I’d like to contemplate the human tendency to look up to their examples. I recently read that all people do that. The idea made sense.
Are you susceptible to idolatry? Myself, I used to cling to male figures when I was a kid, because I lived in a house with only my mom and my sister. Then, from my puberty till my twenties, I fell in love with many girls and lifted some of their characteristics into an unreachable space. But I never had idols such as writers or TV personalities or, and especially not, gurus. I do think that many people do.
One can wonder if this tendency is part of our physical code or that it’s a mental thing we acquire as we grow. It would fit the bio-belief to assume that as monkeys we needed to look up to our leaders, or else our communities would have fallen apart, and we’d have lost the struggle for survival to other groups. I vaguely remember a phase in high school when your identity was defined by whom you looked up to. Even now, the characters you like give shape to who you think you are yourself, and how you present that person to others.
Some religions condemn “worshiping an image of the divine”. In the context of society, I think they’re right. It is probably quite a pragmatic ethical decision to keep some initiative to yourself instead of blindly following whoever you think holds truth or has the X-factor. Still, idolatry exists, and what’s more: masses simply obey strong individuals on many occasions.
I just wonder: how would a society look which is not based on this deep inner urge to follow impressive individuals? Would it be leaderless? Would such a society have brought us to where we are now? Could it even exist?