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  • Cult or Spiritual Group?

    My friend wanted me to watch this 'documentary'.

    So yesterday evening I sat there with him and watched these first 20 minutes.

    I was impressed by some of the spiritual insights, using common words like fear, resentment, gratitude and happiness, though these have somewhat a traditional past in modern 'spiritual programmes' it seems. In short, it was agreeable that you 'emanate your future when it comes but it will by how you are, by how you behave, and so think and feel, and you can work on this to make a good life (or even bad if you don't look out)'.

    However! I was also disturbed by the fact it seemed to mix politics with spiritual philosophy: the 'elite knowing the secret, keeping it from the people and controlling them'. Furthermore, apart from the 'blockbuster opening', that involved pseudo-modern myth of crusaders and the elite, and good vs bad in all corners, I was very disturbed at a 'sucker punch' somewhat in the middle. This punch made the viewer feel bad about how they felt - and then they made a suggestion that seemed logical enough, and so open to suggestion and the very nature of fear within the viewer that these people purported to move against, moved to capture the viewer into their way of thinking.

    After the programme we discussed a bit about it and I raised my concerns: to me spiritual growth has nothing to do with politics. As for fear, well, cajoling someone in any respect is wrong, I believe; it being completely against the philosophy itself. He seemed into it and it was only on repetition that I understood some spiritual principles and liked the general idea - but yet again said I don't like the political part, he seemed satisfied. I had to tone down the fear of politics though and emphasise I understood and liked the general idea.

    He said the politics are left out later in the programme. I have not watched the further parts. To me I can imagine this being suggested as a sideline. And suggestion is a powerful method to get people's minds; a clever trick is to not even talk about the issue - but around the issue, fawning away from the subject and allowing time, fear, making people think they are thinking wrong, and perhaps allowing one to get away to catch another. Dangerous stuff. And so with the alarms going off from what I saw and have briefly outlined, to me, my alert went on.

    I like the thought about emanating and controlling a direction with positive thoughts and positive feelings, on a spiritual sense; it makes sense on a behavioural level anyway. I do not like the miss-logic though - although there is a logic applied at times, or at least clever jumps that seems to make no sense in addition of logic, and open thinking aswell where they cut to the chase about fear and/or being open, to the point you feel 'happy and go "oh, yeah"'. A bundle of all of it then.

    Those were my initial thoughts and have probably not made it clear, though I should hope you catch my drift. I have only watched it once and am not that bothered to give exact examples, suffice what I have, right now. I thought to show you guys here in the Sandbox. No rhetoric please, I would like shrewd and thoughtful analysis with an open mind.

    I would like to use the 'tools' without the rhetoric of politics and stay away from the convincing - especially when used with methods of making you feel bad in order to employ a suggestion into the mind. To me that is not only totally against the element of sprituality, it is extremely dangerous at worse and not on, at best. It was not the Buddhist way of how to 'be', as far as I can make out, for example. I know what I would take away from it, and what I would leave out.

    What do you think?

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b1GKGWJbE8[/media]

    P.s: I am unsure about this to the point that if the general consensus, or if an Admin thinks so aswell, on balance, thus wants to remove this post, I would be happy for it to happen, but put forward this for peers to observe and review.
    Last edited by Taip3n; 08-13-2009, 11:47 AM. Reason: grammar/spelling/clarity

  • #2
    Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

    Really just a slick marketing effort on a concept that has been around for ages. The idea of the elite knowing 'The Secret'... and the opening scenes of it being 'suppressed' are strictly theatrical privilege.

    I think the most recent marketing of this concept (prior to this one) was Norman Vincent Peale's "Power of Positive Thinking" published over 10 years ago. I am sure there have been others since then but probably none that reached the popularity of his book.

    It's a popular behavioral modification method with psychologists and councilors.

    Overall a snazzy production if you take it for what it is.
    sigpic


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    • #3
      Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

      Thanks P8riot for the insight especially the historical one. I'll look into the book you said; I did not know its 'pedigree' and will have a look, and can see why psychologists and councillors would use it. I enjoy this kind of thing for my own insights and development, so I am grateful for that and glad you have insights to direct me to good stuff to chew on.

      I agree with you on what you said about marketing and theatrical license. It is indeed snazzy when, as you say, take it for what it is. Though I feel the political 'story' somewhat overused and redundant in what actually counts; it's simply not needed and erodes the value of the concept. Not to mention it is not actually 'the point' and can be used wrongly with people, as alot of people believe in this kind of thing; it's quite the Mode. So perhaps a marketing too far, or?

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      • #4
        Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

        I'm glad to see you contemplated both the message and the presentation style when viewing new information.

        Remember that cults can be spiritual so the answer could be both. It sounds more like a self help marketing thing from your text (cannot view video at work) but then again, both self help and cultish/spiritual instructions share the same kind of overall theme and presentation of self empowerment through positive thinking. I'd go with your gut and avoid it.
        |TG-6th|Snooggums

        Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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        • #5
          Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

          Indeed snooggums, I would most definitely avoid joining this group on the basis as explained. And thanks.

          I would though, value the spiritual path suggested, in incorporation with what I have gleaned from other areas be it 'self help' or the spiritual side of other concepts and religions (definitely not the institutional side).

          I am actually not a huge fan of the 'self-help' concept as I feel the 'self' is actually the thing that can get lost and prefer 'group-help' concepts in order to maintain a point of view out of yourself. A bit like the 'witch-doctor/wise man or woman' being a hub of a community and more 'old world' values of community, and 'you can't see the wood through the trees', kinda stuff. Even picking up concepts like buddhist ones, for example, be it via writing, meeting people, or great programmes like Monkey ^^ However a personal journey is as that, and so 'self-help' can be applied in the overall holistic event, as long as you do not reject the nature of 'community' or 'group-help'.

          Basically I enjoy these kind of concepts in order to not trip myself up and better my life and perspective. Better than saying ya-boo to all asundery. Perhaps things like this is why I work in the field I do (atm as a support/community worker - though Teaching English as a Foriegn Language wouldn't go amiss ;) ) and friends say I'm good to talk to; as said 'it's kinda good to talk things through with others'.

          In any case, I should like to think on my account at least, I don't adhere to anything specific, and am a generalist enjoying to take the best bits of everything that makes sense to me, and rejecting aspects as mentioned. Anything that mentions some form of institutionalisation and I back off, as to me, that is not what the concept is about in the first place.

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          • #6
            Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

            IMO, anyone that has to "market" a religion or philosophy is already going down a narrow path. Nothing saying this kinda stuff ISN'T plausible or legit, just that when it uses these kind of videos it is best to take it with a grain of salt.

            Good job on your part for remaining the skeptic and seeking facts
            Skud


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            • #7
              Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

              I see Saul (AKA Paul) as the marketing genius who got Christianity off the ground. He was the Bill Gates of his time.
              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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              • #8
                Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

                Originally posted by P8riot View Post
                Really just a slick marketing effort on a concept that has been around for ages. The idea of the elite knowing 'The Secret'... and the opening scenes of it being 'suppressed' are strictly theatrical privilege.
                Sounds like the method Scientology uses.
                Recruits are told that it's religion and has nothing to do with aliens and the people who have donated most money to the curch know that it's indeed a cult and has a lot to do with aliens.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

                  This is such.... bull... ****....

                  Thoughts have a frequency! Law of attraction! Magnets! Magnets are scientrifical, so we're not just making **** up! Just think happy thoughts and everything will be magically better! Whee!

                  1% of humanity controls 96% of the world's wealth because they're really, really good at conning people into believing **** like this.

                  Their is no law of attraction. Their is elctromagnetism. And the small and large nuclear force. And gravity. But if someone is jawing about frequencies and vibrations and energies, and they're not talking about kinetic energy or electromagnetic energy, they are just flat out making **** up, if not actually, maliciously lying to you for their own benefit.

                  Amazingly enough you get into debt if you spend more money than you save. You get sick if germs enter your body and manage to reproduce in spite of your bodies ability to

                  Electricity is... electrons. Sub atomic particles, negatively charged. Those particles will follow a path of least resistance and can be generated by rubbing cats together.

                  Honestly, if you want to explore spirituality please, please don't get conned into **** like this. Go out and get a copy of the Bible and read it, and get a Qu'ran and read it, and get the Bhagavad Gita. Read some Kierkirgaard, Read some Niezche, actually go and read Plato, directly, and throw out the idiots guide to pop-philosophy.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(2006_film)

                  Here, from the other side of the Equator, is a little dose or rationality.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usbNJMUZSwo

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

                    Cult's definition actually describes religion to me, idk?
                    |TG-Irr| JWG

                    Battlefield 2 - Project Reality

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

                      Originally posted by FrankManik View Post
                      Honestly, if you want to explore spirituality please, please don't get conned into **** like this. Go out and get a copy of the Bible and read it, and get a Qu'ran and read it, and get the Bhagavad Gita. Read some Kierkirgaard, Read some Niezche, actually go and read Plato, directly, and throw out the idiots guide to pop-philosophy.
                      Hehehe, a man after my own heart :)

                      Just to make it clear as I am not sure you are stating the paragraph to me or in general, but since I am the thread starter and am aware people could construe I am taking alot more in than necessary - I don't adhere to anything in specific and take general notions that makes sense to me as I have found, as I grow older, I actually like looking into such 'spiritual paths'. I have always questioned, and that includes myself.

                      I found it interesting for us all to look at as it seems to me to suggest alot of the difficulties faced by us if we choose or even don't choose, to look into such things and the missive of 'Truths'. 'Slick' is a good way to describe alot of it and definitely what we see here, though I can think of a few other words which I have added in other posts.

                      It is such with the above quoted in mind and a desire to be 'enlightened' not by crooks, I posted it here: I found myself very uncomfortable as I sat in my friends' living room, at the disparity of 'what message' was coming through. Again, to me, the biggest indicator was the 'sucker punch' where they through 'logic' and 'smiles' made the viewer feel bad - a psychological trick to then implant a message straight after (forgive my laziness to point out the time this occurs). I almost fell off my seat.

                      It is hence, and very dubious, and having to smile at my friend and say 'I agree - on certain - principles', I thought to post it here; as this forum although can be heated, flawed, vindictive and extreme, it is also insightful, wise, shrewd, analytical, and even sometimes correct and is a much better place to thrash out insights. Here is perhaps my most defining sentence (after Monkey and Gandhi) without using a succinct rigour of examples or defining words, as to express a holistic overview of what it all means: It is why I titled it as it is to highlight the paradox of spiritual meaning and that would set out the opposite.

                      I enjoyed all suggestions so far and will certainly look some of the stuff up I haven't (which is alot more than I should admit to, in all honesty).

                      To me Spirituality has a deeper meaning than anything specific or indeed what I will ever learn; I just go with what I know and try to learn so I can do a bit of good to others and myself. Actually, the great spiritual things I am looking into at the moment is M. K. Gandhi: God is Truth (An Autobiography), and the ever fantastic Monkey on youtube (from my childhood and am favourating the series' like crazy) but then again, I always did think I had a bit of Monkey in me (delusions can do this you know ;) ).

                      Here, for those that don't know the greatest ever of TV and more succinct than this group as to the real deal, in my opinion, is the first instalment of the series (opening and all the rest of the series you can look up via this). I think so highly of this programme's aim and teaching, compared to the one above, that I was actually loathe to place them in the same thread but then again it makes sense.

                      [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlo_6O1pUjU&feature=channel_page[/media]
                      Last edited by Taip3n; 08-21-2009, 12:16 PM. Reason: clarity/grammar/spelling

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

                        Originally posted by JWG View Post
                        Cult's definition actually describes religion to me, idk?
                        Cults that become large enough are religions. Part of being a cult is not having a large following.
                        |TG-6th|Snooggums

                        Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

                          The difference between a cult and religion is a matter of public perception and PR funding. : )

                          I love Monkey King/Hanuman stories!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

                            Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                            Cults that become large enough are religions. Part of being a cult is not having a large following.
                            A cult is basically a sect that maintains strict control of its members by limiting their access to outside sources of information. Cults are different than religions in that they control access to the "outside world" for most cult members and are generally focused around the beliefs and ideas of the leader of the cult. There is no dissension and usually once you are in you do not get out.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cult or Spiritual Group?

                              Originally posted by deathknight View Post
                              A cult is basically a sect that maintains strict control of its members by limiting their access to outside sources of information. Cults are different than religions in that they control access to the "outside world" for most cult members and are generally focused around the beliefs and ideas of the leader of the cult. There is no dissension and usually once you are in you do not get out.
                              Most religions are originally based up the worship of the sun god dating back to the pagan days.

                              Cults are based upon the conceptualizations and interpretations of an individual.

                              (to the best of my knowledge) :)
                              sigpic




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