Spiritual People Don’t say F**k

By Zach Herbert on Thursday April 28th, 2016

... Or do They?

It’s interesting. Since I launched the site and pulled the curtain back on Open Source Spirituality, there’s been one response that I’ve received more than any other.

From moms to metalheads to former-Mormons. The people are very different, but the message is always the same:

Thank you for putting yourself out there. And for showing that it’s okay to be me.

The funny thing is, the reaction usually comes before they’ve even had a chance to dig into the ideas.

More often than not, it starts with the silly Fuck Spiritual. Be You. picture below (and in the sidebar of my site).

Fuck Spiritual. Be You.Fuck Spiritual. Be You.

So why is that so shocking?

Why should that, of all things, make any difference to anyone?

Because we’re all afraid to reveal who we really are.

And because “spiritual” people don’t say fuck.

We’ve been handed this idea of what it means to be spiritual… Peaceful. Transcendent. Free from emotion. Free from ego personality.

It’s easy to be “spiritual.” It’s easy to be pleasant and peaceful and unaffected.

It’s easy to pretend.

It’s easy because it’s safe; and it’s fake; and it comes with a roadmap.

All we have to do is follow the stereotype and project the right image. (When in doubt, just smile placidly and say Namaste.)

It’s easy to pretend. It’s easy to pretend.

Being authentic is scary.

We all want, more than anything, to be ourselves. To express ourselves. To be seen and accepted. And appreciated for what we have to offer.

But we’re afraid that if we do express ourselves—if we reveal who we really are—the people in our lives will reject us and abandon us.

They won’t want to see. They won’t accept.

And the shitty thing is…

We’re right.

Not everyone of course. But some.

And sometimes it’s the people who really matter.

It could be your parents, or your best friend, or your lover.

No matter how hard you try, some people will reject you.

And the more you are who you are, the more rejection you’re going to face.

Because the most beautiful thing about you—the thing most likely to offend others—is YOU.

No matter how hard you try, some people will reject you.No matter how hard you try, some people will reject you.

Scary? Yes. But here’s the good part.

Having a personality—being an actual person—let’s people form an opinion.

Sometimes that means you get rejected. But sometimes it means you get to connect and engage at a much deeper level.

But until you put yourself out there, you’re just stuck in the middle. You don’t risk the rejection. But you never make the connection either.

Which brings us back to the Fuck Spiritual. Be You. picture

I don’t exactly fit the “spiritual” stereotype. And when I was just getting started, I wasn’t sure what to do about that.

I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to not offend the old spiritual-but-not-religious crowd.

I was sure my ideas would help them. But I was also sure that my personality would rub them the wrong way. And so I kept trying to figure out how to take me out of the equation.

It was difficult, and depressing. And it kept me stuck for quite a while.

Having a personality—being an actual person—let’s people form an opinion.Having a personality—being an actual person—let’s people form an opinion.

The turning point came when I attended a New Age expo in Nashville a few years ago.

I remember walking around this giant room, looking for anything different or interesting. I found costumed gurus and costumed psychics and crystal peddlers and approximately 270,000 certified Reiki masters…

And I thought, these are not the people I want to spend the rest of my life hanging out with!

Followed quickly by, what the hell am I going to do??

I already knew that this was my life’s path. I knew that my unusual insights into the contemplative arts were the most meaningful gift I had to give.

But “Open Source Spirituality” didn’t exist yet… It was still in pieces. And it didn’t come together until I realized that I could share that gift with people who I wouldn’t need to hide from.

So I decided to let people see me.

I decided to let people see me.I decided to let people see me.

Be You

Initially it was just my own act of courage. An effort to express who I really am, and hopefully build a life engaging with people who I could actually connect with.

But the more I revealed, the more I realized that authenticity was the point.

Not “spiritual.” Not “evolved.” Not “enlightened.”


Whatever that means… However that changes as you grow… Just be you.

For me, that means goofy pictures that express my personality, and a tagline that lets people form an opinion.

For you, it will be something else.

Just be youJust be you.

And the “spiritual” crowd? So far they’re predictably offended. They hide their shock, politely dismiss themselves, and go back to Namaste’ing with their friends.

And that’s probably for the best.

There’s a big difference between being spiritual, and being “spiritual.” And I’m definitely not the latter.

The question is: why are YOU here?

What is it that you’re looking for?

If you want to let go of your negative emotions… If you want life to be safe and simple… If you want to make the people you love, love you back…

Then you’re in the wrong place.

What is it that you’re looking for?What is it that you’re looking for?

Spirituality isn’t safe

It isn’t easy. It isn’t smooth. And it isn’t going to make people love you.

But it will change you.

You’ll wake up. You’ll break down. You’ll weep for beauty and connection. You’ll laugh and love and fight and fuck. And fall ass-backwards into mind-bending experiences that no one will understand…

But you won’t be safe.

You won’t avoid the things you don’t want to feel.

And if you use it as a path to authenticity, you’ll face an awful lot of rejection.

Because that’s the price of being YOU.

It’s the part that none of us signs up for—but all of us get anyway.

Not the most enticing pitch, is it?

Call it truth in advertising.

It isn’t easy. It isn’t smooth. And it isn’t going to make people love you.It isn’t easy. It isn’t smooth. And it isn’t going to make people love you.

And if you still think that spiritual people don’t say fuck… If you still think it’s all about an even hand and a safe and steady passage… No worries. Keep up the search. And thanks for stopping by.

For the rest of you…

YOU, with the irreverent spirit…

YOU, with the inner-grin and the hopeful heart…

YOU, with everything to gain; and everything to lose…

Welcome home.

We’ve been waiting for you.




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Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet

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Are you a Spiritual Narcissist?

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49 Responses to Spiritual People Don’t say F**k

  1. Hell of a rant!! Completely agree. Getting vibes that this is a topic that has been bothering you? Anyway, thanks so much for the insight!!

  2. I think this rant is more applicable to the paradigm in the western society. Its clear that the writer want to differentiate between being spiritual and the idea of ‘being spritual’. I can at the same time relate to the article and also not. Because the assertion made here is that spirituality is a lifestyle, that one has to smile and say namaste and not say fuck etc to be on the path of spirituality. But being spritual has nothing to do with lifestyle, anyone can be it. Metalhead, mom, mormons. Etc

  3. Whats the value of being spiritual if it is not being compassionate? Compassion will minimize necessity for using the word fuck.

    • There’s no extrinsic value to being “spiritual.” I can attest to compassion easily coexisting with the word “fuck” in the vocabulary. It’s just a word.

      • I believe that I understand your point. It might be worthwhile to try and understand mine…

        The Basics of Right Speech

        As recorded in the Pali Canon, the historical Buddha taught that Right Speech had four parts:

        Abstain from false speech; do not tell lies or deceive.
        Do not slander others or speak in a way that causes disharmony or enmity.
        Abstain from rude, impolite or abusive language.
        Do not indulge in idle talk or gossip.
        Practice of these four aspects of Right Speech goes beyond simple “thou shalt nots.” It means speaking truthfully and honestly; speaking in a way to promote harmony and good will; using language to reduce anger and ease tensions; using language in a way that is useful.

        If your speech is not useful and beneficial, teachers say, it is better to keep silent.

        • Too. PC and FAKE to me…I want real…I want you…I don’t want “Head Games”…I want freedom to be you and the same with me…I’m not getting paid to sell my soul to others…I’m whole enough to take your differences with no fear to my integrity…I don’t play to win all the time…I gamble in Freedom of truth…Yours and mine…No shows or tip toeing around…I’m not out to hurt you and If I see people playing a Head Game of ego or envy, I’m out!…Gladly…LOL…

      • All words have different vibrations. Words matter. I say f when I’m angry and it points to the feeling which in turn can point to the story ego tells you. It’s usage has decreased over the years.

  4. I like being me..Sure I might talk too fast or get “prematurely excited”, have strange tastes and love way too many kinds of music but I have arrived here because I feel comfortable with myself and my friends and family know who I am. I have love for nature, mankind, new ideas, new recipes, a good conversation and much more. Believing in yourself helps immensely and helping others continues the growth. To me spirituality is feeling comfortable with your surroundings and that’s fucking great!

  5. the one thing that I have been aware of threw my life is that I am a spiritual being. I have searched for understanding of these parts of me that is aware of the world threw dreams , premonitions and connections to the world of spirit. One gift the internet has given to me is the connection to like experienced. In my early 20ty’s after mothering for many years and growing as a nurture my warrior appeared in my minds eye and it created a conflict of sorts . While I felt the strength I didn’t understand what was happening . The place where I had come from was full of violence and I was afraid that something dangerous was surfacing and later came to a peace and embraced this part of me . We are not all on entity . On one hand i have sat in prayer for other threw the years because I could see threw experimenting how sending energy calmed , comforted and gave strength to others and at other times I needed to be what felt like bold to me to speak a truth that was surfacing . I feared rejection to the core because in part I had been tossed by my family and repeatedly by many others threw the years ..but they always tossed me with false judgement . And this is something that I have been trying to come to peace with threw the years. People will judge you not matter what you do so I am just me . I put it all out there . I don’t edit as I used to . I speak honestly and judge way and fall away for those that can take me as I am are the strongest enduring friends whom I speak honestly with .one beauty in all of this is it has given others the strength to be themselves also..I am not apt to judge your walk in this life and I trust others also are in the same place … I have many good friends , some that are controlling of my energetic nature but when I am animate and its to much I go other places . We can all be ourselves and respect the limits of others with out judgment but simply love them for all they are .

  6. It all boils down to the judgement theme. We all look at one another and judge each other for one thing or another. That’s one of my hardest obstacles…but, I’m working on it!

  7. What an fascinating conundrum we are. Tethered to a physical body with incredible demands put on it just to survive. Then we are pitched onto a big ball of dirt, amazingly beautiful and as even more complex than we are, where we settle for a short term. We are reared in the other complex and demanding culture where we are moulded to fit a scheme we have no real understanding of.
    The conundrum really begins to flame out when we realize how spiritual we really are. It begins to be very frustrating when, as young people, we begin to question as in “why do we not connect as well as we should?” Our inner selves screaming for freedom from the physical demands and to be let loose to just be. Screaming to be heard, understood and appreciated. We walk through a carnival of testing characters and options where we must choose what is real and what is not. What can we reveal and what we can not. What we can share and what if forbidden. Somehow we come to an end of the testing grounds to find we are not ourselves but something guarded and fearful of the coming night.
    All around us we hear whispers of judgement yet are told not to judge. We are inundated with examples of horrific harm being done but are told not to harm. We come to realize perfection exist only in an insane asylum yet so often in some abstract way it is demanded of us. Every once in awhile we look up at the crows overhead and know our destiny over which we have no control, awaits. Still after the long run we are no better qualified to judge the carrion or the crow. That alone may set us free in the end.

  8. All my life I have been searching for a spiritual connection. I’m 62 now and now I feel I have finally found it and of all things in Facebook. I have always been so different than anyone else in my family, I tried so hard to change, adapt, become what each person expected me to be, and being very empathetic it was an easy thing to accomplish. The problem really began when I grew so exhausted being everyone and no one. I was now an adult, a single parent with 4 boys and I didn’t have a clue who I was or what I believed in. I was lost, unhappy and totally empty. I had plunged through life on crazy mode. Divorced 4 times, moved 32 times, changed my life so many times I lost count. I had no idea if I even believed in God anymore, I didn’t even know what made me happy, I knew everything that made my friends and family happy, but when asked what did I like to do for fun, not a clue. Then I heard someone say “Who are you” don’t say mother, daughter, sister, caretaker, those are things you do, it helped make you who you are, but you need to reach deep inside of yourself and find your core. That statement scared the hell out of me. To this day I still fall back on my empathetic ways to please the people around me, but I am really trying to just be me. I like the way you think, and I know the sacrifices I will have to make, but I am so tired of hiding my spirit and my eccentric beliefs from my family and the very few friends I do have (2) one of them accepts me as I am, the other has no clue.
    As you can tell I like to talk, unfortunately no one wants to listen, I try to tell the truth but no one wants to hear it, I am emotional and get my feelings hurt easily, but I get over it quickly, I’m told to not say anything, just get over it. I could go on forever but until I am sure someone wants to talk and listen, I will end this now.

    • find me on Facebook. I will listen – and we can talk.
      I want to know who you are. 🙂
      (Much of what you wrote sounds very familiar to me)

    • Mary Wesley you can find me on facebook too. I have a beautiful friends on there who share & who are true to themselves. It is only conditioning by our society that puts us in a position too scared to speak up & show the real us in case we get ridiculed. I have found that I have made some great friendships on Facebook & we have never met but believe that many who come to us are part of our soul group. Come and be yourself. As for letting go I have just let a friend of over 30 years go as our energy didn’t fit. I think she is actually jealous of my journey. Big hugs sister, you are not on your own:) Feel free to pop over too Ingrid Phoenix Doerksen:)

    • Namaskar, your true Friend is the one who will never Leave you, regardless of your Situation. That personality is found Deep within our Silence. That is the Source of Inspiration on our Spiritual paths. Just like as Butter is hidden within Milk- That Mysterious Friend is within our Minds and Hearts. Churn our Minds with the Stillness of Meditation, and with our Hearts in it’s Harmonious’s place, We All will notice an Innner peace with that Divine personality! BNK

  9. This is awesome! Thank you so much for this. It hits right to the heart of everything I’ve been discussing in my blog lately, only in much more detail. I can totally relate to being rejected & attacked by those you most hoped for support from, just because I can no longer hide from my truth & authenticity. if you care to see my struggles. Thanks again… you made my day with this <3

  10. I guess spirituality-as-authenticity allows one to retain the egoistic criticism of what other people are doing. On the main page of your site, why do you slam the paths of others so harshly? Not a good selling point for me. There is no group for the authentic person. Get it? There’s no club. We’re all different. There’s no way to box us up if we’re all being authentic. But then, there would be no way to sell that.

  11. What the fuck? I mean… not fuck?…
    This can’t be real, can it? It’s just another intro to just another cult of “spiritual” or “religious” “freedoms”… Right?
    I have fallen for these “positive spiritual belief system” traps PLENTY in my long and lonely endeavour to be… Well I don’t even know what! But controlled, unfulfilled, trained, tamed, and DOOPED are NOT anywhere on this list my higher self or “gamer” (as I like to call it) has in mind! No-way ho-say! I’m on a quest for truth, knowledge, answers to my questions that never seem to be on the Q&A page! REAL love, laughter, excitement, sensuality, sincerity, MADNESS, beauty, genuine genuinity, compassion and passion, euphoria, eccentricity, limitlessness and YES… ORGASMS!!!! LOTS OF ‘EM!!! be it with a male or female partner (or both) or you, yourself, and… U or me, myself, and my hitac… U GET THE POINT!!!! I’m confident in that!
    I just always thought I was alone in my “field of dreams” where the only rule is “always be true to urself”. I have always promoted this place to everyone I have met but they never show… Thier too busy believing dramas and “blending” in. So I search… I search and search for anything that even slightly resembles MY TRUTHS in my field of dreams, but just like a mirage, the authenticity eventually fades as I approach disappointed, judged, and thirsty, resulting in the loud, overused and sometimes exaggerated [email protected]$K. I’m truley always hopeful, and thirsty enough to keep seaching though, plus I want to know how many “fucks”will I say before my time is up… Just a little game I play with myself… There’s nothing wrong with that. So… If the person who wrote this isn’t just another “anti-christina” leading a group of desperate believers into a mass suicide or massacre and is authenticly really real then, THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU, FINALLY HAVING THE BALLS TO KEEP BEING YOU AND FOR BEING MY BECON AND INSIPRATION TO KEEP BEING MYSELF AND WELCOMING ME! Much love and respect.
    All u like minders and fellow f**ckers, pls look me up on FB. XOXOXOXO

  12. Being a Name Brand Church religious nut bag are the types who dont do this or that so they can show how prim and proper they are to other Church goers.
    A Spiritual Person bases everything on the Fire from within their own heart.
    I know a lot of folks who are more Spiritual than most people I know that wouldn’t be allowed in the front door of a name brand Church. Kind of sad.
    Just showing up at Church doesn’t make one Spiritual.

  13. Well, fuck. I am a spiritual person snd I swear like a sailor when I have to. I work in a prison as a counselor and was told by an inmate that I’m “cute” when I swear because I don’t look like I should. But they enjoy the spiritual discussions when it goes that way in group, and, well, THEY don’t look spiritual either.

  14. Yes! I have a mantra: Never do more than you can do without resentment. Sometimes it means changing my mind, sometimes it means changing what I am doing. Because with just a small amount of observation, I can mimic “spiritual” in many situations. But I recognize my lie and it causes me resentment. So….Resisting the real me causes me more pain than the other way round. And I waited half a century to slip into my skin and into the back row of spiritual. Just tonight, I said(out loud, just in case) thank you to whatever guidance I continue to receive when I ask sincerely, even if I have resisted or ignored in the past. Just thanks!

  15. Are you fucken kidding me? (wink wink, nudge nudge)

    While I always try to be my authentic self (my friends/acquaintances can attest that I am as most of what comes out of my mouth is out of left field), I still have a ways to go. Great article on the importance and significance of being authentic, true to ourselves.

    I don’t quite understand this whole, whether or not one who is truly “spiritual” says the word “fuck”. I’m sure I’m missing something that’s glaringly obvious that shot straight over my head, but words are simply a carrier for some meaning or concept; everyone has their own spin and exact meaning for the word. I’ve had many a conversation with my mom (a old-school Chinese immigrant) about this very word.

    Nevertheless, a fantastic article…

  16. Absolutely love it!!! I’ve always felt like I was in the middle and couldn’t quite figure it out, all makes sense now and I can swear and not feel guilty lol

  17. On the same page.has always annoyed me the people who go out of their way to let you know how spiritual they are separate from the rest of humanity. Just not getting it that all of humanity is spiritual the best and the worst

  18. I accepted being the “Black Sheep” since I was the “Rebel Child”…Curious and ambitious…I jump in “Deep” like a gambler…Not tactful in many things…I equate Diplomacy to hypocrisy…Patronizing is disrespectful to me…Respect is of utmost importance to me, but only to those who are respectful to me…I learned that what I find respectful, is not what someone else may see as respectful…That’s my cue to walk away…I want people to be real because I am truly curious about how you are different from other people…Maybe you dance prettier, speak a foreign language I don’t, have a special skill like carpentry or mechanics, anything I can soak up some info from…Learn something new today…I have a lot to learn from you and you may learn something from me…Some people try to play ” Head-Games” and that’s is soo disrespectful to me…One head game and I’m history…I speak 5 languages and swear in each in all the different cultures…I can go from “Friken to Bloody” in English…Spanish has many more than English…And, I have let one loose to a Bishop in the Catholic church…LOL…It was the proper word at the time to be true to myself…Not ashamed at all…I have to be me at all times and carry both my bags quite merrily…I win some I lose some and tomorrow is another day…Either I get over it or you do…We’ll just have to play and see…I’m not going to worry about it…But, if I’m put to task, you can bank on it that I’m going to give it my all and not quit on you…My Mom once took me to a Crisis Center because she was told I was not normal…I was told I was Eccentric and that I would never suffer from mental illness…They gave “HER” the follow up appointment…LMAO…

  19. SELF is an illusion. YOU are an illusion. Only that which is ONE is True. The ONE has nothing to say and only LISTENS. I believe this is the essence of being truly authentic. Everything else is meaningless in a universe that will eventually experience a heat death and then recycle itself –ultimately destroying all information and any effects of our being “authentic” that we may profess. What are talking about is a expression of a transient mind, not the true self which is timeless and changeless. Also, anyone who claims to “spiritual”, is not…spiritual. Just sayin’!

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