A Dime a Dozen
They are found on the covers of magazines, books and a myriad of publications. There are CDs and DVDs of their speeches, lectures and classes. They host seminars, retreats and special engagements. Their links are added to hundreds, perhaps thousands of websites. They write forewords and brief praises for lesser-known author’s books. They hob-knob and network with celebrities, politicians, athletes, business executives and royalty. Their faces are even seen on TV, billboards, marquees and in movies. They are the new age of applied mysticism. They are “The Usual Suspects of Spirituality.”
Many of them have careers in very different fields prior to their “enlightenment.” Some are doctors, authors, musicians, ministers, scientists, poets and professors. Some may have experienced hardship, injury, loss and near-death experiences. Many of them have had authentic insights that led to a change on their life path. Most, if not all, have found them selves enamored with the awe, splendor, humility and illuminating epiphany of the expansiveness of universal awareness, relatedness, truth and love. Yet, in the presence of the greatest experiences they may have had, their sacred union with spirit is often wagered for the fame, fortune and artificial fulfillment of the contemporary marketplace.
Edging God Out
We are all graced with consciousness. When we become present to it, we transcend beyond our known selves. In the majesty of this being-ness, we feel connected to everyone and everything. Within this experience resides all possibility. There is no desire to prove our intelligence, value, wisdom or spirituality. There is only a need to relate and express with our spirit to sustain the balance and harmony of multi-dimensional life. We exist in a beautiful and fluent dance of eternal energy, ever inspired and empowered to be our greatest manifestation.
This is a very challenging union to maintain. Most human beings have not transformed themselves in this essential way to be present and interactive with the divine mandala we experience as life. It is nearly impossible not to fall victim to our ego. After all, as our consciousness and connection with our spirit grows and expands, so does our ego’s presence and influence. It exists in and of itself, divergent from our reason, intelligence, wisdom and compassion. It is what it is and forever shall be as long as we are human.
This gives us an insight as to how easy it is for a Spiritual Leader to not only become influenced, yet also run by their ego. Belief is a double-edged sword. On one side, there is a natural inspiration and inclination toward innocence, wonder and curiosity. These qualities clarify and empower personal truth. On the other side, there are strategies and agendas toward control and manipulation for the sake of self-worth, self-righteousness, spiritual hierarchy, entitlement and monetary gain. A Spiritual Leader who does not commit to a practice of authenticity, humility and transformation will always misguide the very people they are attempting to lead.
The onus does not rest completely on the Spiritual Leader who has fallen prey or succumbed to their ego. The common reality in which most of us exist lends greatly to this unfortunate outcome. In order for there to be a measure of success in anything within this three-dimensional construct we call “reality,” those attempting to achieve it must interact and become a part of its program. They must surrender to socially-prescribed conditioning in order to function and excel within it. This instantaneously diminishes the energy frequencies with which we all connect, relate and unite through our higher level emotional being and our intuition. The moment we intellectually and instinctually disengage from this extraordinary communion with our heart and soul, our spirituality is quantified into “reality.” All possibility of living our true destiny is lost.
Our society is overpopulated with “spiritual opportunists.” They learn just enough to charm, romance and outwit potential, unsuspecting clients, patients and customers. The less we are aware of the bittersweet truth of authentic spirituality, the more its intellectually modified version hypnotizes us with its false luminosity. Our pursuit of comfort, convenience, safety, knowing, entertainment and compliance with “reality” are the greatest common distractions from our authentic spirituality and true-life path. Once we have subscribed to the quest for our mortal luxuries, what we have sacrificed of our soul goes beyond our imagination.
This is the primary reason why congregational religion, new age organizations and spiritual societies work mainly for the Spiritual Leader and rarely for the Spiritual Initiate. These methods hinder the growth and expression of awareness far more than they help. They are generalized social systems founded upon the structure of a three-dimensional reality to control the progress and expansion of individual and global consciousness. They do not represent, relate or harmonize with the universal, multi-dimensional natures of our spirit. Each person’s soul is unique and diverse. It is actually impossible for one or a group of individuals to provide guidance or illumination on another person’s life path. Only the person who chooses to discover the mysteries of their own soul and destiny is appropriately qualified and born to do so.
Spiritual Leaders are only as genuine as their commitment, loyalty, humility and authenticity. Their willingness and intention to evolve and transform in the service of their community and the world ought to transcend any notion of personal benefit they may achieve. They may have knowledge, understanding, experience or wisdom that makes a great deal of sense in the moment it is shared. However, when it is applied to our own lives, its value may fade as quickly as its appeal. The wisest people are those whom are able to identify and discern when another’s wisdom, however popular or successful it may seem, does not apply to their own.
Spirituality is not a freedom from ego. It is a practice for us to manage its relentless and inevitable impression. An authentic spiritual path is not about belief. It is all about who we are being and how we are living everyday. Spirituality is about claiming our personal power and becoming the leader of a destiny to which only we were intended. We were not meant to occupy a seat in someone else’s vision. We were born to be the manifestation of our own. We are the only ones who can bring our unique expression of purpose and transformation to the world.
We live in a society where it is very easy to exist vicariously through the perceptions, judgments, experiences, understanding and wisdom of others. No other is meant or intended to guide our spirit through its life experience on Earth. We may have epiphanies of relation, orientation and synchronicity with others when our paths may cross. Yet, all we are is the expression of our choices and who we are being when we make them. Living our authentic spiritual path may be challenging, humbling, wearisome, inspiring, empowering, enlightening and transformational. Though its reward may never bring us a sense of comfort, status and accomplishment, it will always unite us with our soul.