It is an interesting thing to me. I understand and advocate the need for classification and the use of proper organizational titles. I find these are useful and beneficial elements in any group. Especially one which works off a ranking system for educational purposes. It simply makes sense. You join a new Jedi Group. You’d like to know which Jedi is writing the lessons and been living it for ten years or whatever. As well as much Jedi is like you, fresh, new, and perhaps someone who can relate to your experiences a little better. So titles are given to help people navigate this at first glance. Student, Knight, Instructor, all pretty clear indicators. So I support this type of classification.
Where I find difficulty is when that begins to devolve into unnecessary titles. “I am a Jediist, not a Jedi Realist.” What? What does that mean? “It means I follow Jediism, not Jedi Realism.” What is the difference. – Now here is where many in the Jedi Community miss something important. To the rest of the world there is no difference. To the Media, News, Magazine writers, Filmmakers, your curious cousin, makes absolutely no difference. This is because it all means the same thing to them. Jediism = Real Jedi. Or at least people who think themselves real Jedi.
To be clear, people in the Jedi Community will say there is a difference. And this has been true in the past. Originally Jediism meant Jedi Religion. And Jedi Realism meant religion was left to the Jedi. But that difference has been on a losing battle from day one. Every day more and more people coming looking for “Jediism” as an all-encompassing term. Thsi is due to above. The people giving real Jedi any coverage do not adhere to the petty Glass Walls the Jedi Community create for themselves. In the end the word with the most use wins and currently that word is Jediism.
I have been against colors, isms, and other various little lines drawn in the sand since 2000. They are irrelevant. Either you are a Jedi or you are not. Jediism shares the same core ideals as Jedi Realism. These share the same core as Jedi Pragmatism. The question is always the same – are you or are you not living your life as a Jedi? If yes – doesn’t matter your ism. Now most people take this stance as me saying – “You are not allowed to have any ism. Stop calling yourself this or that.” Which is incorrect. Say you follow Jediism or Jedi Realism. Cool deal. I will shrug and view it 100% as relevant as your hair color. It is simply another feature which is a part of you. But ultimately doesn’t affect whether you actually live as a Jedi.
I have, even in the popular days of Jedi Realism, stuck to simply Jedi. It is my focus. Grey Jedi, Purple Jedi, Jediist, all unnecessary additions which simply prop people up in their own little corners declaring who is better than who. “Jedi Realism is role-players and fakes because they don’t have the courage to complete to the Jedi as a Religion.” Yes that has actually been said. “I am a Jedi Realist. Our training is just way better and doesn’t focus on religious overtones.” Said. Silly little who is better than who non-sense. Tribes fighting over a hill and failing to see the mountain. It is this segregation I have argued, fruitlessly, against for however many stupid years it has been. And it continues. To me it is simple. If you love Jediism or follow Jedi as your Religion. Cool. That is about as important as your race, gender, or sexual preferences. Other words – doesn’t matter.
Now I get it. Minority voice here. Give the people their bread. Let them hold onto their security blanket of isms. Which sure. I am all for you picking your poison. Love your Jedi Religion with a hint of catholic flavor. Temple of the Jedi Order is for you. Like your Jedi Religion heavy period? Church of Jediism it is. Jedi Religion not your thing? Institute of Jedi Realist Studies perhaps? Maybe you want some offline stuff? Near Chicago? Chicago Jedi has you covered. California Jedi might be able to offer you some face time. It is the groups that you chose to grow with that make the difference – not the ism. Not even whatever ism that specific group promotes. What matters is finding a place that you feel comfortable growing as a Jedi with. A place you feel is positive and beneficial to your growth. Don’t worry about whatever ism is attached. It doesn’t matter. In the end the important tile/word is Jedi. And all you need to worry about is finding a group that helps to obtain that goal.