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Jaggard
21 June 2008, 04:38 PM
I've been doing some thinking lately, and wanted to ask some people some questions and then I saw that one of my favorite forums is showing up all but naked of topics.

Well here are some of these thoughts:

1) is the in universe jedi tradition, a religion?
this is sticky because I know people who claim real world buddism (sp?) isn't a religion, and then con×××ianism is more about thought, philosophy and reason then devinity. So while the definition of religion is fuzzy in the real world it seems fuzzier in the SW universe.

2)can jedi be aherants of a/nother religion? This doesn't conflict with jedi being a religion. As many Shinto practicing Buddists in japan can attest. I ask because A certain Hedress, and another few female jedi with facial markings.

3) How many of the other force traditions have a religious aspect to them? Sorcerers of tund? The white current? or are they not religious just cultural identifiers of the force?

4) Are there religions in universe that cannot account for the force in some way? Essentially if you can have the force and not be religious about it, you can be religious without the force.

5)now to the real world... Jediism. Is this a religion or a fan club?
Does it destinquish itself sufficiantly as a practice of beliefs and not dwell in the realm of fantasy?

(Note I'm not being offensive to anyone who sees this as their chosen path, I'm trying to see the meaning and depth the path may have for you)

6)and if there is a place for a religious following of the jedi way in the real world, is there a place for force adepts in the real world?

7)Is it within the realm of jediism or as destinct seperate catagories, sort of a force/jedi paganism?

Corr Terek
21 June 2008, 05:17 PM
2)can jedi be aherants of a/nother religion? This doesn't conflict with jedi being a religion. As many Shinto practicing Buddists in japan can attest. I ask because A certain Hedress, and another few female jedi with facial markings.

Yes. Luke mentions this to someone -- Gerial Captinson (sp?) I believe -- that the Force is inclusive of all religions.


6)and if there is a place for a religious following of the jedi way in the real world, is there a place for force adepts in the real world?

I would say no. For starters, there is no "Force" in the real world, at least not like there is in Star Wars. The Star Wars Force is an easily recordable phenomenon -- anyone who meets a Jedi has no doubt that it actually exists. Anyone who meets a modern-day psychic, on the other hand, cannot be so easily convinced.

So while there are certain elements of the Jedi belief system a person could follow, it's fundamentally impossible to be a full partaker of the Jedi "religion".

Starcloud
21 June 2008, 06:34 PM
The Jedi Code is not exactly a religion except in the eyes of non-force sensitives. The Jedi Code is a philosophy regarding the use of the Force, an ethical code.

The reason I say this is because the Force exists in Star Wars, and provably so.

As such, it's perfectly possible for a Jedi to be an adherent to a religion as well as to the Jedi Code.

Jedi_Shadow
21 June 2008, 11:26 PM
1) is the in universe jedi tradition, a religion?

My old friend Wikipedia says this in its article about religion:


A religion is a set of beliefs and practices, often centered upon specific supernatural and moral claims about reality, the cosmos, and human nature, and often codified as prayer, ritual, and religious law.

By that definition, Buddhism, Con×××ianism, and even the Jedi Order are technically religions. Sure, a lot of it overlaps with general philosophies, but the same can be said for any religion, IMO.


2)can jedi be aherants of a/nother religion?

As long as the teachings of another religion don't conflict with their Jedi training, I don't see why not. However, I don't honestly see why a Jedi would want to, either. I'll probably get into that more throughout this post.

Are those headdresses and markings of a religious nature, or a cultural one? Do they adorn themselves with such trappings as a manifestation of vows they've taken or codes they follow, or is a matter of communal identity and heritage? And I think the answer to that can end up a little blurred itself.


3) How many of the other force traditions have a religious aspect to them?

From a certain point of view, any and all of them. As evidenced in movies, books, and pretty much any other Star Wars publication, in order for it to be used or even understood, there must be a certain level of communion with the Force. It's a well of energy to be tapped by centering your thoughts and focusing your intuition. Such actions certainly have an inherent religious element, and I think all Force traditions would recognize it in one way or another.

Personally, I feel that, among Force traditions, the Jedi Order is the cream of the crop. As Corr Terek pointed out, the Force is inclusive of all religions. Ignoring their complacency incident to their downfall, and viewing Force use as a continuum of truth, because the teachings of the Jedi encompass such a wide range of Force use, then a Jedi is on the fastest track to reaching the pinnacle of that journey.

Now, that doesn't mean that those of other traditions can't be wise and powerful instruments of the Force in their own right, but not to the level of diverse use that a Jedi would. It's like a piano. A lot of different Force Adepts can hit different proverbial keys, depending on their respective disciplines, but only a Jedi has all 88 keys at his or her fingertips.

Any way, that's the stance I have on the Jedi, and why I feel they are given such prominence in books and movies while other orders are given only incidental reference. The Jedi Order is the most powerful force for Good, and the Sith are the most powerful for Evil. All others, good or evil, are subordinate in power and/or versatility.


4) Are there religions in universe that cannot account for the force in some way?

Do you mean are there religions that don't directly deal with the Force, or don't recognize it as the phenomenon it is in their doctrines? Certainly. Not everybody is Force sensitive, and while not everybody is religious either, I feel confident that there are those who are not Force-sensitive who are indeed religious. And Luke was raised not knowing what the Force was. Ben Kenobi had to explain it to him. I bet there are many individuals, or societies, or whole planetary populations that have never heard of it, or have a different name for it (but don't use it as readily as a typical Force-using organization), or just aren't even consciously aware of the Force.


5)now to the real world... Jediism. Is this a religion or a fan club?

I refer you back to the definition Wikipedia offered. What does Jediism claim about morality, reality, or human nature? What exactly does it codify into ritual and law? Because of the subject's sensitive nature I'm not going to say what way I feel about this, but I know that many religions have been founded on lesser ideals than what Jediism could be...


6)and if there is a place for a religious following of the jedi way in the real world, is there a place for force adepts in the real world?

Following the way of the Jedi would be no different than following the tenets espoused in many eastern religions, and even several western ones. Now as far as Force adepts? I know I can get the milk from one end of the dinner table to the other just by holding my hand out and humming the "Force theme," from the Star Wars soundtrack. Of course, such a feat is usually accompanied by a groan from my wife as she picks up the carton and puts it in my hand. But if we can overlook that detail then I'd like to submit my name as a candidate for the ranks of the Jedi.


7)Is it within the realm of jediism or as destinct seperate catagories, sort of a force/jedi paganism?

Is what?


The Jedi Code is not exactly a religion except in the eyes of non-force sensitives. The Jedi Code is a philosophy regarding the use of the Force, an ethical code.

Here's another way to look at that, Starcloud. What religion isn't a set of laws and traditions governing ethics and self-control in using what we are given? But I ultimately agree with you that a Jedi certainly can espouse another religion as well as the Jedi order. I just don't see why they'd want to do so outside of some cultural identification. Does their deepest and most insightful revelations about the truth of the universe come studying the currents of the Force with their Jedi training, or does it come from this other religion? How does the Jedi benefit from this other adherence?

Admiral Zaarin
22 June 2008, 09:23 AM
2)can jedi be aherants of a/nother religion?
Depa Billaba seemed to.

Rogue Trader
22 June 2008, 06:01 PM
"Religion" is used both to mean "spiritual practise with a religious rather than secular/materialist worldview" and "institution of a theistic belief system". "Religion" is not the best way to describe the Jedi, but it's not definitively wrong.

Kalechaoslord
23 June 2008, 02:39 AM
There is a religion/philosophy that is not exactly antijedi, but anti force users, mentioned in the truce at bakura. It was based on universal balance, you know if one has many, another must lack.

Luke's love interest in the book ( i wont try to spell her name) mentions a devoted aunt who lives an extremely spartan life to allow others more. To them force users have so much power that many are powerless to balance it.

The Emperor liked this doctrine, as they tend to report potential force users to imperials.

Jedi does not seem so much an organised religion, so much as a spiritual philosophy which I cant see conflicting with the general ideals of many religions, even if it ignores dogma. Who can argue with a religion that says 'be excelent to each other' and lets you throw big rocks with your mind?

The Sith are more self determining, though i could see one or two having religion, though more to wards the extremist end of the scale, 'God tells me to smite' types.

Jaggard
24 June 2008, 07:52 PM
As to the meaning of #7 Is it (force adepts) a subset of jedi in this reality due to being derived from a tradition that views things in relation to jedi. Thus witches of Dathomir (sp?) would be jediism with a twist, rather then it's own seperate religion.

As to my thoughts on the force adept and even slightly relating to Jedi as a valid religion:

I've been reading a bit about the varoious groups attempting to follow a jedi path and at first it struck me as silly. But As I read a bit more into I'm thinking that while it seems that way because the source for the myths at it's core is still part of pop culture and is very recent. Add to that the fact that it never makes any attempt to be a text on how to live ones life, but instead is simply meant as entertainment and it may seem strange to found a religion on it.

One could just as easily follow the practices of bushido, and what not.

However in the role of jedi we have culturally diverse practices and spiritual achetypes portrayed, and they are simplified to a standard that one can paralell them to several existing systems of belief and practice.

So there is some value I see in that. And as for using the force in the real world, if there is room in our world for belief in reincarnation, aura readings, divination, empathy and some of the Junian style psycho-spiritual practices, then they could be assembled among the chi exercises and meditation of martial arts to allow a less hollywood aproach to the force. And the term Force is a nice vauge term that can be seen as mana, chi and faith all in one.

I have no struggle with any of that. So it seems more reasonable to me now than before to accept it as a religion that is coming into being. But also I have found myself with questions about some of these points.

If I accept the idea of the above real world version of the force, then it allows ofr these same practices to be removed from the jedi philosophical structure and added to any of the others from the star wars universe. Thereby creating sorcerers of tund and witchs and Kilian ranger based on the structure you buildaround the force. But then are these derivatives and subsets of jedi, or do they get their own religious bracket.

If they get their own, is it like the modern neopagna movement where a Norse practitioner and an Egyptian practitioner are lumped together and associate as part of the same community (despite differant structure and beilfs) under the banner of ecclectic neopagans. And then there is sort of cross craft ecclectsism.

It's really an intersting topic, as a mark of culture, pop-culture, and emergent religious practices.

Jedi_Shadow
24 June 2008, 08:45 PM
As to the meaning of #7 Is it (force adepts) a subset of jedi in this reality due to being derived from a tradition that views things in relation to jedi. Thus witches of Dathomir (sp?) would be jediism with a twist, rather then it's own seperate religion.

I've often marveled that so many Force-based organizations were founded by former Jedi, and that so many Force-sensitives encountered in EU material were once Jedi. Dathomir Witches, Jensaarai, even the Sith was formed by Dark Jedi incorporating teachings from the ancient Sith civilization into their practices. It seems so often that if you find a Force-based organization in the galaxy that it was formed by a member of the Jedi Order who felt some rule rankled and left, or was cast out for similar reasons, or some other lack of satisfaction or falling away. In a sense, all such Force-based religions, cults, philosophies, world views, or however else you want to package the entity, could fall under an umbrella of "Jedi Protestantism."

Now, there are many Force-based organizations that do not have their roots in Jedi heretics. Aing-Tii, the Baran-Do sages, and the Infinite Empire were apparently developed independent of the Jedi Order. They would fall outside of the "Jedi Protestant" organizations.

Now, as far as real world Jediism goes, I don't feel comfortable discussing it. Last I heard, discussing one's religious views or political stances was a big no-no around here...

Ice Hawk
3 July 2008, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Jaggard
7)Is it within the realm of jediism or as destinct seperate catagories, sort of a force/jedi paganism? [/B]

I know that there were a variety of force sensitive cultures that were around during the time of KOTOR that were seperate from the jedi, such as the Miraluka (sp?) colony on Kaatar, the Baren-Do, and the Jai-Shea adepts. There was also the split between the Jedi and the Sith, as well as the gray jedi, so I suppose there could be those that are following some sort of Force Paganism as opposed to Force Prodestinism.