Archive for The Spirit – Page 2

One of our readers had posted a link to a Jedi training manual on our Facebook page a while back and I finally got around to reading it in its completion.  The Book of Jedi by Dogen Elohim Altieri is available as a free download, you can get it by clicking here.

So, what are my thoughts?  When I first started reading The Book of Jedi I was uninspired.  The content was just short little quips and quotes and I didn’t feel like I was learning anything from it that I didn’t already know .  At 78 pages in length I was worried that I would quickly finish the book and emerge none the wiser.

However, somewhere about half-way through the book the content definitely changed.  The PDF book actually started providing instruction, giving direction on real ways to harness the power of the Force instead of giving short, cryptic movie quotes.  The lessons are insightful and will definitely help you in your journey while the appendix takes up too much of the book to be an appendix, instead it should be its own chapter.

My final thoughts?  The book is available as a free download so you are only out an hour of your time to read it.  Even if it was horrible your investment wouldn’t be too large.  But I think you will get something out of reading the book.  The book offers unique insights into Jedi training and I believe you will emerge from your reading a better Jedi.  Go to the website and give it a download.

Have you already read The Book of Jedi?  What did you think?

Image courtesy of zenhabits.net

Mindfulness.  This is something that I have been saying over and over again.  It is a very integral part of being a Jedi, especially in this frenzied time.  I ran across another post over at   Zenhabits.net and instead of writing the same thing he does I thought I would just share it with you and let you take a look at it.

More from Vader’s Fist

by Jetsi

Image courtesy of Jeremy Naylor DZ-2638

More words of wisdom

by Jetsi

Image courtesy of Michael Jaco

I just finished reading The Intuitive Warrior by Michael Jaco, a book about the experiences of a Navy SEAL and how he has learned to harness the capability to perform acts that many claim are impossible.  I found the book to be an interesting read, one that had me pause and reflect on what he had written on numerous occasions.  It is also a book that any Modern Jedi Knight could learn something from as his beliefs are very similar to ours.

The Intuitive Warrior chronicles the journey of Michael Jaco from his youth to entering the United States Navy as a diver, going through SEAL training, and then serving on SEAL teams and as a SEAL instructor before leaving the service and working as a security contractor in the Middle East.  For those that aren’t familiar with the Navy SEALs, the Navy’s Special Operations unit that arguably goes through the toughest training out of any military unit on the planet, you will truly appreciate them and their service by the end of the book.

Mr. Jaco goes into detail in the book about many experiences he has had through his life where he was able to save himself and the members of his unit through his developed sense of intuition.  This sense of intuition is what us Modern Jedi Knights would refer to as the Force speaking to us.  Regardless of what we call it, this intuitive sense is something that I have discussed many times on this website (click here and here and here and here and here and here, for example) and the information and evidence he provides is invaluable.  Later in the book, however, he starts to look at other things in the world from a different perspective and brings up some interesting thoughts on ancient but advanced civilizations like the Mayans and their calendar, purported myths like the Lost City of Atlantis, reincarnation and past lives, and additional extra-sensory abilities such as telepathy.

To be honest, the latter portion of the book made me a little uncomfortable.  I read the book with an open mind and paused many times to contemplate what Mr. Jaco had to say about many things and to process the information in my own way.  Mr. Jaco does provide very compelling arguments that do make you think.  The Modern Jedi Knight project has never been about developing the Force powers like we know of from the movies, shows, books, and video games.  It has been about learning real-world techniques and practices that protect us and the members of the human race from the predators who prey upon the weak.  The Modern Jedi Knight project is learning how to be healthy, happy, powerful, and enlightened.  I have had my experiences of intuition, synchronicity, and the feeling of the energy we refer to as the Force.  With no direct experience to the other capabilities and concepts Mr. Jaco talks about and knowing the history of those who have claimed the same and later been proved as charlatans and scam artists I do remain skeptical.

However, with that being said, I am reminded of the wise words of Yoda.  “You must unlearn what you have learned” comes to mind quite easily.  I also think of Yoda’s admonishment to Luke’s “I can’t believe it.” when he says, “That is why you fail.”

With all that being said, my overall review is a positive one.  If you are interested in the Force, developing yourself, and being of service to others (which you are because you are already reading this) then The Intuitive Warrior is definitely a book you should read.  The book doesn’t really teach you how to develop this intuitive sense in a classical sense but talks about it more as a recounting of experiences by the author.  However, when you pair that information from book with the training provided by the Modern Jedi Knight project it becomes a very valuable source of knowledge.  You can buy the book from the author or you can get an e-book version of it from Amazon.

Have you already read this book?  What were your thoughts?  Thanks for reading, have a great weekend, and we will chat more on Monday.

Ralph McQuarrie 1929-2012

by Jetsi

Ralph McQuarrie 1929-2012

Over the weekend the Star Wars galaxy was delivered a shocking blow as Ralph McQuarrie, the conceptual artist who brought so many of George Lucas’ visions to life, passed on to another place.

Ralph McQuarrie was the first person George Lucas hired while trying to get A New Hope produced and it could be said that, without his illustrations, Star Wars would have never seen the big screen.  His conceptual designs were the basis for so much of the Star Wars galaxy, with examples that include Darth Vader, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2, and the X-Wing.  He also produced conceptual art for so many other entertainment franchises such as Indiana Jones, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica.

Ralph McQuarrie will be missed by those that were touched by his artwork as he was a true visionary.  When you meditate today send some love his way and towards his family who are grieving their loss.  But remember, “There is no death, there is the Force.”

These stormtroopers are real Jedi

by Jetsi

Image courtesy of Terry Cooper

I just wanted to give a shout out to the Rebel Legion and the 501st Legion.  I haven’t heard anything about the Rebel Legion but I do know that the 501st Legion raised over 11 million dollars for charity in 2011!  That is a truly amazing number!

These individuals spend many hours and many credits making sure their uniform is as accurate as possible.  They then go and “troop” at events related to Star Wars.  You might have seen some while you went out to watch The Phantom Menace in its 3D re-release.  But they also raise money for charity, visit sick kids in the hospital to bring a smile to their face, and just bring a smile to anybody’s face that sees them.

While not a member yet, I will be in the near future.  My own Halloween outfit is more for Star Wars inspired characters of my own creation and is not canon or a copy of something seen on screen.  Hopefully we can make that change real soon.

Keep trooping, Jedi!

Not justice

Jedi are known as the defenders of peace and justice in the galaxy.  Yet we all know of people seeking revenge for the past.  What exactly is the difference?  What can you to do ensure that you remain on the Light side of the Force?  With our house having been burglarized on Tuesday and another entry to our garage having been attempted on Saturday morning, this is something that I have been thinking about for the past week.  But I have been thinking about it even more so since Saturday since the suspect of my burglary has been caught by the police and is now behind bars.

The difference between revenge and justice is hard to define as the definition is not black and white, nor is the line drawn in the sand and easily identifiable.  It is the same as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s definition of pornography, that is “I know it when I see it.”  Here are some guidelines to help steer you in the right direction as you come to grips with your own terms of revenge and justice as a Modern Jedi Knight:

  • Revenge is personal.  Justice is delivered by others.
  • Revenge seeks a remedy for the past.  Justice is more concerned with preventing wrongdoings in the future.
  • Revenge results in a stronger retaliation than the initial altercation.  Justice is delivered in balance.

Thinking to my own personal situation, had I been awoken by the intruder when he entered my house I would have chased after him and caught him.  Holding him and subduing him while waiting for the police to arrive is justice.  Dislocating his shoulder or breaking his elbow while restraining him with an arm bar would be revenge.  Now that an individual has been caught after trying to gain entrance to my garage and having entered a house just up the street I am simply looking to have what was taken from me returned, that is justice.  Going to the station and punching him in the face or wanting him to be sentenced to prison for life for the harm he did my family is revenge.

As you can see it is a slippery slope.  What can help you stay on the side of justice?  Keep up your meditations and further your understanding of the concepts of mindfulness, attachment, and impermanence.  Mindfulness of the moment allows you to forgive what was done to you in the past by not holding on to fear and hatred.  Knowing attachment makes you realize that if you let go you can forgive as well.  And knowing impermanence, in the case of a burglary, means that you knew it wasn’t yours to begin with which lessens the attachment and, you guessed it, makes it easier to forgive.  Meditate on this.

Attachment

by Jetsi

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm

My apologies on the lateness of these posts.  I mentioned last week that The Phantom Menace might be the most significant movie in the Star Wars series if we are talking about the Jedi and I was supposed to go into detail but some health issues sidelined me and then our house was burglarized after that.  Everything is fine now so time to get back to training.

Remember this scene in The Phantom Menace (you should sine you just saw it on the big screen, right?) which is right after Anakin has won the Boonta Eve podrace and has been released from slavery by Watto:

SHMI : Son, my place is here. My future is here. It is time for you to let
go…to let go of me. I cannot go with you.
ANAKIN : I want to stay with you. I don’t want things to change.
SHMI : You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from
setting. Listen to your feelings; Annie, you know what’s right.

In this scene Shmi is referring to attachment, a belief that you need to look outside of yourself to find happiness and peace.  Attachment could be considered the gateway to unhappiness and suffering.  Attachment can cause, as a few examples, fear by the thought of loss, anger by the thought of entitlement, and hatred by the thought of revenge.  Attachment is also the primary cause of the fall of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force as evidenced by the previous examples.  Believe me, as I am recovering from our burglary I am struggling with my own feelings of attachment.

So what is the secret to removing attachment?  Check back tomorrow to find out?

Why we choose to be Jedi

by Jetsi

Peter Van Uhm at TEDx Amsterdam

Every now and then you stumble across something and it is explained so clearly, so perfectly, so succinctly that it answers all questions and puts to bed all doubts.  Such was the case of the video of General Petrus J.M. “Peter” van Uhm, a Four-Star General of the Royal Netherlands Army and the current Chief of the Netherlands Defense Staff who gave a short speech at TEDx Amsterdam in 2011.

Watch the video and think about what he says.  Think about how you feel as you watch it.  It sure sounds like General van Uhm is a Jedi to me.