Everyone who walks the Jedi Path was once searching for something: support, knowledge, insight, strength, or inner peace. But how do you get from being curious about a new path, or daydreaming about being a Jedi, to living the path and training, online and off, every day? Here are a few more Jedi origin stories:
Well, first off, I should mention that I’ve been a Star Wars fan for almost my entire life. I’m 31 now, and I’d say that for the majority of that amount of time, I’ve been a fan. So, for myself, it’s no surprise to me that I ended up here.
It started for me about 10 years ago. I suffered a pretty bad knee injury at work which left me couch-bound for nearly a year. During that time, all I really did was surf the internet to pass the time, play video games, watch movies, et cetera. One of my biggest lifelong interests has been the supernatural. Things like psychic abilities, telekinesis, ghosts, aliens, you name it. And, you can find all of those things in Star Wars, by the way. So, the combination of all those interests eventually led my internet digging in a certain direction, and I discovered that there were people out there that actually lived as Jedi in the real world. My mind was blown, I was certain I was on the cusp of learning all these fascinating abilities, with a Jedi twist.
Reality set in though, and I realized the real-life thing had nothing to do with these supernatural abilities. My young, open minded, self was somewhat disappointed, but I continued digging and eventually found a site I took an interest in. I spoke to one of the leaders of that very small community through email and I started gaining more and more interest. Until, that is, I found out that the fellow basically likened himself to some sort of new-age spiritual Guru, who was more interested in selling his products and advice to his “followers”, than teaching anything Jedi related or building any sort of Jedi community. People would pay this guy to come to their homes and “teach” them all about what he supposedly knew, and how to follow his Path to enlightenment and spiritual Nirvana. I was totally disappointed, I completely lost interest, and didn’t think about the idea of following the Jedi lifestyle, like I said, for about 10 years.
Last year, at the age of 30, I went through some IMMENSE life changes, some positive, some not. It put me in a place where I felt that, to keep a level head, I just needed to find time to sit back and enjoy the things I once enjoyed so much that I had lost track of over the years. I basically had a personal Star Wars renaissance, and my pure love for the franchise exploded all over again. Eventually I found myself thinking, “I wonder if people are still out there living like Jedi?”
So, I opened up my laptop and started searching again. With a better idea in mind, this time, of what I was looking for. After finding and passing on several sites, I wound up just googling “Jedi in California”, and BOOM. There it was, top suggestion, “California Jedi”. I started emailing back and forth with our dear friend Katie Mock, and we decided to meet up and chat in person around the end of July of 2018. I was really impressed with what she had to say, and I was absolutely relieved when I saw in person what an open, honest, energetic about the Path, person she is. So, I decided that I would give it a shot, and here I am, coming up on the One Year mark of living the Jedi lifestyle.
I’ve met so many good people already, through California Jedi, and I’ve never even attended a Gathering (Payment sent, see you all this August!!!). Aside from my meeting with Katie, all of my communication with my fellow Jedi has been online, and offline is sort of my “bread and butter”, for lack of a better term. So, I’m VERY excited, and also a little bit nervous too (social anxiety-ish), to meet everyone face to face at the Gathering.
I’ve learned so much in just under a year, and considering the fact that learning never ends when walking the Path of a Jedi, I am excited to discover the world of knowledge that awaits me out there, with my continued dedication to the Jedi lifestyle. I’m truly thankful for the guidance it’s already given me, and the solid rock that it continues to be for me, and all of us, to lean on to get us through the ups and downs of life with a level head, a keen eye, a sharp wit, and an ever-growing bounty of wisdom. I honestly could not even speculate what I would be doing with my life right now if I wasn’t doing this, so I am extremely grateful for all of you and your hard work over the last decades, building what exists today.
Corey Vaspra, California Jedi
If you got this far, thanks for reading. May the Force be with you.
Katie Mock, California Jedi
I was a freshman/sophomore in highschool when Revenge of the Sith came out. I was dealing with a lot at the time, beyond the usual turmoil of teenagehood and highschool, and a classmate, hearing me wish I could be more like Obi-Wan, pointed me at the Jedi Path. The Jedi I met pointed me to resources on being an empath and how to meditate, which made a huge difference for me. I was able to take better control of my life and make better choices. I started hanging out with Chicago Jedi in college, moved out here, and was determined to keep training offline, so I founded this group. Two knighthoods and 7 years later, California Jedi and my path are going strong.
A long time ago, in a faraway land, I, being a young lad, began a journey, a journey into the self. It was without a doubt, a path less traveled, but it was a path I knew I must take if I were to attain the principle of, ‘nosce te ipsum’ (know thyself). Having broken free of the rigors of school and having little or no money in my wallet, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. I bid farewell to my family and friends and journeyed out onto the ocean. When I was at sea, I found the time to reflect on life itself, the deeper meanings. After all, at sea, I had ample time to ruminate, to ponder, to focus on many things.
During my ruminations, the words of a little green sentient being came to me… “Do or do not, there is no try…” When, ‘A New Hope’ came out, I enjoyed it immensely, but when, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ that film truly drew me into the philosophy of the Lucasonian Universe. The unfolding of the relationship between the master and the student intrigued me because I wanted to learn, I wasn’t really sure what, but I knew there was so much I needed to learn.
I continued to travel the seas, to read and explore different disciplines: history, philosophy, classic literature, spirituality, astronomy, and others. I think I picked up a Star Wars novel—please don’t ask me which one because I don’t remember—but I wasn’t drawn in by it all, that much I do remember. I continued to reflect and pursue, to some degree, the disciplines revealed in the film, ‘Empire.’ It inspired my interests in mysticism, martial arts, spirituality, philosophy, and others. I nurtured these solicitudes for years. My journey brought me back to my home shores, but before I knew it, I journeyed west to the great plains of the Southwest to find something—I wasn’t sure what, but it was something I needed to learn. The Force—looking back on it now—guided me and was instructing me. From there I traveled into a great valley and back west to the snowcapped Wall of the West.
It was here where I delved into a place, a virtual residence, in which I found others—some at least—who were on a similar path. This was around 2007 at TOTJO. At that time, this group was going through some ‘drama,’ to say the least. I had encountered too many there who desired to create drama instead of community building. I was in the midst of my studies, and I needed harmony, not chaos. Ergo, I decided to put it aside again, regretfully, until, relatively recently, I came upon the group, California Jedi. It is my second home where I continue to learn, and learn, I must. It is what drives me, and needless to say, my journey is far from over.Lumentis, California Jedi