general doctrine

Seriously, this back crown has always been one of my favourite designs (so inspired by the back view of Sauron’s head in the first TLOTR movie), so I was thrilled to put it on Lady Ben. Plus, half naked Ambassador rescuing his man makes me really happy. *screams incoherently*

Plus bonus story update.


More than two years had passed since his meeting with General Brendol Hux III but Senator Amidala still remembered their last meeting, how the ginger haired man had taken his hand and pressed his lips on his fingers, lingering to take in his perfume. Despite the Snoke’s doctrine, the General truly believed that there could be a way for the First Order and the Republic to cohexist in peace, so what started out as a recon mission, quickly turned into heated arguments about politics and joint projects to restore the balance in the galaxy. And their last meeting ended with a promise from both the General and the man wearing the title, to come back.

/Snoke will not take him away from me./

After that the General had slowly but surely started to undermine Snoke’s power, stealing his most trusted followers and building a strong foundation for what was to be the New First Order. But Snoke resisted, first with politics, then with guerrilla and finally with a desperate Force attack on his High General turned traitor.

As soon as the Resistance’s spies got wind of the Supreme Leader’s plan to kill the General, Senator Kylo Amidala was the first to be alerted. Leaving in a hurry from a Council meeting, he took his lightsaber from his Force-training days and commandeered the first ship he laid his eyes on, along with the pilot inside it.

Poe Dameron had seen General Organa’s son only in photographs and announcement videos, so finding him, all regal and golden on his ship, demanding to be taken inside the heart of the First Order’s StarKiller base, was a definite shock and he could do nothing but stare. And get slapped for it.

“It is imperative for me to save General Hux and bring him to the Council so Snoke can be brought to final justice. You *will* stop staring at me like a fool, connect your brain to your hands and bring me where I need to go, pilot.”

/Definitely General Organa’s son./

Dark Side-users and the Jedi Order’s reaction: a quick meditation after Shroud of Darkness preview

This is, in general, a quick rant spawned by the Temple Guard’s reaction to Ezra in the Shroud of Darkness preview that has been annoying me for sometime. It’s the Jedi Order’s reaction to this person + Dark Side = Sith waiting to happen.

Okay, so, I know I’m going into this with about zero context so I’m assuming a couple of things - a) the Temple Guard is a legitimate Jedi, b) not an Inquisitor and c) not a dream. 

Guard to Kanan: The Dark Side. It pulls at him - it calls to him. Eventually, he will be consumed by it. *lights his saber* Stand aside. The boy must be eliminated.

AND THEN LET ME SUMMON THE MOB, GRAB A PITCHFORK AND TOSS A TORCH TO MY BUDDY OVER HERE AND WE’LL LIGHT THE PYRE TO BURN HIM AS A WITCH.

omg. what is this, what even is this - i seriously cannot - what the hell.

seriously - what the hell. what the HELL is this. this is some of the most ridiculous logic I have ever seen come from the Jedi Order, and that includes the painful “Only the Sith believe in absolutes” line. like, seriously - that’s what it is. 

“Only the Sith believe in absolutes,” line is kind of funny, kind of painful, because that line is also an absolute - by Obi-Wan’s own logic there, he’s a Sith, because he believes in an absolute. 

This guard’s statement is horrible, but it’s genuinely not out of character for the Jedi Order. It fits in perfectly well with Obi-Wan’s line above and with general Order doctrine and logic - even if it’s much harsher than what the Council would ever outright state.

This type of philosophy? It’s a problem for the Old Jedi Order and, like the Order itself, it’s not a new one. 

I’m not trying to focus on all of the Jedi Order - I’ve just got a small rant concerning the late Jedi Order’s approach to the Dark Side. It’s not even new or anything. It’s just a rant.

The Order’s philosophy is much bigger than this one guy and this one line and it crosses a much greater span of history than just the 13-ish years we see in the movie and on TV. But in the 13 years we see the radical shift of the JO go from “peacekeeping” to “elite, general-class of the military” and it’s pretty obvious that philosophy of the Order is having trouble keeping up with the tolls on the psyche of the Order during the wars and the demand of the war. 

Going to back to the absolutes/Sith line, we get an overall feeling the Order - particularly, the Council’s - view all things Dark Side related. 

When people go to war, you generally get a few outcomes. 

  • People become ultra-patriotic. 
    • Not necessarily because they were before, but because everything shifts into an “us versus them” mentality. Also, invasions. If your country’s invaded, generally even the most ardent critic of the nation and the government is on the country’s side. War does that to people. 
  • Centralization and consolidation of power. 
    • You can see this everywhere in history. The entire country needs to band together, so people will start restricting liberties on free speech and press (sometimes to help preserve military intelligence) and other times because the country just cannot deal with internal division. 
      • (During WWII, the US banned the criticism of the army uniforms. Yeah, uniforms. Don’t like the color? Deal with it.) 
    • The consolidation of power’s important. Look at the PATRIOT Act, look at the wars Bismarck used to unify Germany, look at the powers the Confederate government started assuming as the Civil War started to drag on. This isn’t a US thing or anything like that - it’s a worldwide, government, nation, people-type thing phenomenon. 

Star Wars is a GREAT example of the tolls that war takes on societies, it’s literally a case study in it. The obvious example is Palpatine’s jaunt form Chancellor to Emperor: non-authoritarian regimes tend to suffer during wars, where it’s easier to have a king or a dictator (like, say, Stalin during WWII) making all the decisions. - that’s how Palpatine rose to power. 

But the war also took a more subtle affect (or very obvious, depending on how you look at it) on the Jedi Order.

  1. It made them ultra-JEDI, like ultra-patriots. In turn, it made them very, very anti-Dark Side.
  2. The Jedi Council consolidated power and cut down on internal disagreement and strife.

I know the first one sounds a little ridiculous, but bear with me here. 

The Jedi were, of course, always anti-Dark Side, they’re a Light Side organization. But war is a breeding ground for any type of extremism, and for the Jedi, it meant extremism while concerning the Dark Side.

Two main definitions of the Jedi-defined Light Side, before the war.

  • they respected all life
  • they were peacekeepers, warriors

During the war:

  • they are soldiers who routinely kill people
  • they enforce the Republic-mandated peace and are warriors

I’m not going to get into all the nitty-grittyness of the Jedi Order before and during the Clone Wars, that’s not what I’m here for. But what’s important is this - because it’s wartime, the definition of what’s considered acceptable, Light Side use for a Jedi is growing. (As the definition of “what’s acceptable,” always grows during wartime.)

Meanwhile, the definition of a Jedi is shrinking. 

This has to do entirely with the fact that the Council is trying to consolidate and centralize power to try and maintain internal stability during wartime when there’s rampant instability in the rest of the galaxy. That’s neither condemnation or commendation on the Council, but more what it means for the Jedi Order.

Because the definition of “what’s acceptable for a Light Sider-user” is growing, meaning things like Anakin’s famous stab-in-the-back paired with “what, he was going to blow up the ship” line and Obi-Wan’s false surrender (which is considered a war crime) are okay, how can the Council accurately determine who’s a Jedi and who’s slipping to the Dark Side? 

I argue that they can’t. They really, really cannot and so, instead, I think, they simply go for the title - Jedi. If you’ve already got a shiny membership card to the Jedi Order and you follow the Council’s orders, you’re a Jedi. Because they don’t have the time to think of anything else. 

Look at the Jedi-turned-Dark-Siders! Pong Krell, Barriss Offee, Anakin Skywalker. All of them were considered reasonably trustworthy up until the minute they weren’t. There was only one who was considered a flight risk.

Anakin. And why? Because he wasn’t a Jedi

Just like how in WWII-era America you had better not be of Japanese, German, or Italian descent to be “American” no matter how long ago your family came to the country, in Clone Wars-era Jedi Order, you had better be born in the Temple. Essentially, it’s Jedi Order-style radicalism. 

Anakin was always considered a “not-quite” for the Jedi Order. He wasn’t quite young enough, he wasn’t quite obedient enough, he wasn’t quite calm enough. He was the Chosen One, which already made him different, but things were kept making him different. 

Compare him to Barriss Offee. She’s the model Jedi and I could list all Jedi-like virtues but sufficient to say, she’s basically Anakin’s opposite or Obi-Wan’s doppelgänger. And so, because she was the Jedi Order’s version of the Jedi, they never suspected her. 

This all ties back into Shroud of Darkness because the Temple Guard’s reaction to Ezra’s Dark Side-y flight risk is characteristic of the war-era Jedi Order. And that’s not a good thing. Wartime JO made a LOT of mistakes, especially concerning child soldiers and how to recognize when one of your students was about to topple republics, but it all has to do with how the war aggravated already long-standing Jedi Order malfunctions, both doctrinal and administrative. 

This Temple Guard acts like it’s still the Clone Wars. Which, granted, it’s not a time of peace, but to act like he can sustain a wartime administrative version of the Jedi Order while not at war and not having the Jedi Order around to back him up is completely stupid. 

(Note: the Guard immediately assumes Ezra, someone not Temple-bred is the flight risk, despite the fact that Kanan is the Clone Wars survivor who has been on his own for years - circumstances which could have easily have led (from an outsider’s view of Kanan’s life) to turning Kanan to the Dark Side or making him easy prey for the Inquisitors.)

Radicalism only breeds more radicalism. You want to convert the United States to a Communist country in the 1950′s, all you’re going to do is breed a bunch of hardline ultra, laissez-faire capitalists. 

You treat Anakin Skywalker or Ezra Bridger like he’s constantly on the edge of falling to the Dark Side, that’s exactly what they’re going to do. There’s a difference between carefully maintaining and instructing on what sort of behaviors lead to the Dark Side and punishing, rebuking, or reprimanding where necessary. It’s an entirely different deal to immediately assume complete embrace of the Dark Side - because if you keep some at the edges of the Light, you’re only going to push them into the folds of the Dark.

When it comes to us versus them and the “us” is the Jedi Order, the us has to be pretty inclusive otherwise these flight-risks are only going to feel more tied to the Dark than the Light. 

Especially “eventually he will be consumed by it?” This predestination is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Saying with exact certainty that this is Ezra’s destiny is completely stupid from the Jedi’s point of view, which routinely acknowledges the futility and trickery of prophecy because the future is constantly in motion.

After all, look at how the “Chosen One” prophesy turned out, or even Ezra’s Vision of Hope prophecy.

Wow, this rant was supposed to be a lot shorter. Either way, that was me venting on the annoying repetitions of “Ezra’s at danger of falling to the Dark Side,” from characters in Star Wars because in general it just seems really, really counterintuitive. 

Also, shouldn’t the Temple Guards have been among the first casualties during Order 66?

Really, really hope we get to see Kanan beat that guy in a duel, though.

kevluvs  asked:

Sometimes people can be disappointing, especially when they break their word and seem to not care about how their actions affect others. How do you not get turned cynical when people you meet constantly act inconsiderate. This is not to be needy or anything like that but one would think that there should be a certain courtesy in our disposable society. What do you think??

Outwardly, our actions do affect other bodies. If someone slaps you, your body will register pain. But how you take that experience into your mind varies from person to person. How you are affected by actions internally has more to do with your mind than it does with the other person. 

If someone is discourteous to you and it hurts your feelings, that’s your challenge to face. This doesn’t mean that person should just do whatever they want and it’s on you to just deal with it. It just means that people will always be a mix of courteous, discourteous, kind, mean, happy, unhappy, and so on. Instead of policing everyone with a general doctrine of courtesy, which is a lovely idea and yet failed by every major world religion, you can address the root of your discomfort which is within. 

It’s like this well-known proverb once voiced by Ramana Maharshi: “Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.”

Wearing shoes in this instance means continually aspiring for inner clarity and therefore peace. How to do this? Here are some tips:

1. Stop and see. When someone is being discourteous, what do you think that indicates? Are they a happy person? Are they rooted, clear, insightful, and worth learning from? We often forget that the condemnable behavior of others comes from a place of deep confusion and suffering within. If you are not willing or able to see this, it is because you have yet to remove your own confusion. It’s easy to see the splinter in your neighbor’s eye while missing the log in your own. 

2. Be humble. Humility doesn’t mean bowing down to others. It means lowering your head to no one and allowing no one to lower their head to you. Humility is the recognition that no one being is inherently more or less important than another. Period. Be that human, insect, or fungus. 

3. Cease judgment and conclusions. You’re getting cynical because you’re generalizing the concept of the persons you have encountered with the concept of People as a whole. Then you draw half-baked conclusions. Humanity is not wonderful and all good and brilliant. Nor is it evil, worthless, or basic. Our bodies are all just bags of molecules.

You’re feeling disappointed because you were hoping for something else. But for peace to be possible here and now, all hope and fear, all judgments and conclusions, must be suspended. In order to come to know ourselves, each other, and reality as they are, we must be ready to abandon our habitual conceptions at a moment’s notice. 

If you ask me, modern day society is a very uncreative and somewhat mean game. We don’t need to be competing with each other, getting the newest iPhone, or working in an office for the majority of our lives. Our species has enough technology and learning to take care of everyone. So why don’t we? We’re bogged down by the inertia of the past. Cultural conditioning, language-bound perceptual confusion, and enduring issues from previous generations are part of the pre-existing framework with which we are forced to deal. 

Playing the coulda woulda shoulda game with modern society is just an exercise in frustration. It is only the future in which a harmonious society will be possible and nothing happens in the future for which we do not sow the seeds in the present. 

Attend to your own contributions, your own awakening. At the same time, strive to understand and give compassion to those people to whom life brings you. Daily meditation is essential. 

Namaste :)

anonymous asked:

Do you believe that the catholic has changed and become more and more corrupt since its formation? You can't really look at something like the crusades and the church's child abuse cover-ups and believe that the catholic church isn't even the slightest bit corrupt, can you?

In our Creed, Catholics say that we believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. These are the four marks of the true Church that Christ founded. The premise of your question is that because there are corrupt (sinful) people within the Church, the Catholic Church cannot therefore bear the mark of holiness.

Fr. Barron, in his series on the Youtube Heresies, is instructive:

The second heresy I call ecclesial angelism. Repeatedly my conversation partners say: “Who are you, a Catholic priest, to be making truth claims, when your church has been guilty of so many moral outrages against the human race: the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch hunts, support of slavery and the clerical sex abuse scandal?” My arguments in favor of religious belief are not so much refuted as ignored, with a “consider the source” wave of the hand.

I respond by insisting that the existence of bad Catholics does not in itself demonstrate that Catholicism is a bad thing. A rare ally on a YouTube forum observed that the use of Einsteinian physics in the production of the nuclear weapons that killed hundreds of thousands of innocents does not amount to an argument against Einstein. As the old dictum has it, bad practice does not preclude good practice.

I do not deny the major premise of their argument. I’ve told them I stand with John Paul II, who spent years apologizing for the misbehavior of Catholics over the centuries. But Christians have known always that the church, as Paul put it, “holds a treasure in earthen vessels.” In its sacraments, especially the Eucharist, in its essential teachings, in its liturgy and in the lives of its saints, the church participates in the very holiness of God. But in its human dimension, it is fragile. Ecclesial angelism blurs this distinction and allows any fault of church people to undermine the church’s claim to speak the truth.

When we speak of the holiness of the Church, therefore, we’re not for a second denying the sinfulness of it’s members. The Church is, after all, a hospital for sinners and not a hotel for saints. Rather, we’re referencing the participation in the holiness of God, which gives the Church her mark of holiness.

Also, I might add that your question implied the Church was much more holy when it was founded than it is now. I’m not sure if there’s a litmus test for holiness - except for maybe Christ Himself or His Mother, but it is important to remember this: Judas betrayed Christ and hung himself; Peter, the first Pope, denied Christ three times; and all of the Apostles save for John were absent at the foot of the Cross. The people who make up the Church have always been fragile, sinful creatures. If we were not, would we need a Church?

Be holy! Be happy!

- Phillip

commedia-divina-deactivated2017  asked:

I think you guys really missed a great opportunity to explain that we refer to God as a He because He is the one who penetrates into reality and is the active force in producing life within us while we assume the feminine role of nurturing that life essence. The sexual imagery is deliberate because in the beginning sex was not meant to be a lewd act, but as a beautiful participation in God's creation. Hence ProCREATION. We refer to God as He because He is the penetrative potency in our reality.

You’re right, that is one traditional way of explaining the imagery.

So stated, however, it misses the subtlety of more modern understandings of the feminine role in procreation. It was once thought that women contribute nothing to new life, that they were simply “empty vessels” to be filled up with the man’s life force. Even in the early modern period it was thought that each sperm was a whole, tiny human being, and this was “proven” by microscopic studies that showed humanoid shapes. 

Now, of course, we know that women actively contribute so much to procreation, in both the genetic and the spiritual senses: it takes an egg and a sperm to create a new human being; bodies and souls are not just empty receptacles, but actively nurturing, life-giving agents, that operate primarily inwardly.

So yes, the traditional imagery and explanation does have that value: it sees an accurate analogy between God’s ex nihilo creation and the male part in reproduction, and every soul’s feminine relationship to God is, if not quite doctrine (I’m not sure), an unavoidable part of Tradition–in part we are all the Church, which is feminine, and Christ’s Bride–but it’s also important not to miss or minimize the extremely important elements of our growing understanding of the “active” power of “female receptivity.”

Water, after all, is a traditionally feminine symbol, and water has a power, even in still, quiet pools, that people underestimate at their own risk.

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