The ego, as you know, is clever, very clever. It can utilize everything for its own protection and perpetuation – including spirituality. With the very tools created for its dissolution, it can etch out a new version of itself. And since the old big-bad-ego has got more bad press than Kim Jong-un, it has been reinventing itself across the world in a new avatar: the new-age-ego. Since it is even more deceptive in this crystal-addicted, incense-sniffing guise, GD and me had a sit down to identify this new-age-ego in all its new-age glory. At the end of our hilarious session, we identified its eleven most important commandments, which are active below the surface at all times.
- THOU SHALT NOT REST
Speed is one of the most under-appreciated tricks of the new-age-ego. Busyness, anxiety, rushing are all hallmarks of a superlative ego at work. Of course, the new-age-ego chases new-age goals, which are indisputably noble. Between perfecting your downward dog and saving gay humpback whales, the ego ensures you don’t keep any time for yourself.
Even when you are on the potty, the ego won’t let you rest – it will insist you reply to at least three emails, read two pages of Eckhart Tolle and retweet Rumi on Twitter. After all, you have to ‘live up to your full potential’.
- THOU SHALT ALWAYS HAVE SOMEONE TO STAND AGAINST
Without an opposition, any good ego would just wither away, so it needs to maintain the perception of an enemy. Whether it’s the corporations or the cults, whether it’s old feudal religions or new two-minute-noodle sects, the ego must have opposition. What’s the point of all your spiritual learning, the ego whispers, if you can’t even use it to prove how unevolved, lost and clueless the others are! To create a powerful ‘I’, one must create a powerful ‘you’.
Tip: To create an ultra-strong-industrial-strength-ego, judge the entire planet and everybody that lives on it.
- THOU SHALT ‘SPIRITUALIZE’ YOUR WORLDLY DESIRES
Let’s make this simple. Working hard for months to earn money for a Ferrari is bad, but visualising and manifesting a Ferrari is good… and spiritual. Instead of revealing your desperation to impress chicks, let the Ferrari be proof of how open and receptive you are to abundance.
Wise ancient teachers intoned that ‘greed’ is the cause of suffering, so no problem: simply chase ‘abundance’ instead! Say “I am not greedy, hungry, desperate and insecure – I just want abundance!” That way, you can be completely entangled in the Maya while still maintaining the glow of transcendence in your Facebook posts.
- THOU SHALT GLORIFY THY MUNDANE EXISTENCE
Thou shalt give spiritual meaning and interdimensional interpretation to everything. Name your kid after an unheard of Sufi Mystic. Name your dog after an unpronouncable Zen Master. See mysterious synchronicities in Facebook posts. And mistake truck headlights for landing Plaeidian spacecraft!
If you have a toothache, it is because of an X-class solar flare in Sunspot AR2291. And if you fart like a bulldog, you are merely purging your root chakra!
Bottomline: To create a spectacular, topped-to-the-brim ego, make sure there is nothing simple or ordinary about your life.
- THOU SHALT NOT BE RESPONSIBLE
Misapply the principle of non-doership to suit your needs. Take credit for everything that’s going well, and blame the universe/karma/life lesson for the rest. Bottomline: if you make a pile of money, attribute it to your high vibrations and connections with the ascended masters. But if you go bankrupt, call it the ‘dark night of the soul’ and throw an about-to-be-enlightened party.
- THOU SHALT SEEK BUT NEVER FIND
Keep up the appearance of spiritual seeking, the ego advises, but remember to always remain in the state of ‘I’m-almost-there’. Become a workshop junkie or a guru shopper but remember what you seek should always remain ‘just-around-the-corner’. If you are the armchair seeker variety, scrounge hungrily on Amazon or YouTube to purchase even more books you will never read and mark new videos you will never see.
Bottomline: Scatter all your energies on the internet, follow dozens of teachers simultaneously, pontificate on chat groups, go to bed every night confused, overwhelmed and exhausted. Become so addicted to seeking that there is no space for finding.
- THOU SHALT BE OBSESSED WITH THE BODY
Keep asserting that you are an ‘infinite being beyond time and space’, while keeping a hawk-eye on every pimple, wrinkle and milligram of flesh on your waistline. Use all your spiritual tools to look younger, fitter and manifest a neon halo. Perfect your soul beads, your esoteric body processes, and your macro-vegan-lactose-intolerant-glutenfree diet.
Tip: Being obsessed with the body is the best way to maintain a rock solid six-pack ego!
- THOU SHALT CONSTANTLY BE LOOKING FOR A PERFECT PARTNER
Your purpose in life is to find the One who will fulfill you, complete you and make you eternally happy. No, no, what made you think we’re talking about God? We are talking about your soul mate!
So thou shalt be constantly looking for the perfect partner… even if you just got engaged last week! In case you don’t have any luck, switch to Plan B: Thou shalt constantly try to perfect your existing partner.
Tip: Being obsessed with the ‘other’ is like Viagra for the new-age-ego.
- THOU SHALT OBSESSIVELY PROTECT YOURSELF
It very important that you feel increasingly vulnerable and sensitive as proof of your enormous evolution. So you must need more and more protection from entities, black magic, negative energy… and especially your spouse and relatives! Gift yourself a fortress of crystals, candles, talismans and other expensive energetic protection tools. Because you’re worth it.
- THOU SHALT FIND YOUR ‘SPECIALNESS’
What’s the point of being spiritual if it does not even make you feel special and unique! So find a guru who makes you feel uber unique… or find disciples who make you feel super special. Or find a complicated spiritual system with obscure terminology and infinite levels which only a chosen few understand – that too after they pay $1,11,111 (local taxes extra).
Tip: it is not important that you understand the path or process, as long as it is expensive and the salesperson is impressive!
- THOU SHALT NEVER EVER ASK THE ONE QUESTION
This is the final and the most important commandment of the new-age-ego. Don’t ever ask the question ‘Who Am I?’
Never, ever question – who is the one chasing desire, who is the one seeking the soul mate or who is still miserable after so many years of spiritual searching.
You are allowed to travel to Machu Picchu, eat Spirulina till you turn green and spend a lifetime chanting Sanskrit verses, but stay away from stillness at all cost.
Stay obsessed with past lives or future prophecies, just don’t come to this moment.
And don’t ever, ever relax, pause and become silent. Because that is the one thing even the new-age-ego can’t survive.
Hungry for more spiritually irreverent humor? Check out 'The Foolproof Guide To Becoming A Guru'