Spiritual Elitism (Ego and the What, How & Why)

About a month or so ago (who’s counting) a friend and I were joking about spiritual elitists, but it’s no joke.  

Already ‘elitist’ people exist and to make matters worse, when they consider themselves spiritual, it becomes a whole lot more irritating. 

An elitist is defined as having a ‘superior attitude’ and to some, pretty much up has their head up their backside. 

It seems as more things are progressing in the Eco, spiritual field of society (such as veganism, pseudosciences, alternative healing methods), there is an increase in spiritual elitism. 

With elitism and spirituality combined, we have a great amount of spiritual elitism floating around, and the individuals usually look a certain way without an intellectual heart and mind. 

A perfect example would be of a man my friend spoke of that was running some sort of spiritual workshop that said “when you reach enlightenment like me,”, a big RED FLAG to my friend. 

I highly doubt anyone that reaches enlightenment would ever acknowledge themselves as actually reaching that point because the state of mind has changed, the self and concept of ‘I’, and in addition to that, the ego would not advise an audience in such a manner. 

Let give you another example, but please note this is nothing against vegans at all but the most prominent example in my mind to date. 

My partner’s friend turned vegan (although a selective vegan as he eats pizza sometimes) after having a spiritual awakening possibly due to MDMA, LSD and whatever else. Whatever caused him to question and go against meat eating and animal cruelty left him changed. He is also big on sustainability and sustainable agriculture. 

Sometimes when people have spiritual awakenings, their whole world gets shattered but not in a bad way. It is quite the opposite as your culture and belief systems are broken down and you end up going hippy dippy, usually loving this new and profound way to view the world. 

During this period, you can take up new beliefs or activities (such as veganism, losing your faith in gods, healthier eating, changing jobs, etc) but generally you have a turnaround on a very personal level and your vibrations change. This is evident to the people around you but they may not understand.  

It can be hard to remain friends or stay in the same lifestyle if others are closed off to the new ‘hippy’ you. It can even be hard to reintegrate into society because your morals, thoughts and view on everything has altered. This may ring particularly true for some but others tend to find their place.

As a result of the awakening, people can tend to go hippy dippy in an external way too. Fashion sense changes, the way they present themselves online changes, and unfortunately, a lot of the time, the ego perpetuates despite acting like they don’t have much of one. 

So, my partner’s friend who became vegan also acts like he is morally superior because of knowing this ‘truth’ about meat and being one with nature and not wanting to kill animals and eat them. That is okay not to want to kill and eat animals, but when you act like your truth is the only truth or better than someone else’s, that is when the issue arises and you need to check yourself!

He also has depicted himself as a full blown hippy at festivals which is also fine, but, if you are going to say you are one with everybody or love them, to act superior is telling me something else. 

People must go by experiences and feelings I think, rather than thoughts and presentation . 

I say that because things are a front. What we wear is a front, what we write can be a front, the way our hair is can be a front. 

It is not who we are – writing can be a reflection, as can clothing, but it is not us. 

Kind of like Alan Watts’ ‘the menu is not the meal’, we are not how we appear. We are, but at the same time, when you consider appearance and thoughts, these things always come from somewhere else. Without getting nitpick-y, I’m talking learned and EGO. Ego gives us opinion and so does learning things. 

The ego can be problematic – getting rid of it or acting like you are not phased is likely making yourself more egotistical. Trying to eliminate it is what will feed it. It is better to recognise it’s there and how it affects you, and move forward with things. 

The ego is tricky in the sense that we all have one, and those that have a spiritual awakening could suddenly feel the need to take up the we are all one and in love with nature and the world attitude. 

This is something that people uphold, myself include about being one with the world, however, there needs to be a degree of critical thinking here as to how far you want to go.

If you whole world has changed and you’ve been down the rabbit hole and are back out, how much do you really want to take from your experiences?

You may have felt oneness, ego death, unconditional love, or had something other than those that woke you up, but being in that state is not always possible in reality. 

Therefore, people acting like they have a loss of ego is a joke to themselves, thinking they are now more spiritual. There is a big difference between being more down to earth and actually feeling less egotistical than trying to force that you are those. 

How do we consider ourselves spiritual? Is it daily meditation, taking mind-altering substances, talking science, life, sacred geometry and philosophy? Hmm, it’s a hard thing to define because there doesn’t seem to be any right or wrong. 

In saying all this, this does happen and I too am guilty of it. I understand how it can come about, but my ego would like to say things are not as they used to be. Nor am I as hippy dippy as I was during my awakening phase (which has its downsides, because I was much more genuinely interested in philosophy).

In summary, spiritual elitism does exist. It’s in funky places, festivals, crystal shops, religious and spiritual workshops, etc. 

It is simply just down to the ego funnily enough. The very thing that sometimes get shattered can come back strong in a completely different presentation. 
Leave it be. The real spiritual growth is internal. Decorating the self because it’s pretty in piercings or henna and harem pants is nice too, but looking the part is not being it. And there is nothing wrong either way. New beliefs can be interesting, a great way to connect with like-minded folk and try something new. Point is, recognise the ego, but don’t try and try and try. It will pass, unless you stagnate.

Thoughts on militant vegans, feminists, atheists

Now you guys are on the other end of the spectrum! Outweighed by religion, cultural conditioning and the majority, you do have it tough. We have already enough ignorance and militants as it is but sometimes good intentions can turn into something bad. Bad energy and getting so set on your path that you aren’t open to anyone else’s. 

It seems as though now more than ever people are concerned with what they are or aren’t doing, using, eating, etc. Are they conscious of it? Yes and no. 

Before I go on more of a tangent, to me it is more apparent now than ever there is a rise in vegans.

And some are quite militant about not eating meat. Reasons being maybe it’s unethical, bad for your health or lacking nutrition, unsustainable, or why would someone want to eat that cute pig? Fair enough.

Well, for thousands of years what have people been eating? Besides that, vegans are still eating living organisms – PLANTS. What makes animals take priority over plants? Plants I suppose aren’t thought of having much of a consciousness or brain, but there are studies that show there may be more to it. 

http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-01-09/new-research-plant-intelligence-may-forever-change-how-you-think-about-plants
See The Secret Life of Plants (YouTube). 
Plant drugging 

Perhaps it is the fact we can see animals live, reproduce, form personalities, etc. Though plants do spread their seeds and go through processes to live…

I have nothing really against vegans and find this is a good thing mostly – kind of like acting local but thinking global. I do have an issue with the attitude of not only militant vegans that can’t have a proper discussion, but atheists and religious people with the same ethos. 

With vegans, you can’t stop the millions of animals getting slaughtered  or tested on just because you’re a vegan but you don’t support the trade and can hopefully lower the amount of animals getting destroyed by consumers and their consumption. Not to mention wanting a high protein plant-based diet or thriving on raw goods. 
And on the other hand, plants can be regenerated by re-planting, seedlings, cloning, etc., whereas animals have to be born again. 

I personally am a bit of a moral nihilist so I don’t think meat eating is wrong or right. I do however, not want to support a cruel trade that is ruining the planet. In saying that, I think there is a way to reduce some harm for those who don’t want to go vegan. 

Vegans might hate the suggestion but for anyone that is big on sustainability – how about hunting? And if that’s supposedly cruel, what about humans in the wild? It’s just a matter of us being hunted should the situation change, and both are natural

Buying grass-fed or from farms that are independent and advocate no hormones, preservatives etc. to ensures the negative health impacts are reduced. Alongside this, trying to locate free range produce that lived happy and healthy lives will tick the boxes. 

The debate could go on forever and probably will, but those are just some things people should consider. 

I find far too many are on one side or the other to the point where no one can take them seriously anymore. If they were to use a different approach, maybe more people would listen?

For example – militant atheists, what makes you so sure there’s nothing out there? But religious bigots, what makes you so sure there is? These are important questions and I think it is a good idea to stay more open and neutral otherwise you risk closing yourself off to even reasonable points. 

And feminists, where are the real issues with gender inequality? Are they in your America, or are they in certain parts of Africa where women are raped daily and nothing changes?

People tend to get so caught up sometimes in belonging and/or a cause that is enlightening in ways that the rest doesn’t make sense anymore. Sometimes it results in them opposing it but at what cost to their credibility?

Where does logic and rational thinking come in? Who can present the important questions without an audience switching off? How to educate with intellect? How can we initiate big change in the community and open up minds?

It starts with YOU. It starts with I, and US and everyone. Like the famous quote – be the change you wish to see in the world. Lead by example and don’t always add fuel to the fire, you will hit brick wall after brick wall too when this happens. And you’ll never get through. 

I’d much rather take life like an agnostic, flexible and with the ability to (try) stay open.

As for vegans, there is seemingly more care about animals than human rights. Why not both? People are killed and kept captive too for the wrong reasons, it’s called a jail. I don’t think one takes priority over the other, but, the attitude surrounding the movements can be damaging to the original cause. 

Feminism, ok where required. 

Gift-giving Culture

Culture includes in my opinion, the conditioning, traditions, societal standards, morals, ideologies taught to us and around us that are existent in the now. 

Months ago it was my birthday and it actually irritated me how culture has been so ingrained into us that we feel obliged to buy gifts. 

The thought is nice – gestures are nice too, but if it’s for the sake of being just polite to be polite, then don’t. 

Far too many people do not ask “what is it that you desire?” or, “what do you need in your life?”, rather they go out and purchase things (yes, these THINGS) that have limited use and/or are unwanted, not needed or have zero relevance in your mind. Sometimes people do it out of the idea of who they think you are and subsequently, what they think you’ll like. 

Not to sound like an unappreciative twat or anything… In my opinion, a lot of the time it’s just another thing to add to what is not necessary. Almost like material clutter. The intention to show a form of thoughtfulness and often provide joy is there but what is it really – is it being kind just for the sake of being kind in our culture? Is it genuinely wanting to get somebody a gift they’ll like? Why celebrate the day someone was born by giving them things? Maybe it is a combination of being kind to be kind and wanting to get somebody something they’ll like. 

My birthday was brought up by girl friends that get me something every year. I told them in advance, I didn’t care and didn’t want anything and I was serious about it too. Instead, I received (although sweet in a way that they remembered but annoying in another) a few gifts that I felt were more based around culture and what people thought I’d like. 

I guess that is what gifts are, what people think you like. And when I say based around culture – it is as if people see something else, never your core or true being. The exterior I have nowadays is plain. My clothes are casual and generally on the sporty side mostly, my food is usually healthy and I try to have the ‘we are all one’, live in the present, screw the 9-5 life attitude. So I suppose for some of my friends this makes me a little bit of a hippy, since I fit somewhat the stereotype of a bum (no job), messy and dirty hair (no need to wash it everyday), simple life. 

I guess my main point is the point of gift giving is amiss, in the sense that we buy people things. Things we have in our own heads they’ll like or enjoy, but where do they end up? In my own life, someone buying me a meal would be great instead of buying a purse to put the funds I don’t have in it. 

Sorry, but this culture does not sit well with me in some aspects, and I’m sure for some other people too. It can leave you alienated and wondering, do people want to actually be a part of this movement, or is it how they wish to appear to others?

Returning to the original idea of the post soon, but first, I’ll stress this point. Culture can be like a CULT. It has a mass following, or enough for there to be a following. Culture is everywhere. In some way we engage in culture, whether that be alternative or mainstream (it can even be as simple as our heritage). At what point does alternative become mainstream?

After pondering that for a bit, I wonder, where can you draw the line with culture? Where can you break it?

There is nothing wrong with culture neccessarily, for example – culture is what shapes many forms of art. 

However, I think sometimes we have to defy and go by our own experiences. Far too often people comply with gift-giving or for example – some men must pay for their dates. In general, we endeavour to ‘keep up’ in one way or another. 

But what is a life with things but without experiences?

Why doesn’t someone provide an experience, rather than buying a purse or something of material value but not real significance?

Maybe I’m a little rude, but I think it’s time for us to be a bit more hedonistic, a bit more upfront and a bit less caught up in the CULTure. 

Working Out w/ Scoliosis (Post-Op)

Thought I would share my experience with having Scoliosis and exercise. 

I am not a medical professional so do not follow my advice. I can offer support and opinion however for others with Scoliosis.

– 7 years post-op

– Offered the Boston brace 

 – Seems to be genetic despite doctors claiming it is not 

– Recommendations pre and post-op at bottom of post

For those who aren’t familiar with Scoliosis, it is a condition characterised  by a ‘curvature of the spine’. This can generally go in an ‘S’ shape or a ‘C’ shape. 

The severity depends on the degree of the curve and whether it affects your organs. Left untreated, some things it can cause include a whole load of back pain, breathing problems, and an ugly appearance. 
For me, I was about 13 with a pretty bad curve. Around age 11 I started to get back pain and had uneven shoulders my mother was able to notice. 

Around that age I was doing karate which often proved difficult mainly when stretching. I would also slouch pretty badly – it constantly resulted in my mother scolding me. My balance was terrible, too. 

One doctor diagnosed me and suggested surgery since I refused to wear my Boston brace. This was because it was incredibly painful and would leave me crying at night trying to wear it throughout. 

At school, all the kids were notified and I had a girl poke me when I was wearing the brace because I couldn’t feel it. 

It was torture. It was physically painful.  I was given special treatment as well because all the kids knew about it. 

When I went to high school, the school bags were very heavy and my back got worse. It was a matter of time considering puberty and my mother went through the same things around the same age (she is also post-op, similar procedure but decades ago). 

Around 13 years old, a new surgeon we chose after being unhappy with the other one decided it was time to get me into surgery quite soon. The waitlist was long, but I guess this couldn’t wait!

Morphine was a dream, although I would get knocked out from being so drugged up. The pain was the worst in the 3rd, 4th and following days. I had to ask the nurses to turn me over and I had a tube up my lady bits which a nurse tripped over once – ouch!

I had what they called a spinal fusion where they fused a bit of my hip they cut to lengthen and straighten out my spine. All went well besides the blood transfusion and I was walking in a matter of days. I also had to do breathing exercises. 

Anyways, it took a few slow months to recover but I got better. As time goes on, the pain gets more bearable and the medication decreases. Strong meds too – being Oxys, you and whoever is there to take care of you, are responsible for weening you off. 

I used my back operation as an excuse not to do certain things. Abseiling, sitting on the floor, etc. 

The reality is, I could do ALL those things, but didn’t participate. 

It came to the point where I wasn’t doing much, only school sports and I had also quit karate. 

The surgeon advised no heavy lifting, bending or twisting and I avoided those. No bungee jumping either! 

Now fast forward 7 years post-op (almost) and I’m lifting heavy weights, swimming, riding a motorbike and feeling the best I have ever felt! Stronger and healthier, but I must confess my back doesn’t look perfect on the outside. When I sit in a chair my whole back can’t sit flat against it.

Nevertheless – unless you are launching yourself off a ledge with some rope, I say be careful but not overly cautious. Don’t avoid all those years of doing things because you think you can’t! You can do anything with scoliosis that you may have thought you couldn’t before with usually minor exceptions.  

Recommendations pre-op: yoga, pilates (it may hurt), swimming. Recommendations post-op: weight/strength training, pilates, core, swimming, running, whatever the heck you want!

Before operation, there are limits, but you will know what they are. 

You might be terrible at gymnastics, not be able to stretch properly, have bad balance, be very out of breath swimming, etc, but much of that can improve depending on your condition and treatment or lack of. 

Best wishes with it and be safe. 

Motorcycling – True Meditation

Majority of people living in western countries seem to not really dare to get on a motorbike in their lives. Or there are just predominantly cars on the road. 
Why is it that it’s so popular in Asia?

Hmm, besides considering economic factors, it seems like a cultural thing – often people don’t bat an eyelid and don’t wear any protective gear either. 

Mention you want a motorcycle to your family which doesn’t ride and first thing that usually concerns them is the danger. Immediately they envision speed demons on the highway or a fatality. It’s hard not to when a motorcyclist is so exposed. 
With life there are risks, and in those risks usually are great rewards. 

Of course this does not apply to everything because some things will truly bring you to your demise such as hard drugs, gangs, etc. 
Though what is worth it? In my opinion, it’s those things that appeal to your senses, or are part of our human nature such as exploration, curiousity, adrenaline to name a few. 

Motorbike riding is one of those things that leaves you vulnerable in some eyes, and undoubtedly ‘exposed’ in comparison to a car (heh, cagers).

Others see it as freedom – opportunity, total oneness with your bike and even surroundings, passion and even meditation. 

So why is it motorcycling is considered a form of meditation?

Well, personally, I never meditate in the way of sitting down cross-legged, eyes closed and focus on my breathing. 

The closest thing I get to meditation is exercise, but even then I am not completely free of distractions. 

With motorcycling, you are completely one with your environment. You aren’t thinking about dinner, fighting with your partner, Christmas parties, etc., you’re just riding. 

It is great and there’s nothing else I’ve experienced like it. 

What is meditation? Is it an empty and still mind? Is it a quiet mind? It is mindfulness and being in the moment? Zen?

Riding a motorcycle has given me the pleasure of meditating (without trying or intention) and enjoying the experience. 

My mind is relaxed, I’m not focusing on cloudy thoughts or bothers – just my immediate surroundings and actions. There is no useless contemplation and anxiety of things we aren’t even in control of – unlike in a car when you can drift off and think of anything. 
If people find meditation in other forms like art, cooking, yoga not for them… Jump on a bike and take it as an opportunity to experience. 

Just A Fully-Reformed Sugar Addict

No one really considers sugar addiction that bad, right?

It’s legal, in many foods and confectionary and would take huge amounts to cause obvious health implications. 

Perhaps it is rather the immediate effects on the body and mind that should be noted rather than accumulation. 

Sugars, not from honey or raw, but mostly processed (the ones in lollies and commercial chocolates) were my weakness. 

It doesn’t mean I’d eat processed sugars by the spoonful, but I’d crave chocolate and lollies constantly.

I did not realise until I started becoming more health-conscious what was happening. 

Worse, my partner would love to see me happy and fed so buying me a chocolate bar at the shops was a pleasant treat. Even if I would jokingly plead it’s not a good idea. 

There came a time when I was seriously battling this – after noticing the changes in my mood, lack of energy, and what I recall prompted the change – candida, with outbreaks  experienced frequently. 
I tried yoghurt, raw garlic, probiotics and eating ‘cleaner’ by trying to cut down on junk that contained processed sugar and also eliminating any sugars possible, but it ended up being turbulent for my body and I’d still get candida. 
It seemed like every week there was something off about my balance down there and not only that, I would feel bad too by constantly fiending for chocolate and lollies when the cravings would hit and feel pacified after the consumption of sugar. 
There was time when this was my life 24/7 and I can proudly say I’ll never get back there. 

How do you kick your habit? Self-restraint and moderation. 
Ween yourself off if you have to. Don’t have in the house more than you will want to have later. Don’t have any if you can go cold turkey. 
There may be time when a sugar addict ends up bingeing and that’s okay – but know if you want to kick the habit it starts NOW and you have to be consistent about it. 

Self-restraint and willpower are what you need to impose on yourself. You need to look into what you’re eating and notice how it affects you. Surely such an effect is not healthy and is exactly an addiction. Then the cycle begins. 
Moderate when you are strong enough to eat small amounts of sugar. Never buy chocolates or lollies you used to eat, always look for things that might contain processed sugars but are not bought for a ‘sweet fix’. An example of this is buying a nut bar that contains sugar rather than a box of chocolates. 
Best wishes!

Morality, Money, Our Attachment and Disadvantage of LanguageĀ 

As humans have evolved, we have learnt to become more civilized. This is evident through our differing lifestyles and the fact that this civilized facade is reinforced through rules – i.e the law. In schools, cities, countries, there are all rules and regulations. They can be as little as no littering, no walking on the grass, or as large as the act of murder or rape. With a supposed ‘lack of morals’, bad behavior including promiscuity, deviance and violence can happen. Undoubtedly things occur, but they do not really exist at least in linguistics. 

These have been present since the beginning of time but humans only developed a language and labelled them. Morality has been taught to us. Even murder for survival is punishable but back thousands and even hundreds of years ago (perhaps), this primitive concept of ‘kill or be killed’, was not considered bad. 

Most countries now are advancing and subsequently, we have increasingly better education but we lack a sense of clarity and reasoning. An example of this is getting attacked by somebody and using a weapon such as a knife to defend yourself. You are going against the law by having a knife, even if your own intention to use it is in defense and as a consequence you are prosecuted more heavily by the law than the attacker in the first place. Does this mean there is special consideration and the morals of both involved are bad? What about in the case of death and the attacker is struck where it becomes fatal? Unfortunately humans have to defend themselves at some point in their lives. Whether this is verbally, physically, emotionally it doesn’t matter. 

Everywhere in history there is combat, thieving, brutality, heartache of some sort. This is somewhat ingrained into us and people tend to do what they feel they need to to get by.
We are delusional to the fact that money is a false sense of security, wealth, happiness. 

We’ve been sold the big dream since childhood, that life’s goal is to attain wealth. 

You can be wealthy and poor at the same time. To elaborate, somebody who is spiritually rich may not have many or any material possessions. To a majority, this is viewed as sick, unfitting, unconventional, dirty, impossible, regarded with insult or ‘they’re crazy’. 

The pursuit of enlightenment actually in Eastern culture particularly entails a desireless, egoless, minimalist lifestyle. Have you ever wondered why monks shave their heads? The reason I have discovered is to rid them of attachment or lessen the attachment. Alongside that, the shaving of their heads represents eliminating or diminishing the ego. Society places much importance on looks, rather than internal peace and happiness, forcing advertisements, so-called icons and crap onto us, but monks are shaved of that sense of ego and self-image that bombards us all making us an unhealthy self-conscious and obsessed. 

Drawing back to being wealthy poor, somebody may have a nice house, nice car and nice electronics, but what are those without true love and genuine people to share it with? Do people want to keep up appearances, keep up with the Jones’ or live in little boxes, all the same? It’s insatiable sometimes, trying to keep up with a world that moves so fast. And what is nice to you is not nice to someone else, so who are you trying to impress?

And let us consider how possessive we are. Money can truly bring out the worst in people because so much importance is placed on acquiring it. 

Back to the original title and message – morals are defined by those around us. Whether that be culture, conditioning, parents, institutions, etc, we are ‘taught’ (conditioned) similarly to how we are put through schooling. This is right, this is wrong. Success by doing this, failure by doing that or not doing, etc. 

As for money, where does it go when you die? Where did it come from? Is it just a print with some kind of meaning or measurement in 5, 20, 100 notes? When you spend money, where is it really going? To the charity, to the shop or back in the system? 

We are a world run on a monetary system, and a thriving one at that. Money keeps families alive but it also destroys them. 

Attaching to money is like clinging in a river. There’s a chance you get swept away trying to hold on or you find your way out. Morals are based on your perception. What is bad to one is not bad to another. There are acceptable acts in the world unacceptable in other countries. Who decides? Are morals for order so there is no chaos? Or are they to distract or delude us, allowing law and order and ruling against what is supposed to come naturally?

Think about where you are. Is it where you would like to be? Remain fully present, don’t be concerned with what should be happening, but one can always dream about better things to come. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khOaAHK7efc