Societies have always been obsessed with adoration of individuals who have been elevated over the masses, whether it is rulers, religious leaders, sports or political figures. In today’s mass media cesspool, the elevation, destruction and churn of these individuals occurs at an even faster pace and now includes more political figures, more sports figures, more self styled religious leaders, more celebrities.
The recent conviction in India of a guru with millions of followers on charges of raping some of those followers is a case in point, but hardly the most recent as it extends back through Jim Jones, Tammy Faye Bakker, Oral Roberts, et. al. all the way through to Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Mohammed, Jesus and other’s no doubt equally charismatic but lacking the press.
What troubles me is why people continue to emulate and dogmatically follow any of these individuals, let alone let them manipulate their minds, plunder the possessions and direct their lives with their self serving sayings (for the living) and writings (for the dead as promoted by their current crop of pitchmen).
There are no perfect people, regardless of the latest photoshopped tabloid in the newsstand or reality show on TV. Everyone has their faults, physically, mentally and emotionally, including myself. There is only one possibility for perfection in my life, and it is in my work to discover and become my authentic self.
I will not attempt to slaveishly emulate Seneca, Socrates, or Plato any more than I will try to emulate Jesus, Mohammed or The Rock. I will live my own life, aligned with my own values and beliefs as I have determined and evolved them over time. Where I find diamonds in the rough in the sayings of others, I will examine them, polish them and use them as they serve my purpose in helping me to define myself and how I want to live.