The spiritual by-passer

John was early to meet his partner at her point of rendezvous at the lovely french restaurant L'assiette for a quick lunch together when he received a last-minute text from her announcing that she couldn't make it because of an urgent matter at work. At first, John was feeling abandoned and then he became angry at his partner because she didn't keep her words.

John's past spiritual training had taught him that feelings like anger could and should be (trans)muted. He had learned how to do that by meditating to the point of getting detached from the feelings. Soon, he was no more feeling anger, feeling peaceful, and returned to his usual self.

What is happening here?

In the face of hurt, John's ego unconsciously tapped into spiritual teachings and practices to eliminate the unwanted feeling. According to him, his ego acted out of protection with a higher behaviour and believed that he transmuted the anger into peace. In truth, there was no transmutation nor awareness at play here; John skilfully buried his anger deep inside his psyche and body. Had John be aware, he would have felt his anger and been aware of its significance and relationships; his strong feelings and associated charge have taken over his awareness.

"We try so hard to get rid of our temper, our rage, jealousy, pettiness, shyness, feelings of inadequacy...the list is endless. In an attempt to eradicate these rejected selves, we make them much stronger by driving them into the unconscious where they are free to operate beyond our control."