What’s Wrong With the Word ‘Cult’?
It’s Time to Reclaim the Culture of Healing
What even is a cult? The word ‘cult’ gets thrown around in our modern times with a flippant ease of judgment. Yet, what does this term really mean? Sure, there have been (and still are) many subgroups organized around religious dogma that are sustained through hierarchical dominance structures that are unhealthy to their core, including all sorts of distortion of truth and corruption of purity.
This, in many ways, needs to evolve like many other aspects of our modern day culture. But let’s acknowledge that the presence of these negative expressions of culture have tainted the word that is otherwise value free and objective in its description of what is. There is an aspect of this term that is all too quickly slapped onto any organized group with a spiritual quest. This aspect, creating an easeful ‘go-to’ grip for folks trying to deepen the separation story of the psyche, seems to exhibit a consistent misunderstanding of esoteric study.
Just because it’s occult, doesn’t make it a cult. And even if it did, is a ‘cult’ inherently nefarious? There are both benevolent and malicious politicians, aren’t there? It seems there’s an opportunity that’s presenting itself for us to heal the damage, bridge the chasm, and harmonize the trauma around spirituality through the lens of this term.
We’ve largely contained the term ‘culture’ within the psychological confines of social and political frameworks and applications. Yet, when we look at the term ‘culture’ through the lens of biology or agriculture, we find that there are many important aspects of the findings that we’d benefit from applying to the social and political realms. Growing and sustaining a healthy culture depends on a myriad of delicate variables. Domination within a culture doesn’t translate to harmony or symbiosis.
Life thrives with diversity, with strong willed and independent parts participating in a whole. We can be this way, as a species. We can contribute to the whole in beneficial ways when we deeply recognize ourselves as a part of it, not apart from it. This means we must evolve out of the archaic ‘cult’ concept (both in our assignment of this term to occult pursuits, and our application of obsolete control within those groups considered to be cult-like).
Gone are the days of worshiping external entities. We’re remembering, slowly but surely, that all that’s outside us is within us, and therefore, worshiping the body temple we’re currently incarnated in is key to our development. Alas, this means we don’t need to kneel before a dominant leader when we really recognize the omnipotent Source of Creation as that which is innately within us, as our birth right.
Transformation is Uncomfortable!
The roller coaster of healing and wholling isn’t for the faint of heart. Remembering our innate wholeness is a path that’s filled with moments of big change and recalibration. For those jostled by change, both internal and external, they’d likely prefer sitting beside the roller coaster and watching those shaking with anticipation as they ascend to new heights, and screaming as they plummet into the depths. Choosing to take the ride is only for those who can learn to manage their systems, command their ships, and embrace the discomfort of transformation.
These are the skillsets acquired through the spiritual path. No, not the path that leads you into an eddy of inertial patterns wrought with distorted traditions and outdated recitations. It’s the path of righteousness that empowers each individual with an embodiment of their free will, and an activation of this will as a conduit for benevolent creation to move through it.
More people are needed on this path; in order for our species to continue enjoying this planet we call home, we will need to wake up to the power that sits within ourselves in order to meet the pressures of change with the competent adaptability.
So where can we gather to awaken our innate abilities? Those abilities that empower us with the remembrance of the source of creation that lives within us? Within communities of practice, communities of therapy and healing, ignited from the inside out.
The etymology of the term ‘therapy’ can be tracked back through ancient Greece, expounding on the capacities to heal and cure. Yet, it seems we may have outsourced this ability to others, all too often. Ultimately, it’s the therapist’s role to simply amplify one’s awareness of the choices available to them, so they can feel empowered to make choices that resound with their own inner knowing.
So, what are therapeutic communities aiming to accomplish? An embodied, activated, and spiritually participatory populous that can meet the challenges we face as a species with empowered choice. The “fix me, doctor” culture must end. It is up to us as individuals to stop outsourcing our God-like abilities, and come back into belonging within communities that remind us of our essence. Whether or not they’re deemed ‘cults’….