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Worshiping the Absurd: The Negation of Social Causality among the Followers of Guru Maharaj Ji

Daniel A. Foss and Ralph W. Larkin
Sociological Analysis
Vol. 39, No. 2 (Summer, 1978), pp. 157-164
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3710215
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3710215
Page Count: 8
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Worshiping the Absurd: The Negation of Social Causality among the Followers of Guru Maharaj Ji
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Abstract

This paper is the result of a two-and-a-half year participant-observation study in which the authors analyze the basis of Guru Maharaj Ji's appeal to ex-movement participants in the early 1970s. The youth movement of the 1960s had generated a reinterpretation of reality that called into question conventional reality. When the movement declined, the movement reinterpretation had no possibility for implementation. Left between a reality they rejected and one that could not be implemented, ex-movement participants experienced life as arbitrary and senseless. Guru Maharaj Ji was deified as the mirror of an incomprehensible, meaningless universe. The Divine Light Mission stripped its followers of all notions of causality while simultaneously subsuming and repudiating both conventional and movement interpretations of reality.

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