Spiritual jingoism – Part 2 (Even sincere seekers can get enticed by the allurements of spiritual jingoism)

Among the claimants for spirituality, there are very few who sincerely believe in their own claim and then take their stand by it. Most of them are self-deceived. Such persons deceive themselves before they start deceiving others. But even if they are thoroughly self-deceived, they can wriggle their way out from the tentacles of spiritual jingoism as soon as they discover that they had overestimated their own spiritual achievements. There is a faint ray of hope for their coming around to the Truth because they are not consciously dishonest. On the other hand, conscious and deliberate impostors in the field of spirituality are at once the most confirmed culprits and the most piteous victims. They get stuck deeper and deeper in the quagmire of their own creation until everyone, including themselves, loses all hope of their redemption.

It is of no use to attribute motives to the conscious impostor or fraudulent claimant of spirituality. The inner spiritual path is narrow and difficult. Even sincere seekers can become enticed by the allurements of spiritual jingoism before they become aware that they have fallen. But they may have the advantage of a timely beacon light flashed forth by some Perfect Master. The line dividing the true from the false on the steep path to Truth is so narrow that it has almost no dimensions.

Let us put the most charitable construction upon spiritual jingoism. It can entice even sincere souls who fail to be constantly alert on the Path. The process of realization appears to be a process of becoming what one apparently is not. It seems like a movement from where you are to where you are not. To give conscious direction to this process it is necessary not only to have a perception of the goal, but also to dramatize our transport to it in imagination. For example, a person who wished to go to London makes preparations after visualizing all the vicissitudes of the journey. To this inevitable process we must add the consideration that the realistic position where he is actually stationed is itself a creation of his imagination. It is very natural for a person to take imagination for reality and to believe that he has realized in his search what he has only imagined.

-Beams, p51

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