Have you heard someone say that they’re a “spiritual type of person”.
Or that they believe in “energy” and “higher vibrations”.
Yep, thanks to the popularity of mindfulness and positive psychology, spirituality has blown up in the western world.
But are these people really more enlightened than the rest of us? Not exactly.
In fact, more than likely they’re full of sh*t.
1) They engage in “spiritual” practices to feel superior to you
Yep, the motivation behind meditating and yoga isn’t inner peace. It’s to feel better than you.
I’m not saying everyone that meditates is like this, but it’s incredibly easy for it to become an ego satisfying experience – to believe that you’re simply more wise and spiritual because you’re engaging in what’s considered a spiritual activity.
This type of thinking restricts authentic spirituality because you end up relying more on the ego and less on connecting with yourself and others.
2) They judge anyone who expresses negative emotions such as anger
They believe that emotions like anger and anxiety are “lower vibration” and need to be looked down upon.
The truth is, anger and anxiety are natural human emotions and are a useful response to many different circumstances.
They can be a helpful indicator that something needs to be changed in yourself or your relationships.
So, what happens?
Believing that they have to remain positive 24/7, they end up repressing negative emotions and becoming less connected to who they really are.
3) They adopt new hobbies simply because they’re the new “spiritual fad”
It’s human nature to want to fit in. We all need to feel like we belong.
And for many people, spirituality is simply a cool thing that they want to belong to. That’s why they immediately get involved in yoga, meditation, music festivals etc.
Yet, if you’re just doing it to fit in or be cool, you’re denying yourself the chance to participate in authentic spiritual experiences.
4) They use “spirituality” to justify excessive drug use
It’s no secret that psychedelic drugs can, on occasion, lead to enhanced spirituality.
While this is great, some people use this an excuse to rationalize constant drug use.
However, addiction to these substances is simply another attachment. And like any addiction, there are certainly negative side effects to it.
5) They believe that positivity will solve the world’s problems
Okay, maybe not ALL of the world’s problems,, but these type of people use the phrase “just be positive” far too often.
The positivity movement is extremely popular these days. While there are certainly benefits to being positive, the harder and more brutal aspects of life will still be there at the end of the day.
In fact, by denying negative emotions, you become less aware of yourself and others.
True spirituality means embracing ALL your emotions and becoming more conscious of yourself and others.
6) They feel self-loathing when they confront the negative aspects of themselves
Because engaging in spiritual practices leaves one feeling superior and better than others, it becomes hard to accept shortcomings.
And fair enough. In spirituality, the people you’re meant to idolize are gurus like the Buddha or The Dalai Lama, who appear as if they’re perfect human beings.
So when you make mistakes or have weaknesses, you feel like that you aren’t “good enough”.
But nobody is perfect, not even these spiritual gurus. We’re all human and we all make mistakes.
A more fulfilling and rewarding behaviour is to accept these mistakes and learn from them.
7) They want spiritual practices to be correct so they disregard science entirely
There’s a big anti-science trend in the spiritual community. Why? Because many of the practices considered valuable in spirituality are treated as pseudoscience within the scientific community.
This doesn’t mean that there’s no value to these practices. It’s just that it’s validity hasn’t been found in scientific experiments.
The scientific method is a great tool for understanding the world around us and has enabled our society to progress in some amazing ways.
And anyway, as Carl Sagan said years ago, science is actually a profound source of spirituality:
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or of acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”