Have you ever heard of spiritual jealousy? This is the most subtle and tricky kind of jealousy. I realized that such things exists pretty spontaneously and then googled it: It turned out that the term “spiritual jealousy” already exists and people admit suffering from it.
What I feel it is that there is spiritual jealousy of two different kinds.
First and the most “known” kind of spiritual jealousy is when truly spiritual people, holy men, saints have been tortured by the ignorant folks, often tortured to death. The most prominent example is that of Jesus Christ. It’s astonishing how people so obviously special and great could have been tortured so much…even in India, the place where sainthood has been respected for ages, still many great yogis had to suffer a lot. And even if they had been respected by the fellow-men, the people of power used to torture them so much.
The second kind of spiritual jealousy is less known but probably more common nowadays when spirituality is so popular: people of any religion or spiritual practice may feel jealous of those whom they see as more “spiritually successful” (more devote, profound, meditative, collective, forgiving, loving, giving, etc.). This is mostly totally unconscious to the person who is jealous.
What is really bad about it is that some wonderful spiritual evolved persons get poisonous portions of envy and have to suffer – and that from their spiritual peers! They get attacked, criticized and disliked… This hurts. And the worst thing about it is that spiritual jealousy, more that any other jealousy is killing the spirit of collectivity, the oneness. It eats up the joy of being together, like a plague.
Well what can be done about this secret and powerful disease? Just check yourself: Are you jealous of someone for his/her spiritual achievements? Honestly. It’s good to become aware of that.
And then work on it and work it out.
P.S. My tip how to work it out: start appreciating the person with qualities you miss. And even admiring! This works wonders, because it will not only redeem you from jealousy but also help you to absorb these qualities yourself (see my post on it here).