As someone who’s been around the block, spiritually speaking, I’ve come to discover the greatest lie circulating the ‘spiritual but not religious’ crowd. The greatest lie is that you should “accept all things with an open mind, or you are being narrow and closed-minded.”
It is a common habit for spiritual people to engage in all sorts of traditions and practices. Tarot, astrology, numerology, crystal healing, witchcraft, reiki, yoga, meditation, and so on. You can find people engaged in numerous of these practices simultaneously. There is nothing wrong with engaging in these activities, per se. The problem of practicing various traditions is that it can make it difficult to form a cohesive worldview. It hinders a clear identity for yourself, and a systematized spiritual path to operate in.
Much of spirituality/alternative religious traditions are reactionary towards the dogmas of monotheism. To escape the suffocation that is organized religion, individuals adopt a ‘free-for-all’ approach of exploration and experimentation. This is very normal and natural. I’ve done it, I have been there. I wouldn’t advise people not to do this process of spiritual exploration. There comes a time, however, when you must clearly define yourself. This is not narrow mindedness; it is the culmination of all your spiritual search.
Capitalism aides in the perpetuation of the lie. This lie keeps people in a state of constant searching so that you continue to consume spirituality as a commodity. Spirituality is a multibillion-dollar industry, there is a clear financial incentive behind this great lie. A person who is not searching is also no longer consuming.
The great lie is not limited to the consumption of material goods. The lie also teaches that consuming every philosophy, idea, theory, interpretation you come across is a virtue. It means you are open-minded. If you practice any sort of mental filtering, you are branded as being narrow-minded. It is not narrowness, it is prudence, an actual virtue.
The overall point I am driving home is that we cannot master everything. If a Buddhist monk is happy being a Buddhist monk, why can’t we be satisfied with one path ourselves? There is so much knowledge out in the world, many spiritual paths and practices. You cannot do it all, practice it all, be it all. The great Michelangelo is known today as a sculptor, painter, architect, and poet. However, he only saw himself as a sculptor. While painting the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo wrote a letter to his father and complained that painting wasn’t his job.
Do not let capitalism keep you in a constant state of spiritual consumption. Indeed you shouldn’t hinder your curiosity; it is good to study many things. Like Michelangelo, you can do many things, but when you look at yourself in the mirror, what is the one thing that is essential to you? What do you represent?
The spiritual search should lead you somewhere, there is a goal. The goal isn’t the ultimate truth. The goal is to figure out what you want to practice and perfect yourself within it. The endless consumption has to end at some point.