During the process of spiritual development, many times we have such experiences in which we feel that we are moving forward but, in reality it is a kind of trap.
We make the process of spiritual awakening a part of our life so that we can move forward, but some situations come in such a way that we create a wall of thoughts to avoid it.
We give it the name of spirituality but it is not spiritual but spiritual bypass. By understanding its symptoms and types, we can rectify those mistakes made in daily life which take us away from the spiritual path.
Spiritual master’s name it as dark shadow of spiritual experience.
This is such a spiritual depression that the seeker uses to escape from his personal and social responsibility. Spirituality is the best medium to know ourselves but when we start using spirituality to run away from our responsibility then we get to see its side effect.
This is such a condition in which we start using spirituality to suppress the emotion.
Instead of understanding any kind of tension as pain or sorrow, we suppress it by saying that it is bad in spirituality. Instead of understanding any kind of situation, running away from it or ignoring it is called bypass.
In this post we talk about some such symptoms in which we feel that we are at the peak of spirituality but in reality we are trapped in a trap.
In this post we are going to know the following things
- what is spiritual bypass
- types of spiritual bypassing
- how to avoid it
What is spiritual bypass?
Such a condition in which we resort to spiritual practice to avoid our personal or psychological issues is called spiritual bypassing. In a way, it uses spirituality as a kind of defense mechanism so that it can avoid unpleasant emotions and protect its ego.
Although it is a good medium to avoid bad thoughts and deeds, but, if it is not used properly then another condition can arise which is called trap of spiritual bypassing. It is a kind of spirituality’s shadow which is a side effect of a good practice.
This term was first discovered by a psychologist John Welwood in 1984. He was known for his work on transpersonal psychology, which integrates spirituality and psychology.
He found that there were some such Buddhist sangha around him who are using spiritual bypassing to avoid unresolved emotional issues and psychological wounds. For example
Suppose a desire for sex arises in the mind of the seeker and to avoid this, he gives an argument to the mind that it is not good for the desire to come into the spiritual.
Now you have explained that this is not good but did not try to understand the knowledge behind it. You were suffering from this and you resorted to it to avoid this issue. In fact, this was a trap of spiritual bypassing in which you kept getting stuck.
When Spirituality Becomes Shtick
Shtick is a Yiddish word that means “bit” or “piece.” This is a routine which becomes a part of the work of the daily routine of the life of the seeker. In such a condition, when spirituality as a shtick is used in such a way that instead of coming out of sorrow and understanding, we start staying away from it.
When a person starts trying to avoid some kind of sorrow instead of understanding and getting out of it, then he does not do spiritual practice but gets trapped in the trap of spiritual bypassing.
He wraps himself in it like a spiritual person and instead of understanding anything, he distances himself from it.
It does not become a part of any kind of true spiritual practice but becomes a shtick and by the time we realize it, it is too late. When this happens then we start repressing our negative emotions, instead of solving them honestly, we keep suppressing them in our subconscious mind.
By doing this, you are not eliminating them, but keep thinking of the same negative thoughts in the mind again and again.
Instead of handling any problem by face, we start running away from them and we build a wall around such limitation and start trying to remove people from ourselves. Let us talk about some special symptom of spiritual bypassing.
Symptoms of Spiritual Bypassing
Robert Augustus Masters has explained the symptoms of spiritual bypassing very well in his book.
According to him, it has some symptoms such as exaggerated detachment (removing oneself from people excessively), emotional numbing and repression (emotionally weakening oneself again and again), overemphasis on the positive (excessive on positive thinking).
To sympathize, anger-phobia (trying to keep oneself away from anger), Blind or overly tolerant compassion (to lose one’s temper in a short time), weak or too porous boundaries , lopsided development There are some such symptoms which tell us that we are victims of spiritual bypassing.
If your spiritual practice is dominating your personal relationship especially your close people like parents or any other close relative with whom your relationship is getting weak just because you lose yourself in spiritual practice quest are going.
You are not including spirituality in your life but you are using it as a wall which is keeping people away from you. This was never right for you and will never happen, so you need to get out of it in time. In some cases, you lose yourself in this trap so much that spiritual practice becomes an enlightenment fantasy for you.
You can notice some sign of spiritual bypass like
- Avoiding feelings of anger
- Believing in your own spiritual superiority as a way to hide from insecurities
- Believing that traumatic events must serve as “learning experiences” or that there is a silver lining behind every negative experience
- Believing that spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer are always positive
- Extremely high, often unattainable, idealism
- Feelings of detachment
- Focusing only on spirituality and ignoring the present
- Only focusing on the positive or being overly optimistic
- Projecting your own negative feelings onto others
- Pretending that things are fine when they are clearly not
- Thinking that people can overcome their problems through positive thinking
- Thinking that you must “rise above” your emotions
- Using defense mechanisms such as denial and repression
These all are common sign of spiritual bypass. Spiritual bypassing is a superficial way of glossing over problems in a way that might make us feel better in the short term, but ultimately solves nothing and just leaves the problem to linger on.
Type of spiritual bypass
It is not necessary that the spiritual practice experience is always good, many times during the practice we get stuck in a state of confusion. We can understand spiritual bypassing types in different ways.
Trying to understand some of what we experience in life, even without knowing it, comes under it. Let us know about some such types which have become a part of your life and you are unaware of it.
The Optimistic Bypass
We definitely come in contact with such people in our life who insist on laughing even in negative situations. Such people who insist on thoughts like be positive and see the glass half full, they only try to fill such thoughts, never try to understand its importance. In other words,
Such people who are not able to deal with negative emotion, they push themselves towards positive thoughts to avoid it.
What is your purpose of being spiritual here? To protect yourself from negative thoughts and not to be spiritual. To avoid bad thoughts, changing yourself in a spiritual perspective is called optimistic bypass.
The Aggrandizement Bypass
Such people who want to experience spiritual enlightenment hide themselves behind walls (thoughts). Instead of understanding your shortcomings, trying to hide them and imprisoning yourself in the limits of thoughts is part of it.
This is mostly done by those people who want to see themselves progressing in spiritual experience i.e. spiritual practice experience.
The Victim Bypass
Such people who feel that some things make them different from other people. Some people have a god gift which makes them different from others. It is the nature of some people to be sad seeing others in sorrow or to be ready to help someone without knowing about them. There is empathy quality in these people.
When this happens then we are not able to live our life with satisfaction because we are taken advantage of. We feel that we are sad because of this. As people usually think
Why do good and gullible people always get cheated?
Such people fall prey to the trap of spiritual bypass and remain as victims. In reality, this does not happen, but because of this type of nature being taken advantage of by the people to fulfill their meaning, it seems that they are naïve, due to which they are being taken advantage of.
The Psychonaut Bypass
You are a devotee of Mahadev, so you must have seen a lot of people who take cannabis, ganja and other intoxicants. There is no dearth of people who roam in the guise of saffron or sage and start blowing cigar or other intoxicant in the evening. Behind this, they believe that it was also accepted by their gods, due to which it is like a prasad. Is it really like that?
Not! Such people run away from their reality and sad life throughout the day and in the evening to forget all the sorrows, they do such intoxicants which hide the reality for some time and during this time they get lost in their created world.
This is a kind of illusion. These people consider themselves to be spiritual seekers but in reality they are Psychonaut because their created world is important for them.
Talking about normal life, people suffering from mental illness take such medicines by doctors which expand the mind, the soul and reality for some time. This medicine, which takes the mind to an unconscious state, is used a lot by psychologists.
People suffering from mental illness used to use them as medicine, even when they get cured, they still feel the need of it because they become accustomed to that life.
The Horoscope Bypass
How many of you are such that every morning after looking at your horoscope i.e. horoscope, start working day by day. If the horoscope is good, then the day turns out to be good, otherwise we find ourselves surrounded by troubles throughout the day.
Determining your day just by looking at the horoscope shows your horoscope bypass.
We lose our inner wellsprings of wisdom and strength and depend on external predictions because we do not believe in ourselves.
The reason for this is the fear and mistrust of ourselves which forces us to be controlled by external means. Our inability to make decisions, and our inability to deal with anything forces us to do so.
The Saint Bypass
When we were children, we have been taught since then that spiritual people i.e. sages and saints are good and spiritual.
As we grow up, we start to understand that there is only one aspect of them and that is spiritual because some kind of lack makes them nonspiritual. Making our own opinion about the “black and white side of spiritualism” makes us a victim of saint bypass.
Our thinking always starts being controlled by only one thought and that is, there is no negative side of sadhus.
It is in a way a complete negation of another aspect of a human being. Every human being has two sides, good and bad and bad, it will be good, but by thinking and rejecting one aspect, this show shows that we are trapped in the trap of saint bypass.
The Spirit Guide Bypass
Depending ourselves so much on some external medium that we forget our own power is a symptom of a kind of classic spiritual bypass. In this situation we feel that God, angel, animal spirit or spiritual guide is protecting us. Thinking like this gives a peace to our mind but doing so can be harmful for our soul.
We place our trust in an external force that keeps us away from everything that harms us. Doing so becomes the reason for avoiding responsibility for ourselves and our lives and instead of making ourselves strong, we become dependent on external medium.
Doing this prevents us from becoming strong in our spiritual character. Confidence is not a bad thing, but when there is an excess of anything, then we start battling with its side effect.
The Praying Bypass
Whenever we are in trouble, we pray to God that he removes all our troubles. It is in a way part of the classic spiritual bypass. Pray to God makes us mentally healthy but while doing this we should also believe in ourselves.
The Guru Bypass
Having a spiritual guru, guide is very important for us to move forward in spirituality, but it does not mean that you have any problem and you should try to avoid them by making your guru a medium.
Guru is also an external medium until your own inner consciousness is awakened.
Such a situation in which you become dependent on your Guru instead of connecting with your inner self is a symptom of another type of spiritual bypass.
A guru can only show you the way, cannot solve your problem unless you try yourself.
The Finger-Pointing Bypass
Has it ever happened to you when you got angry with your close friends because of their behavior and you got so mad about it that you forgot to assess yourself?
Seeing the faults of others, we move away from our responsibility. This is also a kind of symptom of spiritual bypass.
When this happens, whenever we make a mistake, instead of correcting it, we think that others also do it.
He did it, then what is the big deal in it. After this, we keep thinking only on the wrong things and slowly start running away from our own responsibilities.
If you are experiencing any one of the top 10 symptoms of spiritual bypass given above, then it is time to correct it. For this you can follow some tips.
How to avoid spiritual bypassing
Spiritual and Self-Developmental information: To overcome this type of problem, you should attend seminars, read books, use powerful tools like yoga and meditation. Apart from this, increase your knowledge about spiritual development as much as you can.
If there is any kind of pain in your life, instead of hiding it, learn to treat it.
The more you try to suppress your emotions, the more they start filling your mind with negative thoughts again and again. Many times we create such a wall around ourselves through spiritual bypassing that we separate ourselves from others.
Know the people around you. Start distancing yourself from those who only want to take advantage of you.
It is very easy to identify such people because they only want to look down on you. Stay with such people who understand you in any situation and understand your problem and try to take you in the right direction.
- Use spirituality to move forward for your assessment and not to run away from responsibility.
- Try not to become dependent on any external medium and try to activate your inner spiritual guide.
Instead of running away from your problems, share it with your friends so that they guide you right. With this you will not be a victim of spiritual bypassing. By following such tips, you can get out of the trap of spiritual bypassing.
Spiritual bypassing my own word
Spiritual bypass is the shadow side of spirituality in which we get trapped in a trap instead of moving forward. We think that we are doing right but in reality instead of understanding the responsibilities and the right aspect, we start running away from them. Such people build a wall around them which separates them from others. Identify it at the right time and avoid it.
If you also feel such changes in yourself and instead of making yourself strong, you use such sources which separate others from you, then you are stuck in the problem. Understand the true meaning of spiritual practice and move forward without getting trapped in any kind of confusion.
Read this article in Hindi : How to overcome spirituality over emotion