The way of the Jedi

Pat494

Legendary member
14,621 1,578
Is this a new religion or child fantasy stuff ?

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Followers of Jediism are aiming to build a belief system that goes beyond the Star Wars films. But does it amount to a new religion?

It began as a joke at the expense of statisticians. In the UK's 2001 Census, 390,127 people - or 0.7% of the population - described themselves as Jedi. A question on religious belief had been asked for the first time in a census and Jedi - from the cloak-wearing, lightsaber swishing rebels in the Star Wars films - was a tongue-in-cheek response.

It was a post-modernist Star Wars joke by atheists. Or so many assumed. But for some the force was strong.

An ideas festival at Cambridge University this weekend will look at how new "religious movements", such as Jediism, the Indigo Children and Wicca, have expanded online. And in the case of Jedi, how they have developed ever-more complex doctrines and scriptures.

What might have started as an intellectual exercise by fans adding to the movies and filling in the gaps, has become an attempt to build a coherent religious code.

Beth Singler, a researcher in the Divinity Faculty of Cambridge University, estimates that there are about 2,000 people in the UK who are "very genuine" about being Jedi. That's roughly the same number as the Church of Scientology, she says. Jediism is not a joke for them but an inspiration. They don't believe in "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...", says Singler quoting the opening text that fills the screen of Star Wars. "It's somewhere between metaphor and literal truth."

2011 census form 2011 England and Wales census: 176,632 people answered "Jedi" to the question, "What is your religion?"
"Feel the force" has become a rather tired cliche. But behind it is a New Age mysticism similar to many of the "holistic" ideas that emerged in the 1960s and 70s. "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power," says Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Alec Guinness, who initiates young men into Jedi tradition. "It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."

Continue reading the main story
Philosopher Julian Baggini on Yoda, Grand Master of the Jedi Order
Jedi wisdom appears to display all the worst aspects of pick-and-mix spirituality and tea-towel philosophy. It's not that the teachings are all false but without the anchoring of a systematic and deep world view they become platitudes.

"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try," typifies this. It derives from a Taoist idea wi-wei, which is a kind of effortless action. But without a deeper understanding of what this means it reduces to the trite simplicity of an advertising slogan: just do it. It's not the only example of how many of Yoda's teachings are positive thinking with a gnomic slant, or bland calls for interstellar peace.

Julian Baggini is co-author of the Shrink and the Sage

The Jedi belief system is a patchwork quilt of Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism and Samurai, says Singler. Often the ideas offer a simple dualism of good and evil, light and dark. "Fear is the path to the dark side," Yoda tells Anakin Skywalker. "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you."

Star Wars creator George Lucas never intended to start a "religion", she says. "Most Jedi don't see him as a guru in the same way that L Ron Hubbard is in Scientology."

Many Jedi have moved away from the Star Wars stories. The Temple of the Jedi Order in the US has three tenets - focus, knowledge and wisdom. "The philosophical and theological considerations of Jediism are not so much from Star Wars as from the inspirations behind Star Wars," says "Akkarin" aka Michael Kitchen, of the Temple of the Jedi Order, a spokesman for the Temple. Star Wars was based on the mythological ideas put forward by the writer Joseph Campbell, who in turn was influenced by thinkers such as Carl Jung, Alan Watts, and Jiddu Krishnamurti. "None of them is given any sort of reverential treatment as saints," Kitchen says. "We study only their ideas, not the person themselves."

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How many Jedi are there?
Man dressed as Jedi outside Somerset House in London
Australia - 65,000
Canada - 9,000
Czech Republic - 15,070
England and Wales - 176,632
Source: 2011 census data

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Patrick Day-Childs, a 21-year-old video games journalist in Southampton, is a council member of the UK's Church of Jediism. The Church has 200,000 people around the world who are active online, he says, although not all are necessarily believers. Day-Childs first joined when he was 14 for a joke but he says the more he looked into it, the more it made sense. "I use it every single day of my life," he says. It is both calming and inspiring.

Jediism permits people to have more than one religion. But Day-Childs having spent time looking at other faiths found Jediism was the only one that fitted him. "It's an actual religion, not just about fandom. At its absolute core it's about helping people." Unlike many older faiths, there is no divine being. He feels that the ancient religions are losing relevance. But because Jediism embraces technology and science it appeals to a new audience. The Church's founder, Daniel Jones, has written scriptures that go beyond Star Wars, instead dealing with how a Jedi should live. The doctrine has occasionally proved controversial. In 2009 Jones was thrown out of a Tesco store for refusing to remove his Jedi hood. He said he felt humiliated. At that time the hood was required in public places.

But Jedi doctrine has since changed so that children can no longer demand it's their right to wear the hood at school. Education is too important to Jedi for that, Day-Childs says. However the hood can still be useful for young Jedis who are anxious in public, he says.

Home page of the Temple of the Jedi Order
People who join must learn key tenets of the faith. The Church has a code made up of five statements, one of which reads: "There is no Passion there is Serenity - We can like things but we must not become materialistic and obsessed by them."

There are no physical Jedi temples. So why join what is essentially a big online forum? George D Chryssides, author of The Study of Religion, compares it to the reason why people join different political parties. In the end it comes down to community.

For Mark Vernon, a former priest, psychotherapist and writer, the Jedi story has real power. "The reason it's so powerful and universal is that we have to find ourselves. It's by losing ourselves and identifying with something greater like the Jedi myth that we find a fuller life."

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Who are the Jedi?

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Jedis Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
First seen in the 1977 film Star Wars, they are an order of warrior monks who serve as "the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy" and embrace the mystical Force. The film's hero Luke Skywalker is mentored in the ways of the Jedi first by Obi-Wan Kenobi, and in the film's sequel, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) by the only surviving Jedi master, Yoda.
The third film in the trilogy, Return of the Jedi (1983), sees Skywalker take on, defeat and redeem Darth Vader, Obi-Wan's former pupil, a former Jedi who went over to "the dark side" of the Force.
The second trilogy of Star Wars, beginning with The Phantom Menace (1999) deals with the rise of the young Darth Vader, who - it is believed by a Jedi master - is the "chosen one" of a Jedi prophecy; Subsequent films deal with how Vader grows up to be seduced by the dark side, and how he helps the evil Palpatine hunt down and destroy most of the Jedi.
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The Anglican Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend David Walker, says Jediism is another way that people look to give meaning to their lives. Unlike the metaphysical religions, which have an element of God "and speak to something beyond", other faiths, like Jediism, are a code for living,. Like a lot of codes for living, he suspects that Jediism is about people living happier, more fulfilling lives, while also containing an element of altruism.

One of the central questions is, at what point does a belief system become a religion? For Bishop Walker it is a "very difficult question" but he puts forward a few hunches. It has to be about bettering society and altruism, he says. There needs to be a significant number of adherents, and, crucially, it will need to have been around for a long time. "We'd want to look at the Jedi for quite some decades before accepting them, [as a religion]" he says. But he admits that there are no hard-and-fast rules.

Naysayers should perhaps pause for thought: "If you strike me down," Obi Kenobi tells Darth Vader, "I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,621 1,578
Hello
Has Trendie had another think about the above article and freed up this thread ?

Star Wars V11 is about to come to our screens which will probably feature the Jedi.

Maybe people are getting bored with the 2,000 year old religions ? And need something else
 

Trader333

Moderator
8,655 981
Maybe people are getting bored with the 2,000 year old religions ?

There is only one religion that is approx 2000 years old and all the others are either much older or quite a bit younger.
 

Atilla

Legendary member
19,820 3,091
According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world :!:
 

Trader333

Moderator
8,655 981
There are probably even more than that which does not give good odds for those claiming to seek truth. In my town you can take a 250 metre walk starting at the top of the High Street and you will see 4 different versions of the same religion all out recruiting. Each of them tells you that they are the only true religion and everyone else is false and that is within the same religious umbrella. One of these groups has now taken to wearing T-shirts and handing out leaflets that say one of the other religions in the same 250 metre range is "Lying to you" it is all very comical.
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,621 1,578
I remember a thread years ago where the poster claimed because his religion had a superior God he would be a better trader.
Heard nothing more, so ........
Various factions in Africa and the Middle East seem to be claiming much the same but the contest is military, with a rest in Paradise if things go wrong ?
 

Atilla

Legendary member
19,820 3,091
I remember a thread years ago where the poster claimed because his religion had a superior God he would be a better trader.
Heard nothing more, so ........
Various factions in Africa and the Middle East seem to be claiming much the same but the contest is military, with a rest in Paradise if things go wrong ?


I think terms like heaven hell paradise etc goes to compound the placebo effect.

Someone said god is in us not outside. Only exists in the mind and how it plays out in ones actions good and bad. Can be intoxicating.

I used to show tollerance and pay respect to religious people. Now I think that's all rollocks and plays into their hand.

It's like paying respect and tollerance to druggies who get high and lovey dovey on drugs.

Moreover, how people can believe stuff written 000s of years ago beggars belief.

More of a social animal thing imo. This story tells it well.


http://www.answers.com/Q/Did_the_monkey_banana_and_water_spray_experiment_ever_take_place


Did the monkey banana and water spray experiment ever take place?
Nirel
Answered Last
The Monkey Banana and Water Spray Experiment
The experiment is real (scientific study cited below). This experiment involved 5 monkeys (10 altogether, including replacements), a cage, a banana, a ladder and, an ice cold water hose.

The Experiment- Part 1
5 monkeys are locked in a cage, a banana was hung from the ceiling and a ladder was placed right underneath it.
As predicted, immediately, one of the monkeys would race towards the ladder, to grab the banana. However, as soon as he would start to climb, the researcher would spray the monkey with ice-cold water.
but here's the kicker- In addition, he would also spray the other four monkeys…

When a second monkey tried to climb the ladder, the researcher would, again, spray the monkey with ice-cold water, As well as the other four watching monkeys;
This was repeated again and again until they learned their lesson
Climbing equals scary cold water for EVERYONE so No One Climbs the ladder.

The Experiment- Part 2
Once the 5 monkeys knew the drill, the researcher replaced one of the monkeys with a new inexperienced one. As predicted, the new monkey spots the banana, and goes for the ladder. BUT, the other four monkeys, knowing the drill, jumped on the new monkey and beat him up. The beat up new guy thus Learns- NO going for the ladder and No Banana Period- without even knowing why! and also without ever being sprayed with water!

These actions get repeated with 3 more times, with a new monkey each time and ASTONISHINGLY each new monkey- who had never received the cold-water Spray himself (and didn't even know anything about it), would Join the beating up of the New guy.

This is a classic example of Mob Mentality- bystanders and outsiders uninvolved with the fight- join in 'just because'.

When the researcher replaced a third monkey, the same thing happened; likewise for the fourth until, eventually, all the monkeys had been replaced and none of the original ones are left in the cage (that had been sprayed by water).

The Experiment- Part 3
Again, a new monkey was introduced into the cage. It ran toward the ladder only to get beaten up by the others. The monkey turns with a curious face asking "why do you beat me up when I try to get the banana?"
The other four monkeys stopped and looked at each other puzzled (None of them had been sprayed and so they really had no clue why the new guy can't get the banana) but it didn't matter, it was too late, the rules had been set. And So, although they didn't know WHY, they beat up the monkey just because " that's the way we do things around here"…

Well, it seems to be true; not in the exact shape that it took here, but close enough,

Below is a quotation from the experiment, in scientific Jargon: (sources cited below)

"Stephenson (1967) trained adult male and female rhesus monkeys to avoid manipulating an object and then placed individual naïve animals in a cage with a trained individual of the same age and sex and the object in question. In one case, a trained male actually pulled his naïve partner away from the previously punished manipulandum during their period of interaction, whereas the other two trained males exhibited what were described as "threat facial expressions while in a fear posture" when a naïve animal approached the manipulandum. When placed alone in the cage with the novel object, naïve males that had been paired with trained males showed greatly reduced manipulation of the training object in comparison with controls. Unfortunately, training and testing were not carried out using a discrimination procedure so the nature of the transmitted information cannot be determined, but the data are of considerable interest."

Sources:
Stephenson, G. R. (1967). Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys. In: Starek, D., Schneider, R., and Kuhn, H. J. (eds.), Progress in Primatology, Stuttgart: Fischer, pp. 279-288.

Mentioned in: Galef, B. G., Jr. (1976). Social Transmission of Acquired Behavior: A Discussion of Tradition and Social Learning in Vertebrates. In: Rosenblatt, J.S., Hinde, R.A., Shaw, E. and Beer, C. (eds.), Advances in the study of behavior, Vol. 6, New York: Academic Press, pp. 87-88:


 

jotekfinance

Active member
144 9
I read about something like this a while back. Though there are also Jedi training classes. It seemed to balloon out from there. people trained like "Jedi" and then the focus and wisdom part came with it.
 

trendie

Legendary member
6,840 1,398
Hello
Has Trendie had another think about the above article and freed up this thread ?

Star Wars V11 is about to come to our screens which will probably feature the Jedi.

Maybe people are getting bored with the 2,000 year old religions ? And need something else

If I treated the original thread with flippancy, and you took offence, I can only apologise.

My reading of the thread was as a treatise on the absurdity of religion, and the perennial search by people to find something of the divine, to find a sense of belonging, to make believe they were somehow special by vicarious and superficial actions, dress, or through axiomatic (unproven / unprovable) beliefs.

I can expand on my thoughts, and would be happy to. I find the subject endlessly fascinating, covering as it does, human behaviour, either as individuals or groups.
 

Trader333

Moderator
8,655 981
Someone said god is in us not outside. Only exists in the mind......

The mind is the one place that God definitely does not exist in IMHO.
 

trendie

Legendary member
6,840 1,398
The mind is the one place that God definitely does not exist in IMHO.

Just to be contrary, the mind is the ONLY place it could exist.

For example, for any other animal, a thunderstorm is a thunderstorm.
But, only in the mind of a human being, could a thunderstorm be seen as a punishment, of perceived human transgressions, by some invisible and petulant divine being.

Since God has always been a figment of the imagination, the mind can be the only residence of any unproveable divinity.
 

Atilla

Legendary member
19,820 3,091
The mind is the one place that God definitely does not exist in IMHO.


Thinking about it - heard it on this program. From one of Trendie's link he put up. Really excellent discussions imo.



The Age of Doubt
In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg examines the spread of religious doubt over the last three centuries. Nietzsche proclaimed that God was Dead in 1882, Hegel in fact beat him to it apprising his Berlin students of God’s demise...
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,621 1,578
Thanks Trendie for the change of mind over this thread. It should be an interesting discussion.

I look back in history and am able to see some of the good and bad points of religion. A good point for instance is that the Christian Church kept alive learning and a sense of morality/purpose during The Dark Age.
The bad side of wars and persecution over religion are also obvious.

People have different ideas of what or if God may be. The Church took a wrong turn in my opinion in The Renaissance times over science. They saw it as a rival rather than a boon. Although in a strange way did this very attitude not encourage people like Leonardo Da Vinci and others search out the truth.
 

trendie

Legendary member
6,840 1,398
When you look back in history, you are seeing some of the goodness of people and their bad sides. Religion is merely a vehicle for expressing these innate human qualities.

People will always have differing views, since each variation of religion has to be a function of the culture, environment, and knowledge of their times.

The Bible has passages about "turning the other cheek", and also passages about" an eye for an eye".
What is fascinating, is the way different people will gravitate towards some parts of the Book, rather than others.

If you think of the Bible, for example, as a Rohrschach ink-blot, we are learning very little about God, but a lot about the inner emotional landscape of the individuals.

Even taking your Jedi opening post, as maybe that start of something fresh and new, I struggle to find any strong female characters that 50% of our population can relate and aspire to.
Will even this new religion be patriarchal, and put women in a secondary and passive role?
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,621 1,578
Even taking your Jedi opening post, as maybe that start of something fresh and new, I struggle to find any strong female characters that 50% of our population can relate and aspire to.
Will even this new religion be patriarchal, and put women in a secondary and passive role?

Don't worry too much about women. They have the will these days. Probably make it theirs in the not too distant future. Strange though how quiet they are on T2W. Usually yapping at triple pace.
 
 
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