There has been interesting recent developments in what can be termed as “pop culture spirituality.” Watkins Publishing in the UK introduces “Become the Force,” the brand new book release from popular YouTuber (and now Author) Daniel M. Jones, a millenial from Wales with an adult diagnosis of Aspberger’s Syndrome, a highly-functioning form in the autistic spectrum! It is co-authored by Theresa Cheung, an author who has written many books on a range of spirituality and wellness topics. And it’s been getting a LOT of press, from the likes of Time Magazine, The BBC, Good Morning America, The Guardian, USA Today and a plethora of mainstream radio and television stations – and we LOVE this! He founded The Church of Jediism in 2007, just two years after the founding of Tië eldaliéva, the Elven Spiritual Path.
While there are clearly differences between Jediism and the Elven worldview of Professor JRR Tolkien’s Legendarium, how can anyone ignore the similarities?
In fact, we cannot ignore the similarities between Jediism and the Elven Path for an important reason! Dr. Markus Altena Davidsen, a highly-esteemed Dutch academic in alternative religious studies had original intentions of studying Jediism, particularly since its rising popularity is even measurable. He decided to change the emphasis of his studies to study the Elven Path and our related “sister group” Ilsaluntë Valion, because of this main reason:
George Lucas based Jediism on existing ancient Eastern-based belief systems, outside of his texts, whereas Tolkien’s actual Middle-Earth writings themselves can be interpreted as a standalone spiritual path basis for those wishing to learn the Elven lore and then apply that wisdom.
Wait – that’s the DIFFERENCE, isn’t it? The similarities are that both Jediism and the Elven Spiritual Path would be both considered spiritual belief systems based on (seemingly) popular culture. After all, can it be wondered that when the Greeks were learning of their massive mythology, weren’t they current events for them before they became ancient? 😉 There is something to be said for being able to RELATE to your spiritual systems in a very real way! Story is story!
Learn more by reading Dr. Davidsen’s Doctoral Thesis (Or, if 525 pages seems daunting, scroll down for the “Summary” – and it is indeed an excellent summation!)
Congratulations Daniel and to the Church of Jediism – we here at Tië eldaliéva, the Elven Spiritual Path, wish you much success in your endeavors!