In my travels through life as a spiritual teacher, spiritual psychologist, and disciple on the path, I have become aware of many of the pitfalls and traps of the spiritual path. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on this subject for I have fallen into most of them.
I highly recommend you meditate and concentrate very deeply on the following list. Although very short on words, they are profound in insight. My purpose in sharing these with you is to save you suffering, karma, and delay in your path of ascension that comes from not learning these lessons. The spiritual path is very easy on one level, and incredibly complicated on another.
There are glamours, snares, and traps that the negative ego and dark forces provide every step of the way. Making mistakes and falling into these is okay. My concern is helping you to not stay stuck in them for extensive periods of time and in some cases for many lifetimes. With this brief introduction I will begin.
Traps, Snares, and Pitfalls of the Spiritual Path
1. Giving your personal power away. (This applies to giving it to other people, your subconscious mind, to your negative ego, five senses, physical body, emotional body, mental body, inner child, to a guru, to the Ascended Masters, to God.) Ponder on this for there is much wisdom in this short little sentence.
2. Trap number two, loving others, but not loving yourself.
3. Trap three is not recognizing your “negative ego” as the source of all your problems.
4. Trap four. Focusing on God, but not properly integrating and parenting your inner child.
5. Trap five. Not eating right and getting enough physical exercise which results in physical illness, which then limits all other levels.
6. Trap six is people who are deeply into the spiritual life, but don’t recognize the psychological level that needs to be understood and mastered also.
7. Trap seven, “Material desire”.
8. The trap and glamour of power. This glamour is a trap of power that is held over others once one becomes successful.
9. Trap nine is becoming too ungrounded which then has a deleterious affect on one’s physical body.
10. Trying to escape earth, instead of creating heaven on earth.
11. Seeing appearances instead of seeing the true reality behind all appearance.
12. Trying to become God, instead of realizing you already are the Eternal Self, as is everyone else.
13. Not realizing that you cause everything.
14. Serving others in total before you have become self actualized within yourself.
15. Thinking that there is such a thing as “righteous anger”. Anger is a big trap for people.
16. Becoming an extremist, and not being moderate in all things.
17. Thinking you have to be ascetic to be spiritual.
18. Becoming too serious and not having enough joy, happiness and fun in your life.
19. Not being disciplined and unceasingly continuing your spiritual practices.
20. Stopping your spiritual practices and studies when you get involved in a relationship.
21. Putting a relationship before self and God – a major trap.
22. Letting your inner child run your life.
23. Being too critical and hard on yourself.
24. Getting caught up in the glamour and illusion of the psychic powers.
25. The trap of owning your power but not learning to surrender to God simultaneously; or surrendering to God, but not learning to own your power simultaneously.
26. The trap of losing your personal power when you get physically tired and exhausted.
27. The trap of expecting God and the Ascended Masters to solve all your problems.
28. The trap of allowing yourself to go into “automatic pilot” and losing your vigilance.
29. The trap of giving your power to channeled entities.
30. The trap of reading too much and not meditating enough.
31. The trap of letting your sexuality run you instead of mastering it.
32. The trap of over identifying with your mental or emotional body, and not achieving balance.
33. The trap of thinking you need to be a voice channel or see or experience all kinds of psychic phenomena to be spiritual or to ascend.
34. The trap of forcing the raising of the kundalini.
35. The trap of forcing the opening of the chakras.
36. The great trap of thinking the spiritual path which you have found is the “best”.
37. The trap of judging people because of what initiation level they may be at.
38. The trap of sharing your “advanced” initiation level with other people.
39. The trap of telling people about the “good spiritual work you are doing”, instead of just having humility.
40. The trap and illusion of thinking that negative emotions are something you have to have.
41. The trap of isolating yourself from people and thinking that this is spiritual.
42. The trap of thinking the earth is a terrible place.
43. Giving your power to astrology and the influence of the stars.
44. Being too attached to things.
45. Being too non-attached to life. Not striving for involved detachment.
46. Being too preoccupied with self and not being concerned enough about being of service to others.
47. Getting stuck in the numerous faulty theories of traditional psychology, which is only a sliver of the whole puzzle.
48. Being too much the mystic or too much the occultist and not striving to integrate the two sides.
49. Giving up amidst great adversity is one of the biggest traps of all. Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!
50. Believing that the suffering you are going through on whatever level will not pass.
51. Focusing too much on what initiation level you are at or when you are going to ascend instead of focusing more on the work that needs to be done.
52. Getting caught up in spiritual powers and the achievement of siddhas, instead of recognizing that love is the most important spiritual power of all.
53. Bad mouthing other spiritual or metaphysical groups, and not unifying and networking with other groups even though they may be not in total alignment with all of your beliefs.
54. Getting caught up in the dogma of traditional religion.
55. Thinking you need a priest to be an intermediary between you and God.
56. Using your spiritual beliefs to create separatism or elitism or undo specialness.
57. Becoming too fanatical in your beliefs.
58. Believing you can achieve enlightenment through drugs, or some kind of pill is the highest sense of illusion.
59. Believing that other people don’t have to work at their spiritual path as you do.
60. Putting your relationship to your kids before your self and God.
61. Getting caught up in all the attractions of this most fascinating material world in which we live.
62. Becoming too caught up in loving one person, instead of spreading your love out to encompass many people, and all people in an unconditional sense.
63. A major trap is getting caught up in duality, instead of achieving evenmindedness, inner peace, and equanimity at all times. When you haven’t transcended duality you are like an emotional roller coaster flipping back and forth between the ups and downs of life. The soul and spirit think with a transcendent consciousness that is detached from the merry-go-round.
64. The trap of being a father or a son, or a mother or daughter in your relationships instead of being an adult.
65. The trap of thinking you need to suffer in life.
66. The trap of being a martyr on your spiritual path.
67. The trap of needing to control others.
68. The trap of spiritual ambition.
69. The trap of needing to be liked, loved or approved of.
70. The trap of needing to be the teacher.
71. The trap of hypersensitivity or, on the other side of the coin, being too shielded. 72. The Trap of taking responsibility for other people.
73. The trap of being the savior.
74. The trap of serving for selfish reasons, and thinking you are being spiritual.
75. The trap of thinking you are more advanced spiritually than you really are, and on the other side of the coin, thinking you are less advanced than you really are.
76. The trap of fame.
77. The trap of putting undo importance on finding your twin flame and soul mate and not realizing your soul and Monad are, in truth, who you are really looking for most of all.
78. The trap of thinking you need a romantic relationship to be happy.
79. The trap of needing to be center stage or on the other side of the coin, always choosing to be a wall flower.
80. The trap of working too hard and becoming driven and running yourself down physically. The other side of the coin is to play too much and not get your work done and be about the Father’s business.
81. The trap of going to psychics and channels for guidance and not trusting one’s own intuition.
82. The trap of working with teachers on this plane or on the inner plane who are not Ascended Masters, and are limited in the understanding and conception of reality.
83. The trap of making the spiritual path an interest rather than an “all consuming fire”.
84. Wasting too much time watching TV, reading trashy novels, seeing violent movies.
85. Wasting enormous amounts of time and energy because of lack of organization and proper time management.
86. The trap of thinking that arguing with others is serving you or that person.
87. The trap of trying to win or being “right” instead of striving for love.
88. The trap of putting too much emphasis on intuition, intellect, feeling, and instinct, instead of realizing that they all need to be balanced and integrated in their proper proportion. The trap here is getting overly identified with one of them.
89. The trap of devotion to a guru, that makes you smaller instead of to the Eternal Self which you are.
90. The trap of trying to be open all the time, instead of knowing how to open and close your field as the need arises.
91. The trap of not knowing how to say “no” to other people, your inner child, or the negative ego when the need arises.
92. The trap of thinking violence or attacking others in any form will get you what you want or is serving God in any capacity.
93. The trap of blaming God, or being angry at God, or the Ascended Masters for your problems.
94. The trap of thinking that if your prayers aren’t answered that God and the Ascended Masters aren’t answering your prayers.
95. The trap of comparing yourself with other people instead of comparing yourself with yourself.
96. The trap of thinking that being poor is being spiritual.
97. The trap of comparing and competing with others over one’s initiation level and ascension.
98. One of the biggest traps of all is allowing yourself to be a victim of other people and of your own physical body, emotional body, mental body, desires, five senses, negative ego or lower self.
99. The trap of studying too much and not demonstrating in the real world enough.
100. Thinking your moodiness is a true reality of God.
101. The trap of thinking your worth comes from doing and achieving things.
102. Thinking you don’t need to protect yourself spiritually, psychologically, and physically.
103. The trap of thinking that glamour, maya, illusion, negative ego, fear, and separation is real.
104. The trap of sugar, artificial stimulants, coffee and soft drinks for physical energy.
105. The trap of trying to do everything yourself and not calling on God for help. The other side of the coin is calling on God for help and not helping yourself.
106. The trap of loving people a little less because they are treating you badly, or setting a negative ego example. Not differentiating the person from the behavior.
107. Losing faith in the living reality of your soul, your Monad, God and the Ascended Masters, and Their ability to help you if you will persevere and do your part.
108. Thinking that other people can achieve ascension but you can’t, or at least not in this lifetime.
109. The trap of trying to achieve ascension to escape one’s problems.
110. The trap of thinking that earth is a prison instead of recognizing it as one of God’s seven heavens.
I think this is a pretty complete list that should give a lot of food for thought. The lower self, the powers of glamour, maya, and illusion, and the negative ego are incredibly tricky and elusive in nature.
As Master Yoda said, in the Star Wars movies, “Don’t underestimate the power of the dark side of the force.” Once you get caught up in it, it is often very difficult to see your way out of it. The common expression of how you can’t see the forest for the trees applies here. It is easier to see other people’s “stuff” than your own.
Staying clear takes enormous vigilance, self discipline, commitment, self-introspection, and devastating honesty. If the ego can’t make you feel like an underdog it will make you feel like a top dog which is even more seductive. The Bible says, “after pride cometh the fall.” Let this be a warning to us all.
My sincere hope is that by studying and meditating upon these insights, and instructions, that you may avoid some of the suffering and karma I have had to go through, and that I have seen many of my clients, students, and friends go through.
Everything in God’s universe is governed by laws. There are physical laws, emotional laws, mental laws, and spiritual laws. By learning to understand these laws and become obedient to them we fulfill the law, which is the path of Ascension. This chapter has been an attempt to elucidate some of these universal laws, so you, my friends, may learn by “grace” instead of by “karma” (suffering)!
About the Author
Dr Joshua David Stone, the founder of the I AM University, was one of the most influential Spiritual teachers, leaders and forerunners of our time. He had a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology and was a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Counselor in California, USA. He made his mark in the Consciousness Community as a prolific writer and introduced inspired ideas such as striving for “integrated full spectrum prism consciousness” to unfold and reveal the fullness of our Divine Potential and transcending the negative ego mind as a requirement to realize our Divine Self. He was a pioneer in the field of Spiritual psychology and authored the concept of integrated ascension as well as the noble ideal of striving to become an Integrated Ascended (Enlightened) Master, both terms which he coined to stress the importance of mastering and integrating the Spiritual, psychological and physical/Earthly aspects of self to follow an integrated and balanced approach to Self Realization.