Spiritual narcissism

Beware of the new kid on the (narcissism) block. We’re everywhere.

We only eat organic and our shoes are made from vegan leather.

We love green juice and dandelion tea.

Meditation and yoga is our lifeblood except for that Bikram malarkey. That man and his locked knee can burn in a 40 degree torture chamber.

We’re the fist-pumping, flag-waving, self-love brigade … but if you cross us karma’s gonna fuck you up and then I’ll share it on my Facebook page.

Welcome to the new dawn of spiritual narcissism where – just quietly – my practice and eating habits make me a way more evolved being than you my dear simpleton.

This personality disorder finds its earliest roots in ancient Greek mythology and the tale of Narcissus. The story about a handsome and debonair young man who fell so deeply in love with his own reflection that he withered away just staring at his own self- image.

The myth was used as a stern warning to all – avoid the shallow depths of self-love.

But destination ‘love thyself’ is the latest hot spot. There’s no shame in the not-so-humble brag and in the (over) sharing of ones achievements and accolades.

Welcome to ME inc. where I’m at the epicentre of my own carefully constructed universe, sharing all of my infinite wisdom, best sound bites and deepest insights with an allegiance of (hopefully) adoring fans, friends and followers.

But Tmah you cry – look at YOU! You’re a prime example of spiritual narcissism. You have a website dedicated to … well, yourself. You spend hours a week writing posts, managing your FB page and posting your best selfies. You grimace at the thought of non-organic milk and you crack the shits when someone breathes too loudly in your yoga class because it ruins your Zen.

Touché my friend, I too am a giant wanker.

Most people suffer from a mild case of narcissism. It lives in the constant pursuit of instant gratification and the egoic need for admiration. But even Freud believed that narcissism was a very normal part of the human psyche and a necessary part of human development in the creation of a healthy sense of self.

Spiritual narcissism however holds the promise of a happier life and has become popularized and held up as the secret to a better body, the key to attracting more wealth, more love and the experience of greater happiness. It’s become a shied to mask deep insecurity, an excuse to avoid struggle and a means to receive approval.

Destination ‘love thyself’ is greatly misunderstood but heavily instagramed. Just think of old Narcissus.


  1. Andrea Feb 23, 2017 - 01:36 PM

    I love your insights, and the blog ( which is (not)all about you :)..I used to read it fairly regularly. Then..I am not sure what happened..but I am back – just another fan/follower.admirer. But I have a question. Are you saying you too are ‘giant wanker’ ‘spiritual narcissist’ masking deep insecurities and struggles..seeking approval?

    • Tanya Feb 26, 2017 - 09:23 AM

      Thanks Andrea, I love having you here! Yes I too am a ‘spiritual narcissist’ who uses spiritual practice to make sense of the world and to justify my own behaviour in it. This is often beautiful and positive but i can use it as a way to OK my sometimes shitty behaviour and to dumb-down my own insecurities and struggles. Hope that helps you? Can you relate? x


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