“Then Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” -John 6:68
If you have found this website, you are likely looking for answers to spiritual questions. This is normal and healthy. Some potential benefits include gaining a deeper understanding of oneself and the world, finding a sense of purpose and meaning.
I have found that Mormon Kabbalah has helped me to experience a greater connection to God, allowing me to see beyond myself. But that doesn’t make me or anyone else “exceptional,” as these experiences are open to all. As with any exploration, it’s important to approach spirituality with an open mind and a healthy dose of skepticism. We are not all knowing, no one but God is. This means that we must be mindful of any potential risks or negative consequences to our thoughts and actions.
Benefits and Risks
One thing I have learned through trial and error is that exploring spiritual matters has both risks and benefits. Potential risks can include things like getting involved in harmful or manipulative practices, even losing touch with reality. One must be careful not to become so focused on the spiritual aspects of life that every other part of our lives begin to fail or fall apart. There is a connection between what some call the “mundane” or “ordinary” world and the spiritual “realm.” In truth, they are both the same place. To ignore one or the other is to misunderstand both.
One way to minimize the risks associated with exploring spiritual matters is to approach the exploration with an open mind and a willingness to learn, which is itself a benefit. You must feel safe to be wrong, to fall down, to fail. Ask any athlete, no one was a super star game winner from day one. They worked hard and learned from their mistakes. The same is true in spiritual matters. Anyone too “right” or “righteous” to be wrong has a hard truth waiting to be learned.
Research and Warning Signs
How do you avoid traps and pitfalls on your spiritual path? Do your research. Yes, we as humans learn better in groups; but be aware. Be aware of any potential negative consequences, such as becoming involved in a cult or being taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals. It is important to have a support system in place as you learn. Friends, family, or even a therapist can provide guidance and support as you explore the questions of the meaning of life. Be sure to find people outside your religious group or community for more insight and better overall perspective.
Some common warning signs of a cult or unscrupulous individuals may include demands for complete obedience, isolation from friends and family, intense pressure to recruit new members, claims of exclusive knowledge or authority, or financial exploitation. Be weary of any attempts to control your thoughts or behavior. Yes you want to be a better person, but on your own terms as you grow your personal relationship with God. You are not a puppet and should not be treated as such. It’s important to be aware of these warning signs and to trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right. If you have any concerns, it’s a good idea to seek guidance from a trusted source, like those mentioned above.
Cults vs. Genuine Community
I have found that a genuine spiritual community will encourage its members to explore their own beliefs and experiences. Rather than demanding blind obedience, they will welcome diverse perspectives and ideas. These will be used to help everyone in the group learn and grow. By contrast, cults may try to control what members believe or how they behave, with membership being the main objective. Cults generally promote a single, narrow viewpoint that is considered the only “correct” way. A genuine spiritual community should be transparent about its practices, finances, and structure. Cults are more likely to keep these details obscure or hidden.
Educate yourself about these types of warning signs. Use your critical thinking skills to evaluate any group or community before getting involved. I want you to grow spiritually, and I want you to do so safely.