Sunday, March 22, 2015

Random Stuff / Delurk Thread

Happy spring and World Poetry Day, readers. I know many of you come here looking for something fresh and leave empty-handed. My apologies. Below I've listed a few items that may tempt you to delurk and leave a comment, as the dialogue in the comment section is usually the best reading here.

1. Ed has a new post about exodus stories. Many of us take non-linear paths out of the church, some with a loop or two back in, for various reasons. But the guy who returned to the LLC to party? That had me SMH, as the kids say, shaking my head! Did you leave and return, and if so, why?

2. Another reader forward this link to Post-Cult Trauma Syndrome. Perhaps you recognize some of these symptoms? (I often feel "out of it" but have accepted it as my normal!)
  • flashbacks to cult life
  • simplistic black-white thinking
  • sense of unreality
  • suggestibility, ie. automatic obedience responses to trigger-terms of the cult's loaded language or to innocent suggestions
  • disassociation (spacing out)
  • feeling "out of it"
  • "Stockholm Syndrome": knee-jerk impulses to defend the cult when it is criticized, even if the cult hurt the person
  • difficulty concentrating
  • incapacity to make decisions
  • hostility reactions, either toward anyone who criticizes the cult or toward the cult itself
  • mental confusion
  • low self-esteem
  • dread of running into a current cult-member by mistake
  • loss of a sense of how to carry out simple tasks
  • dread of being cursed or condemned by the cult
  • hang-overs of habitual cult behaviors like chanting
  • difficulty managing time
  • trouble holding down a job
3. If you happen to be in Stockholm in June, check out the International Cultic Studies Conference. Surely religious scholars in the birthplace of Laestadius will be eager to discuss his legacy? Or not. I think Laestadianism may be the Rodney Dangerfield of religions and cults.


Monday, March 09, 2015

Guest House

Happy spring, readers. To celebrate, here's a photo by my son and a poem by the Muslim mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi, who in spite of having lived 800 years ago is the best-selling poet in the United States today. Enjoy!

Guest House
by Jalal ad-Din Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.