“Problems are really fictions of the mind”…isn’t this spiritual bypassing?

Not at all.  Spiritual bypassing is the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid dealing
 with uncomfortable feelings and psychological wounds.  Spiritual bypassing causes us to withdraw from ourselves and others, hiding behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices.  Spiritual bypassing means putting up the facade of inner peace while inwardly in turmoil and conflict.  Spiritual bypassing is a form of escapism.

However, problems are really fictions of the mind.  Calling things a “problem” is fundamentally a denial and resistance to what is.  We are driving to work in the morning and the traffic is backed-up and very slow today…and so we label this as a problem.  We call it a problem because we don’t want it…what-is is unwelcome.  Actually, if you totally accepted what-is as it is…it is just slow traffic – no more, no less.  It does not have to be seen as a problem…something unwelcome, resisted, and denied.

If you can not accept what-is as it is, and feel anxiety, anger, frustration, or whatever in the slow traffic…I am not saying sidestep or avoid dealing with these feelings.  Instead, be 100% devoted to the experience you are having…do not resist or deny it.  Accept those feelings as they are.  Delve into the cause…the root of the feelings.  Why are these feelings arising?  What beliefs or thoughts are you holding on to that are resulting in these feelings.  Delve into those and look for the root.  This is far from escapism…the is totally embracing the experience and then gaining an understanding of what is happening by really looking at it.

Some mistakenly define spiritual bypassing (in nonduality) as pretending none of your real world problems – or anybody else’s problems – are real because nonduality has shown you that the world isn’t real.

I was unemployed in 2008 to 2010…awakening happened in 2005, so I already realized that problems and suffering were fictions of the mind and the world was an illusion.  I was not pretending that unemployment wasn’t happening or there was a lack of money (in this game of life).  However, I did not make unemployment a problem.  I had accepted the situation as it was…and I was doing what I could to find work again.  I was not suffering due to my unemployment.  It was an interesting and fun time in this life.  Thankfully, unemployment insurance continued until the economy started to recover.  As soon as my unemployment checks were done, I found another job in recruiting.

Say you have a headache.  You could spiritually bypass and say the world is an illusion, feign being at peace, or whatever…but what you are doing is denying and trying to escape the headache through your beliefs.  Now, you could resist and deny the headache in another way by making it a problem.  That having headaches is just not right.  Of course, this tends to make the headache worse.  Another option is to simply accept the headache.  There is no denying it…it is what-is.  You may find that it is not so bad.

It is not really a problem, but if you wanted…you could still go to the cabinet and get an aspirin.  Not out of some need to overcome or resolve some unwelcome thing that is subtly being denied and resisted…but out from a place of working with what-is to make what-is a little more enjoyable.  However, if you go to the cabinet and the aspirin bottle is empty…this too is not a problem.  The options are just to be with the headache or going to the store to get aspirin.  You may find that when you just accept and be with the pain…it goes away on its own.

Enlightenment is the end to problems.  Not because the world changes and situations that were deemed problems in the past no longer arise, but simply because there is an attitude of acceptance and a quiet mind that does not create problems.  Enlightenment does not put an end to the body/mind…and life as a human being.  However, fear and suffering and problems have ceased because the mind’s tricks no longer cause confusion (fooled by the illusions of the mind).

Many things drop away, but not everything.  For example, it is still possible to feel anger or frustration or whatever.  Perhaps no longer because a personal “me” is believed, but due to other thoughts or beliefs or conditioning still held deep in the mind.  We learn so many rules as children.  For example, everyone must wait their turn.  Someone breaks a conditioned rule and we may feel anger, frustration, or whatever.  Not because something was done to a “me”, but because a rule of the world was broken.  We don’t like people breaking the rules to the games being played.  No big deal…just look at it.  Deeply inquire and delve into it.  See it for what it is and understand…and it falls away on its own.

You inquire just for the fun of it.  Again, not because the anger or frustration or whatever is a problem.  Nor are we spiritually bypassing and trying to avoid the feelings.  They are embraced, accepted, sat with, looked at, and understood.  With understanding, things change on their own.

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Modern-day house-holder yogi and lover of what-is; living in peace, contentment, and joy.

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