With the new TV series just released, many Jedi groups are gearing up for new students and returning Jedi. If you are a new student, this post is not for you, but I hope to have something to say for you in a day or two.
For those who are returning after an absence, long or short, I want to welcome you back to the community. I hope you find a niche somewhere among the many sites and schools. While you are getting re-oriented, I have a couple of observations that I hope will be helpful.
Jediism vs. Jedi Realists
The division still exists between those groups that primarily think of Jedi as a religion and those who regard it as a philosophy, path, or vocation. The Temple of the Jedi Order, for instance is a Jediism site, while the Force Academy seems to put itself under the Jedi Realist umbrella. Some, I admit, are a little harder to categorize.
Unless you have some connections, you will be expected to start over as a novice (or whatever the lowest rank may be) with most organizations. At some sites, this is not a major source of irritation, but others have become even more enamored of titles and color coding than those of us who were hounded and harassed because we used the titles from the movies in the early 2000’s.
To the best of my knowledge, no one is offering any sort of re-certification, orientation, or refresher course. I will continue to look while I also start to craft my own over the summer.
I am sorry to say that most groups have members who are just as quick as ever to take the worst interpretation of a comment and run with it. Now that we have not only discussion forums, Facebook messenger, Discord, Zoom, and Force only knows what else ….. the problem is of greater magnitude.
Which brings me to an old problem. Most groups are still operating in isolation with little sharing between them. There is some attempt on Discord to form coalitions, and I hear rumors of cross-organizational meetings of leaders. There is a newsletter that was recently published. But finding a way to learn about groups and get to know anyone has been frustratingly difficult.
A Curriculum for Returning Knights?
In the end, those of us who have been knighted but are now homeless may have to find our own way to refresh our skills and get re-oriented. I’m working on this for myself, and if you want to join me, stop by this discussion forum or drop me a line.