Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Why Am I Uneasy About Cult?
They have an unspoken and subtle disregard/disdain for whatever is outside their realm or domain and think and try to establish that this is it (the cult is everything) and one does not need anything outside it.
They try to create an identity separate from the identity they previously had in the realm of life and world.
The cult becomes the epicenter of their lives and everything they do revolves around the cult.
While this is not a problem in itself, the question arises whether they can identify with, accept and respect people outside this cult and whether those outside the cult can identify with them.
And then people should ask themselves if this is their true calling or this simply is a solution for their identity issues and lack of a sense of purpose.
If this is a solution for identity issues, then this is not quite a solution. Any other cult or movement or organization would have given them an identity anyway.
The solution is self enquiry. Find out who you really are, what you really like, how you want you live and then perhaps participate in anything in you want; a cult or movement.
When you embrace a cult because you have no other identity, you may live forever believing, that the identity given to you by the cult is your true identity. You may never discover your true identity, your true self.
If what you have thus embraced is taken away from you one day, then what happens? Then you are lost! Whereas for those of you who have discovered your true identity and after that participated in a cult, movement or whatever, even if the cult/movement is taken away from you, your identity still remains. Your purpose of living is not lost altogether.
Some of them I know don’t read newspapers, don’t watch movies or plays. When I ask them what their weekend plan is they say “Meditation in the morning, prayer in the afternoon, Bhajan in the evening and pooja in the night…the books they read, the music they listen to, the programs they watch on television are all in alignment with the prescriptions of the cult… this is good. But there is so much else to life! Is it really necessary to cut off from all those?
Is it necessary to live as if the whole world were a lie and the cult, the only truth?
Is it necessary to embrace the cult completely and withdraw from the world?
I have done much analysis about why I find it difficult to identify with certain people.
Cults advocate Satvik qualities like patience, humility, forbearance and forgiveness. Many followers whom I have met talk slowly, softly, deliberately, politely and (as opposed to talking spontaneously), perhaps in an attempt to observe Satvik behaviour. While this is definitely good I wonder if these people are not suppressing spontaneity, impulses and spark that make personalities more attractive, charming and interesting to talk to!
I, for one, who believes that spontaneous, mercurial, quick responses are a sign of quick thinking, sharp and intelligent minds, find it difficult to identify with deliberate speeches and actions.
And then I wonder sometimes if complete observation of Satvik behavior makes men effeminate!
I have seen people closely involved in a cult making a show of their devotion towards the Guru or preceptor who is synonymous with the cult…either by addressing each other in a certain way (Jai Gurudutta!) Or by certain actions – I have heard a female guru hugs everybody she meets! ) Now, for me, any show business has with it connotations of hollowness and shallowness attached.
The aggressiveness with which these followers introduce every relative, friend or acquaintance to the cult gives rise to suspicion in one’s mind as to the presence of a motive behind…not necessarily the motive of the individual but the motive of the cult itself.
I have had the good fortune of meeting and interacting with some truly realized men. And all of them live in oblivion. Nobody even knows that these men exist. Having said that, I don’t know how to perceive the popularity of modern gurus and the alacrity with which they acquire followers every day.
And then there is an incongruence arising out of having socialistic goals and capitalistic means, what with modern gurus owning engineering colleges and collecting huge donations from students!
All said and done, it becomes imperative to add that every cult has much good to offer...it can transform your life... it is up to individuals to choose what they want to take from it and how they want to participate in it.