Spiritual Bypassing

A jam session between Angelika and Michaela

( A jam session means  spontaneous writing, real time. It allows for two energies to interact and create something new. The “conversation format” was added later on for for better readability)

M: Hi Geli, good morning to Germany.

A: Good Morning, Michaela! Good Morning, Vienna!

M: We wanted to talk about “spiritual bypassing” today. What is that actually ?

A: May I start with a more general observation and later on share my own experiences?

M: Please do.

A: As I explored parts of  the “New Age” sector,  I got easily caught in a trap.  I came across approaches towards becoming conscious, where the letting go of fear, surrendering to love, opening of the heart, seeing God in the other one, seemed to have bypassed the real psychological / ego difficulties I had. According to my understanding these approaches  placed the “sacred” in some higher realm, that could only be reached by bypassing complex emotional, real life issues by kind of “transcending them.” This was very diffuse for me and I got lost.

M: Yes, this seems often to be the promise or even the appeal of spirituality. Somehow all toil and all trouble will be taken from you in a moment of seeing Truth. This is actually true – but it is only one aspect. Once this moment is over, full gravitational force is taking effect again, we are back in our skin and all what remains is a memory of the experience.

A: In my personal experience “New Age” approaches failed to provide a method to encounter and acknowledge issues, that were deeply hidden within my personality. Since I was unable to get in contact with them, I could not benefit from the transformative potential they held.  As Eckhart Tolle says, “burning painbody, forwards you deeply into the Now.”

M: That is the thing with spirituality – all methods fail. There is no doing or trying in terms of experiencing the sacred, or divine. To experience it is grace. To have a spiritual realisation is a gift of Life. We cannot go out and get it. But once we understood, we have an obligation to make sure we live what we have realised. And that includes understanding how our egoic thinking obscures our spiritual nature. It means to clean out the garbage.

A: If I may label it, I would call a common “New Age” approach to be, “All heaven, no earth”. The focus is on “being sacred” and on  “going beyond” all earthly matters.
The word sacred comes from the Latin origin, which means “holy”.
Making holy for me equals being fully present in what ever I do. Being present allows the Source of all Being to enter consciously into the relative dimension. The absolute gets grounded into the relative and is aware of itself.
I have come to understand that I live to experience consciousness in every little thing I do. Eckhart Tolle calls this “doing and being gets aligned”.
Oh gosh I hope, that this is not too abstract…….

M: You sound like a woman on a mission today, Geli ! :-). But you are right, of course. Everything is holy, there is nothing that is not “sacred”. And to me this is actually the main point of spirituality – to see, meet, accept, embrace everything there is, not only the absolute realm, but also everything on the level of form. There is room for everything and my job is to make space for it.

A: In the process of awakening my mind has repeatedly provided my self with stories or images, especially when I had an experience that frightened me. A year ago my mind presented the “Twin Soul Theory”. Even though there is truth in this theory,  I got too easily lost in the concept instead of watching what was really going on within me.
The story blocked me from sensing myself, the emotions and feelings I carried within my body.
Ultimately the story blocked me from getting immediate connection to Life itself.

M: The “stories” are the trap. Any story actually. There is no story. Of course, the egoic mind loves awakening. This is so interesting, so original – so superior. The moment the ego co-opts the whole thing, the very  moment this has become anything like “my awakening”, it is spiritual ego speaking. And then it is only a small step to spiritual bypassing. It really provides a perfect excuse to either avoid looking  at my own stuff ( because I am so awakened and enlightened and I know there is nobody out there to actually have an ego), or it provides a false refuge – a place within myself, that feels comfortable and peaceful, but actually it is the ego co-opting the whole thing. Been there, done that…:-)

A: We shall be kind to our self, because we have not known better than to react on experiencing pain and feeling lost, with defence mechanism´ like blaming others, fixing it with a story or backing out of a situation into own inner hide away. We  simply avoided to meet our inner wound.

M: That is the thing. We all have something that can be called the “original sin” and that is our conditioning. There are always some traumatic experiences – or inner wounds – from the past that make me close up and go into resistance. My main behavioural patterns originate in these early experiences, as well as the  inadequate attempts of compensation. I will live through the same frustration over and over again, throughout my whole life – until I see and understand what I am doing. This is a part of “seeing it all”, because these patterns make me suffer.

A: Can you imagine, that I mistook experiencing “resistance” with being in peace?
I have known that kind of “unfeeling” all my life and only recently I discovered that I actually felt dead within me.

M: From own experience I know the ego can co-opt anything and so even a false refuge, which is built on being in resistance to avoid some deeper emotional issues, can feel like being balanced and peaceful – but of course its not the real thing. So again, it is the spiritual ego, that is doing the spiritual bypassing.

A: I have experienced my own bypassing almost like an anesthesia or a drug.
Until some years ago I used to get a drink after I returned home from work. I remember very well, that as soon as I swallowed the alcohol, I felt a warmth rising within me and I relaxed. Unfortunately (lol) I came to not liking the taste of alcohol any longer and I stopped having drinks.

My clever ego came out with a new solution to cover up pain, which has been getting hooked on spiritual concepts.

M: Getting hooked on spiritual concepts can be a habit, an obsession, or even addiction. This is how some religious or spiritual systems work, isn’t it. The business model of a church or a guru :-). Actually, this is very difficult to recognise spiritual bypassing  in oneself and I think it is even more difficult to successfully point it out to someone else. I am sure, my clever little ego is doing this the time. So my mantra is: “no stories” and whenever I notice myself making up a story or create an explanation about whatever experiences I have, I start laughing about myself. But sometimes its not so easy to let go of a good story…in particular if it makes me feel “right” or “superior”.

A: How true!! Would you like to exchange about ways out of this trap when we meet next time?

M: Sure. Lets do that – talk to you soon. Ciao.

A: Thank you for today´s session! Meet you soon!


a flower in the garden

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
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3 Responses to Spiritual Bypassing

  1. Nicola says:

    Hi Geli and Michaela! How lovely to be here in your sacred space. I am enjoying this blog enormously! It’s truly beautiful in every way … exalting to the soul. Thank you!

    So, “spiritual bypassing…” do you mean all the excuses and reasons the ego/pain body come up with for NOT being in the now? Particularly if they’re disguised as being part of the spiritual path?

  2. Angelika says:

    Yes, Nico. WL Geli

  3. Johanna says:

    That state of “unfeeling” – yes, it’s true for me too. I look forward to your next discussion on “how to get out of this trap”!

    Can you pehaps look into what it means to “be in the Now”? I’m familiar with the sense of coming back to the here-and-now – but the next step, that of exploring the pain – this is where the thinking seems to get away from the present. How can I stay with the present, and also explore the issue? Perhaps not a good question, I think your explorations already give examples. Yet, in my experience, I’m never clear on how to go on from there.

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