Beware The Spiritual Narcissist.

Two signs that psychologists identify in spiritual narcissists.

Write Mind Matters
2 min readJul 21, 2022
Photo by Rowen Smith on Unsplash

“Self-enhancement through spiritual practices can fool us into thinking we are evolving and growing, when in fact all we are growing is our ego.” — Scott Barry Kaufman.

Tibetan Buddhist Chögyam Trungpa warns of ego distortions in seeking spiritual awareness and psychologists agree.

Psychologists find that spiritualism may in fact strengthen ego over self-enhancement. This ego-enhancement leads to :

  1. The “I’m enlightened and you’re not” syndrome. This syndrome is often seen in spiritualist churches and in memes on social media.
  2. Spiritual bypassing. Spiritual narcissists use spiritual bypassing as a defence for their harmful words and actions.

Spiritual bypassing is a common effect of pseudo-transcendence as Scott Barry Kaufman expands in his book, “Transcend: The New Science of Actualization.” I also discuss spiritual bypassing in the following story:

Self-awareness and spiritual growth are valuable tools for maintaining and strengthening our physical and mental health.

However, the search for deeper meaning often attracts spiritual narcissists who prey on sensitive people with strong spiritual values. Spirituality requires us to open up and can make us more vulnerable to spiritual narcissism and narcissists who use false spiritualism to elicit attention and trust for their own needs.

“ … participants described how their relative’s religiosity was merely an aspect of their ‘false self’, for example “she has a wonderful, loving, spiritual facade that she shows to the world.” — Nicholas Day, Michelle Townsend, & Brin . Grenyer.



Write Mind Matters

BA(psych), GradDipPsych(student), DipHlthSc(NatNut)|Parenting, personality disorders & trauma.