Saturday, March 14, 2015

Nazis, ISIS and our need to belong.

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"Offer people a new creed with a costume and their hearts and minds will follow."
Terry Pratchett.

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"A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick."

Our need to BELONG is so innate that we will easily succumb to the creed and world view of the group who lets us in, accepts and welcomes us. And if a costume is involved all the better.

Cults of all styles know this and use this to great advantage.

Image result for catholic bishopsChurches eagerly reach out with support for those newly divorced, depressed, addicted or lost 'souls' trapped in a lonely or bad place.

Religions/Cults of all tastes lure us with the temptation of feeling OK and being part of the group.

That our minds have to play a cognitive dissonance dance is part of the trap.

Our families provide our first sense of belonging. Religion sucks off the teat of the family cohesion with concerted and communal indoctrination from birth.

Image result for mansonThe major religions allow for succour and repute for numerous offshoots of good and evil reinterpretations.

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But it may not always be religion that provides our sense of belonging. The human ape is always looking for this feel good acceptance. To be part of a bigger whole.

It may be music, fashion or Tea Parties.

It may be scouts, bikies, goths, Nazis or ISIS.

Jake Bilardi found his with a gang of thugs running wild.

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The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.  Brene Brown.

Image result for self acceptanceTo enable our kids to be cult proof we need to help them to become self aware, self forgiving, critical thinkers.

Belongingness is the human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, or a sports team, humans have an inherent desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves. This implies a relationship that is greater than simple acquaintance or familiarity. The need to belong is the need to give and receive affection from others.
  1.  Fiske, S.T. (2004). Social beings: A core motives approach to social psychology. United States of America: Wiley.

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