By Scott Kiloby on December 22, 2010
I’ve seen this in myself and in many others who were spiritual teachers. Perhaps what this reveals, more than anything else, is that in our rush to awakening, in our “McDonaldized” fast-food mentality of “wake up now,” we sometimes push issues under the rug or just completely bypass them. We end up giving ourselves the short end of the stick when it comes to freedom and fullness. And for those of us that are teaching, writing books, or otherwise sharing a spiritual message, we tend to pass that tendency to bypass onto others. Our bypassing becomes like a virus in the system, infecting one human heart and mind after the other.
I had to say all that to explain exactly why I think “Spiritual Bypassing” by Masters is so important! Just reading this book can open up one’s eyes and bring attention to issues that are so easily overlooked.
I found myself silently nodding my head “yes” as I was reading. I have seen several of the things he brought up in myself. And I’ve seen the other issues in fellow friends, students, and teachers. So this is really a book for all of us, no matter where we think we are, on a path or beyond a path. Once we close down to looking at these issues, we may remain closed forever. So Masters book is just sitting out there, like an invitation to look again, to double check for ways in which we use spiritual language and methods (as well as direct non-method, nondual approaches) to bypass in areas like relationship, responsibility, “manifesting things in one’s life,” “healthy v. unhealthy transcendence,” boundaries v. no boundaries. He deals with very difficult issues, striking a balance between total freedom where everything is perfect as it is and everyday discrimination where we know how to say “no” or remove ourselves from toxic situations or strike a balance between containment of anger v. expression of anger. This book is like one big invitation NOT to repress various aspects of our experience.
Masters chapter on Spiritual Gullibility and Cultism is great stuff. Wow, much needed! I’m glad someone is talking about this. I’ve seen it in virtually every kind of spirituality–from the dual to the nondual. This book is intelligent spirituality! It asks you to question what you are doing and thinking, and why you belong to a certain group or attracted to a certain practice–ultimately inviting you to let liberation be a fire that burns up unhealthy tendencies of bypassing within that group or practice.
This book is really more valuable than 10 books within your favorite tradition or from your favorite spiritual teaching because it can illuminate things for you that your tradition or teaching cannot see. So why not take a break from whatever you are doing, with whatever teacher, or in whatever path, and just check out this book. It’s well worth it!
Masters reminds us to bring every aspect of our experience online–from the head to the heart to the body and to nondual awareness. It’s a beautiful invitation to everyone, student and teacher alike. I not only highly recommended this book, but I think it’s a “must read” for anyone who finds themselves being a spiritual teacher or author.
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