From Cult to Empire
Chapter 10 proceeds in light of our suggestion that sagely behavior is freely chosen, benign, yet powerful, and seeks cooperation in the world in ways that are positive, progressive, nurturing, and constructive in nature. This chapter, however, accounts for people who have been gifted with or have assiduously developed powers of rapport or charisma, achieving notable fractal congruence in the social, political, or economic life of institutions or communities but who have gone the other way. This phenomenon over a wide range of scale can elevate those who become destructive or aggrandizing to the ultimate detriment of society. Numerous followers can gravitate to the kind of socially-fractally-adept individual that we call an anti-sage. The chapter discusses examples of the antisage phenomenon in cults and terrorist organizations such as the People’s Temple and Aum Shinrykyo. In this narrative pertinent expressions of human selfness include: Protean self vs. fundamentalist self and parochial altruism. Also explored are politics and government, notably the administration of George W. Bush, creed-based religions, particularly Christianity and Islam, and aggrandizement in educational administration, such as that of John Sexton’s presidency of New York University.
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