The Science Is Settled
There are a variety of mixed reactions when people first meet me. Some are taken with me right away. Others find me to be the most off-putting person on Earth. Most people are fascinated with me in that way that we’re all drawn to tragedy. People want to see just how bad it can get before I crash into the wall.
Honestly, I am too.
However, the one thing no one ever says after meeting me is, “You know, he could be a little more arrogant.”
Well, it turns out that even some of the things that I do to take me away from my ego and make me a better global citizen may be compounding my overall insufferable vibe. Hey, I can’t help it, I was born this way.
I began dabbling with meditation a few years ago when I moved back to my native Tucson from Los Angeles. It was a time of great upheaval in my life and I was trying out all kinds of new things. What was really weird was that many of them — like meditation — are the kinds of activities one would associate more with the whole Southern California lifestyle. Anyway, I read a lot about it and began trying it out.
Let me be clear about the fact that I’m not some heavy practitioner of meditation. I just think it’s part of a good mix of things that help make me slightly more functional in a society from which I always feel I’m standing apart.
According to a new study, all that’s doing is making me an even bigger jag-off.
Forms of spiritual enlightenment can ‘boost feelings of superiority’ by stoking the ego, a new study has found.
Dutch experts studying questionnaires of nearly 4,000 people found a link between practising spiritual training, like meditation, and feelings of ‘spiritual superiority’.
Thy found that those who were engaged in the more bizarre ‘energetic’ therapies, such as aura reading, were the most smug.
Forms of spiritual training – including mindfulness, meditation, self healing and reading auras – are supposed to distance people from their ego and any feelings of self-worth.
But spiritual training appears to actually have the opposite effect, by enhancing people’s need to feel ‘more successful, more respected or loved’, the experts say.
OK, I don’t engage in aura reading. I do, however, eat a lot of garlic, so I think that everyone is aware of my aura whether they want to be or not.
Truth be told, the whole reason I began meditating was so I could be calmer and maybe not overreact to things. If I get frustrated during the day by anything a quick meditation break often does the trick and helps me refocus.
Or emerge as a bigger ego monster:
‘In theory, through spiritual training we become wise people who rise above their private interests, feel connected with others, do not judge, but in actuality it often turns out quite differently.
I don’t think I was judging people who don’t meditate but I’m certainly going to start to do so now. I won’t be a science denier.
Happy New Year, everyone. I’m going to spend a lot of the day meditating on whether meditation is good for me.
While looking at the mirror.
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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.