Beyond Cultism

Beyond Cultism

The Cults We See on Television

Beyond all the socially sanctioned forms of cultism lie the fringe religious groups that are typically called "cults".

Although the mainstream media often label any minority religion a "cult"— in a decidedly pejorative way — there certainly are minority groups that are truly dangerous.

These groups prey upon people who are significantly immature in their psychological development. In Avatar Adi Da's terminology, they attract and exploit the "childish" individual.

The Childish and Adolescent Dispositions

The Divine Avatar uses the term "childish" in a specific way, contrasting it with the term "adolescent". Briefly summarized, the childish disposition is marked by feelings of dependence, and the adolescent phase is characterized by often fitful efforts to grow up and become independent.

These are common concepts, but He goes further with them. He says that, in modern society, most adults never completely move beyond these two early-life phases. Instead, they vacillate unconsciously between these two modes, the childish and adolescent dispositions.

There is commonly a lag in the transition to adulthood, because of the shocks experienced in the immature attempts to function in the world. Thus, to some degree, every adult lingers in the childhood presumption of dependence.

That childish aspect in each individual always seeks to verify the condition of dependence in forms of safety and relative unconsciousness.

— Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Aletheon

Like childhood, the stage of adolescence also tends to be prolonged indefinitely — and, indeed, perhaps the majority of "civilized" human beings are occupied with the concerns of this transition most if not all of their lives.

Adolescence is the origin of the great search in all adult human beings.

The solutions developed in the adolescent theatre of human life phase between the extremes of either yielding to the state of egoic dependence or asserting the status of egoic independence.

Humanity makes "culture" and adventure out of such ambivalence.

— Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Aletheon

Although people phase between childish and adolescent attitudes, any given person tends more toward one than the other. So, there are people who are more childish in their general adaptation, and those who are more adolescent.

The dangerous cults target those who are stuck in the childish disposition, looking for something or someone to depend on. Such individuals may be attracted to the enthusiasm and fanaticism of such a cult..

The Problems of Childish Religious Involvement

One who believes he or she is being protected by a parental deity never faces the inconvenient realities that would demand growth, responsibility, consciousness, and self-transcendence. In other words, such a person never has to grow up.

Interestingly, the adolescent disposition also obstructs authentic Spiritual life, but in a different way. The adolescent individual is locked into an unconscious pattern of knee-jerk reaction against all perceived authority, wisdom, and greatness— legitimate or not.

Adolescent people reject their own unresolved feelings of dependence, and overcompensate with an exaggerated stance of independence.

True Human Maturity

Avatar Adi Da teaches that human beings can and must grow beyond both the childish and the adolescent disposition — despite the fact that living examples of such true human maturity are rare.

This uncommon degree of intellectual, emotional, and moral integrity is the irreplaceable foundation for genuine Spiritual practice. It is also necessary for the well-being of the entire world, and possibly its very survival.

This transition to human maturity requires profound and "self"-critical understanding on the part of the individual.

And, if such a crisis of "self"-understanding does not characterize the greatest number of human beings alive at any one time, the social order of humankind tends to be more or less childish and adolescent, expressing all kinds of irrational dependencies and equally irrational needs for ambivalent independence.

But this is precisely the situation in the "world" at the present time.

— Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Aletheon

Read Avatar Adi Da's description of true human maturity as descibed in the "Seven Stages of Life."

Next: Avatar Adi Da's Confrontation of Cultism

Listen to
Avatar Adi Da's

On Cults and Cultism

One who believes he or she is being protected by a parental deity never faces the inconvenient realities that would demand growth.