Jane Is So Spiritual and So Phony (II)

Excerpt from Chapter 1 - Overview

3. Jane has adopted some quick and easy psychological defenses against unwanted feedback. If you made the comment that her life seems a bit too wonderful, then her response might be, "You are just justifying your own lack of wonderfulness by judging me." Or she might say, "You are projecting your fears on to me," or "Your ego seems involved here." These responses are really counterattacks that allow Jane to express some critical judgments of her own. She blames all unwanted feedback on the person who has the temerity to express even the slightest doubt about how wonderful her life is. With the help of her shaman and the group surrounding the shaman, she justifies any unwanted feedback as not being her problem. She fails to see how defensive both she and her shamanic group are.

4. If you listen carefully to Jane (and many of the rest of those following a guru/shaman/nagual/person-with-special-spiritual-knowledge), there is widespread condescension towards those of us who are not wise enough or spiritual enough to be following their exalted spiritual paths. They tell themselves they are feeling love and/or compassion (for us lesser misguided mortals). But the underlying truth is that they are using God's love to cover over the judgments and the condescension they are feeling. They are even more desperately trying to hide from the anger, rage and hatred that underlie their judgments and condescension. (Please see Chapter 11 for more on the Compassion Trap.)

5. Jane's relationship with her spouse is also too wonderful because the two of them are living with significant illusions. They are both following their childhood patterns of trying to please parents by acting the way their parents desired. Now, they try to please the shaman and each other by acting and being as spiritual as possible. Much of their relationship is based upon each of them fulfilling "spiritual expectations" that each of them have (e.g., to be loving, kind, serving the world and their shaman and not to be angry or hating). The ongoing presence of her spouse is also used regularly and routinely by Jane to cover over feelings of aloneness and emptiness that are two of the core feelings of childhood traumas. The presence of her husband covers over and soothes the childhood neurotic pain of her wants/needs for treatment as someone "special" and her hopes for parental love. (Please see Chapter 10 for more on such parental difficulties.)

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


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Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "The concept of a trauma knot may be useful, a knot in which words, emotions, sensations and thoughts are all intertwining strands within the knot. Depending upon the size and complexity of the knot, loosening one or two strands may or may not completely untie the knot (permanent healing)."