By Swami Beyondananda
Swami Offers Some Advice on “Safe Sects”
Are enlightened beings meant to have sects? Or can sects actually stunt our spiritual growth, not to mention endanger our health? With the recent concern about Oughtism - a highly contagious disease known to be transmitted through sects - many metaphysicians wonder whether the safest sects would be no sects at all. Swami doesn't agree. "Sects between consenting adults is just fine," he says, "as long as you're not obsessed. You see these people who go door-to-door proselytizing or sell flowers on the street or throw waste products on those whose sects preference is different from theirs - one look in their eyes will tell you they'll do anything for sects. And let's face it, unbridled sects can lead to unwanted misconceptions, and goodness knows we already have enough of these in the world. So if you're going to engage in sects, I suggest you wear a protective sheath of white light. And no matter how ecstatic you get, keep your eyes open, okay?"
And now, Swami answers your questions on how to have great sects:
I live down south, and as someone who believes in reincarnation, I find it difficult to find like-minded folks. Any suggestions?
Ronnie Noes Moultrie, Georgia
You're in luck! There's a group I've heard of down in Georgia called the Dixie Reincarnationist Church. Now these folks are some real "Born Again" types, but they're also pretty down home. For their last rites, they say, "Y'all come back real soon now, y'heah?"
I'm overweight, and that's how I like it. Except in this society where everyone's so hung up on being thin, fat people are shunned as if gaining weight is contagious or something. Do you know of any group that appreciates overweight folks?
Ellie Funt Fondue Lake, Wisconsin
Yes. You'll be happy to know that there is now an organization which actually looks upon overweight people as an elite. The group is called "Immense," and only those weighing over 300 pounds are allowed to join.
Called a "true mass movement" by its founders. Immense exhorts members to "Be all that you can be - and more." Says the Immense brochure: "We are put on this planet to grow, yet so few of us reach our fullest potential. Sure, spiritual growth is great but any true gains on the spiritual planes must be reflected on the physical as well. Granted, Gandhi may have been a spiritual heavyweight, but physically? If only he'd gained 20 pounds, he could have been a 97-pound weakling. Such a huge aura, and only a small fraction of it occupied by form. What a pity! At Immense, we believe in manifest destiny, that a person isn't fully actualized until his/her entire auric field is filled with physical form." But I should warn you, there is a bit of a dark side to this organization as well. Monthly weigh-ins are held, and those unfortunates who have lost weight must go to "Confection," where they are stuffed with sweets and are told to "Go, and thin no more."
Call me old-fashioned, but I just hate to wear clothes. The way I figure it, if God had meant for us to wear clothes, then He would have made Christian Dior or Lev! Strauss the first man instead of Adam. Needless to say, I've had a hard time finding a religious group that would accept me as the Creator made me. Any ideas?
Abba Riginal Malibu, California
It's certainly astounding how clothes-minded religions can be, isn't it? Well, I've got some good news for you.
There's an obscure yet ancient sect which shares your belief, followers of the prophet Nuddha who traveled widely through the East - mostly in the summertime - teaching the principles of Nuddhism. In the beginning, he says, was the "Naked Truth." All was peaceful until people began decorating their bodies with various forms of clothing, armor, ceremonial garb - and the more people had on, the better they felt about themselves. In fact, many anthropologists believe this was the origin of the word "moron." Nuddhists who traveled from village to village had less on than just about anyone else, so their teachings were called "less-ons." And in a world where the "More-ons" have greatly outnumbered the "less-ons," maybe this is a religion whose time has come. •&
Copyright, 1989 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved.
To receive a free e-copy (PDF file) of my book NAKED BEFORE GOD: A Look At Healing, Self-discovery and Spiritual Growth Through Social Nudism, go to http://less-onsfortruth.com/ or email me firstname.lastname@example.org