Gossip | Ways of the Force

gossip-pop-art-men“Using the analogy of the human mind as a computer, gossip can be compared to a computer virus. A computer virus is a piece of computer language written in the same language all the other codes are written in, but with a harmful intent.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

When you gossip you  casually talk about other people’s  personal affairs and situations.The word gossip in itself already explains that it’s not just talking about someone , but talking about someone with a certain intent, even if you are just sharing things that really happened , it’s the intent you share it with that matters and it can lead to bad mouthing of someone behind their backs, based on false accusations and lies. Usually the second follows the first when the first one does not have the desired effect.

Human conversation can be a powerful tool. It can also be a very destructive weapon. How we decide to talk about others can be productive or very counterproductive. We decide every day how we talk about others , do we give constructive feedback or do we take them down with our words?  How do we say it , what is your intent when you share information about others? The destructive power of gossip is a reality to be dealt with.

Gossip is not innocent , it can ruin a reputation ,destroy friendships, lead to bullying  humiliate and demean, exclude people , make them feel miserable and ruin trust between people and ruin trust in people in general. We can teach ourselves as Jedi to not say anything that you would not say to the person in question , that if we hear slander about ourselves or others to go to the source and confront the person gossipping, ask questions. We can caution others to speak kindly of others and speak of others kindly ourselves.We all have different perceptions about others , and very often we don’t understand what people are about , or why they do certain things. It’s tempting to find allies against someone like that , and it can be very satisfying to badmouth someone , but like many things , its a negative way of dealing with others and the way they are.

Thinking of how you would like others to see you and talk about you always seems to help for me. Treat others how you want to be treated yourself , no ..treat them better!


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Free will | Ways of the Force

free will“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”

― Søren Kierkegaard



I like to think  Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action.Free will is mainly a state of mind, wishful thinking even.In this society it’s hard to uphold free will as we would like to see it ourselves. I do believe in free thoughts , the power of the mind that can overcome difficulties and things that stand in the way of our bliss. I see free will as a way out of chains of society , as a way of staying on the path that we want to pursue. I also think we have a destiny and the will to follow or discard the path set out for us.

In the Hero’s journey we see that the journey often starts with freeing oneself from the mindset of the surroundings we grow up in , we form our own thoughts and leave the safe haven of being lived and start living ourselves. Our thoughts are Free , but our will has to be very strong and overcome difficulties to be free as well.

There are complications though, free will and free speech are being used in a poor moral concept due to ignorance and lack of empathy. Even though i am a protagonist of free speech and free will , i try as much as i can to consider the effect of my actions and words on other people. But then again , sometimes people need to be shaken up a little don’t they?  It’s important  though not to cross other people’s boundaries , poor moral conduct always lies in ignorance and that is not what free will is about.

In some religious streams Free will is considered the cause of suffering , and is used to explain why God tolerates suffering and misery. But I am more on C.S. Lewis side who says: “Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.” Suffering is a part of life and i can see how free will can be the cause of suffering within because you take a risk every time you practice free will.

To me the important point of free will is that it gives me a choice , even a limited choice is a choice , even a bad choice is a choice , even to do nothing is a choice, It can give us a choice between dark and light.  It gives us the responsibility that we need to grow up and become what we are meant to be. It also gives us the choice to do the right thing even against all odds. I truly believe we do have a free will , especially against all odds.


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Guardians | Ways of the Force

Rogue-One-Star-Wars-Story-Chirrut-Imwe-KyberThis past May the Fourth my family and I decided to watch Rogue One.  It’s actually one of my favorite Star Wars movies, because for once it focuses on non-Jedi characters.  Yet, amongst the Force-blind, there are guardians. Guardians of the Whills, to be specific.

Their name is only mentioned in passing, but there is a mystique there that struck me once more as I re-watched the movie.  Seeing Chirrut Imwe, the blind Asian character who makes short work of surrounding stormtroopers, inspired me in a way that I couldn’t put my finger on until 10 days later. Having read part of the book Guardians of the Whills, it is made clear that Imwe is no Jedi.  Yet, like the Jedi of real life, he cannot touch the Force, cannot use it as a Jedi would.  He cannot even see.  Yet he strives to feel it, however fleetingly, to be at one with his surroundings and the beings he finds himself amongst.

There is a lesson here that I feel the Jedi Realists and Jediists can learn from.  To be blunt, we are not Jedi. Not in the truest sense of the word. We have no Force powers, can barely draw on it for strength and focus.  However, we hold sacred a knowledge of its existence. We are guardians of this knowledge, passing it on to the next generation whenever possible.

If we are to be honest with ourselves and others, it may be time to admit that, though we strive to feel the Force just as Imwe does, our job as followers of the Force is to maintain its deep history, to preserve its legacy, not necessarily to be keepers of the peace and of justice.  We don’t have lightsabers. We can’t use telekinesis. We can’t see the future. What we can do, however, is be guardians of the Force.  This makes us no less important to the world—in fact it may make us more important—yet if we continue to delude ourselves into thinking we can ever live up to the legends of the Jedi, we will be sorely disappointed.  Perhaps we may even be taken more seriously if we drop the Jedi title.

I can tell you what I believe I am now.  I am no longer a Jedi. I’ve known this for some time, but never had a word to replace it.  I am a Guardian. Should people be inspired by this idea, then I believe we can enter a new age, in which the Jedi can end their futile endeavor to be superheroes, and instead be humble servants of the Force, guarding the knowledge provided us by previous generations of guardians.

I believe that we Jedi have simply been mistaken in the view of our role in this world.  Or perhaps it’s simply a misunderstanding of labels. All I really know is who I am. And when you start to become who you are, the first thing you realize is that there is nothing to fear.

The Force is with me, and I am One with the Force.

—Streen (Guardian of the Whills)


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Are you looking for trouble ? | Ways of the Force

conflict Trouble seemed to be my middle name, never understood why trouble used to follow me around like a puppy  wherever I went. It’s so hard to shut up when there is injustice and  difficult not to act on other people’s behalf when you know it can help them or even stop the problem. The challenge  however is to learn people to stand up for themselves and to teach them to take care of their own business , so they don’t get into trouble so easy. On the other side , learning not to get involved if things feel wrong is a great tactic  , but it can hold you  and others back from learning a lesson , facing it head on seems to  be scarier but better in the long run. Many find it hard to do the right thing , even in the Jedi community , they avoid it. Because of fear , fear to cause conflict, fear of confrontation. Others are too provocative , too confronting , i think the answers lay in the middle somewhere …seeking balance, respect , empathy in conflict.

This world is filled with injustice and pain and heartbreak. I cannot say yet that I don’t look for trouble  at all, i mean the existence of this blog for instance. Many battles used to come to me in my work as a Social Worker so there was no shortage of learning moments and moments where I could  be of value , but sometimes I do take up the sword of the Law and wave it around and expose wrongdoings, and I do stamp on the floor till I get my own way ( mostly the way of the Law anyway ). Very passionate as I am. I do get into trouble sometimes and still have a lot to learn. Because as Jedi we are not meant to cause harm. I am overprotective and can be aggressive at times , and that is seeking trouble , I know I know , still learning .. The important thing to realise is that even if we are not perfect we can all learn to be a light , a real light , calm , strong , in control , even tall ..if we dare.

The Jedi seems to blossom during trouble , that is true , tackling trouble and getting to its source can be a very enlightening and growing experience in which we learn more about ourselves and the way we confront trouble in our lives and in the lives of others. And if we are open to the lessons we learn to deal with conflict better. 


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What is the Master? | Ways of the Force

By:  Wescli Wardest

   It is always interesting to me to watch as people try to describe qualities or traits they assign to someone as they would a thing. I have seen and read people talking about masters being stoic or in touch with their emotional experience or wise or whatever.  Always seems to be the traits they wish to acquire or for others to see in them one day. In short, another mask.


   Rather than assigning traits to something one obviously doesn’t understand ask yourself, “who” is the master?  I will tell you right now that every actual, real master I have ever met, read about or heard about knows that they are not “the Master.”  It is just a mask or role one plays for another that needs the Master in their lives at that point in time. One takes on the role. It is not some mythical state of being where one is endowed with some supernatural understanding or power.  It is a relationship. The master cannot assert his authority on another because the role has no inherent authority independent of the student or apprentice. It is the student or apprentice that grants that authority to the role.

There are people in the world, for whatever reason, will present themselves as wise.  They may be smart, experienced, clever, silver tongued, charming or seem to have some authority.   These are what I like to refer to as false gurus. There are many TV evangelist that fit this build.  They will tell you how they are just instruments and have no power or authority yet will condemn, preach and bless with absolute conviction with all the skill of the Accuser himself. Confusing those they prey on to joining their belief system and causes.  I would caution everyone… if someone tells you that they can give you and answer, show you the way or correct your path… tell you how you should see or view something or how one way thought or belief is right over another then buyer beware. If someone tells you the qualities a master should possess or what to look for to identify a master, they are most likely setting you up to buy something. Usually, justifying why you should believe them to be your master.

   Good examples of Masters can easily be found in Star Wars.  Go and look, see if Obi-Wan Kenobi ever introduces himself as Master.  Or Qui-gon Jinn? Or Yoda? Or any of the Masters! Others will refer to them as master.  And others will refer to Knights as Master. Anyone ever catch that? Sure, within the Jedi Order there is a rank that is called Master.  And that is bestowed on the individual by their peers. It is never something that is cast on oneself. And if one has this title or relationship, they do not flaunt it, refer to themselves by it or explain their qualities to others for them to associate them by the term.  I wonder why that is? Look at the Obi-wan Anakin relationship. Annikin calls Obi-wan master before Obi-wan is on the Jedi Council. And other Jedi just refer to him as Obi-wan. Again, this shows the relationship of authority and who is granting who the authority over them.

And now we need to look at ourselves and what is Master in our lives.  What is it that you give authority over you? What is your master? And, who are the Masters that you know of?  Are they “your” Master? Or are they master to someone else? And do they expect you to treat them as their student or apprentices do?  Would they be your Master? The world is full of illusion because of the masks people wear. See past the mask! Know yourself, and be aware.

About Wescli Wardest : I was asked to write, “An introduction about who you are and what Mook is about, just a few lines.”  So, who am I? I am really just a guy. I am… me! LOL I suppose people might want more than that though.  So I can tell you things that I have done and/or the position I hold at MOoK. First, what is MOoK? It is the Monastic Order of Knights. What is that you ask?  Well, it is an order that is similar (and different) from other Jedi sites.  We focus on the individuals growth through self-exploration and service to others.  Our beliefs are stated on our homepage

“In a unifying force, and the sanctity of all life.

In a society that does not discriminate.

In the separation of religion and government.

In a society governed by laws grounded in reason and compassion, not in fear or prejudice.

In the opposition to the use of punishments that are cruel and or excessive to include torture.

In an absolute morality not defined by the influence of ethics, culture, religion or changes over time.

In the importance of freedom, conscience and self-determination within all structures.

And the positive influence of spiritual growth and awareness on society.”

And this common belief is core to what we do.

Now, back to who I am.  Well, that can really only be determined by getting to know me.  But the office I hold at MOoK is Knight Commander. That is like the president of the organization. 

art: Jedi Master by Artificialdesign




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The Compromise of Grey | Ways of the Force

By Arisaig: an apprentice of TotJO offers an interesting insight into the fenomena Grey Jedi.



“We’ve all seen them about. They come in saying they’re unique because of their Path, and that they do not fear the dark like the Jedi but are more restrained than the Sith. I am talking, of course, of those that proclaim themselves to be Grey Jedi” : Arisaig


Now, for a supposedly alternative Path, it is a clear majority of the Force community that claim the title of Grey. Why is this? What does it mean? And why do people choose this Path?

Right off the bat, we can account human nature. When presented with two options that are, supposedly well walked, a person can feel the temptation to be unique. And what is more unique than the middle path between two extremes? Sadly, people choose this Path for this reason despite the fact it is a popular path. In their attempt to stand out, they end up blending into the background. It’s a cruel irony.

Why else would a person be attracted to this Path? Well, to put it simply, because it is an excuse for stagnating and falling short.

The Jedi Path is hard. Impossible even. The ideals set forth aren’t achievable by a flawed human, and we are all flawed humans. We can only strive continuously toward those ideals, waiting on those four or five moments that define us. And some people find that impossible ideal, well, intimidating. People don’t like failure, so rather than fail alongside those striving towards the impossible ideal, they make their own ideal, or align themselves to an ideal they’ve already become accomplished in. We see this in the countless Grey Codes, each one slightly varied from the next, each with varying levels of embracing of “darker” emotions such as passion and chaos.

The Codes, both Jedi and Sith, are impossible ideals that one can spend a lifetime chasing after, perhaps never achieving it. They are akin to the Ten Commandments of the Bible. Impossible ideals that require the intervention of a saviour character. They point out how often we fall short but offer salvation through the Messiah. But the Jedi have no saviour. There is only the Force, and the Force resides within us. If we fail, we have only ourselves to blame. And fail we will, because we are flawed. The Jedi dedicated their life to the pursuit of these failures and to rise above them or, at least, to learn to live alongside them.

It is a process of evolution. We fail, and we can either die off, ending our personal evolutionary chain, or we can grow from it, creating a better version of ourselves, one that will not fail as quickly as the previous version. It is the miracle that creates the Jedi. We refuse to die out, to end the pursuit of betterment. But many, a majority even, will become discouraged in this pursuit and either give up. Or, in the case of the Grey, create their own ideal to reach for, one that is achievable, or they have already achieved.

So, why is this? Why do people feel this need to strive for these codes of compromise? Because they are unwilling to push themselves towards the impossible or they have become discouraged during their walk down towards the impossible? So, as previously mentioned, they create an ideal that they can reach, or even one that they’ve already reached. That is where the plethora of Grey Codes come into play. People can pretty much pick and mix the one they like, often lining up with their current views, so they can feel that they have achieved what others spend a lifetime working towards. They can say they are great Jedi because they become the epitome of their self-created ideal.

The Grey Path becomes a comforting lie that they can tell themselves. People do not flock to the truth, nor do they enjoy being told by anyone (including themselves) that they are far from perfect. This, the Jedi Path, is not meant to be easy. It’s not an overnight venture. It’s a lifelong journey, and one full of mountains and pitfalls. It is one where a person will fall and hurt themselves. It is one where one can experience the joy of accomplishment. The Grey Path allows for that last part, joy, without the hard work and the pain involved.

It is said a meal never tastes better after you’ve worked hard for it. That same meal, given freely and every day without any work becomes bland. That is what the Grey Path offers, bland rewards always. This, I believe, is a contributing reason as to why those that profess themselves as Grey do not stick around very long, losing their way. What is there to strive towards when you already personify the ideal? It’s like cheating in a video game. Yeah, you’ll have all you wanted, but at what cost? The joy of the game. The joy of overcoming bosses (even those within your own mind and soul). The joy of finally getting that rare item. The joy of finding yourself at the highest peak. Yeah, you could have cheated your way there, or even started there, but it takes the fun and challenge out of it.

Another parallel we can draw is the forging of a sword from raw iron. An excellent sword can take a long time to create, but a cheap sword is often easily constructed… and easily broken. The Jedi looks at their flawed blade, themselves, and see where they can improve. They find better materials to incorporate into their blade. They put the blade through the forge time and time again. They fold the billet, stressing out the metal. They quench the blade, causing it to flex violently, making it brittle, glasslike. Then they can put it through a tempering process to relax the crystalline structure of the metal, making is strong, but flexible, able to stand up better to the tests of the world and the battles it may face. The blacksmith refines out flaws or learns to best use those flaws to strengthen the blade. They make no excuses for a bad blade. The blacksmith knows they must continue to enhance their skills to ensure their blades are the best they can make, and that is a journey that can take a lifetime of practice to make excellent blades.

A third, and final, parallel we can draw is in that of the Hero’s Journey. An excellent story, and one that creates the greatest of heroes, are those that offer paths out. Several times the hero must be offered a way to escape, to go back to what their old life, or to stop where they are rather than continue climbing the unbeatable mountain. The Grey is akin to one of those alternate Paths. It allows for shortcoming, or to go back to where they started. There are four or five moments in our lives that allow for us to choose going back, to give up. The Jedi refuses to give up. They will choose the harder Path because it is right. They choose to continue walking the perilous and rarely walked Path, so they can be the best version of themselves they can be so to best be able to serve others.

Now some people like referring to a definition they’ve found online of “Grey” Jedi. One such definition applies to those that have learned of the Force outside an established Jedi Temple and another is those that go against the wishes of the Council. To this I say, well… haven’t we all learned of the Force before joining a Temple? Why would we join a Jedi Temple if we had not felt it before? By that definition, everyone is a Grey, as those learning of the Force only after joining a Temple reside (as of now) solely within the fiction. And what of the other definition, about those that go against the wishes of the Council? To that… well, would that not mean only those that are “proper” Jedi sheep? Nodding their heads and obeying blindly? Ideally, we would all get along, but flawed human nature gets in the way. We have disagreements. Some more than others. But some of those that are bolder in their stances, even if they go against their respective Council, identify as Jedi, not Grey Jedi.

So, to go back to the original questions, why is this? What does it mean? And why do people choose this Path? In summation, because it is easier than the alternative. It means that those following it are willing to take the quick and easy Path. And finally, because it is tempting. Humans are naturally lazy. It is because of that laziness that we have accomplished many great things to make life easier. The Jedi thrives on challenge and struggle. They do not wish to make their lives easier, but instead to learn how to more effectively climb the mountain. Where the Jedi takes weeks to summit a mountain, the Grey will helicopter in halfway, if not to the top. Where the Jedi summits one mountain and immediately sets his gaze on a higher vantage, the Grey settles for the mountain they find themselves atop of, if they ever start climbing to begin with.

The Jedi Code is a call towards the unachievable. We may not ever get there. But we do not walk this Path for the end goal, but for the journey. We detach ourselves from failure, learning to view shortcomings not as the end of the Path, but as a challenge towards a better tomorrow. The Grey Path offers an escape from that, an over-embracing of flaws rather than holding oneself accountable towards excellence.


This is not an attack on Grey, however. It is a wake-up call to those that have stagnated under the guise of the ironic “alternative” popular Path. I believe it to be part of the Path to encourage others to continue climbing, to abandon their camp or to get back onto the rarely walked Path towards the infinitely high summit. Many do not heed that call. But that is what separates the Jedi from whom we were before. The draw towards the simpler yesterday is strong indeed. The draw towards giving up on this impossible ideal is doubly as powerful. But the Jedi does not give up or compromise. And that, my fellow Jedi, is why one should avoid the Grey Ideal. Because it pulls one towards walking backwards, if not stagnating entirely. Resist the pull towards less, strive towards greatness, and never give up during the climb up the impossible mountain that is the Jedi’s Path.


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Help Others | Ways of the Force

“Doing the right thing for others means helping those in need. Being with them as equals in solidarity is important too rather than behaving in an one-up or superior position. While we perhaps are more likely to volunteer or help others during the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving, we might want to consider doing so year round. It’s the right thing to do for others and it’s the right thing to do for ourselves as well.” Thomas G. Plante Ph.D.,

helping others

I was very much drawn to this article by Plante in the Psychology Today magazine. Seriously wondering if i was of any use to anyone i started doubting if i was really being helpful or of service of those around me. And while i do voluntary work and take care of my mother as best as i can, i still feel that i fall short and i feel selfish when i do things for myself. Helping others feels good and very often makes me feel good about myself. But that should not be the motivation to help others should it? As altruistic is we want to be , we can only give so much. It’s important to reload and take good care of yourself.

One important aspect of helping others  is that it builds character , by doing the right thing for others you are also more inclined to do the right thing for yourself. But then, when do we help? A few days ago i found myself giving advice to a fellow Jedi who has been through a lot when she was younger and after i did that i wondered. Did i help , or did i make it worse for her? It’s often hard to say the right thing even if you DO the right thing, in this case standing by another Jedi. I wanted to help her make a decision and now i worry that i made it worse because the pain of her not being able to do that could well be flared up by what i said. It’s difficult. We want to do the right thing and often we do, but the incident has made me realise and made me aware to choose my words wisely and be more emphatic.

When you help others you become more emphatic when you show empathy to others. You feel better about yourself and others and you manage conflict situations a lot better. So even if your help is not appreciated and people tell you to bugger off and mind your own business, you are more able to deal with that because , well you want to do the right thing. And when the right thing is to leave someone be , that is fine as well.

When i was making a meal for homeless people and we were feeding them , some shouted at us , names that i will not repeat here. We fed them anyway , sometimes you have to do the right thing in those circumstances. Your perspective changes when you help the less fortunate , not only can you see the trivia that are going on in your  own life but even if you are worse of than the ones you are helping , you know you are not alone. We must be careful though that we don’t expect the ones that we help to share our views , to them , the world is coming to an end and they don’t feel well at all. It takes time and patience for them to deal with the disappointments of life. And that is where the Jedi can be of help because we have an abundance of patience right?

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Earth Day: Plastic Soup | Ways of the Force

Benjamin-Von-Wong-Mermaid-Plastic-8As i am unwrapping my cookie from the plastic wrapping i notice every cookie is wrapped individually as well. Everything seems wrapped in plastic , we have created a sea of plastic that is suffocating our Oceans , and when we take our kids to the Forest we can see the plastic there as well. We are all guilty , instead of buying beverages in a carton or bottle we buy them in plastic put them  in your plastic container with plastic wrapped cookies and other treats , sandwiches wrapped in plastic. How did it ever come to this?

In 1839 Eduard Simon, a German apothecary, discovers polystyrene , from there on ,the processes of developing plastic into what it is today have never stopped. Today a world without plastic would be unthinkable , and yet , we have to do something about the pollution it is causing , we are literally choking in plastic. So , and what has this  got to do with the Jedi Path?

It’s Ignorance.

When we look at the Jedi Code it clearly states:

Ignorance yet knowledge , meaning in this case we as Jedi need to educate ourselves on the use of plastic and how we can contribute to more balance in this as the code requires us. After all as Jedi we are beholden to protect this planet. In this case from Ignorance. We are to give the right example and encourage knowledge in others as well.

If we look at one of the 16 teachings it becomes a bit clearer.

  1. Jedi serve in many ways. Each action performed, no matter the scale, influences the world. With this in mind Jedi perform each action with peace, caring, love, compassion and humility. So it is that each Jedi improves the world with each deed they perform.

Each action performed , no matter the scale influences the world ! Every Jedi that decides that it’s enough with the plastic and decides to use glass bottles and a more durable way of preserving food is making an impact on the World. He handles his environment  with compassion and care, he is humble enough to realise that his action is a drop on a hot plate , but he is also aware that by giving the right example he can inspire other people around him. He is actively improving the world by his deed to lessen the use of plastic.

Another one of the 16 Teachings is touching on the subject of commitment to humanity:

  1. Jedi make a commitment to their cause and to humanity. Our ideals, philosophies, and practices define the belief of Jediism and we take action on this path for self-improvement and to help others. We are both the witnesses and protectors of the Jedi way by the practice of our convictions.

Jedi are both beholden to self improvement as improvement of the environment , it seems only logical then that they treat their surroundings with utmost care and dedication and that they are careful not to disturb the delicate balance that Nature is.  We only have this planet to live on , it would be a shame if our ignorance would destroy it , slowly but surely. There still a lot of work to do.

Happy Earth Day Jedi and take care of our planet  ❤


art : Von Wong: Mermaids Hate Plastic.

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Hi, i am new to the Jedi Path | Ways of the Force

apprenticeBy:  Sammy ( Silver Surfer)

As Jedi in the community we are often faced with the same questions over and over again, and we fall into this pattern of just simply spouting off the same answers over and over again. It can become taxing in ways, but we have to remember that we were once there ourselves. We shouldn’t kill their excitement, or bash their ideas and dreams simply because we have already tried to make things happen, or feel that we already have all of the answers.

Many members of the Jedi who have been in the community for awhile, can become stuck in this “everything has been done before” mentality. It can be very irksome for new members who have fresh ideas and want to convey them to these older members, but automatically get shut down by whoever is in charge. Or people who claim to carry the “Knight” or “Master” title. Rather than indulging a new mind and new perspective, often our leaders who set the example, the tone, the bar, reject this new input. It gives the mentality that one must follow your way, and only your way, because everything else has been done already. then this ideology that new members are much too ignorant and behind, for such a high esteemed member of the Jedi community to listen to them. This simply isn’t true at all. Anyone can watch the Jedi in the fiction and decide that they want to take what is actually applicable and make it part of their life; become Jedi. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. The amazing thing about our community is that every member brings something to the table, no matter how small, or new it is. We each have our own experiences where we find ourselves using our ‘Jedi minds’ to evaluate our situations and act according to the Jedi Path. Every Jedi is capable of bringing an idea to the community or an additional thought. In some cases they can look at areas where we have failed in the past and maybe take things to a much higher level.

For some, it can be infuriating when someone who is supposedly a higher rank than you, maybe even spent less time in the community than you, is given a high title, and then slams you down before you have really had the chance to convey your idea. No matter where you study, no matter how old you are, or how long you have studied, you really are no better than anyone else in the grand scheme of things. We all eat, breathe, sleep and die. Humility and respect is important, it’s how we learn and grow, once a person decides to stop listening, then they aren’t acting as a Jedi. Yes, a lot of this stuff gets repetitive, the code, our demeanor, the quotes, but if we get too caught up in “the been there, done that” we close ourselves off to new ideas and experiences.

Another problem we are faced with is a community full of ego. If a new member suggests that a member who has been around for years is not acting as a Jedi, those members act defensive. Instead of listening and learning from their mistakes they take things to unnecessary lengths. Arguing and bickering, or turning things around on the other person and challenging the other Jedi’s faults, instead of simply taking responsibility for their own mistakes and learning from them. When we watch the movies, and even read the literature, Yoda is constantly pointing out faults of knights, and fellow masters. We all make mistakes, even if we have been Jedi for awhile, and we all interpret things differently. It should be perfectly acceptable for a newer student to watch the demeanor of the fictional Jedi, and then point out that we are acting in a way that is completely opposite of the Jedi Path.  You watch the Jedi in the movies, they are calm and collected, they seek wisdom. Wisdom comes from asking the right questions, and actually listening to what you are told. Not spouting off answers and telling everyone that only your way is correct. They respect the input of others, and are adaptable and fluid when they need to be. The demeanor of the online Jedi is vastly different than the Jedi we watch in the fiction. Those are the Jedi some of us have worked most of our lives trying to emulate, then you watch a Jedi “master” be closed off to ideas, or belittle new members. It’s saddening. Sometimes it feels like the label of Jedi doesn’t actually mean anything, when our members don’t even aspire to live like the Jedi who inspired us. It makes no sense.

Having been around for awhile, sometimes the gloss of being a Jedi rubs off, and it can be very refreshing to see someone come in, who is freshly enamored with the gloss of the Jedi Path. It can be inspiring, and I find newer views easier to work with, and fun to discuss with. It can bring you back to your own roots and make you remember how you were so inspired to live as a Jedi. Some of the older veterans keep recycling the same mistakes, and the same material that creates those mistakes, and never learn.  Also, Jedi need refreshers, going back to the basics, making your foundation stronger-or possibly rebuilding it. It’s no shame to practice beginner lessons after you have been in the community for years. This takes work, and those who have stopped working, yet have taken a title, aren’t earning it, in my opinion.

In some of my own pursuits I have caught myself saying “I already know this,” “I have done this before,” or “I have done this for years.” I have to stop and think, “well maybe this person has different tools to show me that may be helpful.” “Do I possibly have more to learn on this topic?” “Perhaps it will broaden my understanding.” We have to fight the ‘I already know this’ with the willingness to be open and receptive to new experiences. And when it comes to new members, remember

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”-Albert Einstein

Sometimes when we teach, guide, or show others, we have a better understand of things ourselves. However we have to be receptive to growth and understanding. I think a lot of Jedi take on students and instead of asking “what can I learn from this student?” They are too fixated on feeding them curriculum and giving them answers to pass a test some months later, and then that student is given an often unnecessary title. We should be asking: What was really learned? Is that student truly a full embodiment of the path? Can the student go out into the world truly capable of taking on anything they might encounter? Do they have enough tools? Is the teacher wiser?

Jedi training is a very personal experience and lifestyle. There is no quick path to mastery, and we each have so much more to learn, whether we just started, or have been here awhile.




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What’s in a name?

What does it mean to be Jedi? There is only a loose structure telling us what it is. The Jedi code, among other things. I was watching a tribute to Superman as he turns 80 on the 18th of April. They said what he stood for is noble “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” Someone to that said “you could make a religion out of that.”  We have done that we have made a religion a community of people who practice together, who practice alone but identify themselves as Jedi.

For me nothing has ever fit to what I believe in, then Jedi. Therefore I am a Jedi. It is a religion that people can choose to be. Has been recognized in Australia and England in the census. Yet in the in end we are based on older religions, yes. We also are very individualized because we must conceptualize everything about the Jedi religion. Are we banned from being a religion? No. Shakespeare wrote “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Meaning it does not matter what you call yourself. The path you walk is your own path even if you are walking together in a group. I’m just happy there are other people who identify themselves as Jedi.

Answers can be found in meditation. When the waters are still only then can you see a reflection of the world.

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