Musings on Chivalry

Reading through the Lecture section of the old Jedi Temple discussion forums, I found a submission in 2001 by Ainar of the Chivalric Code, attributed to the author Arinaga Yoshiakira. I have not been able to trace this writing back to that author, but I did find mention of something similar at an English teacher’s website … along with homework questions: The Code of Chivalry.

Many years later, it has found its way into the doctrines of the Temple of the Jedi Order as part of the 21 Maxims there.

I find it particularly interesting that the teacher mentions in her lesson that the chivalric code would have no real bearing on modern society. As I read through the knightly virtues listed, I can see only one that might need some revision to be appropriate for people of good will today, since few of us owe fealty to a lord … although most have some obligations to other forms of authority.

Environment for Life

It was inevitable, given the past few years, that I would read Morken’s lecture on the narrow band of conditions that support higher-order life on Earth on a day when we have so many natural disasters in the news.

The scope of the problem is mind-boggling. The challenge of reversing environmental damage is substantial. Much does need to be done at decision-making levels that are far above our scope of influence (although, if you live in a democracy, please make sure you vote!!). Yet, ultimately, much of the impact – and the lifestyle changes necessary – will be at the individual level.

Today, consider what you could do to reduce the number of natural resources you use or the waste that you contribute. Do one thing.

The Narrow Threshold by Morken

From the NOAA disaster events website:  https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/ showing increasing costs of disasters in the USA

For those affected by recent disasters …..

There is so much suffering in our world these days. Some is human-created. Some is the result of “natural disasters” (quite probably increasing in severity due to human actions). All in all, it often seems too much.

I’m still working on an article about how we can respond to these events as (Jedi) Knights, but in the mean time, I offer some ideas on how to respond in compassion.

One item I am adding to my day is to say the Litany for Those Lost to Climate Change from the UUA. Say it slowly, with intention and let the words sink into your soul.

Another idea would be to say the traditional Metta prayer with the areas recently affected as a focus for your prayer. If you are not familiar with this prayer, a 5-minute guided introduction can be found at Wildmind.

Finally, you may want to join the Jedi Community Action Network in a healing meditation (virtual) session.

Living as a (Jedi) Knight

I’m still thinking about paths and vocations, and so I present a few articles on how to live as a (Jedi) Knight.

While I agree that self-improvement is important, especially maintaining one’s health, I think we eventually – as individuals and as a community – need to reach out and address the needs of the world around us. What you choose to do – where and how you serve – is entirely up to you. But I hope you will find some way to serve others. These articles are offered as a way to start thinking about what you can do.

A Jedi’s Role by Steffan Karrde

A Jedi’s Role in the Community by V’tor and Ogion

In Search of …

 It has taken too many years for me to finally cue into this, but Ally Thompson made a comment that started me in re-evaluating my expectations of the early Jedi community.

Many, many “students” came to the online Jedi sites for healing.  They were rejected by their peers for being different or being interested in ideas and topics and hobbies other than those popular with their social group and family.  They had suffered trauma.  They were disabled physically, mentally, or emotionally.  They suffered from addictions.  They had been abused and rejected by churches, teachers, families, and society.  Sometimes, they were people who just didn’t fit in.  

They came to a place to start over … where no one knew who they had been … so that they could start fresh and be somebody different.  To try on new roles and identities in a situation where people would not keep pushing them back into being who society expected them to be.

Yes, they came to role-play.  They came to role-play better selves.  Wiser.  Older.  Well-regarded by their social group.  Successful.  Valued.  Respected.  Members of a group of like-minded people.  Members of a social group.  People who belonged.  People who had a higher calling and a noble purpose.  People who, when they spoke, leaders listened.  People who made a difference.  Heroes.

We had high school students (and sometimes younger) who were role-playing adults who were role-playing Jedi Knights.  The multiple layers of assumed identities was sometimes mind-boggling and problematic.  It contributed to undermining the credibility of sites and leaders.  But this was a part of the growing and healing process for at least some of them.  If you don’t have healthy role models in your life, where do you turn??  If  no one in your “real life” community supports your attempts to be a different – better – person, how do you reconstruct yourself??  As high-performance athletes and other successful people remind us, you have to be able to imagine something before you can be it or create it.  Change starts in the mind before it can be manifested physically.

And most of us need a support group along the way. In one of his YouTube videos, Opie Macleod talks about “found family”.  In the International Fellowship of Chivalry Now Facebook group, we are talking about how to form honor groups.  Therapists use games such as The Sims to help people imagine undertaking pro-social behaviors.  I think many of our members and casual visitors came looking for others who would support them in envisioning (and creating) their ideal selves.  Found family.  Honor group.  Jedi community.  

If these people came to us, I am – in retrospect – grateful.  They could have chosen so much worse.  If they stumbled and fumbled and came up short while they were here, I hope their idealized vision of themselves – yes, expressed as role-play – took root.  They may not win Nobel Peace Prizes.  They may not serve long hours at a disaster-recovery site. They may not show up at online Gatherings in Jedi robes, waving play light sabers.  More likely, they will be dropping change in a cup or letting someone else have a seat on the subway.  But I have decided that’s enough.  

Jedi Temple History

I have to admit that a good deal of my motivation to finally re-publish materials from the Jedi Temple and the Blue Group was to provide our point of view regarding the early history of the Jedi community and to hold up the names of the early leaders. Many current Jedi did not know the pioneers or the names of the many sites that existed in the late 1990s, and I hope to rectify this lack through this site.

I also want to mention that there are a couple of other, similar initiatives in the works, and I hope that these will get published soon so that you have a variety of perspectives on the history of the formation of the Jedi (Realist) Order.

The first piece that I have is an abbreviated History of the Blue Group.

Return of the Jedi (Temple)

I decided to (re)publish what I have of some of the earlier writings and plans of the Jedi Temple and related community. It’s a project that is going to take some time and effort because quite a lot of material is buried in discussion forums as well as located on computers and online storage sites …. all in a jumble.

When you’re in the middle of starting what you hope will be a new movement, you don’t always lay a solid foundation of extensible organization. I know that when I took over teaching the Blue Group and serving as the admin for Olorin, I assumed that he would be back in a few weeks to take over the responsibilities. When that didn’t happen, well, I was basically running hard for a few years as the Jedi Temple and the community at large went through some serious growing pains.

In short, I have a lot of disorganized material. “A poorly organized museum amongst the ruins”, as I put it on the discussion forum. Not all of it has stood the test of time well, but I think that our community should be able to look back on some of the foundational works and pick out whatever is useful for the next generations.

So, I am working on finding and cleaning up what I can and will keep publishing. My aim is to post something new daily … or share some resource that I have found.

Use the navigation menus (to the left or under the “hamburger” icon above) to find articles and training materials. There’s even a search feature to help you locate writings on specific topics …. or by author!