Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a selection of frequently asked questions and answers. Feel free to use these questions and answers in publications, but we ask that you notify the Church of Jediism before doing so by contacting a member of the Church administration team.
If you wish to arrange a direct interview with a member of the Church of Jediism, please contact a member of the Church administration team here.
What exactly is Jediism? What are your practices?
Jediism is a new philosophy supporting the idea of one all-powerful life energy Force that connects all living things in the universe together. Only by balancing our self-awareness with unity awareness in the Force can we find ourselves and discover our meaning and purpose. Jediists believe we are all interconnected and one with the universal life Force.
The Force exists within and all around us and in every living being. If you are struggling to understand the concept of the Force think in terms spirit or consciousness. Think of the part of you that thinks, feels, loves and dreams and is somehow separate from your body. It is the part of you that may or may not survive death depending on your beliefs. All belief systems and religions are welcome within Jediism, including atheists. Jediism encourages respect, compassion, kindness, acceptance and tolerance regardless of culture, religion, gender, sexual and racial identity and background.
The Force has a light and a dark side. The light side is all that is loving, compassionate and wise and the dark side the polar opposite. Jediists always seek the light in everyone and everything.
Jediism is a digital philosophy. Followers embrace technology and regard the internet as an absolutely essential tool for spreading the word and connecting like-minded individuals. This means it can be practised with the application of online technologies alone and requires no physical church or place of meeting for followers. Having said that many Jediists do also engage in real life meets, ceremonies and gatherings where cloaks and lightsabers can be worn but ritual and clothing requirements are certainly not mandatory.
Self-help is fundamental for all Jediists, and the movement offers applied living techniques to encourage personal growth and development, but at its absolute core Jediism is about helping others. A Jediist strives to remain in a constant state of calm alertness so that he or she can protect the vulnerable and defenceless at all times.
Is Jediism a religion?
The 2001 Jedi census phenomenon began the debate – which rages on today – about whether Jediism is actually a religion or not. It is possible to argue that Jediism is a religion because it is a spiritual way of living that promotes moral and ethical improvement which is the definition of religion. But it is also possible to argue that it is not a religion and more a philosophical or spiritual movement of people who refuse to be defined by government-imposed or traditionally acceptable categories. The only definition that might perhaps apply to a Jediist is ‘guardian or warrior of the light.’
The decision about whether or not Jediism is a religion or not is one that you must ultimately make for yourself. In many ways though that decision is perhaps irrelevant as it is first and foremost a philosophical spiritual movement. It is whatever you feel comfortable with and what empowers you to find meaning in your life and live to your full potential. The word “church” does carry with it religious associations but the word church has now gone beyond its original Christian associations and is now often used to describe a community of people who share similar beliefs. There does not have to be a religious connection.
In other words, it is actually immaterial whether Jediism is a religion or not. All that matters is the bigger spiritual picture and whether Jediism helps you find your purpose. If it can help you live a happier and more rewarding life then it has fulfilled its meaning and purpose through you and the light that your happiness and fulfilment can bring to the world.
Do you believe Star Wars is real?
Many people misunderstand our beliefs and often think we believe in the ‘Star Wars’ films written and directed by George Lucas in the 1970s. Although Jediism was inspired by the beliefs of the fictional Jedi, we do not believe the ‘Star Wars’ films or anything associated to them – they are entirely fictional. We at the Church of Jediism encourage meditation and learning about the Force. Meditation calms the mind as well as cleanses it of negative thoughts. We also offer a five pillar training program to help people understand the Force so that we can all use it for the greater good.
Does Jediism have a supreme being or a god?
Jediism is a universal philosophy. There is no ‘rule’ that says we believe in a supreme being. We believe in the Force which is a unifying energy which everything exists within, around and always returns to but this does not require prayer or worship. It is important to point out though that there are many different ‘branches’ of Jediism all of which have slightly different beliefs and some of those beliefs may incorporate the notion of a supreme deity. For example, The Temple of the Jedi Order are Christians who take Jediism to be their philosophy. The Church of Jediism accepts people from all faiths and beliefs, including atheism and you don’t have to change your beliefs to become a Jediist. We encourage all our members to accept and respect the beliefs of others.
Do you have official church scripture?
Become The Force: 9 Lessons on How to Live as Master Jediist by Daniel Morgan Jones (Watkins media, November, 2017) and available on www.becometheforce.com or via amazon and all major bookstores.
Some people see it as a bit of a joke, what is your reaction to this?
Our reaction is positive. We know that the mention of Jediism always makes people smile and that is a powerful thing because ‘religion’ and spiritual living should be about joy.
Is there any sort of sermon, prayer or ritual in Jediism?
In our first official book of Scripture, Become the Force (Watkins media, Nov 2017) there are a number of prayers or blessings but we encourage members to bring their own creativity to their spirituality so these are not written in stone and more guidelines. As far as ritual is concerned the Church believes in meditation – a key part of life. Our minds are like sponges which soak up information daily. In order to keep our minds ‘clean’, we must ‘rinse’ them of negative Force, which is done through meditation, when you focus your mind on the Force.
Who came up with the Jediist belief system?
For hundreds if not thousands of years, people across the world had spiritual beliefs that did not quite fit in to any ‘categorized’ religion such as Christianity, Buddhism or Islam. These beliefs were centered on the idea of a living life force that flows within and around everyone and everything, connecting us all. (Think ‘chi’ ‘prana’ or ‘spirit.’ ) When ‘Star Wars’ was released in May 1977, many people noticed the ideals of the fictional Jedi were very close to their own spiritual beliefs. With help from the 2001 Census, people from all over the world gathered and founded many communities, most of which were online and Jediism was born.
One of these communities, which is said to have the largest global media exposure, is the Church of Jediism founded by Daniel M. Jones in 2007. Initially with only a few followers, the Church of Jediism has grown over the last decade to having hundreds of thousands of members. From 2010 onwards Daniel took a step back from the church to concentrate on completing his chemistry degree, write and perform music for his band, Straight Jacket Legends and come to terms with his Asperger’s diagnosis. In 2017 having worked on his own self-development he felt the time was right to come out of his self-imposed exile and relaunch the church with the help of a highly skilled team of Jediist Master trainers.
Tell me about any sacred routines.
We believe in meditation, but other than that there are no specific routines, such as praying at certain times or days of the week. We recommend meditation and martial arts on a regular basis. We have no clothing requirements.
Why should I become a Jediist? Do you encourage people?
Jediism offers hope, happiness and freedom. Of course we encourage people to join our Church so that we can spread positive energy and a feeling of connection or oneness between people of all cultures, religions, ages, beliefs and backgrounds. In a world that is increasingly divided we feel that the time has never been more right for Jediism to emerge as a uniting and peaceful force for good.
What would I have to do to become a Jedi?
Joining the Church of Jediism is very simple and easy. We ask you to sign up to our newsletter by entering your details on the sign up section of our website (www.becometheforce.com) We also recommend that you start your way on our five pillar Jediist Master training course, downloadable from the website.
How would a follower live their life, how would they treat fellow human beings?
As mentioned before, there are no strict rules in Jediism as we believe in freedom and so joining the Church of Jediism would not pose any restrictions on your life. Meditation is a key component to Jediism and we believe it is required daily to cleanse your mind but this is not a restriction, rather an improvement to your life. A Jediist lives their lives in a state of creativity and willingness to learn and evolve into higher and higher versions of themselves. A Jediist treats others as they would wish to be treated themselves with understanding, gentleness, respect and kindness.
What does your belief suggest what happens after death?
We believe that after death, the light or positive energy in your body departs and joins with the Force. Some Jediists who may be influenced by another religion may believe in Heaven or reincarnation – it depends on your specific belief. It is important to point out that atheists are also welcome within Jediism and belief in life after death is not essential. A Jediist atheist believes they live on through their good deeds and/or their children.
Do you fight with Lightsabers?
We encourage members to join a martial arts club and learn a form of self-defense such as Judo, Karate, Jujitsu or Kung Fu. If you prefer a gentler form of martial arts we highly recommend Tai Chi. Learning to defend yourself offers a sense of self-security and learning to fight enables you to protect the weak and vulnerable. We believe members of the Church should own a Lightsabre, simply as a symbolic reminder of their faith, however, it is not essential.
Is there any way you could spot a follower, what sets them apart from other people?
A Jediist is typically calm, independent and positive with their words and actions. They are always willing to help others and protect the weak and defenseless. The do not take themselves too seriously. A Jediist thinks lightly of themselves and deeply of the universe.
Is there a special/designated place of worship?
Yes, but not so much places of worship, more information centers to learn more. We have Watkins bookshop, Cecil Court, Leicester Square, London in the UK and EarthRise Transformative Learning and Retreat Center, 101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, CA in the U.S. All details about these centers can be found on www.becometheforce.com
Indeed, for all further information – and to connect with the Church of Jediism office administration team who are always willing to answer questions via email or on our forums – we urge everyone to visit www.becometheforce.com