The following passage is an excerpt from the essay Spiritual Narcissism by V. Gunnar Larsson, which is published in full on Integral World.
The tone of the dialogue in What Is Enlightenment? (now EnlightenNext magazine) between the guru and the pandit, Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber, was from the very start: If you admit that what I say is great, IÂ´ll admit that what you say is great, too. Mutual spiritual narcissism.
And before supporting Andrew Cohen â€“ who has never been able to accept any criticism in his own sick community while being highly critical of almost all others than Himself and his followers â€“ it took Ken Wilber more than 20 years to see and admit that his main guru for a long period of time, Adi Da/Da Free John, was a dubious spiritual narcissist (who would deserve a special chapter in the book on this subject.)
And as can be found in Wilber’s own writings: to follow a narcissistic, charismatic teacher for a long time, we have to be unaware of our own narcissism. By following what we believe is great we desire to be part of the greatness ourselves. Secondary narcissism.