Why do we behave the way we do and can religion, spirituality or yoga really make us better people?

July 27, 2018



Although we would all like to believe that we have evolved in how we behave towards ourselves and others in our diverse society. Evidence in forms of real-life experience, empirical research and from history would tend to suggest otherwise. 


I don't know if I've recently been influenced by the re-runs of Sex in the City and Carries mission to explore and understand the dynamics of intimate relationships or if it's just become an occupational hazard for me analysing human behaviour (even when I'm not working)! Or maybe the combination of both. 


Nowadays, l feel l see all the facets of human behaviour amplified tenfold, the good, ugly and the indifferent. I was reminded of this a few nights ago when l came across a really interesting recent documentary on Sky Atlantic ‘Scientology and getting Clear'. Instantly reminded me of the good and bad side of human nature in regards to how we treat others and how Social Inclusion is still a big part of our society even in the 21st century which would tend to be contradictory to the belief that we are a diverse society where there's space for all. 


Can choosing to believe in and follow one pathway of thought found in certain traditions and religions suggest otherwise.


Interesting timing as l had only recently posted a blog on the effects of movement on social interaction from decoding and intimating and influencing others to social inclusion. All of this in turn leading me to come up with a slightly provocative title and leading me to ask why then are some people more prone to influence, manipulation and brainwashing? 


For example in ACT therapy and Coaching, we are constantly talking about the foundation that lays at the heart of psychological flexibility being derived from working with VALUES. In other words, if you have a strong sense of who you are derived from your present Values and not past you are more likely to have a good sense of self and be less prone to manipulation and intimation. 


What struck me from watching this documentary and years of following certain lineages of yoga and schools of thought along with observing those working in and practising Yoga.  Is that for some it becomes very easy to lose themselves in what they're following with the intention to find their TRUE SELF but it is as easy to use these teachings to escape who they are or who they have become. Some would say that having no identity sets you free but does it really in the long term? 


Why is the need to be accepted and belong to a certain group so important that it overpowers reason? Well, you can thank our DNA, Evolutionary Biology and Psychology infers that it goes as far back as the Cave Man era and doesn't just relate to humans but to other animals. When not being accepted and pushed away from the tribe meant you were left to die.



Which begs the question is our programming so hard-wired that when it comes to these sorts of behaviour we will never be able to change? 

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