Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Celebrity Cult, Part 2

Two sides of the coin
Just as the power of a thought-centre can help a human being to success, and if need be turn him into a big star, it can also cause him problems. The thought-centres nourished by thousands or millions of admirers can exert considerable pressure on the star and may influence him in a way that is not very constructive.

If the “image” of a star is formed naturally in the course of his career, then the picture the public has of him is more likely to correspond to his true personal characteristics. He will then feel the power of the thought-centre as useful, since it supports his efforts and broadens his potential.

Where a “star image” is, however, artificially created, the one concerned will in time feel it as something foreign, with which he cannot fully identify. He may feel restricted by this image, as if pressed into an ill-fitting mould, from which he will have a great deal of trouble freeing himself. The incessant inflow of new energies, produced by the admirers of the artificial “ideal”, holds him under the pressure of this form and forces him to adjust to the pre-formed image. Thus there are stars who have suffered their whole life under a certain enforced role. And many have a problem to remain themselves, and not be crushed by the ideal they are supposed to embody. In this way it can happen that a star can change from a person manipulating the masses to one manipulated by them.

The influences of thought-centres, as they develop with the celebrity cult, can also affect the admirers, who do remain connected with the centres. They often lose a part of their personal independence and freedom of choice under the influence of certain perceptions. Sometimes this influence is so large that the celebrity is finally imitated: The admirers dress like him or her and do their hair the same, adopt the same attitudes, use the same language, show similar preferences, and so on. Through this wrong identification they lose a part of their individuality. They stop developing their own personality and copy an imaginary pre-formed “image” that is subject to laws and rules imposed by others.

Why do we seek idols?

The meaning of his existence lies for each human in developing his spiritual abilities, becoming conscious of himself, and finally returning fully conscious to Paradise, his spiritual origin. For us it is therefore a matter of progressing from an unconscious to a conscious state. In this we are subject to the Law that the less conscious always imitates the expression of enhanced, higher consciousness. This serves us as a model and helps us through awakening slumbering abilities to become more self-conscious.

However, the principle of emulation has justification in the development of the human spirits only at the beginning. In becoming increasingly conscious we must decide by our free will the form we will give our own development. Each individual developing his abilities in his own way enriches mankind, whose wealth results from the diverse contributions by each member of the community.

What takes place on the scale of the development of mankind reappears on the small scale of individual human life. The child - which as yet is not in charge of its free will - possesses the imitation instinct in order to develop. Taking the parents or others in its surroundings as model, it learns and makes progress. At the end of youth, however, imitating should stop. Equipped with free will, the young adult can decide for himself what direction and which goals he wishes to attain. He can of course still be motivated by the examples of others, but he should not be content with simply imitating these uncritically.

This fact also shows the natural limitations to the adulation of stars: An “absolute fan” no longer lives his own life. In an extreme case, the highs and lows in the life of the idol become more important than the actual developments in his own life.

It is quite legitimate to value a personality for what he offers in his activity, and it is in the nature of the human being to look for useful examples that can stimulate his own conscious development. However, it is always a mistake to turn another human being into a “demi-god”. This can block not only the “fan”, but — by way of the power of the thought-centre — also the “star” in his personal development. The enthusiasm of the masses is always accompanied by a loss of individuality.

In addition, the worship of the “gods” of the stage, screen and sport and so on is also in principle out of place, as soon as a human being strives for something higher and more perfect. For the only perfect goal for our inner orientation can only be He, of Whom the first Commandment reminds us: “I am the Lord, thy God! Thou shalt have no other Gods but Me!”

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