1 – A closed mind
A closed mind has been defined as one that is stubbornly unreceptive to new ideas and intolerant of the beliefs and opinions of others. A person may incur the handicap of a closed mind because of egoism, due to not having had a liberal education or because of low native intelligence.
In this condition, all incoming knowledge is filtered through a set of rigid beliefs and whatever does not fit is jettisoned. On the other hand, whatever fits in with the habitual belief is swallowed hook, line and sinker – no matter how irrational it may be. This makes the person prone to all kinds of superstition and fears.
It takes a lot of work for a person to become aware of, let alone take off, the blinders of a closed mind. However, reading extensively on many diverse subjects and traveling to experience different cultures and viewpoints would help remedy this mistake so that the person would be better able to apprehend spiritual truth.
2 – Gullibility
This is very similar to the first mistake. It often occurs because of the human tendency to accept as true whatever we would prefer to be true or what we wish were true. Thus, without question, imaginative speculations are accepted as facts and claims that have no historical or other precedence are taken as valid.
A gullible person is a ready victim of personality cults, miracle claims and purported instant cures. Persons that have a confident, insistent manner of speaking or that are prestigious or who boldly repeat their claims over and over again pose a particular threat to gullible folks.
The remedy for gullibility is the cultivation of a healthy skepticism, so that every outrageous claim or postulation is taken with a pinch of salt. Surely, it is better to be called a doubting Thomas than be an easy victim.
3 – Mistaking religion for spirituality
Due to the fact that most of us first get introduced to the idea of spirituality through the medium of one religion or another, we associate the two concepts, sometimes to the point of mistaking one for the other.
Briefly, the difference between the two is that while spirituality refers to the quality or condition of showing great refinement and concern with the higher things in life ( in contrast to material things) religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
Some of the dangers of mistaking religion for spirituality are that you never see anyone who is not an adherent of your religion as spiritual; you never agree to eclectically take advantage of beneficial practices that may originate from other religions than yours; you begin to see the doctrines of your religion as facts of spirituality rather than opinions, albeit enlightened, of the leaders of your faith.
To those who mistake religion for spirituality please consider the wisdom contained in this quote from the late eminent Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung:
‘A belief proves to me only the phenomenon of belief, not the content of the belief. This I must see revealed empirically in order to accept it…’
About the Author
What is the ultimate approach to excellence? Of what relevance is spirituality in your quest for fulfillment and bliss? John D’Silva’s effective-spirituality.com offers insights that would surprise and refresh you. John is happily devoted to helping You unleash Your Spirit of Excellence. Intelligence directs the universe, not chance…
Since this article’s initial publication articlesbase.com has undergone some changes. Original links have been left intact.
The Reformation Rolls On: (brothersjuddblog.com)
The case for an artificially intelligent God (thenextweb.com)
Does Religious Liberty Apply to All Religions? (washingtonmonthly.com)
This Catholic school had a sign up saying being gay is ‘disordered’ (pinknews.co.uk)
Is this blasphemous? (quinersdiner.com)