The Troubling Rise of False Awakening on Social Media

The Rise Of False Awakening & Fake Gurus

I remember a time, around a decade ago, when yoga exploded in popularity on Instagram. Back then, a troubling trend emerged, as the platform became flooded with images of skinny women contorting into impressive poses or striking bikini-clad asanas. As a yoga teacher, I felt an obligation, along with many other teachers around the globe, to try to guide people to the practice and set straight  that this superficial display had very little to do with the true essence of yoga.

Now, I find a similar phenomenon taking place in the realm of spiritual awakening, especially on social media. People are abundantly sharing images and videos of themselves in supposed “spiritual” moments, mimicking the same insincerity and pretence as those yoga images from the past. It’s concerning to witness a surge of self-proclaimed spiritual gurus who are having what can be called a ‘False Awakening’ and it can dangerous for those seeking spiritual support, to end up in the hands of these fake gurus via social media, in the same way as it was so sad to see the true essence of yoga so deeply diluted all those years ago.

True spirituality, working as a healer, a light-worker and helping others, isn’t something that can be squeezed into a photo shoot or an instagram post. Authentic awakening is a deeply personal and transformative journey that moves beyond the superficiality of social media. It’s essential for us to be mindful and cautious about encouraging such self-proclamation, as it perpetuates a culture of toxic behavior on these platforms.

Our constant exposure to social media deeply affects our psyche, influencing how we engage and interact with others. Rather than celebrating those who self-proclaim grandiosity, we should value and acknowledge those who have truly impacted others’ lives through their healing, light, or energy work. Recognition and praise should come from the genuine transformations and positive changes they have brought about, not from self-aggrandizing declarations.

Surely anyone who is working with energy and trying to help others, can only be proclaimed as ‘amazing’, ‘beautiful’, ‘powerful’ or a ‘leader’ by those who have been helped by him/her, not by themselves?!

Self Promotion or Self Proclamation?

Let’s differentiate between self-promotion, which is necessary for small business owners to thrive and inspire, and self-proclamation, which reeks of toxicity and delusion. No one can declare themselves an enlightened being or a spiritual leader. True recognition comes from years, even decades, of selfless service and genuine impact on others.

Spirituality and awakening aren’t theatrical performances. They’re raw, challenging, and often messy processes that require hard work and inner growth. Awakening involves profound shifts in our perception of reality, peeling back the layers of illusion to reveal the truth beneath the surface. It’s a deeply transformative journey that shatters the illusions of our culture, society, and systems, leaving us with a newfound understanding of our existence.

As a society, let’s steer away from applauding empty declarations and instead focus on fostering genuine spiritual growth and awakening. Let’s value the rawness and beauty of the real journey, and encourage true healers and lightworkers to shine, not through self-proclaimed grandeur, but through their genuine impact on others’ lives.


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