reason why the romantic special love
relationship is such an intense and
universally sought-after experience
is that it seems to offer liberation
from a deep-seated state of fear, need,
lack and incompleteness that is part
of the human ego condition in its unredeemed
and unenlightened state. There is a
physical as well as a psychological
dimension to this state.
the physical level, you are obviously
not whole, nor will you ever be: You
are either a man or a woman, which is
to say, one-half of the whole. On this
level, the longing for wholeness, the
return to oneness, manifests as male-female
attraction, man's need for a woman,
woman's need for a man. It is an almost
irresistible urge for union with the
opposite energy polarity. The root of
this physical urge is a spiritual one:
the longing for an end to duality, a
return to the state of wholeness.
union is the closest you can get to
this state on the physical level. This
is why it is the most deeply satisfying
experience that the physical realm can
offer. But sexual union is no more than
a fleeting glimpse of wholeness, an
instant of bliss. As long as it is unconsciously
sought as a means of salvation, you
are seeking the end of duality on the
level of form, where it cannot be found.
You are given a tantalizing glimpse
of heaven, but you are not allowed to
dwell there, and find yourself again
in a separate body. The reason why the
romantic special love relationship is
such an intense and universally sought-after
experience is that it seems to offer
liberation from a deep-seated state
of fear, need, lack and incompleteness
that is part of the human ego condition
in its unredeemed and unenlightened
state. There is a physical as well as
a psychological dimension to this state.
On the psychological
level, the sense of lack and incompleteness
is, if anything, even greater than on
the physical level. As
long as you are identified with the
ego mind, you have an externally
derived sense of self. That is to say,
you get your sense of who you are
from things that ultimately have nothing
to do with who you are:
systems, and so on.
false, mind-made self, the ego, feels
vulnerable, insecure, and is always
seeking new things to identify with
to give it a feeling that it exists.
But nothing is ever enough to give it
lasting fulfillment. Its fear remains;
its sense of lack and neediness remains.
If in your relationship you experience
both love and the opposite of love—attack,
emotional violence, and so on—then it
is likely that you are confusing ego
attachment and addictive clinging with
love. You cannot love your partner one
moment and attack him or her the next.
True love has no opposite. If your love
has an opposite, then it is not love
but a strong ego-need for a more complete
and deeper sense of your self, a need
that the other person cannot meet for
you. It is the ego's substitute for
salvation or God.
addiction arises from an unconscious
refusal to face and move through your
own pain. Every addiction starts with
pain and ends with pain. Whatever the
substance you are addicted to—alcohol,
food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person—you
are using something or somebody to cover
up your pain. That is why there is so
much unhappiness, so much pain in most
intimate relationships. They do not
cause the pain and unhappiness. They
bring out the pain and unhappiness that
is already in you.
What do you mean by romantic special
and until you access the consciousness
frequency of Presence (God within),
all relationships, and particularly
intimate relationships, are deeply flawed
and ultimately dysfunctional. They may
seem perfect for a while, such as when
you are in love, but invariably that
apparent perfection gets disrupted as
arguments, conflicts, dissatisfaction,
and emotional or even physical violence
occur with increasing frequency. It
seems that most romantic relationships
become love/hate relationships before
Love can then turn into
of hostility, or
withdrawal of affection at the flick
of a switch.
relationship oscillates for
a while, a few months or a few years,
between the polarities of love and hate,
and it gives you as much pleasure as
it gives you pain. It is not uncommon
for couples to become addicted to those
cycles. Their drama makes them feel
alive. When a balance between the positive/negative
polarities is lost and the emotionally
negative, destructive cycles occur with
increasing frequency and intensity,
which tends to happen sooner or later,
then it will not be long before the
special relationship finally collapses.
may appear that if you could only eliminate
the emotional negative or destructive
cycles, then all would be well and the
relationship would flower beautifully,
but alas, this is not possible. The
polarities are mutually interdependent.
You cannot have one without the other.
The positive already contains within
itself the as yet unmanifested negative.
Both are in fact different aspects of
the same dysfunction. I am speaking
here of what is commonly called romantic
special relationships, not of true love,
which has no opposite because it arises
from beyond the ego mind.
love as a continuous state is as yet
very rare, as rare as conscious human
beings. Brief and elusive glimpses of
true love, however, are possible whenever
there is a gap in the stream of ego
side of a special relationship
is, of course, more easily recognized
as dysfunctional than the positive one.
And it is also easier to recognize the
source of negativity in your partner
than to see it in yourself. It can manifest
in many forms:
need to be right,
demands and manipulation,
urge to argue, criticize, judge, blame,
or attack, anger,
revenge for past pain inflicted by
and physical violence.
the positive side,
you are in love with your partner. This
is at first a deeply satisfying state.
You feel intensely alive. Your existence
has suddenly become meaningful because
someone needs you, wants you, and makes
you feel special, and you do the same
for him or her. When you are together,
you feel whole. The feeling can become
so intense that the rest of the world
fades into insignificance. However,
you may also have noticed that there
is a neediness and clinging quality
to that intensity. You become addicted
to the other person. He or she acts
on you like a drug. You are on a high
when the drug is available, but even
the possibility or the thought that
he or she might no longer be there for
you can lead to jealousy, possessiveness,
attempts at manipulation through emotional
blackmail, blaming and accusing.
the other person does leave you, this
can give rise to the most intense hostility
or the most profound grief and despair.
In an instant, loving tenderness can
turn into a savage attack or dreadful
grief. Where is the love now? Can love
change into its opposite in an instant?
Was it love in the first place, or just
an addictive grasping and clinging.
I always thought that true enlightenment
is not possible except through love
in a relationship between a man and
woman. Isn't this what makes us whole
again? How can one's life be fulfilled
until that happens?
true in your experience? Has this happened
Not yet, but how could it be otherwise?
I know that it will happen.
In other words, you are waiting for
an event in time to save you. Is this
not the core ego error that we have
been talking about? Salvation is not
elsewhere in place or time. It is here
What does that statement mean, salvation
is here and now? I don't understand
it. I don't even know what salvation
people pursue physical pleasures or
various forms of psychological gratification
because they believe that those things
will make them happy or free from a
feeling of fear or lack. Happiness may
be perceived as a heightened sense of
aliveness attained through physical
pleasure, or a more secure and more
complete sense of self attained through
some form of psychological gratification.
This is the search for salvation from
a state of unsatisfactoriness or insufficiency.
Invariably, any satisfaction that they
obtain is short-lived, so the condition
of satisfaction or fulfillment is usually
projected once again onto an imaginary
point away from the here and now. "When
I obtain this or am free of that, then
I will be okay." This is the unconscious
mind-set that creates the illusion of
salvation in the future.
salvation is fulfillment, peace, life
in all its fullness. It is to be who
you really are, to feel within you the
good that has no opposite, the joy of
being that depends on nothing outside
itself. It is felt not as a passing
experience but as an abiding Presence.
In theistic language it is to Know
God, not as something outside you
but as your own innermost essence.
salvation is to know yourself as an
inseparable part of the timeless one
life which all that exists derives its
being. True salvation is a state of
freedom from fear, from suffering, from
a perceived state of lack and insufficiency
and therefore from all wanting, needing,
grasping and clinging. It is freedom
from compulsive ego thinking, from emotional
negativity, and above all from past
and future as a psychological need.
The Power of Now by Eckhart
make the journey into The Power of Now we will need to leave
our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego,
behind. Many of us will
find that our biggest obstacle is our relationships. But
we are in new territory and all is not what it seems. We
come to see that our relationships are yet another doorway
into spiritual enlightenment, if we use them to become more
conscious and therefore more loving human beings.