Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Spiritual Dogma

I have noticed, as I go along the spiritual path that habits are hard to reprogram. Even the spiritual movement has its dogma, which is the same dogma that spiritual people are rebelling against in organized religion. We just call it something else. If you find that that you are defending your spiritual beliefs, you have fallen into the dogma trap.  Here are some examples of how religious dogma has crept into spirituality:


Religious                                                         Spiritual


Jesus/Allah/Buddha loves you                     The Universe supports you


We will pray for you                                      I will send you healing energy


God provides                                                 You can attract whatever you want


I want to go to heaven                                   I want to be one


Hallelujah                                                        Om


God will punish you                                       Karma


I go to church                                                  I meditate every day


God is omniscient                                           My thoughts create my reality


If you find yourself defending any of the statements on the right, you are practicing spiritual dogma and you may want to let go of those beliefs.

If you talk about energy, vibratory rates, auras, prana, chi, life force energy, or chakras all of the time, you have probably adopted the philosophies about these forces as your dogma. You probably hold onto these beliefs with as much eyes closed white knuckled intensity as your Baptist friends who think babies go to hell.

One thing I notice quite a bit is competitive spirituality. If you compare your spirituality to anyone else, you are guilty of this type of dogma. If the thought has ever crossed your mind that you are more conscious or more spiritual than that other person, you are guilty of competitive spirituality. The best way to get away with this type of competitive spirituality is to practice it silently and passive-aggressively, perhaps gossiping about those who aren’t as spiritual with your highly dogmatic spiritual friends.

To be really dogmatic, it is important to emphasize your intuitive gifts, especially when you are not asked to do so. Have you ever called someone and said: “my intuition told me to contact you?” This is also passive-aggressive spirituality because what you are really saying is that you are more psychic than the next fellow. Nothing is more irritating than conversing with someone who regularly peppers their conversation with their ability to intuit things. It is like talking to someone that wants to save your soul. Egads.

It is really important to look like you are spiritual. Be sure to burn incense 24/7 and wear loose fitting clothing. Practicing yoga is also helpful. Be sure to silently maintain eye contact longer than is comfortable and smile while doing so.   It helps to focus on transmitting healing energy to the other person even though they didn’t ask you to do so. A clear flag of spiritual dogma is denial of emotional involvement. Everything is love, everything is cool, and even though your best friend just ran off with your spouse, everything is perfect. You have lost your health, your wealth and your family, and everything is perfect. Your karma will run over your dogma when you deny your emotions.

Finally, if you find yourself recommending modalities and teachers to others to help them achieve enlightenment, welcome to dogma world. If you talk about your teacher all of the time, or your beliefs all of the time, you need to contemplate whether you have become dogmatic and are just trading one set of beliefs for similar beliefs with different names. Spirituality is an inside job.

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