The main reason for bypassing is due to a lack of tolerance, personally or collectively, for facing or entering and working through our inner pain. We look for numbing solutions, regardless of the additional symptoms or pain which may catalyse. Detachment and regression are legitimised to avoid our pain, anger-phobia, and positive thinking encouraged, resulting in blind compassion with poor boundaries. Cognitive intelligence is honoured instead of emotional and moral intelligence, where grandiose delusions manifest in the sense of a higher self.

Authentic spirituality is not a high, not a rush, but something that shakes one to the core of their identity, a vast alienation of fire, a crucible of heat and light, for healing the awakening we need and desire. Many like the light but not the heat, the experience of a new consciousness and great change, facing real challenges of our pain, where one may feel disorientated, out of control, and fearful. They steer towards the new age movement, with an infantile idea of wholeness, with an innate unity of being, where they reject the negative, painful and unhealed aspects of themself. One may fall into premature forgiveness or disassociation, confuse anger with aggression and ill-will, be unempowered with weak boundaries, and be gullible and easily manipulated.

The first step to recovery and authenticity is acknowledging our tendency to bypass, which may bring shame of being caught out as a fraud. A common theme in the new age is dissolving the ego rather than illuminating and integrating the ego with the rest of our being. They do not need psychotherapy for the neurotic or disordered, who want to strengthen their ego, which they want to eradicate. The bypassing of the middle floors to the higher self, without having to do the work of facing their pain to reach illumination. The transcendence of our personal history takes precedence over intimacy with our personal history. A drive through divinity, false spirituality, splitting off the shadow into the new age escape.

They need to stay with their pain, cultivate, explore and experience its deeper meaning, transcend with the compassion of awareness.

Shadow Work

The practice of acknowledging, facing, engaging and integrating the aspects of ourselves we have turned away from, disowned or rejected. Learning to be in the cave of despair, getting as close as possible without getting lost, and acting out primal ego defences. Real shadow work does not tolerate cognitive bypassing. , repression or trivialising of emotions and their impact. We learn to cut through our suffering when we face the inner dragon, where we can reach the buried treasure with the maturity to enjoy it. With a heightened capacity to endure our pain, we can work with other people’s pain, understand, and resonate at higher levels, embracing pain with intimacy and truth.

No point in bringing up the past; the parents did the best they could, excuse after excuse, to avoid separation and abandonment. These keep one away from confrontation, saying no and suffering the consequences of conflict. This robs everyone of accountability and autonomy, where one has no choice or responsibility to change their thoughts and behaviour. Why leave the tower, its security headquarters, the bastion of immunity, its insulated certainties, and safety? The idea of oneness reinforces the non-separation, where we detach from the lower, less evolved negative aspects of humanity. One cling to higher beliefs to masquerade inner feelings and low self-esteem, preventing any exposure, humiliation or rejection.

Spiritual Shortcuts

WE compensate for our lack of relational depth and intimacy with fantasies of romantic bliss and unconditional love as we are helicoptered to the mountaintop without climbing it. The invocation of magical thinking, a mix of superstition and illusory connections, imagining powers of manifestation and enlightenment. It will happen if we want something with enough intensity and focus; the law of attraction bypasses reality and serves all our desires and wants. If you did not get what you wanted, you were undisciplined. You did not try hard enough, which is why you failed—the transpersonal without exploring the personal or interpersonal, unresolved inner conflicts and crises.

Signs of anger have been deemed a hindrance to growth, and hostile reactions, need to be vanquished and corrected into something more helpful and effective. Their repressed anger is cast out onto others who see discernment and mature judgment with effective anger. The more intimate we are with our anger, the less blame, shame, and regression occurs, where we can increase awareness and experience with a sense of inner strength. True anger involves attachment and vulnerability, differentiated from primal aggression, and manifests as a higher expression. Anger protects and guards personal boundaries whilst exposing barriers to intimacy and integrity without intrusion or invasion. Passionate in intensity but caring with compassion from a spiritual heart foundation.

Four Approaches to Anger

  • Anger In – Restraining and redirecting anger energies, Self-control and subduing of anger, a way to step back and witness one’s anger, but does not allow for full expression and experience.
  • Anger Out – bring the anger to the surface, a physical approach to expression, something to discharge from the body.
  • Mindful held Anger – consciously contain rather than emotionally express without repression or acting out.
  • Heartfelt Anger – openly expressed anger and compassion, with conscious understanding, with full-blooded aliveness—clear empathy, infused with the investigation without dilution and compensation.

Anger is a moral fire which can construct or destroy the moral fabric of oneself and society. The better we know our anger, the better we can utilise and express it; as we become more fiery, passionate and intense, we can become more spiritually authentic. Boundaries contain and preserve the integrity of what one is safeguarding, be it psychological, emotional or spiritual. The clarity of work in a relationship where one’s needs, states and identity are defined enhances healthy bonding. The necessary firmness to protect us from invasion or violation, with a softness to be open to what is beneficial. Anger upholds these boundaries, where we stand firm, preserving our autonomy, working as guardians of our spiritual path, with an inner authority to secure our awakening.

The bypasser becomes emotionally detached, remaining separate from the world’s impact upon their personal well being.

Choices are made from infantile desires based on parental approval; unresolved wounds acted out sexually and emotionally. Erotic rituals and beliefs such as tantric massage can bypass the inner depth work, as we embrace false spiritual practices without true exposure or remembering. The charge to want to be loved and cared for will remain as primal yearnings thrust onto unsuspecting partners. The sexual act becomes mechanical, unemotional, and spiritless, as one has no maturity or deeper knowing. The deepest sex needs only love, intimacy and vulnerability at a mature emotional level of experience and expression.

The bypasser likes sunny-side-up relationships, no confrontation, no anger or negative feelings—people-pleasing in an emotional flatland, no difference, competition of adversity. Looking to avoid any separation, forming collectives of false oneness, and living beyond a dualistic world. No integration of their shadow, animus or anima without vitality or certainty. One must become embodied and resolve the mind-body split to experience the body emotionally and spiritually. No longer overvaluing cognition and brainpower, they lose themselves in abstractions, body image and theatre. Until we get to the depth of a distorted body image, we will forever be held hostage to ubiquitous mirrors, burdened with unrealistic expectations and fear of ageing. We can embrace the body’s messages, gestures, tensions and emotions, healing ur cells, tissues and organs in the process. A healthy body allows for a healthy medium to the environment and relationships to express ourselves fully.

True Responsibility

When we can accept and acknowledge the pain we have caused to ourselves and others, we can challenge our guilt and shame, growing and no longer hidden. We can start to parent our inner child with truth, love and divinity. No longer choosing blind compassion, tolerance or humility, with over-accountability to avoid abandonment. We can tackle our faults, bring them to awareness and empower our sense of self.

In their ignorance and naivety, the bypass is open to manipulation, especially by charismatic leaders and cults. Emotional alienation and a sense of separateness make one seek a collective in groups with no differences, fused allegiances built on fantasy with outrageous claims of divinity—the regression to a pre-rational, magical thinking, child-like state, lacking discernment and maturity. The cult of illusions, unconditional love and equality allows for bypassing grandiose scales. We are fully evolved as we are; no work is required, just undivided belief in the leader and system. We must drop these escape hatches and shortcuts and embrace a thorough spiritual practice with all the suffering and joy it brings to be fully enlightened and awake.

Cutting through the bypass means turning towards the painful, disfigured and disowned aspects of the self. When we have to deal with the numbness, our hearts may break, and we surrender to our hands and knees. We are being asked to be vulnerable with a bareness of being. To reconnect to our childhood and to feel genuine compassion for the traumatised child within us. The negative anger can be seen as positive, enforcing good boundaries and providing new energy to strengthen and leave toxic relationships. We can become intimate with our fears and not entrapped by them, embracing our pain and disconnection. We learn to assert ourselves, be comfortable with impacting others, able to tolerate confrontation and integrate the bad aspects of ourselves.

Masters, R.A (2010) Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters, North Atlantic Books, U.S.; Original edition