Avoiding Spiritual Bypassing

Many years ago, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche addressed the issue of “spiritual bypassing.” The concept is simple: using spirituality to avoid the hard work of growing up and dealing with our issues. I was so guilty of it and had no idea.

Now I try hard to avoid it and see it everywhere. One problem I see everywhere is the abuse of non-duality ideas to skip personal responsibility. Why apologize when we are all one? Another issue is the concept of “the eternal now.” American culture seems perpetually stranded in the present moment. The abuse becomes obvious with diabetics who don’t control their blood sugar levels and with people dealing with other quite obvious karmic come-uppance. What goes around, really does come back around. But keeping the focus on the present moment is a spiritual-looking way to not acknowledge karma.

I believe that life is often overwhelming–at least for me. And almost all the problems I am dealing with today come from my previous sense of overwhelm. I need to get my house ready to sell, and I don’t know crap about Homeownership 101. My inability and unwillingness to deal with the hard parts of life in the past are now biting me in the butt. I simply refuse to live my life like that anymore. I am dealing with issues now because not dealing with them is so problematic.

As I get older, I realize that there is no skipping steps–period. I have always been able to skip ahead because of my relative intelligence. Now I am 47 years old and playing catch-up. This is neither fun nor pretty.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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