When I was in a cult, I was taught that I was learning “the truth”. I was convinced to believe a well-thought-out story by people who believed that story with zeal, conviction and passion. I was young, sensitive, afraid and lonely when the offer to join was extended to me. They offered me comfort and salvation and hope for the future in exchange for conformity and dedication. That is what cults do.
They look for depressed and lonely people who will invite them into their homes and allow their minds to be shaped. They spend lots of volunteer time with you, showing you what seems like love and compassion and understanding and encouragement. Then once you come inside their world and make a commitment to their god, you become one of them and everything changes.
The love once showed to you becomes a distant memory. A dried up feeling that quickly fades. You are expected to recruit more lonely people, to show them compassion and spend your time cultivating them for the same experience you had when you were on the other side of the door. The attention and concern once showed to you by these people when you were a guest in their midst is replaced by expectations and judgement and restrictions. If you want to maintain your status or if you want to achieve some spiritual goals, you will strive for a form of approval that is never quite within reach. You will never be good enough, and you will always be asked to do a little more.
No matter how hard or how long you have been faithful, one act of individual expression can reduce you to a shameful state of disapproval. You are discouraged from being a bright light yourself, or from standing out and expressing individuality. If you do, they will only let you go so far before they make efforts to dim your light and discourage you. You will watch people who once seemed concerned about you change into cruel and cold-hearted rivals. You will watch these same people who treat you with disdain, turn on a smile for someone who is a guest or in the process of conditioning. All glory must go to their god, any distraction is considered a reproach. You must color between the invisible and ever changing lines. Or else.
The “truth” seems so appealing when you’re on the other side of the door. But once you come in, you find out that it isn’t paradise you’ve entered, it is hell. A never-ending treadmill of unfulfilled expectations, of relief just out of your reach, and a waiting on answers while you slave tirelessly to maintain an illusion of smiling satisfaction.
If you are searching for the answers to life, if you are suffering from depression and loneliness and fear of what will come of this world we are living in, you may soon attract a knock on your door. You will be asked meaningful questions. You will be skillfully directed to a book for the answers. You may even be promised a life like no other, an invitation to live the best life ever. Be warned.
That knock on your door is a deceptive invitation.
The “truth” doesn’t exist in an institutional belief system. The truth exists inside of you. The truth that sets you free from a victim/slave mentality, cannot be taught, it must be discovered.
You are the only one who can save yourself. You are the only one with the answers to your questions. They already exist inside of you.
So get up off your knees and stop looking into the sky for salvation.
You are the one you have been waiting for. Do not be misled by a knock on your door.