This Attitude can ruin your Worldly and Spiritual Progress for sure
This Attitude can ruin your Spiritual Progress and your Worldly Progress too
“Holier than thou” Attitude
“Holier than thou” Attitude is the worst obstacle for spiritual improvement as well as worldly happiness. The Great Sage Sri Ram Tirtha proclaimed, ‘Wanted reformers – but reformers who will reform themselves first.’ Jesus Christ said “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”
Regarding Spirituality, of all the qualities that are essential for genuine spiritual efforts and progress the most important quality is humility. The right attitude for any one, in worldly matters or spiritual endeavours, is as follows, “When I look around, I seem to know very little or nothing when compared to other people. Everyone seems to know more than me in one way or another. Others seem to be better people than me, and more talented than me in some aspect or other.” To truly believe this, and have this genuinely humble attitude is the primary and most important quality necessary for success in inner quests and for knowing or getting closer to God.
One who follows the Spritual Teachings of Scriptures and Masters does so only to gain lasting Happiness, deep Peace of Mind and strength of mind to bear worldly calamities. Some people, in addition to these, also have Self-Realization as the highest goal in life. For all of this, it is necessary that the ego should be controlled, and made to subside and eventually disappear. But having a Holier than thou attitude will only make the ego stronger and so this will make any spiritual advancement impossible. Because of this attitude, the mind will always be restless and there will be no happiness or peace of mind. Then what is the use of having this Holier than thou attitude? No use at all.
Some people start having zealous spiritual inspiration to some religion or faith or Master and they start acting like they are God themselves, or that their path is the one way to God Realization. Just because you find a new faith or zeal, it does not mean that you should immmediately start taking yourself superior to others, and start putting down others as sinners or inferior to you. One should not judge others as sinners, or bad people, or point a finger at others with personal superiority, because it is detrimental to the spiritual efforts and progress of a genuine spiritual seeker. We should first look at ourselves, and see what defects we have, correct them and improve ourselves. That is the main purpose of spirituality. And when you evaluate the mistakes of others, you should first put yourself in their shoes and consider what situations and circumstances could have driven them to act as they do. Because,God forbid, a day might come when you may forced to commit, or willingly commit the same sins that you were condemning in others, because no one knows the future and what it holds.
In this regard, let me tell you a true story of someone. A young woman in a small village was gentle, had hardly any school education and was not trained to work in the outside world in any capacity. A guy from a big city far away from her village, misled her about his love for her. Against the wishes of her family, antagonizing everyone, the woman married this man and went with him to the city. But after a little while, the guy dumped her and ran off with another woman, leaving this woman in shock and total helplessness. She could not find any work anywhere, but she had to somehow take care of herself. And the only easy and quick way for her to make a living was to become a call girl or one who sells her body for money. In other words, her situation forced her to live an immoral, loathesome life. Can you condemn this woman as a sinner and hate her? Of course, even in these bad situations, some people may be fortunate to find other good ways. But you certainly can understand how someone can be forced to do bad things, even if they didn’t want to, right? So in every angle you see it, it is better not to judge anyone, but to be forgiving, understanding and helpful. This is the best behaviour of a truly spiritual person or even just a worldly person. Holier than thou attitude is not good in any way, for anyone at any time.
God only loves humble people and ignores vain and proud people with a Holier than thou attitude. God revels in All, in everyone and everything, and therefore forgives a person who truly repents for their sins and blesses them, and leads them in the right path in life, and eventually towards knowing their Real, Perfect, Blissful Immortal Self.
So far we dealt with humility in spiritual matters.
Regarding worldly matters too, being arrogant and having a Holier than thou Attitude will not help you, and eventually it may lead to a personal downfall or disaster. Those who have such an attitude will lose all their true friends and well wishers. If you are vain, proud and arrogant, no one will like you. People may smile and flatter you in front of you for their own selfish motives, but behind your back, they will despise you, laugh at you and even try to harm you. On the other hand, if your confident of yourself and your talents, but at the same time understand that others are important too and recognize their talents and good qualities too, then you will become very popular and you will have people around you who care about you, like you and will even help you to get ahead in life.
It is not only unwise, but also really foolish to have a “Holier than thou” attitude. Because, if you did something bad at some time, you were just listening to your normal foolish ego and acted accordingly. But when you think “I am better than others or superior to others, and the faith or path I follow is the only right one”, then it only means that you have an enormously foolish ego, and that you have fallen into its devious, cunning traps and snares. Don’t listen to your ego, listen to your inner Self, your Real Nature that you have now forgotten.
To summarize, be humble, not showing off as being humble, but really humble. Be appreciative of the good qualities, capabilities and talents of others, and you will find that you become that much better and happier. Don’t ever allow the Holier than thou Attitude to creep into your mind. Humility is very useful, both for worldly success and spiritual success. So be meek, because As mentioned in Psalms 37:11 — “The meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”