Lesson 1: The System of the World by Isaac Newton
Lesson 2: Art of Living by Epictetus, Sharon Lebell
Lesson 3: Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu
Lesson 4: Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson
Lesson 5: The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine
Lesson 6: The Lessons of History by Will & Ariel Durant
Lesson 7: Hero of a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Lesson 8: Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller
Lesson 9: The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield
Lesson 10: The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Lesson 11: The Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba
Lesson 12: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Lesson 13: 1984 by George Orwell
Lesson 14: The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time by Will Durant
Lesson 15: Lineage Series by Ruth Baulding (Lineage I - this is where you can find the first book in the series)
One of the major themes in the Jedi is the idea of knowledge and education. One of the core aspects in that is reading. This section is very different to this tier, this academy, and what we have done up to this point. I cannot in good conscious put a time frame on these "lessons" first off. We all read at a different speed and level. Some of these will take longer than others, because of size, and because of desire. Some are just tough to get through for some people. There are a couple books on this list I had to trudge through. And I am not looking forward to going over them again, but I need to refresh my memory with each student who picks up the book.
The idea here is broadening your knowledge and understanding. Not only of Jedi thought, more importantly to world thought and ideas. Some of these books you will not enjoy. Some you will outright disagree with some of the things written. And that is okay. That is even the point. So many Jedi sites throw a recommended reading list at you. And they expect you to be a dutiful padawan and simply swallow whatever they put forth. That is not the case here. I want you to think. I want you to discover what type of book, style, and subject you like. I want you to have some culture by the end. I want you to have an opinion of each of these books and their relation or lack thereof to the Jedi Ideals.
Allow me to share the goal here. A hands-on lesson that while the Jedi can find many similarities in many areas of life, belief, and philosophy, we also can see our differences. Being a Jedi connects us to being able to understand where a lot of people are coming from. We can see where we are similar and that gives us ground to work from. Likewise we respect the differences in our paths and do not try to usurp or use other Paths. Jedi is Jedi and Taoism is Taoism, for example, and while we can see and appreciate our similarities we can respect our differences and chosen titles as well. Now I can give you the lessons. I can detail my studies, my conclusions, and so forth. But are you not tired of my drivel? Wouldn't you like to read something much more engaging? And preferably shorter? At least less rambly? If nothing else, written by a better writer? Well, doesn't matter either way, because now you are forced too. As you go through them do look at them with a Jedi eye. Enjoy the read, but also consider if it is relevant to living the Jedi Way or not.
You may use your local Library. Some of these books are offered free online. Ebook (nook, Kindle, whatever). Or purchase the book at your local bookstore. Amazon will have all these as that is where I normally made my purchases (if I didn't lose my original copy over the years). Nothing wrong with adding to your personal library collection. We may, in time, offer some of (we won't have all) the books here in PDF format. But I wouldn't count on that (reasons ethical, legal, and personal). Anyhow. This is also a nice way to break up training and the repetitive read and reply format we have going on here.
Use this as a checklist and work your way through it. Preferably in the order given, but obviously you may not be able (especially if you are using your local library). So simply work through it as best you can. As a side note, some may find important, this checklist completion is a requirement for Knighthood (or our equivalent) here.
As you finish a book, update your journal with your thoughts on it. If you have already read a book on the list (I prefer no jumping ahead) please refresh the material. Re-read it as there is no harm in that. Afterward give your review. 0 or 5 Lightsabers? Relevant to the Jedi or not? Useful? Fun? Did you learn something? What is your take-away from the book? What message do you feel it was trying to send (if any)? Basically Jedi Book Report when you have completed one of the books listed. Consider that I may have put a book on the list simply because it doesn't fit the Jedi Way. So be mindful in your book reports.
To be clear (and to see who scrolled down this far) you don't need this finished to move on to tier two. But will need it to graduate Jedi Living.
History: here is a list of the old Jedi Living Reading List - kept for the curious and for those that might want to add to their reading list.
1: Hero of a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
2: Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
3: Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
4: Knights of the Sea by David Hanna
5: Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu
6: Art of Living by Epictetus, Sharon Lebell
7: The Knights of the Round Table by Daniel Mersey
8: Can You Survive the Wilderness? by Matt Doeden
9: World War Z by Max Brooks (An Oral History of the Zombie War)
10: The Crusades by Thomas Asbridge
11: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
12: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
13: The Magician of Lhasa by David Michie
14: Moby Dick by Herman Melville
15: Scourge by Jeff Grubb (and/or Lineage Series by Ruth Baulding and/or the Jedi Apprentice series by Jude Watson)
The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (John E. Woods recommended translation to English)
Ulysses by James Joyce
Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Jedi Living Academy Program. Tier One is open to all members.
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- Opie Macleod
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