Worry is the preferred form egotism takes with those with a 'small ego'. Whereas the bigger ego is more likely to be afflicted by common or garden self-regard. Is it possible to observe both of these in oneself?
What's your next adventure?
People with regular hi-pressure full time jobs are missing out on the interstitial spaces in life. The gaps in the interstices of life are, I increasingly think, where life itself tends to squat, hidden, a bit, from view. I was talking the other day with friends about parties and how the preparing for the party, the late night of the party, the morning after are all better than the party itself. It’s as if you need these EXCUSES- job, parties, holidays, expeditions- to be able to occupy the interstitial gaps they create. One pal of mine is on five day break looking after a friend’s shop part time- how cool is that? Whereas looking after a shop fulltime is my idea of purgatory. On holiday it’s the stop at the café for a cold beer or a hot chocolate mid afternoon I like rather than the museum I just saw. But I need the museum to enjoy the break. Problem is- we forget that and make the raison d’etre the be all and end all. Full on jobs and hobbies that suck up all the interstitial holes for miles around. The secret is to multiply those interstices, be an interstitial hole generator or know how to spot them coming.
Mike Ivey has pointed out something very pertinent about cults and cult leaders: they always end badly. One to bear in mind for future leaders and members. My tentative suggestion is that leadership might be passed around rather like the Conch in Lord of the Flies (another bad end, ot-oh). Maybe everyone should get a go at being leader of a cult, a bit like those charity auctions where you buy a slave for a day or be one. Maybe you have to pay to be the cult leader for a day...sort of a reversal of the usual cult where the followers get to pay the leader. One to ponder.
The great thing about being in a cult is a)having everything taken care of so you can experience ‘the back seat home’ and b) being the cult leader with all the perks of power and status that implies.
Unfortunately in a non-transparent, ie. real, cult those things are mutually exclusive. Though the cult leader may get all the kudos, the women acolytes, the Rolls Royces he is also burdened by his followers. He has to give them stuff to do. He has to feed them and house them. It’s a big worry. One thing the cult leader NEVER experiences is the ‘back seat home’. This is taken from the superb book by Arthur Deikman “the wrong way home”- essential reading for anyone interested in The Cult- in essence the ‘back seat home’ describes that wonderful feeling you had as a child, when, after a long day out with your mum and dad you’re driving home and it’s dark and you’re falling half in and out of sleep on the back seat but its all warm and cosy and you don’t need to worry because the adults are TAKING YOU HOME. You even look out of the window and muse at what mysterious things could be out there but it all doesn’t matter because everything inside is warm and cosy. That’s the feeling cults offer their members. You’re wanted. You’re understood. You’re one of the family. Your life has meaning. And this continues- unless you start to question things or show some independence of thought, ie. grow up. Then the ‘back seat home’ is withdrawn. Cults use exclusion to bring their members into line- and it works. And the greater the sense of ‘us and them’ that has been created, the greater the sense of the leader being inviolable and the one source of ‘secrets’ the more that exclusion, or threat of it, works.
I just read an interesting piece by Mark Rice-Oxley about his recovery from depression, brought on by trying, mainly, to do the undoable for too long. He was a writer, homedad and a journalist- always juggling times and places. His therapist recommends he 'be a scientist not a manager'. Instead of trying to force through everything 'he has to do' he should listen to the evidence his body supplies him with. If he's feeling bad about going to a party- don't go. If he knows that over-exertion will be punished in days of inactivity, drop down a gear. But don't feel bad about it, or try to rush stuff through on the sly. Just observe it. The idea of having a 'scientist' self image instead of manager/boss/leader is liberating. You try stuff and observe how it works for you. You watch yourself and make interesting observations. Of course you can get things done too, but it doesn't matter if they fail as they have supplied valuable information. That old anarch Buckminster Fuller had his ongoing 'dymaxion project' which was really a massive scientific self-observation of everything he did (the all inclusive files even included the gas bills he'd paid). Most people don't have the self-interest to carry self-observation to such minute detail. What I suspect is the key point is to retain a certain detachment, an objective interest in you as a subject of research interest.