No cult can exist without the guru who first has the idea. As the cult grows, it will be very much a statement of his particular mind. But whilst this ‘culture’ can vary from cult to cult, the deeper psychology of the guru is usually exact in most cases.
A guru tends to begin life in a dysfunctional family or outer environment. As he grows up, he becomes a loner, often putting all his energies into a previous spiritual system such as the Bible.
He will have aspirations, thinking he has an inner greatness, but will be unable to achieve in this chosen sphere. A point will come when he faces a major crisis, often in the form of a psychological illness.
Up to this point, his life has been very much like many other people, but it is his way of coming out of this crisis that will mark him out as different. He will merge the ideosyncracies of his illness with his ambition.
The result is a system of thought that will birth into the cult, having within it all the excesses and eccentricities of his mind. This is why the cult is often seen as ‘nutty.’ Only later, if it survives, will it formulate into something close to a religion.
The most striking change, however, comes in the future guru himself. When his ambition meets the result of his crisis, he becomes single-minded and heroic. And his absolute belief in himself turns him into a charismatic.
He now has all the psychological tools he needs to go out into the world and built his cult. Insecurity is turned into absolute confidence, and when he meets an otherwise intelligent person who is searching for meaning, his cult begins to grow.
© Anthony North, Jan 2007