You might be a big fan of Star Wars, but have you heard this before?
There is no emotion ; there is only peace.
There is no Ignorance ; there is only knowledge.
There is no Passion ; there is only Serenity.
There is no Chaos: there is only Harmony.
There is no Death ; there is only the Force.
This is the Jedi code.
Back in 2001, Jedi (or Jediism) was registered as the fourth largest religion in the United Kingdom. not because people actually believed in it but because of an online hoax that went viral encouraging everyone to list ‘Jedi’ as their official religion in the National Census.
Britain is obviously a very atheist country and it is safe to assume that this protest was more a reaction against the established church than a love of George Lucas but now similar movements have started springing up all over the world. People claiming to be Jedi knights are all over Reddit and 4chan.
The Temple of the Jedi Order (the TotJO ) is a church and a nonprofit organisation set up online in the State of Texas back in December 25, 2005 . They are officially recognized as a religious group by the U.S Government and are therefore empowered to order clergy and to confer degrees in divinity studies.
The TotJO is a legitimate group. However, the Temple, and the people who meet through it’s website don’t just love Star Wars. In the church a wide range of topics from philosophy to fashion are discussed. They also offer an introductory program for those who wish, which consists of lessons on the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, the philosopher Alan Watts – The original inspirations for The LucasFilm masterpieces.
What The Jedi Are Saying…
On the official TotJO website, it says:
We are not ‘Star Wars fans’ who fantasize about spaceships and lightsabers. We have no relation with Star Wars or Lucasfilm, or with other agencies of the film industry . In sum, we are not really inspired by the films themselves, but we share their inspiration (Campbell, Watts, Jung et al. ) That led Lucas to create them. For example, there is no mention of Star Wars , its characters or fictional events in our doctrine, or in studies of program initiation. An exception is the Code. The code comes from a novel or perhaps a Star Wars game, but still well expresses the dualism in the human psyche.