(Alternate title: Passages of Relationship)|
To explore relationship models that are counter-productive, one need go no further than what is presented by the media, film, and literature of modern society, as it descends now through the last phase of its materialist mode.
In answer to this dysfunctional arena, and to feed into an alternative stream, this article delves into some of the more whole-some relational and metaphysical dynamics of partnering, by apprehending what takes place beneath appearances.
Entering into relationship
A karmic bond is often the initial drawing force between partners. In a karmic relationship the underlying magnetism can be powerful, as a deeper wisdom works with the alchemic process of karmic balance. Despite suffering entailed (often a semi-sweet tableau), a rich harvest awaits.
Once the mainstay of learning has been processed, by one, or both, of the partners, the drawing force can abate.
Many long to transcend the karmic level, and move into the grace of a “soul-mate” communion. Either way, karma or grace - the shadow, or “pain body,” is activated to ensure spiritual growth.
Bringing consciousness into the arena of shadow is a central raison d’etre for relationship. No matter who you hook up with, whether the relationship is about karma, grace, destiny, or one’s soul-mate - call it just plain lucking out - shadow will be along for the dance.
Especially for pre-midlife adults, unborn children also create a powerful attracting force between partners. These souls striving to be born select their would-be parents and influence them to get together. The force these “spiritual babies” exert accounts for much of the principle energy moving within a couple’s attraction and sexual intensity. The force of attraction can decrease to the extent the spiritual-plane activity of the children abates. For example, by age 7, children have incarnated their own etheric body, by 14, their own astral body. Each phase reduces parental cohesion orchestrated on the spiritual plane, as the child moves deeper into incarnation.
By midlife, a more soulful aspect of a (functional) individual’s biography often plays a bigger part in the bonding force.
A key aspect for transcending the “child factor,” as well as enhancing the union in general, entails co-forming a foundation before engaging on a sexual level. The typical model of relationship that Hollywood has been serving up to ticket-paying masses tends to deliver lovers to the same unviable arena of relating that its own celebrities find themselves so often engaged in.
About 95% of love stories that modern film portray entail new partners advancing to sexuality at lightning speed - if not on the first day, then at least in the first week. On film you can do anything. In reality, this factor invites an early dissolution - or, at very least makes for a precarious basis for unity and rapport.
Imagine re-writing these barren scripts, so that a couple spends considerable time in the initial courtship phase, exploring all manner of experience - sharing interests, getting to know each other’s diverse facets, cultivating a soul-deep affinity. In effect, developing a solid foundation upon which to sustain the relationship.
Imagine, also, the dimension nurtured in a prolonged courtship, and the compelling body of experience that gets passed by when a couple depreciates their relationship. Driven by whims of unconscious craving, the intense fire of sexuality takes on a force of its own, so that these potential aspects of intimacy get short-circuited.
A foundational phase also lends room for resolving obstacles, including left over issues from past relationships, in preparation for the new communion. Partners can become active during the courtship phase at clearing themselves, as well as helping each other’s process (most of which is about being supportive, since every individual ultimately has to accomplish such clearing by virtue of their own intention - it can’t be done for someone).
“Love at first sight” can be a very real phenomena - but, then, it is only first sight this life. . . which brings to mind that statement people so often throw around carelessly, “You only live once.” I always add on - “. . .yes, but it’s forever. . . .”
Engaging, once in relationship
As a noted spiritual counselor has stated, “The purpose of relationship is not to make one happy, but more conscious.”
Relationship in action tends to address the existential question, where am I? Finding orientation within the soul’s terrain is a natural by-product of relating.
We know it’s working when a relationship induces the partners to fulfill their destinies, to optimize their potential.
Forgiveness at every turn opens doors of deeper awareness. The word itself, for-give - suggests that one give before having full comprehension of a situation, an act that serves as a catalyst to remove barriers to understanding.
At the same time, a true act of forgiveness does not entail condoning a dysfunction.
When I consider what a relationship would look like when it has evolved beyond the karmic level to a level of grace, I come to a perspective that views partners as revolving spheres that interact - an image that honors the multi-facetted nature of a human being, in which dynamics that might otherwise be shunned can find a place at the banquet of relation, and so come to wholeness.
On the face of the sphere are arrayed all possible conceptions and roles of an individual. As the sphere turns, the individual moves from vulnerable, to invulnerable, parental, to child-like. Aspect by aspect, moving through feminine, masculine, or “balanced” states. One phase as a lover, the next as a poet, servant, guru, healer, patient, humorist, teacher, student, visionary, seeker. . . an endless cast of roles. Meanwhile, the partner’s sphere is also revolving, engaging an equally limitless array of inter-weavings.
In a whole-seeking relationship this modality can work, as long as the partners are cognizant of the ever-revolving sphere. Problems can arise, if a partner gets “stuck” in one dynamic for a lengthy duration. But with a reasonable degree of functionality, the dance of partnering can assume all manner of dimension and proportion.
This becomes love acting in freedom. Practicing the engagement of one’s Being, and facilitating the same in one’s partner.
Partners come and go like the stars in the heavens. Forces move us that cannot be fully discerned through logical analysis. We can strive to discover the reasons for coming together, or parting, in rational terms - and it’s even a good exercise in mindfulness to do so - but it will never fully answer the deeper dynamic at work by spirit in the substrate of the soul.
One of the evolutionary trends of humanity - that of the individuating force at work in every human - accounts for much of the spike in rates of separation and divorce during this time. This force has a great upside, as every human, in effect, is drawing closer to their “godhood” - but can at the same time wreak havoc, or at very least create extra challenge, on the cohesion of a couple.
And what an intriguing challenge to rise to, as those who succeed manage to orchestrate creative ways of honoring both their own, and their partner’s individuation needs.
Being out of relationship for a long span of time still requires active spiritual processing. The absence of a partner doesn’t mean opportunity to process ceases.
On one level, we never really leave relationship, because we are always connected with those we have integrated into ourselves in resonation mode. Exchange continues, in an abiding way.
At the same time, and in a very experiential way, however, parting does take place, and entails an abiding etheric process. Partners who have bonded significantly merge their energy fields into a communal etheric weaving. When they part, the shared fabric is torn, leaving a gap in the etheric substrate of the individuals. This gap accounts for an aspect that endures after a breakup, an arena of pain that carries a force unto itself that is elusive to heal. In the case of a fully bonded relationship, it commonly takes about three years for an individual’s etheric constitution to come to a fully healed state.
If an individual waits until the etheric rent is healed, a new relationship can be entered with less strife or complication. Waiting promotes a cleaner and clearer entrance for relationship.
It is also possible for new partners to help each other heal these residual imbalances. However, the optimal time for this process is during the initial friendship phase - another reason to prolong the duration of courtship.
As always, there are no iron rules around relationship. The directing voice of spirit within every individual ideally must be given precedence.
In my own biography I have observed a pattern, in that, after our relationship, my partners invariably go on to a functional marriage-level in the next relationship they enter. This consequence is, at least in part, associated with a commitment to facilitating issues that arise in the cauldron of relating, thereby clearing the way for my partner to move on to a destiny-level relationship.
I used to wonder when “my turn” for a similar outcome would manifest, until I realized that my own personal path was being optimized by spending time alone. The trees of the heart have their sleeping season, when wintering-over of root-forces takes place. Now, I feel both honored to have been of service to my partners, and acceptance that process is unfolding according to its season.
From my journal
I attend a solstice event in the depth of winter. To my surprise, my last “flame” is there. It has been many years since we went our separate ways, and though I feel somewhat awkward, I still feel a candle glowing in my heart for her.
From our conversation, I get a sense that she is doing well, has been exploring new edges, learning new things, helping the people in her circle to open to their answers, and is a beacon of warmth and light to those in need. I am always moved by this, this encounter with the surpassing alloy of beauty and wisdom that presides in a soul who is fulfilling the agenda of their incarnation.
A part of me is happy for her, and feels genuine warmth in response to her fulfillment. Another part, however, (of course, aren’t we human) feels an aching in the rays of that light. This part falls into an old standby flailing of one of my incarnational issues - feeling less than I could be. In comparison to her life (should we ever do such an inconsiderate thing to ourselves, in the first place!?), my social life is fairly marginalized. I spend a lot of time alone, am nomadic, and in our materialistic society my spirit-based modality tends to render me scarcely visible in the worldly realm, so to speak. I struggle with some shadow elements. Though I dedicate significant effort toward giving to the world with my social-spiritual projects, the sum of my offering feels modest, a small semi-precious stone next to a glowing chest of treasure.
Of course, this is the way of perspective, self-image combined with individual karma/destiny - my own path leading on to what I need to attend. It’s all good, fitting for now - although I must be mindful to avoid getting stuck in this, to process these transitory elements for the sake of my true Being’s agenda.
Meanwhile, as I make my way home after the dance through a mid-December snowstorm, I feel some churning, a need to deal with what is rising within. I stop to sit on a bench in a large wild park. The snow is flying, the air is bracing, and the trees are radiant in their bright new vestments. A question that has been brewing finds its way up from my core. “Father-Mother God, am I also beautiful, like my ex-partner?” “Are human beings beautiful by nature?”
Waiting there, in this setting rendered wild by wintry weather, feeling this question assume a softly-aching presence, I enter into the silence, gently holding the question. And as the experience draws itself out, then begins to recede, an answer reveals itself through the setting that lies before me.
In the dark ambiance, illuminated by reflection from snow in all directions, the wind rises and falls, and the driving blizzard moves in feral gestures around the great trees - firs and spruces and cedars of impressive size. Despite the urban locale, the landscape is generating a feeling of remoteness, a stark and matchless beauty. And I know, in that moment of waiting, that the beauty I am discerning before me is resonant with a beauty that resides within, and within all of humanity.
It is a powerful moment, one that bears healing for my afflicted soul. However, incarnation being the way it is, no sooner am I regaining my metaphysical feet, then I am over-taken by a longing to be sharing the experience with someone, especially with a partner. . .
Time passes. I have been assimilating what has been unfolding in this mid-life stage of my incarnation, such that a feeling of completion arises, of coming to the end of a long journey. Many years have passed since my last dance with a partner, and an encounter now feels unlikely.
For now, my destiny faces what appears to be extraordinary circumstances - where no community opens (except that of humanity, in general), where no lover waits (but the divine Sophia, or Lady Soul, within), and where I no longer belong to any group of human contriving.
Closing journal entry:
But I am as a knight, riding out in liege of Lady Soul, and the rain that falls from the vault above slakes my thirst, and the life-force that rises from the earth softens my vision. Here, by this Sophia hearth, over and against the tyranny of the world’s expectation, and all the frailty of yearning, there goes out a silent and shining heartsong.
No one comes near, nor do they seek beyond the veil, and nor do they sense the dance, even while its choreography incites from the ethers a timeless mirror. Now, all intention is lit, and the wick flares. Now, the last of the day’s rays gleam goldenly. And in this twilight, where the wolf runs beside the stallion, and the wind buffets against the silhouette forest, the owl prepares to call with one last, single-word poem.
What do I look for, while I waltz around the perimeter of the soul’s dance floor? Is it to open a doorway into a renaissance of being? An entry to an exotic locale?
If she would have me stay, I shall. And go against all measure, I will. And sing to the sky, my voice will rise. How more full can anything make this heart, than Lady Soul’s warming eyes, her violin smile, the timbre of her voice holding my name. . . .?
At age 33, I met my twin flame soul mate on the spiritual plane. Sancta anima-spirita. To say the least, we celebrated our connection, and opted to meet on the physical plane, in a near-to-mid time range. We looked forward to this event with anticipation.
However, the wheels of circumstance turned, and our plans got waylaid by a karmic rendezvous on her part. The event of our meeting changed, from imminent, to unlikely to take place this incarnation.
A couple of decades have now passed by. And, as the sun of my biography nears its horizon, a final spring approaches. Snowdrops open in defiance of the cold. I patrol the periphery, then return to the place where my center would have me hold to. Circulation heats up, all my senses grow keen. Vigilance rises. A lone spring bird sings in quiet tones. The westward sun gleams warmly, golding expectation. In the distance, a flock of fifty robins crosses the sky. The mountains begin to form into a purple silhouette, causing the sea to stretch beneath as a receptive chalice. And in this holy ambiance, from out of the surrounding silence, the sound of footsteps on a nearby pathway become almost audible. . . .
Author Bio :
Josef Graf is the coordinator of Insight21 and Earth Vision - presenting answers for the 21st Century.
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