There are many paths to becoming a Jedi. You can claim it as your religion on your census form. You can start attending a Jedi Church and vow to follow the Jedi Code. You can wear a hooded robe, utter pithy maxims, and take lessons in lightsaber dueling. But for those seeking a more academic approach to harnessing the secrets and powers of the Jedi, Queen's University Belfast is offering a class on "How to Train the Jedi Way."The one-day course, "Feel the Force: How to Train the Jedi Way," is part of Queen's open learning program and offers attendees insight into the psychological and spiritual influences George Lucas tapped in creating the Jedi:
Jedi might not be your religion, but you're still a fan. Learn the real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind-tricks – mindfulness, instinct, serenity, empathy, influence, flow. Examine the larger philosophical issues behind the Star Wars universe – balance, destiny, dualism, fatherhood, fascism and bureaucracy. Discover the academic mythologist who inspired George Lucas' story. Battle your dark side fear and aggression. Begin your own hero-quest. Light sabres [sic] not provided!
Instructor Allen Baird, who also teaches open learning classes on the psychology of happiness and becoming a human lie detector, believes that Star Wars can provide younger people with an appealing introduction to sociology and political thought:
"I suppose the parallel is with the Scout Movement's use of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. "It doesn't mean that one has to believe that the stories are true, but they can be used as a teaching aid. I am trying to find a platform through popular culture to bring people back to learning."
Personally, I'm holding out for the multi-week seminar on telekinesis and Force lightning. Queen's University Belfast Open Learning Star Wars Jedi Knights course offered by Queen's University Belfast [Telegraph via Reddit]