Spiritual Bypassing – When Spirituality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters Written by Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D.Author


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 book 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.

Questions about Spiritual Bypassing

In this video interview Robert address questions relating to his new book “Spiritual Bypassing”.

The questions answered in this video are:

1) What compelled you to write the book Spiritual Bypassing?

2) Do you think that Spiritual Bypassing will transform everyone who reads it?

Robert Augustus Masters – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D., is the author of 11 books (including Transformation Through Intimacy and Spiritual Bypassing), a relationship expert, a spiritual teacher, and a highly experienced psychotherapist (and trainer of psychotherapists) with a doctorate in Psychology. His uniquely integral, intuitive work (developed over the past 33 years) dynamically blends the psychological and physical with the spiritual, emphasizing full-blooded embodiment, authenticity, emotional openness and literacy, deep shadow work, and the development of relational maturity.

At essence his work is about becoming more intimate with all that we are, in the service of deep healing, awakening, and integration. In all this he works side-by-side and in very close conjunction with Diane, his wife and partner in all things. His websites are http://www.robertmasters.com and http://www.masterscenter.net.

What Oprah Knows for Sure About the Power of Ego

Oprah knows one thing for sure about egotism: You can’t begin to love yourself unless you know who you are separate from your ego. Watch Oprah explain how spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle helped change the way she saw herself.

Click Here To View

U. G. Krishnamurti: The Mystique of Enlightenment ( updated May 9, 2012 )

An underground spiritual classic distributed widely for the first time in the U.S., this is the story of one of the most unusual figures in contemporary spirituality, U.G. Krishnamurti, in his own words. The Mystique of Enlightenment is a scathing critique of contemporary spirituality. In a world in which spiritual techniques, teachers, concepts, and organizations are legion, U. G. stands nearly alone in his rejection of it all: “I am only interested in describing this state, in clearing away the occultation and mystification in which those people in the ‘holy business’ have shrouded the whole thing. Maybe I can convince you not to waste a lot of time and energy looking for a state that does not exist except in your imagination… The natural state is acausal: it just happens.” The author does not equate the natural state with enlightenment, which he describes as an illusion created by our culture. He states emphatically that one can do nothing to attain the natural state. In fact, any movement towards it separates one from it.

U. G. Krishnamurti is an original voice in which much of contemporary spirituality is understood in a new way. For those interested in the full spectrum of modern spiritual thought, this is a “must read.” In the well-known history of J. Krishnamurti, few names have been so strongly associated with his message as U. G. Krishnamurti, who shared a close but contentious relationship with him over many years. U.G. was raised to take on the mantle of guru, much like J. Krishnamurti. When the two men eventually met, each had rejected the guru role, and for years they conversed regularly, struggling to uncover the nature of truth, before a falling out led each in a different direction.

It is fairly common in reading modern spiritual books to find references to U. G. Krishnamurti’s influence on both teachers and their students. His books have been translated into nearly every European language, as well as Chinese and Japanese. Widely regarded in India and Europe, The Mystique of Enlightenment is considered by U.G.’s closest associates to be the best summary of his ideas.

The book consists of transcripts of informal talks with those who come to ask him questions. In one of these talks, he relates his life story, including the events leading up to and comprising what he calls his “calamity,” or his entry into the natural state. Since his own experience of coming into the natural state at age 49, he has spent his time traveling throughout the world, staying with friends or in rented apartments for a few months at a time. He gives no public talks, but meets with people who come to see him.

What he offers is not hope or encouragement, but stark reality: “Of one thing I am certain. I cannot help you solve your basic dilemma or save you from self-deception, and if I can’t help you, no one can.” His message is simple: he has no message. Nevertheless, his words can inspire you to face your own assumptions and motivations and discover for yourself what is true.

“If you have the courage to touch life for the first time, you will never know what hit you. Everything man has thought, felt and experienced is gone, and nothing is put in its place.” —U.G. Krishnamurti

NOTE: This is an excerpt from the full 90-minute DVD.

Those who offer enlightenment or salvation appear to often operate more as businessmen than as authentic spiritual teachers. In part one of this two-part series, U. G. Krishnamurti he denies any possibility of knowledge of enlightenment. The very attempt to achieve enlightenment is an obstacle in the path of the proclaimed goal. The search for enlightenment is a device of the mind to perpetuate itself, in denial of its mortality.

In part two of the full DVD, he critiques various disciplines, both mystical and psychotherapeutic, which are said to lead to states of enlightenment. He proposes that states of enlightenment, if they are to be attained, must be gained in spite of–not because of–meditation, devotion, prayer, acceptance, forgiveness, or compassion. Stripped of all our pretenses, facing the despair of the human condition, freed of the imaginary diseases from which “enlightenment” may save us, we can build realistic and practical lives.
U. G. Krishnamurti was a world traveler and author of Mind Is a Myth and The Mystique of Enlightenment. Viewed by many as a liberated individual, he eschewed all gurus, teachings and followers.

Sacred Hymn by Diane Bardwell

We are happy to feature a video for the song Sacred Hymn by Diane Bardwell Masters.

Be sure to check out Diane’s latest CD Emergence, which takes the ancient art of chanting and gives it an original, contemporary, and deeply evocative treatment. See below for more details….

Here Diane describes the inspiration behind Sacred Hymn:

One day in late March 2005, I came across the website of Robert Augustus Masters, and there began looking at descriptions of his books. I noticed that he also posted his poetry on his site; when I read his poems, particularly one called Sacred Hymn, I literally gasped and touched my heart. With total certainty, I realized that I knew the music for these “poems,” which I felt were meant to be lyrics for songs.

And so I emailed Robert to ask if he would allow me to try composing music for them, and he consented. After 3 weeks of talking on the phone, consulting about the songs and having many conversations about everything else imaginable, Robert came from Canada to where I was living in California to meet me and hear Sacred Hymn during a concert I was giving. Our connection was extremely easy, deep, and natural right from the start. That was the beginning of our cocreative relationship, working partnership and, since April 2, 2006, our marriage!

In 2007, I recorded Sacred Hymn and 7 other songs on the CD O Breathe Us Deep. The lyrics for each song on the CD are Robert’s, and the music is mine, but the entire CD is ours to share. May you hear it in the spirit in which it was created.

–Diane Bardwell Masters

Beautiful video for Sacred Hymn, composed and sung by Diane Bardwell, with lyrics from Robert Augustus Masters. Features stunning artwork from Freydoon Rassouli. Edited by Laura Loescher.

About Emergence by Diane Bardwell Masters

Emergence takes the ancient art of chanting in one’s own language and gives it an original, contemporary, and exceptionally evocative treatment, featuring seven very unique chant-songs in English, each of which invites contemplative depth, soul-centered singing, and spiritually vibrant movement.

In Emergence meaning, melody, richly layered harmonies, and deeply moving singing all resonate together with transformational power, providing a soundscape and meaning-infused environment that alerts us as much as it opens and rejuvenates us.

This is music that doesn’t just uplift us, but also expands, deepens, and grounds us, moving us into a more deeply fulfilling sense of wholeness. This is music to guide us through the challenges, troubles, and transitions of our lives, helping us not so much to rise above our difficulties, as to pass through them and EMERGE!

Diane is not just singing but is fully expressing, with her whole being, the meaning of her deceptively simple words, weaving them more and more fully into us as we listen. Emergence mixes skyflung joy and earthy exultation, guiding us into a more liberated way of being, without any bypassing of our humanity.

This is a rare work of art. Diane sings with the heartfelt, soaringly alive maturity of her entire being, and world-class producer Stevin McNamara is at the peak of his many years of musical wizardry and exquisitely attuned sonic sensitivity, doing wonders with the arranging, so that each chant-song very clearly stands on its own, in contrast to chant CDs in which most of the cuts sound similar. Pure magic.

As we let Emergence touch us, we find ourselves feeling more and more unshackled, swept to our core on a river of sound and primordial meaning, emerging in ways that truly serve us. We may sing with it, we may dance to it, we may silently listen to it, but whatever we do, we are brought closer to who and what we truly are.

“I was struck by the astonishing beauty of Diane’s new album Emergence, both aesthetically and lyrically. I love how the music plays with tribal rhythms, conventional pop/R&B song structures, and sweet transcendent melodies. Diane’s voice sounds absolutely gorgeous–I can feel a real transmission coming through her, evoking a subtle sense of being ‘pulled up’ out of mere gross-body awareness, even as the music keeps me grounded in the sensual. Highly recommended!” –Corey W deVos, Editor, IntegralLife.com

Purchase Emergence

Diane Bardwell Masters
is an intuitive healer, relationship expert, and highly skilled psychotherapist, as well as a longtime songwriter and professional singer. She brings great heart and insight to the work she shares with Robert. Six years ago she began bringing her music into the psychospiritual work she and Robert share, finding that her singing and words greatly benefited their clients. Soon it became clear that when they were actively singing with her, moving sound through their bodies and minds, and at the same time letting the meaning of the words permeate them, they benefited much more; this way, the words became their own. Out of this arose Emergence, Diane’s latest CD (original Western contemporary chants in English), fulfilling her dream of creating music that truly heals and awakens. See http://www.dianebardwell.net.

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