W: Good Morning Divine Father.
DF: Good Morning Wayne.
W: That was so good yesterday, it’s still moving through me. I had curiosity coming up in my dreams last night.
DF: I don’t think we finished it either.
W: No, I think we just ‘decoupled’ cuz we were full.
DF: Where to now, Wayne?
W: I was hoping you knew.
DF: I think you have a tab on what’s next, or let’s wait a moment till you do.
W: Yeah, you’re right. I think I do. A part of me, Marvin actually, was feeling this morning as we lay awake before dawn, in the birdsong that he missed connections with people from my past, to share the kind of curiosity that we spoke about yesterday. Then we felt how when people hold judgments about us, how that curiosity isn’t allowed out to play and dance between us. I mean, Marvin holds that it’s a cool thing to be curious about even if the person stayed in one place and hardly changed a thing. Like, how is that done? But, when people feel my path isn’t valid because of my beliefs or values or choices, that leaves us really no ground on which to dance, except maybe some kind of oppressive polite niceness.
DF: What do you make of that, as you call it ‘oppressive polite niceness’ when it’s energized by people towards you?
W: It feels very much like a learned behaviour, that I am all too familiar with, having become skilled in it for much of my life. And it feels very cult-like, too. It has all the markings of a cult.
DF: I know you’ve thought through the subject of cults, Wayne. I recall you and Yeshua discussing it in a really alive way. I’d like to discuss it with you some more and see where we might take it.
W: I’d like that a lot.
DF: Why don’t you start off by sharing where you’ve already come to in your not-so-mainstream picture of cults?
W: Okay. Let’s see if I can encapsulate it. Well, first off was the assertion that when any two or more of us enter a relationship, we are actually forming a cult. I know, people’s definition for the word cult doesn’t fit that, but therein lies a deep misunderstanding about relationships. What we tend to refer to as cults are the proven harmful ones, but in that projection, we are able to project onto them the harm that we are in fact responsible for inside of the many cults we have joined. Every relationship has it’s own ‘culture’, that is ‘cultivated’ which is the essential nature of worship; the need to belong and to conform to get love and to avoid rejection, same exact stuff that makes up a monster cult. In other words, none of us get to not belong to cults. Just belonging to humanity is a cult in itself. Just ask any other animal.
There’s the human cult, the family cult, the country cult, the mate-ship cult, the workplace cult, the school cult, the friends cult, the men cult, the women cult, and on and on. If we can accept this fact, then we can finally own and take responsibility for how we are treating others and how we are letting ourselves be treated. Short of that awakening, we are simply playing out other people’s uninteresting, unexamined and far too often repeated stories. Does that about cover it, Father?
DF: Just about…what I’d add to that is the piece about not only are cults the place where harm occurs, they are the only place where any good can occur. Considering that the human is a social animal, and gets their needs met only through relationship and interaction, then joining a cult is your only hope. Best though to find one you like, and examine the ones you’re in.
W: It’s like, Father, how we discussed that any and all healing comes through the agency of relationship (with self, others and the divine). It’s cool, Christopher pointed out yesterday that the root of the word curiosity is not only from the root of ‘care’, but also from the same root of ‘cure.’ Care and cure comes to us by the agency of alive relationship based in true curiosity. Those stuck in any cemented belief structure can’t embody true curiosity because they are focused on paving the world over. No relationship needed there, only surrender to empire and dictatorship.
DF: Which really gets to a defining point, Wayne. Well, let’s summarize a moment and then see where the point fits. First, we’re all in cults, several in fact. Awake to that. Take responsibility for that. Cults cause great harm for the very same reason they can cause great healing. It’s because they are people in relationship and connection.
What makes for the difference and definition between a harmful or a healthy cult is the degree of true curiosity about the world, about people, about love, about relationships. Any group bent on recruiting members is long past whatever formation they may have had in a phase of true curiosity, and is now entrenched in packaging ‘Thee Truth’ with a capital ‘T.’ There is so strikingly little actual relating going on in that cult, be it any cult of two or more, that it is a wonder it can persist into the future. There’s a curiosity right there.
W: So you’re saying that say a couple for instance, or a friendship that has lost it’s curiosity about each other is into this dead and harmful phase where they have lost any awareness of the power of relationships, for either great good or great harm, or anything in between.
DF: It’s a pretty simple test really. Curiosity in relationships is so nourishing in its’ presence and so impoverishing in its’ absence.
W: So, Father, what do we do with the cults we’re in that we unknowingly and even quite innocently signed up for, that don’t feel alive anymore?
DF: Well, first, I’d say, let go of the ‘bloom where you’re planted’ idea. You done bloomed here a long time ago and all that’s left is a husk and maybe a burial. You need to do what any sane person does on a sinking ship or in a burning building is find an exit, or a lifeboat. You may have unconsciously got in, but you need to consciously get out. That means getting you out of the cult and getting the cult out of you and doing whatever it takes to affect that. Of course, it will be costly, but remaining in the harmful cult will cost you more, and only someone suicidal, and lost in self hatred would remain upon realizing where they are.
W: What about all the painful relationship losses involved?
DF: Cult members who are embedded deeply in the cult don’t have any good will, let alone curiosity about some one whose bailing on the cult. You can’t expect them to. Only someone on the edge of leaving like you would have any resonance with your choices and choose to leave with you. Most though, when they are faced with the choice of leaving you or leaving the cult, it’s the cult that wins out almost all the time. Anything different is very rare. That’s because humans aren’t actually able to be outside of cults. Even the individual all by them self is made up of several parts, who are in a culture together, hence a cult, otherwise known as a personality.
W: This is good stuff, Father.
DF: Hey, man. This is our cult. We gotta keep it running on the good stuff.
W: I guess it is our cult, huh?
DF: Sure it is, Wayne. Every relationship is totally and completely a cult, that needs to be acknowledged, seen for what it is, and taken accountability for what it is producing and spreading in the world.
W: So, if it’s unavoidable to do life without doing cults, then we need to embrace that fact. I guess I’m repeating myself, Father. Do you know what edge I’m trying to get at just now?
DF: Hang in there, it’ll come back.
W: It’s coming back. Okay, the big bad cult I joined and gave a bunch of myself too, and who did me harm and all of that….I joined that, I stayed in that, I gave strength to that, I put money in that, I was part of the harm it did to others, I loyally spurned the others who left, just by staying, and in it all, I pulled the trigger on true curiosity. And if I did all that, then it wasn’t done to me. That means I’m not a victim. If anything, I victimized myself. Yes, there were harmful assholes in the cult who hurt me, but I let them. I approved the harm I received.
DF: Yes! Which means the pain and the harm was all about learning.
W: And the learning could only and ever be all about love.
DF: Because love is the sole and only substance in the universe. Harm only serves to define and offer a contrast to love.
W: So, when you’re ready, celebrate the cult you joined, that arguably diminished you. The only reason it could diminish you is because you are in fact so much bigger and you needed and even chose the experience, in order to come to terms with this bigness. No cults, no growth.
DF: We may not be done with this one, Wayne, may need to pick it up tomorrow.
W: Maybe we’ll never be done on this one.
DF: Good point. Cults are popping up by the second.
W: Like beans in the garden. I think it’s my turn to water.
DF: Hasta Manana?
W: Yes, hasta manana.
Wayne Vriend is a co-founder of Soulfullheart Community, healer and author of 90 Days With Yeshua. Visit soulfullheart.com for more information.