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TOPIC: Cults, etc.

Cults, etc. 15 Apr 2015 16:26 #98384

One thing I found fascinating about the documentary were the comments of the folks who were "out." Most of them would say, on camera, that they were shocked when looking back on their experience of being "in." That they had bought in to what now appears to them to be utter bullshit. But of course, they did buy in, and big time. They were drawn to the organization for whatever reason and through some process got deeper, and deeper, and deeper, until they could be locked in what was essentially a prison camp, beaten on a regular basis, forced to live in confined spaces together in tiny trailers, humiliated, chastised, punished, physically beaten up, forced to beat up on each other, and so on. So there was a process of building an identity around being first a member and then a leader that took them over. Being "out", to them, appeared worse than being "in" and putting up with all the shitty treatment.

These were not stupid people. So I sat watching that thing and said to myself, "I'd never submit to that kind of thing."

Or would I?
Last Edit: 15 Apr 2015 16:26 by Chris Marti.
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Cults, etc. 15 Apr 2015 19:49 #98385

One can explore cults as another kind of "shining the light inward"-- cult members are "hooked" into submitting to a process of being conditioned, toward ends that are not apparent until afterward (if at all). So the questions are, what works as "bait" for me, and how do I avoid seeing the process of conditioning?

Buddhism has the whole subject of Abidharma that deconstructs the conditioning process at a very fine level, as well as the bold assertion that 'samsara' is the life of being conditioned and trudging around the same circuits in its service. The same sort of critical thinking can be brought to bear on understanding what one's personal bait is.
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Cults, etc. 16 Apr 2015 09:24 #98391

Kate Gowen wrote:
...understanding what one's personal bait is.

Love that expression!
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Cults, etc. 16 Apr 2015 13:57 #98393

Mine would be almond croissants. :)
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Cults, etc. 16 Apr 2015 15:17 #98396

Almond croissants??!! WHERE? :P
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Cults, etc. 18 Apr 2015 10:48 #98403

This is a very helpful resource that I've looked at from time to time over the last decade or so; today, the chapter on the Zimbardo experiment particularly strikes me...

"Zimbardo again took two dozen completely normal, physically and mentally healthy college-age individuals. He then confined them, willingly and voluntarily, to a closed environment; stratified the community into guards and prisoners; and simply instructed the higher-ups to exact obedience and respect from the lower ones. He further introduced no charismatic leadership, weird beliefs or claims to divinity on his own part. There was even no punishment for leaving, other than the loss of the money the prisoners were to be paid for their full-term participation in the study, and their own subjective feelings of being “bad prisoners” in prematurely exiting. Yet, in less than six days, and quite unintentionally, he created behaviors among the various classes of participants which are indistinguishable from those allegedly found in—as a very reasonable extrapolation from the known, reported data—every ashram and every so-called cult.

It is thus not the charisma or “divine” status per se of any leader which creates problems. Rather, the “problematic” nature is
again inherent in the power structure of every closed hierarchical community, when that stratification is combined with basic human psychology. Having an “infallible god-man” rather than a merely human superintendent at the helm will make it harder for others to disobey or to leave, but even without that, disobedience and departure will in no way be easy to enact.

Conversely, each one of us is again susceptible to exhibiting docile “cult-follower” behavior in the right/wrong circumstances. Tendencies toward conformity, authoritarianism or blind belief may make it statistically more likely for any given person to be thus fooled, but truly, it could happen to any one of us. People believe that “it can never happen to them” because they want to believe they are stronger and better than the millions who have fallen victim to [alleged] cult mind control....

A [so-called] cult will generally target the most educated, active, and capable people it can find. I hear comments such as “I never knew there were so many brilliant people in these types of groups” (Hassan, 1990).

Such beliefs as, “others could be made to do that but not me” and “others could be swayed by speeches but not me” are dangerous because they set us apart from other people who are like ourselves and therefore prevent us from learning from their experience what may be valuable for ourselves (Winn, 2000)."

www.strippingthegurus.com/ebook/Stripping_the_Gurus.pdf
Last Edit: 18 Apr 2015 10:50 by Kate Gowen. Reason: fix format error
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Cults, etc. 18 Apr 2015 11:16 #98404

Yes, Kate, exactly. And that has been my concern all along -- these behaviors are a potential for every one of us. They are inherent in our humanity. It does not of necessity require abnormal traits, abnormal psychology, or anything that extreme in order for normal human beings to fail these "tests." As I posted before, we read and watch and hear about cults and pass judgment from on high, assuming we would never be that, do that, inflict that, suffer that kind of behavior. Well, judge ye not so fast.
Last Edit: 18 Apr 2015 11:16 by Chris Marti.
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Cults, etc. 19 Apr 2015 07:48 #98405

There is a big difference between judging and analyzing... and there is a big difference between common and healthy. I think that what we have been doing is analyzing variables that tend to reinforce the cult dynamic... and looking at how common problems (and common biological/psychological drives) can promote unhealthy outcomes.

I agree that it's not one single abnormal things that causes someone to fail the cult test, but I don't think anyone was saying that.

Probably the most significant thing I've taken away from this conversation, is that there is never a "big" problem with cults -- until there is, of course -- but rather the trap comes from being entangled in a lot of small problems that creates an entire net. Self-rationalization makes it hard to see the entire net and not just "oh, just a few knotted strings here and there".

The small problems in organization:
- a hierarchical structure
- difficult to physically come/go
- limited external information
- limited contact with other social support groups/family
- explaining away problems
The small problems in individuals:
- need for stronger social identity
- social/spiritual idealism
- mild depression/malaise
- unconscious parent-child dynamics
- willingness to rationalize problems

I find it interesting that the pathology of cults and people both grow in the same medium: a context where problems are ignored (or substituted). "Bypassing" in it's fullest sense.

Oh humans! You don't have it easy.
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Cults, etc. 19 Apr 2015 08:33 #98406

This thread made me want to look at one of the guru/cult blogs that I sometimes drift towards: twitter.com/Kalieezchild

I actually like his sense of both outrage and humor with the whole thing.
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Cults, etc. 19 Apr 2015 08:51 #98407

small problems in organization:
- a hierarchical structure
- difficult to physically come/go
- limited external information
- limited contact with other social support groups/family
- explaining away problems
The small problems in individuals:
- need for stronger social identity
- social/spiritual idealism
- mild depression/malaise
- unconscious parent-child dynamics
- willingness to rationalize problems

Yes, and most of those things, not all but most, appear to be pretty standard attributes among those that comprise the human condition. I suspect there are people who are more prone to engage with cults, and people who are less prone. But I suspect, too, that the difference for many people between being engage or not engaged in a cult might be circumstance. A divorce, family troubles, loss of a job, something that puts an otherwise "normal" human being at risk through an increased need for structure and /or authority, rationalizing their problems away, social or spiritual idealism....
Last Edit: 19 Apr 2015 08:52 by Chris Marti.
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Cults, etc. 19 Apr 2015 14:29 #98413

Jack Kornfield's take on the dangers of confusing charisma and wisdom:

www.jackkornfield.com/confusing-charisma-wisdom/

In communities where special spiritual power is highly valued, students should take special care: when secret teachings or ancient lineages are evoked, when one group is chosen to be saved or awakened above all others in the world, spiritual communities are ripe for becoming cults.
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Cults, etc. 27 Apr 2015 07:21 #98551

Just finished watching this doco on Father Yod and the Source Family. Definitely worth checking out.

Last Edit: 27 Apr 2015 07:22 by every3rdthought.
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Cults, etc. 11 Jun 2015 08:36 #99133

Well written commentary on Frederick Lenz/ 'Zen Master Rama' and his schtick:

jimpicariello.com/the-time-i-was-recruited-into-a-cult/

"When I meditated using “Rama’s” techniques by pushing away negative thoughts, I was training my subconscious to quickly and efficiently avoid critical thought. Good luck convincing someone in a cult that they are in a cult. They will just hear static.

As you read this and think your brain is too strong to be hypnotized, congratulations. That is precisely the mind state someone needs to be hypnotized. Your guard is down, dude."
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Cults, etc. 14 Jun 2015 13:31 #99180

I'm finding this a good read. I'm not really reading it as an expose, but rather what are some of the dynamics that seem to be common in inquiry type practices that seem right but which might actually have good times and bad times to be used:

www.new-synapse.com/aps/wordpress/?p=296

EDIT:
Actually this page on the blog is a very concise summary, worth cut and pasting...



Understanding Guru Personalities – A Comprehensive Analysis of The Work of Byron Katie

www.new-synapse.com/aps/wordpress/?p=315

Like many spiritual gurus, Byron Katie seems to mix truth and lies, help and harm, wisdom and blindness. In the three previous articles, I dished out a lot of heartfelt praise and a lot of pretty harsh criticism as well. In this article I compile everything from the previous articles into one list. This includes everything Byron Katie is doing that truly helps people, as well as all the things that could potentially harm people. I also try to identify the psychological mechanisms by which the help and harm take place.

Perhaps this comprehensive analysis can give us some insights into how guru type personalities operate. Gurus are usually neither 100% helpful nor 100% harmful and I would like to paint this picture using all the shades of gray that exist rather than either black or white (which is tempting). I’m really trying to be fair. After all, every guru is an imperfect human just like the rest of us.

The Work of Byron Katie

1. Possible Helpful Mechanisms
1.The Work appears to be an effective tool for developing mental flexibility. It provides mental exercises for understanding and changing one’s filters or ways of perceiving reality.
2.This experimentation can open one to a new way of seeing the world, breaking one out of old habits of perception like judgments and black and white thinking. (This can be best achieved when the individual doing the Work is maintaining their healthy will, good boundaries and a balanced perspective that this teaching is not the only valid teaching there is, does not apply to everything in life and should often not be taken literally.)
3.The Work appears to provide relief from difficult emotional states. Challenging one’s harmful beliefs is used in cognitive therapy because it is helpful to relieve human suffering in the form of melancholy, anger, shame, regret, and other difficult emotions as well as addictive behavior that is used to cover these emotions. (This, however, only applies to a small percent of The Work when Katie happens to land on a “demand” statement or a “label” and manages to address that directly rather than some other type of statement within the communication. )
4.The Work appears to have the potential to help some people be present in the moment.
5.The Work appears to have the potential for helping some people be more at peace with themselves and their life.
6.The “turn around” is a helpful mechanism, with reservations. It is good for understanding and resolving the ego-defense mechanism of projection and developing mental flexibility.
7.The “turn around” is also helpful for overcoming dualistic perceptions and inner states of duality
8.The “turn around” is also helpful for taking personal responsibility for one’s own contributions to a situation. Having said that, it is important not to take them literally, because turn-arounds can be technically false. They should be used to stretch one’s mind, as doorways to entertain new possibilities of thought and perception, but not taken literally. In the case of those with trauma history, if the turn-around is taken literally it could be re-traumatizing.
9.The “I look forward to…(something I have been dreading)” is helpful for obtaining insights,
10.The “I look forward to…(something I have been dreading)” is also helpful for overcoming fear, increasing mental flexibility and overcoming duality but it’s important not to take completely literally.
11.The Work can be empowering and freeing by teaching us we are not at the effect of our thoughts. Doing inquiry shifts the power into our hands, and we discover we can take control of our thoughts and emotions.
12.The Work can help point the way to an experience of having. This means that through the process of inquiry we can identify what we are longing for and consciously bring it into our experience via the imagination.

2. Possible Harmful Mechanisms
1.Byron Katie does not have formal training in psychology which means she could lack the ability to address individuals with mental illnesses, or to perceive when something psychological is occurring for someone during the Work that someone with training would recognize as compromising.
2.Some people may take the message to “love what is” in a way that is disempowering and undermines or stagnates the development of willpower.
3.The Work confuses liberating stories and harmful beliefs. No methods exist in the Work for isolating harmful beliefs from other types of communication.
4.Not distinguishing between a liberating story and a harmful belief can cause a kind of cognitive dissonance among other problems.
5.Inquiry done on liberating stories could invalidate the personal truth which is especially problematic for those with a trauma history.
6.Re-traumatization can occur due to this invalidation.
7.Questioning method could increase dissociative tendencies in those vulnerable.
8.Questioning method could increase self-doubt in those vulnerable.
9.Questioning method with a trauma survivor could prevent them from developing the ability to be their own resource, by teaching them to invalidate their thoughts.
10.Questioning method could make it hard for a trauma victim to build inner strength needed to overcome PTSD and avoid future trauma.
11.Blame the victim could result from some aspects of The Work.
12.There appears to be little to no understanding of the special needs of people with mental illnesses . For example for PTSD, inquiry should only be done after all the trauma-related issues have been processed to a level such that the person is able to reach and maintain inner stability reliably. This requirement of inner stability is not addressed.
13.The Work does not clarify the goal of the turn-around which is to overcome duality and develop mental flexibility. The Work does not specify that the turn-around is not supposed to be taken literally as self-blame (blame the victim).
14.The turn-around could re-victimize if taken literally in cases of trauma victims.
15.The Work does not appear to address practical problems; The Work doesn’t appear to promote healthy solutions to human problems, solutions that increase overall life satisfaction and health.
16.The lack of focus on helping people make external life changes may increase learned helplessness and stagnate development of personal will.
17.The Work doesn’t appear to be realistic about the true nature of needs the average human has at this time, many times it does not represent an appropriate way to address our realistic needs in life.
18.The Work doesn’t appear to address us where we are at, rather it tries to pull us up to a kind of enlightened state. For some this is helpful but for others that is not helpful and people should be given a clear choice.
19.The Work appears to be irresponsible to people in trouble by encouraging them to accept their situation, and encouraging them to blame themselves.
20.The Work appears to lack humanness, natural feelings of empathy and compassion.
21.The Work appears to lack respect for the actual cause and effect relationship we have with one another (aka karma). The Work may not acknowledge the fact that we do influence each other. This human interconnection is normal because we are social beings.
22.Byron Katie may behave like a one way street, not trying to learn from her students as peers, showing a lack of equality.
23.Byron Katie may not see others fully for their gifts, brilliance, skills, struggles, fullness of personality, as entire universes of potential. This may not help people to feel fully seen.
24.The Work appears to ignore the facts of human development, and the discoveries of developmental psychology that pertain to human growth, and this may result in people not being seen for their needs in terms of unfinished human developmental stages. Ignoring this can cause problems when people try to substitute spiritual development for human development.
25.The Work appears to lack a scientific approach, meaning it does not appear to want to use the laws of science to verify its effectiveness, and to put it on an equal standing with all other areas of scientific inquiry.
26.The Work expects Nonattachment, however it might be more realistic to use Preferences. One can turn harmful beliefs (demands) into rational beliefs (preferences) or one can try to let go of our attachments 100% (and have no preference about anything). For most of us it is unrealistic and not desirable to let go of attachments 100%, thus it can be helpful to use the word “prefer” to express a healthy position in relation to the matter at hand, however, one is certainly free to explore nonattachment if it benefits one. The Work does not point out that you have an option here, and that you should use your free will to decide which will be most beneficial to you.
27.There is a lack of focus on emotional processing, emotional intelligence
28.There is a lack of focus on somatic processing , body intelligence. This is a big deficit especially for anyone who has suffered trauma because some trauma recovery is only accessible via the body sensations and memories.
29.Surface beliefs are not distinguished from core beliefs. Some therapies have techniques for finding core beliefs rather than doing inquiry on any kind of statement that comes up.
30.There does not appear to be an understanding the big picture in which The Work takes place. Only working with thoughts leaves out a huge amount of the experience of being human and the whole “project” of healing and growing some aspect of oneself that includes a multitude of variables.
31.Glamour is used, for example, creating a guru-like format and making it a spiritual thing not just cognitive psychology (science).
32.Guru worship. Katie does not actively prevent guru worship within her followers. Guru worship is an ailment, and it is a mechanism that serves to blind people from critical thought.
33.A certain percent of the time the group seems to display unquestioning commitment to its leader. A lack of promotion of confrontation and questioning of the group is not healthy. Some online comments indicate questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged in the context of the 9 day workshop, either outwardly or by a collective unconscious agreement.
34.Possibly, mind-altering practices are encouraged, for example fasting for 3 days.
35.The leader is not accountable to any authorities (for example, Katie is not accountable to the kind of oversight licensed professional psychologists are held accountable to)
36.In some comments online there are suggestions to the effect that the group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. For example, some people who attend the 9 day workshops may feel like they need to conform to the long days of inquiry and various other things (no makeup, eating in silence, dietary changes, fasting, spending the day in Los Angeles pretending to be homeless, etc.) in order to reach the “Truth” or to obtain something else.
37.To some degree, the group is preoccupied with making money. Byron Katie charges an exorbitant amount for the 9 day workshops.

OK, so we have 12 potentially positive, helpful aspects of The Work and 37 potentially negative, harmful ones.

Many of the factors in both lists are contingent on characteristics of the individual who is showing up for The Work. For example, some of the helpful factors listed can be contingent on the individual’s state of mental health, internal locus of control, internal working model of security, ability to put up boundaries, healthy state of their will, ability to distinguish between human and spiritual developmental practices, their ability to not take things literally but use symbolism to alter mental perceptions, their ability to maintain perspective, to see the bigger picture, and to not see The Work as a panacea. And harmful aspects might come into play if the individual has a mental illness, a history of trauma, any other vulnerability, has a tendency towards guru worship, dysfunctional family background, etc.

Even if a lot of an individual’s experience when going to a spiritual teacher has to do with what is going on inside of them, quite a lot of it has to do with what the spiritual teacher is doing as well. I think that any good spiritual teaching would have mechanisms in place to make sure that no harm comes to anyone, even the most vulnerable. Of course this is difficult to monitor, but at least an effort should be made in this direction. In a way, all the results of a guru’s teaching, even if unintended, are that guru’s karma. A guru should be making themselves aware of any negative effects they could have on others, and try to eliminate them, to clean up their karmic impact on other people as much as possible.

I’ve been trying to stay as neutral as possible so far, but I think it’s OK to feel angry or upset if a guru personality goes around telling everyone they are “enlightened”, and then at the same time, they are actually harming people. I know this is perhaps using strong language, but in my experience the most insidious spiritual gurus out there are those that mix together some nuggets of truth into a slop pail of BS and then coat the entire thing with the golden light of glamor and guru worship. The nuggets of wisdom, glamor and guru worship overshadow the slop pail of BS and nobody can perceive it. The Work is definitely not as bad as some out there! Byron Katie has some truly helpful teachings. At the same time, there are so many potential negatives there, I would definitely approach with caution and in an intelligent way.

In the past I have benefited from The Work of Byron Katie, without a doubt, and I may actually read her books and listen to some of her videos again in the future in order to get the same benefits. But now that I have finished this analysis, I am aware of exactly how not to fall into any of the 37 potentially harmful traps. I will deliberately and consciously take only the nuggets of wisdom that will benefit me, and leave the rest.
Last Edit: 14 Jun 2015 14:30 by shargrol.
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Cults, etc. 14 Jun 2015 14:14 #99182

Shargrol, what part of that is your commentary versus someone else's? I'm confused.... can you italicize the quoted part?
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Cults, etc. 14 Jun 2015 14:30 #99183

ah, good point... fixed!
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Cults, etc. 15 Jun 2015 13:35 #99215

I look forward to this movie about the classic (and horrifying) "Zimbardo experiment" in the malleability of social conditioning: www.indiewire.com/article/watch-the-stan...ty-for-evil-20150615
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Cults, etc. 15 Jun 2015 17:57 #99217

On the topic of cults: just finished a biography of Charlie Manson, a clear psychopath. The basic facts of the murders themselves, and the trial that followed, were already familiar, but what was new and illuminating was the description of how he collected and then conditioned his disciples. He knew just the kind of person to approach, and how to groom that person to do things he or she would never have done on his or her own. What I also didn't realize was the way he used spiritual discourse to create a community based on shared meaning. I can't help wondering, though, how much he ended up believing his own indoctrination.
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Cults, etc. 16 Jun 2015 07:19 #99222

Would you recommend the book Laurel? I read Helter Skelter a long time ago...
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Cults, etc. 16 Jun 2015 10:58 #99229

The book is by Jeff Guinn and its name is simply Manson. It's a nasty subject, but a good read if you're wondering what he was like growing up and what he became as an adult.
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Cults, etc. 20 Jun 2015 10:12 #99283

not listened to it yet but this new episode of the Mental Illness Happy Hour seems like it might be of interest on the thread

Episode 230: Raised in Scientology: Derek Bloch
The 28 year-old talks about being raised in the Church of Scientology by a narcissistic father and passive mother. He details the abuse inflicted by their “Sea Org” starting when he was 13, how he reconciled their homophobia with his being gay and ultimately how he broke away from the church and his family.
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Cults, etc. 20 Jul 2015 16:18 #99718

"The term “scam” implies an intentional deceiver as well as a victim. In this section we will be considering only intentional deception.

There is a truism about scams that a mark can only be deceived if he wants to believe; all deception relies on self-deception. The ideal victim of a scam is a person who desperately wants to believe in a reality different from actual reality. Perhaps he receives no utility – or even negative utility – from the actual state of affairs. In other worse, reality, such as it is, causes him pain. He is willing to risk everything on the possibility of a different reality being true, precisely because the present reality is of little use to him.

The scammer provides a temporary service, offering for sale a plausible facsimile of a different reality. In this fantasy world, the mark gets to be rich, or loved (as in dating scams), or healthy (as in healing scams), or young (as in anti-aging products); he gets to contact his deceased relatives, or achieve spiritual transcendence or high status. What does the victim get out of it? The service the scammer provides to the mark is a plausibility structure for a desirable belief – usually only temporary.

The problem with the scam is that it comes to an end, with the victim generally worse off than if he had never received the “service” provided by the scammer. But what if it never had to end? What if we could all scam each other, forever, to believe in a reality that is better for us than actual reality? That is the hope of cooperative ignorance."


www.ribbonfarm.com/2015/07/16/cooperative-ignorance/
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Cults, etc. 21 Jul 2015 13:18 #99737

Wow, what an interesting site and article Shargrol. Thanks!
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Cults, etc. 08 Nov 2015 17:20 #101054

I'm reading another book on cults, this time it's Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan. It's not as analytic as the Us and Them book mentioned above, but there are more personal stories, which makes it have a different flavor.

This is going to sound strange, but one reason I'm reading about all this stuff is I can tell there is something post-awakening that seems somewhat dangerous... I can appreciate more and more how I can deceive myself. I can see more and more how any shadow side gets stealthily empowered. I'm starting to understand what Hokai told me and what Ken McLeod writes about: any awakening (small or large) releases a lot of habitual energy. That energy "finds" the places in our psyche that are still unconscious and unless those are seen, even more powerful reactive patterns get established. More powerful, because we're even more convinced "we know what we're doing." Hokai said this one statement that lodged itself in my mind: "Stop practicing and in a year it will be like you never practiced"!

There is something interesting in the Spiral Dynamic (Don Beck) and the Ego Developement Theory (Cook-Grueter) models of adult development that seems relevant. Each major change of development begins with individuation - separating from the ground context of the previous stage. The next stage is about transcendence, which is seeing the limit of that individuation.

I'm 99% sure that this happens post awakening, too. And I think it provides a model for why post-awakened folks go wonky.

The previous stage is a transcendent one, a realm where the organic, evolution of consciousness is seen as an emergent property of the world and consciousness is a uncontrolled emergent property of mind. Yet in this stage it's still objectified in some subtle way. Awakening is some degree of mind seeing mind, some degree of understanding the nature of mind. Yaaay! But, if the pattern holds, then the next urge would be to individuate the mind-seeing-mind.

Of course there are lots of ways to do that, it's basically trying to understand the nature of this awakening. One extreme way, and one that strikes me as classic guru craziness is to say: "the entire history of the world has let to the emergence of MY awakening. I am the avatar! I am the awakened one! I deserve to lead the world cause the world made me!" From there, just about any self-justified form of craziness can happen. Plus any shadow side or psychological defenses or old trauma will completely be rationalized because of their claimed status. Whatever they do is right, justified, and flawless.

Again if the pattern holds, the next stage is transcendent. Probably along the lines of: I'm no big deal, just some accident of the universe. With the universe being one big accident, I better be really careful and not count on anything. Everything is flawed and incomplete, that's what allows the world and all the beings in it to keep evolving.
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Cults, etc. 08 Nov 2015 17:30 #101055

I'm realizing now that if the model of awakening is that "awakening happens, yet not all aspects of the psyche awaken" then that provides a reasonable way to claim awakening in a helpful way. If someone claims "perfect awakening" then the only relationship would have to be complete submission to the awakened one. But if someone claims partial awakening, then it more about what their teachings can offer.

If awakening is acknowledged as being less then 100% perfect awakening, then we can say what Kenneth coined as the axiom of practical dharma "Awakening is possible. I know, because it happened to me. " ...and to do so without pride or grandiosity. (Kenneth, could you correct this quote if I got it somewhat wrong? -- it's from your Buddhist Geeks talk.) It becomes just a statement of fact: "I've had a flawed awakening. Flawed, it's true. Awakening, it's true, too."

Then rather than mushroom culture, it becomes about what you do know and what you can share about it. Different teachers will have different strengths/clarity (like Daniel's "Dungeons and Dragons" Buddhist Geek talk conveyed.)

And it's harder to create a situation where students projections and a teachers shadow side are completely overlooked, although it's always a possibility.
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2015 17:35 by shargrol.
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