The cult of personality

Monty Python’s satire divided the Christian Church. Some lauded the message as emphasizing Christ’s teachings, others were offended that Jesus was seen as the target of ridicule. However the Sermon on the Mount teachings by the Christ in one scene are shown to be distinct from Brian’s hapless life, so clearly he’s not a spoofed Messiah. His “Thinking for yourself” isn’t a match for the key biblical message in the Beatitudes, of perfecting oneself. But both emphasize individuality over blind obedience to dogma.

The mass psychology used at rallies can embolden the meek to escape their anxieties, but is open to abuse. Nuremberg Nazis exemplifying the worst abuse by a leader, and one man’s madness threw the earth off its axis for six years. Hitler was declared Man of the Year in 1938 by Time Magazine due to his having the greatest impact on the world. The concern is that this award is given to the one with the mostest, sadly however greatness isn’t always admirable.  Robbins’ whipping up crowd frenzy in Date with Destiny has led some to question their own use of motivational tools. There’s risk of manipulation at any hyped seminar. Obedience to the mob is a taking away of freedom, especially when being carried along in euphoric hysteria.

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Evangelical crusader?

The coach is often thought of as the  motivator who brings the team victory, but that’s actually the captain’s role to lead into affray. A true coach coaxes out the strength within, liberating the individual to resolve the current, and future issues. It’s a task best undertaken humbly, rather than as an idol. “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” [Luke 6:26] The true prophet gives the glory to another. Absence of ego is central to Buddhism, which in turn comes from the teachings in the ancient Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism.

Nothing’s changed today, but for the manner of delivery. In the video clip to Living Colour’s 1988 hit Cult of Personality an impressionable youngster sits in front of a TV, an omnipresent medium for mass reach. It could now be any of our electronic media – which all glorify celebrity. What follows is loud, but not too proud 😉

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