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Category Archives: Spirituality
I'm fascinated by the phenomenon of cults, and our inherent vulnerability to the influence of charismatic leaders. The topic also touches on another personal interest, the human desire and ability we have to embrace supernatural and unsubstantiated beliefs.
My personal definition of the term cult is:
A derogatory term for any religious or philosophically-based minority group whose core beliefs and values you don't personally agree with.
Yes, I know it's a little different from the wiktionary definition, but I want to emphasise that cultness is in the eye of the beholder. It's a derogatory term, rarely used by the members of the cult in question, although they may use it freely referring to other cults; just not their own. When you're in a cult, you don't see that it's a cult. So when someone else uses the word cult, what they really mean is that they don't like the … Continue reading…
One of the greatest challenges of my life has been the journey of discovery that led me to abandon the religion of my upbringing, and the core beliefs about myself and the world around me that went along with it. Although tremendously challenging, the journey has also been one of the most rewarding; which isn't surprising since it's when we step outside our comfort zone and encounter challenges that we truly grow.
I was raised in a conservative church-going family in middle-class Australia. Every weekend my parents would take me and my two older sisters along to our mildly-progressive local Christian church. I went to Sunday School every weekend where I learned stories from the bible, learned to close my eyes when I prayed, heard about Jesus, sang cutesy Christian songs, and generally ran amok as often as I could. I was an energetic little boy, and the thought of … Continue reading…
A great deal of our unhappiness is caused by us wallowing in regret about the past, or worrying about the future. Many of us spend relatively little time actually being connected to the present moment, which is ironic because the present moment is the only one we have available to us. The past has already happened and cannot be changed, and the future hasn't happened yet; we have relatively little real control over it either. So all we really have to work with is the present moment.
This book gives the clearest description I've come across of why it's important to remain connected to the present moment. It's particularly important when it comes to relationships with other people, since we're difficult to connect with when our minds are somewhere else.
There are many things that can cause us to lose this connection. Over-analysing puts us “in our heads” where we … Continue reading…