Manipulation in Spiritual Communities
My name is Vanessa and I’m the founder of Chakrubs. An article recently came out about someone in the spiritual community that is being called a fraud for passing off mass-produced items as handmade and selling Chakrubs products as her own, amongst other things.
This recent controversy has inspired me to address the topic of manipulation in spiritual communities. It’s something I dealt with a great deal when I was first starting Chakrubs. I was living in an environment with a lot of “spiritual” people, many of whom were amazing, but within that community there were those who sought to take advantage of and manipulate vulnerable people. I was definitely manipulated, and I saw the leader of the pack manipulating a lot of people. To give brief insight into it, sex was often used as a manipulation device, with the so-called spiritual leader promoting a belief that, “You’re not spiritual if you don’t want to have sex with everybody.” Ideas of “free love” and sharing our bodies without discretion were forced upon us and those who questioned or resisted these beliefs were ridiculed. There is nothing wrong with these concepts if that’s what you gravitate to, but it becomes dangerous when you’re being told that your resistance to such things means that you are not “enlightened.”
Often when people are looking for more spirituality in their lives, it comes from a place of feeling lost or incomplete and that makes you vulnerable. If you’re someone who is looking for direction, you’re going to be susceptible to different ideas. As human beings, we want to feel safe and we want to feel like we belong. There is nothing wrong with this, but unfortunately, we must be aware that there are those who seek to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. When there is a lot of hype about something, it’s easy for us to get excited. We want to feel that excitement, we want to feel that passion and that puts us at risk for being manipulated. It’s important to always remain skeptical. In the article, healer Hirata-Baker makes an excellent point, advising her studentsto “examine not only their practices, but the sources of their information and even their tools.” This is an important message that goes beyond spiritual communities. In today’s world when we look at influencers and even the political landscape, everyone is trying to sell you a product or an idea.
We have to be discerning about what we endorse, whether it’s a like on social media or how we spend our money. Always stay true to yourself, develop your own thoughts, and make sure that you’re connecting the dots by gathering your information from multiple sources and considering the personal biases which might affect your ability to see clearly. Be mindful of your personal intentions as well as the intentions of those who are trying to sell you a product, idea, or service.
Anytime you feel yourself getting really into something that someone is saying, be a devil’s advocate and force yourself to consider a different perspective. It can be done as a mental exercise when you’re reading or listening to what someone is saying. This will help you develop a sense of self and recognize which thought patterns are your own. Be open to all the possibilities. As soon as we think that there is just one way, we get trapped, and that allows us to manipulated by people who are feeding into that one way of thinking.
Manipulation is inescapable and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, the nature of witchcraft is just a form of manipulation. You learn the language of the universe in order to manipulate what it gives back to you. Sorcery is being connected to source energy so much that you can move it how you like. Manipulation isn’t inherently bad, but it is good to be aware of when it is happening to you and when you are doing it to someone else. I think we’re all in great danger of being manipulated, especially today. We have to admit to ourselves that we are constantly being brainwashed by the algorithms we are shown on our social media.
The truth is that we do have control over how we allow ourselves to be manipulated. And actually, we can invite this in the form of shifting our underlying beliefs and our subconscious minds to allow for better outcomes in our lives. This is the law of attraction, this is all that stuff that has truth to it, whether we fully believe in it or not. Simply put, if you’re in a bad mood and you’re constantly thinking of your bad mood, you’re not going to escape it. This is one of the reasons why Chakrubs work. We can remove the mysticism and look at things like crystals as reminders of what we want to bring forward into our awareness. For example, if I want to bring more compassion into my life, I can imbue a rose quartz crystal with this intention, meaning I assign this job to this crystal to remind me to be more compassionate, and then every time I look at or touch this crystal, I am reminded of that, subconsciously or not. This is one way that I can manipulate myself towards growth or healing.
If we operate from this space of being present and bringing a natural inquisitiveness to every situation, then it will be difficult for others to manipulate us without us knowing. This can help us navigate the current world we live in, which employs social media, TV and magazine ads, and numerous other methods to try to shape who we are and what we believe.
Feature Image by @___.d2.___