by Julianne Kulosa
Along the spiritual path, there comes a point where you realize that spirituality can feel like any other endeavor, the same as any other goal-oriented path, such as a career.
The below musings are not to make any of this wrong. Aren’t you so tired of right and wrong? There’s gotta be another way and we’re getting there more and more! Along your path, you are learning discernment, how to distinguish Truth from the illusion of separation and fear. And the list below is what I’ve noticed, sure in others, and most often in myself.
Being aware of how that density of separation and doubt shows up allows you to have new openings, options and choices. So let yourself just take a look at the below discussion on the spiritual ego with an open mind, using it to cut yourself and others some slack, to be more compassionate, and to have even more freedom to choose love, peace and joy, to awaken and grow because of it. I hope sharing my authentic experience contributes to your journey.
What the heck does that mean? Well, it’s spirituality seeped in judgment, separation, fear and lack. It’s that need to control yourself and others, wrapped in the “spiritual” aspect of your life. Judging yourself or others for being in that spot is just more of the same, of course. It’s a part of the awakening process, to go through this phase. In fact, it’s called, “being human”. So it’s not like, “Oh my God, I’m guilty of being spiritually egotistical!” It’s just a good thing to notice, that’s all. Then you’re free to choose a different way. While this stage of spiritual growth is part of the spiritual awakening path, the path isn’t a straight line or step-by-step process necessarily, it’s an adventure, with twists and turns, mountains and valleys.
1. The Spirituality Police
Religion is the best example of this. All religions have a base of Truth, of Unconditional Love. Religions include methods of controlling ones actions and behaviors, set inside of rules, commandments and divisions. These become an easy means for the ego to come out to play, which it must, so we can be more aware of it.
*Warning: the following are some musings on Christianity. If you’re not interested, skip it. As with anything, take what resonates and makes a difference for you, and leave the rest.
While I’ve practiced and studied many religions, I was raised Catholic. So it starts with this really pure unconditionally loving God, who creates the universe from that Light of Divine Love. God creates Adam and Eve, and they’re all blissed out and connected. Ah, but then they eat the apple and forget they are connected to God. They think they’re separate, and now with self-awareness experienced as separate-from, go right into judgment. Cover up that body! In their forgetting, they are cast into a world that is separate from God, where there are dangers at every turn, so much to fear. That place inside them that feels separate desperately wants to connect back, to fill in that sense of “something missing” and “not enough”. So humans start to fight, kill, steal, pillage, rape, control, have power over, compete and just generally feel kinda crappy. God offers some solace with the Ten Commandments. “Hey, there’s only ten. Really, you’ll feel better and remember our connection if you just follow these. I love you and want you to have fun and take care of each other and the Earth as you use your free will to expand My creations with that creative force inside of you (aka the Light of Me!).”
In comes Jesus, a guy seeped in that yummy diamond Love Light of Christ Consciousness, remembering and sharing the Truth of Who We Really Are. By living example, he says, (and I paraphrase of course), “Come on now, my sweet family. We’re all brothers and sisters, children of Source God, don’t you remember? It’s time to wake up!” He even shows us that our fears, pain and separation are such an illusion that he willingly suffers tremendously on the cross before he dies, only to resurrect, because he wanted to demonstrate to us, “No matter how much you suffer, or see others suffer, if you know in your heart the Truth, you will awaken Eternal because you Remember who you are.”
Then, the various books in the Bible are written, channeled if you will. Yet over time, the messages become entangled in fear, separation and lack by some very power hungry forget-full people. Books and passages are edited or removed entirely, and the Bible today is left as a partial truth. An eternally loving God becomes one to be feared. Do we even know what unconditional love means anymore? The message becomes: follow these rules or you are bad and wrong. Original sin, that apple in Eden that had you forget your eternal Oneness and connection with God, becomes reason to judge the hell out of (or is it into?) everyone that’s not doing it right, including you. And there is only One way to do it right. If not, no biggie, you’ll just spend eternity in pain and suffering. Then religion gives reason to fight and kill over, to judge and cast out the sinners, and to insert even more fear and lack in the world.
Other religions have their rules and commandments too, of course. All started out as loving guidelines, such as Buddhist, Islam and Hindu, only to become reason to create strict rules and limitations on your behaviors to attain enlightenment or be a good and right person.
It’s easy to use spiritual principles, such as to be loving, compassionate, caring, forgiving, mindful, aware, calm, centered or peaceful to police our thoughts, words and actions – or those of others. These principles become strict laws that deserve punishment if they are not obeyed, and must be protected and defended. There’s karma after all, which can easily be interpreted as punishment. You focus an eagle eye on negative thoughts. Because words have power, you try to control every thought you think and word that comes out of your mouth. You try your best to speak and act in a way that pleases others, only to find that they still respond sometimes with upset, offense or just plain old don’t like you. There’s not much freedom to be, to just do your best and make mistakes along the way.
Maybe you find a guru, coach, spiritual teacher, yoga instructor, author, or healer, whom you think is “higher” than you spiritually. You hold them up to some standard of living, eating, speaking, acting or relating in the world, only to knock them down when they act like, well, a human.
You might find yourself policing others, lecturing, correcting and pointing out their behaviors that you deem as incorrect, even though they didn’t ask. Yes, of course there are times that you see abuse and harm in the world and are called to act, and consider it is possible to do so from a place of loving compassion and love for All, including those doing the harm.
Spiritual awakening is expansive. Can you feel the difference between that constricting box of ways you’re supposed to be, act, think and feel compared to the heart-opening experience in those times you are present to greater truth of the compassionate Light around and within you?
2. Spiritual Comparison & Righteousness
You’ve found something that really calls your heart, that which is assisting you in connecting with a higher truth, with Source, and the Divine in You and All. You know the difference it’s making for you, and want others to have benefit too. In your enthusiasm, you start to compare and judge other forms of spirituality. One type of spiritual process, practice, religion, teacher or viewpoint is better than the other. You’ve connected with and a part of an awesome group of spiritually minded people, yet it becomes exclusive, like your group is better, more evolved, more aware, or more in Truth than those not a part of it. You’ve found a way to connect in, and notice that others are clueless, suffering and complaining. Those poor ignorant souls.
If you’re in the Awakening or Ascension process conversation, clearly you’re more evolved than other people, or at least there’s a feeling of righteousness about the path or practice you’ve found. You judge all those “3D” people out there, so stuck in that fear and separation. You cherry pick whom you’ll hang out with, lest they lower your vibe. Maybe you have your story, “When I had my awakening...,” forgetting that it’s an eternal process and game, and we’re all Divine here, each on our own Mastery path.
Conversely, you’ve spent years or decades on the spiritual path, only to feel you’re “not there yet”. You must be broken or something. You use spirituality and spiritual practice as a discipline that if you’re not following to the tee at all times, if you notice you’re reactive, doubtful, frustrated, judgmental, uncertain, unclear, don’t do your morning meditation, or get angry with a loved one, you’re not doing it right. You look at others spiritual experiences and think if you’re not having that experience too, you must not be doing enough or doing it right.
There’s a freedom that comes with allowing diversity. We learn, support and grow from each other, yet each of us has a unique path and perspective, no better nor worse that another. Discerning what works for you and what doesn’t takes the judgment out of the equation. Offers are made, and you can simply say, “Yes, please,” or “No, thank you.” People ebb and flow in and out of your life, things light you up or they don’t, and a natural flow with the Divine Plan occurs more easily.
3. Spiritual Superstition
Most superstitions come with the pre-supposition that reality is something we have no control over. Be it for better or for worse. So we use those superstitions to try to control what we actually have no control over. There’s that forgetfulness that you’re on a team, that all is Source Consciousness and interconnected.
For example, you got that “aha moment” that you create your reality, and now everything becomes your responsibility in the sense that if it’s in your reality, you created it: you and you alone. You forgot about trusting the Divine Plan, and the ego says, “You need to control your reality,” as compared to, “You are a part of a web of creation, given a gift of an ability to co-create a reality with the Universe that serves All.” You find yourself blaming and shaming yourself or others for creating bad, hurtful or painful things and say, “Well, what did you do to create that?” An anxiety comes from that Law of Attraction you heard about. If you don’t have the reality you want, you must have something in that subconscious of yours that is sabotaging you, so you’d better work harder to get into the Vortex.
Another superstition is regarding the evil that is out to get you – those psychic vampires, energetic cords, hexes, others bad vibes, or beings without bodies (at least not human…). This can easily be quite fear-based. Demons disguised as angels – watch out!
I have learned and practiced many methods of clearing space, within and without, and know that love is the most powerful force in the universe. Divine love is the Divine Protector, and as you awaken more and more to your eternal nature, you’ll find there’s really nothing you need to control or protect yourself from. Instead, you can take the viewpoint of being a caretaker of yourself and the planet.
4. Using Spirituality to Fix the World
You’ve discovered there’s a bigger picture. You’re getting unplugged from the Matrix. You’re seeing how you’ve been indoctrinated into a reality that is an illusion. You’re waking up to new possibilities that make the world a place where everyone is respected and deeply cared for. Yippee!
You also see all that’s NOT that: the pain, the suffering, the abuse, the cruelty, the lies, and the deceptions. You delve into everything that’s wrong with the world and how it needs to fixed: chemtrails, the government, animal abuse, human abuse and violence, injustice, pollution, clear-cutting and much more. There’s evil out there, and it must be exposed and obliterated. You must protect yourself, your loved ones, and the planet.
You need to fix other peoples pain and suffering, as if you can control their experience (a tough one to learn as a healer – that you can offer, and they’re the ones allowing it in or not). There’s an inequality there, helping and fixing those poor souls below you that need your help.
Hmmm, all that indignation, anger and fear…wait - isn’t that what your spiritual practice is awakening you from? Is more of the same – the world is bad, dangerous and wrong and needs to be fixed – really going to get us there? (Note – some call this “Spiritual Activism”, an important part of our growing process we all go through.)
You’ll start to find that there are choice points that lead you into a different reality in any moment. In a reality of infinite possibility, what reality do you choose to live in right now? Great! Now act in a way that matches that reality. This is the power of your consciousness, of your multi-dimensionality. You’re waking up from the belief there is one reality (aka 3rd dimensional consciousness), one set way that things play out, based on linear time.
5. Compartmentalizing Spirituality
You’re on the spiritual path and now there are ways you’re supposed to live that are spiritual. Anything else is well, not. You have a list of what’s spiritual and what isn’t, and can struggle because, hey, you still need to poop, work, drive, or care for your family. You want that glass of wine or piece of cake, or you enjoy your TV series binge-watching.
Conversely, you may do a spiritual practice or go to church on Sundays, and then leave the rest of your time (95%+) as “free” time. I meditated this morning, and now I go about my day as usual, on a kind of automatic.
Here’s the thing: It’s all spiritual. We are spiritual beings having this human experience. Your dedication to your awakening process is 24/7, a commitment to shifting the way you, and thus the collective, experience reality through shifting your consciousness. Any deliberate time set apart from our “normal” activities, such as meditation, is practice time for what you bring into the rest of your day. With a forgiving and compassionate heart, you can more easily see and make choices that support your values and intentions, and enjoy the ride all along the way.
6. Spiritual Attachments, Demands and Expectations
This is a “what’s in it for me” attitude. The ego wants to take care of you, to make sure you’re safe and thriving, or at least surviving, and maybe even comfortable. It’s goal-oriented. Without the promise of heaven, enlightment, Nirvana, 5th dimensional consciousness or New Earth, what’s the point?
You do your practices, prayer or clearings, waiting for payday. If you don’t get paid (in health, happiness, relationships, prosperity, peace of mind, or resolution/release of deep-seated beliefs that have us react rather than respond to life), you feel like it’s an unjust world. Surely you’ve earned this already! Tick, tock universe, I want that free two-day shipping!
Or maybe you’ve used spirituality to bargain. If you please heal my loved one, I promise to be a better person.
It’s also easy to be attached to experiencing life in a certain way. If I’m spiritual, I should feel vibrantly healthy, blissed out, connected, happy, joyful and/or peaceful all the time, shouldn’t I? Maybe you continue to seek that next high, not much different than using drugs, food or shopping. You could even be attached to experiencing non-attachment or non-duality, as crazy as that sounds.
This is why wisdom traditions and religions emphasize peace. Buddhism’s path to peace is through non-attachment. Peace comes in the present moment, when you decide and feel that all is well right now, regardless of circumstance, even as you envision and take action on a better world for yourself and all.
The spiritual ego wants it, and wants it now. Consider that the universe has your back, that there really is divine timing and life knows what it's doing. That means that you'll have what you envision possible (even better than you imagined), and at the perfect time - and that time just isn't right now. Right now, you might not have what you want, but you have exactly what you need for your highest good.
What if it’s all set up perfectly, and it’s okay to have rough times? What if your greatest challenges are the ones that propel you most in your awakening?
I’m sure you’ll have insights of other ways the spiritual ego likes to come out and play. Trying to “get rid” of the ego? Oops, that part of the spiritual ego talkin’ don’t ya know? Nothing on this list is bad or wrong, it just wants your attention of discernment infused with unconditional love. There’s a reason it’s been said that a great quality to have is to be able to laugh at yourself! “Oops, yep, I’ve done that one!”
When you notice the ego at play, it gives an opportunity to shift in that moment as well as to better distinguish the experience of separation and fear from the experience of unity and love. It gives an opportunity to breathe and say, “Thank you for the lesson! Everything is here to assist me!” All is well, all part of the divine plan unfolding, presenting one superbly perfect step at a time.
It's not just you, my beloved. The world is transforming and we're all in this together. You are a master and expert in your unique experiences and contribution to the world. Together we'll navigate through these challenging yet oh so juicy and magical times.