I step out into the very early morning. I look up and see Orion’s belt in the Southeastern sky. If a person ponders the sky for awhile, one realizes that what we see is only what we imagine but is not actually real. It is only from our position in the galaxy that we see the points of light “aligned” in a certain fashion. If a person could travel ultra light speed to the center of Orion, the constellation would not exist. It is only our orientation on earth that imagines it so.
So it is with an age old concept called “The Chosen Ones”. This is both an archaic and modern conviction or belief that the group in which we find ourselves is more spiritually evolved, entitled, singled out for reward or, more bluntly, better than all the others. This idea is closely related to spiritual pride. Spiritual pride is subtly manifested by a feeling or intuition that I’m better and more evolved because of the manner in which I’m spiritual.
Of course, these ideas are seductive and captivating. They are a sneaky way that egoism and vanity have manifested. Very frequently, the chosen ones coupled with spiritual pride become extremely dangerous to not only oneself, but to the world at large.
It is imperative to see this important distinction that is the litmus test as to whether you and I have crossed the frontier into spiritual pride and/or become captured by the chosen ones complex.
It is this: The critical distinction between recognizing that you have found the right teacher, religion, community or spiritual path for yourself versus the belief that you have found “The One”. That is “The One” that everybody MUST believe for salvation, enlightenment, and perfection.
Being a member of the group of chosen ones means there is no wiggle room. Being a chosen one means being a purist. There is no alternative vision that is “correct”. This is the place where subtle and overt fundamentalism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other chauvinisms find their roots and their justifications.
It’s akin to seeing the Constellation Orion in the sky. You must have some sort of schooling to “see” him. If you were not schooled in western mythological thought and categorization colored by ancient Greek mythology, the constellation just looks like a cluster of stars configured in the shape of a kite or a diamond surrounded by other stars that don’t have any resemblance at all to a man. Yet, if one “must” see Orion or Taurus or Leo or any of the “accepted” constellations then you must be blind, unenlightened or even evil. That view illustrates that one territory of chosen ones has been entered.
We have just observed the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 events. The individuals who allegedly committed the violence were true believers in their belief system. They apparently believed they were members of the chosen ones. They were captured by spiritual pride.
It is not only Muslims who can suffer this mindset. Almost any belief system is liable to encourage such thoughts and actions. There are zealots of every stripe. One need only to see the phenomenon of Dominionist Christianity and its more rigid community of believers who consider themselves to be the chosen ones. Some of them have the conviction that their group has been destined and chosen by their God to enact the real “final solution”. They believe they must enable the ultimate destruction of human life on this planet. This is egoism and vanity carried out to its ultimate extent.
The point of living on earth is basically just to live a good life.
When the impulse to harm others for our own good becomes the belief and the goal of “the” good life, perhaps its time to reconsider ones path. Maybe it’s time to just accept that you are not better than anyone nor less than anyone. Maybe it’s time to remember that we are all humans who are entitled to our own lives. We can only live and let live with no intentions of harming our fellow homo sapiens.
The Blue Jay of Happiness says it’s good to investigate other perspectives on life and living. Do it often.