Limits of "take what you like and leave the rest" TWYLLTR
Date: July 05, 2014 11:35PM
***If one is born into a cult, or into a dictatorship, this is a very serious
matter, for one was not given choice in that matter. Anyone born into a cult or dictatorship and who gets out has made a moral and social breakthrough.
Some recognition exists for persons who have escaped from dictatorships. But as yet little of this recognition goes to persons who successfully escape from cultic families, especially ones that preserve the appearance of respectability and are affluent, upper class, 'U'.
Corboy wants to step back and state that one atrocious by product of the Western fad for reincarnation belief or the various laws of attraction is
for persons to coo, "But in another life you chose to be born into this family, or you were karmically attracted to such a family because it was a lesson you needed to go through."
Corboy considers this to be a cheap bypass of the pain of injustice.
If one regards this life as the only thing we can know, this brings an urgency
to matters of injustice.
But a cheap and easy belief in re-birth'/reincarnation/"karma" or law of attraction bypasses the justice dimension entirely and takes the anguish out of injustice. One might as well take some Xanax and admit one doenst want to
deal with the pain of human life.
Thats less insulting to a sufferer to say, "I feel horrified by what you have been through, am too anxious to bear this, and want to go have a stiff drink."
Better to say that, than coo, "Oh, you'll just get a better rebirth because of all this, dont whinge or wallow in this."
As Jonathan Swift wrote,
For how can stony bowels melt
In those who never pity felt?
When we are lash'd, they kiss the rod,
Resigning (themselves)to the will of God."
And this between Dr. Johnson and James Boswell
Boswell. “I have often blamed myself, Sir, for not feeling for others, as sensibly as many say they do.”
Johnson. “Sir, don't be duped by them any more. You will find these very feeling people are not very ready to do you good.
"They pay you by feeling.”
Re: Social Commute -- How Much will a Group Ask of You? new
Posted by: corboy (
Date: September 24, 2013 06:05PM
"Take What You Like and Leave the Rest"
This is usually good advice. But it has very serious limits.
You cannot take what you like and leave the rest if you have not been
told completely and in full what 'the rest' consists of!
A) If a recruiter doesnt know the full extant of the belief system and doent know the actual history of the group or its leader or what is done with the money, that recruiter cannot give a full disclosure.
A group house may have a very nicely appointed dining room for low rankers and for their guests/prospective recruits.
The low rankers may be totally unaware that off in another part of the house
there is a luxury dining decorated in expensive but non-U glitz, a room in a locked portion of the compound, unknown to recruiters and low rankers, accessible only to the guru and the most select of the inner circle.
If a new recruit or very new member saw that dining room, he or she might be so
disgusted by the greed and luxury as to turn tail and leave.
But once a person has been slowly 'cooked', indoctrinated and vetted for a decade or more, he or she might finally be allowed to see that dining room
and not be shocked at all. Instead by this time the person would so adore
the guru as to believe the guru deserves this luxury and that it is beautiful
and not atrocious at all.
That luxury suite would be 'the rest'. Take what you like (the subaltern's dining room) and leave the rest (The guru's gilded suite that you and your recruiter are not told about)
How can you take what you like and leave 'the rest' if you dont even know what 'the rest' consists of?
People say, reassuringly, 'Oh, take what you like and leave the rest"
They themselves may be unaware of the full extent of the belief system, which means they can say this and radiate sincerity.
They may be high on the mood generated by a groups social technology and not know or care what's behind it. Its like junkies who are so desperate to fix that they will shoot up with anything that looks like smack if handed to them by The Man.
How can you make an informed decision to 'take what you like and leave the rest' if you are not told in the beginning, up front and in full, what the entire belief and behavior complex consists of?
For example, that they are actually led by a guru considered infallible, but this is not mentioned to new recruits who might otherwise refuse to join.
In extreme cases, you may be told Guru A is focus of the group, but actually someone named X is the one actually venerated. Guru A is the fig-leaf.
To join a group of this kind is to become part of a secret ridden family, to live a lie.
We are all influenceable by social context if we stay in long enough.
B) Human beings, no matter how intelligent, well educated, and socially sophisticated, are influenceable by social context. We rapidly normalize even bizarre and horrifying situations if we remain in them too long. Forget the fantasies peddled by Hollywood movies about heroes uncorrupted.
We honor heroes because the real ones *are* unusual -- and often what makes them
heroes may cause them to have trouble adjusting to the quieter routines of military and civilian life.
It is better to recognize that most of us, including Corboy, are influenceable
by social context, influencable by the company we keep or that is imposed on us unless we are vigilent. It is much more liberating to recognize that where we
**do** have agency is identifying our true values, and then choosing our company and our pleasures accordingly.
Robert J Lifton interviewed German physicians who had become agents and involved in torture experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. He wanted to know how they had come to violate their own ethics.
* The doctors had already bought into the ideology that there was such a thing as a 'real German' and others were subhuman. Their social surroundings taught them an ideology that dehumanized others.
**By staying in the laboratorys of the concentration camps, the doctors got used to the shock and coped by creating a dissociated doubled personality. It took anywhere from half an hour (!!) to two weeks to adjust.
And once they did so by remaining in the KZ camp that long--they became active perpetrators.
Thats the danger of staying in a warped, even shocking social situation for too long. What seemed stupid or horrid becomes normal after awhile -- unless one
It empowers us very much more to accept we are influenceable - even the most intelligent of us--and remove ourselves as rapidly as possible from a situation that shocks us and violates our ethics.
Otherwise if we remain, we risk adjusting to what should never be adjusted to--and become capable of harming others.
There are some lines which, when crossed, grow dim and are difficult to find and re-cross.