Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Spiritual Bypassing

I made a comment on Lon DuQuette’s page and was immediately accused of spiritual bypassing. I had to look it up before I remembered what that meant. So, for those of you that do not know, spiritual bypassing is using spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep personal, emotional ‘unfinished business,’ to shore up a shaky sense of self, or to belittle basic needs, feelings, and developmental tasks.” The goal of such practices, he claimed, was enlightenment.

This is absolutely true. People use all kinds of things to avoid doing deep spiritual work and to continue to live in denial. Spiritual bypassing is like putting a bandage on a broken leg. The leg is not harmed by the bandage but it may be harmed by the lack of needed medical care.

I have seen people dress in a manner they deem ‘spiritual’ and claim initiatory titles they have not earned*. This may be bypassing the internal darkness they cannot face and pretending to some level of spirituality they have not obtained. Or it may be the unconscious stating of goals and aspiration, which is a good thing.

The problem with immediately accusing someone of spiritual bypassing is that spiritual knowledge can sound like bypassing to those that have not progressed past a certain point.

If a person experiences a tragedy and says, “Well, everything happens for a reason,” and suppresses their emotional reactions by glossing over their pain, the denial is usually pretty obvious to onlookers. The person is usually fooling themself. To reiterate, the problem is the statement is true but the speaker does not know that at a deep level. They use the words as a soothing balm and are not expressing spiritual knowledge or experience.

The same statement can be made by a more actualized individual who may feel and be willing to express the loss and at the same time, having seen the machinery of the universe, knows that everything happens to unfold the soul.

If you do not know the speakers or a bit removed from them, it may be hard to tell which is which. The best way to handle that is to not handle it. Simply be there for the person in question in anyway they need. Those on the path refrain from such judgements as often as they are able.

To quote myself, "I have learned that my judgements of other people's spirituality are just as invalid as everyone else's."**

All that said, there may be people that have evolved to a point where the deepest tragedy does not create a sense of loss at all. I have never met one but I am sure that they exist.

*This can be very detrimental to one’s growth. Claiming an unearned title a problematic. Often the lessons associated with that title hit all at once to the point one cannot recover. Other times, it just builds a wall that stops all progress until you drop the title. This is doubly true of very manifest magickal traditions. For example, claiming to be a wandering bishop when you are not may not have a detrimental effect as the benefits of that evolve quite slowly. On the other hand, claiming to be a third degree British Traditional Wiccan when you are not even a first can manifest almost immediately.

** Still very difficult to avoid as you can tell by a statement above.



1 comment:

Unknown said...

Love your work brother!