Idolize: verb (used with object), idolized, idolizing.
1. to regard with blind adoration, devotion, etc.
2. to worship as a god.
This is a near and dear topic to me, if you know me you have probably heard me speak upon this already. Though I do not fully identify with the term “New Age,” I truly believe idolization is one of the major preventions of the spiritual/New Age community to fully awaken into oneness and trust in their own wisdom, guidance and discernment.
As the formal definition of idolization goes, this description is everywhere in our global culture. We idolize movie stars, singers, athletes, historical leaders, gurus, priests, prophets, family members, etc. It is as if we are still looking for a saviour from our own work to liberation. Even Jesus, whom I believe in and relate to, was human - to me that was the gift he bestowed upon us. He came to us as a son of God (as we are all children of God) in a human form, to show us that the everyday human can be their own connection to source. But that he was also capable of making mistakes, perhaps he had missed a couple nails when he was a carpenter.
A more recent example of a modern day idol is Gandhi. Whom unknown to many, yet it was no secret had a very unusual sex life. Though he preached chastity, he was known to sleep naked next to young naked attractive women to test his restraint. Did you know that? The man who was known as the Mahatma (the great soul) or the “Father of the Nation.” Does this change your connection, relationship or opinion of him. Does it shift the way you view his wisdom and guidance, as well as global impact?
I use Gandhi as an example because he is much loved and respected, I am one of those people who do. However, I am also aware that he was human. That humans are not perfect, and for me to idolize someone without awareness of this is really setting myself up for a great disappointment. As people have a faulty notion that there can be one perfect person who will never make mistakes, or does not have strange particulars, or has all the answers. And when they realize they do not, the foundations of their beliefs crumble with their reality. Everything they knew or was told suddenly looses all validity and truth in their lives. After all, those who idolize often base their lifestyle on the style and teachings of their idol.
When we put someone on a pedestal, it creates this illusion that they are better, that we are below their mastery. Perhaps they do have more answers to questions than you have, but that does not mean it is absolute. When Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) was on Earth and sharing his teachings he did not tell people his path is the right/only way; he simply shared his knowledge, his wisdom and his answers as a method to reach where he went in ascension. It is not to say that it will take you there, your path may be different. This idolization creates separation from oneness - it restricts our ability to truly see that we are all capable of our own highest ascension when we must turn to someone else for the final answer. You are the final answer.
Thus, I propose that we look at those we admire, respect and love with a new perspective. To look at them as human beings that have found certain knowledge, advice, tools and skills that you can use to carve your own understand of truth and life. You inherently have your own wisdom, guidance and discernment that is best suited for you, and you must be the one to cultivate it. Someone else’s soil, though rich in minerals and fertility, may not be the soil that helps you grow and blossom at your best.
Of course it is valuable to turn to sages, guides, teachers, mentors, gurus and spiritual activists of the like for inspiration - I support this fully, after all it is also what I do. Those who take on this mentorship-like role are there to help guide you and support you, not to tell you how you should live. Never settle with that one answer, take what resonates and explore it in your everyday life - that idol is not living your life and will not know it as well as you do. Through this process of using the refined tools of others, you may shape your own tools that best fit your reality. This in turn will nurture your own wisdom, guidance and discernment.
We need your authenticity and unique perspectives on life - as we all have answers to share with each other to better ourselves and the world. Respect the knowledge and wisdom of your peers, your mentors and guides, gurus and priests, teachers and prophets; but most importantly respect and value that knowledge and wisdom within yourself.