Week 5: I’m Not Starting a Cult… I Promise!

Warning: This is a half-baked late night last minute, rant… Enjoy!

I feel like “I’m not starting a cult” is exactly the kind of thing a person starting a cult would say… lol

This looks good and culty… lol
Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

Here I am again… writing late Monday night (technically early Tuesday morning) in order to get my weekly post done. I wrote plenty of things last week I could have drawn from. Thousands and thousands of words, but this morning I made up my mind to write about COVID-19 and… that never happened. That’s probably a good thing though. There’s PLENTY of COVID-19 content out there now. American friends. Take that shit seriously, and listen to the CDC.

Why Do I Need to Explicitly Say “I’m Not Starting a Cult”?

Probably because as soon as I start explaining long term plans for what I want to do people, usually jokingly, ask “Are you starting a cult?” The short answer is no. The long answer is… it’s complicated… lol

Not too long ago I wrote this piece “2.48: Cults to Culture to a Cultivated Self”. It’s a long and meandering piece that I wrote more for myself than anyone else. I spent a lot of time thinking about cults and cultures when I wrote that. One of my biggest takeaways was that we’re all essentially members of what were originally cults. That probably won’t make a lot of sense to you because when you think of the word “cult” there are probably a few different groups or people that come to mind. Maybe…

Scientology is an interesting one as it’s successfully listed as both a religion and a cult depending on where you are in the world. We’ll come back to that in a second. The basic ingredients for a cult (when viewed negatively) are:

  1. A charismatic leader
  2. A fringe idea
  3. A following
  4. Exploiting the followers (money, sex, resources, etc.)
  5. A “spiritual”/religious component

Scientology is interesting because it’s been working on making that leap from cult to religion for a long time. The only real difference between Scientology, and any of the other major religions (if we set aside the various beliefs) is how long it’s been around and its membership levels. I could very easily go off on a tangent here but I was trying to make a point!

You’re in a Cult

There. That’s the point I wanted to make. I’ll prove it. If we throw out the last two requirements for cults (exploiting the followers and spiritual/religious) we’re left with the following…

  1. A charismatic leader
  2. A fringe idea
  3. A following

I’m sure you feel as though you’re pretty normal and totally not in a cult but… everything about everything you do started with three things…

  1. A charismatic leader
  2. A fringe idea
  3. A following

All of the things you like. Capitalism, consumerism, democracy, all religions, atheism, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, the United States, Modern China, Taiwan…

Why are there 7 days in a week? Why are there only two days on the weekend? Why are there 12 months in a year? Why are two of the months named after Caesars? Why are workweeks 40 hours? Why is weed illegal? Why is gambling illegal? Why is liquor legal? Why are people adults when they’re 18 but can’t drink until they’re 21?

All of these systems and structures and protocols are… cult shit… lol And guess what? You’re a participant. I mean… in many ways you have no choice. Or maybe you do…

Join My Cult!

Damn it… I totally thought I wasn’t starting a cult… lol

I’ll just throw out some of my ideas that immediately get me the funny looks.

I want to build a community.

(Sounds good so far.)

I want the community to have in person meetups.

(That’s great! People need to get out of the house… well… not so much right now but… great!)

I want the community to have it’s own community center.

(Wonderful! We need more communal spaces!)

I want people to live in space.

(Cool! Coworking and coliving spaces are in!)

I want this to all grow out of a collaborative book I’m writing titled “Flow to Your Dream”, I’m developing this new philosophy based on Taoism I’m calling Flowism, and I’m super obsessed with the number 108.

(Uh… OK… That’s a cult!)

Damn it… lol

It’s For Real Not a Cult Though, I Promise!

It’s rolling on 2am and I really need to be getting to sleep, but I’m going to freestyle some thoughts for you.

I’m gonna put on my serious face.

When I googled serious face there was a picture of Obama. When I clicked related images I was hit with so many good serious faces that I didn’t know which one to choose! lol

The world is fucked up. The most fucked up thing about the world is people either don’t think it’s fucked up (which is fucked up) or they’re so overwhelmed with trying to manage living that they keep blinders on (which is also fucked up). There’s a third category which I’ll call “Bernie Sanders”. That’s where you’re on a mission to unfuck the world (not saying his is the best plan, but he’s definitely on a mission!) People kind of oscillate between those and maybe eventually land on one. There aren’t any clear paths to escaping the fucked-upness so… people just keep on keeping on.

Or… people get sold a bill of a clear path (school, a career, becoming an entrepreneur, starting a family…) only to find out that there is no clear path.

If I’m being honest, there being no clear path is actually a part of the fun BUT… without going into too much depth, the system is rigged.

If there was a single universally clear path for us to trod, do you know what it would be?

It would be building a crew to walk the path with together. Humans have lost the ability to build crews to walk paths together with. The one method modern (Westernized) humans use for crew creation is fucking broken.

Fuck man… this pandemic is proof! Looks like this post is coming around full circle… Under “How can my family and I prepare for COVID-19?

  • Get to know your neighbors and find out if your neighborhood has a website or social media page to stay connected.
  • Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.

Humans, properly crewed up, don’t need to…

  • “get to know the neighbors” (they’re in your crew)
  • “create a list of local organizations” (you’re in their crew)
  • “create an emergency contact list” (your crew has got that sorted)

So yeah… not trying to create a cult. I’m trying to create a crew. I wouldn’t be the leader of this crew, I’d be a member. I also understand that, based on the work of Dunbar, a solid crew has an upper limit (100, 150, 250… 108 sounds good).

All I’m trying to do right now is build one solid crew. I dream about an international network of crews before I breathe my last breath but, if I’m being honest, creating a single 108 party crew would be a pretty large accomplishment!

Man… today you got to experience a pretty quality “Casey rant”. I feel like I shouldn’t post it but… I will. I told myself I’d do one post a week and I’m sticking to it! This isn’t the post I wanted but it’s the post I have. 🙂 lol

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