Are you a spiritual seeker? If not then don’t worry about this blog.
But if yes, then you must pay a serious attention to the tendencies that I have discussed below.
These are the common traits which I have observed in the novice spiritual seekers and to tell you the secret, I myself was showing some of these tendencies around 12 years ago when my spiritual quest was overflowing with the strong desire for God realization.
At the very outset, let me make it clear that the points which I shall discuss here are the commonly found tendencies in the new spiritual seekers when they are really innocent about the spiritual matters and about the so called spiritual world.
If you happen to read this blog and if some of these points seem to be applicable to you then you should not take it as an offense but rather you should look at them as the observations made by your spiritual friend in a capacity of your well wisher.
As I said, I myself would have displayed many of the following tendencies in the early stages of my spiritual journey and today when I look back and remember some of the incidences, I simply laugh at myself, but ofcourse with a sense of forgiveness for myself and the other persons involved in those incidences.
I must concede that I have given enough trouble to people around me!!
Are these tendencies good or bad? Well I do not wish to pass judgments here as my main intention is to enlist the tendencies shown by novice spiritual seekers. But, if I am allowed then I would say that these tendencies do more harm to the spiritual seeker than any good. And it is better to guard against them. If I start debating on each of them from a very high standpoint of realization, then this blog would turn into a big philosophical treatise which I do not wish to make it.
Hence forget about good and bad, just try and analyze if some of these tendencies have crept into you if you are a spiritual seeker.
So what are the tendencies which a novice spiritual seeker tend to harbor?
These tendencies get harbored at three levels:
1.Psychological 2.Physical 3. Behavioral.
The behavioral tendencies are more or less a result of the psychological and physical tendencies.
At psychological level :
Gets carried away with the stories
Almost since the birth of a child, it gets fed with enormous amount of spiritual stuff, so much so that by the time it reaches adulthood he actually stops taking it seriously. But although he may ignore the details of the spiritual content, yet he tends to develop a tendency to take the spiritual matters as something which must have miraculous fantasies and mysticism in it. Later on, if and when he turns into a spiritual seeker, he develops a tendency by which he gets carried away to a point wherein he tends to shut his mind for any kind of inquiry and reasoning as far as spirituality is concerned.
Imagines strongly about god realization
As he gets carried away with the stories, the consequence is inevitable. Now he develops a strong imagination about the God, about the soul and about the actual process of realization. He genuinely imagines that the God will appear in front of him in some particular form. What is interesting is that he is yet to have a fair idea about his own self!! Ignoring that, he just makes the God as an object of his imagination.
Thinks in abstract all the time
As he gets carried away with the imagination, most of the time he keeps on thinking at abstract level ignoring the usual relationship that an individual has with the objective world around him. The novice seeker starts living partially in his own imagination and partially in the objective world around him.
As he is yet to have a clear conviction about his real self, about the God and about other spiritual matters, he often misplaces his emotions where he should not be putting them. This is the trait which was displayed by Arjuna, the famous archer in Mahabharata, until Lord Krishna cleared the confusion in his mind. As a result of this tendency, a novice spiritual seeker becomes emotionally vulnerable with a danger of getting manipulated by clever people.
Overly secretive about spiritual quest
A novice spiritual seeker wants to have a secret liaisons with God!! One reason why he develops this tendency is because the other people around him are so deeply drowned in the darkness of material world that they hardly recognize a genuine spiritual quest by a genuine spiritual seeker. If the seeker reveals it in front of them, they tend to think that he has gone crazy and start looking down on him. To avoid this possibility, a novice seeker prefers to keep his feelings to himself.
Takes mundane life as anti-spiritual phenomenon
As the other people around him are so busy talking and walking the material path, the spiritual seeker tends to concede the objective world to the materially inclined people and starts thinking that he does not belong to this world. He genuinely thinks that he should be living in a world where there are more like minded spiritual people. These people can either be monks or simply other spiritual seekers.
Tries to juxtapose someone else’s life on to his own
We all need role models. For novice spiritual aspirants, it is even more of a requirement. But the problem starts when he tries to juxtapose the personality of some great spiritual figure onto his own personality. He tries to borrow the attitude from that figure and want to traverse the exact same journey which that figure might have traversed in his lifetime. The problem with this kind of tendency is that the seeker ends up being nowhere in his own struggle as it is impossible for him to have same course of destiny as someone else. Remember, you are unique in the eyes of God and you should accept your destiny as your own instead of trying to juxtapose someone else’s life onto to your own.
Lack of judgment
As he develops a strong imagination about spirituality, he easily looses the sense of judgment about the people and situations around him. This tendency can get him into unwanted situations.
So far we have discussed the tendencies of a novice spiritual seeker at his psychological level. But being a determined guy, he tries to have some experimentation with the physical body as well. This type of experimentation is caused due to the psychological traits that he develops as well as due to the confusion in his mind regarding the means and methods about the process of spiritual realization. The more the confusion prevails, the more he tries to play around with his physical body. It will not be out of context to state here that the confusion can only get removed by a fair understanding of spiritual scriptures learned in a systematic way. This does not mean that the seeker should leave the home and family life to study the scriptures but even in his mundane life he can devote a small amount of time on daily or weekly basis to understand the scriptures in a systematic way from a learned master. In fact now a days the advancements in the technology and internet really works as a great facilitators for spiritual seekers to have access to the scriptural lectures and to get his doubts cleared, at least at primary level.
So what all tendencies he shows at physical level?
He really gets so obsessed with the concepts of trying to lift his spirit that he genuinely wants to vanish from physical presence in a hurry! As a result, he reduces his diet, starves voluntarily and tries to punish the body in other possible ways.
Carelessness to maintain good appearance
Anywhere we go, other people can only see our physical appearance and thats all they have to carry certain impressions of us. However the novice spiritual seeker gets caught in two worlds between his internal quest and his physical appearance at gross level. As a result he cares lesser and lesser about his physical appearance as the internal quest grows more and more. He displays this tendency till eventually he understands the real spirituality from the authentic study of scriptures or with a fair amount of understanding of it.
The psychological and physical tendencies are bound to cause the behavioral impact. So what are the tendencies that a novice spiritual seeker displays at behavioral level?
Loses practical sense
Having got caught in the strong imagination, he normally tends to lose the sense of practicality. In his mind he tends to think that everything he does physically will automatically get transfered as a spiritual credit!
Tends to lose distinction between a well wisher and a clever person
As he deals with the external world with a reduced sense of judgment, he can not understand if a person is his real well wisher or just wants to use him for his own purpose.
Talks philosophically unduly
As he has got caught in two worlds, he tends to be half here half there kind of a person. He tends to talk philosophically where it is not required and this normally leads to confusion in his personal and professional relationships.
Makes absurd choices
As he is not willing to apply his mind in the objective world, sometimes he tends to make absurd choices. Many times he does not care about the established norms of sophistication in the society. This tendency can get displayed in his daily life while dressing or while purchasing things in the market.
Having discussed all these tendencies of a novice spiritual seeker, I certainly do not wish to portray him as a stupid or mad fellow. Some of these tendencies may well help him to reach his goal but it might be at a cost in practical life in the objective world.
Neither do I wish to say that the objective world is a reality. In fact, the objective world is an illusion and we will only get rid of sorrows and miseries when we will realize the illusory nature of this objective world. However in realizing so, one can still be graceful while dealing with the objective world. A spiritual seeker should not mistake absurdity as a means to spiritual progress. That is all I wish to state here.
(Photo via Visual Hunt)