When the word “cult” comes to play a few things spring to mind. Jehovah Witnesses, Manson Family, Comet Hale Bop. Extreme beliefs and a way of living that the majority of people see as crazy. But isn’t every group or lifestyle looked upon as weird or crazy. If it’s not something you think you or anyone around you would do then it’s wrong or messed up.
Atkins, vegans, drug dealers, Buddhists, are all groups of people you would think are extreme if you’re not one of them.
Family and friends act in the same way as cults. Over the years they’re built and sustained on identity and beliefs that are practiced religiously. Not following these unwritten guidelines is like committing a sin.
Try disbanding from your family or group of friends and you will see the cultish behaviour that is involved. When you are pretty much born into a group of some sort it’s very possible you will one day come to feel that it’s not where you belong. Everything and everybody changes during a course of many years.
When you stop believing or want to leave your group or cult the rest of the members will freak out and attack you. This kind of behaviour stems from two places.
1. They really believe you are part of something special, they care about you and you are better off staying with them.
2. You not believing in such a large aspect of their life threatens their existence so they must try to convince you to live the way they do in order for them to feel good about themselves. Insecurity.
I come from a large group of friends. Some of us have been friends since the late 80’s and the rest of us the early 90’s. Long time. For a long time I felt a connection and at the same time a disconnect. A grappling match between my ego and fears against something else.
Occurrences in life have lead me to a place that I never thought I would encounter. If you want to stay and thrive in any group you have to evolve with everyone else in order to continue to stay in the belief system that everyone lives by. Evolve or die. Sometimes though, evolving is not a good thing and dying is better.
If you go to university and have friends from the same university you probably won’t see or think much of them if you drop out. If you sell drugs with your gang and decide to sell bibles instead, say goodbye. If your friends become CEO’s of big companies and you become a hippie then your friendship is probably going south.
No matter how different I am from my peer group and no matter how different they see me from them, they have an instinctive reaction to hold on to me and not let me go completely. As far as they’re concerned I’m part of them no matter what cause it seems so impossible for them to believe that a person would want to leave something they believe to be so vital to an existence.
This group that I belonged to for so many years has no place in my heart anymore for the most part anyway. The only thing keeping me somewhat entangled is my fear and years of habits that I haven’t been fully able to let go. Should I fully let go and cut off the life blood that fuels this engine? Or am I being negative and disillusioned? To be completely honest I think I’m scared to completely engulf my old life with flames to burn the past that is infecting my present and future.
Letting go is so difficult especially when it entails your comfort zone and the majority of your existence thus far. It’s a survival instinct telling you to not break away from something that has brought you safety to where you are now.
That’s just the brain of the monkey talking though. The more enlightening path speaks an idea of different actions. If you see even a glimmer of light you have to walk towards it cause there’s definitely no hope in the way of complete darkness. Instead of engaging in cultish behaviour I should cultivate a path of honesty towards my thoughts and emotions, selflessness and belief in myself.
I’m sort of buzzed from the red wine and have cascading thoughts but I hope I made some sense cause this how I feel about my life everyday.