Spiritual Bypassing: When “Enlightenment” Becomes Escapism

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Spiritual bypassing” is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs. Listen as Robert Augustus Masters talks to Ken Wilber about how to avoid some of the common traps of spiritual life — traps that have become sadly common in many of today’s spiritual communities.

Have you ever:

  • Used spirituality as a sort of escape from reality, or as a way to avoid some painful aspect of your life?
  • Let yourself get taken advantage of or walked all over in the name of blind compassion?
  • Allowed your understanding of ultimate reality to help you avoid or push away your anger, believing such negative emotions to be “lower” or “less spiritual” than your enlightened ideals?
  • Used spiritual (or integral) terminology to relabel your own shadows, paving over the potholes in your own personality?

If you are being completely honest with yourself, odds are you would answer “yes” to one or more of these questions. It might be difficult to admit—in fact it might be so subtle and so insidious it’s difficult to even see. But don’t worry: you are not alone. In fact, we would be hard pressed to name a single teacher or practitioner who hasn’t fallen into similar traps at one time or another.

Fortunately, we have people like Robert Augustus Masters and Ken Wilber to help us recognize, confront, and embrace these flickering shadows of spiritual bypassing—offering us a path from from self-deception to self-liberation, from idiot compassion to enlightened action, from effete escapism to the moment-to-moment enactment of infinite and boundless love.

Click here to purchase Spiritual Bypassing on Amazon.

“This is a wonderfully significant and important book, and is highly recommended. Its contents are truly mandatory for this day and age.”Ken Wilber
“Uncompromising and truth-telling, this book is an antidote to spiritual obesity. What emerges is the call to psychological clarity as essential to the mature spiritual life. Here is soul-fuel for those who would enter the road less traveled—the deeply examined life as part of spiritual practice.”Jean Houston, PhD
“In my opinion, [Spiritual Bypassing] will become as important as Chogyam Trungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism… Masters seems to be, based on his writings, one of the most important minds working in integral psychotherapy.”Integral Options Café
Robert Masters

About Robert Masters

Robert Augustus Masters, PhD, is a relationship expert, a spiritual teacher, and a psychospiritual guide, with a doctorate in psychology. He is the cofounder, with his wife Diane, of the Masters Center for Transformation (MCT), a school featuring relationally-rooted psychospiritual work devoted to deep healing and fully embodied awakening. A substantial portion of his work involves training MCT practitioners. He is also the author of thirteen books, including Transformation Through Intimacy and Spiritual Bypassing.

Ken Wilber

About Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.

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