A definition of cults, both obvious and subtle, with an explanation of their characteristics and pervasive nature together with the ways to avoid them.
Everyone lives in the often difficult aura of the world, in the aura of nations, groups, families, associates, and friends. Some helping professions, such as counseling, by their nature expose the helper to often horrifically difficult auras of troubled people.
People vary considerably in their sensitivity to these auras, some more “open hearted” people are especially prone to absorb energies from the surrounding ocean of human emotions. Many of us are mediumistic, psychically sensitive, or resonant to this surround. In general, it is is the “heart type” that is most subject to the collective and individual auras that make up their personal surround. The devote, the artists, and certain types of educators and “people persons” are especially sensitive. Such sensitive people can become debilitated, disrupted, or weighted down by the heaviness of what comes upon them in the normal course of life. By contrast, it is the “head type” that is less subject to the auras of other persons—the active mind provides a measure of insulation that makes them less vulnerable. Yet even head types sensitive to the surround, just not as keenly as their brothers of the heart.
One must remain sympathetically in touch with others and compassionate toward the world, so it is not advisable to attempt to isolate ones self completely—an impossible task in any case. Nevertheless, there are certain actions that can be taken to soften the impacts and help us stay in a more healthy state, despite the difficulties of the world and people.
To render this memorable, let us call it “SAM,” that being an acronym for Saturation, Affirmation, and Mentation. Let us elaborate these three.
“Saturation” is both the nature of the problem and, at the same time, a solution. When sensitive, we become saturated with the surrounding energies of persons and circumstances—we absorb them like a sponge. That is, we are apt to do so if we are not already saturated with something better—something benevolent and deliberately chosen by us. One way of attaining the necessary saturation is reading. For instance, if we fill ourselves with inspirational reading, with something that is attractive, uplifting, enlightening, then that “fullness” will tend to prevent us from absorbing too much of the world and persons. For this to be effective, the reading should be frequent, persisted and over a considerable period of time—it should be something that we want to make a part of us, something that we will then carry with us at a subconscious and sometimes conscious level.
Affirmation is one of the most powerful forms of meditation. Find, memorize, and take to heart a brief and bold formula that begins with phrase “I am…” This should be brief, because that makes its use more powerful and when brief is easier to use frequently. This should be a metaphysical formula. An example is:
“I am a point of light within the mind of God, I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of love divine.”
Needless to say, the effective use of such a formula requires feeling, one must put ones full self into it, speaking with conviction. Speak it from the deepest level you can meditatively access. Act as if what you are affirming is a realized fact in your personal consciousness. Used often, and well, such a formula will tend to dissipate the lower energies that we may have absorbed.
There are two parts to mentation– we could call them Limited and Unlimited.
Limited: Use more of your head and less of your emotions. It is on the emotional level that we are most vulnerable. The mental level can and should be a quieter and more illuminated place. For example, you are assisting someone who is in trouble. The scientist in you actively seeks clear understanding and is thinking about how best to handle the situation. There is a challenge here, and you are mentally intent on rising to meet it. You are not to be a mere dumping grounds for the others woes—instead you are mentally and spiritually present and full of solutions. You are the remedy, the health, and the cure and it is this that your mind will be vibrant with.
Unlimited: I’ve suggested above that the mind should be a quiet and illuminated place. The light of the mind descends from the intuitive realm which is, in fact, a great world of light. One of the basic revelations in that light is the fact of the unlimited nature of life and of the soul, and there also is the knowledge that Good will inevitability triumph. No matter how horrific the person or circumstance is that confronts you, the fact is that they will be transformed toward the good and ultimately attain the well being that waits for them. It may not be soon, and you may or may not be the one who turns the key for them—but it will come. This last “remedy” is the most difficult to appreciate and apply. I’ve defined the “Unlimited” here, somewhat in the abstract. I will close with a passage from Walt Whitman who offers us a definition of the same in more concrete terms.
“I saw the face of the most smeared and slobbering
idiot they had at the asylum,
And I knew for my consolation what they knew not,
I knew of the agents that emptied and broke my brother,
The same wait to clear the rubbish from the fallen tenement,
And I shall look again in a score or two of ages,
And I shall meet the real landlord perfect
and unharmed, every inch as good as myself.
The Lord advances, and yet advances!
Always the shadow in front! always the reached
hand bringing up the laggards!
Out of this face emerge banners and horses—
O superb! I see what is coming,
I see the high pioneer-caps—
I see the staves of runners clearing the way,
I hear victorious drums.”
The paradox, the yes and no of things is pervasive. It’s not just the transcendent that is intellectually elusive. The child asks, “What is a flower?” How can we answer? How deeply do I know what a flower is? Yet we try to answer.
What is a personality; what is the definition and the limit? We say it is vehicle, that it is a mask, that it’s on the surface of things. Then we say all is one, so the soul and personality are one. But there is time we say, and Saturn’s rule is the root of this separation. Yet we sense that time is an illusion, and for those who love, “time is not.” We find no clear dividing line between spirit and matter, between personality and soul, no place where personality ends and soul begins.
The mask we call personality is deceptive. If the mask speaks of the mask, how could it be other than deceptive? Yet, to the degree that it is integrated with soul, the mask is no longer deceptive. There is no mask in honesty, in wholeness, in unity—and unity is the essence of all. Yet, the most transcendent unified light still uses a form. And if a human form and human symbols are used, a degree of imperfection lingers, an element of deception.
Where then is personality, and where soul? Among actual humans, I do not know if I’ve ever met a personality. I’ve seen faces in degrees of radiance and faces transmuting pain. But in all this alchemy, no personalities like the mental construct. Today, I suggest there is no category of personality rapport and or soul rapport. It may be convenient to speak of them, but they are not what is before our eyes. The existence of personality is factual, but it is not true. Before our eye is an exquisite play of light and shade, a world of gradations in flowing colors and shapes. The persona and its provincial and cosmic matrix are worlds of dancing lights, bits of energy with star-like distance between the points of illusion. The soul is the indefinable light that holds these stars in place and feeds their life.
The shine of personality is attractive. But it is somewhat like a moon, shinning with borrowed light. Its real beauty is not in the form at all, but in the soul shinning through. Personality is love in disguise. Virtually everyone I meet in the normal course of life looks well attired to me. They do not speak the language of personality only, they speak also the language of the soul. They do not always know they speak it, even when they do it very well. We hear the voice behind the voice. They cannot hide it; it is the nature of things. I see where the gleam in the eye comes from, even though they have forgotten to explicitly mention it.