Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spiritual Arrogance

One of the results of sitting in front of Jim Baker day in and day out in a meditative state listening to him drone on and on in a subliminal, trance-like and hypnotic way convincing his group of followers they were all part of a 'guardian wall' that protected humanity and how they were the forerunners of the 'aquarian age', and how they outshone the rest of humanity; was that he began nurturing a false spiritual pride and ego in his devoted followers where chests began to puff up and arrogant, superior attitudes and a self-satisfied, condescending smugness became the by-product of what Jim Baker was saying; a spiritual smugness which still exists today in some of his more fervid followers.  The spiritual ego or pride that Jim Baker fostered in those who sat in front of him became the signature behavior and attitude of the entire experience.  The entire new age movement and trendy 'spiritual' awakening in this country is fraught with people who suffer from a false, magnified sense of their own 'spiritual' knowledge, enlightenment or accomplishment; some claiming to have a direct connection or channel to God, or other disembodied 'ascended' masters.  Jim Baker saw himself as a 'holy' man; a spiritually awakened man who had received a divine transmission or message that he needed to gather together and foster/father the lost and seeking young souls who were wandering around looking for a spiritual mooring in which to anchor themselves, and in doing so he was able to convince his followers that they had been divinely chosen by God to lead the rest of humanity, and from that grew an arrogant and spiritually superior attitude that is symptomatic of many who pursue a spiritual path to enlightenment.  The attitude fostered by Jim Baker among his followers was that they were better than the rest of humanity, and that they were the 'chosen ones' meant to lead mankind.  Many of Jim Baker's followers believed that he was a direct 'channel' to God.  Spiritual ego or pride is something that is rampant among the multitude of new age/self-help and enlightened milieu of the 'new age' movement that began in the late sixties/early seventies; especially if someone can attach a PhD after their name.  Nowadays self-proclaimed enlightened and cosmically awakened individuals abound everywhere churning out videos and books holding retreats and symposiums on how to attain or achieve and maintain 'God-consciousness' transferring special knowledge or techniques only they alone seem to possess.  It often becomes confusing trying to find just the right avatar or 'spiritual' leader/teacher or expert to follow.  In 1969/70 the pool of spiritual teachers especially Western gurus was limited and so Jim Baker stood out with his long hair and beard bearing a striking resemblance to a modern-day Moses coupled with his business acumen and proceeds from his successful first-of-its-kind all vegetarian restaurant situated propitiously right on Sunset Boulevard frequented by every Hollywood star or rock musician who were either staying up the street at the Chateau Marmont or who happened to be driving by on their way to the Whiskey A Go Go......voila!  The Brotherhood of The Source began to form around Jim Baker, who began attracting and taking in/harboring some of the young, lost souls who had been floundering around the streets of Los Angeles or who had travelled cross-country in search of the promise of illumination in finding and following an Eastern guru or mystical 'teacher' who had found a home among the freewheeling counterculture abundantly found in California; people looking for groovy and fantastical experiences that psychedelics such as LSD and mescaline had given some a glimpse into something otherworldly and cosmic in origin, and so delving into meditation, yoga and the occult, along with theosophy and metaphysics became the new drugs of choice.  Joining Jim Baker to help him run his restaurant while becoming one of his disciples in his newly formed 'religion of the eternal now' was a perfect storm, where all of the external forces came together at the same time and produced something that would end up wrecking more havoc and destruction in people's lives, than it having any true, lasting positive effect.  Many people from the sixties/early seventies got into Eastern 'spiritual' pursuits and the occult believing that once they were 'illuminated' that they were then qualified to lead others as their 'spiritual' guide or master, often with disastrous results.  People little qualified with nothing more than their own claim of 'illumination' and/or a direct connection with either God or some other ascended deity began to gather followers.  Many who had deep, emotional problems and issues which they had never dealt with or addressed were now leading people in finding spiritual fulfillment!  Which is exactly what Jim Baker did, who went from being a Hollywood 'player' would-be bank robber to someone who after spending a few months with Yogi Bhajan started to believe that he, Jim Baker had now become a 'holy' man destined to lead a group of his own 'spiritual children'.  It's my view that Jim Baker was psychologically and emotionally ill-equipped to 'teach' or lead an entire group of people; mainly because he let his male organ make his decisions for him, and was a man who believed that his semen was superior and that he was destined to create a super race.  Men and women with profound psychological problems even sociopaths have claimed to be 'spiritually enlightened' or having attained cosmic-consciousness; people who try to gather their own followers for their own egotistical desires and need for attention often become 'spiritual leaders'; something that was indicative of many of the so-called 'spiritual' leaders of groups and cults that began to pop up, during the late sixties/early seventies. Simulated messianic figures proclaiming they had the ability to transfer divine knowledge and wisdom; people claiming to being reincarnated from thousands of years ago and to being 'channels' of ancient and secret 'keys' for unlocking the secret mysteries of life began to appear everywhere, due to the 'new age' movement.  Many people were searching for a quick, cosmic fix; someone or something that would transform them into superconscious and awakened beings and finding someone who offered that up became too good to pass up.  That was what Jim Baker was offering, but what happened after he died and the entire 'source family' ended was that quite a few former members ended up returning to their dissolute and drug-induced/alcoholic lifestyles they had been living, before they joined Jim Baker's 'aquarian' tribe, because nothing that Father Yod/Yahowha was espousing actually dealt with or addressed anyone's underlying emotional problems.  None of the magical thinking or ritualistic practices that were indicative of life in The Source Family addressed people's individual psychological and emotional problems, but only succeeded in creating a temporary and illusionary living situation where Jim Baker, the ersatz father decided what everyone would wear, and what everyone would eat and how everyone should conduct themselves sexually; especially in having the men and women in his 'family' practice the sex magic that he began to covet that would become the pinnacle of his so-called 'teachings'.  So, when Father Yod/Yahowha died and The Source Family ended; the maladapted relationships of men having multiple wives or women and virtually all of the delusional magical beliefs found in 'the family' left many floundering trying to figure out how to adjust back into normal, mainstream society most importantly reconnecting with their own estranged family members.  I believe there is a downside in pursuing enlightenment or cosmic-consciousness without also dealing with your own underlying emotional problems and issues; something that I have observed can produce sociopaths who feign a state of being enlightened and possessing infinite wisdom, while hiding or masking who they really are.  When a pathological liar or a womanizer adopts and feigns the mantle of 'spiritual' attainment and profess themselves as being enlightened; it is an easy way for them to hide or cover-up aspects of themselves.  People operating under a false sense of their own enlightenment and of their own spiritual superiority to others, excuse themselves from the moral conduct that applies to the rest of society, to the extent that their own bad behaviors are perfectly acceptable to them.  It's very prevalent to find haughty, arrogant and intransigent egos among the many spiritually 'realized' beings around today, who have managed to gather their own following.  The cases of spurious spiritual leaders taking sexual advantage of the women among their followers has become textbook behavior; sexual misconduct of men who proclaim themselves to be either Jesus Christ reincarnated, or God.  I've included an article written by Mariana Caplan titled 10 Spiritually Transmitted Diseases where I found that although all applied to Jim Baker and The Source Family numbers 8 and 9 were dead-on.  But, it's approaching fifty years, since Father Yod/Yahowha ruled over his quasi family, and people have now become more self-aware and know more about the pitfalls of choosing and following a guru or spiritual master, but rather than trying to elevate/idealize and idolize someone and something that was flawed from the very beginning and that got progressively worse over time, due to the spiritual arrogance and deluded, magical thinking that was fed and nurtured; it's time to expose what went on in The Source Family with frank and honest dialogue.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mariana-caplan-phd/spiritual-living-10-spiri_b_609248.html