Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Checking the cults...

I have been invited to a presentation of "Landmarks Forum" by a friend at work. This is the successor to est, now billing itself as a self-improvement course, a la Depak Chopra, etc. I thought about it for a few days, and have decided to go. Why? Because I think that everything happens for a reason. It seems like I need to know what the mind control...um, I mean "life transformation" crowd is doing, currently. I checked out Scientology for personal amusement, back in the '80's, and found it quite instructive, though not in the way they intended. (I think I also have a mark in a book somewhere that says "Do NOT encourage this woman--she could be dangerous." No one bothered me from that front, since...) I've checked out a lot of odd groups, and found them entertaining, but not enlightening. I've even checked out the Jehovah's Witnesses because I was interested in finding out how they thought. (I think they were a little chagrined over my offer to give up my place in heaven for someone else, who would appreciate it more. Because, after all, that's what Jesus would do... Yes, I'm evil.) I've had newage cult-leader types complain about my being too balanced...

My real enlightenment came during my Ireland tour, where I realized I could never be part of the crowd of women who so easily talked to rocks, and connected with easy spiritual philosophies. I knew that, as always, I would go on my own path alone, but that was okay. I felt a momentary twang of envy that I was not so easily satisfied with life as they were, but realized I'd take my path over theirs, any day. It was the first time I really clearly saw the trade-offs I'd made for the bulk of my life, and realized that they were, indeed, the right ones.

So what does this have to do with a chance to participate in cult enlightenment and be part of a group conciousness? Hey, it's free, and I am always interested in seeing what the "let's hook 'em for expensive seminars" crowd is doing. It's also a good opportunity to see where my own views of life fit against the societal norm, that allows groups like this to offer people self-awareness. I did, however, have to weigh it against the other stuff I need to get done, this weekend. Okay, maybe it's also a way of avoiding housework. as well as work on the cannon trailer that's staring me in the face. ;-) Guilty as charged. And who knows, I might need this knowledge at some point in the future.

Hmm, I wonder if they are operating by certain maxims: Who are you? What do you want? Where are you going and who do you trust? (I'm certainly not going to seminars, and I know exactly how much I can trust the people who sponsor them...)

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