• Valentina Poletti

When we use spiritual jargon to bypass ourselves


I noticed another trend in the spiritual and coaching communities. In fact it is a trend that is common in every community that I have experienced - scientific, financial, psychological, etc. Once you spend enough time in a particular community focussed on a particular expertise or topic, you’ll notice something very interesting. People start to develop a kind of un-understandable jargon, a sort of secret language that they speak with each other and that supposedly describes concepts and ideas that are understandable only to that community but not to the outside world.

If you worked in a technological scientific academic community like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We travelled the world to participate in conferences, where at each presentation we could probably truly understand 20% of what was being said. The rest was so deeply disguised in specific jargon, unexplained mathematical formulas and vagueness of ideas that no-one in the room - in spite of all being experts on the topics - could really grasp it. And that is not - as I later realised - because they weren’t intelligent enough, prepared enough or understanding enough.

I came to realise that there is often an intention of disguise behind the invention of jargon. That the purpose of jargon a lot of the time is not to make things clearer, but to hide them. It is to give the idea that we know more than we actually do, by covering our ignorance with words and concepts that seem knowledgeable, but really have little meaning to anyone - including ourselves.

Because - as Einstein put it - if you really understand a concept, you should be able to explain it to a five years old. So complex, weird vocabulary does not make us more interesting, mysterious and smart looking - at least not to me.

And lo and behold, the spiritual communities - that I’ve recently become a part of with my self exploration, emotional healing journey - is no exception.

Soon I was hit with ideas of transcendental journeys, extra-terrestrial entities, cosmic revelations, quantum shifts and spiritual guidance, that struck me with a bit of wonder and - skepticism. And my skepticism was more than justified. As I dove deeper in my research, self exploration and understanding of this field - as I love to do with anything I’m passionate about - what I found is that the more people use vague - spiritual jargon sounding terminology in their vocabulary - the less they actually understand themselves what they are experiencing. That is why they are not able to use simple, universally understandable language to describe them.

And the proof again comes with children: children are the most spiritual awakened humans. And yet they use the simplest tools to describe what they go through: “I feel sad”, “my chest is aching”, “I love this”, etcetera sounds a lot less mysterious than “transcendental awakening”, but also a lot more authentic.

Spiritual jargon has become a way for people to market themselves to gullible, vulnerable people in search for an answer to their problem. They are startled, mesmerised by the mysterious sounding words that might just hold the solution to all their problems, because their problems are mysterious to them.

And so we get the common phenomenon of the spiritual guru with their following of gullible people. Something that is so common within the spiritual communities that countless group leaders have been sued and criticised for taking advantage of the credulity and vulnerability of their followers.

So here is my suggestion: let’s quit trying to sound spiritually mysterious, and let’s start sounding real. Let’s communicate in a language that a 5 year old could understand. Let’s communicate clearly, down-to-earthly to people in the masses. Because it takes a bit of ego to promote ourselves as something that we are not, and it takes authenticity to admit what we really are.

(Image taken from google)

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