Some time ago I have cut all ties from the spiritual community. Indeed it felt like I was tied to it, at times I realised that it was all slightly cultish. Although I’m not the kind of person who would get heavily involved in cults because I’ve got a too strong bullshit detector to get stuck in such a thing, I did feel that I had been drawn into something toxic that I needed to get out of and doing so wasn’t particularly easy.
It took me a while to fully realise why it all had become so toxic, to identify what those feelings of ‘something being off’ were related to in my actual experience. When I did it became clear that being part of the spiritual community was holding me back from awakening spiritually more than it encouraged me. It was a trap I had fallen into.
The process of getting out this toxic sea, of saving myself from drowning in there and swim back to the land where I could feel my feet on the ground again, it’s been a painful but liberating one. Anything liberating comes with pain, that’s just what it is. It involved cutting people out of my life, throwing toxic ideas out of my mind and walking the often very lonely path of the individual.
What I had to realise was that the spiritual path is a lonely one indeed, you don’t walk it together with a group of people. When I talk about the ‘spiritual path’ I simply refer to the path of awakening spiritually – awakening to your true nature. It’s as much of a human path as it is a spiritual path, it’s about the embodiment of the soul in this human world. You’re this spiritual being having a human experience, you’re here to integrate parts of this spiritual being so that your human experience becomes more authentic and aligned with who you truly are and what you’re here to do. You step into the role of the individual that you are because that’s basically the whole point of the human experience, having a unique individual experience and a sense of self that is separate from everyone else’s experience and sense of self.
Rather than being encouraged to be the unique individual I truly am, I have found myself being part of a hive mind in the spiritual community. And I wasn’t even involved with the proper insane deluded New Agers that live in a constant fake positive bubble of avoidance and ignorance. I was around people who largely understood that the New Age was full of shit but who were still driven by dogmatic beliefs and ideology detached from reality, or were simply inauthentic ego-driven people that couldn’t be trusted. I’ve met plenty of them and I became one of them too for a while as I was constantly surrounded by them. I just couldn’t take it for too long, the facade crumbled and I distanced myself from all the toxic crap.
I had got into the spiritual community because I was looking for meaning and depth, something more to life, I wanted to have conversations that I couldn’t have with the average person out there. Towards the end it became clear that meaning and depth wasn’t to be found anywhere out there, it was all within me – and I don’t want to oversimplify that, I’ve had to do a lot of dirty work to find that meaning and depth inside me. Don’t you think that I’d just tell you that ‘it’s all within’ without mentioning that when you look within you don’t just find the amazing and pretty stuff but also a hell of a lot of horribly nasty shit. Fuck me, it’s been a deeply painful process to face my inner reality. And it’s an on-going process.
This deep pain and suffering of facing your inner world is being either downplayed or denied in most of the spiritual community. We’re being told that awakening is exciting, wonderful and beautiful – and I’m not saying that it can’t be at times, sometimes you have a breakthrough and that’s amazing – but generally I have found it to be a terribly confusing, destructive, painful and sometimes outright horrendous experience to go through. And in so many of those moments I was completely alone. What appeared to be a connection with like-minded people in the spiritual community was nothing I could count on in those times. More like the opposite. No empathy, love or any of that stuff they preached.
Just like the nature of the inner darkness is being downplayed or denied by the spiritual community, the same is done with the uncomfortable, horrible and destructive nature of the outer reality, the planet or realm we inhabit. Too many of those people will only look at the world from a one-sided spiritual perspective rather than a more grounded human perspective. A spiritual perspective on the world is a very useful one but not if it’s one that is detached from what is happening right here right now.
One good example of that I mentioned in my previous post on narcissists, how the spiritual community refers to pathologically insane individuals as ‘lost souls’ – a nice, fluffy and empathy inducing term to describe a dangerous and destructive monster in a human body. A monster that needs to be starved, not fed with precious emotional energy in the form of empathy or love. The feeding of monsters is not a rare occurrence in the spiritual community though. People are often lured into the trap of feeding the very parasitic entities they attempt to free themselves from.
Viewing the world through rose tinted glasses is such a common theme in the spiritual community, even amongst those who aren’t deeply trapped inside a New Age cult. Love, empathy, compassion and forgiveness are preached like there’s no tomorrow, but the dark side of these principles is pretty much denied, just like the dark side of most things in this reality is generally denied.
I’m not denying that the world is a magical and beautiful place full of wonder and sometimes even miracles – it is. I get reminded of this on a daily basis when I experience a synchronicity, when I listen to a beautiful song that goes straight into my heart or when I connect with someone on a deeper level of the soul. I live my life pretty much intuitively and that’s what makes in a rather fascinating experience.
But I won’t deny that this world is also a terribly dark and fucked up place. It’s a battlefield full of trauma, pain and suffering which is part of this nature and will never be eliminated. This world is fundamentally predatory after all. No one is coming to save us from that, nothing is going to bring all of that to an end. You can only deal with what is within yourself and most people in this world simply don’t have the will do to that, it’s way too terrifying for them to go onto a journey of making the unconscious conscious. And you can do fuck all about that, you can’t force anyone to face their shit.
You just got to do your thing in this world, be real and show that to the world so others may be inspired. If they’re not inspired by who you are, they are probably offended by it. It shows them everything they are not – the truth ain’t pretty.
People in the spiritual community have been offended by me and my work, both on the internet and in real life. As I have grown stronger I have shown them things they don’t have, not because they don’t actually exist in them but because they choose to deny or repress them in order to fit into the spiritual box – boundaries, a strong sense of self, creativity and realness coming from a place of courage and fearlessness towards facing my shadow. A strong and deep connection with my inner world including its darkest corners.
When being involved with groups, not just spiritual but any kinds of groups, one has to be careful of not disregarding ones own boundaries, individual sense of self and authenticity. I’m generally not a group person and nothing has reminded me of that more than the spiritual groups I got involved with.
I needed that lesson though, I needed to be reminded of who I am and that I shouldn’t take on sets of beliefs from others, that it’s better to be true to yourself and alone than giving yourself up to fit into a group. I’ve learnt that a lot of those seemingly ‘deep’ people are actually rather superficial, preaching superficial pseudo-spiritual concepts pretending to be deep and profound. All big ego but no real depth. The empathy, love and compassion they preach has no substance and doesn’t involve healthy boundaries. I had to turn away from that.
I had to create stronger boundaries, I had to stop being too open with people I didn’t trust. I had to stop judging people based on how ‘spiritual’ they appeared on the surface and judge them based on whether they are a decent human being or not.
I had to say ‘goodbye’ to the spiritual community but that doesn’t mean I have said ‘goodbye’ to spirituality. Not at all. It just means I won’t cling to a group that is toxic for me in order to avoid the utter discomfort and loneliness that is an inevitable part of the journey of awakening spiritually.
The spiritual path is a personal, intimate and individual experience you have with yourself. And I have chosen to have this experience and only this one, not what someone else defines to be my spiritual path.
I now some real connections with other individuals who value me the way I am, there’s nothing I have to change about myself to get their genuine support. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel lonely or uncomfortable… but it’s easier now. I’m in tune with myself and so I’m able to open up to the right people only – because being in tune with myself and my intuition gives me a great sense of who these right people are. There aren’t many but those you find… they are pure gold.