Spirit, Science, and Metaphysics

Spirit, Science, and Metaphysics

Spirit, Science, and Metaphysics

Over the last four years, I moved away from talking about the mechanics of metaphysics and psychic development and focused solely on the more advanced aspects of spirituality, like emotional states, self-awareness, and trauma healing. I began learning astrology, too! But with my recent post about the intersection of those things–Law of Attraction and abuse–I realized that there’s still a lot of interest about those mechanics, so I thought I’d do a refresher post for anyone who is new here, and perhaps package it all up into one neat blog post.

What is spirituality, anyway?

Metaphysics: a branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality and deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space. Metaphysics studies the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality.

Spirituality is the convergence point between science, philosophy, and psychology, also known as metaphysics. It is not a religion. You can’t be anti-science and truly be pro spirituality, as science is a fundamental and integral part of spirituality. A lot of so-called spiritual people are very anti-science, though, and that actually becomes a block to their spiritual development because they build a belief system around it and it places them in an unbalanced state. In other words, it keeps them out of alignment.

If you pay close enough attention, you’ll find that anti-science versions of spirituality mimic Christian ideologies. Flat Earth theory, for example, often circulates among groups in the spiritual community. It is incredibly anti-science and its foundational precept is that science is attempting to eliminate “God,” therefore anything related to science can’t be trusted.

This is a belief as old as science itself, when the church felt its dominant power being threatened during the Renaissance period and began persecuting budding scientists right alongside witches and pagans who were also being persecuted for gravitating to spiritual concepts. Several of the great early minds in science, including Isaac Newton, were occultists and the same goes for philosophy and psychology. You have to have a bit of a bent toward mysticism to want to study the nature of reality in all of its forms. And what are those forms?

Science is the physical arm of spirituality (body), while philosophy is the mental portion (logical mind), and psychology is the heart (spirit). The holy trinity. You can’t have a balanced, holistic view of our human experience without all three of them working in unison.

Hence what I said earlier about spiritual people who are anti-science being out of balance. They’ve cut themselves off from learning and integrating information about a fundamental piece of the human experience.

Why is religion considered a belief system and these things aren’t? In a sense, religion attempts to dictate reality through a socio-cultural system of designated behaviors, practices, and morals. On the other hand, science, philosophy, and psychology are the study of reality as it naturally occurs. They make and record objective observations (as objective as one can be). Naturally, as we are still growing and evolving, we are still learning and making observations about the nature of our reality.

Our study is not yet complete, and neither is our model of physics, our understanding of the human mind, or our understanding of the human experience, and it likely won’t be within our lifetime. In the meantime, there exists a gap in scientific knowledge about certain aspects of our experiences, such as those of a spiritual and paranormal nature. Some of the experiences that fall under that umbrella can be explained, if not fully then at least partially, but there’s a small few which have yet to be, including human consciousness, and that is what the majority of spiritualists concern themselves with.

Spiritual Laws of the Universe

A very large part of the foundational principles of spirituality are actually built on science, hence why I say you cannot dismiss science and still be spiritual–you would be denying the understandings of foundations of spirituality itself. There’s several fundamental spiritual laws which are based upon scientific laws, mainly as they apply to consciousness. One must understand several fundamental rules of consciousness as part of their studies of spirituality.

Consciousness

Consciousness is our ability to be self-aware: our thoughts, ideas, beliefs. The intangible aspects of ourselves. What is consciousness made of? Where does it come from? This is what we’re exploring when we talk about spirit.

A fundamental principle of spirituality is that consciousness and energy are one and the same. That means that because everything, even the physical matter in the universe, is made of energy, that everything is also consciousness, even if in a latent, non-aware form.

The general consensus among spiritual thinkers is that consciousness exists in quantum form outside of the body (rather than being produced by the brain itself) and that the brain acts as an antenna of sorts.

Science itself does not yet necessarily recognize this, though we are discovering aspects of quantum mechanics that may hint at it. Some scientists are currently exploring the notion that consciousness as science currently views it is produced at the quantum level inside the brain. Stuart Hameroff and 2020 Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Roger Penrose are two scientists examining this hypothesis.

The Law of Conservation of Energy

The Law of Conservation of Energy: energy in a closed system can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted from one form to another.

We live in a physical universe where everything is made of energy in various forms. This is a scientific fact (facts are objective scientific observations). From this observation, spiritualists assume that consciousness itself must also be energy. As such, consciousness can neither be created nor destroyed. This is a common explanation for the existence of spirits and an afterlife.

The Law of Karma

The Law of Karma can also be encompassed under a couple of existing scientific principles: the Law of Cause and Effect and the Law of Action and Reaction.

The law of cause and effect is the foundation of the scientific process as noted by the man I mentioned earlier, Sir Issac Newton. It states that there is a reason for everything that happens. For every effect, there is a cause, whether we know it or not. And likewise, for every cause, there is an effect, which leads us to Newton’s third law: the Law of Action and Reaction. This law states that when two bodies interact, they apply forces to one another that are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. In other words, this equal-yet-opposite force is a mechanism through which we experience duality.

You see these forces play out in the concept of karma. Every belief, attitude, and action we take on earth sends out a ripple of energy that effects the physical world around us, including other people: cause and effect. Karmic energy is the after-effects of our words and actions–the legacy we leave behind us. When the negative consequences of our words and actions outweigh the positive consequences of our words and actions, our karmic legacy is unbalanced. Those consequences hold a heavier energy, and that heavy energetic legacy is left behind on earth when we die, both in our culture and the people we had interpersonal relationships with, contributing to the overall energy signature of the collective.

Likewise, our beliefs, attitudes, words, and actions often initiate equal and opposite reactions in the people around us: action and reaction. Opposing political ideologies is one clear example. The opposing force rises up in an effort to balance the karmic energy being left behind on the planet.

Just like the law of conservation of energy states, that heavy karmic energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed. We are the ones who transform that energy when we focus on expanding our consciousness and healing the effects that karmic energy has had on ourselves, society, and the planet, thus changing the actions we take and the consequences of them.

Psychology and its various branches, like sociology, are in a way a study of karma, as well as an avenue through which to resolve it.

Time is an Illusion

When people think about karma, they almost always associate it with reincarnation. One of the fundamental beliefs behind the concept of reincarnation is that we must come back to earth in order to balance the karma we left behind in a past life, however, you’ll hear many spiritual teachers telling you that there past and no future, and that the “now” moment is all that exists. So how do we reconcile these two seemingly conflicting notions? Science has the answer!

Thanks to Einstein’s theory of special relativity, we know that our perception of time is intrinsically tied to space and the velocity at which we are moving through it. The faster we are moving, the slower time moves. Once we reach the speed of light, time stops.

Now remember that everything in the universe is made of energy, including consciousness. Light is also energy. In spirituality, we recognize these three things as being one and the same. This means that the energy of your consciousness, also known as your soul, is made up of light. This means that your soul exists at the speed of light. And if your soul exists at the speed of light…that means that it is not bound by time.

Read my previous blog post Time is an Illusion to learn more about this subject.

Therefore, from your soul’s perspective, there is no past or future. Only the present moment. That also means that all of your perceived past and present incarnations all exist concurrently in the present moment, and that the karmic energy of your other lives are being balanced in real-time with your actions in this one.

Now, if you really want to get trippy in terms of karma, you can also take into account the possibility that not only do we have a single reality that we exist in, but also multiple, alternate, parallel realities where some other version of our current and past selves play out additional scenarios of experience other than what we are experiencing from our current perspective, and those experiences are also attempting to balance the karmic energy of other concurrent lives.

As we evolve in this life, we also evolve and balance the karmic energies of all of our connected life experiences. This is why some spiritual teachers say we are here to work off karmic debts and others tell you that you only need to “breathe and be.” Their understanding is coming from two different levels of awareness.

The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction is another aspect of the Law of Karma which states that like energy attracts like energy. Let me be clear with that distinction: LOA is not like attracts like. That’s overly-simplistic and leads to a lot of misunderstanding. It is like energy attracts like energy.

How things appear on the surface may look similar, however, the underlying energy and intentions can be completely different. For example, you have two people doing psychic readings. The general assumption is that both people are “lightworkers.” However, one of those people is attracted to this position of authority as a means to gain power, control, and fame, and the other is attracted to this position of authority because they see it as a mission and genuinely want to help people heal. The underlying energies are complete opposites.

So if we want to truly understand the law of attraction, we have to understand it in energetic terms: heavy energy attracts heavy energy. Lighter energy attracts lighter energy. The vibrational frequencies of the energies are a match.

Duality comes from the illusion that there exists a lack of love. We call that illusion fear (not to be confused with danger). Fear-based energy is heavy and dense. Thus, fear-based energy manifests as spectrum of polarity (duality).

For example: total control and total submission exist on the same power spectrum and they are both symptoms of a heavier, “negative,” fear-based energy, one being a hunger for power, and the other being a state of feeling powerless. Thus, these two energies attract because they are the same fundamental energy, and give the illusion of opposites attracting.

When a person is embodying the heavy energy of control, they are attracted to people and situations who are embodying the heavy energy of powerlessness. This is how and why abusers seek out individuals with a lack of healthy boundaries. When an abuser meets someone with a healthy sense of boundaries, they will be repelled from being in relationship with that person because that person’s energy is not a match. Once they test those boundaries and recognize that they can’t consistently penetrate them without consequence, they will move on until they find someone who is easier to exploit.

Trauma energy is unprocessed fear that is lodged in our energy bodies. It manifests as fear-based beliefs, low self-esteem, and chronic anxiety, depression, hate, anger, etc. When that trauma has to do with a family or a social group, we call it generational or ancestral karma.

When we transmute that energy and convert it into a lighter form, that looks like healing trauma, dissolving and releasing energy blockages, having shifts in perspective and awareness, and increasing our self-esteem and capacity for empathy. One might describe this as resolving or releasing karma.

When one has healed that trauma and released the fear-based energy and programming, they will no longer attract those dualistic power dynamics, because they won’t tolerate them. Thus, a person with healthy boundaries is attracted to situations and partners who respect those boundaries.

When we are unaware of or avoiding our trauma, those repeated dualistic experiences trigger us into to recognizing our trauma energy. These repeated experiences are like re-breaking a bone in order for it to be set and healed correctly. When we aren’t paying attention or aren’t aware of the opportunity for healing, the universe and our subconscious mind, via the Law of Attraciton, keeps leading us back into situations and relationships that repeating the patterns to get our attention. Once you start to pay attention, you’re able to engage in the process consciously and end the pattern.

Triggering is a psychological term related to trauma and should not be confused with casual use in spirituality. Learn more.

In this way, you can look at the Law of Attraction as the mechanism through which we experience karma, and psychology as the avenue we use to heal karma and harness the Law of Attraction.

The Law of Attraction is not how we create karma and it is not a punishment for our actions. It’s just a force of nature, like gravity. It exists independently from the human (dualistic) concepts of “good” and “bad.”

So how do we come to create karma and hold trauma energy in the first place?

Read my post on Abuse and the Law of Attraction to learn more about this and the fundamentals behind LOA.

Karma is once again the culprit–the cause and effect of other people’s beliefs and actions, and the societal structures and cultures built around those beliefs throughout history. Unhealed trauma energy begets more trauma energy. It gets handed down from generation to generation. Karma was here before you and it will be here after you, and your actions while you are here contribute to the collective karmic energy on earth and within our own societies and familial lineages.

Therefore, the way for us to end this cycle is for all of us to focus on healing our personal trauma and changing the societal systems and cultures that perpetuate that trauma.

That, my friends, is the mechanics of spirituality in a nutshell.

I hope you learned a lot from this post about how science, psychology, and various aspects of spirituality are interrelated. I highly recommend reading the additional posts I recommended, as they will expand your understanding of these concepts.

Xo,

Ash

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New to Spirituality?

Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.

5 Toxic People To Avoid On Your Spiritual Journey

5 Toxic People To Avoid On Your Spiritual Journey

5 Toxic People To Avoid On Your Spiritual Journey

As I watch the world around me, I recognize that more and more people are beginning to experience the early stages of spiritual awakening. Last week, I re-published a post that I wrote six years ago about the phases of spiritual awakening and if you’ve read it, I think you’ll agree that many many people in 2020 are experiencing the earliest stages. Those who are in this pre-enlightenment stage of spirituality are in a vulnerable place in their journey and being that there are so many of them, it puts us in a precarious and vulnerable situation as a collective.

Today I wanted to delve more in-depth into some of the pitfalls of those phases that I touched upon in that post in an effort to help those of you who are new to this journey navigate some of the murkier waters of spirituality that I’ve encountered over the last 10 years, specifically the most toxic people you’ll meet on this journey who can and will do you and the collective harm.

The Egoic Psychic

Many years ago, my psychic development teacher told our class, “Just because someone is psychic does not mean they are spiritual.” Indeed, there are many psychics, healers, and channelers out there who operate within fear-based, dualistic belief systems. Some use their metaphysical abilities to feed their own ego rather than engage in the shadow work necessary to make themselves a clear channel, and still others are simply scam artists passing themselves off as spiritual practitioners.

How to recognize them: These people are pretty easy to spot. They’ll come at you and attempt to position themselves as “more enlightened than thou” because they are psychic and can speak to the dead, channel the Galactic Federation of Light, or whomever they are claiming to be their connection to Truth in an attempt to hold power over you.

They make bold and wild claims like being the earthly incarnation of a famous historical figure or esoteric entity, or that they are in a special relationship with one. They may claim to be in contact with dead celebrities, or the “chosen channel” for some bygone demigod (Jesus or Mary Magdalene for example), or some other metaphysical status which feeds their ego and sets them apart from the regular humans. They are “special” and they want you to know it. The more fear-based ones may claim that you have negative entity attachments, curses, or are otherwise under psychic attack from some invisible force that only they can see, and therefore, only they can help you. You’re not allowed to question them, and they’re always going to demand something from you, whether it’s admiration and attention or money.

Many famous psychics have made famously wrong predictions, Sylvia Brown to name one. I’ve personally encountered or heard stories of psychics and mediums claiming to be in intimate relationships with dead celebrities, impregnated by Archangel Michael, telling people they are demonically possessed, and even making very wrong predictions about people’s family members dying. And of course there’s also tales of psychics offering to lift imaginary curses off of you for the low low price of $400 or more.

Why you’re vulnerable: Early on in your spiritual journey, as you begin to explore new concepts and ideas, you have a more open mind and are willing to consider ideas and information that you may have previously dismissed. When you’re in this questioning stage, you don’t yet have a strong connection to your own intuition or your own direct line to Truth, so you’re more willing to get that Truth from other, outside sources, and not all of these sources are credible. People think that just because these people have psychic abilities that their every prediction is accurate, or that how they are interpreting it is correct without taking into consideration that they have their own mental health issues and untreated spiritual dis-ease that may contribute to taking their readings off the rails. Maintaining a healthy amount of skepticism about the information people try to feed you is imperative as well as learning to recognize egotism when you see it.

Learn how to discern mental illness from spiritual experiences.

The Sexual (Predator) Healer

When we reach a stage of our spiritual journey where we’re beginning to examine our own shadow, we’re often faced with a multitude of personal crises that leave us emotionally raw and seeking healing. Kindness and compassion are something we gravitate toward as we look for trustworthy people to hold space for us as we heal, but there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there parading around as healers, particularly of a sexual nature. I’ve come across multiple male energy healers who attempt to capitalize on emotional vulnerability as an avenue for crossing sexual boundaries, and it’s also rampant in the astrology community.

How to recognize them: These people come in a variety of costumes. Some pose as tantric healers who “use sexual energy” to help you heal. Sexual energy can be healing when you’re with a partner whom you know well and have a deep sense of trust with, but NO SPIRITUAL PRACTITIONER IS EVER GOING TO ATTEMPT TO HAVE CASUAL SEX WITH YOU TO HEAL YOU. None. Ever. Fucking throw that concept out the god damn window.

True story: I used to see profiles on dating apps of male “reiki” practitioners looking for casual sex claiming they had the ability to heal women through sex. Nothing has ever turned my stomach more.

Others will be far more subtle. They may offer you “free” energy work, but eventually begin to introduce sexual micro-aggressions. This is how a predator tests your boundaries for vulnerabilities to see if they can escalate the relationship into something more sexual. Exercise extreme caution when accepting free energy work from anyone that you don’t know well. A true healer will ALWAYS respect your boundaries and NEVER do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. If the thought that this person has crossed a line even remotely enters your awareness, or you feel even mildly uncomfortable with their behavior, THAT MEANS A BOUNDARY HAS BEEN CROSSED. Don’t ignore it. Always say something and cut off contact.

John of God is a famous Brazilian “healer” who amassed hundreds of thousands of followers all over the world. He reached a level of international new age fame, including being featured by Oprah. He was also jailed in 2019 for raping over 300 women, including his own daughter.

Why you’re vulnerable: If you have a prior history of sexual or emotional abuse, you are particularly vulnerable to this, because your nervous system does not easily recognize these kinds of boundary violations (because it’s used to being violated). If you have a history of abuse of any kind, I urge you to seek out trauma-informed practitioners rather than accepting free services from seemingly good samaritans–particularly if they are of the opposite sex. And look for any and all resources about how to recognize and set strong boundaries.

The Dilettante Coach/Influencer

In the excitement of the pre-enlightenment phases of awakening, many people who are early in their spiritual journey jump into the evangelism phase with gusto, becoming spiritual social media influencers and even offering coaching services or readings of some kind. The problem is that they’ve not yet engaged on their own shadow work and as such, are only able to guide people from the shallow depths of the work that they’ve done. In many cases, these people are not at all trauma-informed and still greatly unaware of their own issues, and when they set out to start helping others, they end up projecting their own issues onto their clients and doing more harm than good. It’s the blind leading the blind.

How to recognize them: These people tend to talk about having had a “sudden awakening” where they saw the Truth of the universe, and then almost immediately afterward, set out to become a spiritual coach or teacher (or psychic or medium). They’ve also often rapidly accumulated a social media following.

They are demonstrating what psychologists refer to as the Dunning-Kruger effect, where amateurs tend to be over-confident (and experts tend to be underconfident). But having an intellectual or conceptual understanding of spirituality is merely scratching the surface, and until one does the necessary shadow work required to fully embody and integrate that knowledge through experience, they will often engage in spiritual bypassing and share information that lacks a depth of understanding required to be a spiritual teacher. But that doesn’t matter to them, because this kind of behavior is more about financial success and internet fame/notoriety than it is about mission and responsibility.

They’ll often become defensive, block you for some “spiritual” reason, or try to use their spiritual terminology to gaslight you after you question them, or they’ll sick their army of social media followers and influencer friends on you if you for disagreeing with them. A lot of them charge an absurd amount of money to work with them and operate like a business, not a teacher.

True story: My attention was recently brought to an online “spiritual” women’s coach with a large audience on Facebook who made a post chastising women who experienced coerced rape as having porous boundaries and told them, “Regret isn’t rape.”

 

As a women’s coach and a healer in a country where one out of every five women has been sexually assaulted, she has a responsibility to her audience and her paying clients to educate herself about women’s issues, and to be responsible with what she says in that regard.

 

Anyone who is even remotely trauma-informed, has a background in psychology, or is simply educated about rape culture knows how much shame and guilt rape victims deal with. For one of them to then go online and see a person in a position of alleged authority effectively validate their worst fear–that what someone else did to them was their fault–is incredibly harmful, and extremely ignorant on behalf of this “coach” who has claimed that she is here to heal people. Her careless victim shaming can lead someone into a shame spiral that ends in suicide.

 

One might even go so far as to suspect that this coach has likely experienced coerced rape at some point in her life and internalized her own shame and guilt around it, has convinced herself that it was her fault for not having better boundaries (newsflash: the only people who take advantage of people with bad boundaries are people who have no respect for boundaries. I.e. abusers) and because she has not done the work to heal herself, she is now projecting her own shame onto other women by only holding the victim accountable and more or less absolving the abuser of any wrongdoing in the process.

Even people who seem like they should have a better grasp on how their actions as a wellness influencer affect their followers such as the Holistic Psychologist and Mastin Kipp have recently been outed as having little to no self-awareness about issues involving anti-racism with their dealings with the Black community. And hey, in 2020, literally no one is perfect, but as a spiritual practitioner, if you can’t self-reflect deeply enough to see your own bias even when people are pointing it out for you or at least commit to making an attempt, then what are you doing trying to lead others in self-reflection?

Why you’re vulnerable: Humans are primed to look for social proof that someone is an expert. Using the right terminology and having a massive number of followers gives the appearance of depth. These people have pretty, professional photos and great brand messaging. They look credible, and other apparently credible people are talking about them, so why shouldn’t they be credible? But in this day and age, social media followers can be bought, being connected to the right people–even if you don’t really know what you’re talking about–can expand fan bases, and paying boatloads of money for professional graphics, photos, and meaningless online course certifications can give anyone the facade of being a professional without actually having the life experience and spiritual depth to back it up.

Learn how to spot a spiritually immature influencer.

The Cult Leader

There’s been a lot of new age cults in the news lately, including NXIVM sex-cult leader Ken Raniere. Upon first glance, it’s difficult to understand how seemingly good people are recruited into such wildly abusive lifestyles, but when you understand that cults prey on vulnerable people, it becomes apparent that those who fall into these traps are often seeking acceptance from a community and have a history of abuse which renders them nearly incapable of recognizing proper boundaries.

How to recognize them: These people, like many of the others on the list, are simply narcissistic personalities masquerading in spiritual garb. They target vulnerable people who are seeking to be loved and start out by love-bombing them with validation and telling them why they’re special in order to get them hooked and if they’re charismatic enough, it will work. Then, once they have them, they slowly begin to chip away at their already fragile self esteem through manipulation, gaslighting, condescension, and other subtle yet gradually escalating abuses until one day, the abuse reaches staggering proportions (in the case of NXIVM, it was BDSM and fire-branded initials) and the victim is so mind-fucked they don’t know what’s real and what isn’t.

Many cult leaders isolate their flock and erode their trust in outside information, positioning themselves as the only source of “Truth.” They’ll gaslight their members to the point that they can’t recognize up from down and staggering self-doubt is enough to keep them hanging around.

True story: I once had a guy online try to convince me that I was one of only 18 Pleiadian hybrid “messiahs” incarnated on earth at this time to save the planet and he had developed a system to identify and prove who was one (i.e. you’re special… only I can show you how special you are, here, let me show you…). All of the other alleged messiahs also happened to be attractive, young brunettes. He, of course, was the incarnation of the Pleiadian King (See, I’m special, too. Even more special), and we were all to be his wives (ah, there’s the catch…) and he was building a city–the new Zion–that would survive the catastrophic end of the world (fear-based belief system), which was coming soon, naturally (time-sensitive urgency). He was also creepy and old and CLEARLY INSANE.

 

Each piece of the story is carefully crafted to play to vulnerabilities and fears, ultimately luring the victim in through a series of pulls (compliments and validation) and pushes (fear, panic, and scare-tactics). The end goal was isolation (the new Zion), and he’d already positioned himself in power by claiming he was a “king.”

 

Fortunately, this guy was not nearly charismatic enough to build a cult, but if he were, it would have been a dangerous combination.

Why you’re vulnerable: This is a combination of the history of abuse vulnerability I mentioned with the Sexual (Predator) Healer and the open-minded naivety discussed with the Egoic Psychic, which means that this personality can hit you on multiple fronts. Some of them, like Ken Reniere, have even amassed an outward appearance of success and charisma, or latched onto a network of people with famous and fortune (such is the case of Scientology), much like the Dilettante Coach/Influencer. The Cult Leader is a triple threat and a master of manipulation, which is what makes them the most dangerous person you’ll meet on your spiritual path. Sometimes these people hit a trifecta of fame, influence, cult-like followings, marketability, and sexual trauma, such as in the case of the OneTaste, an overpriced new age sex cult that claimed to help people heal from sexual trauma.

Learn how to spot signs of spiritual authoritarianism and spiritual abuse.

The Spiritual Karen

Of all of these people you might meet on your spiritual journey, the Spiritual Karen is probably the least dangerous on an individual level, but the most dangerous because there’s power in numbers, and make no mistake: they are legion.

Often found lurking in suburban households, the organic-only aisle of your local Whole Foods, the front row of your hot yoga class, or posting inspirational quotes in your aunt Linda’s essential oils downline Facebook group, these Karens are onto spirituality like the next MLM fad.

Spiritual Karens are inconspicuous and consider themselves well-meaning. Most of them are in the Evangelism phase of their own spiritual journey and they’re happy to spread the love and light. The problem is, they haven’t quite done their spiritual homework, much less their shadow work, and are woefully lacking in self-awareness, so they have absolutely no clue that half of the time when they are dispensing spiritual “advice,” (which is usually just parroting back their limited understanding of a spiritual quote they saw posted by a Dilettante Coach/Influencer on Instagram) they’re actually being dismissive, derogatory, occasionally racist, and engaging in spiritual bypassing.

Spiritual Karens are the soldiers in The Dilettante Coach/Influencer’s army of social media followers. The Beyhive to the Dilettante’s Beyonce. They also suffer from the same Dunning-Kruger effect as the Dilettante, but in true MLM fashion, only have a local audience. If they weren’t so driven by unrepentant self-righteousness, you’d almost feel sorry for them. They really just don’t know any better, and due to that severe lack of self-awareness, may never learn.

How to recognize them: Spiritual Karens are big believers in toxic positivity and the law of attraction, and say and do things like:

  • You can’t think negative thoughts because you’ll manifest them.
  • Good vibes only.
  • Fake it until you make it.
  • When somebody violates your boundaries or otherwise harms you with their words and actions, you should just “let it go” (as though you could…).
  • Will shame you for being “judgmental” of others, not realizing they are being judgmental of others by shaming you.
  • Often engages in hypocritical behavior because they believe their excuse is valid when no one else’s is.
  • Lives to invalidate your emotions.
  • The way to solve society’s problems is to pretend they don’t exist.
  • The way to solve their own problems is to pretend they don’t exist.
  • The way to solve your problems is to pretend they don’t exist.
  • People of color are manifesting their own experiences with racism because they have a victim mentality, and likewise, women who experience sexual assault are also manifesting their experiences because of their own thoughts.
  • I can’t get the coronavirus because I don’t exist on the same vibrational frequency.
  • “I refuse to live in fear.”
  • High probability of being into Pastel QAnon.
  • May be found trashing a mask display at your local Target.

Why you’re vulnerable: Spiritual Karens can do damage by the sheer volume of their ignorance. But you’re not so much vulnerable to be victimized by a Spiritual Karen–unless you’re a marginalized group in society fighting for social justice, an immunocompromised or elderly member of society attempting to avoid COVID, a good samaritan attempting not to infect one of those people, a minimum-wage retail worker, the manager, or a dissenter making a comment on a Dilettante’s instagram post–as you are to become a Spiritual Karen.

Humility, integrity, self-awareness, and deep empathy are the kryptonite for a Spiritual Karen–and they are the very things that every person on this list lacks. If you, yourself, often practice these things, you don’t have to worry about becoming a Spiritual Karen, or any of the above.

In the same way that my psychic development teacher said that just because someone is psychic, it doesn’t meant they are spiritual–just because someone is “spiritual” or doing spiritual work with the public, it doesn’t mean they:

You can only teach others, lead others, and heal others from the same depth at which you’ve learned, led, and healed yourself.

Learn how to identify spiritual bypassing and spiritual gaslighting.

If you need help discerning who is and isn’t the real deal when it comes to spiritual teachers, coaches, and influencers, check out my post on how to know if a spiritual teacher is credible.

Xo,

Ash

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New to Spirituality?

Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.

Are You Awake or Just Woke?

Are You Awake or Just Woke?

Are You Awake or Just Woke?

There’s a new documentary making the rounds now about social media’s effects on society. I also caught the follow-up of Plandemic which was trying to paint a similar picture (that Google is run by evil people who want to brainwash you into believing whatever they choose to show you). The idea is becoming very popular, so I wanted to talk about it for a minute and pose a couple of philosophical questions.

The Social Dilemma

Everyone reading this probably believes in the concept of the Law of Attraction: that what you believe in/think about, you manifest. In other words, whatever you are, you get more of, until you change what you are.

This is not entirely different from how social media and Google algorithms work. Whatever you click on, you get more of. Until you change what you click on. I’ve worked in some form of digital marketing pretty much since Twitter was invented (2007 or so) and as part of my job, I’ve had to understand the how the algorithms work and keep up with how they’ve changed-both for the delivery of ads and organic growth of business pages on Facebook, and for the delivery of ads and organic rankings of websites on Google.

I’ve known for years that whatever I click on (and especially whatever I share), I’m going to get more of, so I only click on the things that I want to see more of. That’s why my instagram feed is full of A-frame houses in Norway, cat and bird videos, and the occasional inspirational quote. I specifically do not click on all of the Tik Tok videos of teen girls with giggly boobs doing dances in bikinis because I DON’T want more of that (and yet they keep making them… lordt).

I also know that some influencer or coach somewhere is probably going to end up in my feed at some point because they’ve created an ad that targets people with interests similar to that of their target audience. And sometimes I appreciate that because it introduces me to new people. But most of the time I roll my eyes because those people are hypocrites in some form or fashion.

It’s not a secret or a conspiracy that Facebook, or Twitter, or any other technology platform has tried to hide from anyone. There are people who literally make their living by writing article after article about how these platforms work and teaching small business owners how to use them. If you truly want to understand how it works, you don’t need to watch a spooky conspiracy “documentary” (I use that word loosely because Plandemic is not a documentary, its propaganda, which is another word I do not use loosely. It literally meets the definition of propaganda).

Just like with the Law of Attraction, my social media feed and Google searches show me the things I’ve already been thinking about, searching for, and clicking on. In other words, they mirror back to me my version of reality, just like the law of attraction does.

At what point do we stop blaming things outside of ourselves–evil cabals of cannibal celebrities, the deep state, or Google’s algorithm–for the consequences of our own actions (or inactions)?

At what point do we start making active and logical decisions about the information we choose take in?

People want to say “SOCIAL MEDIA IS CONDITIONING YOU TO THINK THIS WAY!” But the reality is that it isn’t. They are allowing themselves to be conditioned by the information they are choosing to engage with–by not engaging in a critical thinking process.

Are You Awake or Just Woke?

In spirituality, we have this concept of living consciously and being “awake” verses living your life asleep. One of, if not the most common misconceptions I see the “wake up sheeple” crowd make is believing that being awake means that you are “woke” to the ills of the world. That’s not what being awake means at all. Not even close. It also doesn’t (only) mean that you are aware that there is more to the universe than what is physically in front of it. It’s deeper than all of these things.

Being awake means living your life with conscious intention.

It means becoming aware of your subconscious patterns and habits, and learning to recognize when you are slipping into them. It means recognizing when your emotional reactions are driving your behavior. It means recognizing when your shadow-self is taking over. Only when you are awake and aware of your own shadow can you see the world objectively enough to be truly aware of what’s happening around you.

Humans really like to blame anybody and anything other than themselves for how they think–and sure, when we’re kids, we are conditioned by our parents’ beliefs and our society and culture because we don’t have any other point of reference. It’s only when we grow older, get a little more experience under our belts, and see more of the world that we (hopefully) begin the process of expansion.

People who have truly done their inner-work to deprogram themselves and heal their trauma, who have learned the principles of non-attachment, who know their spiritual values, and use those as a cornerstone to anchor the kind of reality they choose to create will actively employ those things as measures against what they will perceive as Truth and what will not. Additionally, because they’ve done the work on their own ego, become happy with themselves and no longer have the need to be liked, they’re less likely to go along with what others say as a way of people-pleasing. As such, they are far less susceptible to group think. And that’s what it means to be conscious. 

Know Thyself

Non-attachment is very key, because it keeps you from latching onto information simply because you WANT it to be true (and just because you want it to be true–i.e. it confirms your own biases, etc.–doesn’t mean that it is). Non-attachment allows you to look at and evaluate information from various angles.

Knowing your values is what helps you determine if a person/thing measures up to your spirituality. My personal core values are:

  • Integrity
  • Authenticity
  • Vulnerability
  • Knowledge
  • Empathy
  • Connection

Does the source of the information that I’m reading come from someone who is authentic, has integrity, shows vulnerability, or a deep knowledge and understanding about something? Do they have empathy? Do they care about the whole? If the answer to any of those questions is no, or I don’t know, then those are red flags.

Finally, critical thinking is the most obvious and important way to gauge information. But what you will find is that people will use spirituality to bypass critical thinking (this is another form of spiritual bypassing, particularly if the critical thinking piece is going to catalyze inner-growth). As we’ve discussed previously, critical thinking means objectively measuring and weighing the validity of new information, and non-attachment and the values test are tools for critical thinking.

In summary, my main point with this post is that we need to start taking personal responsibility for the information we consume, and the people who claim technology is brainwashing them (or anyone) are not doing that… because they don’t want to be responsible for themselves. Being responsible for yourself is hard. Being responsible for what you think and believe, on the surface, is super easy, but as we know from shadow work, it’s probably actually one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do.

Xo,

Ash

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The Divine Feminist

The Divine Feminist

The Divine Feminist

I was lazing around the house the other day when I had a highdea–more like an epiphany, actually.

A lot of what I’ve been writing about for the last three years is feminism, but through a spiritual lens. I’ve always associated third wave feminism with the rise of the Divine Feminine, but through that lens, I’ve seen feminism as not just a movement for women, but a movement for everyone.

Patriarchy is the suppression of the Divine Feminine essence within each of us (and as a consequence, the feminine bodies around us).

Learn about the Divine Feminine.

The Divine Feminine is our emotions, our empathy, our intuition, our pleasure, and our connection to the divine in ourselves and the universe. Without the feminine, we would not be able to know, feel, or recognize that we are all connected, and that we are all one with the greater force of the universe which is Love.

We have created a culture where the feminine essence is persecuted, condemned, suppressed, and ridiculed, especially within men. When the connection to the feminine essence is severed, it creates a deep core wound. And then those men (and many times women as well), cut off from their connection with universal Love and operating from that core wound, perpetrate acts of abuse, violence and oppression, whether overt and obvious or subtle and insidious, as a means to control and dominate others (slipping into their toxic masculine energy).

When we talk about the rise of the Divine Feminine, we aren’t only talking about female bodies. We’re talking about the feminine essence in all of us–a reconnection to our emotions, our empathy, our intuition, and our divine selves.

Only with this counterbalance can the masculine essence be recalibrated to its true purpose, which is to protect the vulnerable, not control them, dismiss them, or otherwise disempower them.

Divine Feminism

Divine Feminism is the intersection between the Divine Feminine and feminism.

Divine Feminism recognizes the feminine in all of us. It doesn’t expect women OR MEN to disregard their femininity as a means to obtain power in a patriarchal society. It celebrates femininity and recognizes its value.

Divine Feminism doesn’t expect or encourage women OR MEN to embody patriarchal ideals or gender roles.

Divine Feminism is anti-toxic-masculinity, whether it shows up in men or women or someone who identifies as neither. It recognizes the importance of a healthy inner-masculine.

Learn about the Divine Masculine.

As such, Divine Feminism values critical thinking, integrity, and leadership just as much as it values vulnerability and openess.

The Divine Feminist is a self-contained human being.

Xo,

Ash

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