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Rameumptom Ruminations: 006: Spiritual Bypassing

In this episode, Scott discusses the various types of spiritual bypassing common in the Mormon church and offers a few ways to interact with our friends and family that unknowingly bypass us emotionally. Wrapping it all together, Scott looks to Ernest Hemingway for inspiration on how to emotionally deal with a spiritual bypass. John Welwood introduced the idea of spiritual bypassing as “…spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep personal, emotional ‘unfinished business,’ to shore up a shaky sense of self, or to belittle basic needs, feelings, and developmental tasks.” This quote is from his book Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation.


The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, 1926

“Oh, Jake,” Brett said, “We could have had such a damned good time together.” Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me. “Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

Gabriela Picciotto, Jesse Fox & Félix Neto (2017): A phenomenology of spiritual bypass: Causes, consequences, and implications, Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health.


6 thoughts on “Rameumptom Ruminations: 006: Spiritual Bypassing”

  1. Scott I am experiencing this exactly with my best friend and family since i left the church. They just will not have a dialog with me to the point of ignoring the issue altogether. thank you for this because it has really helped me to understand this issue all the more, and glean more understanding. Your voice is very soothing and i enjoyed listening to you.


    1. You’re very sweet to compliment my voice. Thank you. I’m glad you learned something from the episode. I hope that it helped you look at the situation in a healthier way. There is pain on both sides of someone leaving the church. If they don’t create a safe space to talk about it, then you may need to find that elsewhere.

  2. I find myself in the same boat, still loving the church even though I no longer believe in it.

    The alternative to spiritual bypassing is????
    Sometimes all we can do is offer a prayer or a spiritual bypass.

    1. I replied to your comment on the facebook page as well. I would say the alternative to spiritual bypassing is talking to the person and letting them feel their emotions. There is nothing wrong inherently with believing some of the things people say that bypass, but they don’t foster an environment of healthy interaction with our feelings.

  3. Scott,
    I discovered your podcast yesterday and am rushing to catch up. I appreciate the depth of your thought and your eloquence in expressing it. The Hemingway connection resonated so strongly, as I think much of his work maps trauma. And your voice is as magical as your verbiage.

    1. You’re so sweet Deb. Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you’re enjoying the podcast so far. I’m fairly new here, so you haven’t missed much yet. Thanks for following me.

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