While this quote was originally directed toward the imbalances which existed at the time of the French Revolution, and later attributed to Marvel hero Spider Man, its underlying concept rings true in regard to spiritual adepts and those on a conscious spiritual path. You see, it's just not enough to learn about spiritual truths from spiritual masters/guides and then take them on as your own without actually living from them. Your are responsible to live and make choices from the level of your understandings.
In other words, you have to be not only willing, but determined, to walk your talk. Anything else is pure hypocrisy.
I realize this is a big statement, and one that will ruffle some spiritual feathers. It should, because it's true for many seekers today. So, are you a spiritual hypocrite? Does your life revolve around the spiritual community...going to meetups, attending local spiritual workshops, following prominent spiritual leaders on Facebook and "liking" all the comments that you agree with? Do you take time to comment on FB, feeling a need to add your own personal story as a way to show others how enlightened you are, all the while harboring judgments and ill feelings toward those outside of your spiritual circles? Be honest, now. Can you love your neighbor when they let their dogs out at six in the morning and wake you up? Do you love your boss when he/she tells you that you aren't performing up to expectations? Do you maintain your level of loving for those you care for the most when they don't meet your expectations?
Tough questions to answer from an honest place.
Spiritual seekers tend to be hard working in the gaining of the mental knowledge needed to dissolve the attachments and desires of the world, but quite complacent in the application of these teachings. As I often tell my students, it's not enough just to see what's at play because seeing it won't dissolve it. True dissolution takes place when you move through the emotional level of each fear, belief, and attachment, because that is where the energetic charge which holds the dynamic in place is held. You have experienced pain in your lives at a time when your hearts were open and vulnerable.. The intensity of the pain was so strong that your mind engaged an entire matrix to keep you from re-experiencing those feelings. The pain was never dealt with and the energy was never neutralized, so it remains trapped within your consciousness. The way to liberation from the energy is to move back through the original pain...experiencing all the dynamics and owning it...and then using your higher understandings to see through the story. You must own it before you can disown it and holding the fear in the level of the unconscious only delays this process indefinitely. This is exactly why you experience such strong emotional triggers in your life that are brought on by those around you. It's not them you are reacting to, but your own level of denial over what they represent to you. It takes great courage to go into the fear...into the void of your own consciousness.
So, how does spiritual complacency lead to complicitiy? Maya Angelou was quoted as saying something similar to the following: "You did what you did because you didn't know better. But, when you knew better, you did better." Wouldn't it be grand if this statement held true for everyone? Complicity comes in the form of the seeker knowing better, but not doing better. There is a certain amount of grace attached to taking wrongful action from a place of true innocence, such as the small child not understanding death who kills his first bug. There was no intent to harm within the child's action. However, when that child grows and is given the understanding of life and death and to respect all life and then goes on to take pleasure in the torturing and killing of a small creature, that grace is no longer extended to him and his actions are karmicly binding. You see, he knows better, but because of the selfish desires of the ego, he chooses not to do better.
This is why the spiritual path is steep and narrow. The status quo of life before understanding vanishes quickly for the true seeker and the level of personal responsibility increases steadily as the personal self dissolves. You can no longer stand by and be complicit to the suffering around you by your conscious non-action. Where a need comes into your awareness, you do what you can to fill that need; not attaching to the outcome of your assistance, but extending your assistance to the best of your ability for its own sake. This is the Christ...this is God.
How many "spiritual" people have I witnessed making light of human tragedy? I hear things like, "they must have drawn it to themselves" or "its all perfect, so it happened exactly as it was supposed to." This is not in keeping with the teachings. Hear me well. You do not move into states of detached awareness in order to disassociate from the world and from your place in it. The Christ engages because he/she is the only one who can truly be of assistance here. Do you understand? The personal self can't truly be of assistance because it is polarized in the act of assisting. The Christ is not attached and lives in a state of compassion that the personal self has no means to understand. And it is this state of loving, compassionate equanimity that can change the world as we now experience it.
Do yourselves a favor...don't come to the table until you're ready to eat. If you aren't hungry enough yet, leave room for someone else who is. And, when you are hungry enough to sit down, don't play with your food...dive right in!
"Always let your conscience be your guide." ~Jiminy Cricket