Can 1960’s Dogma Hamper Higher Consciousness?
Are there situations where fresh ideas became overused and lost originality?
In the 1960’s many experienced higher consciousness for the first time. They stepped outside of what was group think for their time, and into their inner self’s sanctuary. As an entrenched establishment looked to take control over their followers, group think set in. People stepped outside their unique inner sanctuary to embrace what now became group think. Think about how original natural inner spark often lost its way.
Profiting From Spiritual Followers:
The spiritual entrepreneur comes in many forms. Monetary rewards to spiritual guides is a conflict of interest. By utilizing “group think” to distort matters, leaders can develop a more loyal following. In today’s world the number of followers a leader has seems to take greater predominance than having a discussion on how they molded such great numbers of followers.
How Science Threatens The Spiritual Leader’s Authority:
The 1960’s based definition of empirical knowledge often is feeling, particularly body sensations. Experience, however distorted they may be from past experiences, too often are the “only” source of deep knowledge. While feelings are very important, humans have minds to sort and balance out the many feelings we have. Rational thought threatens the leader’s power.
Repackaging 60’s Truths As Something The Leader Has Special Knowledge In:
- Age old truths about peace, justice and the environment get compromised when spiritual guides repackage reality through means like astrology, psychic powers, and unproven alternative therapies.
- Many factors go into creating positive feelings in clients which aren’t necessarily the purported venue being promoted. Clients are told to associate their pleasurable feelings from proven methods like breath relaxation and meditation, as actually coming from a venue the leader has labeled themselves as being an expert on.
While “God” might not be experienced and understood rationally, we don’t need to condemn logic and science for other parts of life. Using the follower’s experiences with higher consciousness, leaders often lead their flock astray to the lands the leader knows better than their flock.
The self-help industry is imploding with many prophets over controlled by money. The high ideals from the 1960’s sometimes turns away people interested in real spiritual connection after they experience the self-help industry leaders often acting in plastic and robotic manners.
Rise of the spiritual entrepreneur is becoming a class act. Some are becoming biased against all spiritual healers, when the good need not be blamed for what others do.
Spiritual Beauty Act: The Hollywoodizing of looking beautiful spiritually makes a considerable difference in the leader’s earning power. How often do the spiritual actors have something to say that hasn’t been rehashed in the imploding self help industry?
Commercial Shamans: Native American Indians are shocked with current New Age shamans profiting from historical tribal beliefs. The spiritual entrepreneur’s’ repackaging of the spiritualized commercialism is fundamentally inconsistent with the Indian’s beliefs. Ignoring the communal aspects of tribal religious belief and practice is a fundamental insult to the Indian tradition.
While Europeans call profiteers of spiritual group think “sects”, Americans call them “cults”.
The transcendence of group think requires the minimization of mental constraints and the nurturing of alternative ideas dancing in spiritual discussions. Group think leaders don’t necessarily try to enforce uniformity as the group think tactics would become more transparent. Phony leaders instead may remove the awareness of other spiritual possibilities.
Sociology researchers say people are often more susceptible to manipulation when in major change and crisis.
The 1960’s generate language largely remains. This weighs down spiritual explorers without their recognizing its albatross.
Self-help often replaces doctors, priests, and therapists, parents, and teachers with public spiritual personalities like Oprah. Spiritual personalities label the problems millions of listeners intern incorporate into their speech. Lesser known trendy personalities copycat the lingo to thereby increase the number of followers. The result is an implosion of group think in the spiritual movement turning off those tired of the “spiritual show”.
Self-help books and workshops mirror the cultural paradigms of the current era. In the great depression, more were focusing on getting rich than in times of greater prosperity. Someone might write a history of America’s self help movement based on the group think at the corresponding times.
Spending time in nature away from human constructed interpretations of higher consciousness is often proven to help heal and revive.
While people may enter the self-help culture to depart today’s narcissistic culture, group think in the popularized self-help movement can turn into the truest expression of narcissism camouflaged as other things.
Today’s selfish alternative spiritual cultures are often taken over by cults and irrationality refusing to see anything positive in modern science. While modern science has major limitations, denouncing it completely so leaders can replace it with their manipulative ways is all too common.
SARTRE & THE SOCIAL BRAIN:
Studies show humans feel better when having satisfying relationships with other people. While there are clear benefits with focusing on and improving one’s self, it can come at a cost when it gets too narcissistic and group think focused. Neuro psychology show a greater successful focus on getting along with others will make us happier.
Taking the common self-indulging route may not ultimately offer the deeper happiness the brain seeks. Benefits with enjoying satisfying spiritual relationships with likeminded people may include:
- Greater self esteem
- Effective in social and organizational circles.
- Better with social intelligence.
- Improved health: stress reduction, sleep, etc.
Much of the inner focused self-help culture may not help with any of the above. The pop culture needs to catch up with brain science. Philosopher Sarte said, “Hell is other people”. Sartre stated people’s sense of self is constituted to “being with other people”. A narcissist’s entity is mediated by shame which is fundamentally based on the other people who can make us happy and temper one’s selfishness. Sarte said that happiness, self-efficacy and self-esteem are socially constructed. Like it or not, our DNA needs healthy social contact to be happy. What’s inside us is also outside us.
Outwardly directed self-improvement can make people happier. Blocking the outer in unnatural ways can fester mental health issues. A healthy outward and inward balance can help people feel better and save money spent on workshops and services from the spiritual entrepreneur.
COMMERCIALIZATION OF MINDFULNESS CULTURE
Spiritual entrepreneurs get more followers by offering “competitive advantages of meditation”. Mindfulness is promoted to get ahead in life. Spiritual entrepreneurs imply their clients can become spiritually ahead of others. Would Buddha have advocated the “spiritual beauty show” when people parade around their new age or pricey lululu lemon yoga outfits? Curiously, mindfulness can increase the disease it claims to be healing. What happened to the Zen non-attachment to material goods? Western capitalism is focused on changing eastern.
Spiritual entrepreneurs can indirectly suggest their followers abandon traditional religions like Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Some feel Palestine should drop its Holy Land label, as it’s the sacred places for passing relics of three dead religions. Many spiritual entrepreneurs are missionaries raiding other religions, to gain more followers and money.
In essence, spiritual entrepreneurs mold their follower’s beliefs often to the betterment of the leaders and to the possible suffering of the followers. Group think and commercialization of the holy spiritual realms can increase the disease the followers are trying to avoid. Followers are attracted to spiritual entrepreneurs’ positive attributes like flies to honey but getting too much sugar which can make them somewhat ill.
Key is to transcend today’s 1960’s based self help culture by releasing oneself from its trappings. Keep an open mind. Experience a Zen state of mind, free from limiting thoughts espoused by pop self help culture. Share your thoughts at Steve’s international nature retreat house for people from diverse backgrounds. If interested contact us for our free weekend dinners, hot tub and fireplace get togethers.