By Alethea Thompson
In a piece written by our esteemed Kevin Trout, he makes a bold statement that you should not feel like you need to sacrifice your spiritual and/or religious beliefs to become a Jedi. To many this may seem counter-productive to dedicating yourself to an entire religion, right? It might be helpful to understand why this is true.
When the Jedi Community began in the 1990’s and into the early 21st century we started out with some of the concepts outlined in the fiction. Things like the Jedi Code, behaviors and many more. But when it came to understanding “the Force”, we found ourselves looking towards esoteric studies of various belief systems. From Christian Mysticism to practices of the Eastern Masters and even Pagan witchcraft, there was something to be found for everyone. As we explored the origins of the popular Jedi Knights we discovered a series of interviews conducted by Bill Moyers and that set the stage for the next evolution in our path.
In an interview with the famous reporter, George Lucas told his fans that “the Force” was not just a part of the writing for Star Wars, but that it was meant to awaken a spirituality in a younger generation. One that questioned whether or not god was real. He also told us that his work was strongly influenced by Joseph Campbell, whom also did a series of interviews with Moyers called the Power of Myth. Between the two, the community was inspired to look into the wisdom and power of ancient stories. We sought to discover a world of mystical wonder. To seek out answers to questions like “can you really heal someone energetically?”, “does remote viewing work?”, “what sorts of ancient alternative healing methods work?”, “Is there really something to the idea of connecting with divinity?” “What are the boundaries of the Force?” “What does the Force mean to me?”.
This exploration has not only built strong relationships among various religious groups facilitated by the Jedi’s hunger for knowledge, but has also caused followers of the Jedi Path to better understand what their role in the world is, as the gods/god/goddess they follow or do not follow intended.
It is often a misconception that the Force is what connects all Jedi together. The reality is, we do not always agree with one another on what the Force really is. What we do agree with, is that it does incite our curiosity. Through exploration of the Force, we become connected to one another under the banner of living by the Jedi Code. It is our collective belief that Jedi can only further benefit by having the influences of various religions, just as our fictional counterparts believed. Whatever your religious path is, theistic, animist, atheistic, or other, it can only enrich your Jedi path.
Alethea “Ally” Thompson has been a member of the Jedi Community since 2002. Currently the head of the Light Aspect at Force Academy, Alethea holds the title Light Jedi Master. Across the community she has various ranks and positions ranging from apprentice to administrator and on occasion finds the opportunity to keep up with her Knights of Awakening show Force Realists. Alethea is a mother and United States Army Military Police Corps Veteran, and is currently employed as a Coast Guard.