10 Spiritually Transmitted Diseases
Spirituality is an extremely personal aspect of our lives. There is such a wide variety of practices, belief systems and customs that originate from all corners of the globe. Tolerance and religious freedom has meant that we are at liberty to experiment and dabble in a wide variety of different spiritual practices if that is our choice. I have often thought of various religious and spiritual traditions as all being different doors to the same room. I think at their root, most if not all systems of spiritual belief have the same fundamental goal. This aspiration can be stated in a number of different ways, with different words but the essential meaning usually involves being closer to a higher power or becoming one's highest self.
Unfortunately, Western culture's obsession with material wealth and individual success is often at odds with basic spiritual principles. This article from Huffington Post details some of the trials and pitfalls of modern spirituality. Our spiritual searching will benefit from an awareness of common issues such as expecting instant gratification with spiritual transformation or creating a facade of belonging to a particular tradition while we may lack the underlying devotion and understanding required. It also cautions us about having confusion in our motivation for spiritual practice, such as seeking love and belonging rather than seeking to grow as an individual. Other pitfalls are detailed such as identifying too closely with spiritual experiences, becoming stunted in our growth by having a spiritualized ego and developing feelings of superiority and spiritual pride.
Not only do these cautions apply to individuals but spiritual groups are also at risk. Trendy spiritual practices may fall into the trap of mass producing spiritual teachers who believe themselves to be much more advanced than they truly are. Other group problems include having a superiority complex that a group is the "chosen people" or falling into a pattern of group mind with cult-like pressures to conform to the ways of the group. This and other fascinating insights can be found at Huffington Post.
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