In all these vast years of life experience, I’ve come to recognize that in order for society to work, we need leaders. Not necessarily because any of us are mindless droids, unable to tap into our own awareness of right or wrong. Rather, our need for leaders boils down to our primal need to be taken care of, and in that, our desire to be loved.
Unfortunately, the shadow side of this need to be loved causes many of us to abdicate our own personal power as spiritual beings. In psychological terms, it’s called projecting God onto another. And in case you’re wondering, meditation teachers aren’t immune from engaging in this type of dynamic.
Checkout this Integral Life post from Stanley in response to their series on spiritual bypassing. The topic, born from Robert Augustus Masters’ book of the same name, considers the tendency of many to use meditation and other spiritual practices to avoid and escape from reality. It also provides a good reminder that all of us, regardless of our roles in this life, are still utterly human.
He [Robert Augustus Masters] says that even among spiritual seekers a big problem is our fear, grief, pain, and shame. Perhaps we think that because we have meditated for some decades we are supposed to be above being human. Roger Walsh says that 80% of what even advanced spiritual students need must be addressed with psychotherapy. I suspect that the percentage is about the same for spiritual teachers.
Robert calls us to establish just enough distance from our personality to be able to relate to it well, with compassion and intimacy. We are probably not responsible for the cause of our illnesses but are responsible for relating to them. Not everything that happens in the World is about me. Imagine that!
Read more on how not to use meditation to spiritually bypass your life here.