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6 Signs You Are NOT at Peace (and Advice on How to Get There)

Along the path of spiritual awakening comes many obstacles. Some of these obstacles take hours, or days to overcome. Some of them take months, years, or possibly even lifetimes. Any avid walker of “the path” will find that at certain times they will feel like they are catapulting through levels of awareness, growth, and self-discovery at the speed of light; then at other times, feel stuck in the same place, crawling through the “muck” of their own limitation or psyche.
Isn’t this such a mind-blowing adventure?!
In this article, I’d like to talk about one of the most insidious, distracting, and sneaky obstacles of our spiritual path to peace: the spiritual ego. Note that I speak of it in negative terms, but in reality, it is nothing more than a phase, an occurrence, and yet another impermanence. It is not our resistance to the ego that will enable us to conquer it and move on. Instead, it is our ability to simply be AWARE of it, and better understand how it works, which will give us the power to make it to the next level of our spiritual journey.
As with any obstacle that we encounter on this quest of self-knowledge, ultimately we are grappling with nothing but ourselves. This is very much the case with what I prefer to call “The Spiritual Ego.”
What Exactly is The Spiritual Ego?
The spiritual ego is, in many ways, the ego’s last card to play, as it begins to sense that you are on the verge of transcending it altogether. It’s the ace that your sneaky and complex little ego-mind holds onto until it’s about to lose the game.
I am referring to “the ego” as the part of your mind that believes it is separate from the whole. This is the mind that defines itself with words and thoughts, that says things like I am this or I am that; I believe this, or I think that. Even more so, it can also get into the realm of my opinion is the right one, or what I believe is the TRUTH! The ego is our tendency to define ourselves in limited concepts, usually with words, opinions, beliefs, and thought patterns, rather than letting the whole of creation reveal ourselves to ourselves.

The ego is our tendency to define ourselves in limited concepts.

The ego blocks us from experiencing ourselves as a part of the unlimited whole, at peace in Oneness. However, the ego is just a thing, an illusion, a dream, and a quirky part of our humanity. Resisting it only makes it stronger.
Below are six indicators to help identify your own struggle with the spiritual ego, and thus grow your ability to transcend it and move on to greater levels of peace, self-awareness, and spiritual fulfillment:

1. You think you’ve got it all figured out

Whether it’s about everything in life (your moral code, your opinions on politics, lifestyle choices, and economy) or specifically about your own spiritual path, you’ve finally managed to figure it out…and now you think you KNOW!
Guess what – you probably do know a lot. But guess what else – you’re never going to have it all figured out, and one of the largest indicators that you have stopped progressing is that you have lost the awareness that you still have so far to go, so much to understand, and so much that you may never be able to fully understand.


2. You’re accumulating a lot of knowledge, but taking little action

You may be reading a lot of books, watching a lot of videos, going to seminars, etc., and yet, your spiritual practice is lacking (ie: regular meditation time, yogic practice, or whatever else your path may be).
One of the greatest traps of the ego-mind is the belief that accumulating conceptual knowledge alone can bring you peace. This can be such a trick that it stops people from doing the real work, actually delving into their own mind, body, and soul to learn the Truth.
Remember: conceptual knowledge doesn’t do anything unless it is acted upon! Never let reading or absorbing information replace the action of having a spiritual practice.

3. You are resentful towards “non-spiritual people”

“Did you see how unconscious that a** hole was?! I can hardly stand being around such ignorant people. Don’t they know there’s so much more to life than money, sex, partying, and status?”
If you find yourself resisting unconsciousness in other people, resenting them for it, or feeling negative and upset emotions over it, this may be a sign that you still have some unconsciousness in yourself to meet, understand, and accept. One of the largest indicators of true spiritual understanding that we can all agree upon is Love. Resenting others for not being “as awake” as you is definitely not Love.

4. You get agitated over moral, political, socio-economic, and worldwide issues

This is where I might get some people upset, but this is very important to understand, so I’ll take the risk. To resist anything is to make it stronger. And furthermore, to resist something and perceive it as “bad,” “wrong,” or unwanted is still playing the game of the ego.

To resist anything is to make it stronger.

Yes, there are a lot of things going on in the world that we wish were not happening. Some things are downright dark and terrible. However, this is the nature of duality, and duality is duality. Playing the game of “white must win” is a game that you will never win, and expecting a dualistic world to not have darkness in it is like expecting the sky to not be blue.
Remember Mother Teresa’s wisdom on this subject: “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

5. You’re not questioning your teacher or path

What?! Question your teacher? Question your path?!
Why would someone question their own path and/or teacher? There are a few reasons. One is because if you aren’t questioning at all, you are simply taking what is being taught to you at face value, and turning it into yet another belief system. No matter how true a teaching is, believing it without delving into it, taking it apart, reverse engineering and making it your own is not going to take you as far as it is meant to.

Even the greatest of saints have admitted to questioning their faith at one point or another.

6. You think you’re almost done

You’re not. I promise. Need I say more?
Another fantastic trap of the spiritual ego is the belief that you’ve just about completely transcended negative emotion, or that you’ve just about gotten over the pitfalls and traps of the illusion.
If you find yourself thinking this way, it’s time to check yourself. You may just find that rather than being “almost over” all this human drama, you actually just repressed it into a dark corner of your mind. This will only slow you down later.
Amidst all of this searching and soul-seeking and peace-hunting, humility is your greatest reference point.

It may sometimes feel daunting to get a glimpse of just how much “work” there is to be done, and how much progress we still have to make. Yet we make progress SO MUCH more quickly (not to mention painlessly) when we base our path on the grounding and realistic principles of selflessness, compassion, humility, and Love.

My wish for all of us is that we may use these principles as our compass, regardless of the path we walk, or the technicalities of what we learn and practice. May we all find each other in the same place of Peace, Love, and Eternity regardless of how we got there.


-Ashton A.

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Ashton Aiden

Ashton is a life coach and the founder of BrainWaveLove, an embodiment of his desire to help people find practical, effective ways for manifesting their dreams, and experiencing success in all realms of life. You can download Ashton's free Ebook, Missing Keys To The Art Of Manifestation on his blog.

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