As we progress with our spiritual experimenting, we may find ourselves facing spiritual comparison. In the process of learning more about our spiritual selves, we probably begin following like-hearted practitioners and purveyors. While both helpful and advisable in intention, we may fall into the comparison trap.
The spiritual comparison trap may appear as though a rite of passage. We all go through it. Right? In theory, perhaps. The theory supposes we all follow that shadow path initially (at least), making it seem a given on our spiritual journey. Maybe we do, and yet it's highly unlikely. There are no absolutes in life, aside from death. (We're encouraged to question that absolute.)
Spiritual comparison may look like...
...a runner on their first day of running. They run for a mile or two, getting a feel for this new exercise. They get home, feeling really good about themselves. And then, they sit in front of the TV and watch the Boston Marathon. Watching world-class (or at least dedicated) runners, they lose their runner's high. They feel they may never measure up. They forget that those marathon runners began with their first mile, too.
Setting it in the spiritual circle, it may render as a Tarot newbie branching out with her budding interpretive skills. An aha moment or other breakthrough around - for example - The Tower raises her excitement and confidence. And then, a seasoned Tarot professional she follows offers up a different interpretation of The Tower. The newbie, rather than taking inspiration from another interpretation, takes it as an example of her lack of understanding. Her self-worth lowered, she retreats.
What began as a practice in observance downgrades to something on the lines of self-pity.
Succumbing to spiritual comparison... or not
We could compare succumbing to spiritual comparison to succumbing to a cold. After all, they both present an annoyance. However, rather than suffering for a few days, as with a cold, the suffering extends for as long as we allow it with comparison.
It comes down to choice, because that comparison is an activity of the ego. With determination and effort, the ego's comparison activity is stoppable.
It involves remembering that we each proceed at our own pace, and in our own way, on this spiritual journey. And in that vein, remembering that our spiritual journey isn't a race or other competition may help. It also involves compassionate retraining coupled with remembering our innate spiritual nature.
That innate nature - our soul - holds no comparison activity. Comparison, quoting Robbie the Robot from Lost in Space, "does not compute" with the soul. Why? In a word: oneness. In oneness - as one - no comparison exists.
Rising above spiritual comparison - and comparison, in general - offers us opportunity for further evolution. It also offers us opportunity for expanding our spiritual pursuits, if we wish. After all, multiple interpretations of The Tower make for a powerful library of knowing. Imagine the potential for our areas of study and service.