There is immense spiritual arrogance in mainstream religion. Embraced by the reassuring comfort of a religion endorsed by millions, mainstream adherents can easily think they know the one true way. That same comfortable situation can cause their clergy to disdain alternative priesthood.
But enormous spiritual arrogance can happen almost as easily when you’re in an alternative religion or have your own unique spiritual path.
For example, developing psychic gifts can be so powerful and freeing that it might seem no one else could possibly have such an extreme or stunningly beautiful experience. That can be a jumping off point for feeling superior to others. I’ve seen a lot of people talk down to friends and otherwise become pompous after developing otherworldly talents.
When I was younger, I fell prey to it myself. Youthful arrogance!
Now I feel differently. And while I’m not proposing to be a perfect role model, it helps us when we tell each other what attitudes have worked for us. So here’s one:
I give what I call shamanic treatments. In other words, I send you a healing and empowerment of your body and of your spirit.
I do not give shamanic treatments from the perspective of “I am so much better than everybody else, me on high, deigning to send you blessing.”
Instead. I know treatments are not something I do, but something that comes through me. I do not know why the Gods chose me for this. After all, I am just me, not somebody superior to others.
Also, during a treatment, hard work regarding my own spiritual growth might be required. This helps keep me from thinking I’m better than other people. In other words, being willing to face one’s faults can mitigate arrogance.
It is also useful to recognize if you are lacking self confidence or self esteem, because when we do not have a healthy ego, we might overcompensate with unhealthy ego.
It is sad when seekers fall for counselors, teachers, or other guides whose message is, “I’m better than you. But if you let me dominate you, I’ll teach you how to be superior to everyone else.”
Of course, it’s not worded that overtly. Instead, you might see sly attempts to make other guides appear mediocre, through remarks like, “They do not have any real power, come to me for the real thing.”
An arrogant practitioner, perhaps without even realizing it, might also make a sales pitch that subtly caters to poor self-worth. For example, their words might imply you’re pitiful and damaged, needing the help of a superior being.
As a young shaman, I did feel superior to my clients, in some ways. That pomposity was isolating. It kept me from receiving the endless blessings I now receive from my clients.
Lucky for me, I was always somewhat aware that my clients are my peers and amazing fellow seekers. Luckier still, now that I recognize that camaraderie better, I get as much from them as they do from me.
Arrogance can be subtle, making it difficult to spot not just in others but also in ourselves. Example: having shrunken your swollen head to a fair degree can make you miss your remaining way-too-big hat size.
But if we pray or affirm, “May I recognize my arrogance. May it be replaced with self-worth,” and we continue self-examination, as well as working on self-worth, we can lessen our haughtiness.
I adore alternative spiritual communities. Our loving, new approaches can shift the cosmos. If we each look inside for our own arrogance, and not fall for marketing that caters to our insecurities, we can make a better world.
For more info about my shamanic treatments, go here.
Dear Francesca I really enjoyed this article.. it gives much food for thought andd no small amount of introspection is required to realize and admit these kind of things to oneself, let alone the world at large… thank you for helping us to become more brave.
Aw, Doreen, thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment. And blessings to you.