What Is Spiritual Bypassing

Ouch, it really hurts, wails a child accompanied by traumatized screaming and tears. In an effort to seek help and escape the claws of excruciating pain, humans will do most anything.

Since our earliest and formative years humans have sought every and any venue to avoid pain.  It is a survival mechanism and primal dictate in the preservation of the human species.  The latest venue on the menu of avoidance is spiritual bypassing.

Aggression, alienation, avoidance, denial, disassociation, judgment, projection, rejection, repression, resistance, withdrawal are a few self defense mechanisms that assist us in moving as far away from pain as possible.

As we have experienced, pain stems from unlimited sources with the ruling power behind all perceptions of pain being the egoic mind.  Egocentricity is rife with snares, pitfalls, deceptions, entrapments, separateness and dualities.

The ego possesses endless strategies to keep an individual captive in the proverbial hamster’s wheel.  The latest Zeitgeist of higher consciousness and spirituality has created a plethora of fodder necessary for the spiritual bypasser.

The East has met the West in popularity for spiritual seekers searching for transcendence and immanence.  Each system approaches the spiritual domain of evolution with different approaches.

The East relies on transcendence from the ego to move beyond the pain of ego’s separation.  The Western theory of immanence is focused on the present incarnation and creating a new form rather than dissolving the old, (ego).  The conversion is similar to the new seedling growth of a forest following a wildfire.

From this expansion of spirit another form of escape from the pain of the human condition has developed and come into focus, though it has been around since the beginning of time, called Spiritual Bypassing.   Spiritual Bypassing basically is the act of avoiding the responsibility of   humanness: denial of feelings, the Pollyanna syndrome, avoidance of pain, aggrandizing spiritual advancement, anger phobia, all a shadow of authentic spirituality.

An authentic spiritual journey engages in and tackles the struggle of existence.  The adept is fully aware that key to transcendence and immanence is within the struggle.  It is about finding oneself and in that discovery we experience a new form unencumbered by duality, chaos, pain, and the belief of separation.

John the Baptist was an ascetic who found God in the lofty silence of the mountains and monastic life.  He communed with his Maker daily and stayed far from the daily bumps and grinds of exacerbating city life.

His story is a wonderful metaphor for the consequences of spiritual bypassing.  Considering the head as spirit and body as the world, it demonstrates the consequences of the practice of spiritual bypassing which precludes engaging all parts of our humanness, dismisses negative feelings and excludes dealing with maddening throngs.

The paradox of transfiguration is that in the midst of becoming intimate with the disowned, shadow parts of ourselves and holding up the sword in the duel of life, the seeker may also stand in the peace of light and love.  It is engaging in the dualities of life that we are enabled to move beyond.

Inhabiting a body, living on this planet, and engaging with all that life offers no matter how it presents itself is the ticket to freedom.  It is the exact thing that we do our best to escape, the pain and struggle that is the medicine needed to heal.  This is only dimension that a human can work towards enlightenment.

St. John was beheaded, the implication is if we disown our bodies, our human frailties, our shadow side, the results is being cut off from the very source of our transformation.

Everyone spiritual bypasses in some degree.  It is important to observe how we are using Spiritual Law and tenets to avoid the veils that need rendering if we are to truly walk the talk.

Look at your intent for engaging in meditation, prayer, contemplation, going to self -improvement workshops, or other forms of spiritual advancement.

Is your intention to know yourself, hear and form a relationship with your inner voice/Higher Self? Is your focus around evolving into light and love, learning to be authentic and congruent with your feelings, shining a light of acceptance, ownership and forgiveness of your shadow side? Do you want to break open your heart and allow yourself to be a conduit of light and love for others?

Or do you engage in any form of spiritual practice to avoid the darker, shadow, veiled, hidden parts of yourself that invariably expose themselves in day to day living.  If mediation is being used to avoid unwelcome feelings or pain, we are bypassing exactly what we need to become spiritual, masters of our minds and bodies.

How many Christians proclaim their devotion to Christianity whose behavior is not Christ like, how many Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists,
Hindi’s, etc., actions mirror their beloved religions’ highest spiritual precepts?  How many spiritual seekers sit in the bliss of mediation,
workshops, books, programs, gurus, but judge, accuse, and engage in
hatred?

Yes, the human experience is a mosaic of mystery threaded with struggle and pain.  It is the actual intimacy with this struggle and pain that lifts us into the love and light that bears the fruit of having done so.  Beware of the traps and delusions of spiritual bypassing, it keeps us in the pain and duality that we so want to transcend and transform.

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