Conscious spiritual bypassing

What´s wrong with "spiritual bypassing"? I think it got a really bad rap. For no good reason. It think it has become an exxagerated concern, just like "the dark night of the soul".

I assume that everyone knows what spiritual bypassing is: using meditation/spirituality as a tool to avoid dealing with one´s "shadows", to avoid emotion, trauma etc.

In short: using the wrong tool to deal with life´s difficulties. It is trying "waking up" where "growing up" is required (Ken Wilber).

Just don´t do it

First, as Michael Taft humorously sais, his recommendation for people who express a fear of spiritual bypassing through meditation is

"Just don´t do it" (Taft 2021)

He compares spiritual bypassing to taking a beautiful pen as a potential eye-removing device (after all, it could be used for that purpose, but shouldn´t). End of story!

Just do it! But consciously

Secondly, why not occasionally spiritually bypass? There is no good reason to dabble all one´s life in growing up, or "healing".

There can be very good reason to simply ignore stuff by learning to distance oneself from it.

One can take oneself far too seriously.

One can too oblivious about the incomparable amount of suffering that has gone on in history.

One can forget about the "precious opportunity" that life is

One can be attached to solving psychological issues.

One can by hyper-focused on one´s own development history, the errors one´s parents made etc.

So: do a little bit of spiritual bypassing, now and then.


Aranowich, A. (n.d.). Healing from Healing. Healing From Healing. A somewhat shortlived website, with a few interesting contributions

Taft, M. W. (2021, May 17). Spiritual Bypassing and the Spiritual Friend. Deconstructing Yourself. Retrieved 9 September 2022, from

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