On Spiritual Elitism

The “spiritual” community has a significant shadow around using “spirituality” to feel superior to others. This phenomenon includes me, 100%.

The ego easily latches onto “special” mystical or psychedelic experiences and uses these to form a new “special” identity as a “special” wise person who has had profound experiences and hangs out with “high vibe” people, etc.

The ego is endlessly subtle in repurposing powerful experiences for its own ends. Truthfully all of life is a mystical experience. Eating an apple is just as much an encounter with God as blasting off into some machine-elf DMT realms.

It’s just as spiritual to be a garbageman as it is to be a retreat facilitator. It’s just as spiritual to be a bartender as it is to be a “light warrior” or “Earth guardian.”

People are as they are. None are higher or lower. The most fearful agoraphobic person is precisely equal to the most fearless buddha. It’s all the One Mystery exploring itself.

Just start to notice this phenomenon of “spiritual superiority” in yourself and others. Notice it and chuckle at it and it will start to dissolve.

It’s freeing not to place yourself above others or in some “special” category. When you hold a “special” self-image, you’re always trying to protect this image and prop it up through self-deluding, fraudulent, or compensatory behavior.

When you start to really admit how full of shit you are, it frees you. You don’t have to pretend to be “special” anymore. You can just be you — just be the simple naked monkey you are and let that be enough.

If this essay resonated, you'll enjoy my Dead Honest Newsletter, my list of Cage-Melting Books, and following me on on Facebook and Instagram.

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About Jordan Bates

Jordan Bates is a Lover of God, healer, mentor of leaders, writer, and music maker. The best way to keep up with his work is to join nearly 7,000 people who read his Substack newsletter.

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2 years ago

Well said! Humbling words, thank you for these. So, in a way we’re all already enlightened 🙂

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