Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Jedi?
Quickly - the Jedi Lifestyle is world-betterment through self-betterment wrapped up in Jedi terminology. A Jedi is an individual who follows the philosophical ideology of the fictional Jedi as presented in the Star Wars media. Or more clearly a person who lives by the Jedi Circle, seeking to act and live as a Jedi Knight in today's society. They work on physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual wellness. Focusing on meditation, philosophy, physical fitness, and helping others to help themselves. Or even more shortly put - a Jedi is one who trains to experience the Force purely within their lives.
Where should I start and How do I become a Jedi?
Where is important. You have to find a place that speaks to you. A group you are comfortable with and enjoy. You can be a member at ALL the Jedi Sites, but you should dedicate your training to a singular group. This is simply time management and the fact you will burn yourself out trying to do it all at once. Focus your training. Be patient. This is how you become a Jedi, by following the training program of a Jedi Organization. Now whether that is Temple of the Jedi Order, Institute of Jedi Realist Studies, or that weird library-quiet one called Jedi Living is simply a matter of personal preference. All will get you the proper information needed to live the Jedi Lifestyle.
Do we get a master/padawan relationship with someone or is it an individual work?
Depends on where you go for training. Most places will require that you go through a beginner's program/academy before One-on-One training with a Jedi Mentor (mentor, as many are Jedi Knights not Masters).
However - It is important to note that You are Your Own Jedi Master. You can be given guidance, advice, lessons, and lectures, but ultimately the training and application comes down to you. No one can make you a Jedi. You have to live it, apply it, and learn it. Whether you have an online Mentor or even an offline mentor, only you can determine whether or not you will be a Jedi. So it is very much individual work as well. Of course you have a WHOLE community full of Jedi who can help you in your journey. So you are never truly alone either.
Is the Jedi Path safe?
Yes. We are talking about World-Betterment Through Self-Betterment. Now this journey of self-discovery can shake up personal perceptions. However this generally doesn't present any real danger. We train to understand the Force, learn knowledge, experience wisdom, and create peace. Personal calm is something Jedi strive for. Think of a Martial Artist. They train and get a sense of responsibility, self-discipline, and confidence. The Jedi are the same way, and like a Martial Artist, Jedi have a strong sense of justice and do focus on defense of those that are in need of it. Yet a huge part of the Jedi Path is Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, using words and the mind to ease situations and find a peaceful solution.
Is everything based off Star Wars?
Not exactly, Star Wars is the inspiration, the lowest (but still key) foundation. We take the lessons and philosophies provided by the Star Wars fiction and seek to apply them to our lives today. Jedi strive to emulate those seen in the movies, but we are aware of the differences from fiction to reality. This site takes a lot of that foundation from three main sources, The Star Wars Power of the Jedi Sourcebook, The Jedi Apprentice series, and the Movies. We use these as guides, to explore, learn from and more importantly expand from. As Star Wars Jedi are what inspired us, it is what we chose to look towards.
But the majority of what you will find here is our experience, our results from trial and error. You are going to find Jedi Material made by Jedi for Jedi. What we were able to apply to our lives, what is simply fictional ideals that cannot be applied, et cetera.
So does one have to conform their lifestyle to be a Jedi?
In essence, Yes. In order to be a Jedi one must follow the Jedi Path. This does not mean we become robots or lose our sense of identity (or all wear matching robes or something). Just that we share a common belief and structure. Various Jedi sites do have By-Laws (rules and regulations) which they expect their members to follow. Likewise the Jedi have set guidelines to their Path as well.
Yet the Jedi, as well as our site, support individuality. This is a journey of self-discovery. No one is forced to conform or change. If one wishes to follow the Jedi Path, they are expected to follow the Guidelines of the Path. It is a matter of choice, one can choose to be a Jedi or not. Also Jedi encourage learning independently, so one who wanted to be a Jedi, Doctor, Christian, and study Gardening in their off time, is welcomed to do so. And in this journey sometimes people find, that the Jedi lifestyle is not for them. And that is fine as well.
What do Jedi Teach/Learn?
Jedi focus on many things and some things do vary from Mentor to Mentor. Basically all Jedi are taught physical fitness, meditation, conflict resolution, the Force, awareness, and other traits such as patience and objectivity. The Jedi Circle is a basic draft of Jedi Focus.
Also there are many philosophical discussions and opportunities for self-expression. Some Mentors include teaching other languages, different religions and philosophies, different martial art styles, etc. Really it is recommended that any training be discussed in-depth with the "teacher" and never shy away from questions.
How Long is training?
Our current program, if followed tightly runs 61 weeks with a Tier Four program that has no set time frame. Training can be done in a year and half if one really goes for it. Though many have spent years training, spending three to five years in training. Also, Apprenticeships have no designated time frame either. And can indeed go on for years, it really all depends. Average time is Three years from Newbie to Knighthood. Though recommended is Five years. And some hold to a ten year minimum. Ten years to Knight, then another ten to Master.
Is Jedi (or Jediism) a Religion?
While there are those that believe and view Jedi as a religion, it is a very personal thing. One can state the Jedi is their personal religion. Jedi Living does not teach the Jedi as a religion. Religion is defined as; "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs". (www.dictionary.com) This has not stopped the major misconception however. Many view Jediism as a religious alternative to other faiths. We teache Jedi Philosophy as a way of life, not a religion. It is a belief, a philosophy that can flow with other religions out there. Thus not restricting itself or denying anyone based off religious beliefs. There are Jedi who are Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Catholic, Muslim, etc.
It is important to note that in the Jedi Community Jediism is consider the Jedi religion. Jedi Realism is the popular term for those that do not view the Jedi Path as a religion. And the phrase we coined is Jedi Pragmatism which is what we do here. Approaching the Jedi Ideology from a practical application standpoint. Self-Betterment that is useful in our society.
Do you allow others to preach about their religion?
Simply put we do not allow others to "force" their beliefs on another. Jedi are about Spiritual Well-Being. Each Jedi will find their own answer for that. It could be Jediism, Christianity, Taoism, there is no wrong answer. This goes for all Jedi regardless of religion or belief. Tolerance is part of the Jedi Path, it is known that Religion is a personal choice and each Jedi is left to their own choices on religion. Any intolerance to a religion will be in direct violation to our Code of Conduct and will be dealt with accordingly.
What is the Force? Does it affect one's beliefs?
The Force is under much debate as to be expected of anything that deals with the unseen. The most popular view currently is that the Force is an energy field connected to all life. Energy which resides in us, in all living things, and around us (sounding familiar yet?). The Force is the various combining energies of our world. The Force has slipped definition many times. Here is the best in-depth description we are currently able to give.
The Force is essentially a "by-product" of life - a side effect, if you will, yet symbiotic. All of life's processes (respiration, photosynthesis, etc) produce energy. And energy is what produces these processes. The energy that is both produced by life and produces life is what we call the Force. The Force does not exist where there is no life - however, all life leaves behind energy "fingerprints", which can be sensed on non-life by those who are sensitive to the energy.
Beyond this the Force is often referred to as the ineffable, which means too great to be explained in words. The Jedi are about exploring, experiencing and defining the Force. In this area we are still young, but we are making continual advancements, as are many other organizations. We will update this section as more scientific information becomes available to share.
How do you teach the Force?
We do not necessarily teach the Force, more how to connect with it, how to calm the mind and open oneself to the world. This is done through Meditation, calming and clearing the mind, learning to feel and see the vibrations of life. We teach the beliefs and philosophies of the Force. What we have learned from our experiences and the ideas conveyed through the Star Wars Mythology.
Can you move things with your mind? Like in the movies?
No. No one at Jedi Living claims to do so. Nor has any evidence of such been seen or experienced here. We focus on more practical and readily available skills, such as working with the five senses.
Are Lightsabers real? Do you have a real lightsaber?
While there are plenty of theories out there, no official Lightsaber has been created which is like that seen in the movies. Unfortunately it would take a lot of funding and knowledge in specialized fields to be able to create such a thing. And physics just do not match up currently. Very few in-depth efforts have been made and as such there are theories, but no actual prototypes. "Plasma Sabers" are said to be possible, but problems still exist with controlling blade length. With Plasma or Lasers, containing the blade is the trouble. Also a power source efficient enough to power the lightsaber and fit within the hilt/handle. Thus currently, no real lightsabers. So no, I do not have a real lightsaber. As cool as they are, we probably will never have a real lightsaber.
What are these different Jedi I read about? Shadow Jedi? Grey Jedi?
There have been in the past a need to establish different sects of the Jedi. This need is no longer necessary as the Jedi Path grew and defined itself. The history, creation, and evolution of these paths is covered in our training program. However these no longer apply to the Jedi Path today. Either one is a Jedi or they are not.
What does the future hold for the Jedi?
A good question. It is hard say really, the Jedi have endless potential; whether they make use of that is yet to be seen. For now, the future holds more studying, more practice, more learning, exploring, experiencing, and defining.
Do you have a real Jedi Temple? Are you going to build one?
There are no real Jedi Temples currently. Nor are there any truly viable projects in the works to make one. It is the view of Jedi Living that we need to establish the Jedi first; by living and training as Jedi, before we try to create a "temple" to stay at. Currently in our society a Jedi Temple is just not the answer. It does not offer what the Jedi need. We have addressed this topic many times in-depth and have several reasons why it is not where our focus should be.
Instead we offer the Jedi Community as our Jedi Temple. This way we are worldwide and accessible to everyone who is interested in learning to become a Jedi. In this we can have a greater impact on the world. From the United States to New Zealand, United Kingdom to Japan, we are positioned all across the world. And this gives a much more global reach then stuck in a singular location.
We also offer offline Jedi Groups, such as California Jedi. Where Jedi meet and train offline on a regular basis. There are several offline groups which exist around the world. All which serve that function of in-person training and friendship.
Are you endorsed or Backed by Lucasfilms LTD., George Lucas, or Disney?
No, we currently do not have the okay of George Lucas or LucasFilms LTD. or Disney. Currently all Star Wars material and images are being used without permission. Fortunately we make no money off this - in fact it takes our resources. So hopefully we are given some leeway for that.
Do you have an Online Training Academy?
Yes, our Academy is a Tier-based basic course for Jedi to work through. More on Training can be found in the By-Laws or on our Forums.
What Qualifies the Instructors to Train Others?
We do not train in anything we are not certified to teach in. That is the first rule. So there are no CPR Classes or anything of that nature. However we do have instructors who are qualified to teach group Physical Fitness and Meditation. Outside of this, each instructor here must be a Jedi of the Fourth Level. Those requires are as follows: Has completed all Tier Training Programs. Has passed the JAO RTS (Jedi Academy Online Regulated Testing System). Is at least 22 years of age. Has been studying and living the Jedi Path (previous studies in any other philosophy, religion, or belief do not count) for Two(2) years. Is associated with the Jedi Community or reliable member of the Jedi Community for at least One(1) of those Two(2) years. Has meet with the Jedi Living administration team at least once in-person.
The current main instructor (Opie Macleod) has been a part of the Online Jedi Community since 1995, actively since 1999, and been studying and training in the Jedi Path since 1990.
Do you offer Titles/Ranks here?
Jedi Living does have a Ranking system. We also use images under the avatars on the Forums to display rank. However we do not use titles, but a level system. As one grows as a Jedi, they raise in level, not title. More information on the Rank System can be found in the Jedi Living By-Laws.
Further questions? Comments? Concerns? Feel free to contact the Administration Team. Thank you and take care.