Beware of the egos in spiritual communities.

They’re everywhere. ESPECIALLY where you don’t expect.

Lucy the Oracle
10 min readApr 1, 2024
Photo by Lenstravelier on Unsplash

A lot of people follow me for the religious and spiritual content. These people are probably members of spiritual communities, themselves. They might have encountered what I will discuss today, both in themselves and in others. That said, there is one thing we should always beware:

Your own ego will only cause a small minority of the ego problems in your life. The vast majority will happen because of other people’s out-of-control egos, which you are most likely enabling.

“But Lucy, aren’t we usually our own worst enemies? Aren’t our minds everything that is? Aren’t we, ourselves, the only thing we can control?”

If you adopt a materialistic view of the world, yes, the above assumptions are correct. (Yes, you read it right, I am calling some known gurus’ generalisations “materialistic”. And I’ll say worse if you complain). We don’t do materialism here. If you’re here at all, chances are you agree that 1) we are naturally connected to one another, 2) our actions have a ripple effect on each other, and 3) we are therefore “controlling” each other all the time.

I didn’t say any of that is moral, beautiful, or desirable. I said it happens. It’s a thing, like kids are saying these days.

I’ll go even further: our well-meaning actions often have a bad ripple effect. Our best intentions often end up controlling others like a tyrant or a dictator would do. If we have blind faith in the “connection that is” it often leads us to ignore and disrespect boundaries.

Okay? No saints or innocent people past this point. If you continue reading, while clinging to the idea you’re somehow “a good person already” and need no more work, you will feel bothered; uncomfortable; “attacked”. You might as well stop, ignore what I’m saying, and stay anxious. Stay unhappy for no apparent reason. Stay lost and feeling void.

Our very society was founded on the basis of tyranny and oppression. Why wouldn’t our everyday interactions mirror this disgusting egotism? Why WOULDN’T our souls suffer with that and yearn for a better way of relating?

“But Lucy, aren’t you being intolerant? Why give up on some people?”

No. No, I’m not. YOU are deluding yourself that I should tolerate excessive egotism in my life (or you in yours, since we’re at it) because you don’t want to face the reality that our whole entire culture is based on giving grace and enabling each other’s egos. And that’s common, that’s what you see everywhere, that’s “how things are”, but that doesn’t make it okay. Torture was once okay, burning people at the stake was once okay, slavery was once okay. Need I say more? “The norm” doesn’t equal “health”.

Adults need to be reprimanded and put on a corner “to think”, just like toddlers, whenever they let their egos take control of themselves. The only reason we don’t do that, and we assume adult people have their shit together, is because our society was founded on the basis of imperialistic egotism. Egos make the world go round. But that’s not okay. That will never be okay. The sooner we realise that, the better.

We need a new framework for how to relate to each other ASAP. We need a revolution. We need to embrace the unknown and the uncomfortable, because the current state of affairs is doing no-one any favours. And I won’t stop speaking out about it.

You can take your time to reflect on the above. That’s the discussion. I’m no longer catering to people’s egos, and that includes dumbing things down.

The following is a list of cautionary tales, anonymised, that could serve as examples of what I mean.

Photo by Artem R. on Unsplash

Billy, the astrologer, had an ego that behaved like a spoiled boy, even though he’s well past his 20s. He wanted everyone he ever befriended to stay forever friends with him — even if the person turned out to be a Nazi, even if the person was a criminal, even if the person was good after all but just no longer wanted to keep his friendship. Oh, but Billy is a good boy, he always yields to everyone. He deserves that people reward him by staying in his life against their will… Said his ego. Billy thinks he believes in determinism because “it makes sense to him”, but that’s just his ego deflecting attention away from itself, because deep down determinism serves Billy’s agenda well. It lets him say “look, things are predetermined, therefore I shall never be rejected”. How convenient.

Marie [antoinette, “your majesty”], the cult leader, had an ego that behaved like a monarch. The story she told herself is that people just naturally gravitated towards her and wanted to start an off-grid sustainable community together. I fell for it, and so did friends I keep to this day and sometimes joke that “hey, I met you in a cult. How crazy is that”. In reality, Marie’s ego controlled her, and made her intimidate people with doomsday stories so that they would feel compelled to do as she said. Billy was one of us, these followers, you see — in dire need of a mature mother who would give him limits, he relied on Marie instead. See how we connect via egos? (When in fact, we should connect via soul).

John, the 70-year-old palo priest who should know better, had an ego that behaved like a soldier. John not only disbelieved that reincarnation is possible (which is valid) because his own tradition doesn’t deal with it, but also went out of his way to ridicule people who did in fact believe in it (which is a problem). You see, disagreeing or holding a different view is not in itself problematic, but John’s ego wanted him to act supremacist about his, and that’s where the situation worsens. His combative behavior was partially (if not fully, in some cases) hidden under a facade of whataboutism: “I have Buddhist friends”, he said — as if this would automatically excuse him from the superiority complex that drives his ego.

Karen, the energy healer, had an ego that behaved like a karen, hence the inspired choice of a pseudonym. She had a genuine gift for healing, proven time and again by her many successes. The problem is that Karen considers these successes a goal, not just a happy consequence of what she does. She needs to learn that she “is” a healer, beyond just “doing” healing. And she needs to drop the arrogance and learn to listen to the people who are being humble, which she misperceives as negativity. Not that she can’t also detect negativity, but it’s humble to admit that you won’t always have success at what you do, and when she sees people admitting it, she can’t take it — Worse: she takes it personally, considers it an attack, assumes she has been “wronged”. Oh, of course, Superwoman. Keep thinking you’re the only one who can save this or that person. And if that wasn’t enough, she hides this egotism under a smoke curtain that is made of a completely unrelated very valid and very real problem: empathy distress. Yes, empathy can cause distress, but no, that’s not the real reason she comes AT people who don’t immediately get better. If distress was the only problem, she would give up trying. But the fact she tries as if nothing is wrong, and ONLY feels wronged WHEN she is unsuccessful goes to show that her ego demands perfection; Like a karen talking to a manager. She is taking nothing less than a result where she is absolutely victorious. Compromise is “not good enough”. Settling for less than the ideal is “not good enough”. That’s ego. That’s not who she is, that’s just her identifying herself with the ego. Maybe her ideals and ultimate goals are right, but she can only achieve these ultimate goals, you know, as the word says, ULTIMATELY. Not by talking to a manager and demanding “right here and right now”. But until she learns that, the pattern will repeat.

Lucy, the oracle, had an ego that behaved like a policeperson, but I won’t give her a nickname because I can expose myself here all I want. My ego wants to police things. This blog used to have articles trying to police people’s reactions (if you know, you know. Let’s meet up, I’ll buy you a drink in compensation. Oh no, is that too “law enforcement” of me? Lol). The best example of what I mean is the fact that AS I WRITE THIS VERY PARAGRAPH, I’m thinking of an example where a god exposed my ego and put me back in my place. A GOD. Not a fellow human being, oh no, humans can’t boss me because “I am the law” — or so my ego thinks. So let’s rethink that. I’m going to mention the philosopher I’m seeing instead. He’s human just like me. He was way calmer and sweeter to me than I can ever hope to become when trying to help me see my ego, but he helped me see it nonetheless. “How dare people behave the way they do”, my ego usually says. My ego, like anyone else’s ego, is partially right. It has a point. People sometimes behave in very unproductive and immature ways that are not only harming others but also themselves. But people are not Buddha (or haven’t realised it anyway; we are still on the path to that destination). That’s what the helpful philosopher whose consent I haven’t asked, so I’m anonymising here too, keeps repeating — sometimes with a different wording, but nonetheless the same message. Nobody is completely enlightened. Sometimes I will be annoyed, I will be disappointed, I will be wronged and fooled and driven to the point of rage. It’s not personal. It’s a thing. I’m thinking too highly of myself when I assume one day I will be able to prevent this entirely. Nobody ever does.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

FOR THE RECORD: Astrology, spiritual communities, Afro-diasporic traditions, shamanism, energy healing, and oracles are all good and valid things. They weren’t “ruined” by my bad experiences. Some people have that kind of ego, huh? “John ruined rituals for me”, “Jane ruined meditation for me”. It doesn’t even need to be spiritual: “John ruined Psychology for me”, “Jane ruined movies for me”— fuck you. FUCK YOU. No, not “you” you. The ego that is passing itself as “you”. Fuck this ego. Stop listening to its demands to receive a consistently perfect experience in all areas of life, “or else” you will stop trying a valid thing altogether in protest. You’re acting like a toddler crossing the little arms and pouting. How very pathetic.

In case you don’t even know me and we haven’t ever talked, but the shoe fits, good. Put it on. And use it to walk the fuck out of here while you’re at it. There was a period in my life when I couldn’t understand why people raged in the comments whenever I talked about egotism. Sometimes it was a tangential reference to ego and not the whole point of the article, but nonetheless people raged. I thought I was being unnecessary and rude. I worried.

I was naive.

Today I say: oh, my article bothers you? Good. That means it’s doing the job it’s meant to do. One day, when you realise you aren’t your ego, and you’re just identifying yourself with your ego, you’ll even agree with my point. But in order to get there, we must silence the motherfucking ego in the first place. And to silence it, one must leave no margin at all for this ego to defend itself. Put it in a corner and make it think. Egos are like bratty toddlers. They don’t understand reasonable explanations, they only listen to consequence.

As people mature (and that comes WITH WORK, NOT WITH AGE), they take control of their egos, and no longer need the above treatment. But that’s because they are, themselves, giving their egos the above treatment (even without realising). You can’t be lenient, you can’t be laissez faire with an ego. If you do that, it walks all over you. Just like a bratty toddler.

Do you let toddlers walk all over you? If you do, you aren’t doing a good job at babysitting. Sure, extreme measures are cruel (ie, no need for physical punishment), but some level of consequence makes itself necessary every now and then — when WARRANTED, and not just because the parent is being narcissistic (let’s make this clear). But you see, narcissistic adults come from a place of ego as well. They ARE toddlers in adult bodies. They decided to stop giving themselves limits at some point, and that’s why they are the way they are. In short: limits are needed. We can’t live without them.

If we go without limits we start gaslighting ourselves into thinking that “but I deserve this reward I was expecting! I am such a good girl, such a good boy!” — no. No you aren’t. If you WERE being good, you would have already received some form of acknowledgement. And you would be thankful with it instead of trying to control which FORM of acknowledgement it is. Or WHEN. Or FROM WHOM. This need for control is just ego. The ego doesn’t want truth, all it wants is to feel victorious — whatever that means at any given moment.

And that’s what we have normalised in society: wanting to feel victorious over others, instead of finding the truth in each given situation. Let’s maybe stop the bullshit.

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Lucy the Oracle

Oracle learner / spirit worker based in Ireland. Buddhist/polytheist. I don't read minds. I don't change minds. I don't sugarcoat. Take my message or leave it.