The role consumerism is now playing in the spiritual community has put a whole new meaning behind “selling our souls.” Corporations are capitalizing on New Age spirituality as it becomes more mainstream, and they’re making a killing off it. Yoga mats, crystals, mala beads, singing bowls, tarot cards — you name it, and they’ve got an inflated price for it.
To be clear, I’m not saying that any of these thing are bad to purchase! In fact, I’ve purchased every aforementioned consumer item, and I love each and every one of them. However, companies have started to sell spirituality, meaning they’ve convinced many consumers that they need to purchase their products in order to become “more spiritual.”
What many people seem to be forgetting is that we are spiritual beings anyways, and that there is actually scientific backing behind this statement. You don’t need to buy anything in order to become spiritual because you already are at the very core of your being. Though your soul knows this, your ego may not, and many of these companies have successfully inflated people’s egos, convincing them that they need to buy their spirituality instead of simply connecting within.
Further, if you find yourself frustrated with others falling into this trend, have compassion for them and try not to judge. We’re all on our own journey through this.
Spirituality Has a Price Tag on It and We’re Buying Into It
When Western culture started to take a greater interest in Eastern culture, this represented a significant shift in consciousness for us. More and more people are starting to wake up to the reality of our inherent spiritual nature, and that’s beautiful! As a result, more people in Western societies have been drawn toward yoga, meditation, and Eastern philosophies.
Somewhere along the way, both cultures became somewhat muddled in our brains, merging spirituality with Westernized consumerism. Companies recognized that spirituality was starting to take off, and so they saw this as an opportunity to profit. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a lot of the tools they’re selling will naturally increase one’s consciousness. However, it’s the intent behind their business that’s important, and the intent you have behind your purchases.
For example, some businesses sell quality crystals because they genuinely hope that people will develop an interest in crystal healing and ultimately improve their health and raise the collective consciousness. On the other hand, other businesses sell cheap or fake crystals because they look stylish and trendy. The difference here isn’t regarding profit, but intention.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to make money; that’s how society works. Ultimately, the spiritual community is growing, and so it could be a smart business decision to try to transition into this space. However, you need to be doing it for the right reasons.
Either way, spirituality now has a price tag hanging over it. Spirituality used to be solely about being a good person and helping society progress together, but now it’s become exclusive. If you’re not into yoga and crystal therapy, then you’re somehow not really spiritual. This false belief system is what ultimately birthed people’s “spiritual egos.”
If you think you’re more spiritually evolved than another individual just because of what you buy, then this is your spiritual ego talking. There is a common belief that once you “become a spiritual being” you need to show it through meditation, yoga, veganism, and other modalities. Even though these practices have aided me in my personal development, that doesn’t mean they’re required for spirituality. Plus, there is no such thing as “becoming a spiritual being” or being “more spiritual” than another person because we are all inherently spiritual beings.
As a result, businesses are capitalizing on our spiritual egos. They’ve recognized that they enjoy being fed consumer products and they’ve created an entire niche market for them.
Another element of the spirituality business is companies’ ability to take advantage of our fears and insecurities. We’re told that if we have really high anxiety, then we need to purchase a $200 mala made out of amethyst. Though I am a huge lover of mala beads and will often wear or meditate with them, it’s important to recognize that you don’t need crystals or malas or anything else in order to overcome your fears.
If you hold fears or insecurities, then yes, certain crystals and other “spiritual products” could help, but it doesn’t mean they’re required. All of the knowledge you need can be accessed from within, so you don’t need to purchase books on spirituality or any products in order to heal yourself.
To be clear, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase them, but you just need to clarify what your personal intentions are. Are you purchasing these products because you genuinely feel they will raise your consciousness, or is it simply a consumer trap or a decision being driven by your ego?
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For many people, spirituality no longer requires silence, self reflection, and gazing inwards, but rather is all about the outer reality. We feel as though we need to show off our spirituality, not to inspire others and better their lives, but to maintain an ideal “image.” This is where social media comes into play, which is another source of fuel for our spiritual egos.
Social Media’s Role in Selling Spirituality
When I scroll through my Instagram newsfeed, it’s practically all spiritual/inspiring quotes and links to purchase new crystals or yoga gear. Though I thoroughly enjoy this, I recognize that this is merely a reflection of my own consumeristic tendencies and the Western world’s way of hijacking the spiritual movement and turning it into a business opportunity.
Again, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, but it’s important to address and understand how it affects you and your beliefs. If you choose to post about your spiritual beliefs, is that to maintain a certain image for your followers, or is it genuinely in hopes of inspiring other people?
I see the value in sharing our beliefs, particularly regarding spirituality, over social media because these platforms have a large reach and therefore can be used to create positive change. However, I can also see the downside in this.
Countless people have adopted the ideology that “if it doesn’t get posted on social media, then it never happened.” However, the entire point of getting to know your own spiritual nature is to go inwards, discovering the beauty you hold within. It’s called inner work for a reason, and so if you’re focusing too much on your outer reality, then perhaps you’re listening to your spiritual ego more than your soul!
Another issue on social media is that many people only ever share happy moments in their life, which can create a false portrayal of their reality. Their followers may think they’re always happy, no matter what, which ultimately isn’t the reality for many people. Most of us are battling some form of turmoil and feel a wide range of emotions outside of happiness.
Many people are uncomfortable sharing their vulnerabilities on social media, and I don’t blame them! It can be difficult enough to express our emotions, let alone expose them to the world. However, this false picture may further perpetuate the common New Age misconception that “there can only ever be light” and “we must always be positive.”
Though I do have a very positive outlook on life and I believe that you can find the good in everything, it’s incredibly important not to suppress your emotions. If you’re forcing yourself to feel happy when you’re extremely sad or angry, and you don’t address the root cause of your emotions, you’ll likely end up suppressing them.
The reality of life is that we live in a dualistic world and we were incarnated as humans who (for the most part) are tackling a wide range of emotions. These emotions clearly need to be felt for a reason. Why would anger and sadness exist if they didn’t serve some sort of higher purpose?
To be clear, this article isn’t meant to discourage people from purchasing “spiritual products!” I definitely indulge in a little spiritual consumerism and I really love my crystal collection. However, next time you’re purchasing something, ask yourself: Do I really need this? Don’t allow your ego to answer, but rather let the real you, your soul, shine through.
Your buying decisions also reflect what you choose to support in this world. Would you rather support a company whose only goal is profit, or would you rather feel as though you’re contributing to the greater good of humanity by supporting a company that works to improve society?
Don’t get me wrong, you can buy something for simply the sheer enjoyment of owning or using it, and that’s totally fine! At the end of the day, you’re always making the right decisions and you’re always pursuing the correct path.
I’m just saying that you don’t need to purchase anything in order to connect with your spirituality. Sure, crystals and singing bowls can help to align your chakras, but you hold the power to do that as well.
If you’re looking for cheaper (or free) ideas to help you connect with Source, you could try meditation, practicing yoga at home, chanting, borrowing a book from the library, journaling, or you could even try incorporating higher vibrational foods into your diet (light, plant-based foods).
At the end of the day, everything is energy and frequency. You hold the power to raise your vibration and change your reality, not the corporations! You don’t need their products in order to discover your own spirituality. You can’t buy spirituality, you can only connect with it.