Archive for The Republic

Book Update: PUBLISHED!

by Jetsi

Greetings!  It is with great enthusiasm that I am formally announcing that “The Project” as it has been known for the last seven years, has finally reached fruition.  A week ago I pressed the submit button and The Modern Jedi Knight is now available as an e-book in the Kindle format from Amazon.com.  The Kindle reader can be downloaded for all platforms, phones, and tablets for free from the appropriate app store or through Amazon itself.

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Published!

The book is available for $3.99 USD and is a real bargain for being the equivalent of a 249 page paperback book.  I initially offered the book at $9.99 based upon a few other books from traditional publishers, both in hardcover and e-book format.  One book I just read in the last few days echoes many of the thoughts and processes that I describe in my book, although the author did not use Star Wars as a central theme.  Luke Skywalker and the Hero’s Journey were mentioned a few times, though.  This book I just read is available for $14.93 in hardcover and $11.88 in e-book format so I felt my product was competitive.  A pricing  calculator that took data from similar books and previous sales, along with the input from a few initial readers, said my initial price was too high so I lowered it and am offering refunds on the price difference to those who were first to purchase the book.

Even though I followed all of the protocols while formatting the book I do notice that there are some issues with paragraph indention that I am going to need to work on.  Otherwise, I am very happy with how the book turned out.  It appears that I will be able to edit the book and add new content, such as illustrations, at a later date for no additional charge to the reader.

With the project now completed, I am ready to begin working on the website once again.  I will be working on adding content to the Modern Jedi  Knight YouTube channel as well as adding regular content regarding current affairs and the Jedi as I did before concentrating on writing the book full time.  There will be other symbiotic projects that will be worked on as well.

I want to thank everyone who has already purchased the book and also thank those who provided me with feedback and inspiration to complete what turned out to be a truly daunting task.  Writing a book is substantially more difficult than I imagined the process to be.  And I am crazy enough to have two more book ideas, albeit much smaller projects, in the works.  I must be crazy.

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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.

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.

solo-quoteIt has been quite a month since the last update.  As far as the book goes, I made great progress on the book for the two weeks following the last update.  However, up until yesterday I was at a difficult crossroads with the book that was resulting in an epic case of writer’s block.  It wasn’t so much that I didn’t know what to write but that I didn’tcelebration-keyart-wide-132889 know how to proceed.  I knew I needed more information to be presented but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to segue from one section to the next.  But, while trailing the wife while pushing the cart in the grocery store and practicing some mindful walking, the Force provided me the insight I needed in regards with how to continue and finish the chapter.  Maybe the writer’s block wasn’t such a bad thing as it gave me some time to watch all of the information coming from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim!

What a weekend SWCA was.  In an unprecedented technological display, 30 hours of SWCA were streamed across the holonet for the enjoyment of those of us who couldn’t attend.  What information did we get?  What did we see?  The new trailer for The Force Awakens was debuted and I must admit that I still get chills when watching it.  There were some bootleg video versions for the new stand-alone film Rogue One, now known as Star Wars fett-600x245Anthologies, to be found on the holonet if one looked hard enough, and that film also looks to be extremely exciting as well, even if one reaches the conclusion that there will be no Jedi in it.  We were introduced to the new characters, and through the trailers and the images the story is starting to slowly flesh itself out while still leaving enough unknown to help build the excitement.  Star Wars Battlefront also released new in-game footage which also looks very exciting, and with it being the new canon one can also determine that Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc.  So much more information came from SWCA than one little paragraph here can cover.  With SWC8 announced for London next year, I am already looking into getting my vacation time in the middle of July to see if I can attend.vaderburnthelmet

That is it for now.  With less than 2 weeks to Star Wars Day I believe that the lack of writing for the last few weeks will prohibit me from meeting my self-imposed deadline.  So, instead of getting false hopes raised, just know that I am writing as quickly as I can to provide a great manual while still raising a family and holding a full-time job.  I can tell you that it will be complete before The Force Awakens is released, that I do know for sure.

May the Force be with you!

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!

Book Update for July 2014

by Jetsi

forceforchangelightsaberMy oh my!  The summer sure does bring about some busy times if you have Younglings in the house.  Even with the little ones and work I have been able to make some edits to the book.  These edits are thanks to the change by Disney/Lucasfilm to rename the Expanded Universe as Star Wars Legends and to remove its status as canon.

The change in status left me in a quandary for some time as I tired to figure out how to incorporate  these changes into the book and whether the loss of canon status was going to require me to rewrite significant portions of the book.  However, after some contemplation I realized that it truly didn’t matter and may even work to my benefit.  Throughout the book I am referencing Joseph Campbell quite extensively.  I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that the change from the EU to Legends happens tie in nicely with the underlying training theme of the book.

Another nice tie in with the book is the Star Wars Force For Change program.  This program allows fans of Star Wars to give back to the Republic while garnering opportunities for some pretty intense prizes to be given away raffle style.  As of this writing there are less than 2 days left to participate in the program.  If you wish to participate you can click here to make a contribution.  It will go to UNICEF, a very worthwhile cause.  You can forget about being in the movie, however, I am winning that one particular prize!

With the Younglings returning to the Academy in less than a month and changes to my work schedule and domicile I will be returning to writing more in the near future.  I understand that sounds like a broken record to those who have been following this for a while but I thank you for your patience and promise you a book that you will find enlightening and enjoyable to read.

May the Force be with you!

Book Update for April 2014

by Jetsi

“…Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”  -Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker

Remember this quote when I give the following update:  I have not done any writing in April and will not write until after May 8th.

Is this good news?  Is this bad news?  Or is it just news?  Is it even news?

On April 4th I learned that my promotion at work was finally becoming a reality.  I started training that day for that promotion and began my actual classroom training on April 17th.  There simply has been no time to write between 8 hours of classroom instruction or work and then studying in the vast majority of my free time.

Why would this be bad?  Because I am not writing the book that I know so many of you are looking forward to.

Why could this be good?  This job promotion will allow me the financial opportunity to work on other aspects of this website and give me publishing options that I didn’t have before.  It will also give me many training options and opportunities that I can discuss here on this blog.  Also. once my training is complete I should then go from having no free time to having an ample amount of time to write.

With these changes I anticipate the book being ready by late summer or early fall if I will be self-publishing.  I will still be looking at other alternatives as well so that may cause some delay but it is too early to tell.

Lastly, I will be training on Star Wars Day.  I am not very happy about it as I had planned a Star Wars marathon by watching the movies in order while enjoying some of Yoda’s Rootleaf Stew and some blue milk.  I still will be making the stew for dinner and I recommend that you do the same but I will not have the luxury of watching that many hours of Star Wars.  There is always next year.

Thanks for reading.  I will give another update next month.

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.

More from Vader’s Fist

by Jetsi

Image courtesy of Jeremy Naylor DZ-2638

More words of wisdom

by Jetsi