Structuralism, Cultural Relativism And Deprogramming


The term ethnocentrism was coined by William G. Sumner, upon observing the tendency for people to differentiate between the in-group and others. He defined it as “the technical name for the view of things in which one’s own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it.” He further characterized it as often leading to pride, vanity, beliefs of one’s own group’s superiority, and contempt of outsiders. Robert K. Merton comments that Sumner’s additional characterization robbed the concept of some analytical power because, Merton argues, centrality and superiority are often correlated, but need to be kept analytically distinct.

Just as it may take “deprogramming” to get out of a “cult” (in the modern meaning) it may take some to get into a cult (proper).

A deprogramming of the norm so to speak.

It is very easy to by way of structuralism and ethnocentrism attempt to apply a teaching or way to ones life that is really nothing more than ones original one in other trappings.

I would say that this is true regardless of weather it is a mystery school such as Thelema, Kabbalah or Raja Yoga or if it is a reconstructivist or ethnic path.

I sometimes find myself struggling with sexual ideas, ideals as to what is “sacred” and what is “profane”, the nature of morals, philosophical and cultural ideals and so on that i can clearly see are Christian (despite not having been a Christian for decades), Post-Modern or other strains of philosophy that are part of contemporary mainstream  society.

This despite a number of initiations, years of religous practice and study.

This is probably (one reason ) why banishings are so essential to the Ceremonial Magician.

Taking out the trash leaves room for any other work.

Just like when studying another contemporary or ancient culture, the glasses of ones own has to come off.

Paralells that dont exist must be exorcicised and the subject must be studied objectively and with some degree of honesty.

This however also applies to the praxis that might follow.

Just like an ethnocentric antropologist would be more or less studying his own culture, a mystic or reconstructivist stuck in the norm of today would simply be a guy changing robes.

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