“Avoidance in Holy Drag” – Robert A. Masters on Spiritual Bypassing

Lokesh writes, “I’ve not been active on SN lately maybe because in the light of the pandemic most of what is being written here appears to me like the same old same old and therefore lacking gravity (which might not be a bad thing).” He suggests that this article by American integral therapist, relationship expert and spiritual teacher Robert Masters* “might be the basis of a new discussion. as many sannyasins are guilty of spiritual bypassing.”

(N.B: Apologies for the lack of space between paragraphs – this system remains a mystery to us).

Spiritual bypassing, a term first coined by psychologist John Welwood in 1984, is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs. It is much more common than we might think and, in fact, is so pervasive as to go largely unnoticed, except in its more obvious extremes.
Part of the reason for this is that we tend not to have very much tolerance, both personally and collectively, for facing, entering, and working through our pain, strongly preferring pain-numbing “solutions,” regardless of how much suffering such “remedies” may catalyze. Because this preference has so deeply and thoroughly infiltrated our culture that it has become all but normalized, spiritual bypassing fits almost seamlessly into our collective habit of turning away from what is painful, as a kind of higher analgesic with seemingly minimal side-effects. It is a spiritualized strategy not only for avoiding pain but also for legitimizing such avoidance, in ways ranging from the blatantly obvious to the extremely subtle.
Spiritual bypassing is a very persistent shadow of spirituality, manifesting in many ways, often without being acknowledged as such. Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s negativity or shadow elements, devaluation of the personal relative to the spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.
The explosion of interest in spirituality, especially Eastern spirituality, since the mid-1960s has been accompanied by a corresponding interest and immersion in spiritual bypassing—which has, however, not very often been named, let alone viewed, as such. It has been easier to frame spiritual bypassing as a religion-transcending, spiritually advanced practice/perspective, especially in the facile fast-food spirituality epitomized by faddish phenomena like ‘The Secret’. Some of the more glaringly plastic features of this, such as its drive-through servings of reheated wisdom like “Don’t take it personally” or “Whatever bothers you about someone is really only about you” or “It’s all just an illusion,” are available for consumption and parroting by just about anyone.
Happily, the honeymoon with false or superficial notions of spirituality is starting to wane. Enough bubbles have been burst; enough spiritual teachers, Eastern and Western, have been caught with pants or halo down; enough cults have come and gone; enough time has been spent with spiritual baubles, credentials, energy transmissions, and gurucentrism to sense deeper treasures. But valuable as the desire for a more authentic spirituality is, such change will not occur on any significant scale and really take root until spiritual bypassing is outgrown, and that is not as easy as it might sound, for it asks that we cease turning away from our pain, numbing ourselves, and expecting spirituality to make us feel better.
True spirituality is not a high, not a rush, not an altered state. It has been fine to romance it for a while, but our times call for something far more real, grounded, and responsible; something radically alive and naturally integral; something that shakes us to our very core until we stop treating spiritual deepening as a something to dabble in here and there. Authentic spirituality is not some little flicker or buzz of knowingness, not a psychedelic blast-through or a mellow hanging-out on some exalted plane of consciousness, not a bubble of immunity, but a vast fire of liberation, an exquisitely fitting crucible and sanctuary, providing both heat and light for what must be done.
Most of the time when we’re immersed in spiritual bypassing, we like the light but not the heat, doing whatever we can to distance ourselves from the flames.  And when we’re caught up in the grosser forms of spiritual bypassing, we’d usually much rather theorize about the frontiers of consciousness than actually go there, sedating the fire rather than breathing it even more alive, espousing the ideal of unconditional love while not permitting love to show up in its more challenging, personal dimensions. To do so would be too hot, too scary, and too out-of-control, bringing things to the surface that we have long disowned or suppressed.
But if we really want the light, we cannot afford to flee the heat. As Victor Frankl said, “What gives light must endure burning.” And being with the fire’s heat doesn’t just mean sitting with the difficult stuff in meditation, but also going into it, trekking to its core, facing and entering and getting intimate with whatever is there, however scary or traumatic or sad or raw.
We have had quite an affair with Eastern spiritual pathways, but now it is time to go deeper. We must do this not only to get more intimate with the essence of these wisdom traditions beyond ritual and belief and dogma but also to make room for the healthy evolution, not just the necessary Westernization, of these traditions so that their presentation ceases encouraging spiritual bypassing (however indirectly) and, in fact, consciously and actively ceases giving it soil to flower. These changes won’t happen to any significant degree, however, unless we work in-depth and integratively with our physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social dimensions to generate an ever-deeper sense of wholeness, vitality, and basic sanity.
Any spiritual path, Eastern or Western, that does not deal in real depth with psychological issues, and deal with these in more than just spiritual contexts, is setting itself up for an abundance of spiritual bypassing. If there is not sufficient encouragement and support from spiritual teachers and teachings for their students to engage in significant depth in psychoemotional work, and if those students who really need such work don’t then do it, they’ll be left trying to work out their psychoemotional issues, traumatic and otherwise, only through the spiritual practices they have been given, as if doing so is somehow superior to—or a “higher” activity than—engaging in quality psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is often viewed as an inferior undertaking relative to spiritual practice, perhaps even something we “shouldn’t” have to do. When our spiritual bypassing is more subtle, the idea of psychotherapy may be considered more acceptable but we will still shy away from a full-blooded investigation of our core wounds.
Spiritual bypassing is largely occupied, at least in its New Age forms, by the idea of wholeness and the innate unity of Being—“Oneness” being perhaps its favorite bumper sticker—but actually generates and reinforces fragmentation by separating out from and rejecting what is painful, distressed, and unhealed; all the far-from-flattering aspects of being human. By consistently keeping these in the dark, “down below” (when we’re locked into our headquarters, our body and feelings seem to be below us), they tend to behave badly when let out, much like animals that have spent too long in cages. Our neglect here of these aspects of ourselves, however gently framed, is akin to that of otherwise caring parents who leave their children without sufficient food, clothing, or care.
The trappings of spiritual bypassing can look good, particularly when they seem to promise freedom from life’s fuss and fury, but this supposed serenity and detachment is often little more than metaphysical valium, especially for those who have made too much of a virtue out of being and looking positive.
A common telltale sign of spiritual bypassing is a lack of grounding and in-the-body experience that tends to keep us either spacily afloat in how we relate to the world or too rigidly tethered to a spiritual system that provides the solidity we lack. We also may fall into premature forgiveness and emotional dissociation, and confuse anger with aggression and ill will, which leaves us disempowered, riddled with weak boundaries. The overdone niceness that often characterizes spiritual bypassing strands it from emotional depth and authenticity; and its underlying grief—mostly unspoken, untouched, unacknowledged—keeps it marooned from the very caring that would unwrap and undo it, like a baby being readied for a bath by a loving parent.
Spiritual bypassing distances us not only from our pain and difficult personal issues but also from our own authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo, a zone of exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality. Its frequently disconnected nature keeps it adrift, clinging to the weight of its self-conferred spiritual credentials. As such, it maroons us from embodying our full humanity.
But let us not be too hard on spiritual bypassing, for every one of us who has entered into the spiritual has engaged in spiritual bypassing, at least to some degree, having for years used other means to make ourselves feel better or more secure. Why would we not also approach spirituality, particularly at first, with much the same expectation that it make us feel better or more secure?
To truly outgrow spiritual bypassing—which in part means releasing spirituality (and everything else!) from the obligation to make us feel better or more secure or more whole—we must not only see it for what it is and cease engaging in it but also view it with genuine compassion, however fiery that might be or need to be. The spiritual bypasser in us needs not censure nor shaming but rather to be consciously and caringly included in our awareness without being allowed to run the show. Becoming intimate with our own capacity for spiritual bypassing allows us to keep it in healthy perspective.
I have worked with many clients who described themselves as being on a spiritual path, particularly as meditators. Most were preoccupied, at least initially, with being nice, trying to be positive and nonjudgmental, while impaling themselves on various spiritual “shoulds,” such as “I should not show anger” or “I should be more loving” or “I should be more open after all the time I’ve put into my spiritual practice.” Fleeing their darker (or “less spiritual”) emotions, impulses, and intentions, they had, to varying degrees, trapped themselves within the very practices (and beliefs) that they had hoped might liberate them, or at least make them feel better.
Even the most exquisitely designed spiritual methodologies can become traps, leading not to freedom but only to reinforcement, however subtle, of the very “I” that wants to be a somebody who has attained or realized freedom (the very same “I” that doesn’t realize there are no Oscars for awakening). The most obvious potential traps-in-waiting include the belief that we should rise above our difficulties and simply embrace Oneness, even as the tendency to divide everything into positive and negative, higher and lower, spiritual and nonspiritual, runs wild in us. Subtler traps-in-waiting, less densely populated with metaphysical lullabies and ascension metaphors and far more discerning, teach non-aversion through cultivating a capacity for dispassionate witnessing and/or various devotional rituals.
Subtler still are those that emphasize meeting everything with acceptance and compassion. Each approach has its own value, if only to eventually propel us into an even deeper direction, and each is far from immune to being possessed by spiritual bypassing, especially when we are still hoping, whatever our depth of spiritual practice, to reach a state of immunity to suffering (both personally and collectively).
As my spiritually inclined clients become more intimate with their pain and difficulties, coming to understand the origins of their troubles with a more open ear and heart, they either abandon their misguided spiritual practices and re-enter a more fitting version of them with less submissiveness and more integrity and creativity or find new practices that better suit their needs, coming to recognize more deeply that everything—everything!—can serve their healing and awakening.
In the facing and outgrowing of spiritual bypassing, we enter a deeper life—a life of full-blooded integrity, depth, love, and sanity; a life of authenticity on every level; a life in which the personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal are all honoured and lived to the fullest.
*Robert Augustus Masters, PhD 2013
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73 Responses to “Avoidance in Holy Drag” – Robert A. Masters on Spiritual Bypassing

  1. veet francesco says:

    “I said hello unnoticed
    You said goodbye too soon….”

    In my opinion, here applies the same speech made a few articles ago re synchronicity; there is an infinity of things that I avoid, at all times.

    For example, before starting to do Osho groups I was very busy giving space to my hormones, avoiding the spiritual dimension of the relationships my partners talked about. When I started experimenting with the tantric approach I found a synthesis between the two, but I don’t have many partners to apply it anymore; sometimes I felt victimized by their bypassing.

    During the years of spiritual growth I have avoided (bypassing) the economic dimension of what happened in my pocket, which emptied happily (the best investment of my life). Today, when I do not neglect the political reasons why my pockets do not fill up, my reasons are neglected (bypassing) by someone else.

    As usual I tend to put things in perspective as a friend taught me: everything can be a resource: sex, money, a Master – even the bypassing of sex, money, a Master.

    As long as there is only what I cannot apply “bypassing” to.

    “I took all those habits of yours
    That in the beginning were hard to accept
    Your fashion sense, Beardsley prints
    I put down to experience….”

    (Rod Stewart)

  2. satchit says:

    Who is bypassing?

    Seems the author has an evil reputation.

    • Lokesh says:

      Yes, quite so, Satchit.

      One of Master’s disciples said, “In the middle of a group, he farted in Kobally’s face.” Yes, truly shocking behaviour, I am sure you will agree.

      Fortunately, you have Osho and do not need to be concerned about spiritual bypassing at all, because Osho has shown you…erm…oops, I am not sue what Osho has shown you…but, who cares? It’s all good. Right?

      • veet francesco says:

        In fact, Lokesh, the right thing said/done must be considered taking into account the intention of the one who speaks/acts to the listener/observer.

        I’m sorry if I’m incidentally frustrating your willingness to show the long list of Masters who have a better reputation than Osho, maybe you’re bypassing the possibility that this is the wrong place for that, or it’s not that place anymore.

        In this sense, then, it is not even true what you write about “what is being written here appears to me like the same old same old and therefore lacking gravity.”

        Maybe it’s just “the same old same old” Lokesh that makes you miss grounding, or maybe it’s a normal risk when we have to represent a reality through words to someone else who is representing himself and his world using words.

        • Lokesh says:

          Veet, I often find your longer comments difficult to understand. Your command of the English language is commendable. I suggest you keep it simple if you wish to be understood by more readers, otherwise what you intend to communicate will be lost in the forest of your words.

          As for Osho’s reputation, I think Osho himself would have been the last person on earth to be concerned about that. Over the years since his death Osho has gained a better reputation in some quarters than when alive.

          People will always form opinions. Take yourself. You have formed an opinion that I have a long list of masters who I think have a better reputation than Osho. Really? This is just a baseless opinion, because I have never taken Osho’s reputation seriously, because I watched the man go out of his way to create a bad reputation for himself, sometimes to the point of being absurd.

          I mean to say, he actually declared that he loved Hitler, because he was crazy, and then added that he was more crazy. Of course, anyone who knew him took it as an absurd joke. Meanwhile the nego opinion makers went ballistic, and Osho received the media coverage he wanted, viewing, no doubt, the sacrifice of reputation as a paltry sum to pay, because he did not, unlike yourself, give a fuck about his reputation.

          • veet francesco says:

            Lokesh, let me be short, then:
            Re-read the allusions you made on 19 May, 2020 at 1:55 pm, and tell me, with your commendable English, if you are not taking Kobally’s reputation seriously, not deserving a fart in the face when compared with what Osho deserves, with his reputation.

            But mine is just an opinion to comment on one of your many, I’m sure you won’t be angry taking it seriously.

      • satchit says:

        The farting story is not the only story about him. He simply does not walk his talk.

        Strange that you are attracted by frauds, Lokesh.

        • Lokesh says:

          Yes, Satchit, it is strange. I have been attracted to frauds since an early age. It began with my baby sitter, Sheena, who had fantastic breasts. Then, my father discovered Sheena was a man.

          Reminds me of something granny Macleod used to say to me as a child: “A conception not reducible to the small change of daily experience is like a currency not exchangeable for articles of consumption; it is not a symbol, but a fraud.”

          Still rings true today.

  3. kavita says:

    Actually, could not & still can’t relate to the term ‘Spiritual’ at all, so shall bypass this ”Spiritual Bypassing” now!

  4. kavita says:

    VF, generalising is absurd in most cases. True what Lokesh says.

    • veet francesco says:

      How can you say, Kavita, that mine is a generalization, if you cannot associate spirituality with any sensitive data?

      What happens, the lockdown beats, in addition to the Sahasraraha, influenced on your sense of humour?

      Veet F, could you clarify the second question, please?

      I was referring to the viral images of the Indian police who beat ordinary citizens who claim to do absurd things like leaving the house.
      Not only in the US are coming to light how the gang that gravitates around the creator of Event 201 managed to finance the Italian politicians who managed the “pandemic”.

      I hope that even in India someone like Narendra Modi will have to justify the handshake with the philanthropist who gives toilets and billions.

      • kavita says:

        Sorry, VF, I did realise after clicking, I should have specified generalisation in regard to the case of nationality.

        Actually, the current collective milieu here is quite tense & mostly all correspondence I have had in the past pandemic days has been regarding how we are dealing with this.

        I had done online shopping on behalf of a dear sannyasin friend (she is not internet-savvy) who lives in the same lane, so she visited me to collect those essentials as she couldn’t manage to get them locally. Even though we were aware about social distancing, in that moment we hugged & didn’t regret this. We were together for nearly three hours, the dynamics of humour were not as before, for sure.

        What about ‘Sahasraraha’?

        • veet francesco says:

          With the seventh chakra, Kavita, I was referring to the ‘zen beats’ by police, closing, rather than the opposite, the door of spirituality, beyond which I am no longer myself, or a version of me open to an infinite possible version other me, where I can meet someone else who crosses the same threshold.

          With “spiritual” I refer to that experience of love, like when I embrace a friend, I don’t know why but India seems to favour this experience of grounding in the mystery.

          About ‘nationality’: if someone uses an adjective that you ignore semantically you will not be able to decide whether this is done accurately or not. For example, if I say that the Scots are egocentric, and for you this adjective does not make sense, you will not be able to decide if it is a myth or if in Scotland it is full of Bigheads.

          • kavita says:

            You know what, VF, somehow it’s not about semantics, it’s just that we don’t have to convince each other; if this happens it’s ok, but if it doesn’t I would prefer to let that go.

            • veet francesco says:

              Kavita, between proselytism and solipsism, thanks to a shared vocabulary, there are many communication options, even if the attraction of the two poles remains.

              About “convince each other” using the same words, is it true that in India the word ‘vaccination’ by Bill the philanthropist is associated with ‘polio’?


                • veet francesco says:

                  Kavita, I don’t understand your answer.

                  My question was genuinely concerned about the lobbying of a few individuals against the world population. I read that Narendra Modi was rewarded for his health care by one of the philanthropist guy institutions, in addition to the money (1,200,000,000 US dollars) given to the Indian government for the vaccination programme.

                  Here the law for compulsory vaccination for people over 65 has just been proposed in Parliament.
                  Maybe you are advising me to stay here and now and bypass what is happening to someone else there now, or what will happen to me in 10 years’ time here.

                  So I ask the same question to the friends of SN who, less lazy or with a little social and civil passion, care about the fate of India and all the other countries threatened by this Plutocracy.

                • kavita says:

                  VF, I genuinely don’t have any answers to your social and civil queries.

                  In fact, in hindsight, maybe one of the reasons I came to Poona was because I didn’t have any answers to social hypocrisies (most of the friends I made were also in the same boat) and also I’ve accepted my laziness since.

  5. simond says:

    I’ve sometimes seen that, as Tagore I think once said, that we take one step forward and two back, because the reality of the so-called spiritual journey is that at times it is the most frightening, most deathly, most challenging of all.

    Yes, many say they want enlightenment, whatever they think that is, in the hope that it is a nicey nice feeling, being all present, and all-one, etc.

    This odd term, “spiritual bypassing” seems rather simplistic, but I did find the article difficult to follow, so I may have misunderstood it somewhat. Nevertheless, I know from experience that I have run as fast as possible away from the truth at times, the fear in me, deeper than I could ever have imagined. I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t avoided it.

    To take ‘Death’ as perhaps the simplest yet most often glibly discussed,..Those spiritual bypassers may welcome the idea of death, the sweet mystery imaginary descriptions of it, but put them them in a drowning situation and watch them fight for their lives.

    We are all spiritual bypassers at times, all fearful of change, of uncertainty. However much we consciously embrace and acknowledge this, is perhaps the evidence or a sign of how much we have truly begun to get real.

    • veet francesco says:

      I reflected on the verbal exchange I had recently with Kavita.

      From her point of view, my invitation to participate in social and civil life is only a form of hypocrisy, typical of any rampant panchayati of a remote Indian or Italian village.

      In the case of my hypothesis about the existence of an infernal machine of domination, capable of organizing consensus on illiberal political choices using emergencies/fear (which greatly reduces Overton’s options window), I should bypass my instinctive repulsion to these plots of power?

      Or maybe I should bypass my pride, stopping to oppose people more intelligent than a simple goyim like me, avoiding the judgment of those who lazily remain in the cave to enjoy the fiction, the show of shadows cast by television?

      • satyadeva says:

        Veet Francesco, why not keep it simple, leave out any ‘shoulds’, just do whatever you choose – and take the consequences (eg that many people, perhaps including SN readers, have other priorities and won’t be all that interested)?

        • veet francesco says:

          SD, speaking of what seems to be happening, give me an example of a priority which is not the one of not having priority (laziness), that I would be bypassing.

          • satyadeva says:

            Erm, off the top of my head, and not including working at a paid job, how about any of these?:
            Creative pursuits like art, sculpture, acting, writing, music;
            Cycling, walking, camping, swimming, exercising, playing sports;
            Reading, studying for exams or for pleasure;
            Maintaining a website,
            Maintaining an intimate relationship, staying in touch with friends, relatives…
            And/or even practising meditation, entering the body, self-watching, catching one’s habitually robotic emotional attitudes and responses before they take us over, maybe even sitting silently, doing nothing?

            Basically, almost anything that helps reduce the amount of time and energy you devote to thinking, particularly thinking that’s disconnected from any realistic intention to act (but which gives you the illusion of ‘doing something important’).

  6. Lokesh says:

    Simond says, “We are all spiritual bypassers at times, all fearful of change, of uncertainty. However much we consciously embrace and acknowledge this, is perhaps the evidence or a sign of how much we have truly begun to get real.”

    Yes, Simond, that is, in my not so humble opinion, exactly how it is. Well put.

    • simond says:

      Thanks, Lokesh. I love your not so humble opinion. Humility is overrated, and for the Christians, Oshoites and other religionists, purist, sanctimonious, Buddhist types. The liberals of the world who crave “agreement”, who don’t wish to offend, who desire us all to get on with each other; the spiritualists, the yearners for harmony and sensibility. Those who “listen to the science“ and forget that masks may not be proven (by science) and therefore ignore common sense.

      They listen and empathise, they “feel others’ pain” and don’t intervene or help, but rather wishfullly suggest, “everyone is on their journey“ and therefore respect and do nothing.

      Few stand up to shout from the rooftops, but hide behind respectable forms of debating, all the while missing the opportunity to say it as it is.

      This, Lokesh, is why I have respected you, from afar. Not always agreed 100% with you, but mostly, you speak your mind, speak without the filter mechanism, and why, so clearly, you have made the life you have for yourself. In this world of mediocre minds, pleasing and hoping to be loved, you stand out as the figure who speaks without the need to impress. Respect to Ye.

      • Lokesh says:

        Cool, Simond. Currently reading ‘The Magus’…talk about a mystery. Two chapters then an early night. I will be taking a break from spiritual and bypassing tomorrow as I will be up a ladder painting a big ceiling.

        Here is a photo of the evil Guru Masters, the man who wrote the article. He has quite a reputation.

  7. ‘To

    One of the books written by this author I ordered the other day, after seeing the article today I got my copy. It feels like article is fitting quite well to participants of Neo-Sannyas in general or that mob going to John in Canada or, sitting at the Satsang of Dolano, Samarpan or Samadarshi, thinking they have found the password.

    Sannyas collective may deny this, yet fact remains, we tried our best to shortcut the journey. Many people have still this notion, with Osho many lives’ work was done in single life.

    Anyway, this gentleman also does not look like a Complete, Integrated being. He has a professional know-how and maybe sincere intentions to work with the clients, still he is neither a master nor knows the art of beings a disciple.

  8. samarpan says:

    “Spiritual bypassing…to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs.” John Welwood, 1984).

    It has become fashionable to condemn “spiritual bypassing”…almost dogmatically so. Welwood focused on spiritual bypassing and ignored psychological bypassing, which has become a big business. A lot of money is made by substituting psychological bypassing for spiritual bypassing.

    Therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists have a lot to gain from privileging the psychological over the spiritual. In search of “healing” past wounds and traumas you can stay in therapy endlessly, to your own detriment (loss of time, money, maturity, creativity, opportunities).

    Mucking around in the past, in the unconscious, in personal processing, with or without a therapist, can become interminable and destructive. Constant analyzing of “unresolved wounds” and past traumas is a form of psychological bypassing of the present, whereas “meditation is a direct route to being. It simply bypasses the mind. Vipassana forces you to encounter yourself – your fidgetiness, your restlessness, your ugliness, your madness. It forces you to see all the rubbish that you are carrying within yourself. And that is one of the most essential steps to go beyond. If you want to go beyond anything, first you have to encounter it. Without encountering it there is no transcendence. There is no shortcut, there is no way of bypassing it.” (Osho, ‘Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen’, Chapter 4)

    “Fritz Perls used to say that all therapy is nothing but skillful frustration. The great therapist is one who goes on frustrating you skillfully – that’s what I am doing here. I have to show you that whatsoever you have been doing was wrong, because only that understanding can save you. Once you recognise that the whole past was wrong, you simply drop it, you don’t bother to choose. There is nothing to choose. It all came out of your unawareness and it was all wrong. Your hatred was wrong, your love also; your anger was wrong, your compassion also. If you seek deep down you will always find wrong reasons for your compassion and wrong reasons for your love.

    A foolish man is foolish and whatsoever he does is foolish. So it will have to be remembered continuously, it should become a constant remembrance – what Buddha used to call mindfulness. One should remain mindful so it is not repeated again. Because only mindfulness will protect and you will not be able to repeat your past again – otherwise the mind tends to repeat it.” (Osho, ‘Dang Dang Doko Dang’, Chapter 4)

  9. Arpana says:

    Robert A. Masters functions from such a glass is half empty, perfectionist mindset.

    The people he works with are almost certainly miserably neurotic, and neurosis is always connected to trying to be perfect. What a gift to them he is. Something else they have failed at.

  10. Klaus says:

    Besides the “bypass” there are – at least for me – two more options:

    the underpass
    the flyover

    I am certain that I have used them all. It was and most likely will be somehow inevitable.

    On the other hand, when in a low that cannot be underpassed. Or could it?

    • Arpana says:

      Like the lo-key humour you always manage to couch your posts in, Klaus.

      Sometimes bypassing, underpassing, flyovering happens, because it’s not the right time to process whatever is going on.

      The ”spiritual” journey is about finding a balance between peeling the potatoes and dealing with what’s going on internally; which can happen, in fact, at the same time; and then occasionally I just want to watch an hour-long lo-brow programme on the TV.

  11. kavita says:

    Made a simple sandwich, felt like sharing a picture.

  12. “Comatose” meaning in Humour extremely lethargic or sleepy:
    “Swami & Ma lay comatose in the sun listening to a personal stereo!”

    It seems Sannyasnews is also in a state of relaxed social distancing.
    I won´t say in comatose state.

  13. Lokesh says:

    Just for fun we ordered bat soup at the local Chinese.

  14. Lokesh says:

    Gaddy gakk! It tasted like…bat!

  15. Wonder when some Desi Enlightened Guru will ever say, I was Newton or Einstein in my past life!

    In my opinion, to rise to this level has no scope via shortcuts and crooked bypassing.

    • kavita says:

      Wonder when some Desi Enlightened Guru will ever say, “I was Newton or Einstein in my past life”!

      These “Desi Enlightened Gurus” probably are too patriotic!

      “In my opinion, to rise to this level has no scope via shortcuts and crooked bypassing.”

      This I can’t say for sure!

  16. Klaus says:


    What does “Desi” mean?

    In the given context.

    Thanks for clarification.

  17. Lokesh says:

    “Desi” in this case probably means originating in India.

    • Yes, Lokesh, “Desi” means originating in India.

      The thought of above post came after seeing expose of an Indian Guru Samdarshi. He is from the school of late Osho and got good market chunk after Osho´s departure. One of his ex-followers is exposing him in facebook posts. In one of those exposes I also saw an interesting photo of Samdarshi with late Punja ji. Punja is in jeans and looks like a villain of some Hindi movie.

      As per those posts, Samdarshi has told many times his past life connection with Osho. In one life, both were horses in the same chariot; in another, Osho was his father.

      So this is the way desi Indian bazaar is working after the demise of Osho.

    • Klaus says:

      Ohh. Thanks. Sounds a bit exclusive to me. (“Bangla-deshi”…nai?)

      So re-incorporated in modern-day India.

      In the old days ‘Sind’ has been more extensive:

      “The History of India: Every year sind 29th century BCE to 2016″
      Due to their extreme timescales, the Indus Valley and Vedic periods cannot be shown every year, although every year is shown from 413 BCE.

      Sometimes one might have been reborn in India, then again somewhere else, then back to India and so forth.

      “Once India – always India”? Diversions seem possible.

      Maybe I am off-topic. Also possible.

  18. Here is one rare photo, two Indians, Energy Entrepreneurs, Samdarshi and late Punja ji.

    For Samdarshi it is a rags-to-riches story.

    • swamishanti says:

      Here is another rare photo, of Samdarshi and behind, Bhaskar (Maitreya Ishwara).

      • swamishanti says:

        When Maitreya died, in 2012, I remember that a couple of writers were attacking him on sannyasnews, claiming that he was “kicked out of Samdarshi’s ashram by Samdarshi” – and that he was psychotic. Clearly this was not the view held by Samdarshi himself.

        I watched a video of Samdarshi in a Goa satsang recently where he mentioned how some people who spent time with him believed that they were enlightened, but only about four had really attained, and he included Ishwara in those.

        Reading those comments at the time, I felt as if there was some jealousy towards Maitreya from one of the other Samdarshites.

        Qouted from part of Maitreya’s own description of his awakening:

        “After another two years of passionate meditation with Samdarshi the ego finally left forever. On 26 October 1995 near Byron Bay there was a huge jerk in the belly and the psychic knot separated from him and disappeared. Maitreya had been fooled twice by satoris, this time he kept quiet about his experience. Even when Samdarshi said he had entered the fifth body, Maitreya made no comment. He wanted to see if it was really permanent.

        Meditation continued with even more intensity for another 18 months till the sixth body explosion happened in Dharamshala on 10 June 1997. With it came the first stage of God-realisation and verbal contact with Source. Now Maitreya was convinced that enlightenment was permanent. The sixth body explosion nearly killed him and the voice of Source was telling him everything he always wanted to know about cosmic knowledge. Many mysteries were revealed. And the bliss and love were almost too much to contain.“

        • Swamishanti, it seems your knowledge and information about Enlightened people is immense, you must have read every available book about such people.

          I just hope someone will trigger your 5th, 6th, 7th body to make you write your own experiences.

          I love when whites from developed nations become Enlightened. After all, white life matters too.

        • Lokesh says:

          Find Maitreya’s mumbo-jumbo difficult to take seriously. I liked him. His version of enlightenment I found to be bogus. It all sounds a bit old hat. Nothing against hats, mind you.

          • swamishanti says:

            I remember reading one of the leaflets that came through the letterbox of the house I was living in: his photo, his eyes and some of his writing. We used to get quite a few leaflets from different teachers, mainly sannyasins giving satsang in the UK. I think Parmartha may have been involved in distributing those.

            Maitreya got a lot of his esoteric knowledge from Purnanand Bharti and Samdarshi, who in turn got it from Osho.

            He got his ‘Source is the only doer’ thing from Ramesh Balsekar who was just preaching the old Indian idea.
            Anyway, I had already read Osho talking about kundalini and the seven bodies in the book, ‘Meditation: The Art of Inner Ecstasy’ – quite a good compilation of early talks. That was before I had ever read any of Osho’s more esoteric talks that were translated from Hindi.

            He was staying in Brighton Marina for a while. I had a satori through Maitreya, just through his energy, without him saying anything except for “welcome home”.

            Whilst travelling I came across several sannyasins who had spent time with him in New Zealand, who told me good things about him and also had spent time with his wife at the time Sada Ishwara, who was also regarded as enlightened.

            Personally, I enjoyed his book, for sure he was a bit crazy, but some of the best writers and artists often are a little crazy.

            He was very into cosmic mathematical systems , whereas Osho didn’t like the idea of keeping any rigid structures too much .

            Maitreya’s planetary vision for the future included a non-totalitarian communism and Veganism, which he was into . Personally I am not a vegan and I am an occasional meat-eater, and I doubt that the entire earth will ever become 100 per cent vegan. Unless it’s ruled by a fascist vegan regime.

            Although I have been recently pleasantly surprised to find a little selection of vegan meat subtitutes is starting to appear in my supermarkets. Although sos-mix, one of my favourites, disappeared long ago.

            He was a cosmic nutcase but on a high vibrational level. I could appreciate his earnestness. His personal story was a good read, full of sex, drugs and rock and roll. And meditation.

            As far as Robert A. Masters is concerned, I don’t think he is a Master. To me. he appears to be a bit neurotic and perfectionist, as Arpana wrote.

            I’ve seen this type of spiritual trip before which seems to come from some type of unconscious American Christian missionary complex which must lie deep in the American collective unconscious. I mean, this guy is so afraid of cults that he got scared when he got his own group of people around him that he thought he was in a cult.

            And it all seems a bit boring. I mean, where’s all the fun if a spiritual teacher never gets caught with their pants or their knickers down?

            Personally, these days, I won’t even bother going to any satsang or darshan with a lady or a Ma if I feel that there isn’t a chance that we can’t have some fun round the back once the satsang is over, or take her out to dinner (not necessarily in that order).

            • swamishanti says:

              My favourite Americans at the moment are Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady , David Crosby , Graham Nash , David Freiburg , Mickey Hart and Jerry Garcia, who used to jam together around 1970/ 71 , and created the ‘Blows Against the Empire’ album in 1970. Found this rough mix of some of their jams from the ‘Perro sessions’, 1971. Paul Kantner’s original idea was to create a follow up album to ‘Blows’ , but when he finally got round to it in 1983, it was a completely different sound with different musicians. Some nice versions of original ‘mountain song’ from 21.09. Paul Kantner plays the banjo, Grace vocals and piano.


  19. kavita says:

    Shantam, you are so right about ”Punja is in jeans and looks like a villain of some Hindi movie.”!

    Punjaji doesn’t look too happy with his company here!

  20. Lokesh says:

    Met Sandarshi many years ago. Back then he was an Osho clone. I found him dull. Same old watered down hoopla that India gurus have been dishing out for centuries with nothing original to say. How these guys get away with it is a sign of the unenlightend times.

    • From the expose of Samdarshi by his once close followers I also came to know he has one daughter, who in his opinion is the reincarnation of Osho´s Nirvano.

      Today I have posted one facebook video in Hindi: Questions for Swami Samdarshi based on the information available. Maybe I try to create one in English.

      Psychology of Enlightenment needs some clinical as well as academic research.

  21. Lokesh says:

    The reincarnation of Osho´s Nirvano!
    Really, Shantam, this is complete nonsense. Nirvano would never chose a dummy like him for a father.

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