“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).

AVOIDANCE IN HOLY DRAG
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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106 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?

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

      VEET FRANCESCO:
      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’?

              https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2019/oct/23/oral-polio-vaccine-causing-paralysis-in-kids-study-2051670.html

                • 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;
            Gardening
            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
    Be
    A
    Man’

    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:

    Hi,

    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″
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN41DJLQmPk
      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, (as long as it’s all consensual?) .

            • swamishanti says:

              My favourite Americans at the moment are Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Cassady, 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.

              https://youtu.be/WELRag-wuwo

              • Lokesh says:

                Can a vegan still enjoy Hot Tuna?

                • swamishanti says:

                  I don’t know, because I’m not a vegan.

                • kavita says:

                  Yes, Lokie, only she/he will have to risk being called a Tungan!

                • satyadeva says:

                  Back to “spiritual bypassing”?

                  This arrived today from LearningStrategies.com, a hugely successfil American personal/spiritual growth company. The writer makes it sound so easy…And is “bliss” really the goal, or even the way? But, hey, this is America – and this is a business, right?

                  How to experience bliss, even in difficult times

                  Deirdre Hade says, “The state of bliss is a subtle field of ‘Everything’s okay just the way it is.’”
                  Bliss is the internal experience of joy, knowing “I have the strength and the tools to get through what I have to get through.”
                  Some people say you cannot experience bliss every day.
                  But you can.
                  Even when you are confined or agitated by the outside world you can experience bliss every day, because it is an inside job you command. It’s a feeling or sensation you can unfurl, release, and receive whenever you choose.

                  As you experience the bliss (of pure energy), you raise your energetic frequency and that automatically quells any overwhelm and anxiety… calms your reaction to chaos… makes you less likely to be drawn into denser emotions such as depression and anger… and makes you more likely to be upbeat, creative, and engaged in life.

                  It becomes easier to respond to what’s going on with a level head and a compassionate heart.
                  And the bonus? You feel a noticeable uptick in your health and well-being.

                  Our mentor, Deirdre Hade, is one of the most blissful and heart-centered people I know. She created our Radiance Pure Energy program, but that’s not why I’m writing today.

                  I’m writing, because she is going to help you, me, and a lot of other people experience a calm approach to life along with real bliss in a 4-session LIVE experience beginning on Monday, June 15. It is called Receiving Bliss.

                  Deirdre is a mover of energy, and her healing approach is very different from our other mentors. Yes, it is all the same divine and universal energy, but, as I’m fond of saying, there are many ways to get to Chicago. I encourage you to do this new live program, and if you are not completely moved and transformed by the experience, you may request a complete refund within the month.

                  Receiving Bliss
                  Beyond overwhelm, chaos, and grief
                  The four sessions of Receiving Bliss will include teachings, things you can do on your own, energetic karma clearings, and “Radiance” meditations similar to those in her Pure Energy program. In these beautiful meditations you will receive the healing transmissions of Pure Energy through fast moving, rapidly changing, exquisitely transforming images, feelings, and sounds.

                  The entire 4-session experience is designed to open a heart space and reveal the highest expression of who you are. This means resistance will drop, it will be easier to live on purpose, and bliss will find its way into your daily life…even with the wonkiness of the spring of 2020.

                  We’ll be together four days in a row for an hour each beginning at 1:00 p.m. US Central Time.
                  Monday – June 15
                  Using Radiance Pure Energy and Allowing the Bliss to Transform You.
                  Tuesday – June 16
                  Clearing Your Karmic Field to Dissipate Overwhelm, Chaos, Anxiety and Grief.
                  Wednesday – June 17
                  Allowing Health and Well-Being to Feel at Home Within You.
                  Thursday – June 18
                  Living Life to the Fullest Every Day in the Bliss of Radiance Pure Energy.

                  We’ll be using a live video stream, but you can choose to call in by phone. You can also follow along with the recordings if you cannot make the sessions live.

                  After the first session you’ll be able to submit questions for Deirdre. You may also request an individual “Radiance Healing” session with her. Deirdre will do a couple live Radiance Healing sessions during the remaining sessions. If you are not chosen for an individual session, still follow. They will help you release contraction and experience expansion, which is something we all want. That’s what helps us let go of the stresses and move us to bliss.

                  The tuition for Receiving Bliss is 4 payments of $30. You are welcome to sign up right now.

                  Meet your mentor, Deirdre Hade

                  Deirdre is a modern day mystic, poet and visionary leader in the ancient arts of the wisdom traditions. Creator of “The Radiance Journey” a path to mystical knowledge, uniting soul purpose and mystery with everyday life.

                  Spiritual exploration is not just something to do on Sundays. It affects your everyday life, which means it needs to be part of everything. Deirdre understands this, which is why the benefits you experience will be real and practical.

                  Deirdre first began to see energy at a very early age, but not until her mother, scientist and poet Katherine Blumer Hade, was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer did Deirdre, at sixteen, begin to understand why. Together, the two women began developing a method of healing work based on divine light. This led her mother to live thirteen years longer than expected.

                  Tragedy is a wake-up call for so many, because often we are most open to the greater possibility when we are most vulnerable. This is what the world is experiencing now with the coronavirus and climate change. You are ready.

                  A pioneer in the art of spiritual dance, Deirdre first applied her gifts as a ballet dancer and choreographer. Recognized by Robert Joffrey for her fire and spirit, Deirdre’s dance company, “Celebrations of the Sacred,” performed under grants from the Mid-South and Tennessee Arts Council. She danced with the NYC Opera, choreographed for the Banff Center of Performing Arts, Opera Memphis, and Southern Opera Theater. As director of the Memphis Ballet Company, she created the first inner city ballet program teaching to disadvantaged youth. Deirdre choreographed and performed in Stephen Halpern’s, Summer Wind, the inaugurating video of the VH1 Channel.

                  Just as spiritual exploration cannot just be during personal time, it is not just in the mind. We need to bring it into our body. Deirdre’s dance experience brought that home for her.
                  At seventeen, she had a fortuitous meeting with Joseph Campbell, Hero with a Thousand Faces, that would set the course of her life’s work. Joseph Campbell convinced Deirdre to pursue the path of a mystic and to not go into anthropology as she had planned, saying, “It will ruin your gift. You already have what we are all looking for…”

                  I bet that if Joseph Campbell had told any of us something like that, our trajectory would be abundantly clear. How lucky she was! How lucky we are.

                  This same year Deirdre was given an unknown book, A Course in Miracles. She began studying the texts for hours on end. This, along with the southern gospel churches, gave her scientific mind a spiritual foundation (both of Deirdre’s parents were research scientists in biochemistry and physiology).

                  Deirdre’s search for self-discovery led her to be mentored over a lifetime by the elders and teachers in the mystical Christian tradition, the I Am Presence teachings, the Hindu Vedic tradition and Mussar and Lurianic Kabbalah, for which she has studied for over 20 years with two esteemed Rabbis.
                  We are all one. There is no us against them. Studying the various traditions allowed her to live the realization.

                  In 2004 Deirdre founded Radiance Healing and Radiance Meditation as a form of energy healing mystical wisdom based on the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life. Deirdre has given Radiance Journey healings and retreats to thousands throughout the country from The Omega Institute, The Kripalu Yoga Center, The ACADEMI of Life in New York City, The Evolutionary Healing Institute in Miami, Florida, to Sacred Space in Santa Barbara. Deirdre’s book, The (not so) Little Book of Surprises, released in 2016, was performed to a standing room only audience at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Center.

                  Deirdre’s celebrity clients include Donna Karan, Barbra Streisand, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, John Gray, Sting, and Jack Canfield.

                  Jack introduced me to Deirdre in 2009 and recommended I do individual sessions with her. The first was so moving, I signed up immediately for a second and a third. And before you know it, we were creating her Pure Energy program to share with the world.

                  Her Radiance Pure Energy program of eight five-minute meditations we created with her has been sold in over 132 countries.

                  Deirdre’s contribution to the world is being recognized and embraced.

                  In 2014 Deirdre married her great love, Will Arntz, creator of, “What the BLEEP Do We Know!?” and with what she considers her two greatest accomplishments, that of being the mother of her two children, Leilah Katherine Franklin and Eric Harel Franklin, they all live happily ever after…

                  We are proud she will be delivering this new program for you, because under all circumstances, joy is possible.

                  Accessing your own inner healing
                  I mentioned earlier that the sessions will help open a heart space within you to reveal the highest expression of who you are… so the decisions you make and the actions you take in your everyday life are fully aligned.

                  In today’s world you do not want to make decisions from the space of fear or anxiety. The best decisions, always, are made when in the higher frequencies of pure energy.

                  When this happens, you’ll easily allow stress and anxiety and worry and fear to drain from your body. You’ll find your days flowing without you getting caught up in the drama of life.

                  You’ll be able to watch the drama without getting emotionally sucked in. This allows bliss to emerge.
                  These four sessions with Deirdre will help you quickly access your own inner healing powers to restore, rejuvenate, and support your body, mind, and spirit so you can indeed live a beautiful life.

                  Please sign up now. I’ll be on right along with you. This is not anything I would consider missing. A wonderful summer stands ready to unfold before us, even with the challenges.

                  If I may offer a possibility for you: a lot in our lives has changed in the past few months. The snow globe has been shaken. Not being able to go out in the world gives us a beautiful opportunity to go within. We are being forced to not be as external as we have been all of our lives. If it kinda forces a look inside, that has to be good, right? Let’s take advantage of it and get to understand how natural bliss really is.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Madhu Dagmar Frantzen writes:

                  Watched an extended version of ‘What The Bleep Do We Know’ – and, as a ready (former) writer, love to pass that over.
                  From the Here and Now.

                  With my best wishes to all our Sanity and Heart´s Intelligence.

                  https://youtu.be/R6G3-Zc9mtM

                  From my Cloud-Watching Closet.

                  With Love,

                  Madhu

              • swamishanti says:

                Here’s the version of the Mountain Song from Paul Kantner’s 1983 album ‘Planet Earth Rock and Rock & Roll Orchestra’. In my personal opinion , apart from a few classic old Jefferson Airplane tracks such as Wooden Ships that were included in the album it is the only track I really like on this album:

                https://youtu.be/CUtY7jPezik

                The song was about a San Francisco rock group that were being pursued by various governments and then escaped to the Australian mountain wilderness to join a self-sufficient settlement of 1500 people living there. They are then tracked by American agents, and then they manage to create a shield around the settlement , and escape into outer space.

  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.

  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.

  22. samarpan says:

    Thank you, Klaus. This fellow, Osho, is brilliant, a Master of Masters.

    • Klaus says:

      Indeed, I felt stunned again by such clarity & precision.

      • satchit says:

        Stunned by clarity?
        Sounds more like sleepiness.

        • Klaus says:

          Oh, your quotation is incomplete:

          “…stunned by such clarity & precision…”

          There. Fixed it for you.

          A few days ago I came across a nice little joke:

          In the morning on the day of his funeral Ronald Reagan appeared to his wife, Barbara.

          He said:
          “Hi, my Love. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine! I’m in heaven!”
          Barbara:
          “Ronny, my Dear! But, how is it?”
          Ronny:
          “It is nishe. But it ish much warmer than I exshpected!”

          Cheers.

          P.S.
          Actually, this joke was played by Robin Williams on his comedy partner, Billy Crystal, by impersonating Ronny on the phone….

  23. samarpan says:

    Recent research indicates spiritual bypassing may be useful:

    “The authors collected a sample (783 participants) from the general population and tested a parallel mediation model in which 2 factors of spiritual bypass mediated the effect of spirituality on depression, anxiety and stress. The results demonstrated that Psychological Avoidance and Spiritualizing partially mediated the effect of spirituality on depression and anxiety, whereas they completely mediated the effect of spirituality on stress.”

    ‘The Mediating Effects of Spiritual Bypass on Depression, Anxiety and Stress’ by Jesse Fox, Gabriela Picciotto, 07 October, 2019.

  24. Lokesh says:

    Phew, glad I am not a spiritual seeker. What a relief.

    And here is me wondering if that bastion of the misfits, SN, is collapsing into nirvana and just like the mythological pheonix it rises out of the ashes. Life is so surprising. SD rallies the troops and it’s onward into the fray bentos illurium. The influence of the frozen beef pie.

    No tourists on Ibiza.

    • satyadeva says:

      Have we all been crawling around the bypass (or is it the ring-road?)? Having a break? Slightly bewildered? Lapsing into indifference? A bit depressed perhaps? Imagining the Grim Reaper might want to choose ‘me’ for its next victim? If so, thanks to those implacable soldiers Samarpan, Klaus and Lokesh, the phoney war is certainly, maybe, over…

      Now, as the Masters-worh-their-salt tell us, is surely the moment…to fight our way out of online and inner lockdown…or, simply to allow it to ‘dissolve’, as they say on the bypass…

      Come on you spiritual worriers (er, sorry, I mean warriors), your keyboards await you…get your fingers out…and onto those buttons…

      Chaaaarge!

      (Er, sorry, I mean, tap!).

      • satyadeva says:

        How about this for a spot of bypassing, astrological-style? It’s today’s reading from an online astro advice service…

        “You’re surrounded by refreshing energy right now, so try to make the most of it! Get to know the people you met recently and have short and sweet conversations with them. You’ll never know how magical their future role is in your life. You’ve met them for a reason and they serve a purpose for you. Be open-minded and let destiny unfold! You are an unstoppable warrior!”

        Sounds interesting, but, like many other people, having been well into lockdown for the last three months I haven’t met anyone recently!

      • Klaus says:

        A Break? Bewildered? Indifferent? Depressed? Imagining passing away?

        Could be something of each…after 3 months of home-schooling of a 7 year-old…my parents both beyond their 80s…corona spreading, typhoon and monsoon flooding near in-laws’ places in Bangladesh.

        20 minutes on foot to the Jamuna and Brahmaputra rivers – 50 dwellings in and near Nagarpur district gone:
        https://www.thedailystar.net/country/news/tangail-kurigram-people-losing-dwellings-croplands-jamuna-brahmaputra-turn-furious-1915793

        Near my second home in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, there is actually a “Ring Road” – one of the brothers-in-law lives near the Badshah Faisal Institute:
        https://www.google.com/maps/@23.7739188,90.3615821,15z

        Life is happening.

  25. Lokesh says:

    Lockdown? I have been based in Ibiza for 40 years and I have to say that is a truly remarkable time on the island right now. Unless in some way dependent on tourism all of our friends here seem to agree.

    Last three months have been amongst the most peaceful in my life. A time of introspection also. Revisiting long forgotten episodes in my life and seeing how various crossroads and junctures were somehow responsible for the way my life went.

    I boiled it all down to one’s life being like a doughnut. A little nibble here, a big bite there and one day the dough is all gone, leaving the hole, which was always the whole from the start, whether or not the doughnut was vegan makes no difference, but a good cup of tea is recommended.

    You know, even the fish in the local bay know there is something going on. There are more of them and they are less timid than normal. Saw a school of around a hundred barracudas the other day. The trees are full of cooing doves.

    If you ask me, one does not have to strive after no-mind states. If you live long enough emptiness seems to arise naturally. There is much to be said for a simple rural life. The seasons change and the doughnut gets eaten by itself.

  26. kavita says:

    Warriors or worriers have mostly not been spared geographically by this calamity, now both crawling towards  their life before novel corona.

    Here in Koregaon Park/Poona, movement surely began on the first day of June. And continues to catch more momentum every single day.

    The koyal’s cry for the rain has been answered.
    Seems this novel human despair is being answered slowly but surely too!

  27. samarpan says:

    Lokesh says, “Phew, glad I am not a spiritual seeker. What a relief.”

    I was once not interested in awakening. I didn’t even know I was asleep, so no need for spiritual seeking. Then I was interested in spiritual seeking. Then I wasn’t. Now I’m not. Tomorrow, who knows?

    I once identified myself as a separate object, with a body-mind self-image. Through spiritual seeking (non-drug experience) I realized that my self-image was an imaginary construct. I once identified as a spiritual seeker. Then I confronted that identification (instead of denying or bypassing it).

    I do not deny my past ignorance, or my present ignorance, my past behaviour, or my present behaviour. It is all a delicious con-fusion. From the eagle eye view of old age I see it as perfection!

    As Raphy Leavitt says in his salsa song, “Siempre Alegre”:

    “Amo yo esta vida con loca pasión…
    Vive la vida, mira que se va y no vuelve
    Dicen que después de muerto uno vuelve, y,
    ¿si no reencarno na’? ¡Ah! ”

    (“I love this life with crazy passion…
    Live life, see, it goes and does not come back
    They say that after death one returns,
    And, if I do not reincarnate? Ah!”)

    You can hear and dance to the song:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlTiP9wfHLw

  28. Title of this long drawn article is ‘Spiritual Bypassing’!

      • I also got such inspiring material in whatsapp from some of my lady friends.
        I wrote them back politely, “Only Tik Tok, please.”
        Don´t get any whatsapp any more.

        • satyadeva says:

          There’s more than one way around the bypass…

          Is this prevalent among Buddhists now? Reminiscent of some of a certain other crowd of seekers…Rather brilliant…

          https://youtu.be/Pbzs_5gD2DM

          • satyadeva says:

            Madhu Dagmar Frantzen provides this interview with John Welwood on spiritual bypassing:

            http://www.johnwelwood.com/articles/TRIC_interview_uncut.pdf

            • Arpana says:

              I just read this article in-depth, and what he is saying is that people come to meditation, come to Sannyas, specifically I am talking about baby-boomers, with a lot of ideas about what constitutes spiritual, what is not spiritual. And it seems to me in the case of baby-boomers, what was spiritual and what was not spiritual actually equated with what was good and what was bad according to Christianity, because even if we thought of ourselves as atheists or anti-religious, we’d still been conditioned to all those Christian values; which said sex was wrong, caring about money was wrong, caring about appearance was wrong, a very puritanical outlook (This is a broad brush comment, I‘m sure this doesn‘t apply to the letter to everybody).

              And then all that is compounded by having been hurt if you will, had difficult things happen involving money, socially; and so he’s just saying people repress what they want, what they consider non-spiritual, and act out what they consider to be spiritual, although it just seems to me that’s part of the journey really.

              A further point that I wanted to make, and in a way just seems blindingly obvious, but for whatever reason I’ve never really thought about this before (but I must have, I’m sure I did, I can’t believe I didn’t, but I would have experienced intense cognitive dissonance, torn between my upbringing, which I’d overridden and repressed, particularly in the, say, 10 years prior to Sannyas, while I was having a good time):
              Because of having been given the injunction pleasure is wrong, money is immoral, drink and drugs are immoral, and the idea that truly spiritual people live alone in a desert, in rags, starving and thirsty, cold and isolated; and yet Osho was actively encouraging us to go against all those Christian ideas of spiritual, and I suggest that we, some of us, most of us to some extent or other, dealt with this by repressing either the spiritual or what we perceived as the non-spiritual, certainly at some point in our Sannyas lives.

              And it‘s probably even harder for Buddhists because they don‘t have an Osho encouraging them to have a good time.

              • satyadeva says:

                Madhu Dagmar Frantzen writes…

                I´ve been quite captured when reading this kind of Shakespearean ´Hamlet´ version of the topic – that quite easily happens in that virtual kind of communication ( BE or not to BE…).

                THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WAY…murmured that tiny little voice inside – even then when I found myself almost drowned in some of the mind´s turbulence.

                We all know some of that poor ´Hamlet´- mind inside, I guess, being born and growing up into the more than less dysfunctional (mad) family structure of a certain historical and socio-economic time.

                Then in the thread here are these questions:
                Does spiritual Life rule out injustice in the world?
                Or is – as many teeachings say – everything all right as it is?!

                Well, same, same: That tiny inner voice says: THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WAY.
                To look at it, understand the ‘looking’, releae the pressure of our nervous system and its (mostly very robotic) re-actions. Find other-ones, other ways to respond.

                As Humans are not only story-telling animals but also reading story-telling I found two of the stories in particular that gave me shelter for the moment(s). One is about tha Buddha meeting a mad mass murderer who was on a vengeance tour to get satisfaction from the very, very hard and violent upbringing he had had as a child.

                When he was about to murder the ‘Buddha’, the voice of wisdom asked him to first cut up a big branch of a tree before murdering him.

                Then – done – the voice continued: “And then – (one last thing more) join the cut branch again to the tree.”

                The murderer said: “You musr be really mad; no one can do that. The branch is gone.”

                “Destruction,” the Buddha said, “can be done by children, but to rejoin a branch to a tree a Master is needed. And what to say about human heads…?“

                The mass murderer, as the story says, came to his enlightened senses (understanding). That tiny little voice inside reading the topic of ‘CREATIVITY’ (summing up THE ESSENCE) found a place at home, a shelter and its Belonging.

                So good to have a pocketful of stories when sitting around a virtual fire.

                With Love

                and a summer Sunday breeze (and wish you all well!),

                Madhu

                • Lokesh says:

                  So, Madhu is hearing that tiny little voice. What else is new?

                  By now the question is who or what exactly is hearing that tiny little voice? Unless one finds the answer to that particular question life will continue for you much in the way it always has. A bit like Madhu’s current post. Same old, same old. The chattering of the mind, replete with tiny little voices.

  29. Lokesh says:

    Reading Sam’s comment, first thing that comes to mind is not to take your self too seriously. Good post, Sam.

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