Spiritual jingoism – Part 1 (The greatest of all frailties is the common fault of not being able to face, accept and acknowledge one’s own weaknesses)

In no sphere of life is jingoism more rampant than in the fields of spirituality. As in the market of economic goods, so also in the realm of spirituality, there is the inexorable law of demand and supply. The whole world is pining for light and freedom. To meet this recurrent and poignant demand there always arises a plentiful supply of those who claim to meet it adequately. Most of the claimants are impostors. Those who can meet the demand adequately are extremely rare.

Extremely rare also are those person who can either recognize or profit by the true claimant. Among the seekers there are two categories: those who are sincerely struggling with their backs to the walls, and those who pretend to seek. Those who pretend to seek and those who pretend to give are close kin in the bewildering realm of spiritual jingoism.

Of course, the pretended seeker and the pretentious saint may become closeted in the arena of life and play their game in the wilderness of the world through selfish motives. Then, as Kabir has said, they both sink in the waters like a boat made out of stone. They have jointly invited their watery grave through selfish aims.

In this world of innumerable frailties, the greatest of all frailties is the common fault of not being able to face, accept and acknowledge one’s own weaknesses. This is the frailty of all frailties. It gives rise to hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is said to be the tribute which vice pays to virtue. In contrast with the world of facts man builds out of his inspired imagination another world of ideals. Sometimes he imaginatively transports himself into the world of ideals; sometimes he reverts to his realistic world of facts; and occasionally he tries to bridge the gulf between them by actually and laboriously traversing the path with slow and bleeding steps. The temptation to seize the ideal imaginatively and pose as having realized it is so irresistible that there are very few who do not succumb to it. This is the origin of the fraudulent saint or the spiritual jingo, who walks and talks with his nose in the air and arms akimbo as if he were somebody very special.

-Beams, p49

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