Food for Thought: Enlightened or Privileged?


Has spirituality, to a certain extent, become co-opted by certain groups as a (perhaps unconscious) way to maintain undertones of far right-wing capitalistic ideology?

Using positive thinking as a cure-all shames mentally-ill and traumatised individuals. Seems similar to the way in which far right-wing advocates do not take the plights of these individuals seriously thereby not providing them with the social benefits and resources. At the very least, it does not validate the reality of their struggles.

Advertising apparent spiritual lifestyles and claiming that they are easy and cheap (ie: healthy eating, travelling, yoga, retreats) if we were only to able to open our minds and step out of the current paradigm or matrix? The universe provides for all right? Seems similar to the way in which some big businessmen claim that the lower classes simply have a lazy mindset and if they just worked a little harder they would be able to claim these riches, not taking into consideration the realities of socioeconomic disparities and the everyday struggles of the poor.

It seems that, in some cases, spirituality is used to make people feel superior about their current lifestyles whilst underhandedly shaming those who can not simply drop their working class lives and go for a retreat in a far away country. It’s as if in order to not feel guilty for accumulating such wealth, a spiritual brand or logo is stuck onto these ways of being.

What kind of spirituality ignores the real human plights of the most vulnerable in our society? What kind of spirituality invalidates the struggles of the poor, mentally and physically ill as well as the traumatised with platitudes of positive thinking and ways of being that are not immediately accessible to those who are disadvantaged?

There is nothing wrong with living your life the way you see fit and employing spiritual practices in order to grow as an individual, but why claim that all of this is easily accessible to everyone when it clearly isn’t?

These may be false comparisons to capitalistic ideology. They may not. Either way it’s clear that many individuals in the spiritual and self-development community need a wake up call to what’s happening outside of their love and light Kombucha bubbles.

I think we can do better. What do you think? 

3 thoughts on “Food for Thought: Enlightened or Privileged?

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