The original question posed was this:
From both my experience and observations I think that post BK life is a huge challenge for a number of reasons, but social functionality is the most common area of concern. If one was "surrendered" when they left (as I was) social functionality is amplified by unemployment or having a **** job and having little money. Having no lokik family or friends who can even begin to grasp what a "new ex-BK" is going through means that there is no meaningful support either.My social life revolved around the BKs and their dogma and so I never really got to experience living a normal social life. It's an area in my life with which I am still struggling and trying to come to terms with.
Has anyone else had similar frustrations in their life as a result of the BK doctrination? If so, how do you go about dealing with your frustration?
So what I learned since leaving:
that the whole world is socially confused - not just you and me. The social codes that are the basis of social function are something we learn in our peer groups from age 3. Historically, the world was a place that changed slowly and social codes would last one a lifetime, and would continue through generations. But now that the dynamics that so heavily influence our lives have changed so much, social codes don't seem to last even a single generation. The bottom line is, no one actually knows the code anymore! Generally, people are all socially confused, given only occasionally to moments of lucidity.
In the new world, everyone is just guessing what is appropriate. Everyone is, by degrees, socially insecure. And the materialistic, egocentric world that we live in is innately self-doubting.
So, the first big lesson was: it is not just me, it is everyone. There is actually nothing wrong with me :D. I just think there is because I am having trouble relating. Well, we all are. So, I got over my self doubt, realised that I am actually normal, that I am an equal, and my existence is as valid as anyone else's.
The next big thing I learned, which took far too many years, was to forgive myself. I was frustrated and angry for a very long time. I was divorced from my spirituality because I could only associate it with the BKs. What was theirs and what was mine - I couldn't tell the difference, so I left it out. It was another tremendous cost from having "belonged" to the BKs but eventually I met a spiritual guy who pointed the way back. I was angry with him because he was spiritual - I somehow felt threatened by "gurus" and "masters" in case I got sucked in again, and because I was just cynical. But he could see my anger and said, "you need to forgive yourself". I thought he could stick his advice.
Anyway, I sat and thought about forgiving myself and then had an epiphany - what do I have to forgive myself for? Well? Actually - nothing. I was the one who got done over here! And suddenly I just let go of everything. I found a peace that I have never experienced before. Effortless and constant. I accepted myself completely for the first time in my life - and then I could accept everything else. It was the melting of my ego - that self doubting, angry, rejecting self. It released me from the fear that I was trapped in. I was free to meditate again. I can say, "Om Shanti" without shuddering at the idea of the BKs.
There were many, many lessons along the way. I found life as an ex-BK to be at times humiliating and painful, and extremely depressing. I tried to take my own life several times and came very close indeed. But somehow I am still here and genuinely content. The world is how it is and I am free to be who I am - it is not about bowing to the ceaseless pressures of the materialistic and egocentric world that we find ourselves in - have a good job, a good house, a beautiful wife - in other words we live in a world in which we have to be always proving something, trying to establish our worth, contantly struggling for validation by our peers. But everyone is in the same boat - there are no winners, only critics.
So my point here is, that when we leave the BKs we are entering an innately confusing and contradictory world riddled with values manufactured in our culture by marketing and media. It is an imperfect world, but that is fine - just don't confuse yourself with it, or be confused by it.
Anyway, I am not an ex-BK anymore. I am me. I have, at last, moved on. I meditate. I practise peace. I filter my thoughts. I am conscious of what I say. I think about how I affect others. None of this is owned by the BKWSU, as they would have you believe. So I have recovered my spirituality. The big difference now is that I think about the future, my beautiful wife and the daughter we are expecting next month.