Adodd

Let's talk about spiritual bypassing.

43 posts in this topic

What EXACTLY is spiritual bypass?

What are the dangers of it?

How do we know when its happening?

How do we avoid it?

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Posted (edited)

Its saying you dont exist to flee from issues in your relations to world, yourself and others. Its denying the reality of life to free yourself of experiencing the depth and difficulty life as a human consists and to avoid working on how we treat each other and relate to eachother. Its an emphasis on highs and altered states of consciousness to avoid the nitty gritty, grimey shit here on earth. Its basically acting like issues you have arent there, arent real or are imaginary. Its dissociation masquarating as enlightenment. Its Lack of nuance and is self centered. Focusing more on desperately trying to see thru illusion of the self than stripping yourself from self centeredness to see others and in relation to other become real yourself. Duality and connection rather than non duality and disconnection.

 

So basically close to everything promoted in this forum.

Edited by Whatever

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It's basically being arrogant enough to think, that you're already at the top of the Maslow's pyramid of needs (self transendence), while being negligent about your lower needs. Thinking that you've skipped the queue, so to speak, with no consequences.


I write for a living.

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wouldn't eckhart tolle be a prime example of spiritual bypassing?

although now he has lot's of monies and stability

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2 hours ago, Adodd said:

What EXACTLY is spiritual bypass?

It's the resistance to truly feel within.

2 hours ago, Adodd said:

What are the dangers of it?

Deceiving yourself & spiritual brainwash.

2 hours ago, Adodd said:

How do we know when its happening?

When we listen to our guidance and something feels off. Extended thought narratives about 'your spirituality' are also a clue.

2 hours ago, Adodd said:

How do we avoid it?

By listening to our emotional guidance system (=feeling). dropping the resistance to feel within, and understanding/decoding emotions.

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Posted (edited)

Another form is getting identified with being spiritual, buddhism, meditation, non-attachment etc instead of fully feeling, going after what you really want in life.

will finish post later

Edited by Thought Art

"Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home...Hear the soldier grown 'We'll go it alone!'" Intervention -Arcade Fire 

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The idea of spiritual bypassing is just more spiritual nonsense.

It suggests that there is an incorrect path of avoidance or something similar that one could take as apposed to a correct spiritual path.

But there isn't a real right or wrong path because nothing actually matters.

 

 


“Everything is honoured, but nothing matters.” — Eckhart Tolle.

"I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I've been knocking from the inside." -- Rumi

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Posted (edited)

@Adodd  Spiritual bypassing tends to be linked to the concept of 'staying with what is'. In other words to sit with one's pain and not to sweep things under the rug. But sometimes this so called spiritual bypassing can actually be a good thing. One can get stuck in just sitting with one's pain. So taking the counterintuitive route, and simply imagining a new past where you were infinitely fulfilled, can work wonders. A healthy combination of shadow work and bliss work is key. 

Edited by Wilhelm44

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Adodd said:

What EXACTLY is spiritual bypass?

One useful way to frame spiritual bypassing is when conceptualization, beliefs, and unconscious mechanisms of the ego mind have co-opted deep, existential insights as new forms of self activity. This can commonly manifests as the dogmatic position in the whole "there is no one here and nothing to do! This is it!" type of attitude we see in the Neo Advaita movement. Other common forms are the new age belief systems around spirituality and "oneness." 

When the ego co-ops these positions, the outward manifestation of mind and body are not actually aligned with authentic realization, but instead, still caught in the dream, but a pernicious version because of how sneaky it is. We think we're being spiritual, but the ego has simply manipulated the insights to fit its new survival agenda, all the while what we actually are is still unconscious to itself. 

7 hours ago, Adodd said:

What are the dangers of it?

The biggest danger is never having actually aligned with our highest desire, which is to self-unity, become conscious of what we actually are. The danger is particularly bad in the examples I've listed because the ego truly believes it's "got it" but the truth remains hidden. The work is falsely seen to be done, or the ego thinks itself much more advanced than it actually is. 

Thinking one is awakened while not actually being awake is tragic, really. 

7 hours ago, Adodd said:

How do we know when its happening?

Usually it's only seen in hindsight, once one has had legitimate breakthroughs and can examine retroactively. Clarity clears ignorance.

7 hours ago, Adodd said:

How do we avoid it?

Consistent meditation - meditation is like a bullshit detector. If meditating for long periods of time causes suffering, that's an immediate indicator you have not unraveled the mystery of self. You want to have so much conviction in your insight, you can look death in the eyes and smile. Cannot emphasize enough how important and how simultaneously grounding and mind blowing rigorous meditation is, especially long term and especially for helping us avoid spiritual ego. Nothing like a good strong determination sit to humble the ego, but usually much less intensity is required. 

One of Leo's old vlogs talks about the importance of doing quarterly meditation retreats. I wouldn't  say that frequently is necessary; quarterly is pretty extreme. However, doing at least one retreat per year is also really powerful and making sure our insights are grounded in experience, rather than belief.  

Understanding the mechanism and extent of self deception. Leo's video series on this is insanely powerful and underrated, imo. 

Adopting principles such as - Integrity, honesty, humility, persistence, gratitude, patience 

Values such as - truth, love, self-actualization, wisdom, harmony

Be extremely weary of those who promote or demonize spiritual practice. There is certainly wisdom in the "This is it!" perspective, but in my experience, most of these individual's level of awakening is shallow. After a certain degree of awakening, one begins to see when someone is bullshitting, and when one is authentic. Kinda like how it's obvious who's a virgin and who's not... The presence of a truly awakened being is radically more powerful than, for example, the myriad of Neo Advaita or New Age YouTubers out there. However, detecting this subtle transmission is usually only available once one has had legitimate breakthroughs. 

Edited by Consilience

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Posted (edited)

@Consilience

Interesting. Would you say that it is possible to have had genuine insights that just haven't fully sunk in yet?

Sometimes I do wonder if I am just bullshitting myself about my 'level of awareness'... which probably indicates that I am bullshitting myself about it, heh.

5 hours ago, Consilience said:

If meditating for long periods of time causes suffering, that's an immediate indicator you have not unraveled the mystery of self.

What would your advice be to someone who feels that meditation makes them feel worse instead of better?

Tbh, I often feel that meditation / increasing my (self)awareness makes me feel better and worse simultaneously... it's hard to put into words. And maybe it's just more bullshit. ¬¬

Edited by Bazooka Jesus

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49 minutes ago, Bazooka Jesus said:

What would your advice be to someone who feels that meditation makes them feel worse instead of better?

Tbh, I often feel that meditation / increasing my (self)awareness makes me feel better and worse simultaneously... it's hard to put into words. And maybe it's just more bullshit. ¬¬

I'm currently facing something similar, it's really odd.

Meditating and sinking into inner peace feels truly wonderful. This 'increased awareness', however, makes me also much more mindful of my own neuroticism. This is kinda driving me crazy sometimes and I start to get mad at myself, and as I start to get mad at myself, I also get mad at others much more easily.

A few things come to mind here. For one, this dynamic might stem from being more truthful with your emotions, instead of sweeping them under the rug. Another reason why I might get more irritable after a peaceful meditation is the contrast felt (meditation, letting go of conditioning & peace vs. everyday-life, conditioning & discordant thoughts). The recognition of just how neurotic I can be is also itching.

I currently focus heavily on relaxation, choosing what to focus on, acceptance, and self-love. Oftentimes I'm being too hard on myself, as well as others. I want to 'bring' the peace of meditation even more into everyday life, instead of leaving it on the cushion. Letting go, like really really letting go everything, which does not serve me, is also very helpful.

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Posted (edited)

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I have cut and paste the following from Lonewolf.com, which in my opinion has one of the best examples of Spiritual Bypassing! 

LoneWolf.com

The term ‘spiritual bypassing’ was originally coined by psychologist John Welwood in 1984. 

Spiritual bypassing is a term I coined to describe a process I saw happening in the Buddhist community I was in, and also in myself. Although most of us were sincerely trying to work on ourselves, I noticed a widespread tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.

https://lonerwolf.com/what-is-spiritual-bypassing/

To many people, spirituality becomes a sort of crutch used as a way of standing back up again in the face of life’s turmoil – and sometimes this is necessary. We all need support at some time or another in our lives. But the problem comes when spirituality is used as a drug for which we become dependent on in order to bypass the darker elements of our lives.

When spirituality is used as a defense mechanism to ward off the gremlins and demons of our existence, it actually becomes our greatest hindrance, preventing us from developing true courage, authenticity, and wholeness; qualities that refine our souls.

While the use of spirituality can provide us with a solid wall to hide behind, in doing so it traps us in an all-is-happy-and-perfect jail cell of illusions.

The reality is that not everything in life is ‘love and light’ as is the slogan for many spiritual seekers.

The truth is that there are many types of spiritual bypassing that we sometimes don’t recognize (or refuse to recognize) in life. I have listed ten of the most common types below:

I)  The Optimistic Bypass

We’ve all come across people in life who love to laugh and smile, yet seem to be forcefully optimistic.  “Focus on the positive!” “See the glass as half full!” “Don’t let a frown get you down!” are some of the catchcries of these people who tend to use optimism as a way of avoiding the more somber and troublesome realities of life. The optimistic bypass is often a side product of anger-phobia, or the inability to deal with negative emotions.

II)  The Aggrandizement Bypass

This is a type of self-delusion that some spiritual seekers use as a way of masking their perceived deficiencies and insecurities. The aggrandizement bypass is adopted by those who seek to feel enlightened, superior or having reached higher planes of existence. It is sometimes used by self-proclaimed masters, leaders, spiritually awakened souls, and gurus.

III)  The Victim Bypass

When one becomes a victim of their gifts, or of other people, this takes away the pressure of responsibility for shaping a satisfying life and taking responsibility for one’s happiness – such is the case with the Victim Bypass. This type of spiritual bypass is often used by spiritual seekers who believe they have extrasensory gifts of some kind, but due to their gifts they are unable to feel happy or healthy. Identifying as an Empath is sometimes a good example of this type of bypassing, as it can be interpreted as the fault of other people and their emotions for behaving in self-destructive and volatile ways. Other labels, like being a clairvoyant, indigo child, starseed, gifted healer, and so on, can often fall into the Victim Bypass trap.

IV)  The Psychonaut Bypass

Many spiritual seekers explore the frontiers of the mind, the soul, and reality through the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, and other entheogens that expand the mind and perception of existence. While this is a fascinating way of exploring reality, entheogens, like any other drug, can sometimes be used as a way of escaping reality and avoiding committing to personal development and soulful refinement.

V)  The Horoscope Bypass

When we frequently look outside of ourselves for help and guidance, as is with the case with Horoscopes and Psychics, we are failing to tap into our inner wellsprings of wisdom and strength and are allowing external predictions to control the outcome of our lives. The Horoscope Bypass is derived from fear and mistrust of ourselves, our inability to make decisions, and our inability to deal with anything tough that comes our way.

VI)  The Saint Bypass

As children, we were conditioned to believe that a “spiritual person” is always kind, compassionate, and saintly. In adulthood, we continue to repeat this story to ourselves, and sadly, it can cause us tremendous suffering. The Saint Bypass is a reflection of extreme “black or white” thinking, promoting the underlying belief that spiritual people can’t have dark sides because that would make them “unspiritual.” This type of bypass is essentially avoidance of one’s Shadow Self (dark side) by overcompensating with the guise of a sweet, heavenly, exterior. Self-sacrifice is a major symptom of this type of bypassing.

VII)  The Spirit Guide Bypass

In some spiritual traditions, it is a God who protects, in others an angel, an animal or an ascended being. No matter who the Spirit Guide is, the belief that they are there to “protect” us is pleasing to the mind but ultimately constricting to the soul. When we place our faith in another being’s power to ward off danger and keep us safe, we are committing a classic spiritual bypass: avoiding responsibility for ourselves and our lives and sidestepping the tough development of courage and resilience. We are not children, but when we think of ourselves as being so we mold our lives in such a way that we fail to develop strength of spiritual character. Spirit guides serve to teach us rather than to babysit us.

VIII)  The Prayer Bypass

Similar to the Spirit Guide Bypass, the Prayer Bypass circumvents personal responsibility by putting faith in a higher being to solve all of our problems and issues. While praying can be a healthy practice, it can easily become limiting and misguided.

IX)  The Guru Bypass

Often it is beneficial to follow a guru, shaman or spiritual teacher to learn and grow. However, becoming too attached to them can rapidly turn into another form of spiritual bypassing. The temptation to begin worshiping (knowingly or unknowingly) these teachers means that we eventually forget the purpose of listening to them: to integrate the essence of their teachings. By treating the words of a guru or master as the irrefutable truth and failing to think for ourselves, we are starved of true spiritual growth and transformation on our spiritual journeys.

X)  The Finger-Pointing Bypass

On our spiritual quests, we begin to see through the lies, delusions, and crazy behaviors committed by our fellow human beings and this can make us angry, downhearted, and frustrated. However, when we get caught up in “everything that is wrong” with the outside world and other people, dedicating our lives to the self-righteous quest of finger-pointing, this can be another form of spiritual bypassing. Finger-pointing instills us with a false sense of righteousness, taking away our responsibility of looking inside and working on ourselves. At its roots, the Finger-Pointing bypass is sourced from fear and avoidance and is a powerful form of procrastination.

Certainly, there are many other forms of spiritual bypassing, but here I present the most common ones that are easily observable in everyday life.

 

Just to make myself clear, I cut and paste the above material from  LoneWolf.com, the author is "Aletheia Luna".

 

Just sharing a few thoughts, ideas and beliefs!    Now "Do the WORK"

 

 

Edited by TDLH

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9 hours ago, VeganAwake said:

The idea of spiritual bypassing is just more spiritual nonsense.

It suggests that there is an incorrect path of avoidance or something similar that one could take as apposed to a correct spiritual path.

But there isn't a real right or wrong path because nothing actually matters.

 

2 minutes ago, Gidiot said:

@VeganAwake amen brother

 

Maybe?

But then again!

II)  The Aggrandizement Bypass

This is a type of self-delusion that some spiritual seekers use as a way of masking their perceived deficiencies and insecurities. The aggrandizement bypass is adopted by those who seek to feel enlightened, superior or having reached higher planes of existence. It is sometimes used by self-proclaimed masters, leaders, spiritually awakened souls, and gurus.

 

Something you may want to consider!

Just sharing a few thoughts, ideas and beliefs!  

 

 

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9 hours ago, VeganAwake said:

The idea of spiritual bypassing is just more spiritual nonsense.

It suggests that there is an incorrect path of avoidance or something similar that one could take as apposed to a correct spiritual path.

But there isn't a real right or wrong path because nothing actually matters.

This just sounds like spiritual bypassing, ironically.

It's in our everyday lives that the rubber hits the road. How do you feel when you're alone without any external distractions? Do you feel at peace, or do you feel agitated, irritable, depressed, etc.? Do you exude equanimity and calm even in the face of turbulent situations and difficult people, or do you get triggered by them? All the spiritual clichés in the world don't amount to a hill of beans if you're still conflicted inside.


'When you look outside yourself for something to make you feel complete, you never get to know the fullness of your essential nature.' - Amoda Maa Jeevan

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39 minutes ago, EmptyVase said:

This 'increased awareness', however, makes me also much more mindful of my own neuroticism. This is kinda driving me crazy sometimes and I start to get mad at myself, and as I start to get mad at myself, I also get mad at others much more easily.

This ^. Exactly.

I've had a pretty powerful awakening one year ago, and since then there have been times where my sheer irritability about the most trivial shit has gotten so extreme that I felt like a walking bomb on the verge of physical explosion, lol. Which is kind of the exact opposite of what you expexct to happen when you start out with your meditation practice.

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Adodd said:

What EXACTLY is spiritual bypass?

It's hearing something spiritual like  "there is no self that can do anything" and that is taken in as a belief which the ego is formed around but the realization of no self has not yet happened.

To put it in other words it's the discrepancy between a belief and your experience.

Another example would be "it's ONE" but it's still experienced as being a separate self that is looking out of the body.

15 hours ago, Adodd said:

What are the dangers of it?

Stalling out spiritually and in extreme cases your life falling apart.

15 hours ago, Adodd said:

How do we know when its happening?

The best is probably to have a spiritual teacher which can point this out. Or others with experience of it. It also takes honesty and wanting truth above all else.

15 hours ago, Adodd said:

How do we avoid it?

It's probably hard to avoid it completely. It's so common on the path especially after the first experience of oneness or no self. The ego forms around the experience and creates blind spots. 

Don't take what people say as an objective truth but rather a description of how they're experiencing it. Truth is how YOU are experiencing it right now. Connecting to your experience will lead to deeper knowledge and realizations.

Edited by WelcometoReality

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14 minutes ago, Bazooka Jesus said:

This ^. Exactly.

I've had a pretty powerful awakening one year ago, and since then there have been times where my sheer irritability about the most trivial shit has gotten so extreme that I felt like a walking bomb on the verge of physical explosion, lol. Which is kind of the exact opposite of what you expexct to happen when you start out with your meditation practice.

Yeah spiritual bypassing is pretending, or thinking you feel a certain way because it's "right" or "true" rather than owning how you TRULY feel. After you get a glimpse of what you really are anger is not going to be so easily repressed, it's important to express not repress anger. This LOOKS like regression, because anger is demonized not just in spirituality but by society. It's not regression at all. You're no longer willing to resist how you really feel with thoughts. You learn to express anger not AT anyone, not holding anyone or anything as the reason for it, but fully feeling it for the first time is only possible when you don't make it about anyone or anything. If we conceptually make it about our failure as good people or spiritual people, we can't release it. 


My Youtube Channel- Light on Earth “We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”― Robert Frost

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, TDLH said:

I noticed a widespread tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.

Spiritual bypassing can be described in a thousand words but the quote above encapsulates its core (but I need to add fulfilling your human or animalistic desires). Spiritual bypassing is a very serious mistake. But I often see many users on this forum doing it; including moderators and Leo himself (to a certain degree).

Spiritual bypassing is dangerous because it harms both the spiritual bypasser and their listener. Neglecting childhood trauma, mental-emotional wounds, fears, and deep desires leads to brokenness or dysfunction, suffering, pretentiousness, murder, and self-murder.

Edited by jimwell
needed to add "murder"

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Did you really post the question of the forum consisting primarily of people with such problem, running away from mental health issues and evolutionary selection pressures in the guise of InFiNiTe AwAkEnInGs?

It's quite sad but as you can see through many responses, that is exactly the problem on the forum, at least in the spirituality section 

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