The Introduction: (START HERE)

The Jedi Living Academy Program. Tier One is open to all members.
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The Introduction: (START HERE)

Post by Opie Macleod » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:31 am

-= Welcome to Jedi Living's Jedi Training Program =-
If you have questions on Why Jedi? You may want to jump into our other topics before beginning the training program. Here is some recommendations:
An Introduction
Are Jedi Real?
***
-= The Introduction: Lecture One Day One =-
"Cross a river without first discerning its depth or current and you will drown before you reach the other side."
A few things before we begin. First this introduction will take you one week to complete. Can you do it in a day? Probably, But that isn't the point. There are some core things you need to know before you begin your Jedi Training. One of the bigger ones being if you even want to train here specifically. The other BIG thing to know is exactly how this Training Program Works. There is a very specific set-up, so please pay attention. Here is what you will be learning in the introduction lesson - How the Academy works, Etiquette, Code of Conduct, Terminology (Isms, Training Styles, etc.), and few other topics of interest. Not exactly in that order.

Before we get into that. I want make sure you know exactly what is ahead of you. So quick test/assignment. No worries. It is rather easy.  Please scroll down until you see something directing you to scroll back up. I'll wait.
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Okay all those other replies you scrolled past, those are the various topics we will covering this week in preparation for the new intensive training system you are about to undertake. But there is something that we must discuss first and foremost. Code of Conduct and Internet Safety.

Internet Safety is pretty basic. I understand we are a Jedi Board and one of the more easily managed ones at that. Seriously like the issues we have here are next to zero (so nice! and this helps ensure we keep it that way).
However this is a free online website that anyone can join. The Jedi Community over the years has unfortunately had to face this harsh truth. So while I 100% encourage believing in and supporting your fellow Jedi there is a couple things I want you to keep in mind.
1.) Don't Give Out Personal Information (even in your journal as it is readable by visitors/guests). Even in the Jedi History lessons and such I don't give the real names of the Jedi who created websites and such. Those people deserve credit, I do have their full real names, but they chose those online names for a reason. I know the internet is not like when I started. Now with facebook (and their refusal to allow nicknames) using your real name and such doesn't seem like a big deal. And this should triple for a Jedi board. Still - you do not have to give out any information you do not want to. If you are comfortable sharing your info - I won't stop you, but please do not feel you have to give out any personal information at all.
2.) Put Up with Nothing and Report Anything that Bothers You. - It is simple. This is a Jedi board. Not a singles bar. Jedi Academy, not political debate in university. Bullying, Trolling, sending of inappropriate (and unsolicited) pictures, bothering someone relentlessly in Private Message. I will tolerate none of it and neither will any of my members - that includes you.

Remember This: As of this point you are a Jedi. Jedi Newbie, but a Jedi nonetheless. This is a safe place for you to learn, grow, and understand what that means. But for that to happen you have to be willing to adopt one Jedi trait from the start. The willingness to Communicate. If someone takes a religious debate from the forums and starts bugging you in Private Message - Speak up. Ask them to stop. If they don't - you inform myself (or HappyTurtle, Sammy, or Sirius). Or anyone on this board you trust - you tell someone. This goes for sexual harassment, bullying, any discrimination, if something makes you feel uncomfortable - speak up. OH! And rank doesn't matter or anything like that doesn't matter. Like if you feel I cross a line - you can speak with me about it or you can go to Sirius, Silver, or HappyTurtle on the matter (or all of us).

There. It is said and I trust you to follow through. Be a Jedi (I know, I know, day one and all). But this just helps us run a very open and trusting environment. Now we do have a very simple Code of Conduct here. We expect all members posting here to follow this. It sort of makes sure the whole above rambling isn't necessary.If they don't - they deal with Not-So-Nice-Opie. o_0
Code of Conduct:
Representation Policy: Behave in a manner befitting a Jedi.
Mutual Respect Policy: Treat others with courtesy and fairness.
Assumption Policy: Do not make assumptions and seek to overcome ignorance. Encourage others to do the same.
Honesty Policy: Acknowledge failure as much as you acknowledge success.
Teamwork Policy: Embrace diversity as a strength and cultivate unity through community.

Easy right? Pretty straight forward. If you can I'd like you to work on memorizing it. Not mandatory and don't even worry about if you do not plan to be here for the long hull. Many come to just train here, but have home orders (jedi sites they dedicate themselves to) elsewhere. Which is cool, but obviously your time will be committed elsewhere so no worries about the memorization. But do know it. Okay!
***
-:: Jedi Lecture #1 ::-
The Misconceptions of Star Wars
Star Wars is the common theme among the Jedi. It is often considered the birth of the Jedi. And that makes sense right? Because before Star Wars there were no Jedi. Many things like Jedi, concepts, practices, religions, and philosophies that inspired George Lucas. Things he looked at and used to help form his mythical space wizard knightly order. But no actual Jedi. In fact it was until Star Wars, the internet, and dreamers all collided in 1995/7 that we really get the beginnings of the Jedi Community and actual progress towards making the Jedi Path a valid thing.

Many Jedi therefore hold a special place in their hearts for Star Wars. We enjoy it. We spend hours debating meaning, endings, plots, and so forth. We discuss ideas that we see within the films. We go to Conventions. We wear costumes. Some even join costuming groups and do charity work. Some of us will wait in line for hours to get a picture with one of the stars of the franchise.

The point is many can quote Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Qui-Gon Jinn, and so on. We love Star Wars, but that enjoyment does not equal strict adherence. A core example of this is the Non-Attachment which is seen as a rule of no Marriage for Jedi (unless under special circumstance). While we could apply this to our lives, it wouldn't be very practical, beneficial, or positive to enforce such a rule.

Star Wars is our inspiration. It is our starting point. It is something that we look at and seek to live by in a positive and beneficial way. But it is not our Bible. It is not some scripture written in stone. This is something we will explore throughout tier one. Exactly how the lessons of Star Wars play into our lives. But it is important to know right now that Star Wars is simply an entertainment franchise we enjoy. There are no magical fixes to find here. There are no lightsabers to wield. You do not have to go around wearing a Jedi robe or a hood always up. This is world-betterment through self-betterment as inspired by the Jedi Knights of Star Wars.

Be Inspired, but keep your focus on this world, this life, where you are at currently. That is how you will grow into the Jedi you want to become.

OKay. Day One Down. Assignment Time.
:: The Introduction Assignment One Day One ::
Now your first Task if you really want to go through with the crazy thing of Jedi training here at Jedi Living (which no worries if not. Much nicer places to train). You will need to create a Journal. So go to the Jedi Journal Forum. Start a New Topic. Call it something like Opie's Jedi Journal or feel free to use your own name. This is where you will be depositing your thoughts and assignments. In fact I have a couple for you to begin with.

Q&A Time
1.) How many Introduction Assignments are there in the entire Introduction Course?  In otherwords, how many assignments ((The Introduction Assignment # Day #)) are listed in this entire Thread?
2.) Someone is sending you private messages. In them are pictures of the individual lifting their shirt and showing their abs/stomach area. You did not ask for these and they keep sending them to you. What do you do?
3.) Out of the Code of Conduct which rule do you favor the most and which do you like the least? Why?
4.) What is your favorite Star Wars Movie? And Who is your favorite Jedi?
5.) I want you to spend the week not just here. I want you to spend your time looking at other Jedi Groups. (Note: If you came here from some other place or have been around the community - then you get a pass). I'll give you a list of links/places to check out during this week. On the Last Assignment I will ask you about these places.
Temple of the Jedi Order
Temple of the Force
Real Jedi Knights
Force Academy
Institute for Jedi Realists Studies
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Re: The Introduction: (START HERE)

Post by Opie Macleod » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:30 pm

-= The Introduction: Lecture Two =-
Welcome to Day Two Jedi. You have survived. You'd be surprised how many stop after day one. So since you have made the first cut. How about some introductions? Here at Jedi Living we have a pretty simple set-up for addressing your fellow Jedi. This works across the Jedi Community - so if you venture out to other sites this can still apply. And you don't have to worry about if you are addressing someone by the right title.

We will start with Jedi Etiquette here at Jedi Living: As written by HappyTurtle.
Forms of Address: Navigating the perilous world of Jedi titles can be difficult. Thankfully, it is much easier at the Jedi Living (JL for short). Those of a lower Tier are of a lower rank, those of a higher Tier are of a higher rank. Rather then rely on Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, we look to acknowledge experience as living as a Jedi by denoting levels to it.

To formally address another Jedi, always refer to them as "Jedi ____". This is an easy rule that can be applied across the larger Jedi community, and means that you don't have to recognize the differences in titles such as "Knight" or "Master", which we don't have.

For Jedi of a higher rank, if you are unsure of another individual's placement in regards to you, or if you just wish to show greater respect, use their full name - for example "Jedi Opie Macleod". For a Jedi of lower rank, during a teaching session or formal meeting, you may refer to them simply by their last name - such as "Jedi Macleod." If the Jedi in question is using a one-word screen name, refer to them using the whole name - therefore "Jedi Delph" or "Jedi HappyTurtle." Whilst communicating with another, try to use the formal version until invited to use something more informal in order to avoid causing offense.

An Easy Example Guide:
- Jedi Opie Macleod (Formal - Highest form of Respect)
- Jedi Macleod (Formal - Respectful)
- Jedi Opie (Formal/Informal - Given Permission - Friendly)
- Opie (Intimate/Informal - Permission Only - High level of Friendship)

Pretty Easy Right? Okay.
-:: Jedi Lecture #2 ::-
The Misconception of Religion
The Jedi Religion. A concept that became popular in 2001 in what is known as the Census Phenomenon. Basically what happened was in 2001 New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom were doing their Census reports. An e-mail chain letter went out stating that if enough people put Jedi as their religion then it would become an officially recognized religion. That is right - #FakeNews before hashtags existed. Many people did follow through on the census report - some for a joke, some to protest government oversight and data collection, some to protest religion in general, and some because they did in fact view Jedi as their religion (or at least liked the idea of it). The media caught wind of this and Jediism was born.

Prior to this the Jedi Community didn't have any focus on religion or religious aspirations. Jediism wasn't a term that was used. People were just seeking a way to become Jedi in their lives. And no doubts some people in fact viewed Jedi as their religion or at least as a religious alternative to the traditional values they may have been raised with. But there was no group focus or intent of a religious nature.

Religion tends to have three major compontents. A Godhead, a set view on the Afterlife, and a set view on Creation. These are things that all religions carry an opinion on. However, that does not exist in the Jedi Path. You will find no demands on your religious beliefs. As a Jedi you do not have to believe in a specific deity, you do not have to believe in a specific view of the afterlife, and we would never presume to tell you how this wonderful and amazing universe/life got started. These are big questions for you to explore on your own.

Spiritual Wellness is a core part of the Jedi Lifestyle, but it is up to you to find your own answers. We use terms like The Force, but that is just a word we use to explore a common idea in a common language. Allowing us to openly explore without getting caught up on dogma or misconceptions about other religions.

Jedi is open. If Jedi is your religion- awesome! If Christianity is your religion - awesome! If you are an Atheist - awesome! Buddhist, Wiccan, Taoist, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Agnostic, whatever. Now here is something important: Depending on your religious views you may have to adjust certain practices (depending on where you train). Some practices might be considered forbidden in your religion. Some places require learning Astral Projection, or Chi Balls, or Energy Healing, and so on. None of that is taught here, but if it were, you are free to say - "Hey, this doesn't vibe with my religious beliefs and practices." And we would say, "Cool deal. Use that time for extra meditation/prayer or community service or something."

And that combined with the three previously stated reasons is why Jedi isn't an official religion organizationally speaking. Certainly can be your personal religion. No doubts. But as a organization which rules over the lessons, canon, and direction of the Jedi Path/Lifestyle? A whole bunch of nope. :3

Next we will diverge from the Reading aspect. And you can sit back and listen to an Introduction Video. So put in the headphones, if you prefer, and listen to me ramble about welcoming you to the Jedi Way. It is about 15 minutes. So make some time for it (I am working on a shorter version).
:: The Introduction Assignment Two ::
1 - In a formal setting what would be the proper way to use your name?
2 - What, during Tier One training, would you preferred to be called?
3 - Do you view Jedi as your religion? (Note: This isn't a confrontational question. There is no right answer, only your answer. And I don't know counts as an answer.)
4 - Did you watch the video?
5 - What did I say about approaching the lessons and investment?
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Re: The Introduction: (START HERE)

Post by Opie Macleod » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:30 pm

-= The Introduction: Lecture Three (Day Three) =-
The Internal Journey:
A Jedi grows in ability as they experience the world, gaining more proficiency in their skills. In turn, the Jedi affects the world around them, spreading the doctrine of the Jedi Code and making the world a better place for all.
The external growth and effect reflects an internal growth of the individual Jedi. As a person becomes more empowered, they are challenged to fully embrace the tenets of the Jedi Order. Every Jedi from the humblest student to the most experienced Jedi Teacher has room to grow and develop. The nature of the universe is such that new challenges continually arise to test a Jedi, as they question old assumptions and deal with new situations.

Would-be Jedi must understand that failure should never be the end. The Jedi Code places heavy load on the Jedi, requiring almost superhuman abilities for them to accomplish all it demands. In large and small ways, all Jedi eventually fail the challenge posed by the Jedi Path in some way.
The true failure of a Jedi is not in stumbling or failing to live up to the ideals of the Order. The true failure occurs if, once having fallen, the Jedi fails to rise again. When (not if, but when) a Jedi fails to attain the goals set for themselves, the only choices are to let the failure dominate their life, or to rise from the ashes of that defeat and strive to make peace within themselves.
That is the Way of the Jedi.

The above is a rewrite from the Internal Journey and Rise from the Ashes sections of the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook. It serves as a good example of Jedi Lore. How we take fictional concepts presented on the Jedi and adjust it to make it applicable to everyday life. Not just applicable. I have what I call the APBP Test. We look at these fictional inspirations and ask, is it Applicable, Practical, Beneficial, and have a Positive Impact? If we can answer yest to all than it passes the test and we can use it as a way to further ourselves as a Jedi. If it fails just one of those - then it is placed in the Fandom category. Enjoyable, inspirational maybe, but not a set tenet that we seek to live by (Jedi Robes are one of the better examples of this).

The above is important to know however as you begin this journey. The internal growth with leave an impact on the world around you. World-betterment through Self-Betterment, I call it. As you grow as a Jedi that begins to radiate outwards and other people in your life will notice the difference. It is something to know going into Jedi training.

And since we are here sort of talking about what applies and doesn't. We might as well touch on some popular topics. Jedi Robes, Temples, Unity, and Lightsabers.

Jedi Robes - Fun. I own a couple. They are great for Charity Events. Some Jedi like to wear them to in-person Knighting Ceremonies (I do not, but some do). Great for Halloween of course. But meh, I don't put much stock into it beyond that. Enjoy them, but they are not practical. Run a Spartan Race in one - you'll agree by Mile One. Plus I think it is way more fun and interesting to seek to make your current wardrobe more Jedi-ish. The idea behind the Jedi Robes as simple - In Star Wars they were meant to be humble, blending in with the everyday traveler of the galaxy. Functional (belt holding their essentials - robe for warmth and blanket if necessary).So how you fulfill that idea with your current wardrobe? Wear what fits (a suit to a job interview, sweat pants and t-shirt for netflix and chill, etc.). Make sure you can carry the essentials. And if you wear Jedi colors (Earth tones, Whites, light greys) more bonus points for you. :3

Jedi Temples - There are offline Jedi Groups (such as California Jedi and Chicago Jedi). But Jedi are not some secretive cult meant to hide out in the middle of nowhere so they can meditate all day and not get involved with the world around them. No. Instead, as of know, you have two Jedi Temples. Yourself (your body) and Your Home (where you lay your head at night). These are your Jedi Temples. These are your places of refuge. And it is here you will strike out into the world and make an impact as a Jedi. What is great about this is that we have Jedi Temples world wide. There are Jedi Temples in several countries across the planet - all making a difference where they are. In this - the Jedi are world-wide and making the biggest impact. Shovel all of us into some building in the middle of where? The United States? And then what? Practice being Jedi and stay in our little comfort zone and what impact is there? What impact do the Shaolin Monks make? Living off the donations and martial tricks they practice. I mean it is cool and all - but as Jedi we are here to actually make a difference. And we best do that by making where we are our Jedi Temple. And I have often opened my Temple to other Jedi (sometimes for short visits and training sessions - sometimes as a stopping point to help Jedi get back on their feet). Build a strong Temple and it will be just as fun and useful as building some secret Temple in the middle of nowhere. I promise you that (and I have lived with many Jedi before, I have sought to build a temple, all of it, I am not just talking hypotheticals here).

Jedi Unity - Lets bring all the Jedi Together under One Banner/Website/Name!!!!!!!!!! I love your go get'em spirit. But no. Unity Through Community is the key. Embracing our spread out atmosphere is a valuable thing. Our diversity allows us to explore and experience different ways of approaching the Jedi Lifestyle and still keep moving forward. We don't have to re-invent the wheel every time and we get to draw upon the experiences (successes and failures) of our fellow Jedi throughout the Community. Plus unity will never happen - because I'll never unite. lol I love Jedi Living. I like the atmosphere. The quality of Students that stick around. The people here teach me every day. We aren't the biggest, most active, or any of that, but I wouldn't merge this place with another. I wouldn't dissolve it. A Sanctuary is necessary. the Jedi Community can be taxing. It can wear on people. Such is internet culture. Having this place, which is free from most of that is wonderful. So even if the whole Community united (never go to happen - I lost count of how many unity projects I have seen, been a part of, and even started) Jedi Living would still be on the outside. Unity Through Community - focus on that and you'll succeed.

Lightsabers!! - Not real. Hopefully never will be. Because limbs are important. Cool, Fun, but mostly fandom. Still, lightsaber practice can provide a very fun way to stay physically active. Seriously. Practice Lightsaber techniques and actively duel for an hour. You will be tired afterward. I personally do not count it int he practical self-defense category, though some Jedi do. Regardless it can be a fun way to stay active and healthy (if done right). But no, there are no real lightsabers. Yes I have heard and read all the theories. They are not a requirement for being a Jedi. And you never even have to learn swordsmanship if you do not want to.
-:: Jedi Lecture #3 ::-
The Misconception of Compassion
Oooo. The biggest debate since it first arrived in 2007. Many Jedi, new and old, dislike and do not agree with this concept. Compassion is a misconception of the Jedi. What?!? How can one even say that. Not only do we have good old Anakin Skywalker (Paragon of the Jedi and a wonderful example of their philosophy) stating that Compassion is Central to a Jedi's Life. But George Lucas himself has been on record as saying Compassion is the Light Side. It is core to living a good life. So how in the world, Opie, can it be a misconception?

Simple, it is emotional prodding. Look - many great people have encouraged compassion. Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandala, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., many, many people who have done great things have listed compassion as central. And indeed that is core for humanity. Humans need the emotional reminders. The reason, the feeling to do something beyond themselves. But do Jedi? Often times when Jedi in the community talk about compassion they are more talking about Empathy. They are talking about emotional understanding and putting yourself in another person's shoes. But that doesn't really fit the definition of compassion.

Why do we do what we do? Because our emotions tell us to? It is a well known view that emotions can cloud our judgment. "Do not make any decisions when angry; don't make any promises when happy." A popular saying which highlights the need for mindfulness. To be aware of our emotional state and remember that our decision-making is based upon how we feel at the moment - or rather that it shouldn't be. As Jedi we hold ourselves to a more rational and ethical decision-making making process. Jedi Intent + Jedi Action = Jedi Outcome - no worries we will explore this later on.

For now it is simple enough to say this. Jedi feel all sorts of emotions. Anger, Compassion, Sadness, Joy, etc. etc.. And that is okay. You are human. You will and can and are encouraged to feel openly and deeply. As a Jedi we simply ask that you do not allow those emotions to dictate your actions and behavior. Not an easy thing, but it is why we train and study and practice meditation and so forth. Point is, you can feel Compassion. You can perform Compassionate Acts. Acts of Kindness. These are not forbidden or not allowed or even misconceptions. The misconception is that Compassion is central to your life and you must feel it and live by it to be a Jedi. You don't. You can do kind things simply because it is the right thing to do. Or because you see it as a good thing to do. You do not have to be emotionally compelled to be nice. That is the misconception.
:: The Introduction Assignment Three ::
1.) Read the First Post (not lesson, first post) in each Subject (Lifestyle, History, Lore, etc.). After you have done that, report back in your journal that you have done so. Offer your thoughts on the opening introductions of each section.
2.) Look up the dictionary definition of compassion. Do you agree with Compassion as a misconception? Why or why not? (Note: Like before, this is not a confrontational question. This is simply about exploring and sharing your own views and ideas - aka your answers.)
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Re: The Introduction: (START HERE)

Post by Opie Macleod » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:31 pm

-= The Introduction: Lecture Four =-
Welcome to Day Four. Before we get into the last and most important part of the introduction lesson (how the Academy actually works). I want to go over some terminology that you will encounter in the lessons as well as in the Jedi Community in general. This will range from training styles to different isms which sometimes persist in our community. We can begin this with a misconception lecture.
-:: Jedi Lecture #4 ::-
The Misconception of Segregation
Humans love their classifications. It helps us put things into nice little boxes so we can communicate quickly. Hand me the hammer please. Instead of hand me the tool that is shaped like a T and has the claw on one side please. The more labels we have the easier it is to separate and distinguish things from one another. This of course can get a bit overwhelming and a little petty at times. But it a part of the world we live in.

When the Jedi Community first was starting out, there was a heavy focus on adhering to the fiction. So there was a strong dichotomy of Light Side and Dark Side. But our world isn't much like the universe of Star Wars (or at least originally). Lucas made his universe a very black and white place and we live in a universe which has a whole plethora of colors to inhabit. Not just shades of grey, but vibrant colors all which have their own feeling and connotations.

As such it was no long before people began to separate themselves into neat little categories. Light Jedi, Dark Jedi, Shadow Jedi, Grey Jedi, Red Jedi, Forest Jedi, Zen Jedi, Christian Jedi, Silver Jedi. And then as that began to mellow Star Wars role-playing games introduced us to new classifications. Jedi Guardians, Jedi Healers, Jedi Sentinels, Weapon masters, Instructors, Historians, etc. The Jedi divided themselves in as many ways possible. Especially when Isms became a thing in 2001 - which we discuss more in a bit.

I call these glass walls. They divide, but they don't do much else. There is a singular word in all of that above that gets repeated - Jedi. That is the focus, that is the goal. Each Jedi is an individual. There is going to be differences in experience, culture, beliefs, and outlooks. Put three Jedi in a room and you'll get six options. And that is okay. That is great. Our diversity is a wonderful thing in the Jedi Path. Not something to be separated and regulated into its own little corner. We want to share our differences and celebrate our similarities. We are all Jedi. Our core ideals and practices stay the same no matter what. And if they don't - if someone says they are a "Jedi [Insert Cool Title Here]" but don't live by the Jedi Ideals then they are not a Jedi. They are just whatever that cool title is. And that is fine too. You don't have to be a Jedi to gain something from the community or path. All are welcome to enjoy our community, but that doesn't automatically make them a Jedi.

You can say you are a Grey Jedi. But really that is just the misconception of segregation. A misunderstanding of individuality within the Jedi Lifestyle. Because in the end, you either are a Jedi or you are not. And either one is just as okay as the other. :happy:

Jedi Training and the Different Approaches
There have been three main approaches to Jedi Training since the mid-1990's. These days it is not surprising to find most Jedi sites utilizing a form of all three in their training programs.
Solo Training - Solo training was basically reading, exploring, experiencing, and trying things on your own. It basically worked like this. You'd find a Jedi Sites. You would read through their lessons and lectures. And then you seek to live by them. You wouldn't tell anyone. You wouldn't turn in assignments. You'd just read and apply. At many of the beginning sites there wasn't anyone to talk to or turn assignments into - so it was automatically Solo Style. Another example is the Jedi Archives here. If you wanted to explore various Jedi thought you'd go through those and work through them yourself.

Traditional - Master/Apprentice - One-on-One - Pretty self-explanatory. This is when you training directly under one Mentor. This was the next and most used training style in our Community's history. All lessons, teachings, and promotions were left to the Jedi Mentor's discretion. While that should have worked out - in the early days of the Jedi Community it merely created cronyism and really worn at the quality and standards of the Community. These days most places require you go through a basic academy system before you can go through one-on-one training as a way to help ensure quality and core Jedi ideas are taught.

Academy Training - This is your basic mass teaching approach. The same general lessons given to multiple students at the same time. This was created to help address two issues. The first being the lack of standards and quality the Traditional method was having issues with. The second was the student-to-teacher ratio. There was simply a lot more students than there was teachers. So a general academy course was set-up to help address that problem. These days you'll find most Jedi Sites have materials you can use for Self-Study, along with a mandatory Training Academy, which then allows for an Master/Apprentice style training system to end things off with. Helping to ensure the Jedi gets the most out of their time and is given a variety of quality materials.

Isms of the Community
In 2001 "isms" began to split the Jedi Community into different sections. There was Jediism meaning those that followed Jedi as a Religion. And Jedi Realism to denote those that followed it like a Philosophy (and leaving religion as a personal choice). You had some who would claim that if you didn't follow Jedi as your religion then you weren't a real Jedi. Silly and certainly not true. Of course you had others which calimed that Jediism were fake Jedi. This was because in 2001 and 2002 sites and people who embraced the Jediism label basically were starting where Jedi Realism grew from and ignored all the lessons, experiences, and growth the Jedi Community had made in the years leading up to 2001. Due to these labels being thrown around (some with pride, some as insults) other "isms" popped up to help classify other Jedi sites which didn't fit into these two categories. Like Jedi RPG-ism and Jedi Pragmatism. And while most places have done away with these glass walls and silly dividers - the terms do pop-up and it is good to know what they mean/meant. Though really - it is all just Jedi these days (as there is a recognition that we all share the same core principles).

RPG-ism - This is the term many of the first Jedi Websites/Groups fell into. They used Role-Playing, Fictional Stories, and Creative Writing to help explore and teaching the Jedi Ideals. At some of these places you would even assume the role of a Jedi in the Star Wars universe to work through some of the philosophical and ethical concepts associated with Jedi Thought and Practice.
The downside is many just came for the role-playing. They were playing a Jedi online and didn't take the lessons or moral of the stories offline into their life. So you had a lot of armchair Jedi masters. People who could talk a good game, but never had any experience actually living as a Jedi.
The top side of it was Fun. It kept you connected to the inspiration. And was a fun and detached way to explore some of the tougher ethical issues which you may face as a Jedi. Learning how to juggle priorities of Jedi Ideals and Personal Relationships. These days I still like to use this  - though mostly I do so in games like SWTOR which provide a nice environment to explore ethical and philosophical situations as a Jedi. Though most Jedi Groups these days very much stay away from and even discourage RPG-ism (unfortunately most do it out of fear of not being taken seriously).

Jedi Realism - What grew from RPG-ism (and the subsequent disapproval of such - due to armchair Jedi) was later coined as Jedi Realism. Basically seeking to live as a Jedi for real. No role-playing, no religious notions, just being inspired by the philosophical and ideological concepts presented within the Star Wars Jedi. A lot of Jedi Realism draws upon pre-established philosophy, practices, and religions. You'll see a lot of Zen studies (Alan Watts tends to be a Jedi favorite), Taoism, New Age practices (aura sensing, astral projection, energy-balls, etc.), Code of Chivalry, Samurai culture, etc.
The downside is it can feel like you aren't really studying or training to be a Jedi as much as a New Age Samurai Knight. You can lose touch with the inspiration (and/or dream) that brought you to the path. And that often lead people to the the question - Why call ourselves Jedi? It is a big question that still pops up in Jedi Realist circles to this day.
The upside is you get to study a bunch of different concepts and ideas that you may have never even heard of before. Definitely can be fun to explore new ideas and cultures. Especially when you get into Force discussions and begin looking at the similarities and differences between Prana, Mana, Qi, Ki, Life-Force, Holy Spirit, etc.

Jediism - Originally meant to mean the Jedi Religion. It was a term used by the media at whim, which meant most these days use Jediism as a blanket term. In the Jedi Community however it very much referred to those who viewed Jedi as a Religion (organizationally speaking - like the Catholic Church). Then it began to include Jedi who simply viewed Jedi as their religion (not a religious organization per se). And as noted, due to the general use by media (newspapers, radio and tv reporters, etc.) many use it now as a general term simply to denote the Jedi Way. This term didn't really get any use in the Jedi Community until 2001 (due to the emdia coverage of the Jedi Census Phenomena).
The downside is ... well Religion. Religion tends to be unyielding and creates more disputes than solves. That has applied to Jediism. The other downside was Jediism ignored all progress the Jedi Community had made in the years it formed online. And so they began (and sometimes still) repeat the mistakes of the past that Jedi Realists at the time had already learned through experience. This meant for many years Jediism was behind Jedi Realism in terms of teaching, standards, and quality.
The upside is that they have mostly caught up. People have begun to act like Jedi and have ignored the silly isms and instead of sought to learn from one another. This has bridged the gap of experience and standards. Also, Jediism gave people a terminology and path to explore and enhance their Spiritual Well-being. For many Jedi is indeed their personal religious view. And having that has helped them immensely. Jediism has also grown to accept Spiritual Wellness as the goal and does allow for Jedi to approach religion as an individual rather than taking the stance of either you follow Jedi as a Religion or you are not a Jedi.

Jedi Pragmatism - This is a term that was born out of the schism that came about because of the Two Isms above. Not a lot of websites fell (or fall) into the category. In fact even in retrospect there were only four Jedi Groups which reflect this school of thought. Mostly you can thank this site - Jedi Living (also known as Jedi Academy Online and the Jedi Foundation, over the years) for the term existing. Jedi Pragmatism stood apart as a way of looking specifically at the Jedi of Star Wars and asking how can I become that, but for real? No lightsaber, no robes, no oobi-doobie mystical powers, but to live as a Jedi in my everyday life? Practical and Applicable training. A lot of Pragmatism focuses on real world certification (CPR cert, martial art training, urban survival cert. etc. etc.) and the practical experience of those who have lived as Jedi (rather than relying on subjects outside the Jedi Path such as Reiki).
The downside was the training was a lot longer, harder, and had very high standards. To the point where not one student is known to have fully passed the programs that most Jedi Pragmatists put together. Often you were looking at five year long courses which required college level reading and monetary investment of Certification courses in your surrounding area (CPR Cert from Red Cross can cost over 100 Dollars). Also some viewed the dismissal of Force Powers as a downside. View the Force as you like. Pursue it as you like. But No Jedi Pragmatism group ever tried to teach you energy balls, telekinesis, or anything along those lines. But you wouldn't get any astral projection or energy shield training at a Jedi Pragmatist Academy.
The upside was the the practical applicable living as a Jedi. Jedi specific lessons - the whole - created by Jedi for Jedi ideal - tangible skills a Jedi could put into use everyday. These were the upside. You got tangible, repeatable results, without any fluff or having to believing in powers which your rational mind may have an issue with. It was very grounded. As such it helped influence more grounded approaches in the community. The study of local laws and such. It also encouraged the rising of standards and the value of more hands-on training.

Overall - The isms have mostly died down a bit. Segregation and dividing Jedi into silly little categories pops up from time to time in our Community - but the overall lesson has been learned. Either one is a Jedi or they are not. The core of the Jedi Way is unchanging and is shared across all "isms" within our Community. What matters is more the approach, atmosphere, and style of the individual Jedi Groups. Whether they prefer the term Jediism over Jedi or Jedi Realism over RPG-ism, doesn't really matter. It is a silly label left over from a time that has past. If they the ideals and training speak to you - than that is what matters.
:: The Introduction Assignment Four ::
With this in mind - lets explore potential Jedi Training Websites that might fit you.
Take this Quiz: https://www.onlineassessmenttool.com/wh ... ment-76497
In your Journal - what website was recommend for you?
Which Training Style do you think fits you the best?
What are your general thoughts on the Isms? If you had joined when these were very segregated labels. Which Ism do you think you would have joined?
Last edited by Opie Macleod on Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong." - Mordin Solus
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Re: The Introduction: (START HERE)

Post by Opie Macleod » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:31 pm

-= The Introduction: Lecture Five =-
Day Five. The Final Lesson. So lets talk about how this silly Academy Works. Well we'll get to that. First the last misconception lecture.
-:: Jedi Lecture #5 ::-
The Misconception of Infallibility
Think of the Jedi Path as a road. This road only has one entrance. Some Jedi began on this road twenty years ago. Others five years ago. And others still within the last couple of days. Each Jedi is at a different point in the road. So if you ask them to tell you their surroundings they will each tell you different things. If you ask about obstacles they will each tell you different things. The road is the same, but the view is different depending on where you are at on it.

This is something to remember when it comes to Jedi and seniority. People like to use titles like Jedi Master or Jedi Councilor or any number of title that denotes some extra position or duty or recognition. But none of that matters. Because in the end, not only is our path very young, but we are all on the same road. And things change.

I faced obstacles and roadblocks as I got to the place I am now. We have since cleaned up a lot of those obstacles and roadblocks so you will never face them. You just won't face the same issues I faced as I grew in this community and path. That doesn't mean you have it better or I had better - it just means we will experience different things as we travel the same road.

I am not better than you. I have simply had more time to screw up a lot more than you. Just because I have been doing this longer doesn't mean I have been doing it correctly the entire time. When people try to pull the experience card on you "I have been doing this since before you were born" - just remember to tell yourself - "doesn't mean you were doing it right".

Remember - this program isn't about me, my time on the path, or my experiences in life. This program is about living as a Jedi in everyday life. And if you find the lessons don't help you accomplish that - don't waste your time. Likewise just because the lesson do help you accomplish that does not entitle me to some sort of get out of jail free card. I am not perfect. No Jedi is. Here is a secret: You are going to screw up. It is going to happen. As a Jedi you are going to make mistakes. As a Jedi you are going to fail. That is not a question or concern, because it will happen. The question is - what are you going to do when it does?

Will you leave the road? Will you look at others further down the road and take inspiration from them or jealously? Will you think they never made any mistakes? That they got that far because they were perfect? Or will you recognize the only reason they are further down the road is because they didn't give up? No Jedi is infallible. I am not infallible. This academy is not infallible. You are not infallible and we don't teach you how to become infallible. So it is good thing that is not required to become a successful Jedi in this world. ;)

Now. Onto how the crazy Academy actually works. You will see Seven total categories (including this one) and if you have been following the assignments you should have visited each one already. Only Five will be your major concern after this is over. You'll soon be done with this one. And the Reading List is exactly that. Something you'll need to complete, but in your own time. The other Subjects - Lifestyle, Philosophy, History, Lore, and Self all are to be done at the same time.

Meaning you will take Two Weeks (if you can somehow complete the lesson and feel you applied them properly in a week I may allow it - but with life and the various assignments you'll want the two weeks - application and experience is important). At the End of the Two Weeks you will turn in Lifestyle Assignment One, Philosophy Assignment One, History Assignment One, Lore Assignment One, and Self Assignment One together. (You can turn in some earlier - but make sure you do your best to note which assignments are which. Organization is key to having your assignments read and passed). After you completed all Five Assignments within the Two Weeks you'll be allowed to move on to the next set of lessons. There are ten Lectures per Subject in total. So you have Twenty  weeks of Jedi training ahead of you (with this week basically down and over).

So lets recap. 5 Subjects. Each with 10 Lectures. You are to do One Lecture per Subject every Two Weeks. Miss one - fail the entire two weeks. Opie is mean, I know. You can cry about it to the other Jedi if you want. But they have all gone through it, so you might not get much sympathy.

Examples of Proper Organization of Assignments:
Lifestyle Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

Philosophy Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

History Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

Lore Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

Self Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

-= Or =-
Lifestyle Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

Philosophy Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

History Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

Lore Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

Self Assignment One:
Jedi Blah Blah.

I don't care how you organize it. Just as long as it is organized in some fashion that allows for instructors to follow along seamlessly. Use different colors (that are easy to read) if youw ant - you don't have to. Make use of the Bold and Underlines. You can even use the quote feature if you want to create separate boxes.
Lifestyle One
Philosophy One
History One
Lore One
Self One
Just don't give me or any other Jedi a big blob of text which blends the different assignments together.
:: The Introduction Assignment Five ::
1.) In the beginning of the week (Introduction Lesson One) I asked you to look over a five other Jedi Websites...
Temple of the Jedi Order
Temple of the Force
Real Jedi Knights
Force Academy
Institute for Jedi Realists Studies
My question to you - Are you sure this is where you want to devote your time? If you came from another Jedi group, I gave you a pass on research,but still. Consider - is this the place that you feel is best for you to train currently?
It is important you do not stretch yourself thin. Devote yourself to a training program. You can train somewhere else if you feel it might be best. We will still be here if you want to come back at any point (even after you gain Knighthood at another Jedi Group). So to clarify - are you sure this is where you want to dedicate your time and energy?
2.) Fair enough. Are you ready to begin the training here at Jedi Living?
3.) You'll be starting on Lecture One of the Five Subjects now. In Two Weeks which assignments will be due?
4.) Give me an Example of the Formatting you'll be using (it can change, but a general idea) to differentiate between your various assignments (I have given three examples above).
Last edited by Opie Macleod on Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong." - Mordin Solus
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Re: The Introduction: (START HERE)

Post by Opie Macleod » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:33 pm

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong." - Mordin Solus
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