As sacred as we consider our spiritual path, it is SO easy to get tied up in misconceptions and get sidetracked from the truth. I’ve had several ups and downs in my spiritual journey, from believing in these spiritual myths. I would love to debunk as many of them as I can think of, for you.
Here’s a list that I hope to keep coming back to and updating. And a small disclaimer: if you have an AHA moment, don’t judge yourself for not knowing better before this. We are all learning and I invite you to read this list with the utmost self-compassion. Also, to extend that compassion to others, in case you relate one of these myths to someone else.
I’ve tried creating some categories to talk about these spiritual myths. Hope you have a lot to take away from here, today!
Spiritual Myths & Misconceptions About the “Soul”
#1 – Your soul can not be and is NOT tired. Your mind and body are.
We might have different reasons to say that the “soul” is tired. It definitely emphasizes our tiredness and unhappiness with life as it currently is. So, perhaps, the ego has used this phrase as a way to highlight how much we really need to start looking after ourselves?
I mean, if we can say it’s something “spiritual”, maybe we’ll finally set that relationship boundary. Because after all, what we do for the soul is sacred and it can give us permission to do the important things that as humans we may be at crossroads with.
So, while there’s nothing wrong with feeling or being tired, the truth is that the soul is beyond all thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It is merely using this human vessel to witness a different range of human experiences. If you want to understand this concept more deeply, I go into rich detail about the different layers covering our soul in my metaphysical workshop, Soul Amnesia.
#2 – The ‘old soul’ label is just another construct of the ego mind.
We really don’t have proof of how old anyone’s soul is. And in rare cases, we might find out about our own through a past life regression or mediumship experience, but it isn’t something we need to take for granted.
Because it isn’t as much about the age you are, but about the lessons that you are internalizing. Even then, there’s nothing “greater” about us, if we have learned a certain lesson and another person has not.
Also from a higher perspective, we’re ALL eternal beings that come from the same source and go back to the same source. And we ARE that source, once we drop all the duality. So in a space of oneness, how does a dualistic concept of young or old even make sense?
#3 – The ego is NOT your soul’s enemy.
The truth is, the ego is innocent. It’s the most primal part of us, that every now and then reminds us to take care of ourselves in a “cruel world”. Its basic function is to protect us from anything that’s not ours. So it makes sense that it amplifies the feeling of duality and can seem like the bad guy in our spiritual growth.
Ironically, when we say the ego is the bad guy, that is the ego labeling itself. Hah! So how do we understand this subtle, protective part that plays out constantly in daily life?
In a recent silence retreat experience, I loved what my mentor shared: you can’t label or classify the ego (because that’s the ego subtly classifying itself). All you can do is witness the different things happening as a result of the ego. Only then can you move beyond duality.
So now, what’s important to do, is to observe the ego, and change the behaviors that come out of duality. I talk about 30 ways to befriend your ego-mind in my bestselling workbook. Ultimately, your spiritual journey is about integrating the soul and ego (oneness), not eliminating the ego (dualistic).
Spiritual Myths & Misconceptions About Spiritual Practices & Lifestyle
#4 – Spirituality isn’t about abstaining from human experiences.
It’s actually about doing everything more mindfully. As mystical teacher Osho would often teach, it’s about transcending the material world.
Think of it this way – you are infinite. Then there’s nothing you cannot NOT do. But you don’t want to identify with things so much that you end up forgetting that you’re infinite. Because when you forget your infinite nature, is when the problem starts.
Everything that we identify with, which is impermanent and changing, will not bring us lasting peace. And we will be in an endless loop of one identity crisis after another.
So in essence, spirituality is a reminder of detaching from the things you use to define yourself by, in order to move closer to the truth of your infinitude.
If you’d like to do extreme things like becoming a monk or renouncing worldly pleasures, you can. But know that it isn’t to tell us that the human experience is bad. It’s to encourage us to look deeper than our careers, relationships, or our bodies.
Monkhood is about getting back in touch with the one beyond all the positions, possessions, and pleasures of life.
#5 – You don’t need to “protect” your energy. Spiritual hygiene shouldn’t be a fear-mongering requirement.
When we first ‘wake up’, it can seem like a breath of fresh air after drowning for a long time. And with that breath, we want to hold on to the experience of freshness.
In other words, we want to “protect’ this new knowledge and way of being, lest it gets taken away from us. It can be years before we realize that there’s nothing to protect. At a soul’s level, nothing can be really taken away or given to us. It is all a playground for our experience.
So, what you can do instead, is become more self-aware. We all pick up on each other’s energy. Some people do that more than others, like an emotional sponge. Regardless of how much you’re soaking, unwind yourself at the end of the day, by “letting go” of the energy that no longer serves you, and sending it back to wherever it came from.
If this is you and you struggle to be an “empath”, it’s important to practice clearing your energy at the end of every interaction (or at least before you go to bed). Here’s a free, powerful self-healing tool to help you release anything that’s not yours. I share many more tools and practices like these in my monthly newsletter, you can sign-up for it for free below.
#6 – You can’t do this wrong! There’s nothing truly right or wrong, in the grand scheme of things.
Any idea that makes you reject one reality to chase another is based on duality and fear-based thinking. While that construct can serve people to have more control over their lives, in the long run, it does not serve us where we are going in this spiritual journey.
Here’s a short video anecdote to explain this with an analogy.
And think of it from the point of Darwin’s theory of evolution. We all have the natural tendency to ‘evolve’ because we want to survive. It’s just about shifting the perspective and evolving more consciously.
Even if we want to stay in our comfort zone, the Universe has its ways of unsettling that comfortable bubble of ours!
So while you can’t really do anything wrong, just keep tuning in with yourself and correcting your own course. That’s how you heal, and that’s also how you strengthen your intuition.
Spiritual Myths & Misconceptions about the Spiritual Awakening
The process is quite intimidating. And while there are countless articles on the blog about the different experiences of a spiritual awakening, here are some specific spiritual myths I’d like to tackle here.
#7 – We’re not “the chosen ones”. Or maybe, we are. But why does that matter?
Again, another one of those fancy ego-constructed ideas that makes us feel good about ourselves. Of course, like I mentioned at the beginning, don’t judge yourself for feeling good about this.
It’s natural to wonder why most people around us are ‘not awake’, and if there really is something special about us.
At a deeper level, this question can be a more serious reminder of our responsibility to heal ourselves so we can help heal others around us. Like a domino effect. When we see it as that, it’s actually quite brilliantly designed!
But on the opposite side of this thinking, if we don’t tap into that responsibility, we can end up assuming we’re better than the very others we are meant to help ‘awaken’!
#8 – Once you’re on the spiritual journey, you’ll be okay.
God wasn’t punishing you for “not” being spiritual.
Your life problems won’t magically go away when you meditate. And there’s no retreat that can ‘fix’ us.
But if at first, you were always at war with yourself, you will now start being in more aligned action.
The spiritual journey isn’t as magical and mystical as it first seems. It requires dedication and determination after the “honeymoon stage” is over.
This is also why it’s so easy for people to feel disconnected from spirituality after some time. Truth be told, nothing comes easy, not even pain. So you get to pick if you’d rather have growing pains or the pain that comes from staying in your comfort zone for too long.
#9 – You should block or break away from toxic people” that aren’t in alignment with your journey.
The pushing away of people or pain is an act of the ego. In the short term, it’s okay to want space and create boundaries, but if avoidance becomes a coping mechanism to deal with life, we may never really learn the lessons life intends us to.
Spirituality 101: every person you encounter is here to teach you something. You can block all the people you want but the lesson will only come back louder in the next person.
Blocking people is often a way of running from your lessons. PAUSE. Face your fears. Go deep. VERY deep. Keep asking:
WHAT is this person teaching me?
What’s the underlying lesson that I’m not getting?
Why am I uncomfortable, what am I scared of?
And so on.
And let’s set the tone right for this term too. Nobody is “toxic”. They’re doing their job in this soul contract by teaching us something, and we need to start doing ours by learning. Here’s a 3-min guided process I taught the tribe to help heal soul contracts:
We do some incredibly powerful work in our monthly calls, come join us.
#10 – Spiritually-inclined people should be perfect.
I love the book Old Path White Clouds by the revered monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, for revealing how monks would be temperamental and argue amongst each other! It was a reality check for me back then, and it really ceased the fire burning inside of me about how I was not spiritual if I “messed up”.
The only thing we need to be is fully accepting of ourselves in every moment. And we should be healing not because there’s something wrong with us, but because it is the inherent nature of things to grow and change.
#11 – You can only get enlightened through meditation.
I think the whole idea of meditation has blown out of proportion in so many ways! I love what Clayton shared in our discussion, that “meditation isn’t the answer to everything“.
There is a time and place for everything, including your spiritual practices.
Meditation is just a tool you use to realign with that inner knowing we were talking about a hot second ago. And you can use pretty much any tool to attain that. This is also why, once again, there is no right or wrong way to do this.
It might also be interesting to you to know that meditation is just one subpart of four paths to enlightenment, as explained by eastern philosophies.
Misconceptions about your higher calling
We would all like to believe that we have a special purpose here. And now, here are some interesting facts that you might want to know before you get tied up into another one of those spiritual myths!
#12 – You have a “special purpose” and it’s NOT doing a corporate job.
If you know a bit about my journey, you will already know that I left my dream job in the corporate world and eventually became a full-time spiritual writer and coach. Of course, at the time I believed that I had a “special purpose” and it couldn’t be pursued in the job I had.
But the truth is, no job is beneath or above the other. These hierarchies, preferences, and labels are all a part of the conditioning we are trying to leave behind. There were definitely people at my workplace that LOVED their job and felt it to be fulfilling for their skills. And I’m sure you would see the same.
Just like I explain in this short video below, there are two kinds of people in the world. One that will give you a hard time about even the smallest asks you have from them. And second, are the chirpiest and open-hearted at your service. And YOU get to decide what person to be. Your job doesn’t decide that for you.
So now that you’re ready to change jobs not because one is ‘better’ than the other, but because it’s more in alignment with your skills, what should you focus on? Here’s a free 10-step guide, which I lovingly call the purpose matrix tool to help you out.
#13 – Spirituality is sacred, and therefore, shouldn’t be charged for.
Let’s speak in pure metaphysical terms first, so we can do the ‘math’ and get a buy-in from the logical & analytical mind.
Knowledge is energy. Money is energy. You can exchange the two, and in essence, you are simply exchanging energy. What value you assign to money or knowledge is your own projection and relationship with money.
And nothing is ever really free. Two people are at the least ‘spending’ time in a conversation. As the fundamental law of Karma says, there’s always a fair trade.
But don’t worry, money wounds run deep in our collective consciousness. So while there’s really no harm in completing the energy exchange, if this does trigger you, use the trigger as an opportunity to investigate why.
You might be surprised how far back the wound and pain around money runs. I’ve spoken about more of this complex topic in this post about the abundance mindset if you’re interested to receive more perspective.
Some More Spiritual Myths
I know that everything is interwoven, so I can pretty much place the following myths in the categories above. But I’d like to hold this space for when I also come back to add more in, here. Technicalities aside, getting back to the point!
#14 – You can’t walk this path without a guru.
I often enjoy sharing the story of the Buddha, who hopped from one meditation teacher to the next. Finally, one day, he realized that there was no one who really had all the answers. So he resolved to go meditate in a cave until he found the answers.
Of course, his penance almost took away his life (starvation) before he actually found the “Truth”. But the consensus is that every person’s spiritual path is unique to them. You can go as fast or as slow as you need to.
Even if you don’t move at all, like I said in another way before, the Universe will inevitably move you.
But a guru or spiritual master will have a significant role to play in your journey, in that they will help speed things up for you. The one struggle I see most people have is not finding a master to rely on even after years of yearning.
I do think there are some deeply resourceful spiritual teachers out there that are guiding our journey. But taking a ‘spiritual oath’ under a master or guru requires a different level of surrender and trust.
And while we may not be ready for that kind of spiritual intimacy, or have such a person to rely on, we need to remind ourselves of one more thing.
Even the guru is a tool/way to go back home. In the end, the ultimate truth isn’t the guru itself, but the truth is the truth.
Any great guru will also eventually ask you to let go of their hand, let go of all tools and religions, and seek your truth in yourself. Of course, until we are not ready for that, it is absolutely okay to rely on something or someone to show us some light and direction.
#15 – There’s something wrong with you (or them) if you (or they) are NOT spiritual.
I used to judge my family for not ‘getting it’ whenever I spoke to them about meditation or my spiritual experiences like past lives and prophetic dreams.
It took a long, painful amount of time to understand that there was nothing wrong with them, or with me. We are just speaking different languages.
And even though we are all seemingly doing different things at the surface, deep down, we are all headed home.
So, it’s important to bridge the gap with even those that we find ‘not so spiritual’ if we really do want to walk on the path of Oneness. This is one of the fundamental topics explored in my book, Homecoming.
The more we can grasp concepts like these, the less we live in the divide and begin living in the Divine.
Our spiritual myths ultimately dissipate when we continue walking the path with discernment. My encouragement is to treat yourself and others as genuine seekers that are simply filtering through the truth and myths of the spiritual journey. Let’s create a compassionate lens as we move forward into our deeper awareness of Self and life.
Vasundhra is the Founder & Writer of My Spiritual Shenanigans. After seeing 11:11 on the clock one fateful night, her life turned around. Ever since, she has been blending modern psychology and ancient spirituality, to help herself and people around the world elevate the quality of their lives.
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