Years ago, in Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man
I read a quote from Galileo:
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has given us sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
newage survivor wrote:
There is a lot of talk in new age about God or the Supreme/Ultimate Being or the Higher Power loving everyone unconditionally. But then in the very next sentence they start giving all sorts of conditions: advice, rules, threats etc. Some contradiction there! Like yeah, God loves you unconditionally, but you must do this and do that so that you can realize that God loves you without any conditions whatsoever.
This switch from the initial good news that God loves us unconditionally to later on being told or having it insinuated that all sorts of conditions are required for us to either attain or retain awareness of Gods unconditional love---
That is an example of what is termed 'bait and switch'--things start out one way, and end up differently, aka the rules get changed or the goal posts are moved in the middle of the game.
One reason this happens is that initially when we get the good news of Gods unconditional love (or the group's unconditional love), it is a lot like the early phase of drug or alcohol use--before the shitty side effects and hangovers set it.
Initially you feel fantastic. Later on, when you lose that lovely feeling, you keep remembering how you once felt--and you keep wanting to get that initiatal good feeling back. So that is how you find yourself struggling to meet conditions to get back to the unconditonal love or bliss.
Here is why its a problem:
Regarding the intitial good feelings we get from drugs and alcohol--many times that happens because we are in relatively good health and our first exposure triggers a rush of neurochemicals that engender pleasure. Later, after heavy dose exposure to these same drugs, our bodies are worn out and our nervous system is depleted, or at the very least our livers can metabolize the stuff much more quickly, so the bliss doesnt last as a long.
so we cant resume that initial high because our body chemistry has been depleted. Two..we may have a bunch of new problems in life due to the drug use and we are feeling worse than before. Not better but worse. So we are that much more desperate for the initial high--but the health and vitality that made our initial bliss possible are gone.
And in bad religions or New Age or cults:
* The initial bliss triggered by the group may be brought about by techiques no one has told us about.
1) Love bombing--we get instant intimacy (real intimacy is never instant) because the group has a technique for targeting newbies like us. We dont know it yet, so its all fresh and new. We are getting our pleasure centers fondled and our fantasies met by people who know exactly which parts of our expectations to fondle.
2) Few of us know that bliss, which feels intensely personal, can be produced by IMPERSONAL GENERIC TECHNIQUES--and that these techiques can be mastered by people who dont love us and lack empathy and see us not as unique persons, but as a typical example behaving according to expectation
3) We are not often told the full history of the group--which may be tawdry or unromantic. Eg that someone who claims to have gotten enlightened in India may also have learned tricks of the trade by working as a volunteer at a US large group training, or on the sly, took classes on neurolinguistic programming.
4) We dont know that the inner circle of the group may be working long hours and being badly treated while as newcomers we are getting fondled and stroked and shown only the good side of the group. If we happen to have disposable income or have not yet maxed out our credit cards, or have valuable social contacts, we will definitely be shown only the nicey nicey side.
5) In the New Age scene, we are socialized never to think consciously or objectively about power and social behavior. In fact, daring to mention Rick Ross is the kiss of death.
Regarding the rules getting changed or goal posts budged in the middle of of the New Age game:
And worst of all you are forbidden to step OUTSIDE of the game itself and say, hey, wait a minute.
(In real sports, there are time outs where if a dispute arises, the umpire deliberates. And...the rules of the game are never changed during the time out, nor are the goal posts ever moved. But unlike real sports, in the New Age scene, one can get away with changing the rules or budging the goal posts to ever avoid acknowledging one has lost. And any attempt to step outside the frame and question this is written off as 'hyper intellectualizing' or 'negative thinking' or (in Ken Wilber's scene, 'Tier One or Mean Green Meme or Angry Orange))
Or you get told that in the realm of the absolute, rules dont matter, or that if someone is Enlightened and Crazy Wise, their abusive behavior cannot be evaluated by ordinary standards and is a 'mytery' or 'paradoxical' or 'shaman's way' or some such balderdash.
I call it eating shit and insisting it is sugar.