Spiritual Bypassing and Adulthood on the Path (Deborah Auletta)

Western Baul Podcast Series

Dec 1 2022 • 54 mins

Spiritual Bypassing, a phrase coined by John Welwood, is the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks. We have to develop the ego before it can be transcended. When one is committed to the spiritual process, psychological and spiritual work cannot be separated. It’s possible to become narcissistically fascinated with psychological process. There are a lot of things about the spiritual supermarket that can be misleading. States that are not ordinary can be confused with spiritual experience. Real spiritual work is for something greater than ourselves. Swami Prajnanpad said that the Sage is 100% adult. An article by Arnaud Desjardins, “From the Child to the Sage,” is discussed. If we understand that we are more or less childish, without taking it as an insult, the path becomes clear. We can hold professional responsibilities and still function as a child. Emotion, dependency, the need to “have” rather than “be,” and the inability to be alone and to wait are signs of childishness. On the path, we must have the courage to look at our weakest link, the area of our greatest childishness that we tend to push away. Being with childish feelings and finding ways to come back to center allows us to move forward. There is a difference between being childlike and childish. Transformation into adulthood begins when the love of truth becomes stronger than anything. If we get carried away with our own liberation, we may try to bypass pain and not be very committed to other sentient beings. The dark side is as much part of enlightenment as the light; one does not come without the other. Deborah is a nurse by vocation who spent 19 years as the lead singer of the blues band Shri. She is a student of Lee Lozowick and a life-long imperfect lover and seeker of truth.