Many books are being written by sociologists and psychologists, in which they glibly speak of “higher consciousness” and “Enlightenment,” without in the least knowing what they are talking about. It is fashionable to make reference to ancient concepts and use terms that are just vaguely familiar to readers, usually in Sanskrit. These writers, who have never experienced what they are writing about, seem to feel that greater social consciousness and involvement is synonymous with spiritual progress, totally ignoring the examples of Lao Tzu, the Buddha, Ramakrishna and other great spiritual leaders. It is also possible to regard church icons as being the same as spiritual teachers. They often misquote Patanjali, the so-called father of Yoga (the Science of Unity, not religion), who plainly said that Yoga is “the suppression of mental modifications,” the latter being an approximate translation of the Sanskrit term vritti. In other words, we have the blind leading the blind.

It is hard to read such books, though people give them to you and ask you to read them. Very often the book, or article, is a thinly disguised sales pitch, giving unknowing people the clichés and quotes that perhaps they crave. Nothing is as saleable as commercialized “spirituality” because people are troubled about life and concerned about death, always from an egocentric standpoint. Recently I started such a book by Swami Rama and a man who calls himself Swami Ajaya. (A Swami is an initiated member of a monastic order, a complete renunciate.) I was not able to get through it as I am not interested in psychological jargon and worldly “spirituality.” It is quite common for publishers to pair a psychologist and a so-called holy man with the idea of getting a synthesis of East and West. But Reality knows no East and West and no past and future. Some perfectly fine Krishnamurti books have been spoiled by having some psychologist offer his or her concepts of spiritual values, as well as asking Krishnamurti nonsensical questions.‌

Such terms as “balancing the aura” or “balancing the chakras” (whatever those may mean) have become common, and some people charge money to perform these feats.

I define Spirituality as “Identification with the Real.” Therapy, no matter how good, has nothing to do with this matter. I leave it up to the reader as to whether the other things talked about (by those who do not know them) and those things practiced are “Identification with the Real.”

This article is published in Spiritual Odyssey.