There’s a little voice in my head that thinks it knows what is “spiritual.” When I wake up in the morning, I have a daily practice of writing and meditation. On rare occasions, I cannot do this the first thing in the morning. Say I am traveling, or really stressed out and have to take care of something that feels more important. That is a time when I will often start judging myself for not being spiritual and disciplined. “Oh look Sura, see how you are distracting yourself…” There’s also the another side to this, when I say things like, “I meditate when I can and have to discern what’s most important..” I know I can justify anything I really want. But can you see what a headtrip this can be? We always want to do “what’s right” and make the “right decision.” As if this “right” exists in the world, and if we side with it, we are better people.
Ego works in these subtle ways. It strives for this “rightness.” Just put the word “spiritual” in front of the following words. It’s still ego.
Many people assume that because I left Wall Street and made a life change into yoga that I don’t have to deal with competition, betrayal and evil doing. What I’ve learned is that people are people everywhere. We all have egos. We are all the same. Even on the spiritual path, we can fall into ego traps. We can beat ourselves up still for not being good enough, or present enough. And many of us have judged other people who do not share similar values and ideals as we do.
Be mindful of the spiritual ego. It has these ideals and ideas of what’s spiritual. It will make you think that you are on a higher moral ground if you do certain things, and even make you feel bad for not being spiritual enough. It thinks it knows better than other people. There’s no such thing as better or worse, and when we can get underneath the ego’s ego, ego, ego.. , we have a chance of shedding light on what’s really there.
Whenever there is a “right” or “wrong” at stake, some kind of judgment, you can be assured that is ego at play. The spiritual path can be just as illusionary as the worldly one. Don’t judge the judge. Just noticing it, even being amused by it, can help alleviate the grips of spiritual ego. I love what Anita Moorjani shared from her near-death experience, where she shared something to the extent of : “We don’t have to do anything to be spiritual. Who we are is spiritual.”