support the show…


Consciousness35: Parents and Cults


I started off trying to find out more about the “gap” between Daniel and me, and we soon wandered off into other areas, talking about how parents can speed up their path to enlightenment, cults (what they are, how families can be cults, and how people leave them) and other tasty little morsels.

If  you’re interested to read the essay we’re talking about (“18 Ways to Speed Up The Path to Enlightenment“) well, here ya go.

In the end, I ponder a little bit about whether the difference between Daniel and me has anything to do with feeling happy. Then Daniel rounds out the show with his song Glory, Overpopulation!

Even though it’s all kinda tragic, it makes me LOL, not in small part due to the hymn’s tune.  Guess it’s one of those “if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry” situations.  For today, I’m going with the laughter.

Mine eyes have seen our species on the track to suicide
We reproduce like lemmings with denial laced with pride
We teach our children’s children how to never look inside
We’re marching to our doom!

Glory, Whatever and Amen,

9 comments to C35: Parents and Cults

  • Joss

    I think the gap between you and Daniel is that Daniel has a perfectionist streak. I think it may well be a blind spot for him.

  • Joss

    I am still not sure of it though… Perhaps you could bring this up with Daniel?

  • Derek Vernon Smith

    Some very valuable ideas here around cults and the family – so few people recognise this or are prepared to speak out about it because it will inevitably attract much anger from parents and indeed their unconscious offspring. I have to disagree very strongly with the pessimistic tones of the ending song. The sentiment “we’re marching to our doom” encapsulates much of my personal discomfort with Daniel’s flawed (I would argue) philosophical premises. The suspension of critical faculties in relation to the current dogma around the subject of overpopulation and anthropogenic destruction of the Earth is really rather naughty, especially when cloaked with so much deep and valuable wisdom in terms of insight into our psychological nature.
    This site, for example, might help to provide a more balanced view around one key theme:

  • Kyle C

    Amy, I am curious about this gap you feel between Daniel’s philosophy and your own. Let me go on the record as this being a total ameature opinion. I suspect that having been the parent of a child, while so young yourself, within a religious community (which often places such restrictions on children, intellectually, emotionally) that you feel guilt about what affect your own state of self-acceptance/awareness might have had on your child’s development and relationship to her true self. I admit I am suggesting this without any other knowledge of your history or your relationship with your daughter, so I could be way off but thought I would put it out there, even thought its such an obvious thing…

    Have you and your daughter talked together about her childhood?

  • amychilds

    Kyle, thanks for writing. Daniel did bring this up right away (as you probably heard), it is as he sees it the glaring “gap” between us. I see his point and plan to address this more in the follow-up interviews, so stay tuned!
    Also to answer your question, Yes I have talked extensively with my 3 kids about their childhoods, it’s one of our top conversation topics, and will probably always be… And boy oh boy can it be painful!!!!
    Here is a show I did recently with one of my daughters, you might be interested to hear it:
    Kayla Asks Me Some Questions


  • Kyle C

    Thanks for the reply. I don’t see having children as necessarily a barrier to being your true self. It seems to me that the only problem a child presents to a parent is that the power disparity between them is a temptation to the parent’s false self to act out his/her own defenses. But the true self has no temptation to abuse, and so the power disparity is no problem. Of course being out true selves is a life long process, since we can never being people who were never traumatized as children, but if you and your children can have honest conversation. Especially where uncomfortable and primarily negative feelings can be expressed and explored and respected as valid. Then it seems to me that having had children wouldn’t pose a great difficulty to progress.

    Something you have mentioned is about the “world being crazy” and “people being insane”, and I wanted to bring to your attention another group of people who are seeking truth through philosophy and psychology, where the focus is on personal relations and self-knowledge. And so if you are feeling like a lonely individual in a scary world, here is another community working towards the same goal. Because I agree with you, the world is dangerous to the true self, as we all learn in childhood, but I think this is an inter-generational revolution, where we can make it better and better by treating children better and better. And you are certainly doing a service to that cause!

    Here is a link to what I think would be an interesting introduction to the website which includes an absolute wealth of media:

  • Kyle C

    I’m still interested in the thought of a “gap”, if you haven’t figured it out. Is sounds like more of a feeling of disagreement, since I am not sure what “gap” would feel like. What are the basic feelings you have, are they prompted when Daniel says specific words/ideas? Are there flashes of thoughts that you are unsure about or feel might be bad or incorrect?

  • amychilds

    Kyle, I like your questions and the way that you ask them. I’ll be talking about this more in an upcoming show – so stay tuned!

  • Hi. First of all, I just want to thank you for these wonderful podcasts! I found them a few days ago, and have listened to at least a dozen. Fantastic dialog. Love your honesty and open mindedness.

    Now I’m going to butt in, lol!

    One reason I’m glad I found your podcast is that I’ve also been avidly reading Daniel’s website materials. A part of me has bristled at them, but I’ve not been able to put my finger on it. Objectively, I agree with almost everything he writes and says.

    Yet. . .

    I did figure out one major difference. This is about meditation and Buddhism, and I gather from your podcast on celibacy that you follow/admire Pema Chodron. Daniel takes a dim view of meditation. Yes, it can help mice (and humans) tolerate the intolerable. This does not mean it is a bad practice. Yes, one can use meditation techniques to dissociate. If one is aware of this, one can move away from using meditation as a drug or a tool to detach from one’s feelings. Meditation is an invaluable tool to help one come face-to-face with reality, and to sit with it and not run away. Reality is not pretty for any of us, and meditation is not supposed to be about making it more comfortable; we practice to be more comfortable with our uncomfortability.

    This is but one example. I rather think Daniel has a “black and white” viewpoint. Still, I value his truth telling. I value yours. I am more like Daniel, I think. I can’t quite fathom your cheerfulness!


Leave a Reply