Let's Talk About Spiritual Bypassing

Often we name spiritual bypassing as the pattern of using spiritual practice to avoid the darker, more complex and at times painful, aspects of what it is to be human.

New Age “love and light” rhetoric tells us to “keep our vibe high” and “just think positive.”

But we came here for a human experience, didn’t we? And that experience includes shadow, sorrow, loss, death, and rebirth.

Beyond spiritual bypassing in our individual experiences, spiritual bypassing of the collective reality is, to me, even more troubling.

Gone are the days of mountaintop spirituality and the illusion that we somehow become more holy by disengaging from the messiness of our current global reality - one that includes gun violence, economic injustice, racism, and climate crisis.

Yes, our spiritual practices can give us refuge and solace, can inspire us to hope and save us from the paralysis of despair.

But if that’s all we’re doing, how are we actually shaping a new earth and creating a world that embodies our spiritual ideals of truth, compassion, and justice? (hint: we’re not)

And privilege is clearly at play here - if I can somehow prevent realities of oppression and injustice from entering my sphere of awareness in order to maintain my love and light bubble, I am uniquely and incredibly privileged.

The vast majority of the human family does not have this luxury.

I envision a world where it is no longer acceptable to bypass in this way.

I envision a world where all “spiritual” people marry their journey of personal healing with the call to collective liberation.

I envision a world where spiritual practice sustains us in the long and slow work of creating the world of radical equality and fierce compassion that we know to be possible in our heart of hearts.

This vision is the fuel behind the HEAL + LIBERATE podcast space I steward, and the underlying fuel behind everything I do, both online and offline.

Because the world needs me, and you, and all of us, to step up to the challenges, put our values into practice, and birth liberatory systems + ways of beings in + through the messy, shadowy, but not irredeemable, current state of our world.