Spiritual Bypassing - The Great Diversion!
Updated: Nov 13
In our pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, it's not uncommon for us to find ourselves on a journey that straddles the realms of the earthly and the ethereal. This delicate balance, though, can often become elusive, leading us into a state known as "spiritual bypass." In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of spiritual bypass from a psycho-spiritual perspective, shedding light on how individuals sometimes operate in a attempt to achieve enlightenment, all while avoiding the painful realities of human existence.
At its core, spiritual bypass is not something to criticise, but rather, it's a phenomenon to understand. It's a tendency that many of us experience at some point in our spiritual journey. We seek solace in the realms of spirituality, often turning to books, gurus, or even friends in our quest for enlightenment. While this is a commendable pursuit, sometimes it's a subtle tactic to sidestep the less comfortable aspects of our lives. After all, facing our pain, fears, and vulnerabilities can be daunting. In our spiritual quest, we often seek guidance from external sources – guides, gurus, or even a higher power – to escape the challenges of self-confrontation.
One telltale sign of spiritual bypass is when individuals consistently refer to external forces or beings as the guiding light in their lives, instead of trusting themselves. They may attribute their decisions, actions, and experiences to "divine intervention" or messages from guides, effectively outsourcing their will to these external influences. While seeking guidance from higher sources can be a meaningful part of one's spiritual journey, an overreliance on them can indicate a tendency to avoid facing the complexities of being human.
In our quest for spiritual growth and enlightenment, we might forget that we are first and foremost human beings. Humans have earthly needs, physical and emotional, that must be acknowledged and attended to. The temptation to escape from earthly concerns can lead to an imbalanced life, as we neglect practical matters, such as work, relationships, and self-care. It's essential to recognise that spirituality and human existence are not mutually exclusive; they can coexist harmoniously.
Recognising spiritual bypass in ourselves or others is the first step toward achieving a more balanced existence. It's important to remember that the journey towards enlightenment doesn't require us to abandon our earthly responsibilities or challenges. Instead, it invites us to integrate the spiritual and earthly aspects of our lives.
Here are a few practical steps to help us find this balance:
Self-awareness: Regularly check in with yourself to ensure you're not using spiritual pursuits as a way to escape from life's challenges. Acknowledge your human needs and challenges.
Mindfulness: Practice being present in your daily life. Mindfulness helps us to engage with the world and our emotions without judgment, enabling us to embrace our humanity fully.
Seek guidance wisely: While external guidance can be valuable, trust your inner wisdom as well. Balance the insights gained from external sources with your inner compass.
Balance the practical and spiritual: Find ways to integrate your spiritual practices into your daily life. Meditation, self-reflection, and self-care can coexist with work, relationships, and other earthly responsibilities.
Spiritual bypass is a common tendency among those on the spiritual path, often stemming from a genuine desire to avoid painful aspects of life. However, it's essential to recognise that our spiritual journey should not lead us to neglect our earthly existence. Balancing the spiritual and earthly realms allows us to fully embrace our humanity while continuing our quest for enlightenment. By acknowledging our earthly needs and embracing our spiritual growth, we can navigate this intricate journey with authenticity, grace, and a deeper understanding of both ourselves and the world around us.