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Enlighten us


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Just watched the documentary Enlighten Us on netflix about self help douche James Arthur Ray. He's basically a con man that used his power of influence to get people to give him a lot of money to go on self help retreats....on one of the retreats 3 people died of heat stroke while the group was "going to the next level" in a hot house.

I'm seething with anger. What is wrong with people!? Why are humans so willing to let another person influence them....even to the point of death? Is there a scientific reason why humans seem have this need to fill some kind of hole/void they feel they have in their lives or that something is missing? Why do people feel they deserve to be happy or fulfilled? Watching this documentary I couldn't help but see the parallels religions have with a lot of aspects of the self help movement. I kept thinking this asshole could seamlessly move from guru to preacher if he chose to. IDK....I grew up wanting happiness and fulfillment, but never thinking I deserved it...I also have had the feeling that something was missing in my life, but once the deconvertion process happened, so did the feelings that I was missing out on something....they just melted away.

Just wondering why it is so common for people in general to think there is something missing in their lives that needs to be filled?

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Most people seem to accept the notion they they are somehow lacking in certain areas, that they are incomplete. They agree from childhood to play the role their elders, friends and society has imposed on them. Nobody is brought up to think they are complete and capable in and of themselves. You need to get a spouse. You should have children. You need to have a good career. You need to go to college. You need to have the right religion. You can't make it on your own. In frustration and desperation, when life gives them lemons in particular, many people turn to wacky religions and cult saviors because they are convinced they need something from outside of themselves to be complete. They do not, but don't know that. Critical thinking and logic are usually not part of our curriculum.

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4 hours ago, Ann said:

Why are humans so willing to let another person influence them....even to the point of death?

 

 

Is there a scientific reason why humans seem have this need to fill some kind of hole/void they feel they have in their lives or that something is missing? 

 

 

Just wondering why it is so common for people in general to think there is something missing in their lives that needs to be filled?

 

I can answer these questions from a Christian perspective. 

The answer to the first question would be: fear in humans. Like florduh mentioned above- we are taught we are inadequate.

 

Answer to Second question: when I was a Christian and a disciple of Joyce Meyer, in one of her sermons she said humans have this hole inside them- a god-shaped hole that no boyfriend or girlfriend can fulfill. At that time, I was craving for a romantic relationship. When I heard this I took it as god's message to me and forced myself to stop wanting to have a boyfriend. I was miserable. 

I am not sure if there is a scientific reason but a reason could be because of shitty philosophy like these.

 

Answer to third question: you could blame self-help gurus, preachers, religions for that- all these teach people there will always be something missing in your life. Their motive could be money or it could be that they so strongly believe in all the philosophy they preach that they want to spread it as much as they can.

 

While I was a Christian, I read and heard preachers multiple times that God is like a giant ocean and even if you think that you have grasped god, you truly have only understood a very small fraction of God. At that time, this made sense to me. Now I know it's just religious crap talk. But, a lot of religious people actually believe it. So, they think their life will only have meaning if they live in pursuit of something greater than them. And (surprise) many people pick god to pursue.

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23 hours ago, Ann said:

Just wondering why it is so common for people in general to think there is something missing in their lives that needs to be filled?

 

I guess it's because it's true enough. For many people anyway. Maybe there are also those who don't feel like they're missing anything important. I wouldn't know.

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For better or for worse, people are always comparing themselves to other people.  When they find out that they're lacking compared to others they feel something's missing or they're not doing something right.  That's the sort of thing that begs to be exploited.

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It seems there is a common personality type that loves to have an authority figure to look up to. Just as some strive for leadership positions, some crave being a follower. But it's particularly strange when the people giving money to the guru are business owners or high ranking businessmen in big companies. One doctor in my town pays someone a rather large monthly fee just to occasionally talk to them about spiritual woo woo stuff relating to making money.

 

I saw a documentary on that guy and the hot house event in particular a long time ago. What bothered me most was how the survivors felt so lost now because they need to find a new guru. The idea of not following a guru was out of the question. They must struggle to find a new one to trust! There were also people defending him. Because those people that died chose to ascend to a higher spiritual plane. That's not his fault. And some praised the event because actual deaths made the impact stronger on their personal experience.

 

Maybe people are missing having a parental figure in their life? God and gurus can fill this role. Everyone starts out life with some seemingly super intelligent giants caring for them. You are acutely aware that you are lacking in strength and knowledge and need to grow. Perhaps it's a leftover feeling from this phase of life?

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