I identify as a spiritual anarchist. The primary reason is contained in that first sentence. You can see my rant from a couple of days ago about that. In addition to wanting to know who it is that’s doing the identifying, there are a few other reasons why I am a spiritual anarchist.
There is a trend in spiritual circles for people to dabble. Folks sample from one tradition, and then another, and then another, taking what they like and moving on. Kind of like a spiritual buffet. I think this is (mostly) a good thing. However, the same folks who dabble sometimes get bent out of shape if you show a lack of loyalty to whatever path is being fancied, or focused on, in a particular setting. I see this as too hypocritical for my tastes. I’ve never been much of a joiner, so instead I directly state my spiritual nomadism by not (often) labeling myself as anything other than an anarchist. I am not a very good Buddhist, but I am great fan of Buddhism and I use that system where it’s helpful. When the situation calls for identifying myself as something other than a spiritual anarchist, I most often go for Taoist, if for no other reason than I see great value in studying the way things seem to work, and getting into flow with that, rather than insisting that things work the way I want them too. (On a good day, anyway.)
The flip side of the above coin is that by referring to myself as a spiritual anarchist I feel little urge to defend a particular tradition or belief system. If I were say, a Christian for example, then I might feel the need to defend that tradition’s less savory assertions. Since I’m not, I don’t.
Another big reason is freedom, of course. Since I lay claim to no religion or path, none get to claim me. If the lay of the land shifts in a way I don’t care for, I get to move on.
Spiritual anarchism, being anarchism, also honors a critical touch point that often gets ignored to the detriment of the individual. This point is the individual themselves, the inherent uniqueness of every single being or thing. One of the catch phrases of non-dual paths is that reality is not-two. To me, this calls into crystal focus the unique nature of things. No two things are the same thing. There may be two apples on a table, but they are always two different apples. There is never a case of the same apple twice. In the same way, there is never another perspective like yours. This characteristic of reality as we experience it often gets glossed over and calling myself an anarchist is a handy reminder for me.
There is also the matter of responsibility. If I were a follower of a set path it would be all to easy to give my growth over to the care of another. I could slip into surrendering my authority and personal power. No thank you. As a spiritual anarchist, the buck stops here. I don’t get to blame anyone else for my shortcomings, or my progress. My path is always my own.
These are just some of the reasons why being a spiritual anarchist works for me. Maybe it would work well for you too. If you are already a spiritual anarchist, I would love to hear what you like and what you find useful about it.