A collection of ConjureMan Ali's thoughts about magic, the occult, and spirituality.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiritual Hubris

Nothing smells more foul than the hubris that develops in people with a modicum of spiritual knowledge. This is not a new thing, but its prevelance certainly does not make it any less of a cancer. I see so-called spiritual elders and magical folk who are supposedly looked up to filled with such hubris that they look down on any perspective or tradition that is not align with their own. They take on the role of so-called experts and pontifcate with bluster about their extensive experiences while dismissing any point-of-view that is not their own.

"Christianity--you mean that superstitious religion of the xians"

"Wicca--Spirits save us from the McWiccans"

"New Age--Nothing but fluff"

"Islam--backwards and ignorant"

"Afro-Magics--primitive and weak superstitious nonsense"

Such a stance only demonstrates how little they have actually progressed in their supposed spiritual journey and more importantly how insecure they are that they have to deride other people and their beliefs in favor of their own "one true path." Nevermind the irony that they are guilty of a level of close-mindedness that they accuse others of. Of course the dismissing of other spiritual paths as superstitious is often an amusing stance for people partaking in traditions and paths that are viewed as wholly superstitious by society.

It seems fashionable to deride religion, or to dismiss the "lesser" practices of others. The very fact many aspects of the occult are intrinsically tied to religion and culture at their foundation eludes them. Many forget it is due to religion that various magical practices remain available to us today. Look at Rootwork, you cannot divorce it from its Christian roots. Look at Hermeticism; it would not have survived today if not for Muslim sages and Christian scholars.

But honestly, irregardless of the interconnectedness of religion and the occult, to deride whole religions is not only hubris, but idocy. To have such little respect for "Xians" (I hate that term) or any other religious group is reflective of a childish and immature personality. One can disagree with people without derision and ignorant grand-standing.

A person truly involved in a spiritual path, one engaged in the desire for gnosis, and even one who is simply looking pragmatically for raw power is wise enough to not dismiss the rich traditions around them. Instead they learn and find inspiration from them. There is an old Arab proverb that states from filth, the wise could produce milk.

While we are all guilty of being close-minded from time to time, it is those who have consistently demonstrated this state of blind arrogance that are cancerous to true enlightenment and growth. Such individuals are not the product of effective magical practices no matter how much of an "expert" they are or how many times they've conjured this spirit or that. Quite the opposite, they demonstrate how little they truly have progressed in their respective spiritual paths that rather than letting the primordial wisdom of the spirits shape and temper them, they have spent too much time talking and too little time listening and learning.