The Psychological Condition of Mythomania in Spirituality
Mythomania in spirituality is one of the psychological obstacles that can emerge in people who are interested in spirituality, and even more so in those who become more dedicated. Its roots are in the ego states of pride and vanity, and is one of the psychological traps that a person interested in spirituality could face, others being things such as fanaticism, dogmatic thinking, and adopting a group mentality.
According to dictionary, mythomania is “an excessive or abnormal propensity for lying and exaggerating”. However, in spirituality the term “mythomania” refers more to believing oneself to be above others, to be a spiritual being, or to be favoured by spiritual beings for one reason or another. Or believing oneself to have an incredible esoteric history, to be a fallen bodhisattva or a fallen angel, or to be an incarnation of a significant spiritual or a mythological figure of the past, or just in general believing oneself to have prominent spiritual significance and to be of a higher nature than ordinary people are. Such condition, when referring to it from a spiritual point of view, is not so much related to lying (which would imply that one is conscious of not telling truth), but rather creating an actual belief that such possibility is the correct one. Often time, the acceptance of such a belief would have some grounds, perhaps due to what the individual experienced in the astral plane, or due to what they were told, or perhaps a conclusion that came from reading a book, etc. The mind then rationalizes and assumes, and if the individual has not learned to detach from their ego, if they haven’t learned to observe the subconscious interferences, they will form a belief that over time will become more and more strengthened. Sadly then, as the majority of people in spirituality are not doing the deep work on their egos, many who will find themselves in such a situation could be misled by their own pride and vanity, going around believing themselves to be someone they are not, often trying to persuade others to believe in them and to follow them. Today there are many cases of fake spiritual gurus and self-pronounced spiritual masters who have either fallen into the condition of mythomania, or are aware that they are not who they claim they are, in which case they knowingly mislead their followers.
Mythomania can be a big problem for those who have fallen into this trap, because they would be in a delusion of grandeur, believing themselves to be above others, strengthening the egos of pride and vanity, making life choices that can have bad effects on their long-term future. That’s why it is always much better to stay detached from any of such propositions of the mind. It is better to observe such a proposition, to analyze where it is coming from, if there is any reality to it etc. By so doing we would see that more often than not, such an idea is completely false, an illusion coming from the subconscious mind. Or it may be a preposition that is based on a half-truth or partial information, though when presented by the mind it looks as something concrete and believable. This is how the subconscious works – it always puts its statement in front of us in a way that is false, never objective. And we can clearly observe this when we are detached from our mind and emotions in the moment when the egos manifest, we can see exactly the mental and emotional substance that they use, how they mould it and in what way such forms appear in our mind.
On the path to awakening there comes a point at the end of the First Mountain where the initiate discovers the name of their Atman (Divine Spirit). It is the point when the initiate will be told in the astral plane the name of their Atman, and as Atman is the initiate’s Higher Self, the true self, the initiate can (if they so choose) start using this name, because it belongs to them. It is their eternal name. Many spiritual teachers who have reached that point have chosen to start using such names, which is a right that they have. Victor Emanuel Gomez is one of such spiritual teachers who decided to use the name of his Being, whose name is Samael. Since then, a good number of individuals emerged claiming that they reached the heights of the spiritual work and that they have a Being who is famous in world’s history. One can wonder though, how much of these claims are accurate, how much misinterpreted, and how much of it comes from falling into the trap of mythomania.
If you are told by someone in the astral plane or here in the physical plane that your name is such and such, instead of jumping to conclusion and adopting this new name, it would be better to look into this matter with an investigative approach. This means to verify this information even five times if necessary, always differently, always making sure of your own objectivity and of the objectivity of the source from where this information is coming from. In case you discover that the source is genuine, it would be wise to eliminate the possibility that the name you were told is a title, rather than a true name. For example, dr. Arnold Krum Heller, a prominent esotericist of the 20th century, has adopted the name “Huiracocha” as his spiritual name, but this doesn’t mean that he is the famous ancient god of the Incas, but rather he received this name as part of the initiation that he went through in the physical world. The same goes for Egyptian names such as “Osiris” and “Horus”, given back then in the ancient past to individuals who reached far spiritually.
One story from Samael’s life speaks how a group of his students, who did not yet reached spiritual maturity, asked him to psychically perceive the names of their Beings, and to share that information with them. Apparently he did so, and later on regretted because some of them became vain and proud. After that he refused to share that information with those who are still spiritually immature.
What this story teaches is that, even if the information is accurate, the individual can still fall into the condition of mythomania, because they identify themselves with a pompous mental state which doesn’t have anything to do with reality. The reality is that everyone is full of egos, of subjective and dark states that are mechanical and that control us. Just because someone starts climbing on the path to liberation does not mean that they are suddenly a divine being. Everyone is an intellectual animal until one incarnates the Human Soul, and even pass that point we are still more or less wretched individuals with a lot of darkness within us, which is seen increasingly more clearly when going through the stages of the Second Mountain.
There is a good reason why someone shouldn’t find out the name of their Being until the end of the First Mountain, and that is to avoid falling into mythomania. By the end of the First Mountain we incarnate the first Triad (Atman – Buddhi – Manas, i.e. Spirit – Divine Soul – Human Soul), and we eliminate 50% of our egos. This means that, even if the master becomes prideful upon discovering their name, they would be able to be detached from the egos and centered in the Being. They wouldn’t have any problem with seeing objectively what is going on and eliminate the egos that want to use that information for their advantage.
On the other hand, there have been genuine masters that have suffered many attacks when they publically announced the name of their Being. They have been attacked from people of different spheres of life, but sadly always the most prominently by other students of spirituality, whether from their own spiritual school or others. They were accused of being mythomaniacs, of lying, of distorting the teachings, just because the ones attacking them couldn’t conceive that people can actually succeed in the inner work, which is ironic considering that they themselves are supposedly also working towards the same goal.
In order to avoid having the mythomaniacal delusions of grandeur, one should always be sincere with oneself. We always need to know and be aware of what we are, and what we are not. A simple look within can tell us a great deal, but we need to be honest with ourselves. And if we see that we are progressing, we should always stay on the side of objectivity, following the guidance and the light of the Being, because this is the only way to successfully entangle the egoic knots, without being pulled into their dark states and illusions.
HDP, January 2021.