Written by Katie Mock
I dislike religion in my Jedi path. Don’t get me wrong, there are as many ways to walk the Jedi path as there are Jedi, and many of them find their faiths crucial to their path; there is nothing wrong with combining the two. But I myself am not a religious person. I do not attend any organized religion, I do not believe in any god, or partake of any regular rituals or holy days. Honestly even using the words or trappings of religion in my Jedi path makes me uncomfortable, a reminder of what my personal path is not.
However I am a person who has faith. Furthermore, I believe faith to be a crucial element of the Jedi path. Let me explain.
We associate the word faith with religion; indeed religion and faith are often synonymous, because faith is defined as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something; a belief that is not based on proof”. And this is true for religion, there is very little way to empirically prove the things that Christians, Buddhists, Pagans, or any other religion believe. But those people believe in those things because it feels right, because (ideally and hopefully) it makes them happier better people.
But believing in things that are not provable is something we all do and benefit from. For example, I am an optimist. I believe if we as a species work hard enough, leave our prejudices and fears by the wayside, and come together, we can save our species and our planet. This is a belief with very little proof, something I am putting my faith in. Wars still rage across our planet on the battlefield, in our cities, and even in our homes. People hate and kill each other with guns and words with as little provocation as being different, or being told that you are superior to another. Our planet is getting inexorably warmer due to our selfish actions, and species go extinct daily.
But I believe we can do otherwise. All I have as proof is the knowledge that I refuse to give up on us, and that many more people feel the same way. That belief, that faith, is the fuel I use on my Jedi path to keep fighting the good fight, to keep pressing forward when things are at their darkest. To not believe, to lose my faith in humanity is equal to giving up on my own future, and the future of all those around me.
One of the great strengths of humanity is our imagination. What defines us as a species is our ability to envision alternate possibilities and imagine better futures. To think outside the box, to grasp at straws and fictions.We even use a popular story to inspire us, taking on the name of a fictional order to do what they did; refuse to let our world fall apart. Calling ourselves Jedi, we have faith in our ability to change ourselves and in turn change the world around us, fighting for justice in our own little corners of the word.