Cults coalesce around malignantly narcissistic individuals -- leaders who become the objects of worship for their followers.

Those leaders are characterized by an impaired conscience and an insatiable need for power and adulation that annihilates morality and reality itself.
This leader-worship resembles devotion to deity, because it is a stunted expression of a spiritual desire for self-transcendence where Leader becomes a god-like figure inspiring a form of love and obedience to the point of self-sacrifice.
The followers gain an "understanding" of the (so far confusing & hostile) world from the tales spun by their psychologically disturbed leader, and a sense of belonging and meaning which they lacked before.
This is why cults create unbreakable bonds: they bring simplistic "sense" to seeming nonsense and organization to inner & outer chaos. Thus they replace insecurity w/ certainty, and give their members something to live and die for, something greater than their life.

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More from @yourauntemma

16 Jun
From Eknath Easwaran:

""For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

I Corinthians
In moments of trouble we are seeing “through a glass darkly,” as Paul puts it. At such times we can repeat the mantram to calm our mind and clear our eyes.
In times of distress, when we try to call up the mantram or prayer word, we may have difficulty even locating it. Our attention will be caught in our own turmoil, and every time we try to catch it, it will rebel and slip away again.
Read 5 tweets
21 Mar
From Eknath Easwaran:

""A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or a bear's, cover the soul.
Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there."

Meister Eckhart
Below the relatively superficial levels of the mind – beneath the emotions we are ordinarily aware of – lie layer on layer of the unconscious mind. This is the “cloud of unknowing,” where primordial instincts, fears, and urges cover our understanding.
Read 6 tweets
5 Mar
“Cash is a better way to cure some forms of depression and anxiety than Prozac."
“So many of the illnesses we see in our community are a result of toxic stress and elevated cortisol levels and anxiety, directly attributed to income volatility and not having enough to cover your basic necessities. That’s true in the public-health crisis we’re in now.”

Too often people get sent to counseling to deal with the stress associated with insufficient income. This, BTW, applies to underpaid mental health profs themselves.

It's adding insult to injury by implying that the person needs better "coping skills" etc, and not better pay
Read 4 tweets
29 Jan
From the publisher's blurb of Unger's riveting book: "To answer these questions and more, Craig Unger reports, is to understand kompromat—operations that amassed compromising information on the richest and most powerful men on earth, and that leveraged power by appealing to...
...what is for some the most prized possession of all: their vanity."

Spiritually speaking, vanity is one of the worst of our sins, if not the worst. It's the root of all others. Psychologically, and clinically, narcissism is its fullest expression.
It's no surprise that our collective narcissism, and the narcissistic collusion between the pathological leadership and its followers, gave rise to Trump/ism. Although apparently even the KGB underestimated the narcissism of our elites that made them blind to dangers of Trump.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jan
From Eknath Easwaran:

""He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love."

I John
These words sound so ethereal that most of us cannot connect them with daily life. What, we ask, do personal relationships have to do with the divine? I would reply that it is by discovering the unity between ourselves and others – all others – that we find our unity with God.
We don’t first get to know God and then, by some miracle of grace, come to love our fellow human beings. Loving others comes first. In this sense, learning to love is practicing religion.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
Because this is no longer about politics, or rather this is not politics as usual. It's about that bloodlust which @TerryBoutonHist saw and described. It evades reason and civilized mechanisms to contain it once it is out in the open.
That's why all my writings about dangers of Trump/ism are about his deadly effects on society more so than just his own pathological doings. The spread of pathocracy that his own defective character normalizes and champions.
Read 4 tweets

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