Spiritual Ego: 15 Signs Of A Spiritual Narcissist

Spiritual Narcissist

The spiritual ego is the most dangerous type of ego of all. If you aren’t mindful, it can wreak total destruction in your life – but not in a violent or aggressive way. Instead, the spiritual ego is disguised under the mask of “good intentions,” “higher vibration,” “awakened perspective” and humble pomposity. 

Beware of the spiritual ego. 

It’s a trap that many of us spiritual seekers can and will, at some point, fall into. And the longer we remain in that spiritual ditch, that stagnant standstill, the more likely we are to develop into a spiritual narcissist.

Indeed, spiritual narcissism is perhaps the most tragic malady to befall humanity of all. We’ll explore why a little later. But first:

What is the Spiritual Ego?

Firstly, let’s touch on the basics. The ego is our sense of self; it is the illusory “I” story we carry around in the world as an evolutionary survival mechanism. Yet the ego is the source of all our suffering and our feeling of being separated from that which we truly are which is boundless, whole, and infinite. We might call this Spirit, God/dess, Life, Oneness, Consciousness, and so on. 

So what is the spiritual ego? The spiritual ego builds on top of this fundamental ego that we carry around. It is the ego on crack, the ego on steroids, the ego inflated beyond its usual garden-variety size. Yet the thing is, we don’t realize we’ve developed a spiritual ego until life well and truly starts getting messy.

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How Does the Spiritual Ego Develop?

The spiritual ego is a product of spiritual materialism – that is, using spirituality to serve the ego, instead of approaching the spiritual path with the intent of trying to move beyond the ego.

When spiritual paths, practices, and concepts become a slave of the ego, this is the birth of the spiritual ego. In other words, when a person’s central idea about themselves is ruled by the belief that they’re a “spiritual person” this is the spiritual ego.

When being a “spiritual person” eclipses all else that a person is, this is the spiritual ego in action. Yes, there are positive benefits to building your identity around spirituality. But there are also some pretty scary consequences that we shouldn’t ignore.

The Development of Spiritual Narcissism

Walking the spiritual path properly is a very subtle process; it is not something to jump into naively. There are numerous sidetracks which lead to a distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques. This fundamental distortion may be referred to as spiritual materialism.

– Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
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Spiritual Ego: 15 Signs Of A Spiritual Narcissist

Spiritual narcissism is the very culmination of spiritual egotism: it is the ego that has become so solid, so fixed, so unyielding in the idea of its own spiritual greatness that it is pathological. It is narcissistic.

As we know already, narcissism is a mental disorder where a person has an inflated sense of their own importance (amongst several other hairy issues). The exact same problem applies to spiritual narcissists: they have such unwavering belief in their own awakened perspective, their own “special” spiritual achievements, and knowledge, that they cannot connect with (or tolerate) their humanity. 

Spiritual narcissists cannot tolerate other people either – even though they may fine-tune the external image of being compassionate or wise – others ultimately pose a threat to their delusional grandiosity. 

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Spiritual narcissism begins with spiritual materialism. Within spiritual materialism (the trap of using spirituality to serve the ego) there is always a seed of spiritual narcissism. And if that seed keeps being fed without going unchecked, without being uprooted or challenged, it grows and grows.

Eventually, we can become so sidetracked, so deluded by the ego that has used spirituality to make itself indestructible, that we are worse off on the spiritual path than when we began.

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Aletheia Luna

Aletheia Luna is an influential spiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide. After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a spiritual counselor and professional writer, Luna's mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any circumstance. See more of her work at lonerwolf.comView Author posts