Witness wrote:Firstly, the sense of "stupidity" can cause disenchanted cult members to go through very serious denial - they think they'll lose face if they leave the cult, they are terrified of their pride taking a knock. So they sit it out, lying to themselves and everybody else that they really believe in the teachings.
I know exactly what you mean. I stayed on about 3 years too long. I no longer believed what the school believed, no longer believed in the rituals, the aims, the fawning over the deities. But, the thing that finally forced me out was tutoring. I had all these bright, hopeful people sitting in front of me and I was feeding them a pile of BS. I felt guilty for leading them up the garden path.
Witness wrote:However, many join because they think something is missing from their lives, they are searching for something and are in some sense lost: I believe this is a form of low self-esteem or inferiority complex that is as damaging as egomania.
I'm not sure that I ever suffered from low self esteem but certainly I was searching. I had discovered that materialism wasn't that good so was open to something else. When you come into the school you get the sense that the people there really know something. Unfortunately as you rise through the echelons you find that they don't until you get to meet those at the top up close. What a disappointment! The emperors' new suit!
Witness wrote:The ego trip that people get from being in a spiritual group works especially well on people who have low self-esteem - suddenly they are special, thanks to XYZ initiation rituals and the privileged secrets and promises about enlightenment they are given.
I well remember the dinners on the Saturday night of the residentials with the after dinner speeches. The feeling of being smug and superior because of our access to "the teaching" and the "golden tradition".
Witness wrote:Its important not to not to beat yourself up about being "stupid".
Quite right. I'm just working through feelings of guilt (for time wasted and missing so many family things), frustration (at being used) and annoyance (at being sucked in by a bunch of nonsense). I'm finding it very good to talk about it though.
Witness wrote:I wish you the very best of luck - and please read those books I've recommended.
Thanks. Will do.