Archive for Quotes and Inspiration

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Greetings to all of the Star Wars fans across the galaxy!  May the Fourth be with you!

IMG_0462.JPGYou may recall in my last update I said that I would be releasing my book, The Modern Jedi Knight, today.  After I made that statement I had 4 training events put on my calendar that took up  7 days of my month, not to mention the numerous days I spent studying for a few of the events.   

But all is not lost.  As a token of my goodwill, I present to you a gift, these two chapters.  I have been hardworking on them and they will serve you well.

The Modern Jedi Knight PDF Two Chapter Preview

This preview is a very quick cut-and-paste from the cloud to a Word document to make the PDF version.  There are some formatting issues that occurred by using CTL-V but all of the information is there.  I plan on having the book released within the next two weeks on Amazon.  I will be certain to get the word out so be certain you have signed up for our email blast by using the link at the bottom of the page or by following us on Facebook and Twitter.download (1)

I would be honored if you would read through the two chapter preview and then provide me with some honest feedback.  Please email using the address admin at modernjediknight.com.

I will be cooking rootleaf and watching Star Wars all day today, along with posting a few pictures on social media throughout the day as well.  I hope you enjoy today because it is our holiday!  Make it a good one.

Book review

Greetings to all my fellow Jedi.  Happy Spring to those in the Northern Equator!  We have a lot to talk about so let us get to it.

The book is, for most purposes, complete.  I have not heard from any traditional publisher as of yet but, with one more submission to be sent out shortly, we are not down to our only hope yet.  So, armed with that knowledge, I have decided to commit to the Kindle platform for publishing so I will have to go through and see if I am satisfied with any images I might put into the book and go through some final formatting and editing.  With the work that needs to be done I see no more of a fitting day to release the e-book about training to become a Modern Jedi than International Star Wars Day.

So, I don’t expect that to break the holonet but that is the breaking news.  The book will be released on May the Fourth of this year.

In other news, I finished reading The Force Awakens in book format a few weeks ago, in addition to seeing the movie a few more times.  The book reviews were fairly brutal, even among those who would call themselves Star Wars fans.  I enjoyed the book, giving it two thumbs up even though it really didn’t provide any vital information that wasn’t put into the movie.  The only qualm I could have against the book would be the vocabulary used by Alan Dean Foster.  Some of the words were novel, new, and fancy but soon became repetitive by the end of the book.  Alan would have done well to heed the words of one of my English teachers who jokingly said, “Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.”  However, I added some words to my lexicon in the process so I am not complaining.

Lastly, I finally have gotten around to creating that YouTube channel I had always been thinking of.  I have started some playlists of official Star Wars releases along with some other relevant videos and have created my own introduction video.  There will be more content released once the book project is in the rear-view mirror.  Go on over, take a look, and please subscribe so you will be notified of all new content.

Look forward to one more update before May the Fourth.  Until then, the Force will be with you.  Always.

 

Book Update for August 2015

by Jetsi

What a month.  As the rootleaf simmers on the stove, I can only think back and laugh at what a month it has been.

maxresdefaultThe Windows 10 upgrade.  How did that go?  Some might say, “Same as always.”  And I would reply, “That bad, huh?”  To recover back to an operational PC took over three days of tech work.

I purchased a motorcycle a few months ago.  I have been having a blast on it and it has been giving me great practice at projecting my presence through the Force (lots about this in the book).  I was going to work and thought that I had everything strapped on securely, I soon found out I was mistaken.  Luckily I am only out a few charging cords and a carrying case.  The iPad survived and only smells slightly like burned rubber.

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Lastly, I have been battling some illness.  Whether it is the Findris Flu or just the common cold I can’t be certain.  But it sure does make me feel bad.  Makes me still say, “I feel terrible.”

What does all this mean?  Not a lot of writing happened in the last month.  Here is to bluer skies on the horizon.

Lastly, I did a quick poll on Facebook to see what everyone’s preferences were regarding the book format.  My plan now is to continue to try to get it published traditionally in paper format (hopefully a hard cover) and release the book on Kindle or iBooks prior to the release of The Force Awakens.

Until next month, may the Force be with you!

 

Memorial Day

by Jetsi

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the United States, a day where we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  These fallen soldiers were Jedi, whether they used, believed, or maybe were even unaware of what a Jedi was.  The majority of these who died for their country did so for just causes while some died in wars that did not need to be fought, but that is not the focus of this post.

The focus has to deal with flags and their effect on us as a species.  In a quote often attributed to Patton but actually from the movie of the same name, the character Patton said, “I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.”  In this case flag and country are synonymous.  Why are we so willing to fight and kill over what makes us different?  Flags, lines on a map, religion,  political affiliation, and skin color are just a few examples of ridiculous things to fight and go to war over.  Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot does a good job of putting this into perspective.

So what is the solution?  One I believe in would be a flag for the planet Earth and the human race as a whole, one that would unite our species and help us realize we are all in this together.  There has been a recent proposal for this, as well as numerous real and fictional variants throughout history as well.

Would this work?  I don’t know but I would be willing to give it a try as a short term initial trial run.  But I feel that this would always act as a dividing line.  The minute we encounter an alien race our flag would indicate that they are not part of our group.  Where do you draw the line?  Our galaxy, galactic cluster, the entire universe, or maybe even different dimensions?  I hope you can see the folly in this.

There is no real direction to this thought train, it is simply a rambling investigation of our attachment to our identity.  This will be discussed further in the book when I discuss the Republic, my term for our collective in the universe.  What are your thoughts on this?  Am I a traitor to my country or a patriot for my species?  Or something in between?  Let me know in the comments.  And if this made you think a little please be sure to like and share it.

Book Update for May 2015

by Jetsi

Hello to all my fellow Jedi!  I hope you had as fun with Star Wars in May as I did.

First, we had a day for the 501st Legion and the rest of the Empire.

 

Then we celebrated May the Fourth.  I personally celebrated by watching the Original Trilogy while a very large cauldron of Rootleaf simmered over the fire.  Okay, maybe it was just a large pot on top of the stove, but it was in my personal Dagobah that day so it all depends on your “certain point of view”.  While preparing this Jedi feast I listened to a random playlist of music from all of the films.  Following Return of the Jedi, the family and I sat down at the table for dinner and some blue milk, although from the picture you can’t really see the blue color.  It was a glorious day, and with the upcoming release of The Force Awakens and the Rogue One and Boba Fett Anthologies in the works I can only see this day being celebrated by more and more people in the following year.

It was a good thing we were all rested from our day of leisure as us Jedi needed to be wary the following day.501st

Once the festivities were concluded, it was time to work on the book once more.  I noticed a few new little things while watching the OT again but I felt I still needed more information regarding Luke’s training on Dagobah during TESB to move forward in the chapter I was working on.

It took some searching but I eventually came across a Dark Horse graphic novel called Star Wars Adventures: Luke Skywalker and the Treasureof the Dragonsnakes.  This info is no longer canon as it falls under the Legends banner now, but this short comic contained some good information.  The only thing I will reveal here is that Yoda even thought his cooking was bad, saying, “Terrible is this soup.”  (But do not worry, the recipe we have is delicious)  The rest will require you to read the novel yourself or wait for my book to come out.

When I get past these little stumbling blocks the book flows easily.  I look forward to sharing more with you soon. Until next month.

 

 

 

 

The recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have caused much public outrage and raised many questions.  I received this message from James last week:

Hey, I’m a college student and big fan of your blog. I hope things are coming together well for your book. I do miss your daily posts, especially the ones concerning recent events in the world. Right now in the news media the Brown and Garner cases are huge topics that are fueling a lot of debates concerning larger issues. With all of these different opinions and sides I find myself lost and uncertain. I was wondering what would a Jedi knight do in this situation? What stance would he take in this debate?

I gave James a quick answer, one that I could type out on my phone.  But I realized that I have had this discussion with my children as well and thought that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.  So I am going to expand upon my answer to James.

First off, these two deaths were completely avoidable.  Had both of these men complied with the police officer’s requests, they would have been arrested and had their day in court.  But they didn’t comply.  They both resisted arrest.  And in doing so the responding police officers did what they had been trained to do, they attempted to restrain these men and take them into custody.  Had I been in Brown’s or Garner’s shoes, I would have complied with the police officer’s demands and the incident wouldn’t have even been a blurb or a sound bite on the evening news.

Following these two unfortunate incidents, grand juries were formed to determine if any charges should be made against the officers.  In both cases, the officers were not charged with any criminal acts.  This caused outrage in the community, but the outrage is based upon a trial by media and not all of the facts.  Many years ago the police were very much a family that would try to protect one of their own.  But recently this has not been the case.  If you don’t believe me, ask a police officer in Internal Affairs how popular they are among their peers.  If Internal Affairs and an impartial grand jury didn’t find enough cause to take these officers to trial for their actions then I accept their decision.

That is my take on these two situations.  But before you crucify me, hear me out.  My take is based upon who I am.  I am a white male, a man who carries a badge and who is the son of a police officer as well.  I am not a black male.  I am not a member of a group that is treated so very differently than I am.  So I can understand how their actions, born of distrust and fear, would be very different than mine.  Remember this quote from Obi-Wan:

Luke, you are going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.

My point of view is that the police are there to serve and to protect.  My point of view is that the police as an entity are a safe and secure group.  My point of view of the police is different than the point of view of other people.  And this isn’t just a difference between white and black.  It crosses gender, race, social, and economic lines.

Opinions and points of view are also being shaped and, dare I say, manipulated by local, national, and social media.  The news is being written and delivered in a way that attempts to polarize the community with anger and hatred and incite further protests and violence.  Instead of trying to heal this wound, relieve tension, and mend the community, it either causes cries of “police brutality” or “inner-city criminal”.  Social media does no better.  I see posts and pictures that are supposed to be funny, or to show the irony or hypocrisy of the actions of both sides.  But even if they do make you laugh, chuckle, or smile, those pictures are unconsciously trying to deepen and widen the divide that exists between both sides of this issue.

So, what is a Jedi to do?  What stance would a Jedi take in this debate?  In this situation your role as a Jedi is to act as a healer, mediator, and arbitrator, helping both sides come together.  How does one do this?  Keep reading.

First, you need to search your own feelings and be honest with yourself.  Are you choosing a side?  Don’t misunderstand me, the police need to be held to a higher standard because they are there to protect us.  They are to be Jedi themselves, whether they like Star Wars or not.  But a badge and a gun doesn’t give them the right to invade and violate your own rights.  If you do find yourself choosing one side or leaning to one side, spend some time meditating to try and understand the thoughts, views, opinions, and feelings of the other side.  By fostering this sense of empathy it will allow you to connect to both sides with compassion and help them meet in the middle.

Next, when given the opportunity try to act as as a mediator.  If a family member, friend, coworker, or a crowd on the street expresses an opinion that is indicative of a highly polarized view in either of these cases, try to understand where they are coming from and then help them release their anger by showing them that their own point of view, while not wrong, is clouding their judgement.  Talk to them, listen to them, let them know that you understand their point of view.  But then try to help them understand the opposing point of view.  You wil find that the majority of their issues are rooted in fear, and the same goes for the opposing viewoint as well.   Police officers are not killers intent on genocide and all people not of your race are not criminals and thugs.  Yes, there are bad cops and there are criminals, but we can’t stereotype and assume that all people of a certain group are.  There can be no trust when there is fear involved.  Instead, reach out and be a bridge between both sides.   When one can see both sides they can then meet in the middle.

Many will not listen to you, desperately clinging with attachment to their anger and hatred, but you will make an impression on a few.  Remember these words by Mother Teresa:

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

Your empathy and compassion will open the hearts of others.  They will begin to understand interdepence, the understanding that there is a symbiosis and interaction between all people and events, and that what one does to another is the same as doing it to onself.  This will remove the fear, anger, and hatred, and replace it with love, trust, and understanding.  And then they too will act as you did, and an awakening will slowly happen across this country and eventually to the whole world.  It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

That is what I feel a Jedi would do.

I would like to thank Jamie for the question, and I would like to thank you for reading through this post.  I hope it inspires you to go out and make a difference.  Share your message and get the word out.  May the Force be with you!

Time flies so fast . . . .

Whoops!  Where did the time go?

I was under the impression that my new schedule was going to give me some extra time to do some writing.  As for September, I couldn’t have been farther from the truth.  Work was extremely hectic and fast paced.  The first part of October wasn’t much better as I not only worked a hectic schedule but also had to deal a sick wife, sick Younglings, and do some extra studying outside of work.

But now things are settling in and . . . . . . . . .

FINALLY!

So, enough of the excuses.  On to what the Jedi really want to know.

I have made a few more technology changes that will facilitate writing the book even more.  I have embraced the cloud and given myself numerous options as to what platform and which computer I can now write on.  I find this extremely exciting!

So what does that mean?  Even with my frantic schedule I did compose the outline for the final and as-of-yet unwritten chapters.  I then went in and did a very dirty rough-rough-rough draft.  The data in the final chapters is more notes and thoughts, but from these fragments the chapters will spring forth.

Thanks for checking in on this update, and may the Force be with you!

Book Update for February 2014

by Jetsi

Catching up with a good book

Work continues on the Modern Jedi Knight project, slowly but surely.  I have gone through the first five chapters and made many small changes but I think it makes the book read easier, flow better, and it just does a better job of conveying the information I want to come across.  It is funny, but every time I think I have a chapter complete I come across some little nugget of information or have a small “aha” moment that I think would just be perfect in the book so I go in with another edit.   I am still writing The Jedi Mind but it is almost complete (until my next aha moment).

It isn’t official yet but I am fairly certain I will be learning about a job promotion on March 5th.  If I get this promotion I will be pretty busy with training in April and working on a quasi-relocation in May.  The good news is that my trips in March have A LOT of time sitting on the ground so I should have plenty of time to work on the book.  Whether I can get it completed in five weeks is hard to see at this point but it would be quite an ambitious project.  Therefore, right now I am projecting to have the book out in late May or Early June.  The book will be released as an e-book on Amazon while I pursue other publishing options.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, send me some positive energy to help me make the final push and turn the first stage of this project into a reality.  Then I can get back to daily writing and working on the next stages of this project as well.

 

May the Force be with all my fellow Jedi!

 

This is a play on the quote by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;

I think too many people are more concerned with the title of Jedi than by actually being a Jedi.  They seem to be more concerned with what the martial arts training and the lightsaber than the self-reflective and compassionate diplomat that are the hallmark of a true Jedi.

Instead of the Jedi we could be training as the medieval knight, the samurai, the ninja, or the Shaolin monk.  No matter what path you choose, however, you still end up at the same destination.  All paths up the mountain end at the summit.

Don’t get too wrapped up in calling yourself a Jedi.  That is an ironic statement to come from a website aiming to train you as a Modern Jedi Knight.  But the true paradox is that as you advance in your training as a Jedi you will associate it as “Jedi Training” less and less.  It really is training in being a good human and humanitarian.

Resilience

by Jetsi

Every Jedi will stumble and fall at least once in their lifetime.  We have plenty of examples of the movie Jedi, such as Anakin’s fall to the Dark side, Luke’s failure at the cave in The Empire Strikes Back and his attacks on Darth Vader and the Emperor aboard the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi.

Never give up!

The stumbles can be internal, external, or both.  But the cause is the same, which is the ego getting in the way of channeling the Force through mindfulness.  Fear, anger, hatred, revenge, or physical hostility all come from the same location, the ego.

So what is the solution?  Continue to meditate and get used to being mindful so you can carry it over into your everyday activities.  When eating, eat.  When walking, walk.  Don’t cloud the Force with memories of the past or thoughts about the future.

Every Jedi will stumble and fall at least once in their lifetime.  The difference between the Jedi and the Sith?  The Sith remain fallen while the Jedi pick themselves back up.