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What is Spiritual Materialism?

The term spiritual materialism was first identified by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist educator who wrote the book ‘Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism.’ Traditionally this term is utilized to define capitalist and spiritual vanity.

Spiritual materialism involves the belief that suffering can be magically obtained through self-indulgent pursuits that are camouflaged as consecrating rituals, thought systems, and philosophies. This means often we are misleading ourselves into believing that we are emerging spiritually, however, are instead fortifying our egoism utilizing spiritual techniques. 


A genuine spiritual life consists of balance, consciousness, and wholeness.


This process necessitates psychological maturity and the perceptive bravery to modestly embrace the truth of our inherent nature. The processes that many take to obtain spirituality often turns into egoism and confusion which will counter the accurate method of securing spirituality.


There are three “Lords of Materialism,” known as Physical Materialism, Psychological Materialism, and Spiritual Materialism. 


Physical materialism involves the belief that possession will aid in more happiness, which temporarily provides a fix, but in the long run onsets more suffering. Furthermore it can cause misunderstandings whereas one believes that they are more valuable by having more education or accreditation than another person has, therefore, making them superior above others.



Psychological materialism-

involves the belief in philosophies that their religious or spiritual belief system will aid in the relief of suffering. Having certification accomplishments or a religious or spiritual label constructs of a solidified ego which then manifests in competitiveness. 


Spiritual materialism-

involves the belief that obtaining a temporary emotional state of mind during meditation, alcohol, or drugs will provide refuge from suffering. This is untrue as one seeking a high to avoid suffering will indeed actually likely endure more suffering in the end. 


The message is not to force or try to obtain finding happiness through means of material items, belief systems, or particular emotional states. Live in the moment, and not in your ego. Endure life by living in the moment as your true self. Also, it is not within your right to judge yourself or others. Positivity is key but makes no difference if there is no true meaning behind the optimism.


Moreover, I firmly believe that the action of judgment deters many of us spiritually to think we are more superior than others. 


We need to accept, understand and love ourselves and others for who they are. My wife and I both have disabilities, and we both came from broken homes. While we are evolving more spiritually every day, this is not because of what we’ve accomplished through our business Assuaged, which is vegan and plant-based.


We are continuously doing the mirror work needed, and we’ve learned to label things as not useful and then release, rinse and repeat. Do not judge.


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