Have you ever run across a spiritual teacher who believes they have all the answers. They may even bad mouth other spiritual teachers? Perhaps they do things or treat people in ways you do not agree with? This is what I call spiritual ego. It is when a person believes they have all the answers and use that to justify their actions. It may even cause a falling out between people.
Spiritual ego is certainly not something that just happens to spiritual teachers. Any of us can fall prey to our own spiritual ego. How can you avoid this?
1. Know you do not have all the answers. There is a lot of mystery in spirituality. Accept that the mystery is a part of it.
2. Be willing to listen to others view points. We all want to share the things in our own spirituality that give us peace, comfort, or joy. Others do to. By listening we may hear or learn something that deepens our own spirituality.
3. Accept others where they are at. Everyone is at their own place on their spiritual journey. They are at the exact place they are meant to be in this time and place. Just because their journey is different than yours does not make it wrong.
4. Don’t judge. There are many types of spirituality out there. They range from giant organized religions to highly personalized, individual relationships with a greater power. If you study major religions you will see there are more similarities than differences. Recognizing that we are all the same, in the most basic ways, is a huge step to laying your judgments aside.
5. The golden rule. “Do unto others as you would have other do unto you”. This has always resonated with me. Did you know most of the world religions have a version of this.
6. Allow for expansion. When we allow ourselves to expand it is easy to be more inclusive. We allow change within ourselves and open to the possibility of becoming a bigger better version of ourselves.
7. See yourself in the other. When we allow ourselves to see aspects of us in the other person, it creates empathy and understanding.
Spirituality is a beautiful thing and can be very comforting. Believing we have all the answers can be dangerous and can lead to spiritual ego. I know atheists who are more kind, giving, loving, and altruistic than some religious people I know. Be open to others individuality and personal journeys. This will help you to keep your own spiritual ego in check.