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Caught in a Cult…

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People who belong to a cult will — as members of the cult — insist that they are there of their own volition, and are not (in any way) being brainwashed.  They will inform you about how secure and happy they are.  The leaders of the cult will inform them about what is what and how things should be done, and they (the leaders) will not (under any circumstances) invite them to question everything and to go beyond the patterns provided.

Society, as it currently exists, is largely like that; it is very “cult-like” in the way it operates.  However, most people do not want to go into that possibility… just like the way cult members do not want you to question their position within the cult.  Whether we care to admit it or not, politics, religion, education, and similar branches of society are very cult-like.  Suggesting, for instance, that the Catholic Church — with its (pointy hat) bishops, with its robed members who claim to be middlemen between you and God, with its symbols, methodical (esoteric) gestures, ringing bells, threats of punishment/eternal damnation, and strict practices/beliefs — is a cult would shock and disturb many people.  However, just because something is immensely popular does not nullify the possibility that it is, indeed, a cult.  So many of us are mesmerized by our orthodox religions, by nationalism, by ingrained educational precepts (that we adhere to without question) that we would even fight or kill for them.  In fact, this is what is largely going on in the world right now — as it has been for many crass generations — this fighting for what they taught us to believe in.  They don’t tell us to intelligently question our patterns, to go beyond our divisive patterns and beliefs and to love without promise for future rewards.

When you accept being a pawn, and have accepted it for many years, it is very disturbing when someone challenges you to transcend beyond being in that rigidity.   Most of us were educated by those whom (themselves) have been produced by (i.e., indoctrinated by) the system.  Some of this education, of course, has value.  However, some of it is extremely deleterious; yet we accept all of it without question.  Most of us were educated about what to think… not how to think.   Most of us were educated to be specialists and to react in certain definite ways, not to be what sees and acts holistically.   Most of us were educated to accept and to believe… not to deeply question.   The end result, of all this, is that most of us are not dynamic, whole individuals but, rather, are brainwashed puppets (who think that we have freedom).

Psychologically, the very way we look at the world has been heavily tainted by others (and by the language that we absorbed); and through that second-hand screen, we look.  Instead of considering that the observer may not be separate at all from the observed, we look — as we were taught to — with separation, division, and symbolic labeling.  Where ingrained separation and division exist, there must be friction.  The world is full of friction and conflict and is far from being an orderly place.  Few of us flower beyond all of the cold, programmed rigidity.  That must change.  

Frozen in Time (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2017

Frozen in Time (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2017

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original mindfulness sayings and/or poetry that deals with mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: tom8pie.com (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

19 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. An interesting post Tom! All my life I’ve tended to feel uncomfortable in groups, and have sometimes wondered why. It appears that as soon as you put a number of people together then naturally some will become leaders and others followers. A lot will moan about the leaders decisions, but don’t want responsibility for decisions themselves. Some leaders take advantage of their position of power and convince the others to hand over all their money. Do people join groups because they need to feel part of something? Because they feel lost? A longing to belong? I think if one is able connect deeply with nature then you’re there!

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  2. Reblogged this on A Healing Grief and commented:
    Wow. Although we have discussed this issue many times in the past, we could not have said this better than this blog piece. This is so very important. Please read.

    Reply

  3. This is a very interesting blog and point of view and I agree with your thinking. Even in something simple like team sports, invariably one or two people become the team leaders by their very personalities and the rest, unknowingly or maybe unwittingly string along.Even if you are that strong person but are not interested in having followers, they will be there right along with you, like it or not. People need something to believe in. It’s their choices that are making this country a screwed up place to live in.

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    • Yes, this goes on with team sports a lot! I was flying one of my stunt kites and, in the same field, an adult coach was screaming, swearing, and belligerently yelling at young kids during a practice football game. They were all following his cruel orders and nasty comments… and the danger is that many will grow up being used to that. Then they turn out to be blind followers who just do as they are told. And… like you suggest.. society goes to rot.

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  4. Hello Tom,

    >> that we would even fight or kill for them.
    >> but, rather, are brainwashed puppets (who think that we have freedom).
    >> Society, as it currently exists, is largely like that; it is very “cult-like” in the way it operates.
    🙂

    Good to see you in strong spirits, as always Tom. Hope your wife is doing well.
    Regards to you all.
    Have a pleasant and peaceful day.

    Reply

  5. You are completely right about cults and the Catholic Church, Thomas, but there are a lot more which are even worse. Maybe most people only feel secure on well-trodden paths than to make a path by themselves. Traditions give you a feeling of security because people have made “this” since generatons and it worked out. Great post – as usual – , regards Mitza

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  6. Fortunately, I was not raised to believe in a particular religion, so I have not spent my life unlearning rigid lessons. At dinner-time conversations, we children we expected to be able to support our theories and beliefs. If we couldn’t, it was back to the books to find the facts!!

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