Toxic Fanaticism. ~ Stuart Watkins

Via elephant journal
on Aug 27, 2012
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Any technique, any method, any exercise, any belief system, any goal, anything can potentially become a trap.

What I’m talking about here is that for true liberation and unfoldment of our being, we might utilize and appreciate certain methods and tools that resonate with us—but not don’t cling to them—while at the same time holding a space of deep respect and authentic listening to others and their methods.

It can be very challenging when people we deeply care about are on a journey we may not agree with. Many of us when we’re in this situation—especially when we feel we’ve found a method or practice that has helped us immensely—preach and push stuff onto them.

Often this gets both people more contracted than before, and doesn’t actually help anyone out.

For us to truly be of spiritual value to the world and to our families we must do our own inner work in the ways that work for us, and let others find their way. And you know what? When others can feel that you’re truly a balanced being they’ll most likely start to ask you empowering questions. That inner balance has such a high electro-magnetic frequency that others can feel, even if they’re not aware of it.

Any kind of fanaticism (even towards something super healthy) without an open mind, and without inner balance can be just as toxic as any other addiction.

Even something such as veganism, or vegetarianism, or any kind of ‘ism’ when one integrates it into ones life without having compassionate understanding for non-vegans or ‘non my belief system’ it can be just as imprisoning as any dogmatic belief system.

Everyone is unique in so many ways, so we must listen to our intuition to find path’s that resonates with our heart.

Something that works for us obviously may not work for someone else, so for one to go around saying, “This is the only way to do it,” or “I’m right, you’re wrong,” is still in a thick war mentality. One might be on a certain path, and through intuition might choose another completely different path to go on, or maybe even several path’s at the same time. One might be done with a certain method or path. No big deal.

We don’t have to judge the method or the teacher.You just know in your heart that you don’t need to do any work there right now.

If we’re bringing a beautiful belief system or practice into our life, yet are getting neurotic, up tight and judgmental about others and their different life choices, we’re still in that toxic war mentality. For humanity to evolve collectively we have to be completely honest with ourselves.

If there is any war within us and any war we’re putting out into the world, no matter how petty and small it may be, how can we expect the world to free of war and full of peace?

We have to be able go there within ourselves (no matter how uncomfortable it can feel) to cleanse out the garbage so we can truly be loving, compassionate, and empowered beings.


Stuart Watkins is a yoga teacher, holistic life coach, and health and wellness expert based in Perth, Western Australia. Stuart is known for his inspirational style of teaching that incorporates both eastern spiritual philosophy and western techniques for mental, physical, and spiritual transformation. He teaches and writes with raw yet compassionate honesty and is a constant student to life itself. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


Editor: Carolyn Gilligan



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9 Responses to “Toxic Fanaticism. ~ Stuart Watkins”

  1. emer says:

    Lovely gentle wisdom; full of clarity and love. A privilege to read. Thank you Stuart.

  2. Thank you emer! Truly, thank you!

  3. karlsaliter says:

    Yeah, this world needs less people willing to stand up for what they believe. That Rosa Parks was so intolerant! She should have just walked to the back of the bus, and known in her heart that she didn't need to do any work on herself regarding discrimination.

  4. Sarah says:

    Wow, hopefully not many will completely miss what you were trying to say here. :-/ That’s awkward …

    Your articulation of this whole subject really resonated with me. Thank you.

    The infinite possibilities of ’causes’ and beliefs in the world right now,… It’s so easy to forget to humble ourselves and treat our opposition with respect, openness, and understanding of other differing opinions or beliefs. After all, we do tend to change our opinions many times throughout our lives. So what’s the point in fixating on the idea that we are right and others are wrong.

    Being closed minded to the fact that we might feel we were wrong later on, only closes off opportunities for us to grow and evolve throughout our lives.

    Bless 🙂 🙂

  5. Lucy says:

    Wonderful! Inspiring!
    Thank you!!!

  6. Eric says:

    Incredible article!!!
    Yeah, i think karlsaliter didn’t read the whole article or something.
    Well done Stuart!

  7. ann says:

    I thoroughly agree with you on most of this…especially liked this bit: "Often this gets both people more contracted than before, and doesn’t actually help anyone out." A major problem I have with the vegan movement is that so much of the efforts to "make people go vegan" seem to just make people angry and more determined to enjoy as many hamburgers as they please.
    Having said that, I strongly take exception to another bit. It's most succinctly summed up, I think, in the following phrase: "No big deal." Erm…for many of us, it is a very, very big deal. For those of us who see animal suffering as being on par with human suffering, thinking about what goes on inside factory farms is enough to induce a panic attack. The sense of powerlessness is decidedly overwhelming. This has been my own personal struggle – coming to terms with many of the points you've made, while at the same time acknowledging the horrors we bring upon animals (as well as humans) under these horrific conditions.
    It is this struggle, specifically, that may cause us to sometimes come across as, "neurotic, up tight and judgmental," although, more often than not, most of us are apologizing to our omnivore friends and families for being such pains in the arse on account of the fact that we've chosen to eat ethically – a paradox, indeed.
    Mind you, the neurosis and judgment we might feel when we start thinking about how the world's meat addiction is the dominant exacerbator of climate change (seriously), is something I've not even begun to delve into…so have a little empathy for our moments of weakness. While I agree that freaking out at meat eaters isn't going to turn anybody vegetarian, I think you'll agree that knowledge can be quite burdensome.

  8. Jan says:

    I agree with all this! Wonderfully articulated!
    Not long ago I probably would have put up a wall of defensiveness and not agreed, as it does take a very open mind and open heart to be able to truly hear what you're saying. It takes even more openness and strength to be able to apply these principles in daily life. But yes, I do feel that practicing what you're talking about here could be a huge step in a much more harmonious planet.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  9. Thanks for all of your wonderful feedback, amazing people! I know it's a hard topic to grasp just by thinking about it. For me it's really a practice of quieting the mind and listening to the heart. Then bringing that balance into conscious action.

    Love you guys! Namaste