Monthly Archives: September 2012

Article: Welcome to the Jedi Community

I have been in the Jedi Community actively since 1999. Before that I haunted the websites and chats for three years (1996); reading, contemplating, testing (practicing exercises and ideas via trial and error). Because of this I find it hard to fully grasp what it must be like to find the Jedi Community. The questions, concerns, perhaps excitement and enthusiasm. Regardless I’d like to offer some thoughts and hopefully clear a few things up as you begin your exploration into this path/philosophy. Some of the things we will look at is the Jedi as a religion, the complexity of the online community, and what we here at the Jedi Academy Online focus on for the Jedi Path. I’ll seek to keep this short as possible.

First, this is a lifestyle path, not a religion. George Lucas stated in 1999 that he found Star Wars as great way to explore many of the concepts of religion via a new means. That he wanted to inspire the young and old to ask the big questions and take a deep look at the religious concepts in our world. Basically to explore and better our spirituality. “I didn’t want to invent a religion. I wanted to try to, explain in a different way the religions that have already existed.” – George Lucas

Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean one can’t use it/label it as their personal religion (often called Jediism). It simply means Jedi is not a religion as a whole. Jedi is an open and diverse group of individuals which share many religious beliefs. Some Jedi are Christians, some are atheists, some are agnostic, some are Buddhist, some call themselves Jediists. We have a variety of cultures and religious beliefs which are accepted and embraced here at the Jedi Academy Online. There is no need to change your religion and you are certainly not asked to make Jedi your religion. While we will be exploring concepts of spirituality, looking at different beliefs and religions out there, this is done to better help us understand our personal beliefs and strengthen our spiritual ideals.

When I first started in the Jedi Community it seemed rather intimidating. Seemed everyone knew everyone and I was on the outside with no way in. Times have changed, conversing on the internet is much more the norm, so this may not be the case for most people. However some places (websites) in the Jedi Community are much more active and confrontational than others. Here at the Jedi Academy Online we have a little Welcome Area, we have a small community, and a rather mellow atmosphere. Yet places like the Force Academy have a huge message board, a lot of information to explore at once, different aspects, and generally a very active forum. Different Websites/Groups/Communities take different approaches as well.

One website may not work for you as well as another. You may find the interaction between aspects a highly desirable and useful element, having hot debates as a required element to progression. Force Academy would be more your speed. Yet you may want a specific focus on Jedi as religion, with rites, rituals, and ceremonies so places like Church of Jediism may be more your flavor. Real Jedi Enclave focuses on certification and community, offering core practical guidance with a heavy focus on interaction between members. And of course you may find that mixing and being a part of more than one place is something you enjoy the most. If you have concerns on what place might be right for you feel free to contact any of the Administrators here at the JAO and we can explore that with you giving you in-depth knowledge on places based upon experience.

The last thing I’ll touch on is what the Jedi Academy Online focuses on. Jedi Philosophy for Everyday Life. Here we learn what it means to be a Real Life Jedi Knight. We learn this isn’t about lightsabers, this isn’t about Force Powers, instead it is a focus on bettering ourselves so we may better the world around us. Real Jedi Training consists of Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being. It means improving ourselves through the study, practice, and living of Jedi Ideals and Philosophy. We take the inspiration George Lucas created and use it as he said, a stone to explore the deeper layers of ourselves and the world around us. We use it to grow as individuals who are in a position to help others. We use it to become Real World Jedi – living by the philosophy is a practical and applicable manner to our everyday lives.

Some Links at the JAO:
To Contact the Author: Click Here (Account Required) Use This E-mail.
To Sign-Up for a Message Board Account: Click Here.
To View Our Open Beginner Training Program: Click Here. (Account Required.)
To Say Hello/Introduce Yourself: Click Here. (Account Required.)
To Read Our By-Laws: Click Here.
For More Articles: Click Here.

Article: Welcome to the Jedi Community was originally published on 365 Jedi

Article: Welcome to the Jedi Community

I have been in the Jedi Community actively since 1999. Before that I haunted the websites and chats for three years (1996); reading, contemplating, testing (practicing exercises and ideas via trial and error). Because of this I find it hard to fully grasp what it must be like to find the Jedi Community. The questions, concerns, perhaps excitement and enthusiasm. Regardless I’d like to offer some thoughts and hopefully clear a few things up as you begin your exploration into this path/philosophy. Some of the things we will look at is the Jedi as a religion, the complexity of the online community, and what we here at the Jedi Academy Online focus on for the Jedi Path. I’ll seek to keep this short as possible.

First, this is a lifestyle path, not a religion. George Lucas stated in 1999 that he found Star Wars as great way to explore many of the concepts of religion via a new means. That he wanted to inspire the young and old to ask the big questions and take a deep look at the religious concepts in our world. Basically to explore and better our spirituality. “I didn’t want to invent a religion. I wanted to try to, explain in a different way the religions that have already existed.” – George Lucas

Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean one can’t use it/label it as their personal religion (often called Jediism). It simply means Jedi is not a religion as a whole. Jedi is an open and diverse group of individuals which share many religious beliefs. Some Jedi are Christians, some are atheists, some are agnostic, some are Buddhist, some call themselves Jediists. We have a variety of cultures and religious beliefs which are accepted and embraced here at the Jedi Academy Online. There is no need to change your religion and you are certainly not asked to make Jedi your religion. While we will be exploring concepts of spirituality, looking at different beliefs and religions out there, this is done to better help us understand our personal beliefs and strengthen our spiritual ideals.

When I first started in the Jedi Community it seemed rather intimidating. Seemed everyone knew everyone and I was on the outside with no way in. Times have changed, conversing on the internet is much more the norm, so this may not be the case for most people. However some places (websites) in the Jedi Community are much more active and confrontational than others. Here at the Jedi Academy Online we have a little Welcome Area, we have a small community, and a rather mellow atmosphere. Yet places like the Force Academy have a huge message board, a lot of information to explore at once, different aspects, and generally a very active forum. Different Websites/Groups/Communities take different approaches as well.

One website may not work for you as well as another. You may find the interaction between aspects a highly desirable and useful element, having hot debates as a required element to progression. Force Academy would be more your speed. Yet you may want a specific focus on Jedi as religion, with rites, rituals, and ceremonies so places like Church of Jediism may be more your flavor. Real Jedi Enclave focuses on certification and community, offering core practical guidance with a heavy focus on interaction between members. And of course you may find that mixing and being a part of more than one place is something you enjoy the most. If you have concerns on what place might be right for you feel free to contact any of the Administrators here at the JAO and we can explore that with you giving you in-depth knowledge on places based upon experience.

The last thing I’ll touch on is what the Jedi Academy Online focuses on. Jedi Philosophy for Everyday Life. Here we learn what it means to be a Real Life Jedi Knight. We learn this isn’t about lightsabers, this isn’t about Force Powers, instead it is a focus on bettering ourselves so we may better the world around us. Real Jedi Training consists of Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being. It means improving ourselves through the study, practice, and living of Jedi Ideals and Philosophy. We take the inspiration George Lucas created and use it as he said, a stone to explore the deeper layers of ourselves and the world around us. We use it to grow as individuals who are in a position to help others. We use it to become Real World Jedi – living by the philosophy is a practical and applicable manner to our everyday lives.

Some Links at the JAO:
To Contact the Author: Click Here (Account Required) Use This E-mail.
To Sign-Up for a Message Board Account: Click Here.
To View Our Open Beginner Training Program: Click Here. (Account Required.)
To Say Hello/Introduce Yourself: Click Here. (Account Required.)
To Read Our By-Laws: Click Here.
For More Articles: Click Here.

Article: Acceptance

There seems to be a misconception, misunderstanding, or perhaps just a disconnect with the ideal of Acceptance. For a long while now I have taught and spouted that Acceptance is Peace – Peace is Acceptance. Some do not feel this is a correct statement because they stop the process of Acceptance. They feel once something is accepted that it no longer affect them, that they will no longer care about it. Thus why they would find peace, but it would be personal peace obtained at the expense of not acting against injustice. A quote which supprots this view, “Every day you sit behind your desk and you learn a little more how to accept the world the way it is. Well here’s the rub: heroes don’t do that. Heroes don’t accept the world the way it is. They fight it.” – Lindsey McDonald (from Angel, television show)

If you accept rape happens, you’ll not seek prevention or prosecution, but simply acknowledge it as a fact of life. This of course is a fallacy, this is acceptance stopping at the subject and failing to take into account the most important part of the equation. You must accept You; your beliefs, your strengths, your weaknesses, your pet-peeves. In order for the ideal of Acceptance is Peace to be valid it must be in totality. Consider the quote above. Accept the World as is, yet it does not stop there. Because you Accept It does not mean you sit by and watch it happen. It means you accept that you have a duty, you have a desire, you have a wish to change it. You accept the world as it is and than you accept you will go out every single day and you will fight to change it.

How do you change something if you do not acknowledge it, if you do not accept it? You must accept it, before you can go out and do something about it. All addicts must accept their addiction before they can truly treat it. You must accept and than you must accept what you can and cannot do about it. If you accept apathy as a problem in the world, you can accept you ability to fight against it. To encourage otherwise, to be an example against it, to show that there is a better way to live.

I feel too many confuse acceptance with apathy. I accept I am a lazy bum, but I also accept that is not who I wish to be. Therefore I fight against it. I focus, I set goals, I admonish myself if I fail, I am constantly seeking improvement of myself. I accept the whole, I accept my circumstances, I accept the world as is, I accept myself failings, successes, and all, and because of this I am at peace even in the middle of conflict, failure, and facing obstacles.

Peace is Accepting who we are, where we are, what we are doing, and what we are going to do. It is not left off at one thing. It does not stop at the self, or the world, or the situation we face. Accept and than act accordingly. Look for new ways, look for better ways, look to be an example. Find peace in who you are and who you are training to become.

Article: Acceptance was originally published on 365 Jedi

Article: Acceptance

There seems to be a misconception, misunderstanding, or perhaps just a disconnect with the ideal of Acceptance. For a long while now I have taught and spouted that Acceptance is Peace – Peace is Acceptance. Some do not feel this is a correct statement because they stop the process of Acceptance. They feel once something is accepted that it no longer affect them, that they will no longer care about it. Thus why they would find peace, but it would be personal peace obtained at the expense of not acting against injustice. A quote which supprots this view, “Every day you sit behind your desk and you learn a little more how to accept the world the way it is. Well here’s the rub: heroes don’t do that. Heroes don’t accept the world the way it is. They fight it.” – Lindsey McDonald (from Angel, television show)

If you accept rape happens, you’ll not seek prevention or prosecution, but simply acknowledge it as a fact of life. This of course is a fallacy, this is acceptance stopping at the subject and failing to take into account the most important part of the equation. You must accept You; your beliefs, your strengths, your weaknesses, your pet-peeves. In order for the ideal of Acceptance is Peace to be valid it must be in totality. Consider the quote above. Accept the World as is, yet it does not stop there. Because you Accept It does not mean you sit by and watch it happen. It means you accept that you have a duty, you have a desire, you have a wish to change it. You accept the world as it is and than you accept you will go out every single day and you will fight to change it.

How do you change something if you do not acknowledge it, if you do not accept it? You must accept it, before you can go out and do something about it. All addicts must accept their addiction before they can truly treat it. You must accept and than you must accept what you can and cannot do about it. If you accept apathy as a problem in the world, you can accept you ability to fight against it. To encourage otherwise, to be an example against it, to show that there is a better way to live.

I feel too many confuse acceptance with apathy. I accept I am a lazy bum, but I also accept that is not who I wish to be. Therefore I fight against it. I focus, I set goals, I admonish myself if I fail, I am constantly seeking improvement of myself. I accept the whole, I accept my circumstances, I accept the world as is, I accept myself failings, successes, and all, and because of this I am at peace even in the middle of conflict, failure, and facing obstacles.

Peace is Accepting who we are, where we are, what we are doing, and what we are going to do. It is not left off at one thing. It does not stop at the self, or the world, or the situation we face. Accept and than act accordingly. Look for new ways, look for better ways, look to be an example. Find peace in who you are and who you are training to become.