Thursday, December 31, 2015

Surge in Jedi Religion Membership


After seeing the new movie, thousands more are signing up for the Jedi religion:



I'm pretty sure this was NOT the producer's purpose for the movie.

22 comments:

Tom Hickey said...

I'm pretty sure this was NOT the producer's purpose for the movie.

Not directly but indirectly. The intent is to create a cultural phenomenon to compete with Disney in selling branded goods to kids and young people. Turning it into a religion certainly promotes this enterprise.

Moreover, it's a natural.

Creating a Star Wars "religion" is simple because it is included in the script. The Force is most assuredly a spiritual concept and designed as such. Yoda is the symbol of the master. This jumps out at people who are into Eastern spirituality and/or internal martial arts.

I view it as a healthy thing that cultural myths based on Star Wars, LOTR, and Harry Potter are gaining prominence.

There actually is something inside to be tapped. It's a good thing that children are being introduced to it at an early age.

It will result in bringing prominence to the mystical traditions underlying all religions and wisdom traditions, too.

This is actually a very big deal, as jrbarch has been saying here at MNE.

Anonymous said...

I think you're confusing parodies with the real thing. I would call these developments a "counter spirituality," and far from being a "good thing" actually constitute a sinister development. But you're probably right that this is a "big deal." Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism all paint a very negative picture of these latter moments of this human cycle, and that most people will be fooled by them. As a follower of someone I consider part of the "counter" current, and a most self-deluded man, I know you'll disagree with me.

Tom Hickey said...

@ James

The Force moves in ways that exceed ordinary human comprehension even in hindsight.

Tom Hickey said...

Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism all paint a very negative picture of these latter moments of this human cycle, and that most people will be fooled by them.

I view such modern myths as comparable to miracles (Bible), genies and flying carpets (Islamic tales), talking monkeys (Monkey), and magic weapons (Ramayana), not to mention Native American teaching stories, etc.

The message is in children's stories the world over: There is a force and it is within you and everyone and everything else too. Find it.

As one of my internal marital arts teachers once said to me, "I can show you how to find it, but I cannot find it for you."

Tom Hickey said...

The is an interesting article on the real Islam versus the conventional religion that is normative.

The truth about Islamic Fundamentalism

Conventional understanding of foundational concepts is just wrong.

And the author doesn't even touch upon Sufism.

Similar things can be said about the other normative religions relative to the real meaning even without reference to the mystical traditions that underlie them.

As a result the substance is lost to doctrine, ritual and observance.

The historical religions have the tendency to become ends in themselves and, as it were, to put themselves in God's place, and, in fact, there is nothing that is so apt to obscure the face of God as a religion.

Martin Buber
in Rosalie Maggio
The Journey Inward: Quotations for the Soul
NY: Barnes & Noble, 2001 (1997), p. 170

Pretty much comparable to conventional economics as normative.

Bob said...

If it stops young males from killing themselves and others, then i guess it's a good thing.

The Just Gatekeeper said...

The latest movie was so bad I was seriously considering going over to the Dark Side.

Tom Hickey said...

The latest movie was so bad I was seriously considering going over to the Dark Side.

The strange thing is not so much that Stars Wars branded stuff is now eclipsing the traditional Disney characters but that the Dark Side is apparently more popular. Is Darth Vader becoming the new Mickey Mouse?

Now we have Disney competing against Walt, and Walt is probably rolling over in his grave.

Lucas too

George Lucas Says He Sold ‘Star Wars’ to ‘White Slavers’/

Matt Franko said...

Justin I sort of felt the same way...

Matt Franko said...

Tom what I was getting at was the tendency in religions to emulate behavior depicted in the applicable scriptures...

iow in Christendom there is a tendency to read the Hebrew Scriptures and emulate... as if the Hebrew Scriptures exhibit human behavior to emulate for those of us who comprise the body of Christ...

iow if the Israelites came across 2 sodomites they were to stone BOTH to death... hence maybe 50% of Christendom thinks it proper to torment homosexuals today... maybe this is the same thing as the Muslim head cutters cutting off heads because it is somehow depicted in their scriptures...

In Exodus, Moses deployed the Levites to exterminate the gold-lovers among them to give them an early advantage... this of course does not mean we should kill all the goldbugs today it simply reveals a real danger associated with mankind's dealings with these so-called "noble" or "precious" metals...

Paul put it thus: "All scripture is inspired by God, and is beneficial for teaching, for exposure, for correction, for discipline in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be equipped, fitted out for every good act." 2 Tim 3:16

Doesnt say anything about emulation or to be used as a model for fleshly behavior..

It says "beneficial for TEACHING..."

Use in TEACHING is completely different concept than emulation or use for modeling human behavior...

I did see this new Star Wars movie I witnessed good, evil, humans in trial, etc... I didnt go home and wrap a tan blanket around myself and start to act like Obe Wan Kenobe....

Here is Franklin Graham just today in a tweet:

"I want to challenge Christians to pray and vote for candidates who support biblical values."

What the hell does that mean? Stone "sodomites"? No F-ing way...

To me this moron Graham is acting the same way as one of these nut-job "Jedi" people coming out of a Star Wars movie...

Matt Franko said...

iow I am made to believe that God's purpose for the Hebrew scriptures is NOT for them to be used as a model for human behavior in any way... yet we see them used that way ALL THE TIME just like these nut-jobs coming out of a Star Wars movie...

Anonymous said...

"The Force moves in ways that exceed ordinary human comprehension even in hindsight."

Good grief! Strike me with a light sword :-)

"I view such modern myths as comparable to miracles (Bible), genies and flying carpets (Islamic tales), talking monkeys (Monkey), and magic weapons (Ramayana), not to mention Native American teaching stories, etc."

Well that settles it. Hickey has spoken.

Your doctrine of Awakening outside the framework of a sacred tradition is "luciferian"--inoperative philosophy, individualism, self-inflation and self-delusion, and essentially a spiritual suicide. This is what all the false gurus do for their misguided followers.

==============================
"The is an interesting article on the real Islam versus the conventional religion that is normative."

The truth about Islamic Fundamentalism
-------------

It's a very mediocre article, and at root profoundly subversive of Islam–and of religion generally. The author is an avowed secularist, who therefore has no problem throwing out the baby with the bath water. As if the sacred were a purely human invention, and as if it is not obvious that men are capable of every abuse, and as if it were not the case that corruptio optimi pessima (the corruption of the best is the worst). And as if the secularist and essentially materialist-humanist outlook represents a solution. The West, which has thrown off the “yoke” of religion (to use the author’s expression) hardly represents a paradisal utopia, and perhaps the author forgets that without its colonial depredations it would not be the materialist mecca that it is today for “Oriental” naifs like the author. Its power came from its firepower not its cultural superiority, which on the contrary manifested--and continues to manifest--summits (or nadirs) of barbarity.

At any rate, what truly represents a religion are its fundamental revealed doctrines and revealed rites as well as its sacred art on the one hand, and its saints and sages on the other. Their very existence, and the millenial civilizations in which they are embedded, are proof of the sacred, of religion, of Revelation.

Anonymous said...

"The is an interesting article on the real Islam versus the conventional religion that is normative."

The truth about Islamic Fundamentalism
-------------
It's a very mediocre article, and at root profoundly subversive of Islam–and of religion generally. The author is an avowed secularist, who therefore has no problem throwing out the baby with the bath water. As if the sacred were a purely human invention, and as if it is not obvious that men are capable of every abuse, and as if it were not the case that corruptio optimi pessima (the corruption of the best is the worst). And as if the secularist and essentially materialist-humanist outlook represents a solution. The West, which has thrown off the “yoke” of religion (to use the author’s expression) hardly represents a paradisal utopia, and perhaps the author forgets that without its colonial depredations it would not be the materialist mecca that it is today for “Oriental” naifs like the author. Its power came from its firepower not its cultural superiority, which on the contrary manifested--and continues to manifest--summits (or nadirs) of barbarity.

At any rate, what truly represents a religion are its fundamental revealed doctrines and revealed rites as well as its sacred art on the one hand, and its saints and sages on the other. Their very existence, and the millenial civilizations in which they are embedded, are proof of the sacred, of religion, of Revelation.

Anonymous said...

For those interested, here is a list of authentic books on Islam (one could easily do the same for Christianity, East and West).

What Does Islam Mean in Today’s World?: Religion, Politics, Spirituality–William Stoddart

Islam and the Destiny of Man–Charles Le Gai Eaton

Introduction to Traditional Islam--Jean-Louis Michon

Vision of Islam (Visions of Reality)–Sachiko Murata

Universal Dimensions of Islam: Studies in Comparative Religion--Patrick Laude

Understanding Islam--Frithjof Schuon

Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources–Martin Lings

The Book of Hadith: Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad from the Mishkat al Masabih–Charles Le Gai Eaton

The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary–Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Kashf al-Asrar: The Unveiling of the Mysteries (Great Commentaries of the Holy Qur’an)– William C. Chittick

Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legact–Jonathan A.C. Brown

Islam, Fundamentalism & the Betrayal of Tradition, Revised–edited by Joseph E. B. Lumbard

Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations–Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi

Recollecting the Spirit of Jihad–http://www.amaana.org/ikhwan/rezajihad.htm
Do Muslims and Christians Believe in the same God?–http://faith.yale.edu/sites/default/files/shah-kazemi_final_paper_0.pdf

Emir Abd el-Kader: Hero and Saint of Islam–Ahmed Bouyerdene

Reflections on Islam and Modern Life

http://www.al-islam.org/al-serat/vol-6-no-1/reflections-islam-and-modern-life/reflections-islam-and-modern-life

Dispelling Myths About Sharia Law In Al-Islam Part 1

http://www.ascertainthetruth.com/att/index.php/al-islam/understaningalislam/62-dispelling-myths-about-sharia-law-in-al-islam-part-1
———————————–
Islam’s Record of Tolerance
The leading British scholar of Islam of his generation, Sir Hamilton Gibb, wrote in 1932:
Islam possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and co-operation. No other society has such a record of success in uniting, in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavour, so many and so various races of humanity.

Bernard Lewis
Multiple Identities of the Middle East, 1998
Pluralism is part of the holy law of Islam, and these rules are on many points detailed and specific. Unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam squarely confronts the problem of religious tolerance … For Muslims, the treatment of the religious other is not a matter of opinion or choice, of changing interpretations and judgments according to circumstances. It rests on scriptural and legal texts, that is to say, for Muslims, on holy writ and sacred law.

Norman Daniel
Islam, Europe and Empire (1966
“The notion of toleration in Christendom was borrowed from Muslim practice.”

John Locke: “Letter Concerning Toleration”, 1689:
Christian denominations were free to enact their specific forms of Christian worship if they lived in the Muslim Ottoman Empire, but not if they lived in certain parts of Christian Europe. So:“Would the Turks not silently stand by and laugh to see with what inhuman cruelty Christians thus rage against Christians?”


Ryan Harris said...

The basis for the Jedi religion is as fanciful as the other major religions, I guess, dead guys rising, gods of nature, and prophets and all that stuff.

I get annoyed that people aren't just stubbornly irrational, they delight in thumbing their nose at observed reality because their imagination creates an alternate universe where the rules are simpler and the laws are flexible or malleable enough to accommodate not only how they think the universe does work, but how they think it should work. All completely detached and unperturbed by contrary facts they know are true. Presented with fact, they simply create new facts, take subsets or obfuscations, fictions with nice endings. It appears that humans are wired to work this way though. Everyone simplifies what they don't need or want to know into abstractions that are good enough and socially agreeable, collective wisdom, to get them by while only giving full credence to the small slice of what they know through first hand experience and is critical to their survival. It's trusting others stories, its our social fabric that holds society together even when the stories are created by companies or crazy guys like George Lucas. All too ugly a reality for me to live with, so I'll chose to ignore it.

Tom Hickey said...

Most of the sources cited above are Western. Read the imams on Islam rather than the Western POV for the actual Islamic teaching that is traditional and current. Most of these Westerners or Western leaning Islamic scholars are criticized for misrepresenting Islam by some imams and Islamic scholars and generally all fundamentalist ones.

Some of the sources cited above are also Sufi or favorable to Sufism. Fundamentalist Islam considers Sufis to be kafiris and they are some of those who are the targets of the knives the Salafi Takfiris. Not only is this documented, I have heard it directly from Sufi acquaintances.

A takfiri (Arabic: تكفيري‎ takfīrī) is a Sunni Muslim who accuses another Muslim (or an adherent of another Abrahamic faith) of apostasy.[1] The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir (unbeliever), and is described as when "one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure."[2] The act of accusing other Muslims of being takfiri has become a sectarian slur, particularly since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.[3][4][5]

In principle the only group authorised to declare a member of an Abrahamic religion a kafir (unbeliever) is the ulema, and this is only done once all the prescribed legal precautions have been taken.[2] However, a growing number of splinter Wahhabist/Salafist groups, classified by some scholars as Salafi-Takfiris,[6] have split from the orthodox method of establishing takfir through the processes of the Sharia law. They have reserved the right to declare apostasy against any Muslim, in addition to non-Muslims.
source

There is a broad range of Islam and India and Indonesia are very different from Arabia. So it is difficult to generalize.

But we see something similar in Christianity as Islam wrt to mysticism. One must speak and act outwardly iaw with the norms or one is in trouble with the authorities. Similar in Judaism also. Spinoza was tossed out of the community as being a pantheist, for example.

Even in today's RCC, conservatives are criticizing the pope himself for stepping out of the norms and rejecting his teaching.

The point that the author of that piece is making is that there is no central authority for interpreting the Qur'an and various imams interpret it differently. As long as one can develop a Qur'anic rationale, it's considered a valid interpretation. He is further claiming that the general understanding of Qur'anic Arabic is flawed. (Similar charges are made about Biblical Hebrew.) Since the context is lost, it's an undecidable argument.

Some, including me, would claim that the interpretation of the various texts is clear to those with non-ordinary experience and since it is more comprehensive, it is to be preferred. Those depending on intellect alone claim that intellect is the final arbiter and those who think that they have non-ordinary experience are just deluded.

And that is the being reflected in this thread. :)

Tom Hickey said...

I neglected to include this reference in the above.

What is the view of Islam on sufism? - Salem Al-HasiWhat is the view of Islam on sufism? - Salem Al-Hasi

This is the moderate view of normative Islam. It sides with Ibn Taymiyah on this against Ibn 'Arabi, on whom Sufis have bestowed the honorific title, the greatest master (al-shaykh al-akbar).

Ibn 'Arabi's wujudiyah is comparable to Adi Shankaracharya's Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism (especially Yogachara and Dzogchen), philosophical Taoism (pinyin: dàoxué), Plotinus's Neo-Platonism, Eckhart's Christian mysticism, Moses Cordovero's qabalah, and other expressions of panentheistic non-dualism

Bob said...

I live in a society where individuals are judged by their actions. Religious zealots and islamophobes tend to forget that.

googleheim said...

The circle is not everywhere and the center is not no where.

Star wars is a violent blueprint and now mixes Harry Potter and Lord Ringy dingy.

Kylo Ren killing a dufus version of Han Solo does not make sense
Han was not that stupid. It was a matter of Disney and Abrams symbolically looting and kicking out Lucas.

Han was a pirate not a Papa John Boy Walton to be tricked by a tempertantruming incompentent fashioned after Maryln Manson.

What a lame story.

Butch Busselle said...

Hey Tom, why'd you begin by saying "The intent is to create a cultural phenomenon to compete with Disney in selling branded goods to kids and young people?" Disney is the main owner of Star Wars.

Tom Hickey said...

Hey Tom, why'd you begin by saying "The intent is to create a cultural phenomenon to compete with Disney in selling branded goods to kids and young people?" Disney is the main owner of Star Wars.

I am showing my age, I guess. When I grew up the dominant story characters and merchandise branding was Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, etc. It remained so for a long time after that, too. It went viral globally.

Disney was even granted special legal permission to extend its ownership of these copyrights, brands and trademark. But I looks like that is not going to be extended. We'll see.

Mickey’s Headed to the Public Domain! But Will He Go Quietly?

What I meant was that now the company is competing against its founder, Walt, who created those enormously successful characters. Disney Inc is Disney in name only now for older folks like me although younger people probably don't make that connection.

This is actually a pretty big deal culturally, since the myths and models that kids grow up with remain influential subliminally through their lives. It becomes part of the programming, so to speak. The Walt Disney character played a huge role almost from the time of their creation. Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in 1928.

Older folks tend to be sentimentally attached to the Walt Disney characters that dominant their younger years and see the new crop of characters not only competing with them but replacing them. It marks a new era culturally. I suspect that many older folks look on it with dismay. Even the robots are celebrities. :o

BTW, I took my mother to see the original Star Wars in 1978 when she was 79. She loved it, but she was an enormous fan of Sir Alec Guinness. He really set the tone at the outset, and Yoda carried it forward in the next. After that, the marketing folks got ahold of it and it was downhill from there.

Tom Hickey said...

BTW, I should also mention that Disney used to mean Walt Disney, the creator of the Disney characters. He was something of a folk hero, everybody's uncle. For older people, "Disney" means Walt Disney. Now folks think of the company. Probably a lot of people no longer even remember Walt.