Let me start with literal meanings of Narcissism and Spiritual.
Narcissism implies “having or showing an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.” And Spiritual stands for something “relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”
Simply putting,spiritual narcissism is flaunting to have an expertise in spiritual experiences, practices, tools and methods to achieve gratification and enhance importance of one’s ego and negative self.
Ironical! Isn’t it? But, no matter, how much strange that might sound, Spiritual Narcissism does exist. As we start treading the path of spirituality or even tries to find a meaning and purpose in life, we might come across spiritual narcissists, who we probably do not even identify completely owing to our ignorance of their existence. They are self-proclaimed Gods who happen to know everything and everyone else, except themselves. There is an unconscious desire to be treated as daunting GURUS (spiritual leaders), without having any true wisdom and knowledge, besides lacking insight into oneself. Although, they revere self-prudence and wisdom associated with spirituality, but are not dignified of such virtues. Rather than actually having experienced the peaks and valleys of this sacred journey; they are more of enchanted by the soul-stirring rewards of spirituality. Such people have a lot of underlying insecurities, which they are afraid to acknowledge and thus, they use spirituality as a tool to their escapism.
Now let me describe some of the prominent traits of spiritual narcissists and certain ways using which we can protect ourselves from such people and lay a true spiritual foundation for ourselves.
These are some of the identifying traits of a spiritual narcissist:
Tools: God and Scriptures
They claim to have thorough knowledge of religious scriptures and pronounce themselves as Children of God or Messengers of God, who are serving the special purpose of the divine.
“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires”. -Susan B. Anthony (American social reformer and Women’s rights activist)
Table of Contents
They are never interested in discussions and two-way conversation and often, they try to dominate and overpower others by arguments and bully them to agree and follow. They mercilessly disregard others’ opinions without giving them any thought.
Feeding on people with high vibe energy, they leave them in a state of confusion, doubting their own capabilities and decisions, hindering their spiritual awakening and growth.
They love to flaunt their knowledge and beliefs without confirming validity and lure others by giving speeches on chakras and spirituality. They consider themselves infallible and erudite.
Use spiritual jargons
They, very frequently and eloquently, use some specialized words and expressions, such as, “Only you can make yourself angry”; “There is no self”; “The world is your mirror. If the world is cruel, you are cruel”.
They are very quick to conclude and speak; they often criticize others but get offended very easily. They cannot take criticism well, are very jealous and vindictive besides being controlling and uncompromising.
They prefer to live in their own ego-cubicle and surround themselves with the people who follow them and feed their ego.
They often resist looking hard at the uncomfortable truths that may hurt their ego and they fear change.
They claim to have only unconditional love and compassion for each and every living being.
There are, however, some ways to protect ourselves from spiritual narcissists.
Dive deep within your own truths to identify them, acknowledge them, and embrace them with love, and not fear.
Using some spiritual practices, viz., Meditation, Reiki healing, etc., as given and developed by great spiritual masters, you can disconnect yourself from their energies.
Following your interests. Connecting with like-minded people. Getting involved in activities that rejuvenate your energy and tinker with your creativity.
Setting some limits with people and choosing who you want to share your energy with. Be vigilant of changes in your moods and energy levels around people. Learning and exercising saying ‘NO’ to the energy suckers.
Question and Trust yourself
Always question yourself regarding what you really want and need and always trust your instincts. No one knows you better than yourself.
“Spirituality is a trigger for sagacious insanity—the type of insanity which leads to the awakening of the wisdom residing deep inside all of us”.