Swami Offers Some Advice on “Safe Sects”

By Swami Beyondananda

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:

Dear Swami,
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

Dear Abba,
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.

Dear Swami,
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

Dear Ronnie,
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?"

Dear Swami,
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

Dear Ellie,
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."

Copyright, 1989 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved.
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