There are seventy thousand Jedi knights in Australia. Four hundred thousand in England and Wales. In New Zealand, Jedi is the second most popular religious affiliation, ahead of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and most everything else. So concluded the official 2001 census in each of these countries.
It is unclear how many respondents were serious about their Jedi faith, but their governments did not take them seriously. Tallies were ignored or reclassified, and citizens were threatened with fines for providing “false or misleading” information.
So it is forbidden. Religions may not originate in movies–at least not in movies of Star Wars mediocre quality. But with the unprecedented critical and commercial acclaim of the hit film Inception, some of the formerly irreligious are reportedly inspired to worship again.
Yes, I was practicing martial arts in public, but I wasn’t looking for trouble. I wasn’t looking for attention, just wanted to enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon at the park.
I was only twenty minutes into an outdoor routine (that is, an indoor routine stripped of any provocative elements) when I heard a group of teenage boys approaching behind me. I continued to mind my own business, but they were not content with theirs.
Did they taunt me with the standard Bruce Lee kung fu yelps? Well, of course they did; and I ignored it, just as I have ignored it three dozen times before. But unlike three dozen times before, this group did not have a few laughs and keep walking.
They dared each other to throw a rock at me, and that I could not ignore.
Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III: The key to all of this…it has nothing to do with bending metal [spoons]…Lord Mercy, if I can do that with my mind, what else can I do? It wasn’t clear whether they thought I was nuts. In any event, the reaction that I got was, “we’re not very interested.”
But as Jon Ronson’s investigation shows, they were in fact very interested. During the last few decades, the United States military has conducted a series of experiments in psychic warfare. On the record, these attempts to create superhuman “warrior monks” for a “First Earth Battalion” were a complete failure. (Off the record, you have no need to know.)
One of the least successful experiments is parodied in the new Hollywood comedy “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” and further documented in a book of the same name. It is also covered in the British documentary “Crazy Rulers of the World”, which you may watch for free below.
More offbeat news from the world of martial arts…
“Manga Bible” Casts Jesus Christ as Samurai Warrior
Christian thinkers have tried to make the Bible accessible for centuries, scholars said. Stained glass windows related Bible stories when Europe was largely illiterate. New printing technology in the 19th century made it possible to mass-produce Bibles, including illustrated versions…
The goal of the Bibles is not just to win people to Christ, but to particular ways of thinking, said Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University. Manga Bible author Mr. Akinsiku said the biblical message he wanted to underscore was justice, especially for the poor…
[Continued in The New York Times]
Attention Anchormen: Not Every Swordsman is a Samurai
Recently confronted by a sword-wielding maniac, German police lower their guns, in favor of the trusty battle broom.
內功 neigong (pronounced nay-gung): the science of observing, strengthening and directing bio-energy, or chi.
A repository of extraordinary skills such as telekinesis, pyrogenesis, telepathy, remote viewing and levitation, the esoteric Eastern school known as Mo-Pai has been described as a real-life order of Jedi Knights. Some have even speculated that its history inspired George Lucas’ script for Attack of the Clones.
Among the ancient neigong lineages still in existence today, the Mo-Pai is characterized by an unusual openness. The school and its headmaster, known by the alias “John Chang”, has been the subject of two recent books and a video documentary.
Jim McMillan, who identifies himself as a longtime disciple of John Chang, has graciously agreed to share a few of his experiences with Martial Development readers:
Recent news items from the world of martial arts…
Enroll Now in Jedi Knight 101: Intro to the Jedi Order
Source: Telegraph UK
The UK’s first Jedi course is on offer at Queen’s University Belfast in November, and hopes to attract Star Wars fans and introduce them to the joys of continuing their education through open learning.
According to its publicity material, the course ‘Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way’ teaches the “real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks”.
It also claims to examine the “wider issues behind the Star Wars universe, like balance, destiny, dualism, fatherhood and fascism”.
No prior qualifications are required and the blurb informs students that “light sabres are not provided”.
Remember that in the Star Wars universe, the Galactic Empire regarded the Jedi as a pack of rebels, or terrorists…
General Sun wants coffee with a double shot of espresso. General Kalius A’dar will take a black iced tea. Cyran Oghma is all set, thanks. “Anything else, you guys?” Master Flynn asks the others assembled. As the founder of the New York Jedi, Master Flynn (no last name) knows mind tricks don’t work in Starbucks. You can’t order telepathically, and you still have to say “venti” when you really mean extra large.
On Tuesdays, Master Flynn and his Jedi posse squeeze into a few corner tables in this busy café before heading to lightsaber training at a dance studio down the street. Sessions can be grueling, starting with meditation and yoga poses before moving on to choreographed swordplay.
– Jedi Order Establishes Temple in Lower Manhattan
Members of the New York Jedi Order
The New York Jedi are a diverse community of choreographers, martial artists, dancers, and Star Wars fanatics, dedicated to mastering the art of lightsaber combat. In addition to holding weekly classes in sword technique and stage combat fundamentals, these Jedi frequently perform at public events, and on local and national television.
And the weapons?
In the ancient spiritual text Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna defined two paths to the highest realization of human potential. For those inclined towards introspection and contemplation, Krishna recommended the path of transcendent wisdom, or Jnana Yoga. For more active and extroverted people, he suggested the path of selfless service, or Karma Yoga.
Blogger Steve Pavlina discussed these paths in his recent article Are You a Lightworker or a Darkworker? After insisting that mastery requires a polarizing commitment to one path—and one alone—Steve denigrated the path of self-knowledge:
If you polarize as a lightworker, you are dedicating your life to serving the greater good. If you polarize as a darkworker, you are dedicating your life to serving yourself. To use a Star Wars analogy, it is similar to deciding whether or not to become a Jedi or a Sith.
For a darkworker the level of unconditional love is directed inwardly as love of self. It’s like a highly concentrated form of arrogance. It may not be expressed outwardly in the form of a smug attitude, but inwardly the person comes to embrace the idea that s/he is the most important person on earth and should act accordingly. Honoring this perspective can actually lead to a state of peace that is virtually the opposite of humility.
While some might label the darkworker path as evil path, I dislike using words like good or evil to describe these paths. They’re really two different sides of the same coin.
Are the paths of lightworking and darkworking truly exclusive? To understand the flaw in this theory, let’s examine a tool that is literally dedicated to gathering cosmic light: the Hubble Space Telescope.