Greetings beloved being of love and light. As you traverse along your spiritual awakening path, you undoubtedly look for some sort of guidance. This is because you are breaking away from everything you’ve ever known, and are entering this life of the unknown. Therefore, you try to seek some guidance as you feel like you’re not sure what you’re doing. And perhaps you have not learned how to tune in to, or trust, your inner guidance, and so you may look for some sort of outer guidance, particularly in the earlier stages of your awakening journey.
However, many of those in the spiritual field who have called themselves guides are themselves not very spiritually advanced at all. Most people just want to feel important and loved, and they want to feel they are helping others in some way. But issues arise when people try to help others before they are well-equipped to do so. You must first have helped yourself in the ways that you want to help others. But many people are impatient and are not honest with themselves, and so they end up trying to help others before they are ready to do so. This has led to confused people leading other confused people, the unhappy leading the unhappy, the blind leading the blind. Much confusion and misinformation has arisen in the spiritual field as a result of this. Of course, everyone has the free will to believe what they want, but I have often encountered people practicing forms of fake spirituality, which leads to them developing a spiritual ego. This is where a person thinks they are a lot more spiritually advanced than they actually are, which in some cases is more dangerous to one’s spiritual growth than a non-spiritual ego.
Firstly, let’s remind ourselves what true spirituality is all about. True spirituality is simply about remembering who you truly are. But in order to do so, one must realise that who they thought they were throughout their whole life, their ego, their mind-body-character, was just an illusion and is not actually real. This journey of remembering requires detaching yourself from your mind and body, and healing yourself from past trauma. It requires the dropping of all beliefs, and finding the truth from within yourself. It requires taking yourself away from the past and/or future so that you can live fully in the present moment. It requires seeing the illusory nature of the material world and the underlying oneness behind all of creation. And, of course, there are many different techniques and practices to help you do all those things.
However, there are many “spiritual” practices that don’t help you with any of those things, and it is these things that I term as fake spirituality. One of the biggest things that I class as fake spirituality is how our society looks upon those who torture themselves as being extremely holy. For instance, people who can do incredible yogic positions are seen as very spiritual. What yogic positions you can do has nothing to do with helping you remember who you truly are. At best, yoga can help release tension in your muscles, but you can still be very spiritually asleep and do yoga. While it can be a great thing to do as you are spiritually growing, doing yoga doesn’t in itself make you spiritual.
What’s more, many cultures class people as very spiritual because they force themselves to fast, or to be celibate, or to live in poverty, or, in some cases, physically torture themselves. What is this nonsense? Life doesn’t require you to torture yourself. Life never wants you to suffer. Life wants you to live sincerely, to do the things that you truly want to do, to enjoy life, and to live abundantly. When you are forcing yourself to fast or be celibate, this is not spiritual at all. You are creating inner conflict and tension within yourself. A part of you wants sex and food, yet another part of you thinks that it shouldn’t have those things. Yes, as you truly spiritually work on yourself, you tend to have less food and sex, but this is never through force; it is just what feels most natural. And if one day you feel like having sex or eating more, you don’t restrain yourself. In this way, you never have any inner conflict or tension. Fasting and celibacy are just natural consequences of spiritual growth; they do not cause spiritual growth.
When you live in poverty, you are not spiritual at all. People think that if they live abundantly, they will be too attached to the material world, and so will not be able to discover the Divine. The theory behind it may initially make sense to the mind, but in reality, it is nonsensical for one main reason: the Divine is not just within the immaterial world, the Divine is both the material and the immaterial. The Divine is everything and everyone. Life is abundant, so when you force yourself to live in poverty, it means you are out of tune with the divine flow of life. You have resisted this abundance because you feel that somehow poverty will help you get closer to the Divine, yet it is this very resistance and denial of a part of life that is keeping you from knowing the Divine. See the irony?
When you force yourself to live in poverty, you are doing it out of fear of what may happen if you are wealthy. You cannot spiritually grow when you are in fear. Spiritual growth involves overcoming all fears. It involves learning how to live in the material world but not be attached to any of it, and you do this by realising the illusory nature of it all. Many people also think that secluding themselves from society and joining some kind of monastery makes them spiritual. But this again arises out of fear of the material world. People join monasteries because they want to escape life. They do not want to deal with the intensity of life here on Earth, and so they look for some kind of safe place away from it all. Life may be a lot easier to deal with in a monastery, but you don’t spiritually grow much when you are there. You cannot grow by escaping from your challenges. You did not incarnate into the world so that you could just escape it.
Life is to be lived and enjoyed, not something to be endured or escape from. When you are truly spiritual, you realise that life is an illusion and so you don’t take life so seriously. As a result, a truly spiritual person will often laugh, sing, dance, and play. However, if someone takes life so seriously, lives without joy, and even tortures themselves, know well that they are far from being truly spiritual. I am reminded of a story of one of the biggest “saints” in the coptic orthodox church in which I was a part of when I was younger. This particular saint apparently once came across a girl that he was physically attracted to, so to punish himself and make sure he would never get attracted to a woman again, he poked his eye out with a needle. And this person was hailed as some kind of miraculous, holy person — what buffoonery is this? Instead of learning how to observe his lust and not let it control him, he chose to try to escape lust altogether. If escaping life makes you a saint, then I never want to be seen as a saint; I want to be seen as someone who embraces and enjoys life.
Another thing to consider is, if you are continuously doing the same spiritual practices and routines, chanting the same chants, saying the same mantras and prayers, reading the same spiritual texts, then you are indulging in fake spirituality. Much of this occurs within religions. Religious people often do not grow much because they are doing the same things at the same times, over and over again, in many cases for their whole lives. No wonder you see many people yawning in churches, mosques and temples. Religious teachings and practices may benefit you in some way at a certain stage of your spiritual development, but then once you have understood the teachings and received the benefits of the practices, you must explore other things if you want to progress. But many believe that they have to only rely on one religion for their spiritual progress, and are often deterred from looking elsewhere for guidance. Religions also do very little in helping you discover who you truly are. In fact, some religions do the complete opposite and tell you that God is outside of you, and that if you claim to be the Divine, then you are a sinner.
It is very common to see people yawn and sleep in churches and temples
As you truly spiritually progress, the spiritual practices and exercises you feel like doing constantly change. Your spiritual practices are not determined by people or institutions outside of you. You always go with your inner flow and don’t force yourself to do things that you don’t truly want to do. Things don’t occur according to a schedule or a set routine. You allow your spiritual practice to be spontaneous, and always welcome new things. Spirituality is not about saying a prayer, or singing a religious song, or reading a religious text, or repeating a mantra, or attending a spiritual service once a day or week, and then the rest of the week forgetting about spirituality. Spirituality is not praying to God when you want something, then ignoring God when life is good. Spirituality is a full-time affair. It is about seeing the Divine within yourself and all of life at all times. Spirituality is not about what you do, but with what state of consciousness you do it. If you do something with full awareness and presence, it is a spiritual act because you are allowing the Divine to play through you, even if it is just going to the toilet, having sex, or smoking a cigarette. Whereas in fake spirituality, such importance is placed on what you do.
The final thing that I want to make you aware of is that I get many people come to me and claim to be spiritual just because they have read a certain spiritual leader’s book, or watched their videos, or attended their events. But upon further questioning, I realise that many of these people have not really gained anything real from these books, videos or events, and they are still in a low vibration, unaware of who they truly are. This occurs for one of two reasons: 1) The “spiritual leader” is not a genuine leader who is allowing the Divine to speak through them, or 2) The spiritual leader they listen to is genuine, but people have not grasped the true essence of their words, i.e. they have only intellectually understood the theory without having let the words go beyond their mind to reach the very core of their being.
You know if a teacher, guide or channelling is truly spiritually benefiting you when you listen to/read their words, and their words touch your heart. You are not the same person after you have listened to them. You feel that they are not just projecting words, but there is a transmission of energy of love and truth behind their words. They talk in simple language you can understand. Listening to them triggers an awakening/excitement of energy within you. They help you come closer to remembering who you are in some way. They give you tools or perspectives you can actually use to apply to your life in order to grow and experience more happiness. Different teachers, leaders and channellers can benefit different people, so you need to become aware of who is truly helping you remember who you truly are, otherwise you may just be wasting your energy, time, and money. Just because a teacher is popular and well-known, it doesn’t mean they are the right teacher for you.
As a reference, there was only one spiritual teacher who I benefited from listening to for a short period on my spiritual journey, and there were only two spiritual books that truly helped me in some way remember who I truly am. I also listened to a few channellings for a while, until I realised that none of these channellings were helping me at all. In fact, many of them were frustrating me. It was not until I stopped seeking for answers outside of myself, and started to only listen to my inner guidance that my spiritual growth really kicked into high gear. Being spiritual doesn’t mean regurgitating and repeating what some other person has said. It is about finding your own truth, and then expressing it in your unique way. But many people avoid going within to find their own truth, and they just read books and watch videos because it is easier. This is not what true spirituality is about.
What you’ll find is, the common denominator behind all these forms of fake spirituality is that people are trying to portray themselves as spiritual, when actually they are not. They are not doing things with the genuine intention to discover who they truly are; they are doing things in order to just be seen as a spiritual/holy person. They are avoiding doing the real spiritual work, but still trying to reap the benefits of being seen as someone who is spiritually advanced. Their “spirituality” is just very surface-level. The ego is very clever in this way; it remains in control while making you believe that you are doing well spiritually. Beware of this.