Community, Cult, Clique, Gang - or Family?

“If you make friends with yourself,
you will never be alone”
Maxwell Maltz

Cliques, cults, religions and gangs – do they all require a ‘cookie cutter’ willingness to conform to standardized codes of behavior and speech patterns? The paradox is quite ironical because a rebellious act of branching away from the norms of society, only to comply with the rules of another authority is like changing clothes without realizing that true freedom lies in a higher place than just a ‘change of clothes’.

Gangs and cliques don’t allow for equality, companionship or the ultimate acceptance of individualism. Camaraderie is only permitted through compliance and those who desire power disguised as leadership, will ensure that their rules prevail through various forms of intimidation.

Does the enigma lie in the need for humanity to find community, love and friendship without needing to forfeit a unique footprint? For me though, a real community is to accept our uniqueness – together.

Humans need to be part of a family and a community; but when that transmutes into a gang, clique or cult it can take on a more radical mode with a rigid set of rules where pressure is exerted so that ‘followers’ obey core laws created by the often self-appointed ’ leader’, which becomes dogma. A caring community is a way for people to connect, bond and exchange ideas without the existence of a dogma or exclusive belief system. A cult on the other hand, demands that you all think in the same way or else risk being ostracized and condemned – and a clique is discriminatory where anyone who questions the elite clique members are promptly excluded from the group.

An authentically caring and sharing community welcomes questions, diversity and the enrichment of diverse and contrasting ideas. A clique is generally a narrow and trendy group who feel they are superior. Strength in numbers can translate as a positive energy of mutual support when integrity, honesty and empathy are nurtured; Strength in numbers can also be a cowardly way to wield oppressive power.

A caring community embraces questioning and diversity and is open, receptive and sharing; whereas cults equate questioning as being antagonistic – and people are told to ‘blindly trust’ or else be harshly judged and criticized for lacking in trust and dedication.

‘Community’ is inclusive. Cliques are exclusive – elite clubs!

Urban and sinister Gangs whether small or large, are cruel, greedy and punish all who disobey or question their dogma or fabricated ‘rule of law’.

As long as the greed gene wins over the humanitarian gene – the lure of ‘fools gold’ will create a false hierarchy and an elite system involving the tools of fear, dogma and brutality to manipulate a crowd and triumph in the arena of greed and power.

It is not a matter of removing that gene – it is a matter of the choice that humans have been given.
The freedom and consciousness to make choices, is a gift. Humanity has been given choice as part of our genetic make up.

I believe it’s a human instinct to unite? Why not unite in love instead of the divisiveness that thrives in an environment of, ‘them and us’.

Anyone with a dogma to defend doesn’t tolerate questioning. The questioner is labeled as a ‘black sheep’.

The sannyasins in the Osho spiritual commune in Pune, of which I was a part during the 1980s and 1990’s, had a crowd mentality of ‘live, love, celebrate and laugh’ – which was beautiful yet to look back and see it objectively we were drawn into the wave and sometimes misleading concept of celebration, enlightenment and nirvana – as being ‘The Path’ of spiritual illumination.

I now find myself cautious of trendy and egoistic cliques of any kind, I am suspicious of what lies below the surface of ‘friendliness’ and yet the authentic lure of honest and caring community is ever present in my heart.

Copyright Charmiene Maxwell-batten©2011. All Rights Reserved

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Community, Cult, Clique, Gang - or Family?

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Artist's Description

This is a story I wrote about the philosophy, as I see it, of cliques, cults and gangs. It is a chapter from my book:

A COLLAGE OF REFLECTIONS

Copyright Charmiene Maxwell-Batten

Featured in: THE WORLD AS WE SEE IT
Featured in: INSPIRED BY LIFE
Featured in: REMEMBER WHEN

I have posted this video (thankyou for the suggestion POPS) as it feels really good to hear this music

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