Let’s Talk About Woke-ism

I was listening to a podcast on Feb 5th by Dave Rubin and the conversation really hit home. It was a talk about Spirituality during a crisis and there was a Christian, a Rabbi, and an Atheist. The entire podcast ( I highly recommend) was enlightening and something that I really connected to was when they referred to the term “woke-ism”.

I’ve been involved in the Spiritual community since 2007 and I remember when I first heard people discussing whether one was “awake” or “asleep” When I first learned that being “awake” referred to me looking at the world in an expanded way; in a way where I was human and something more ( at least this is my understanding of the term) I immediately connected to it. Having an awakening seemed like a natural progression when I questioned if there was something more to life. Being “awake” seemed like such a positive.

On the opposite side of being awake was being asleep. I didn’t see it at the time but the terms “awake” and “asleep” opened up so much opportunity for judgement. During my early “awakening” I must admit that I did have judgement, no matter how subtle , toward those who I viewed as “asleep”.

During a time where I was looking for more meaning to life, spirituality equated to acceptance. Therefore it seemed hypocritical to be judgmental toward someone I deemed “asleep”. I started to become more aware of my own judgements and I attempted to reduce this aspect of myself. As I became more aware of my own judgments, I also became aware of how judgmental others were. I noticed this especially within the “spiritual” community.

I concluded that Spirituality has a certain hypocrisy to it.

I think this is why I connected to the podcast discussion and the term “woke-ism”. I really question the positivity in being “awake”

I first noticed the hypocrisy within the spiritual community back in 2008. It was an election year, and everyone within that community embraced Obama for President. I was an administrator for an online spiritual group at the time.

Until then we had always enjoyed intellectual and thought provoking conversations about life and the world. That is….until I wrote a blog post about my voting position. I wrote that I was not going to vote that year, and that I wanted to let the energy of the universe decide who would be president. I wrote that it was my intention that whoever would be for the greater good would become president.

I never expected for there to be such an uproar of judgment toward my post and toward me. In a community where “acceptance” was supposed to be the norm, there was a level of lack of acceptance that I had never experienced. What I realized was that this group of people were accepting, as long as my viewpoint was the same as their viewpoint was.

It was from that experience that I wanted to make a conscious effort to weed out hypocrisy from my life. I adopted a more “It is what it is” acceptance of life and I moved away from the terms awake or asleep as a judgment. My philosophy includes acceptance, having balance, being present, a belief in something more, and a willingness to deal with my own shit without putting blame for my life on others.

Fast forward to 2020. The ultimate year of judgment and hypocrisy. Judgment and hypocrisy has been rampant and everywhere. The mere mention of Covid, Trump, Biden, the election, Me Too, BLM, Karens, George Floyd, protests, vaccines, cancel culture…..well you get the picture. There is a lack of tolerance for any kind of discussion about these topics.

My observation was that the people on social media who were self proclaimed spiritual people were often the ones who attacked me the most fierce if I politely disagreed with their narrative. Their followers followed suit with nasty remarks and bullying. What I find most hypocritical is that often so called spiritual people are the ones who moved away from traditional religion because of the lack of tolerance in traditional religion. Now these same people are intolerant!

I don’t want to make blanket statements about the spiritual community because in general, at least in the United States I see us as a culture who is less tolerant than ever. This truly is the era of cancel culture, where you can be in danger of being dismissed and bullied if your opinion differs from the mainstream narrative. I’m fearful and saddened by this fact.

Healthy and respectable debates are a thing of the past and censorship is on the rise. The freedom to think differently is being challenged. I may not agree with others points of view, I may not like their beliefs, but I do accept their right to have them. Anything less of me would be hypocritical.

We are now in a new year. Where do we go from here? I don’t really have the answers for the whole, I only can do my part. What do I think would be most beneficial? I can only continue to share my truth and keep mindful that I am not a hypocrite in the process. I’m not afraid to look at negativity and shit, yet I remain hopeful and positive for all that is good with this world.

Have you thought about what part you will play? Did a little “bing” of resonance go off in your stomach like it did when I listened to Dave Rubin’s podcast? Or perhaps you don’t connect at all? The most interesting reaction to me is if you find yourself angered by my words. To that I would add, it’s what you do with your anger that matters.




Published by Patty Bartulovich

I am a Special Education teacher who shares a practical yet spiritual approach to teaching, learning, and life in general. I teach children who have autism. To be successful with my students it takes patience, mindfulness, and leaving one's ego behind. It requires a willingness to be self aware. It requires self love. I am both teacher and student. Dealing with everyday life challenges requires the same.

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