But do be wary of cults. If something doesn’t smell right, leave.
Knowing me, if I ran into a cult while searching out information on meditation, I’d be in heaven. I am confident that I could recognize “cultish” trappings fairly quickly, but then I would end up dissection the beliefs and talking to the people. This would probably last, maybe an hour, then I would get bored and take off.
In my more militant days as an activist I welcomed any chance to dissect, in person, a belief system. This was about 12 years ago but I did learn something. One thing I learned was how quickly I became bored. That the threads that linked what appeared to be very diverse beliefs were all quite similar, especially when talking to someone face to face. Outside of textual form, people most often retreat into fall back positions that walls them off. When I pretended to be receptive, but “skeptical” people would be much more open, but I still became bored quickly.
I have an old tattered t-shirt that has a very recognizable image of Darwin wearing the clothes of Marlon Brando from The Wild One. Beside the image are the words; “Rebel with a cause”. I got this shirt about ‘97 and just about any time I wore it in public it would provoke comment. The best one to date was from a elderly women in a laundry mat. I watched as she took notice of the magazine I was reading that I left on a chair while sorting, It was the issue of Skeptic that asked on it’s cover; “Are We Slaves to Our Evolutionary Past”. Her teeth were noticeable grinding as she calmly stared at my t-shirt, she mustered up a question; she asked; “who is that a picture of on your t-shirt?”, I said, “it’s Charles Darwin dressed as Marlon Brando”, she responded, slowly and in clear measured tone, “oh I thought it was a monkey”.
I just love that. I laughed out loud and told how wonderful she had done to set the scene up. She huffed something under her breath and sat in the corner. A real one trick pony that lady was.
I found the picture from my shirt:
Click thumbnail to see full-size image