Spiritual bypassing - the use of spiritual beliefs to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs - is so pervasive that it goes largely unnoticed. The spiritual ideals of any tradition, whether Christian commandments or Buddhist precepts, can provide easy justification for practitioners to duck uncomfortable feelings in favor of more seemingly enlightened activity. When split off from fundamental psychological needs, such actions often do much more harm than good.
While other authors have touched on the subject, this is the first book fully devoted to spiritual bypassing. In the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa's landmark Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Spiritual Bypassing provides an in-depth look at the unresolved or ignored psychological issues often masked as spirituality, including self-judgment, excessive niceness, and emotional dissociation. A longtime psychotherapist with an engaging writing style, Masters furthers the body of psychological insight into how we use (and abuse) religion in often unconscious ways. This audiobook will hold particular appeal for those who grew up with an unstructured new-age spirituality now looking for a more mature spiritual practice and for anyone seeking increased self-awareness and a more robust relationship with themselves and others.
©2010 Robert Augustus Masters, PhD (P)2015 Random House Audio
"This is a wonderfully significant and important book, and is highly recommended. Its contents are truly mandatory for this day and age." (Ken Wilber, author of The Integral Vision)
"This timely and penetrating analysis of spirituality's shadow provides a much-needed counterpoint for those who tend to get blinded by its light." (Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism Without Beliefs)
"There is much wisdom and good information in this book. Robert joins a growing number of wise teachers who understand that the personal and the universal must be combined to bring true and genuine spiritual awakening." (Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry)
Anyone who views themselves as spiritual or is engaged in spiritual practice should listen to this book. It is so valuable for illuminating potential pitfalls.
I have to say this is a rather intense book and well worth the read. In provides a very honest framework that enables you to understand that spirituality and psychoanalysis run parallel paths.
"It's SO good! Learned a ton."
Emotions aren't wished.
I've never read anything like it.
The author kindly, thoughtfully and intelligently helps us to know that life is not ultimately our fault. It's not our convictions that caused us unpleasantries and when devastation happens, it's not ultimately the universe's way to, "teach me a lesson." There was a gentle cord struck here between nature and nurture and it resonated well with me. Yes, i could choose to do things that increase or decrease my chances of success, health and love but at the same time, random acts of nature occur that put us in harms way regardless. My most favorite idea expressed is clean anger. That it's ok to be angry sometimes and that we have to acknowledge real emotion, find a way to resolve it, and move on. There is no wishing it away with "love and light" and avoiding our own true hurt.
So good for the nicey-nice types like me.
"The solution to New Age Spirituality"
Robert outlines the process necessary to rid ourselves of the need to use spirituality as a mask for covering our shadow and avoiding pain. Highly recommended.
A friend recommended this book to prove his point of view and felt it would enlighten me. Instead, this book made the hair raise up on my back and sick to my stomach. This book is filled with biased opinions on other spiritual paths, condemning them as failed tools for self awareness that simply is not true. Also filled with judgements against those who are enlightened and happy........saying that we are only acting when we are happy and ignoring the "real underlying anger". He uses words that make his opinions absolute as if his thoughts are actually human nature. While spiritual bypassing does happen, it is simply not true that everyone is doing this, especially the happy ones. What is really sad is my friend is using "spiritual bypassing" with his anger, holding onto his anger unneccessarily, with this guy's Spritual Bypassing advice.
I am a self help junkie in that I love to learn and grow. I have read tons of books. This book is the absolute worst book I ever read and only forced myself to listen in attempts to learn what it looks like to look through a different set of lenses at the world. This book is ugly and sad. If you go ahead and get this book, begin to read, and have a negative pit in your stomach, this is your inner self telling you this book is not for you. If you don't, have fun with this perspective :-/
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