Conversations

Real spirituality vs fake spirituality

Dec 9, 2016

In this week’s video, Mark and Darren discuss the difference between real spirituality and fake spirituality. What does it really mean to be spiritual, and does judgment have a place in our spiritual lives?

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Spirituality is not really what we generally think it is. Spirituality, at the end of the day, is about how much you do for others. It is as simple as that. There are other things involved, like what spiritual practices you do and your understanding etc. But really, all those things are secondary to that one main point: What do you do for others? How much have you given up for others? How much do you sacrifice for the sake of the world as a whole?

[Darren] One of the things I’m fascinated with actually is how there are people who seem to not be on a spiritual path at all and yet they have such a tremendous impact on so many people with such a positive message. And it really makes you question, what is spirituality really?

[Mark] Absolutely, I think there’s… I think there are a lot of problems with this subject on this planet.

You can look spiritual and not be spiritual, and you can look unspiritual and be very spiritual. Because spirituality is not really what we generally think it is. Spirituality, at the end of the day, is about how much you do for others. It is as simple as that. There are other things involved, like what spiritual practices you do and your understanding etc. But really, all those things are secondary to that one main point:

  • What do you do for others?
  • How much have you given up for others?
  • How much do you sacrifice for the sake of the world as a whole? For the sake of people who, maybe you don’t like, maybe who don’t know you, but who really need your help. This is what being spiritual is.

And whether you drink or smoke or swear – all these things… they don’t even begin to come close to defining whether or not someone really is spiritual in a way that matters.

And I think actually very often there are people who are attracted to spirituality like as a fashion. And they want to wear some supposedly spiritual outfit, and walk around with maybe a very serene expression on their face, and talk endlessly about what you should eat, and what words you should and shouldn’t use.

That’s a favorite amongst New Agers. You’re not allowed to say this. You’re not allowed to say that. So if you just make a simple statement like: “I think he’s a good spiritual teacher. I’m not convinced whether or not this one is really sincere.” You might get someone leap down your throat and say, “I don’t do judgment. I don’t do discrimination.” All that… And immediately they’re judging you for having made a judgment.

And there’s nothing wrong with judgment. We have to make judgments. We have to make judgments about where to live, who to marry, what job to do and certainly what spiritual path to follow. These are important judgments but you can make judgments without being judgmental.

Being judgmental, I would say, is when you make judgments you don’t need to make to put other people down in a way that is not in any way constructive. Whereas making judgments is simply making decisions, which we all have to do to survive.

[Darren] Same thing with discrimination. It’s got a very negative connotation now, but really the ability to discriminate is to do exactly what you’ve just described.

[Mark] Yes, absolutely. I mean where discrimination is a dirty word is where discrimination is used wrongly. I mean anyone who is even remotely enlightened at all can see that racial discrimination is an absolute abomination that makes no sense whatsoever even logically, never mind spiritually.

We should discriminate between a good spiritual teacher and a bad one.

However, we should discriminate between a good spiritual teacher and a bad one. And there are bad spiritual teachers. Bad how? Bad in terms of maybe their motive isn’t quite right and they’re after money. Bad maybe in that they say what they think people want to hear rather than what they believe is true. Bad maybe in the fact that they just simply don’t have much understanding and should very much be in the position of being a student rather than a teacher but their ego gets in the way.

This series features Mark Bennett and Darren Ball. Mark Bennett is an International Director of The Aetherius Society, and co-author of Prayer Energy and the award-winning title Gods, Guides and Guardian Angels. www.markinfo.co.uk

Darren works as a volunteer for The Aetherius Society and is the creator of The Twelve Blessings website. You can learn more about Darren here.

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