I’m having trouble digesting some of the ideas and theories being perpetuated by the “spiritual movement.”
So, bear with me while I work some of them out—let me make sure I have this all straight.
First off, when I use the term “spiritual movement,” I’m referring to the broad range of spiritual and/or religious beliefs and practices that began to grow in popularity in Western nations during the 1970s.
An entire industry has formed and steadily grown since, comprised of individuals claiming to be everything from healers, shamans, oracles, and magicians to suspiciously human-looking representatives of alien or angelic councils or species.
So what I am grappling with is this: If I do not wish to participate in this new “spiritual movement,” this “new religion,” then that means that I am not awakened?
If I choose not to engage, that makes me automatically a part of our societal systems of oppression and suppression?
To me, this says, “If you don’t adopt my beliefs and feel and act how I want you to act and feel, then you’re a problem, you’re wrong, you’re less intelligent, and less ‘awake.'”
That in and of itself seems to be its own form of oppression and suppression. Of course, it’s also blind judgement at its finest.
Does considering ourselves a part of some great “rise,” or as some kind of antidote to perceived “evil,” mean that we see ourselves all as equals, consciously or unconsciously working toward the same goals?
Or does it mean a huge group of us thinks ourselves somehow better-than, higher-than, holier-than or more “enlightened” than the rest of the world?
Is turning away from our friends, family and communities because they don’t share our beliefs, really protecting ourselves from “toxic” and “dangerous” individuals?
Or is this behavior itself toxic and dangerous and better labeled as abandonment or a form of narcissism, which are actually both collective wounds this movement claims to be above and against?
Is turning away from, suppressing or discounting the suffering and pain of our fellow men and women of the world being awake? Or again, is it in itself narcissism and chosen ignorance?
The inability to accept reality and experiences outside of our direct experience is called narcissism, as is grandiose thinking and behavior like saying we’re speaking on behalf of gods and goddesses.
Trying to discount, minimize or vilify experiences outside of our own for the sake of our own comfort is called bullying. They usually go hand in hand.
I’m not going to pretend this isn’t just another brand and form of separation, another way of wounding each other.
I would question any kind of person, higher being, deity or power that would encourage us to speak and act in ways that do not help our fellow men and women.
I would question anyone who discounts the necessity that we all be seen and treated as equals, or that would have us abandon, disown, judge, condemn or look down upon another being in pain or in need, whether it be our family members, friends, children or even strangers.
We aren’t meant to transcend the human experience or discount the validity of the struggles we are all facing, because if we simply attempt to rise above the problems of society, then we won’t be able to help to rectify them.
If we rise above it all, then how will we determine what our problems really are?
I don’t want to hear bullsh*t about consciousness, and I don’t want to hear a bunch of buzzwords that create the illusion of intelligence and superiority.
What I want to hear about is social and economic injustices and what I can do to help.
I want to hear about the environment and what I can do to protect it.
I want to hear about the different kinds of experiences people are having so I can better understand other people and the world around me with more compassion and love.
I’m not going to plug my ears, close my eyes and pretend I’m not an active part of what’s going on and going wrong in this world because that is exactly when I lose the ability to make a difference—that is when I become spiritually blind, not more “awake.”
In order to address these problems, we must take pause and look inward in order to see how we ourselves are breeding and sustaining the very problems damaging us, our children, our communities, our earth and our own sense of belonging in this world.
Screw small talk—don’t tell me about the weather unless you’re telling me inside you’re feeling like a storm.
Let’s take a minute to stop and think for ourselves before we go jumping on some holy sounding spiritual bandwagon—we were all given brains for a reason, and it wasn’t so that we could disown them in favor of others thinking for us.
Let’s take time to do something truly spiritual and divinely orchestrated today.
Let’s take a walk in nature and journal.
Let’s love someone exactly as they are.
Let’s make something beautiful. Better yet, let’s make something beautiful with the people we love—friends or our kids.
Let’s find more ways to understand ourselves and others with love and gentleness.
Let’s make music.
Let’s engage in self-care and let everyone around us see what that looks like for us.
Let’s find a way to make a complex problem or theory simple, rendering it accessible and inclusive.
Let’s take time to see the sunrise or sunset and marvel at its beauty, and then reflect on how we are just like that sunset or sunrise.
Let’s educate ourselves on mental illness and the effects of trauma, learning to be more open to how we are each experiencing pain.
Let’s find more ways to drop judgements we might hold and to become more engaged with the world as it is in this moment in all its broken glory.
Because this is the only reality, and we’re all living in and suffering through it. We’re in this together.
Author: Amanda Dobby
Editor: Callie Rushton