cult

the scariest thing
on earth — my own desire for
infinite power

I googled ‘cult’ after completing this poem. Apparently, in Latin, ‘cult-‘ is the past participle of the verb ‘colere’ meaning to inhabit, to cultivate or to worship. I love the idea that, by cultivating the soil, we are worshipping it. And then I suppose ‘culture’ would be a kind of collective worship, too. And to cultivate a friendship with someone is to turn them deliberately into a god or goddess. To magnify their good points and diminish their faults. And we expect this kind of support from our own friends. Why?

I dreamed I was leader of a cult. What more sinister dream imaginable, ever? And yet the dream left me feeling good about myself. Surely this ought to undermine the very notion of feeling good about oneself? The only logical conclusion would be that so-called ‘positive thinking’ can be a very dangerous kind of storytelling. Or alternatively, I could reject any knee-jerk condemnation of leaders of cults. Or again, thirdly, I could simply choose to tolerate the contradiction.

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