Spiritual Pitfalls

by ChaosNavigator

"Dipa Ma understood the Buddha’s advice as a call to master Vipassana meditation, attaining the first stage of enlightenment at the age of 53. In 1963, due to her impeccable morality and her powers of concentration, she was chosen to study the siddhis or spiritual powers with her teacher, also a family friend, the Indian master Anagarika Munindra, a senior student of Mahasi Sayadaw. These practices included dematerialization, body-doubling, cooking food without fire, mind-reading, visitation of the various realms of heaven and hell, time travel, and knowledge of past lives. Upon mastery she dropped them, as instructed in the eastern tradition."
- Source

A few thoughts about spiritual pitfalls.

Occult abilities, astral projection (out-of-body experience), clairvoyance, belief and knowledge about cosmology, our origin, etc. are not what's needed in the classical sense of spirituality (clairvoyance has nothing to do with spirituality per se fx.) "Only" enlightenment, discernment, and compassion with grounding and peace of mind are the most important.

Other eventual special 'side-effects' are just gifts on the way. All the siddis/occult abilities slumbering in our being are perhaps vital parts of consciousness research, mapmaking, exploration, thrills, etc.  but not any prerequisite for self-insight and spiritual development as a goal in itself.

The thirst for special powers, extraordinary abilities, magical powers, etc. were always decried as an impediment to achieving enlightenment, by Buddha, the old pure Kabbalists, etc. - and although all these things can be explored, are fascinating in themselves, occult ability can never be the goal in itself!

Astral abilities, paranormal abilities are not spiritual per se - only a tool that can be used or abused. A blessing for the evolved  - and in the worst case; a karmic booby-trap for the power hungry occultists fx. Purity of heart, discernment, self-insight and motivation are the most important qualities.
 If we view spiritual development as mountaineering, focus on siddhis (special occult abilities) and lower astral stuff, can be viewed as how the world looks like on the higher altitudes but not on the top of the mountain. The risk is that one gets stuck instead of taking them with you as beautiful souvenirs on the way up to the top.

The higher self protects us from acquiring too much influx and energy, i.e. more than we can handle - everything should happen effortlessly and naturally and on its own accord without too much force. That's the reason why we have mental buffers - if we involuntarily saw more than we could comprehend it could destabilize us. And we need body awareness and grounding.That is not to say that exotic things should never be attempted but it is of primary importance to know oneself, purify one's lower emotions, integrate one's shadow and cultivate a sincere motivation to evolve spiritually and in a balanced way. 

Both an occultist, a clairvoyant, or a gifted spiritual practitioner are able to attain high levels —but still be weak in the lower or more fundamental moral and ethical codes of conduct. Without honesty, ethical foundation and shadow integration, obviously the ego could be tempted by the power and the glory experienced in the higher stages. See also The Shadow of the Enlightened Guru

Most of us are dictated by compulsive emotion and thoughts running rampant with its identification, and we can't even administrate that monkey aspect of ourselves with basic mindfulness,  attempting extraordinary stuff before we even know ourselves and are in balance at the basic levels, etc. is not advisable as a general rule.

And many channeling groups and spiritual groups tend to develop into a new religion just like many Christians, but concepts about love and from belief are not changing their personality that much; it does not bring true transformation.
Spirituality has to be experiential, and merely an infatuation and belief in what the Pleiadian channelings talk about fx. does not make it a personal spiritual transformation or personal transformative truth (no matter how true it is ultimately) cause knowing and sensing the truth intutively does not transfer automatically into going the way (which is the reason I say that knowing the way and going the way are two different things) . Neither does it bring grounding, mindfulness (going beyond thought), integration of the shadow, which is the prerequisite for not identifying too much with any newly discovered trailblazing map.

Check out Tolle here:
"What is the role of the established religions in the arising of the new
consciousness? Many people are already aware of the difference between spirituality and religion. They realize that having a belief systema set of thoughts that you regard as the absolute truth – does not make you spiritual no matter what the nature of those beliefs is. In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself.... ...how “spiritual” you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness. This, in turn, determines how you act in the world and interact with others."
                  - Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
It is okay for the blind to talk about the aura, chakras, Pleiadians, etc. -  just as long as one does not mistake indirect knowledge about auras, chakras, Pleiadians, etc.  for direct perception. Otherwise it becomes self-deception and mental inflation.

Listen to Krishnamurti here:
" Ignorance is not banished by the studies others have made about you or themselves. You yourself have to study the content of your own consciousness. The studies the others have made of themselves, and so of you, are the descriptions but not the described. The word is not the thing."
And Ken Wilber: 
“It is not what a person says, but the level from which they say it, that determines the truth of a spiritual statement.”...anybody can say, ‘All things are One,’ ‘All sentient beings possess Spirit ,’ ‘All things are part of a great unified Web of Life,’ or ‘Subject and object are nondual.’

Anybody can say those things. The question is, do you directly and actually realize that ? Are you speaking with any sort of awakened authority, or are these just words to you?” “What if they are just words? What does it matter? Well, spiritual realities involve not merely statements about the objective world, but also statements of subjective facts , interior facts—and for those statements to be true when they come from your mouth, you must be directly in touch with those higher, interior facts, or else you are not being truthful, no matter how ‘correct’ the words might sound. It is the subjective state of the speaker, and not the objective content of the words, that determines the truth of the utterance.

Anybody can say ‘All things are One,’ so you have to determine the subjective state of consciousness—or the level of consciousness—of the person making the statement in order to judge its actual truth value, its truthfulness. We need to know the level of consciousness of the speaker in order to know what he or she actually means by ‘All things.’ Do they mean all gross-level things are one? All subtle-level things are one? All causal realities are one ? Do they mean all of those taken together? You see, the simple statement ‘All things are One’ actually has a number of quite different meanings, and those meanings depend, not on the objective content of the words—which are the same in each case— but on the subjective level of consciousness of the speaker, which varies dramatically.

- One Taste, Ken Wilber
Ultimately only one's own experience counts. And balance, therapeutic work or similar, and self-insight and grounding is paramount. I also sense some truth in the Pleiadian channelings - but we have to work on ourselves in a more down-to-earh kind of way, and if Pleiadians exist; that's what they want us to do.
For balanced and a more thorough serious spirituality most of us need a practice, a walk in the landscape  - and at the same time a good map (a proven spiritual successful theory/navigation tool based on the succesful practice from a 'system'/teacher that has gone all the way - ideally I guess).
'Psychology has been developed in the form of a "healing art." It's a pathological system; Freud's focus was dealing with pathological conditions. Yoga [or tantra], on the contrary, is about transcending the ego rather than developing the ego. At the same time, psychotherapy may be necessary for people who are emotionally sick; it is appropriate for them to develop a healthy ego because that's the groundwork for transcendence of ego. That is why I always taught that we go from recovery to self-discovery. "Recover" means I want to come to a normal state. However, most "normal" people are sick; most people are schizophrenic or live with internal conflicts, most people have fears or paranoias.

Q: Right. So-called normalcy, from the point of view of enlightenment, is delusion.

AD: Yes, that is why I say that yoga was not developed for the pathological conditions; it was developed for enlightenment. "
- EnlightenNext Magazine

See also: 


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