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Temple of the Jedi Force : Overview of Jediism





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Temple Doctrine : Overview of Jediism
Posted by AceVenom on 2015/5/21 19:10:00 (1007 reads) News by the same author

An overview of basic Jedi beliefs


Jediism is a modern religion which was born as a result of the Star Wars mythology. George Lucas, when he created the Star Wars saga, used various aspects of Taoism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Mysticism, and many other Religions' universal truths as well as a combination of different martial arts, and the Code of Chivalry, in order to create the Jedi and the philosophies behind the Force. The Jedi are modern versions of the Shao Lin Monk, the European Knight, and the Samurai Warrior all mixed together. The Jedi religion has become an inspiration and a way of life for many people throughout the world who take on the mantle of Jedi. Even though Jediism is a new faith, it is just as real as the ancient faiths and philosophies that it came from...

Jedi apply the principles, ideals, philosophies, and teachings of Jediism in a practical manner within their own lives. Jedi seek the Living Force for guidance. Jedi follow what is considered to be the Light Side of the Force, and adhere to the ideals and philosophies of the Jedi religion. There is no absolute or universal consensus among the world's scholars as to the definition of religion, but the following is a good one, and is the official description of the religion of Jediism we adhere to at The Temple of the Jedi Force.

Religion:

A set of beliefs, values, and practices; a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion; a system of thought, feeling, and action that is shared by a group and that gives the members a code of behavior by which those individuals may judge the personal and social consequences of their actions; also a frame of reference by which individuals may relate to their group, their universe and The Force.

A Jedi may follow a synchronistic religion -- a faith involving elements from two or more religions. One can be strictly a Jedi, a Wiccan Jedi, a Christian Jedi, a Buddhist Jedi, or an Agnostic Jedi for example, but Jediism is a religion and a way of life in and of itself. Keep in mind that Jedi do not Worship the Force, or Lucas, or anything of the sort. This is very much a real religion, not based in fiction, but rather explained more clearly by the fiction and made applicable to real life.

Jedi Believe:

-In the inherent worth of every person. People are worthy of respect, support, and caring just because they are human.

-In working towards a culture that is relatively free of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin, degree of ability, age, etc.

-In the sanctity of the human person. We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment.

-In the importance of democracy within religious, political and other structures.

-In the separation of church and state; and the freedoms of speech, association, and expression.

-That the systems of truth in the field of morals, ethics, and religious belief that we have studied are not absolute: they vary by culture, by religion, and over time.

-In the generally positive influence that most religions have had on their followers and on society, with the exception of a handful of destructive cults which have had an overall negative impact on the world.

-In the importance of individual believers determining evil influences and policies within their chosen faith group, and advocate for their correction.

-In the importance of education. We believe that people are not truly educated unless they have studied at least the world's major religions and ethical systems. They need to learn of the good and bad impacts they have had on society.

The Force:

The Force is described as "an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together." The Force, in part, is the energy associated with life, and life is associated with the Force. Most Jedi adhere to the ideology that the Force has a Will of its own, and it guides those who would listen to its subtle whispers.

The Force is primarily made up of the "light side" and the "dark side". These are concerned with the moral compass of the Force in its various manifestations of Balance. The light side of the Force is the facet of the Force aligned with good, benevolence, compassion, and healing. The dark side of the Force is aligned with fear, hatred, aggression, and malevolence; this side of the Force can seem more powerful, though it is just more tempting to those that can touch upon the power as it does not impose any restrictions on its use, often granting almost inhuman strength to those who would give in to hatred and anger. These "sides" of the Force are tied directly to the eternal Balance of the Universe. "Without Darkness, there can be no Light". By the same token, the "side" of the Force one chooses to follow depends on that individual's true intent within their heart.

The Force has also been described as having three additional aspects: The Cosmic Force, the Living Force, and the Unifying Force. These aspects are defined by prominent Jedi philosophies. The Cosmic Force essentially embraces space and time in its entirety. It is quite basically what "binds the Galaxy together", and keeps the cosmos in Balance. It is what drives the Cosmos, and what keeps it in Order. The Living Force deals with living things. The Energy created by and connected to all Life itself. "Life creates it, makes it grow... Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter". It is a scientific fact that Energy changes form, but never truly ceases to exist. It is in that science that we are able to understand that the Living Force is the "pool of energy" that embodies all living things. It is theorized that when a living thing dies, its life force joins the Living Force. Likewise, when new life is born, it draws energy from the Living Force. The Unifying Force is what keeps the Cosmic Force and Living Force in Balance. Its energy exists on the molecular level throughout all matter, "unifying" everything in the Universe. Through it, we are connected to not just all living things, but all things. "Feel the Force... between you, me... the rock, the tree, even the ship".

The Force contains many similarities to other existing philosophical and religious principles. Many have related it to the concepts of Qi (also "chi" or "Ki"; China, Japan, and Korea), Prana (India), Mana (Polynesia) and other similar traditions focused around the idea of spiritual energies that exist throughout the universe. From Taoism, we take the primary focus for the idea of Yin and Yang... the two diametrically opposed Forces of the universe. Everything from good and evil (as metaphysical concepts) to hot and cold temperatures are considered as being part of this, and it is from here we see the most prominent comparison to the light and dark sides of the Force, and the constant struggle for Balance within the Universe. There are also some parallels between The Living Force and the use of Qi in Chinese martial arts. In the more internal arts (such as Tai Chi, Hsing-Yi, Pa-Kua and Qigong), the maintenance and use of Qi is an essential element of training. Such Qi is sometimes referred to as Empty Force, meaning that it is not seen, but its effect can be felt with time and training. Some manifestations of special abilities are reported to have been attained by high-level Kung-Fu masters. Other, rarer, examples of special abilities attributed to the Force are often categorized as "paranormal activity". Some individuals show an aptitude for healing, telepathy, telekinesis, etc.

The Jedi refer to two "sides" of the Force, a dark side and a light side. This echoes the concept of Yin Yang in Eastern philosophy, but is not a straight translation, as the emotional dark side is denoted as a Force of evil by the Jedi. The dark side is not made up of specific "parts" or "abilities" of the Force: the dark and light sides of the Force exist inside of the life form which uses it, made from their emotions. A follower of the light side strives to live in harmony with those around him or her. Mutual trust, respect, and the ability to form alliances give the Jedi a distinct advantage. In contrast, a follower of the dark side is only interested in his or herself. To strike down a living creature out of anger, fear or another emotion is of the dark side. To refrain and clear one's self of these emotions is of the light side. Use of the dark side of the Force is forbidden within the Jedi Order.

Traditional Jedi are taught to keep the Force "in balance". They attempt to achieve this by denying the dark side—essentially "keeping balance" by denying balance, as they view dark side as "corruption". This involves the control of negative emotions such as aggression, anger, and hatred, since they can easily bring on acceptance of the dark side... "To become a Jedi, it is not the Force one must learn to control, but one's self". A Jedi strives to maintain control over their emotions instead of allowing negative emotions to control their actions. A Jedi acts when calm and at peace. In contrast, positive emotions such as compassion and courage nurture the light side of the Force. The Jedi Code compares such feelings and provides insight into the ethical use of the Force.

The "fictional" Jedi approach to emotions may be seen as one of the key reasons for their fall during the movies and the Knights of the Old Republic games. Abstaining from passion and love, many Jedi often fell under the sway of them when finally exposed. Unfamiliar with such emotions, they failed to see how they can come to dominate the personality and eventually became the personality through the imbalance wrought by over-compensation. The repression of the emotions merely caused the fall of a Jedi to be even more violent and complete. In this real universe, all sentient beings feel Emotions... the Jedi merely learn to maintain control and Balance.

The Ceremonial Lightsaber Hilt:

An important part of Jedi Tradition and Ceremony, the Ceremonial Lightsaber hilt is often misunderstood by non-Jedi. The Ceremonial Hilt should be unique to the Jedi who built, owns, or carries it, not an exact replica of a movie Lightsaber. In most cases, a Ceremonial Hilt is reserved for Jedi who have attained the rank of Knight. There are many things to consider concerning Ceremonial Hilts. First, the overall design of the Hilt... it should look realistic, reflecting the individual Jedi Knight. Inspiration can be taken from various fictional hilts, but the Hilt should be designed by the individual Jedi Knight. In an ideal situation, the individual Jedi Knight should build their own Ceremonial Hilt, but it is understood that not every Jedi will possess either the technical skills or tools to construct their own Hilt. In light of this fact, a Jedi Knight can contact a sabersmith to construct one for them, so long as they design the hilt themselves. Another difference between a replica Hilt and a Ceremonial Hilt is the crystal, gem, or multiple stones contained within the hilt's inner chamber. Crystals and gemstones have been revered throughout history, not only for their natural beauty, but for their metaphysical properties as well. Used properly, gemstones and crystals enhance a Jedi's personal connection to the Force, as well as contributing their own properties to the Jedi who carries them... in this case, within their Ceremonial Hilt. The crystal, gem, or multiple stones within the Ceremonial Hilt should also be chosen by the individual Jedi Knight, based either on personal preference, or knowledge of the crystal and/or gem's metaphysical properties. Either method is effective, as a person is often naturally drawn to the stone or stones which suit them... and are meant for them. One myth to disregard is that a Jedi should choose their crystal or gem based on what color their blade would be. The color of the crystal or gem does not dictate what color the Hilt's blade would be if the technology were developed at this time. For example, a Jedi can choose a ruby or garnet for their Ceremonial Hilt... this does not make them a Sith, as this is not fiction. Ruby and garnet are both suitable stones for a Jedi... and blade color is only a matter of personal preference, as the technology to make a real Light-saber blade has not been fully developed yet. The end result of a Ceremonial Light-saber Hilt is a tool as well as an icon of one's Jedi path. By designing, planning, and choosing their own crystals to be contained within the Hilt, it is not only unique to that individual Jedi, but deeply connected to them as well. A Ceremonial Hilt can also be used as a focal point for Meditation... as well as a reminder of a Jedi's vows and commitment to the Order.

A Jedi by any other name...

Some Jedi take on a "Jedi" name when they begin their path of enlightenment. This is not a requirement; however, the act of taking on a "Jedi" name is one symbolic of the new path they are beginning, transforming into a new being. A "Jedi" name is simply something by which we refer to each other within the Temple and the Force... it has no bearing on a person's legal name, and their Ordination as a Minister of the Jedi Order, if they choose to be a member of the Jedi Clergy, falls under their legal name rather than their "Jedi" name.


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Original text in this article written by: Master Kyp Durron
Editing & repost by: Master Ace Venom

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