Allah, etc) or the Living Force (The Holy Spirit, Heavenly Qi, Reiki)? None arrived first, they are all one in the same and each an aspect of the One Infinite Source.

May the Force guide you,

Samweiz

Posted on: 2007/3/14 22:41
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Re: What Separated Jediism?
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Quote:
Curious - what separated Jediism from other faiths that you've investigated, if anything?


Well I wish I could answer this better, but to me Jediism was not separate from my faith, but an extension of it. Jediism appealed to many of the Buddhist principles and practices that were already a part of my life. The Code, creed, teachings, they all felt familiar to me because they matched so much of what I was already taught. As you can tell when I look at the teachings of Jediism I look at them through the eyes of my Buddhist teachings. Much like Master Rachat is grounded in the teachings of the Bible, my grounding is Buddhism so this is my experience and opinion only. I hope I’ve help you here with my answer.

Posted on: 2007/3/14 22:55
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Re: What Separated Jediism?

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We are not separating from other faiths by using the term Jediism. Separation from other spiritualities is only an illusion we create in our own minds.


I suppose that sort of universalism makes perfect sense for Jedi, especially in the sense of the temple's embrace of Campbell.

In the case of the equivalence of all these paths, then, why Jediism in particular? The difficulty I have in understanding universalism is that at some point one does eventually choose to display the light saber over Zeus' bolt, but it's rare that people shed light on why.

For the Jedi in particular, why does one struggle to build up a faith when equivalent faiths are already established, and these with much wider currency in the world of religion at large? I cannot imagine it's always easy to be a Jedi, so unless one is a masochist, Jediism must somehow justify the effort of going beyond the mythology of its equivalent faiths. Is it the freshness of the mythology? The fact that the faith's hands are still immaculate?

Thank you for the insight into your faith, Samweiz.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 10:20
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Re: What Separated Jediism?

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Well I wish I could answer this better, but to me Jediism was not separate from my faith, but an extension of it. Jediism appealed to many of the Buddhist principles and practices that were already a part of my life. The Code, creed, teachings, they all felt familiar to me because they matched so much of what I was already taught.


In what ways did the Jedi teachings extend beyond what you had learned in Buddhism? I can see immediately that the martial emphasis would certainly contribute positively to the wholeness of many faiths that would otherwise be completely cerebral. Were there other factors?

Posted on: 2007/3/15 10:27
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