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.
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