Obsession With Enlightenment is a Manifestation of a Massive Ego
An Example of the Delusional Posts About Spirituality
Let's Talk About Ourselves
The study of Eastern religions such as Taoism and Buddhism has gained in popularity in America lately. First getting to the forefront of alternative information sources and the minds of people looking for a way to stand out and move away from tradtitional American lifestyles decades ago. It has become a major part of current American culture. From Yoga, to meditation, pretty much everyone has heard of some aspect of Eastern religions of peace and enlightment, and most of us have participated in these religious practices in some way or another.
Something that's caught my eye lately is an influx of Facebook posts about enlightenment. All kinds of people have been posting poorly researched articles that describe the characteristics of an "enlightened" individual. Images with rainbow figures, which say things to the effect of, "I have to align my chakras, or I can't handle the people at work." Or whatever crap like that. I'm sure that if you participate in social media, you've seen the like.
I have legitimately studied Taoism and Buddhism, myself. Pretty extensively. I've never been a practicing member of either religion, but the study of many religions is a passion of mine. I feel the need to point out something very important:
If you feel the need to talk about how enlightenned you are, you are not enlightened. The need to seek validation from peers is a sign of a rampant, massive ego.
Some may argue that posting something on Facebook doesn't imply that you seek validation or attention. You can simply post things because you would like to discuss a certain topic, or "you just like it." While that may be true, someone who has seriously and honestly been practicing meditation and the taiming of the self, would not feel the need to discuss their personal journey. Unless asked specifically.
Reading an article describing a person and having the thought, "That's me! They're talking about me! I relate to this so much!" Is very directly your ego talking. An obsession with the self. The very definition of the thing you are claiming to have destroyed.
Just mull that over a little bit the next time you find yourself going to share a post about your open minded, spiritual self.
Knowledge is Power
Might I suggest a few books that actually go into detail and describe these Eastern religions and paths to enlightenment? So maybe people can at least be informed and properly aware of how ridiculous they're being.
1. Sit Down and Shut up, by Brad Warner is a beautifully written book, which perfectly describes the experience of studying Buddhism.
2. The Tao Te Ching is basically the guidebook on Taoism. Written by Lao Tzu, it sets up the very foundations of the path to enlightment and the journey of self awareness that is Taoism.
3. Any actually scholarly source on the internet, not written by a new age wack job.
Maybe read those. Study a little. Or shut up. You're making the belief systems look bad. And it's a damn shame, because they are beautiful and amazing schools of thought.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to talk about yourself, and discuss things with your friends. Flaunt you personality! I encourage it! But at least call it what it is and stop lying to yourself about it.
© 2016 Yamuna Hrodvitnir