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'Spiritual Bypass' - a question for discussion

I have never heard the term and am not familiar, but not knowing a definition (and I am a person who would self check off the box for spiritual or religious beliefs) I would think of it as radical acceptance. More like slaves might have felt working side by side to survive and support each other and try to work and fight for freedom. Or simply in modern moments when you have done everything you can, including being responsible and accountable for your own failings and trying to make amends, then trying to trust and wait to know what to do next, and try to survive.

That being said, "everything is an illusion" in response to something so grave in particular - well, I'm sure a person should be diplomatic about it, but all that comes to my mind if it were my response would be, "Then you are an illusion also and so is your ridiculous comment". That's not spiritual nor human, or even humane.

My sister gave great advice to a friend the other day; she said no one will get along with everyone else, but most people try to talk about it, and respect differences. Even with family members. And there will be hurts, wrongs, repairs. But only if the other person wants that. But in the meantime, we can't control what anyone else thinks of us, so even if it is negative (or in this case dismissive and hurtful in being so, or whatever you are feeling, I don't presume to know) it's good to ignore it completely, not even give it the time of day, as you can't change anyone.

It makes me angry on your behalf. I am sorry.
 
@Tinyflame

Thank you.

On "we can't control what anyone else thinks of us, so even if it is negative (or in this case dismissive and hurtful in being so, or whatever you are feeling, I don't presume to know) it's good to ignore it completely, not even give it the time of day, as you can't change anyone."

...I just wonder if I can't help myself. I usually have an opinion, which no doubt can be very irritating for some people. I have to work very hard to ignore things. Perhaps I need to learn the "Gestalt prayer" of psychotherapist Fritz Perls:

I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I; If by chance we find each other, it's beautiful. If not, it can't be helped.

You see I can't help but have my doubts about this. I think an addict for example can be helped. I do believe that standing up to a bully can be helpful. I do believe it's worthwhile to stop teenage kids smoking on the street and tell them I watched my grandpa die in agony of lung disease, and they have the chance that he didn't have to quit while they can. My pedantic, smartass, annoying campaigner personality type I guess.

Sure, I sometimes force my self to bite my tongue more, walk away quietly more, to not get involved more. Yet I am often left wondering whether it's the right thing to do.
 
Go by your heart.

But you can't help someone who doesn't want your help. And they have a right to live their life they way they choose. Even if it's heartbreaking to watch.
 
(In my life experience, for many people spirituality is connected with meditation. I've heard one wise person say our recent fad for so-called mindfulness is dangerously causing mindlessness.)
Only for people who don't actually understand what it is and how it works. Which seems to be a problem, everywhere.

This is an idea based on certain religions, and it seems to be a handy way of justifying avoidance of many things, from trauma to responsibility
I think that, as you have described it, it sounds like avoidance. But "everything is an illusion" can be a very important, foundational idea in Buddhism.
But he's in a quasi-Eastern spiritual group (an alleged cult that was busted for illegally beating children), and he subscribes to the idea that 'everything is an illusion'.
Yeah...sounds like he has grasped onto that as an answer for whatever he is going through. If he is in or was in a cult, that will also probably be something the leader has instilled in the followers.
but I still feel drawn to call him out about what happened and why it was wrong, for my own empowerment.
So, do you expect him to accept what you say? Because if you do, I think you'll be *very* disappointed. Can you talk to him without any expectations?
Is it a spiritual "bypass" for me? No I don't think so. I still have to accept my failings and flaws and take responsibility for myself and my actions.

Do some people use religions to bypass their responsibilities and come up with stupid shit like "everything's an illusion" ergo it doesn't matter and I don't take any responsibility for it....Yeah cause they do!
This. And "illusion" in Buddhism doesn't really mean "not real;" it's more of a "things aren't as they appear."

People--and, I suspect, those in cults esp.--take a phrase they hear repeated and put their own spin on it. Or the interpretation given them by the leader.
 
It sounds like you want your abuser to understand they abused you. Yeah the probability of that happening is so slim it isn’t worth the energy you’ve taken so far.

Just because your abuser is attempting to use some mind f*ck BS doesn’t mean he is any more likely to understand what he’s done. Actually it makes it far less likely he’s going to understand.

If you persist in attempting to get him to and he repeats his claim, I’d say, “so your defense is that you’re insane.” Because clearly his thought has no connection to yours.

Those of us dealing with rational abusers can’t get them to own their mistakes, what makes you think this guy will? Sounds like an exercise in futility.
 
Go by your heart.

Thank you.

I agree that's the prevalent advice with addicts. Persuading a cult member or alcoholic to quit is rarely possible.

I have personal life experience of one person leaving another person with the means to commit suicide, after their several failed attempts, which personally I believe was profoundly wrong.

Going by my heart, the difference is I'll still throw a drowning person a lifebuoy - if they don't want to take it, that really is up to them.

It sounds like you want your abuser to understand they abused you. Yeah the probability of that happening is so slim it isn’t worth the energy you’ve taken so far.

Just because your abuser is attempting to use some mind f*ck BS doesn’t mean he is any more likely to understand what he’s done. Actually it makes it far less likely he’s going to understand.

If you persist in attempting to get him to and he repeats his claim, I’d say, “so your defense is that you’re insane.” Because clearly his thought has no connection to yours.

Those of us dealing with rational abusers can’t get them to own their mistakes, what makes you think this guy will? Sounds like an exercise in futility.


Thank you, I agree that his
mind f*ck BS doesn’t mean he is any more likely to understand what he’s done.

It's not about him, it's all about me. I use that phrase with an attempt at humour, and the serious point is that it's not about persuading him. The purpose is to have the voice now that I wasn't able to have at 12. Speaking truth to power at last. Breaking the power relationship started in my childhood that was then echoed in adult power relationships. Courage versus cowardice. Self-empowerment.

Only for people who don't actually understand what it is and how it works. Which seems to be a problem, everywhere.


I think that, as you have described it, it sounds like avoidance. But "everything is an illusion" can be a very important, foundational idea in Buddhism.

Yeah...sounds like he has grasped onto that as an answer for whatever he is going through. If he is in or was in a cult, that will also probably be something the leader has instilled in the followers.

So, do you expect him to accept what you say? Because if you do, I think you'll be *very* disappointed. Can you talk to him without any expectations?

This. And "illusion" in Buddhism doesn't really mean "not real;" it's more of a "things aren't as they appear."

People--and, I suspect, those in cults esp.--take a phrase they hear repeated and put their own spin on it. Or the interpretation given them by the leader.

Thank you for asking these questions, which have made me think. And on further thought no I don't expect him to accept what I am saying, I expect myself to benefit from speaking. In a nutshell, that's it.
 
I expect myself to benefit from speaking. In a nutshell, that's it.
I get this. Learning we have a voice is such a vital part of the healing process.

For me? It’s essential to learn to pick the audience, though. Speaking our truth does make us vulnerable. And it’s good to consider who we want to be vulnerable with.

Very few people want to be vulnerable with their abuser, for obvious reasons.
 
I get this. Learning we have a voice is such a vital part of the healing process.

For me? It’s essential to learn to pick the audience, though. Speaking our truth does make us vulnerable. And it’s good to consider who we want to be vulnerable with.

Very few people want to be vulnerable with their abuser, for obvious reasons.
Very much this.

......

Case in point:
I recently told my sisters a broad outline of what happened to me. One sister has responded as I expected: masterclass in gaslighting. Angry at me for speaking, essentially telling me I wrong, telling me who is to blame and who isn't and that I am punishing her. For simply speaking out.
Had I said this to her even 1 year ago I think the impact of her response would have been unbearable. Whilst I am really glad I've spoken my truth and asserted myself and am not allowing her dismissal to make me shrink back into silence, self loathing and self doubt, it's still really really hard to receive.

Which is why:
If you need to say what you need to say, then say it and take your power within that.
We have no control over what happens with our words within others. And if we are seeking acceptance, validation, empathy, etc from them, then we are likely to be re traumatising ourselves.
Take the strength in you being you, as opposed the power the other person tries to take away from you.
 
Whilst I am really glad I've spoken my truth and asserted myself and am not allowing her dismissal to make me shrink back into silence, self loathing and self doubt, it's still really really hard to receive.

...if we are seeking acceptance, validation, empathy, etc from them, then we are likely to be re traumatising ourselves. Take the strength in you being you, as opposed the power the other person tries to take away from you.

Thank you. And I'm proud of you for doing what you did: well done.

I don't want acceptance, validation, empathy from them. As a child I lived in a tyranny where I did not have freedom of speech. Now as an adult in many ways I am free, but I want that further freedom: to say what I feel, to speak (my) truth to power.

That would be end of tyranny, for me. I fully expect him to swerve, manoeuvre, invalidate, reject, ignore and lie in response - and that will only serve as proof, a kind of moral justice as I see it.

For the record, I have quite a good life. I love walking in nature and cracking jokes, hugging my woman, reading interesting things, travelling to great places, doing good work and taking a good income from it. I like having largely recovered from something like depression and a CPTSD that had involuntary, intrusive thinking and compulsive rumination that verged on agnoizing madness. I like having cut down the booze and increased the gym. My past is unfinished business, and I would like to attend to it.
 
@Applecore , as per addictions, I remember a woman's story in AA who said she was glad she started drinking at 50 because it eventually led her to AA and the community, support and how she now saw life was a Blessing. Perhaps she felt loved or serene, or hopeful for the first time in her life? So I figure none of us know what journey would benefit someone the most. But you are right, especially when we care for someone or love them we never want to see them suffer, and we don't want to fail them or cause harm.

It sounds like what you have been doing for your healing has been working, and you appreciate the important things, so trust yourself and don't rush your decisions. There may be other ways to accomplish the same or better end result that aren't apparent right now.

Best wishes to you.
 
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