Re: Spiritual practice after surviving a cult???
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: December 09, 2019 01:17AM

What helps me develop spiritually (i.e. become less deluded) lately is a more rational approach. This paper gives a very interesting and rational analysis of what awakening is: [www.researchgate.net]

Quote

A model is presented of awakening experiences that postulates 3 layers of processing, sensory, perceptual, and cognitive, that separate external energy from awareness. The model hypothesizes that awakening experiences results from the progressive removal of the cognitive, perceptual, and sensory layers of information processing. This to some extent returns awareness to a primal state that was present before the development of neural information processing.

Reality is whole and undivided. Ego and its perceived reality consisting of separate parts are the result of the cognitive and perceptual layers of processing, opaquely overlaying the direct experience of actual reality. During an awakening experience, these layers are temporarily inhibited so that you experience reality more directly. But as soon as those layers of processing kick in again, ego returns—the experienced reality is again one consisting of labels, comparisons, judgments, segregation, etc.

The ego that was relegated to the background during the awakening experience now comes back into the foreground and takes credit for the experience, thinking that "I am awakened," while the awakening was in fact the absence of that very I.

So the challenge after an awakening experience is to not get stuck in the spiritual-ego phase, in which one is still very deluded and prone to zealotry and grandiosity. Most "spiritual leaders" seem to be stuck in this phase.

The awakening becomes more permanent when our convictions, our conceptual take on reality, get seen through. Then the perceptual and cognitive layers of processing become transparent, so that the underlying beauty and wholeness/holiness of actual reality can shine through.

This probably won't happen unless seeing reality as it is becomes one's number one priority. It takes loving devotion, child-like curiosity, radical self-honesty, and independent thinking. The latter is very important because if our thinking follows the societal norm, we'll stay deluded (which is the societal norm). We need to stay away from group-think, and that includes any spiritual group-think.

Re: Spiritual practice after surviving a cult???
Posted by: sig ()
Date: December 09, 2019 09:41PM

Quote
zizlz
So the challenge after an awakening experience is to not get stuck in the spiritual-ego phase, in which one is still very deluded and prone to zealotry and grandiosity. Most "spiritual leaders" seem to be stuck in this phase.

Bernadette Roberts calls these spiritual ego-masks the “archetypes” of the collective unconscious. The guru is an obvious archetype. The temptation to adopt a spiritual ego must be resisted, she says.

“If we do not firmly resist or see through these temptations (which are rarely even recognized as ‘temptations’), we may fall into delusion and spend our lives playing out a false and dangerous role — always a power-play of some type — a role more dangerous to others than to ourselves.”

— Bernadette Roberts, The Christian Contemplative Journey: Essays on the Path, p. 82.

Re: Spiritual practice after surviving a cult???
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: December 10, 2019 12:47AM

Thanks Sig, that's very interesting! I found this interview where she elaborates a bit on this topic:

[www.spiritualteachers.org]

Quote

The major temptation to be overcome in this period is the temptation to fall for one of the subtle but powerful archetypes of the collective consciousness. As I see it, in the transforming process we only come to terms with the archetypes of the personal unconscious; the archetypes of the collective consciousness are reserved for individuals in the state of oneness, because those archetypes are powers or energies of that state. Jung felt that these archetypes were unlimited; but in fact, there is only one true archetype, and that archtype is self. What is unlimited are the various masks or roles self is tempted to play in the state of oneness – savior, prophet, healer, martyr, Mother Earth, you name it. They are all temptations to seize power for ourselves, to think ourselves to be whatever the mask or role may be. In the state of oneness, both Christ and Buddha were tempted in this manner, but they held to the “ground” that they knew to be devoid of all such energies. This ground is a “stillpoint”, not a moving energy-point. Unmasking these energies, seeing them as ruses of the self, is the particular task to be accomplished or hurdle to be overcome in the state of oneness. We cannot come to the ending of self until we have finally seen through these archetypes and can no longer be moved by any of them.

Re: Spiritual practice after surviving a cult???
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: December 11, 2019 02:49AM

Bernadette Roberts has a 3 hour talk on Youtube where she describes the spiritual path as she sees it: [www.youtube.com]

At first it confused me, because she uses the words consciousness and ego differently from how I define them, and she uses the word God a lot, which I never do. I had to get used to her way of slicing the pie, but now that I did, I must say her message is really profound, and I'm very glad to have found her. Thanks again, Sig!

Re: Spiritual practice after surviving a cult???
Posted by: sig ()
Date: December 12, 2019 11:32PM

You’re welcome.

To get back to Heather’s original question, what to do after surviving a cult, a woman in New Zealand is making a whole series of short videos on this subject. (Her parents belonged to some kind of pseudo-Christian cult in New Zealand while she was growing up.) The videos are quite good. Here is one of them. She is still making more, which you can find on her channel.

[m.youtube.com]

Re: Spiritual practice after surviving a cult???
Posted by: facet ()
Date: December 16, 2019 02:24AM

Hi Heather,

Wishing you more peace and tranquility as you continue with your life and practice.

It’s really difficult to let go of practice, though for me it has been something necessary.

To just live life as one usually would, minus any strict disciplined behaviours or mudras, meditation techniques, non judgements etc is an absolute antidote.

I knew that I had to look at everything I had been doing as programming, because essentially that is all it is, deprogramming myself or re wiring the brain is the way to settle for me. This may not be the way for you or others though for me it is the way.

Living of usual life.

It is also the knowing that I had before my journeys that remains, that ‘awakening’ in itself does not exist. It is only realisation, or a series of realisations that one experiences and it does not matter what practice you do, practice is irrelevant and only continued as a part of the masquerade of manipulators, the realisation that your brain experiences never leaves you. Once you’ve got it, you’ve got it and life goes on.. though in a usual way.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/2019 02:31AM by facet.

Re: Spiritual practice after surviving a cult???
Posted by: allalong ()
Date: December 16, 2019 12:34PM

I was in a couple of "soft cults". Although they were nothing like what you experienced, they effected me. I don't have drug or alcohol addiction, but I didn't have the best coping mechanisms. I do agree that some personalities are more apt to fall for becoming addicted to a spiritual group. It's all I thought about and talked about for the time I was in them.

What's helping me is trying to live a simple, grounded life and not get too carried away with any one "solution".

Therapy helps me, too--cognitive behavioral therapy. I'm learning mindfulness and that's about as spiritual as I get nowadays. Sometimes I meditate for a few minutes, but I need to make sure that I don't get carried away with that, either.

One important thing I learned in therapy is that "the answers are within".

Re: Spiritual practice after surviving a cult???
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: December 18, 2019 01:18PM

A Gentle Reminder

Heather, who started this thread, was the victim as a teenager of a (fake) guru who is still 'teaching,' James Swartz. There is a large message thread about him (his crimes, his fraudulently given spiritual history, his shabby teachings, and more) on this site called

James Swartz—What is the Truth?

and also one by Heather called

"James Swartz--my original written account."

In case you haven't read it already, Heather's thread gives a very moving account of her "history" with the cult (and abusive leader), and her process in surviving and healing in the subsequent years.

Note--Heather 'came out' about James Swartz six months or so too early, in a way. The "Me Too" movement became a big deal in the Summer of 2017. She first published her articles in January of that year. The attacks that came her way were a sadly accurate forerunner of what would be happening to many women just six months later, except these would have much more popular support.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.