Sunday, April 26, 2009
Jedi Religion: The New Taoism?
According to this article, eight Police officers in one of Scotland's largest divisions have declared their religion to be... Jedi.
"Nearly 400-thousand people in England and Wales listed their religion as Jedi in the 2001 Census for those countries. The figure in Scotland is at 14-thousand".
Not only are orthodox religions finally beginning to wane and loose their stranglehold on the minds of humanity, it appears people are seeking a more non-specific version of spirituality. As the dogmatic doctrine of the previous 2000 years begins to fade, the Aquarian age of change brings with it a form of self-mobilizing introspection more powerful than the political structure known as the orthodox church.
Apparently more prevalent in the UK and Australia than the U.S., the Jedi religion is a reflection of ancient Asian teachings bundled up in the pop-mythology of modern heroes - much like the origins of Christianity itself.
As described by Australian blogger "Inspirepub":
"Pages on the Jedi Code and Jedi Truisms explore concepts which are clearly drawn from the cultural background of the contributors, many of whom are Asian. Buddhist and Confucian ideals take on a new life, encased in a far less codified religious framework.
The Jedi are big on individual responsibility and an internal moral compass, but the classic Star Wars moment ("use The Force, Luke ...") has a yin-based letting-go which resonates well with Buddhist teachings".
Here is a sample of Jedi precepts that parallel Taoist thought:
The Jedi Code
There is no emotion;
There is peace.
There is no ignorance;
There is knowledge.
There is no passion;
There is serenity.
There is no chaos;
There is harmony.
There is no death;
There is the Force.
Also evident is the binary duality of Yin and Yang, good and evil. Of course, all of these moral issues were played out in George Lucas's "Star Wars", the obvious origin of the Jedi religion, but there is no indication that Lucas considers himself a Jedi adherent.
For more information, or if you just need a good smile, check out The Jedi Church, and Jedireligion.net.