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“I see everything”, he said.
We were at the park practicing the Dao Saber sword play when he came over to ‘network’.
Although he claimed to be spiritually awakened, my inclination shivers at the thought of his next words.
He picked up the Dao Saber and swung the sword like a viking swinging his cold steel axe.
As I ask him where he learned how to swing like that, he, praising himself, exclaimed, “I learned all my moves by the power of the Jedi.”
And before you know it, he argued with everyone there on why you should use a lot of psychedelic drugs to get into the state of meditation instead of learning it at will.
I have an energy healing teacher with me who was also able to see the ingenuity of the man’s words and aura as we stayed silent.
We have seen him, yet he was not able to see us.
And with eyes of sympathy, we could only wish for the man to not have fallen to the pitfalls and the spiritual traps we know all too well.
In the journey to our spiritual evolution, there will be many pitfalls and traps that will blind us from our path.
The better you avoid these traps, the better you are to know where you are on your spiritual path.
Here are the 7 signs that you may be headed for a spiritual pitfall and how to relieve yourself from it.
7 Warning Signs that Your Spiritual Path is Headed for Pitfall
1. Spiritual Superiority Complex
This is the one I’ve seen with the so-called spiritual gurus and mostly with people who are just starting out with awakening to the spiritual reality on their own.
The first taste of power and liberation can cause the mind to believe himself highest among all the ants of the nation.
He sees himself as a highly evolved being while everyone else as less evolved and less enlightened. He is too spiritual for this world, too spiritual to help others, and too spiritual to do anything.
Yet, when they run around exclaiming “We are all Gods!”, they do not realize the fact that they get hurt when I kick them in the knee.
The ego is smart. It can mold itself to identify with spiritual things. The ego wraps itself in spiritual clothing, spiritual tools, vegetarian diet, knowing exotic and spiritual words, strange ornaments and design, and acting like a spiritual saint.
It’s all an illusion. If all of these were to be taken away from you, would it cause suffering?
That is the test. For if it does, then it was the ego’s doing and not truly yours.
To combat the spiritual superiority complex, we are to be ever humble with ourselves.
2. Righteous Condemnation
There are two forms of condemnation: by devotion and by difference.
- Condemnation by devotion
A form of liberation can also be a way of enslavement.
Devoting heavily to a certain religion, institution or spiritual tool can trap the seeker into dogma or hate against others’ path. Some will curse you to hell if you don’t believe in their prophet.
But you must think for yourself.
That the beginning of the Universe is here before any prophet or path set foot on Earth and the spiritual path is laid out before our incarnation.
And if you must believe in one prophet, then everyone else who hasn’t been able to see that prophet, be it they live in Antarctica or in the other side of the world, will never have the chance to seek spiritual pursuit or become their own master.
Not one institution can be higher than the institution of truth.
This spiritual secret pride can manifest in forms of preaching spiritual things to anyone with an ear or condemning others when they see how others are not as spiritual or as devoted as they are.
Devotion by itself is not the main ingredient for condemnation, it is blind devotion that fall into darkness.
If you cannot answer “Why” you are following your path, then you are blindly following.
Once the devoted, or deluded, man finds himself above others spiritually, he began to believe he is more powerful than he really is.
- Condemnation by Difference
Fights, Hatred, and Wars break out from a difference in beliefs.
It is when one party cannot tolerate the other in their differences that we have spiritual unrest.
The lower human mind has a bias that their Belief is the right one and that others should follow it – with us or against us mentality.
Once a person finds what works for them, they usually believe that it is the only way and everyone should do it their way or go the highway.
Then they develop a sense of intolerance for other’s spiritual journey.
What use of a spiritual path if it leads to intolerance from other people?
Both parties are blind to see the truth of reality.
The difference we see in front of us is only a piece of reality’s perception.
When we put the piece together, we realize that there are no differences and what ‘difference’ truly is is but unity hidden in plain sight.
For example, we think cold is the opposite of hot.
But in actuality, cold and hot is the same thing.
If you look at the thermostat, cold is on the same scale as hot, just on the different end of the pole.
There is no starting point on where hot ends and cold begins.
When we hold onto a belief so strongly, we fail to see what is front of us.
Thus, be open minded and learn from everyone even if their beliefs are extremely different from yours.
3. Taking Things Literally
I’ve many times seen those who were doing astral projection or past life regression and then come to believe that they are the reincarnation of Bob Marley or Jesus Christ.
First, the astral realm is as real as the physical world.
Second, You’re just tripping. Your astral projection or past life regression is not as real as you would hope it to be.
So calm down. Go eat a sandwich. You’re not the reincarnation of Elvis Presley. You are just having a vision. These visions are like symbolic messages. But they are in no way literal.
Yes, these peak experiences are so extreme that it feels real.
However, one must realize the illusion of it all, the flux nature instead of its fixity of reality.
Seeing a vision of a god does not mean that it is truly there.
You are just tripping on a natural psychedelic drug.
The path to literal is the path to destruction and delusion.
And there are countless good-intention spiritual people who fall for it and make everything literal.
This is also the destruction caused by many religions, who has written their books and signed by dogma.
One example is the Bible, an occult book of truth filled with hidden meanings and allegories which should not be taken literally or the seeker will fall into delusion and dogma.
Don’t take anything literal.
Don’t give up your mind and sanity to an unknown vision or experience.
Instead, seek to learn what it means to you and its hidden meanings.
4. Over-Helping Sympathy
When you begin the path to spiritual journey, you will naturally want to help others.
You will want to connect with people.
You will be naturally serve others and heal others the best you can.
But by over-doing it, you are setting yourself up for being stepped on and tossed aside.
Your energy will be drained and your spiritual sanity lost in confusion.
The first thing one must realize is that you are living in the physical world, where many people are more interested in taking than giving.
Some souls cannot be helped at this point in time and it is not our path to force them our way.
“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”
To make sure you stay centered in your life, set boundaries with yourself and others and don’t over-help or over stay your welcome.
5. Become an Extremist
The extremist comes in after rejecting the current paradigm.
When we find a belief or a community we no longer identify, we turn 360 degrees to the opposite end of the polarity.
But extremity will manifest in our life not of peace but in another form of restlessness.
If we tip the scale of balance too far to the right or too far to the left, then the consequences will be severe.
Going into extremes of spiritual concepts can be just as dangerous as going to the extreme spectrum of materialism.
While the latter becomes gluttonous in food, sex and entertainment, the spiritual extremists can weaken themselves.
Like the poor monks who starve themselves by fasting and having too much meditation, they could no longer have the energy to even walk.
Delusions of grandeur usually manifest in this form, where the spiritual man hopes to attain psychic powers and astral travels to satisfy his need for a new experience.
The need for escape is so powerful that one can create their own fantasy.
This can also lead them to darker roads, which the seeker is stuck in an ongoing search in the external world or find solace in dark alliances.
6. The False Gurus
The wrong advice comes from false gurus and people who have not experienced it themselves.
Spirituality is bombarded with many false gurus who wish to be praised by their followers.
You must guard yourself when encountering anyone with a highly regard title next to their names: master, pagan deities, arch-angel, or any yogi names that have a “spiritual” ring on it.
False gurus will play on your preconceived ideas of what an “enlightened” person looks like, sounds like, and act like.
I have recently seen a man teaching how to achieve enlightenment in a weekend retreat for $1500.
Recommended: 9 Ways to Spot a Fake Guru or Spiritual Teacher
If it takes the Buddha more than 6 years for enlightenment, what makes a modern man achieve it in a weekend?
Yet, the poor followers believe that he is enlightened just because he said so, acted like so, and that it is fast and easy spirituality.
All in all, you will know a spiritual teacher “by their fruits”.
Their actions will be all you need to know who he is.
If your intuition strikes funny, then trust it.
Have discernment to find the advice that will point you in the right direction.
Your intuition will also help you with that.
7. Spiritual Materialism
The seeker’s intent is the most important part in spiritual growth.
Now there is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship, wealth, health, or power, but going into spirituality with the sole purpose to use it like a machine will soon give you a fatal error that traps you.
Like the materialist, spiritual materialism uses spiritual knowledge only for materialistic goals.
The Spiritual materialist begins by reading and buying a lot of spiritual products.
They believe that the more they are exposed to ANY spiritual information, the sooner things will begin to click.
They rather spend their time talking and reading about spiritual books than to actually live spiritually and perfecting their inner self.
Even after the relaxing and enlightening experience one may have, they always felt like they are missing something.
That is the downfall – the error of relying only on external information for spiritual progress.
When the spiritual seeker relies outside for spiritual understanding, he not only falls prey to business gurus but he aims to seek external validation for his existence.
In the end, he wastes large sums of money for people to tell him what he already knows and wastes time which he could be using to further his practices.
Of course reading spiritual information will help you in your path.
But the real spiritual progress is made through practice, not listening for 48 hours on a DVD about 178 different kinds of meditation.
Truth is found within and unless you find it inside you, your faith will waver.
Intellectual stimulation is not a substitute for spiritual experiences.
Are You Falling In a Spiritual Trap?
It is okay to find yourself in these situations, for I have been there myself.
The important thing is to recognize it and learn from it.
Humbleness, receptiveness, and discernment are the ingredients to get yourself out of a spiritual traps.