Spiritual bypassing—the use of spiritual practices/beliefs to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs—is so pervasive that it goes largely unnoticed. In the tradition of the landmark book ‘Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism’ by Chögyam Trungpa, Spiritual Bypassing casts a lucidly critical eye on our deeply entrenched misuse of spirituality, furthering the body of psychological/spiritual insight into how we use (and abuse) spirituality.
While other authors have touched on the subject, this is the first book fully devoted to explaining and working through spiritual bypassing, providing an in-depth look at the unresolved or ignored psychological/emotional issues that are often masked or marginalized through what we do with spirituality. “Spiritual bypassing is not something to eradicate, but to outgrow. Let us treat it as such, recognizing that real spirituality is not an escape but an arrival.”
A must-read for anyone seeking increased self-awareness and a deeper, more spiritually sound life, a life of full-blooded integrity and compassion, a life in which the personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal are all honored and lived to the fullest, a life in which we cultivate intimacy with all that we are.
“Uncompromising and truth telling, this book is an antidote to spiritual obesity. What emerges is the call to psychological clarity as essential to the mature spiritual life. Here is soul fuel for those who would enter the road less traveled- the deeply examined life as part of spiritual practice.” – Jean Houston, PhD, author of A Mythic Life
“In Spiritual Bypassing, Robert Augustus Masters offers a wake-up call – more of a shout – to those of us who have unwittingly fallen prey to all manner of promising and seductive antidotes to our pain and suffering in the form of detached spiritual teachings and New Age magical thinking. The book is a sobering and powerful reminder that our present embodiment, in all its flawed, messy humanness, cannot be conveniently sidestepped, and so invites us inward to a face-to-face encounter and embrace with the raw truth of who we really are. Masters’ unique and at times disarming prose style blends a poetic sensibility with a surprising stark clarity that points us to “What-Really-Matters.” – Eliezer Sobel, author of The 99th Monkey: A Spiritual Journalist’s Misadventures with Gurus, Messiahs, Sex, Psychedelics and Other Consciousness-Raising Experiments
All those lovely creatures doing all their coming together, all kinds of spiritual work, all the rituals all the movements, all the behaviorisms deemed to help them wake up, or even maybe, possibly, some day, if they are good enough, attain enlightenment. while not for once seeing, seeing with their minds eyes, that they will be stuck in the mannerisms and meditations the yoga exercises the roughing it out and chantings in groups, the long or short pilgrimages in the illusion that that is, how you wake the fuck up. That it is through the act, the doing, the postures, day in and day out, is how you become, or are a good person, a correct person, one who is awake. And all that is now needed, is only more people doing exactly like you are, thinking exactly like you too, what you are against, what you are for, having the same vision of how to better a world, how to change what is unwanted. If my own individual thoughts and behaviours, prayers, mantra’s and facetube posts do not help, it must be a numbers game. 144.000 people maybe/perhaps, as we then seek and ploy, to gain momentum, never alone, never enough, never good enough, never, NEVER ! How to change, this, and that, change, never accepting, never dropping, never letting go. Well, letting go of all the things we deem bad in ourselves, dropping all of those that we can not include in our vision for this world, for what we deem and seem and agree upon of what is spiritually correct, as we make signs to hang next to our frontdoors “love and light only”. While still not understanding why we, ourselves still suffer so much, inside, and when we can not contain it any longer, as it overflows our outside, our connections with others, our interactions, where we feel shame for our human behaviour, where we talk and talk gratuitously about our perceived wrongdoings, but never about our unwanted thoughts, our unwanted desires our yearnings, cravings, that are unfit to share, to express. How we overflow with angry frustrations, about our lives, our situations, our love lives. how, we, overflow but keep our heads down in search for the next, the next, the next… solution, the next meditation, the next group, in the next country, with the next lover. That lover who is, just like us, so open minded, so identical to our vision for the world, that was never my own vision but is something I fell into, and adhered to, felt drawn to. So I would not feel so alone anymore, so helpless, and incompetent, so ashamed, so angry, so… Until that lover too turns out to be an angry frustrated overflowing blob of shameful helplessness trapped in mannerisms and behaviourisms clinging with clasping fingertips to a sign from a frontdoor packing a bag in the hasted escape to another, the next, the … other… the other…?