Looking into ‘Spiritual’ Arrogance
Pride has many ways to manifest itself, and one of them is through interest in spirituality. Unfortunately, a lot of folks don’t really notice that this is happening within them, because their idea of the inner work is a water-down version of that which the inner work actually is, or the knowledge of it is simply lacking all together. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see the same interplay of egos when meeting people with an interest in spirituality. The same interplay, though often more refined and clever.
It takes a real interest in the inner work to be honest with oneself, in order to really see what we are lacking and what we have in excess. If we wish to eliminate the ego, then we have to be in the know of these things in order to do the work properly. In the beginning of the awakening process we may be caught up in emotional enthusiasm, but later as this settles down we do the inner work with more clarity. It’s like this with every new skill – with time, we become more experienced.
The advantage of the Gnostic work is that we have to actively work on the ego and the consciousness, from moment to moment, and thus discovering oneself, exposing darkness and liberating light within. It is an active process in which we have to see everything that emerges within us, properly acknowledge it and work on it. By so doing, if we genuinely wish to change, then we will progress and won’t be misled on a large scale by our defects. This means that if an ego such as arrogance emerges, if we are observing ourselves and understand what we truly are and what we are not, we will see it for what it is and can work to get rid of it. As arrogance is an aspect of pride, it is gradually eliminated as we starve out pride and purify our personality.
On the other hand, there are many folks who embark on the spiritual waters without proper guidance, with a small interest in the inner work, or no real interest in it at all. There are many who enter into various forms of spiritual teachings and begin to develop what’s known as the mystical pride, believing themselves to be above everyone else, because they are doing something important that most others are not doing. The same thing can happen in the life of a Gnostic student, but the latter has the advantage of knowing that to awaken the consciousness one needs to study the egos, work on the consciousness and the sexual energies. Otherwise, the mystical pride keeps growing and fortifying, and with it, we become more and more arrogant.
It is strange to see this ‘spiritual’ arrogance manifesting in people who believe themselves to do well, now that they have developed an interest in spirituality and are doing a lot of activities in these regards. It is strange to see this self-deception of the ego, which makes people believe that just because they started developing an interest into things such astrology, freemasonry, gnosis, reiki, yoga asanas, meditation, ayahuasca etc. that they are on the path to awakening, have sorted out their life and know more than everyone around them.
This aspect of pride, this arrogance, makes us foolish in the eyes of those who stand beside us and look at things objectively; they see how asleep we are when we act that way, when we are trapped in this layer of the ego. Though, unlike strong egos like lust, we could step out of it very easily. The only thing that is necessary is to look within and to realize that pride has nothing to do with spirituality, that it actually goes in the opposite direction of spiritual awakening. We have a potential to know that when we are psychologically clear and look within with sincerity.
HDP, September 2022.