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.

5 comments:

Martial Development said...

Taoism is a big country, but I do not believe these "Jedi precepts" can be supported with orthodox Taoist lit.

For example, consider the following classic quotation: "When Tao was abandoned, humanity and justice appeared." This phrase alone should put Jedi panties in a twist. :)

Sean C. Ledig said...

This is nothing new to me.

There is a sect called Messianic Judaism, which consists of Jews who believe that Jesus (Yeshua) was the promised messiah.

Last fall, at my church's fall festival, my son and I went dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi (the Alec Guiness version) and Luke Skywalker. It was there that I announced my new religion, Messianic Jedi-ism.

It got a lot of laughs, but so far, my son and I are the only members.

Dojo Rat said...

Ahh...
"Use The Farce"

Mighty said...

You didn't mention that the British sense of humour responded by a landslide to a questionaire asking about which religion etc. and put a tick box with 'Jedi' on the answer options. It's not been forgotten ever since the results came out. Too funny to give up now. "What's that Ben,... no not now I'm on the computer!"

Seven said...

I would point out that an excellent source of information about the Jedi religion is Jedisanctuary.org

;-) USa'Da'Forca'Luke -MTFBWY always