Aline and I run into this fallacy often, where people in the “pre-“ state of spirituality misunderstand the concept of unity, and perceive it as psychological enmeshment, much like the concepts of patriotism and/or group identification, and not in the “trans-“ state of psychological differentiation from a collective through achieving Selfhood. Instead of doing the work to integrate and align their internal aspects of self, as a means of moving through the various stages of their individual development, they use religious and mystical practices as a way to spiritually bypass, to deceive themselves into acting as if they have already arrived. They define spiritual maturity as returning to the oneness of “no thought” felt in the womb, which is the “pre-“ state, and as a result they therefore unwittingly sign over consent for their wellbeing to those who are more than happy to lead them into a mass delusion of uniformity, conformity, and enslavement, as the current societal structure is more than happy to profit from their desire for self-deception.
As an example, the “New Age” is a “pre-rational” movement masquerading as “trans-rational”, and it reduces trans-rational ideas and concepts back into a pre-rational state. It enables its adherents to skirt around the hard work that’s necessary to build up their self-awareness and consciousness—all in the name of enlightenment. In this way, they get to remain children playing house, rather than growing up into adults who build their own house, and eventually, enter into self-mastery.
Check out Ken Wilber’s books, especially “A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality“.
The “pre-rational”, “rational”, and “trans-rational” states of self-awareness (also known as pre-personal, personal, and trans-personal) is directly connected to the three forms of critical thinking outlined by Richard Paul and Linda Elder in their book “The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking-Concepts and Tools“.
Ken Wilber estimates that 70% of humanity are stuck in a pre-rational state of being, and that the bulk of the remaining 30% are in the rational state, with very few in the trans-rational state. Many of those in the rational state are probably still sophists as well, as they’ve been trained to use their critical thinking in an externalized manner to control others, and not to further their own personal evolution into stage three critical thinking, also known as the trans-rational state.
For those who are unaware of what sophistry is, here is it’s definition. Sophists are essentially self-aware of their lying and manipulations, but usually find ways to moralize it away, and view it as a necessary aspect of their life and purpose.