Welcome, New Seekers

If you are new to the online Jedi community, I want to greet you as well and offer best wishes for your growth as a person and possibly as a Jedi.

While I recognize that you are here, at a Jedi website, I am not assuming that you are ready to commit to becoming a Jedi. In fact, I think you should look around the various organizations, join in some of the discussions, and consider if this is the right path for you. It can be difficult. It is often lonely. And, in the end, it is what you make it.

As you begin your exploration, there are a few things that I would like to mention. I will note that some of these may not be popular with leaders and teachers of current sites.

Online Jedi are a Motley Crew

While there is some attempt at collaboration and even establishment of standards of training and conduct across sites, the Jedi organizations are all independent and sometimes have little in common with one another other than the interest in the Star Wars mythos and in drawing inspiration from it.

I highly recommend that you explore as many as you can before settling down and picking one as home base. Talk to the teachers and leaders if you can, but don’t be surprised if you do not receive answers. Pay attention to the rank and file community members and see how they treat each other, especially when they don’t understand or disagree with someone.

Religion or Philosophy?

Jediism sites consider Jedi a religion. Some even have published dogma and engage in some practices normally associated with religions, although many governments do not grant them the legal status of religion.

Jedi Realist sites mostly view Jedi as a philosophy that may influence a particular lifestyle. While they hold some writings as common ground, such as the Jedi Code and the Jedi Compass, these are not sacred writings.

I am currently writing down a sort of census of the organizations I can locate and explore and will publish drafts as I go. Again, I encourage you to visit different types of sites, and also remember that many Jedi hang out in discussion forums that may not fully represent their views on the subject.

Training to Be a Jedi

Training programs vary greatly in length and depth. Some can easily be completed in a couple of months. Some may take years. Ultimately, none of them will teach you everything. To begin studying to be a Jedi is to embark on a different type of learning than you experienced in formal schooling in the past. You will need to be an adult, self-directed learner. The fact that you are here is indication that you are ready for this responsibility.

While you may take direction and learn some content from online or (if you are really lucky) offline programs, most of what you will learn is through your own exploration and experimentation. At many sites, you will receive little to no feedback from teachers even if you attain the coveted status of apprentice.

Online learning also is done in a variety of formats and using various online tools. For many lessons and assessments, online education not the best way to learn. You will need to supplement with local, in-person classes and practice sessions.

At the end of a course, you may be awarded the accolade of Jedi Knight, but if you are serious about living a life worthy of the title and in the inspiration, you will always be learning and practicing. You will decide what you need to learn and when you have reached a milestone. If you are lucky, you may find a group of like-minded people who will continue to serve as fellow explorers and an accountability/support group.

Jedi Teachers are Volunteers

We also have to remember that Jedi teachers are all volunteers who have limited time and attention. From formal schooling, we assume that teachers will be attentive to a small number of people that are their students for the duration of their study. It is a particular relationship that is established and reinforced by daily interactions. This is often not the case with online Jedi education. Mea culpa.

The ideal type of student/apprentice relationship may take a long time for you to find. It is possible that you will never find it. I am not writing this to dissuade you from making the attempt, but you should know that it is not unusual to see perplexing choices made while you, feeling like an ideal candidate, are not chosen. If or when this happens, take comfort in the fact that you are not lacking in some essential quality!!! This educational system is strained and severely lacking. Go back to being an adult learner and find something that you can learn from someone, even if they don’t call themselves a Jedi.

There are many books, some are listed on my recommended books page. Frequently, there are also local workshops on everything from meditation to first aid, mediation, and emergency response. Take advantage of what you have where you are.

Finally, remember that most Jedi teachers are not trained as teachers. They are creating curriculum and teaching environments based on what worked for them when they were in school or went through Jedi training themselves. Most of their approaches are more suited for children or college students (who are considered “transitional adult” learners) than for you. The discomfort of the poor fit can be significant … don’t blame yourself that you don’t fit into their schema. You may have to decide what you can endure on the way to your goals.

Finally, Consider Your Goals

What is it that draws you to the Jedi? It’s OK in the privacy of your mind and your computer to brainstorm. Go ahead and do so. Write down the list without self-censorship. Just write for maybe 15 minutes.

Then, once that is written down, look it over for feasibility.

You won’t be using telekinesis or Jedi mind tricks. But maybe you want to discuss philosophy with like-minded people. Maybe you want to develop skills to be of service in your community. Maybe some of both. Whatever it is, keep in in mind as you start looking around at organizations. Ask questions. See how people are treated. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable there …. if you want to keep coming back and holding conversations. Find that place where you fit, where you feel both challenged and supported.

May the Force be with you in your endeavors.

Welcome Back

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.

Starting Over

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.

Drama

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.

Insularity

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.