Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Suffering From Reality

So I’ve been thinking of changing my blog again. I mean the whole thing. I’m bored with it so if I’m bored with it, why shouldn’t everyone else be? It’s gotten too serious – I’ve gotten too serious. I need to lighten up. Maybe throw in some photos of kittens (I don’t own cats) or post a picture of my last trek up Mt. Everest. No, I think the problem is this. My focus has become diffuse – that is to say – I don’t have a particular topic I’m writing on, except REALITY.

Can we narrow that down?

How about to a cult-survivor’s reality?

There are certain ways cult survivors see the world that “Normal” reality-survivors don’t. For instance, I tend to distrust ALL authority figures based on my bad experience in the Way, where the Prophet/Teacher/Doctor didn’t know his @#* from his elbow. Now that’s a distortion because there ARE (a few) authority figures (even in the ministry) who are sincere and upright. My minister happens to be one of them.

Also, as a former cultist, I tend to think that those in authority should be PERFECT or they’re total flops. That’s a cognitive distortion (to use Burns’ term) known as all-or-nothing thinking. Just because my minister happens to have a few flaws, say, he is obese, does not mean he is a bad person. He is actually a very intelligent and kind and thoughtful person.

So I’m back to where I started, kind of. But I think I’m going to change the name to “Suffering from Reality.” Is that too much of a bummer? I want to be bright and cheerful and helpful but even the Buddha’s first noble truth was that “all life is suffering.” To be alive is to suffer. But reality can be tolerable, if not downright fun, if we just know how to detach from our crazy thinking patterns – ie, thinking patterns learned in the cult.

One caveat – you don’t have to have been in a cult to suffer from these cognitive distortions. Everyone’s thinking is warped in some way – otherwise we wouldn’t be the loveable humans that we are. So keep thinking and keep reading and keep suffering from reality. Maybe one of these days, we’ll see that suffering is thriving simply by virtue of staying in the game. You go, girls and boys.

1 comment:

Billy said...

I'm not bored with the way you express your thoughts yet. But then, I don't have to live with you every day; you do.

Your blogs would be boring if everyone else posted their thoughts just like you do, but I am glad we each have unique ways of expressing ourselves...and we each have, or should have, a healthy variety of other views to look at/through. Of course you know this, I do too. But sometimes I have to remind myself.

This is not to say you shouldn't change something if you feel so moved. If it's good for you, it is probably good for us. So all I'm doing is letting you know I'm not bored with your expressions at this point.