Mariana Caplan is a Psychotherapist and PhD who has written several books I’ve not read, like Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path and Halfway Up the Mountain: The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment. In a blog post on Huffington, she lists 10 Spiritually Transmitted Diseases. The wording is a little strong, but it’s an interesting read.
In brief, they are:
1. Fast-Food Spirituality: seeking the instant fix
2. Faux Spirituality: acting as if, not being
3. Confused Motivations: mixing the spiritual drive with lesser motivations
4. Identifying with Spiritual Experiences: confusing an experience with being
5. The Spiritualized Ego: makes it impervious to growth. (includes some teachers)
6. Mass Production of Spiritual Teachers: traditions who mass produce teachers who think they’re more developed than they are
7. Spiritual Pride: some development gives rise to progress-blocking pride
8. Group Mind: group dependence that resists individual discernment
9. The Chosen-People Complex: We are THE One and Only
10. The Deadly Virus: “I Have Arrived”: This disease is so potent that it has the capacity to be terminal and deadly to our spiritual evolution. This is the belief that “I have arrived” at the final goal of the spiritual path. Our spiritual progress ends at the point where this belief becomes crystallized in our psyche, for the moment we begin to believe that we have reached the end of the path, further growth ceases.
Read the post for more detail.
I’ve talked about all of these here at some point, especially the last. She makes the points a little strongly, but it’s true that if someone believes they are done, it can be a barrier to further progress. Hence my emphasis on understating it’s a process with stages.
It should be noted that Mariana is associated with the Integral folks, some of whom have a reputation for some of these issues & others.