Tuesday, July 26, 2005


1 comment:

Bilquees said...

Salaam, Anab,

You wrote: "Short of God’s Grace, there is no fool-proof way to identify or avoid narcissistic personalities who seek to prey on holy longing. However, one point that may well be worth reflecting on in this respect is the following: Any use of charisma which invites one to abandon basic principles of decency, kindness, honesty, integrity, compassion, generosity, fairness, modesty, humility, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, peacefulness, and love toward one’s family or other human beings, irrespective of their beliefs, should be considered to be a tell-tale sign that spiritual abuse is being perpetrated. This is so no matter how euphoric and ecstatic various ‘charismatic moments’ may be which are associated with such a use of charisma."

When I read this, I thought of charasmatic personalities such as Hitler and Osa bin Laden, both of whom, unless I'm mistaken (I certainly never met either of these two characters) are or were charasmatics who led people to give up their better selves in favor of highly destructive, delusional and downright evil methods of forwarding their agenda or "ultimate concerns."

Taking this topic in the direction of how do people become "terrorists," and what is the moving force behind it other than, of course, a complete lack of genuine faith in God, I would look for the charasmatic behind the scenes because, surely, in order to get as many people involved in extreme acts of violence as the world is witnessing there must be these two ingredients:

A real lack of genuine spirituality (as opposed to religion)

and

A charasmatic leader

I'm glad you read Oakes' book and have taken the topic in a whole new direction.

Peace and blessings,
Bilquees