What is spiritual pride?

Lama Ole’s answer:

Spiritual pride arises if you don’t face up to things and you always start something new as soon as you get deep in one area and have to work with yourself. This way you don’t develop, but rather you always think you know better because you’ve already tried everything.

I’ll give an example. It was in Copenhagen, the only time I have ever been to a Theosophical Society. On the way to the lecture rooms, I couldn’t even see the wallpaper because there were books everywhere. Almost all of them were secret books, and I thought, “Whoever reads so many secret things in a mixed-up way will certainly get confused.” And, “Who is actually printing those books if they are so secret?”

I explained what Buddhism is: that we don’t want suppression and holy wars; that we don’t have a creator god who punishes and judges; that instead, karma—the law of cause and effect—is working in our lives; that Buddhism is not a religion of belief; that we don’t have any gods, and so on. Then, after the lecture, one lady said with joy and devotion, “Ah, again we see that everything is from God and that everything is the same.”

But when they got old and the time to die arrived, many Theosophists came to me. They were totally confused and had no clarity. Everything was mixed up with a bit of sugar coating to make it feel good. I was very happy that I could help some of them.

It is similar with Hindu groups—for example, with Bhagwan (a guru called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh or Osho). Also today in the New Age movement, people get fascinated by crystals and such things, which is totally heartwarming but doesn’t point to one’s own mind. None of these things point to mind itself. Various facts are mixed in a way that feels good, but there is no clarity. Thus one doesn’t hold anything in one’s hands at the moment of death. When people get sick and old and start looking for lasting values, they have nothing.

Only three feelings are real: fearlessness, joy, and love. They are real because their cause does not change—namely, that mind is space. And this space is radiantly clear and limitless. If you experience these feelings, if this grows inside you, then you are approaching the radiant power of your mind. All other feelings are conditioned, put together, and impermanent.