“Ordinarily, everything we do is in our self-interest. Everything.” ~Anthony de Mello
The Tibetan teacher, Chögyam Trungpa, warned of the trap of spiritual materialism. He said we must be diligent to spot the ego’s use of the spiritual journey to further its own ends.
I may think it’s spiritual to yearn for divine connection. And yet, if my longing is to fill an emptiness inside, just how does this differ from yearning for money or possessions to fill the inner void? Do I look to my spiritual practices as proof of my evolved consciousness? As protection against fears?
Any time I use spiritual disciplines to maintain my identity and security, I serve the needs of my ego. I’ve just gift-wrapped the status quo in a new box. I haven’t broken free of the box.
Reflect on your reasons for exploring spirituality. If you should find ego’s needs lurking in the shadows, don’t be hard on yourself. Being conscious of what’s happening frees us from being trapped in the game. Just be aware of your personality’s fears and open to the love, wisdom and power of who you truly are.
“If you really examine your own hearts, most of you will find that you are seeking security, comfort, places of safety, and in that search you provide yourselves with philosophies, gurus, systems of self-discipline … In your efforts to escape from fear, you are entrenching yourselves in beliefs, and thereby increasing your own self-consciousness, your own egotism; you have merely grown more subtle, more cunning.” — Krishnamurti