There’s no spiritual bypass

 In Self-Mastery

There’s no such thing as a spiritual bypass!


I first came across the term for the first time probably about 2 years ago and wondered what on earth people were on about. It turned out the term according to Wikipedia:

“A spiritual bypass or spiritual bypassing is a tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks. The term was introduced in the early 1980’s by John Welwood, a Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist. Spiritual bypass can be addressed with various forms of psychotherapy, including focusing and motivational interviewing.”

This approach to Self Realisation is fundamentally flawed!

What is being termed as a spiritual bypass and the methods of dealing with it are simply functions of ego, a principal aim of which is to hang onto its perceived identity. That identity will include all its unresolved issues. If you are serious about truly anchored Self Realisation this trick of ego will not be in service of it.

It is fundamentally true that one already is that which is sought: The Realised Self. This becomes Self evident as a part of the realisation. This does not mean though a truly anchored Realisation can emerge and flower without dropping and releasing the egoic identity and its perceived wounds. For sure, it is possible for people to have glimpses of Realisation and then fall straight back into egoic patterns. This is not anchored Realisation. It is merely a glimpse. That is all.

Quite a number of people have experienced such glimpses but are still ‘lost’ in identification.

For a truly anchored Realisation to flower one the veil of illusion has to be seen for what it is and the perceived identity annihilated. This involves a deep trust and preparedness to drop totally and utterly all that which one is not. It is both profoundly simple and, from the space of the human conditioning, will appear as a considerable challenge. The one who is challenged by this is not who you are but that will undoubtedly be the experience for many. This is important to recognise, acknowledge and accept.

It is delusional to think that a glimpse of truth is Realisation. Just as delusional to think there is such a bypass. It is simply a concept. An idea. A flawed approach.

Rumi puts it beautifully this way:

The wound is the place where the light enters you.

This points to the truth of annihilating the perceived identity and seeing through the veil of illusion or sometimes referred to as the “Dark night of the Soul.” Now this can vary from extremely challenging and taking some considerable time through to a very rapid shift in consciousness to an anchored Realisation. The latter is particularly rare, the former more likely but all points on the spectrum between the two are possible.

What makes the difference between the two?

It is the degree to which one is prepare to face up to the conditioned wounding, whilst trusting in a higher truth. This degree of trust makes all the difference. If it is total the shift can be rapid, if it is very limited it will be drawn out and painful. Painful because ego wants to hang on to its identity and will do so for ‘dear life.’ Hence also why the trust being total is fundamental to a rapid shift.

The idea of a spiritual bypass is thus a misunderstanding in itself. Bypassing Spirituality is what is being attempted! It is an ego trick that seeks to draw on the possibility of an almost instantaneous Realisation without having faced the suffering of the veil with deep trust. In other words sidestepping facing the wounds. However, believing in it as a concept that needs therapy is also a mistake.

The term is a misnomer! Perhaps well intentioned but a misnomer anyway.  The words spiritual and bypass do not belong together in this context. There’s nothing truly authentic about attempting any form of bypass. It will not lead to ultimate spiritual truth. Only prolonged suffering. It has some traps in it for it can give the idea that such a thing is possible when it that’s not how it is.

Some examples that might emerge:

Taking the spiritual truth that “One is already that which you truly seek” and then simply ignoring the fact that egoic tendencies are still alive, present and functioning at full steam. The realised Self is totally non-personal.

Positive thinking is another danger area. Yes. The opposite of positive thinking is negative. It is part of duality. If one is present the other is also present. Realisation is beyond the thinking mind. It has to be transcended. One does not think ones way to Realisation. One is the Realisation and has to allow the annihilation of the identity to take place. Without the latter it’s not Realisation. It’s at best a glimpse and, at worst, a delusion.

Positive thinking may result in temporary relief but won’t in and of itself lead to Realisation.

Affirmations are another area of misunderstanding. Positive affirmations automatically come with negative ones it is part of duality again. There is nothing wrong with them they may be of service to a degree but they won’t lead to Realisation. All things from mind must be transcended.

Accurate Spiritual Insight is fundamentally different from positive thinking or affirmations. It comes from the very source Infinite Silence itself and if embraced totally will lead to transcendence.

Back to the definition courtesy of wiki: ‘Spiritual Bypassing a tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.’

Let me be direct here. Adopting such an approach is delusional and is only going to prolong suffering.

Suffering emanates from a case of mistaken identity with the ego self and the more one tries to bypass the more one is deluding oneself. There are no true spiritual practices that would advocate such an approach. It is nonsense.

There is something else fundamentally important to understand here also. The idea that one has to go through ‘one by one’ identifying all issues, all wounds, all conditions and tick them all off before realisation comes is not accurate. There are some issues which may be deeply buried in the psyche that only the presence of awareness will bring to light and transform. So the ticking off approach is a very linear and ego mind approach. True Self Realisation is most definitely non-linear. It is a transcendence.

The fully anchored and flowered realisation is an utter release of the case of mistaken identity and all the wounds and thus suffering that goes with it.

Nothing less than this is total Realisation. This can happen very rapidly however that is very rare.

What this leads us to is that therapy is not realisation either. Yet, it’s very important to recognise that, in the hands of skilled practitioners, when used in effective ways some practices or complementary tools can yield hugely beneficial shifts. Big steps in the quality of peoples lives. I experienced considerable benefits with a number of different complementary tools and remain grateful for them. Eventually, ‘in the process’ clarity emerged that something greater was at play something simpler, something incredibly powerful.  The tools were dropped. That clarity was:


That is what you are: Awareness and it is awareness alone that will bring about the Realisation of it. All other tools are facets of awareness not total but partial. They are gifts from awareness. Like stepping stones until one is ripe to take the non-linear leap to Realisation and further clearing of all conditioning and perceived wounding. So it is important not to get identified with the tools and mistake them for the highest prize itself.

Some purists guide away from using any tools whatsoever the pointing being only awareness is required. It is true. However, when someone is totally lost in pain and suffering and in need of compassion and support saying to them you are awareness and that is all you need whilst it may help some can be harmful for others. There are cases where followers of some teachers have experienced this only for years later for those teachers to regret that. So using tools as helpful bridges is thus a gift and can be embraced as such until one is prepared and ready to step beyond the tool. To embrace the Infinite Field of Awareness that YOU really are: Infinite Silence.

It’s been most interesting to observe over the years the significant number of people who fulfil roles as Counsellors, Psychotherapists and even a Psychiatrist as well as considerable array of complementary and other spiritual practitioners that have attended events where the sole focus is on Self Realisation. That is that one is pure awareness. To see the surprise at its power unfolding before their very eyes. To witness dramatic shifts in awareness taking place in attendees without any ‘therapy, tools or technique’. The power of awareness is Infinite. I have been asked a number of times: “What did I do?” Answer: “Nothing.” Followed by the pointing:

Thought cannot heal your pain, Presence will Transform it.

This Presence IS Awareness it is Infinite Silence. It is this that is within and is us all that is bringing about ‘the shift.’

Some of the groups of people noted above have begun to doubt what they are doing and asked me about this. That is not the intention. Typically people are genuinely trying to help others and no doubt do. The invitation to truth is about stepping beyond limited understanding into Self Realisation. If that involves a significant change in their work it is something that will flow naturally if they choose to embrace the opening emerging from within.

Truth has no judgement.

There are some other elements that are important to address here also. It has and does happen that a glimpse of Realisation emerges and then someone goes on to start sharing their perceived spiritual truth without the annihilation having taken place and is still acting from ego. A number of unfortunate cases of this have been reported and I’ve heard of tragic results. The true Realisation will look nothing like ego. It will be deeply filled with grace, compassion, love, wisdom and silence. A partial glimpse will, at best, show some wisdom but egoic tendencies will not be far away.

Always, always, always whatever path is unfolding before you check within the space of your heart if what is being shared is resonant for you. If it is not, leave it behind. Be open to that which is.

Don’t believe a word I say for Truth is an experience not a belief.

Another, is that in order for a truly anchored Realisation to be held in a body form there has to be something akin to grain of sand that produces the pearl. There will still be some personal preferences, characteristics rather like the facet of a diamond. The overall and over-riding presence though will be the power of Infinite Silence. Your heart will know. It is for this reason, it wise again to follow the calling of your heart. It will not lead you astray.

Below some awareness tools are provided to support you. Live Stream 11 (1 h 20m) : Transmuting Fear into Love – a whole stream dedicated to the power of your awareness and how this will guide you through the illusion, transmutation and transcendence. Effortless Grace. It includes a guided experience. Two shorter videos on Trust ( 5 mins and 6.5 mins) which support the messages about trust in this insight.

Blessings in Infinite Silence

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.