From The End of Death, Volume Two
Copyright 2016 Nouk Sanchez
Before my own breakthrough, I went through a period of what I call spiritual superiority. Of course I could not see it at the time as I was blinded by it. Many on the spiritual path will encounter this phase in varying degrees. This is a period whereby the ego is impelled to undertake the spiritual journey. Its goal is not to awaken from guilt and fear but to acquire a more superior façade; a higher status.
Initially the ego as our false-self is the one who is happy to embark upon the spiritual journey. It believes it can perfect itself as it acquires more and more spiritual wisdom. Its superficial aim is to improve self-esteem and amass spiritual knowledge. However it never dares ask which “self” needs esteem and knowledge.
The spiritual ego is the most armor-plated of all egos. It really is the toughest nut to crack. Many in their journey to return to wholeness experience this phase where the ego takes on yet another layer of inflation, of “identity”. Only this time it deems it legitimate because it has a spiritual label. This phase of the ego is still the ego however now it becomes largely impenetrable. From my own experience some of the traits of this phase are:
- Becoming overly identified with intellectual knowledge
- Defending that knowledge – spiritual righteousness
- Spiritual vanity and pride
- Spiritual superiority ( seeing others as less than)
- Lack of genuine emotional vulnerability and transparency
- Lack of radical self-honesty
- Lack of self-awareness, self-observation
- Lack of genuine curiosity
- Teaching more than listening and learning
- Lack of gratitude for others as teachers in their own right (students are teachers)
- Resistance to being “called out” – lack of accountability
- Wearing a mask of positivity (arising from fear)
- Engaging in spiritual debates (arising from the need to be right)
Every one of these expressions is simply a defense against awakening. As such they represent the ego’s many and varied delaying tactics.
How devoted are we to undoing our blocks to Love? Devotion to dismantling our resistance and defenses must be paramount in our practice. How self-aware are we? Do we observe our self as we speak? Do we ask our self “who” is speaking? Is it the ego or Spirit? Are we engaged at the heart or the intellect? And as we listen to others are we quick to formulate a response based on our intellectual knowledge? Or are we present to join the other in a precious Holy Instant allowing Spirit to reveal Christ Vision to us? Do we ask our self with radical self-honesty, “What is the purpose of this communication?” Is it to join at the heart in True humility, or do we join with the ego to prove our self as right?
Whether we classify our self as a spiritual student or teacher we must be mindful of that moment of ego temptation. Do we want to awaken from suffering? Do we really? Then we must also desire to see what has been denied and subsequently projected outward onto others, the body, the world, the past and God. Most of us are so fearful to expose our deepest fears, toxic patterns, values and beliefs. But it’s impossible to be free of these illusions unless we are willing to look upon them without defense. Only then will we know deeply that our safety really does lay in our defenselessness. Only then will we know that we are the embodiment of incorruptible Innocence and are therefore, indestructible.
Instead of fear, justification and defense, we need to cultivate a healthy curiosity and sense of humor around our issues and blocks. An eagerness to look within is required. How will we ever see the face of Christ in others (and in our self) if we’re not willing to forgive and heal our defenses to it?
The Spiritual Ego Checklist
Here are some thought provoking questions. I only wish that I had this list during my own period of self delusion. I can laugh now as I reflect but I am sure this list would have vastly accelerated the ego’s breakdown and my essential breakthrough! Take yourself through this helpful checklist with a healthy dose of radical self-honesty:
- Am I for real? Am I mindfully present and unequivocally Authentic in my communications with others and myself?
- Do what I think, feel, say and do all line up together where there is no conflict between them? Or am I often tempted to speak of what I know intellectually while disregarding the conflicting subtleties in my own heart?
- Am I eager to discover my own inner contradictions and inconsistencies so as they can be healed? Or is their resistance? What healing does this resistance hide? What is it that the spiritual ego does not want you to see?
- How much do I practice radical self-honesty? How open am I to receive constructive criticism from others without defense and justification? Or is their resistance? What is the healing that this resistance attempts to hide from me? What gift am I not seeing and receiving? What is it that the spiritual ego does not want me to recognize and claim?
- Is there a sense of gratitude whenever my spiritual ego is called out (threatened or triggered)? If not, why not? Which “self” feels threatened via its need for justification and defense?
- How much do I value introspection? Am I consistently self-aware observing myself and others without judgment but with Spirit’s Loving discernment?
- Do I tend to speak (teach) more than I listen? Do I find myself attempting to convince and convert others? If so, do I ask myself, “Who (Spirit or ego) is speaking and which “self” needs convincing and converting?”
- Is there a sense of pride or superiority? Whenever I am triggered by others do I override my own healing opportunity by convincing myself that I know more than them and am therefore more spiritually superior?
- Which am I more interested in? 1) Teaching or coaching intellectually to others while maintaining my own teacher role, or 2) Open-hearted joining with others where I am encouraged to: a) be transparent, b) express my own emotional vulnerability, c) close the seeming gap between myself and others, and d) Am I genuinely grateful for the fact that those who may seem to know less than me are in fact my greatest teachers?