I came across Downton Abbey some time ago, and for a while, I watched it with great interest. But at one point in the show, when they were well into one of the Wars, and men were getting wounded and the entire Abbey had been turned into a convalescent center, my husband commented “it’s like a cult.”
And that vague discomfort that I’d had the whole time I’ve been watching it, became very clear to me.
Downton Abbey is a snapshot of how things were at the turn of the 20th century, when Europe and America, were caught in a horrible cycle of fear and duty.
Everyone’s in lock step with group thought: they keep stiff upper lips, and do their duties and follow the rules… and this is exactly the same as a cult. It’s group thought, created by the group and enforced by the group, so that if you’re not in the group, you’re ostracized.
I’ve stopped watching Downton Abbey. I don’t need to spend another hour watching people live in fear and doing their duty and never looking up to see that they are souls, they are human beings with souls, and they can choose another path.
A lot of our ancestors, a lot of our family karma, at least if you’re of European or American descent, comes from the belief systems and the ways of living that are depicted in this show. For that, I think it’s valuable: we can see the wounds that we carry in our karmic DNA.
And yet, even though it’s an interesting time capsule, I don’t want to spend my evenings immersed in the past. I’d rather look to where we’re going, or trying to go now.
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Sara Wiseman is a visionary teacher of spiritual intuition. The founder of Intuition University, she's taught hundreds of thousands of students via her books, courses and training.