Sunday, 2 March 2014

Spiritual Superiority - It Comes In Through The Back Door

mask ego wearing spiritual superiority

"The best game ego has is the spiritual game. This game is incredibly powerful because it makes you superior to everyone around you." 
~ Bartholomew

The spiritual path can sometimes feel like a virtuous one. What is more virtuous than being with God? You can't argue with God, so the spiritual journey can cause a huge inflation of the ego. And it often comes in through the back door.

I know this because I have felt spiritually superior to others in my life and I still do from time-to-time. Spiritual superiority becomes dangerous when a teacher or guru projects onto others in an aggressive, abusive or a fear-based way. Instead of seeing students as more than capable of empowering themselves, they see themselves as more capable, more enlightened, and more knowledgeable than others.

I have been on both ends of the superiority game. During my intensive period of following the teachings of the Law Of Attraction and Abraham Hicks, I thought that anyone who did not 'get it' was an idiot. I became evangelical in my beliefs. I didn't question the validity of what I was saying back then. I was so sure I was right. It took a shift of perspective to drop the teachings and realise that other ways are just as valid.

And I have been on the receiving end also, of a fair few 'Gurus' who thought they knew me better than I knew myself. The first guru was my Reiki master teacher who, when I began pulling away from her, basically told me that this was not allowed. 'No-one leaves me!' A lot of hurt feelings there. 

I met another teacher who under the guise of love and light told me I was on a very shadowy path because I had changed my mind about going on an expensive Hawaiian retreat and even though they had taken a hefty deposit from me I was told I was lost. I never got my money back.

I have met many Reiki teachers who felt that my belief that anyone can awaken to healing energy without expensive attunements was so wrong that I was ousted from the Reiki community. And recently I was told in a somewhat aggressive manner that I didn't know what was right for me as they really knew what was going on for me. 

So I have had both sides of the coin.

Spiritual superiority is a common thing. Once people have some followers their ego can seriously inflate if they are not grounded in being human. It is easy to let people put you on a pedestal as a teacher, but it is so important to come down to earth and recognise that everyone is unique, everyone is already enlightened and everyone has the capacity to empower themselves from within.

How Do You Know If You Are Feeling Superior?

Well, often it's hard because in the middle of feeling superior the guru may be unaware or in complete denial. The ego can be a very powerful force in that respect. But there are signs:

  • You may be incapable of taking on board that another person knows themselves better than you do.
  • You use a lot of 'you' sentences in your communication as in 'You need to do this..' 
  • You may talk more than you listen.
  • You may use 'love & light' and fluffy 'New Age' sentences, even when you feel pissed off, to 'appear' as if you are more together as a person, more knowledgeable or more enlightened. It is a mask to your authentic nature.
  • You are repulsed or unwilling to acknowledge other ways of being. Your beliefs may be so shaky that you can't even read other points of view for fear that you will lose track of your own beliefs. A strong belief would never be knocked over by another belief system.

How Can You Stop Being Superior?

Question, question, question!

Become more self-aware.

Is it your ego you are expressing?

Do you actually know more about the other person than they do?

Are they asking for your 'wisdom'?

Are you defensive?

What is your motivation for what you are doing or saying?

And if you find yourself from time-to-time feeling superior, accept your human self, bring the shadow into loving embrace of your heart, but most of all become more aware.


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Photo Credit: uglyhero via sxc cc

5 comments:

  1. I agree that a strong belief system would never be knocked over by another belief system. It's taken a while to find out what works for me .. and I'm still learning. I think it's good that different people believe different things and unless someone's belief is harming them, it's good to embrace and accept other people's different beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good on you Andy, have you ever experience spiritual superiority on your life journey?

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  3. of course :D like feeling superior to others cos I don't get drunk for example ..

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Thanks!

Great to connect.

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