ahimsa,  Justice,  Privilege,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

The New Spiritual Slavery

“We are all one”. “There is no you”. “That is just your ego”. “That is just their/your pain speaking.” All these sayings have become the opiate of the spiritual masses. The new religion. A new way of getting people to shut up and allow injustice. They are being used in the same way plantation owners used Jesus to placate slaves. It is being used in the same way that missionaries used God to sooth Africans as they stole their land and their children.

I am not saying these aphorisms are not true. I am saying they are being used to pacify the unrest that people feel deep in their bones. They are being used to feed spiritual consumerism at the expense of the spirit.

These phrases are used for gaslighting. The insinuation is that, “if you really believed we were all one, you would’t be bringing this up. You are spiritually inferior and not really doing your work. It is your fault that you are feeling this way. I won’t take any responsibility for my part in it.”

The Devil is no longer a character that sits on your shoulder or a being that comes to your garden to tempt you. The devil is you for “creating” all the bad things that are happening to you. God is dead, because when good things happen, the spiritual gaslighter takes all the credit.

Don’t let these aphorisms be the auction block that sells you into the new slavery. Don’t allow these aphorisms to lock your new golden shackles. Yoga is about true freedom and not new slavery. Ahimsa, non harming, is for everyone. Ahimsa goes both ways.

Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@shannasmallyoga.com.