Dec 3, 2020
Group Synthesis, Part 4
(5) How are the alternative spiritual groups different from religious or other groups?
Many new age and alternative spiritual groups take pride in the idea that they are not like the religious groups and churches. Some see the orthodox religious ones as rather primitive compared to their more enlightened approach.
True there are some who indeed have a more enlightened approach but the truly enlightened do not take pride in being better than others and refrain as much as possible from negative judgments.
On the other hand, many of those who see themselves as enlightened yet judge harshly are not as different from the churches as they suppose.
Some have a message very similar in vibration to the churches but just preach their doctrine by using a fancy vocabulary.
Here are a few correspondences.
Many of the Christian churches teach members to believe in Jesus and be saved.
Many alternative spiritual groups have a guru that must be accepted to achieve their version of salvation.
The churches all teach some version of salvation
Many New Age groups also teach a salvation of sorts. The main difference is they will call it something else – like deliverance from the wheel of rebirth or some high station in the afterlife or some type of deliverance on the planet.
Many religions teach of an end of the world apocalypse with those of the right beliefs being saved and living in a paradise.
Similarly, many alternative spiritual groups teach of some type of apocalyptic future where there will be great earth changes with those in their group being saved. Others see deliverance from war or destruction by aliens or just a shift into another dimension for the righteous. Like the churches many new agers see those of their belief system being saved.
Many of the churches put pressure on members to donate and spend it in questionable ways. The same happens with some alternative groups though many charge exorbitant fees as well as seek donations.
Many seekers complain that the churches’ teachings are shallow and repetitive.
Correspondingly, even though new agers may have a different bible, or reading materials many wind up focusing on superficial material not much in advance of the churches.
The churches often govern by strong use of authority which is not supposed to be questioned by members.
Many alternative groups do the same thing.
It comes down to this for the true seekers. If one is going to leave the churches for greener pastures he or she must make sure they are actually taking a step forward rather than engaging in a new version of the same thing.
So what should the seeker look for when seeking a group that will truly be a step above most of the churches?
The most important thing is freedom of thought and expression. Even if the group supplies all kinds of interesting teachings, if they frown on you asking questions or looking at other teachings they will have placed a stumbling block in your path just as the churches did. The seeker must always be free to explore and ask questions and in the end be governed, not by some outward authority who takes the place of God, but the inward authority which is indeed linked to God.
When the seeker feels confident that his freedom will not be infringed he must look at the quality of the teachings being offered. He needs to plow through enough of the teachings to see how they register with his soul. Do the teachings or practices make sense and will they offer some type of benefit for the individual and the group?
One of the last things a seeker wants to happen is to get caught up in a group that takes its members more toward illusion than truth or darkness rather than light. If one does get caught up in such a group it is often difficult to get out. When the seeker does see the light perhaps he has friends, family and loved ones that must be left behind to leave. Groups with a cult like control are famous for their grip on members, some even threatening those who dare leave and harassing them if they do.
There is not so much danger of this sort on most internet groups as people come and go all the time, but a group with physical meetings or especially one where members live together must be examined with a particularly discriminating eye.
Whatever group, internet or otherwise, a person joins one does not want to waste time, so the seeker should have some common sense criteria before investing any personal resources.
Steps that may aid the seeker in his choices of groups, teachers and teachings are the Principles of Discovery. These are 24 principles to aid the seeker in the discovery of truth covered in my book “The Seeker’s Guide to Soul Contact.”
They are presently freely accessible online.
Here is the LINK
Copyright By J J Dewey
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