05/08/2013 01:57 EDT | Updated 07/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Jediism, My Religion Is


Jediism was obviously inspired by the Star Wars movies. However, the similarities stop there. In the same way that most religions are inspired by a document filled with supernatural interventions and magical phenomenon, Jediism does not hide by declaring it is inspired from a pure work of fiction, thus freeing our mind of the idea that a fantastic over-reality would come save us from this one: the real... reality.

The words of wisdom expressed by the Jedi Masters of Star Wars are quite similar to the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. This said, Jediism is not the culture of Star Wars clothing style. The influence of eastern philosophies are what are most attractive in Jediism. Added to that is the love of martial arts and the extreme scientific objectivity that. Considering Star Wars is a fiction, within its world, they seek objectivity in all things. In this sense, Jediists will prefer the scientific approach in every step of the discovery of our world.

Jediism is all about acting with virtue. It contains a great deal of introspection, of observation of our behaviour with the utmost desire to better ourselves. We strive to understand ourselves so we can better understand others, leading thus to a better interconnectivity with all members of society. For example, we encourage a moment of honest regret if we have done a mistake, without the dramatic victimization attitude that would only cultivate guilt, as we aim at a quick forgiveness and an efficient correction of our behaviour.

On hooded capes and lightsabers, it was the dressing style in the movies, as it was conform to their own culture. In the same way, a real-life Jedi will seek to dress like anyone else in his culture, blending into the crowd with respect, not with shame. We discourage undesired cosplay. Jediism is all about compassion and acting with virtue. You won't see a Jedi doing propaganda, knocking door-to-door to expose their philosophy, or trying to impose his view of the world on another. As for lightsabers: why would anyone carry a weapon if they don't intend to use it? Even worst, why would we carry a plastic tube with a coloured light? We're not children any more.

Jediism is about personal development in the most down-to-earth way. We practice meditation because it gives obvious results, not because we believe maybe it could. Hence, there is close to no ritual aspect in our practices. It's all about our individual quest to discover the Force. What others have called God, or the absence of God, or the universal this or that, we have called the Force. We do not give a personality to the Force, and it is not based on a mystical mystery. Whatever caused everything to be, and keeps it as it is, is the Force. The Force is not a saviour. It is not an entity. It could be intelligent or not. We could have a soul, or not. It doesn't matter to us. What lives, what makes atoms stay solid, what the world is, just as it it, is the Force. In this sense, a pure atheist could believe in the Force as just another word for the idea that everything exists, as much as a believer would say it is another word for God. Jediists are free to interpret it how they wish.

There is no authority in Jediism. A Jedi Master is someone who masters himself, and no one else. The more a Jedi climbs the ladder of the hierarchy, the more he is in service to the others. And since there is no authority, the personal understanding of the Force is ever more present, as no one will tell you who is right or wrong. It is primordial for us to discover the Force in our own experience, as much as to respect that others will discover it differently.

Since members of Jediism are spread throughout the world, we do not often gather in the same physical place, yet we stay in contact daily via the Internet. It is also against our principles of acquiring infrastructures such as temples or buildings. If we did so, we would have to pay them, which in turn would push us to gather money more than be ourselves at the service of the community. It's so easy to rent a room just once when we gather as larger group.

- Jedi Master Maha Vaj-Ra

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