Friday, April 24, 2009

Relationships - True Love and the Transcendence of Duality

Ok... this is about the deepest thing I've ever come across on love, surrender and relationship.  It's so deep that unless you REALLLLYYY want to go all the way into the core spiritual material, I would advise you to not read it.  If, on the other hand, you have been around the spiritual block a time or two in a few different neighborhoods and you know what polarity is, how it causes suffering, and you are actively working within yourself to calm your mind and connect to the deepest part of who and what you really are, then, well, this is easily going to be the kind of gritty detail you need to know and since you are reading this, you have arrived at this article by guidance from your higher self, your wisdom self.

Personally, I am not a carbon copy (for those of you old enough to know what that means... nor an exact replica of the very wise Ekhart Tolle.  He's the same guy who taught a course together with Oprah Winfrey.  Oprah, by the way, changed her approached during that online course.  I feel strongly that she chose to let go of her tv life and traded it in for LifeClass.  Oprah always wanted to be a teacher and she has all she needs now to be able to fully enjoy life off of the big tube.

This article reminds me of what's at stake.  To continue to let go of being at cause of creating polarities of Love/Hate and of drama and suffering.  To accept what is happening and surrender to it is NOT the easiest way for things to go... and, it is important to also be willing to let go of the pain that the mind dreams up.  Anyhow, you are still reading if you have gotten this far.  I commend you!  Enjoy this Ekhart Tolle *deep* interview... and be ready for the beginning of the end of all illusions about what a valuable love and relationship actually are... be prepared to find all you ever needed, inside of yourself.  This turns the romantic fairytales of love upside down.  The good news is that through patient attention... you will find that your need for love transforms into your need to be love and that also transforms into your need to be surrendered to the moment and what love asks of you.

Here is the beginning of the original post:

I found this article when I went exploring to find information about Love/Hate relationships and why they have such a grip in Western society. I'm aware that the very language we use in most of our culture tends to be a set up for polarity... I invite anyone who wishes to to join me in speaking the language of non duality... love and let love... (source of article at bottom of page)

Relationships - True Love and the Transcendence of Duality

During my travels, one of the most frequently asked question is "What is it like to be in relationship with an enlightened being?" Why this question? Perhaps they have the idea or image of an ideal relationship, and want to know more about it. Perhaps their mind wants to project itself to a future time when they, too, will be in an ideal relationship and find themselves through it.

What is it like to be in relationship with an enlightened being?

As long as I have the idea in my head "I have a relationship" or "I am in a relationship," no matter with whom, I suffer. This I have learnt.
With the concept of "relationship" come expectations, memories of past relationships, and further personally and culturally conditioned mental concepts of what a "relationship" should be like. Then I would try to make reality conform to these concepts. And it never does. And again I suffer. The fact of the matter is: there are no relationships. There is only the present moment, and in the moment there is only relating.

How we relate, or rather how well we love, depends on how empty we are of ideas, concepts, expectations.

Recently, I asked Eckhart to say a few words on the ego's search for "love relationships." Our conversation quickly went deeper to touch upon some of the most profound aspects of human existence. Here's what he said:

ET: What is conventionally called "love" is an ego strategy to avoid surrender. You are looking to someone to give you that which can only come to you in the state of surrender. The ego uses that person as a substitute to avoid having to surrender. The Spanish language is the most honest in this respect. It uses the same verb, te quiero, for "I love you" and "I want you." To the ego, loving and wanting are the same, whereas true love has no wanting in it, no desire to possess or for your partner to change. The ego singles someone out and makes them special. It uses that person to cover up the constant underlying feeling of discontent, of "not enough," of anger and hate, which are closely related. These are facets of an underlying deep seated feeling in human beings that is inseparable from the egoic state.

When the ego singles something out and says "I love" this or that, it's an unconscious attempt to cover up or remove the deep-seated feelings that always accompany the ego: the discontent, the unhappiness, the sense of insufficiency that is so familiar. For a little while, the illusion actually works. Then inevitably, at some point, the person you singled out, or made special in your eyes, fails to function as a cover up for your pain, hate, discontent or unhappiness which all have their origin in that sense of insufficiency and incompleteness. Then, out comes the feeling that was covered up, and it gets projected onto the person that had been singled out and made special - who you thought would ultimately "save you." Suddenly love turns to hate. The ego doesn't realize that the hatred is a projection of the universal pain that you feel inside. The ego believes that this person is causing the pain. It doesn't realize that the pain is the universal feeling of not being connected with the deeper level of your being - not being at one with yourself.

The object of love is interchangeable, as interchangeable as the object of egoic wanting. Some people go through many relationships. They fall in love and out of love many times. They love a person for a while until it doesn't work anymore, because no person can permanently cover up that pain.

Only surrender can give you what you were looking for in the object of your love. The ego says surrender is not necessary because I love this person. It's an unconscious process of course. The moment you accept completely what is, something inside you emerges that had been covered up by egoic wanting. It is an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness. It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence. It is what you had been looking for in the love object. It is yourself. When that happens, a completely different kind of love is present which is not subject to love / hate. It doesn't single out one thing or person as special. It's absurd to even use the same word for it. Now it can happen that even in a normal love / hate relationship, occasionally, you enter the state of surrender. Temporarily, briefly, it happens: you experience a deeper universal love and a complete acceptance that can sometimes shine through, even in an otherwise egoic relationship. If surrender is not sustained, however, it gets covered up again with the old egoic patterns. So, I'm not saying that the deeper, true love cannot be present occasionally, even in a normal love / hate relationship. But it is rare and usually short-lived.

Whenever you accept what is, something deeper emerges then what is. So, you can be trapped in the most painful dilemma, external or internal, the most painful feelings or situation, and the moment you accept what is, you go beyond it, you transcend it. Even if you feel hatred, the moment you accept that this is what you feel, you transcend it. It may still be there, but suddenly you are at a deeper place where it doesn't matter that much anymore.
The entire phenomenal universe exists because of the tension between the opposites. Hot and cold, growth and decay, gain and loss, success and failure, the polarities that are part of existence, and of course part of every relationship.

KE: Then it's correct to say, we can never get rid of the polarities?

ET: We cannot get rid of polarities on the level of form. However, you can transcend the polarities through surrender. You are then in touch with a deeper place within yourself where, as it were, the polarities no longer exist. They continue to exist on the outer level. However, even there, something changes in the way in which the polarities manifest in your life when you are in a state of acceptance or surrender. The polarities manifest in a more benign and gentle way.

The more unconscious you are, the more you are identified with form. The essence of unconsciousness is this: identification with form, whether it is an external form (a situation, place, event or experience), a thought form or an emotion. The more attached to form, the more unsurrendered you are, and the more extreme, violent or harsh your experience of the polarities becomes. There are people on this planet who live virtually in hell and on the same planet there are others who live a relatively peaceful life. The ones who are at peace inside will still experience the polarities, but in a much more benign way, not the extreme way in which many humans still experience them. So, the way in which the polarities are experienced does change. The polarities themselves cannot be removed, but one could say, the whole universe becomes somewhat more benevolent. It's no longer so threatening. The world is no longer perceived as hostile, which is how the ego perceives it.

KE: If awakening or living a life in an awakened state does not change the natural order of things, duality, the tension between the opposites, what does living a life in the awakened state do? Does it affect the world, or only one's subjective experience of the world?

ET: When you live in surrender, something comes through you into the world of duality that is not of this world.

KE: Does that actually change the outer world?

ET: Internal and external are ultimately one. When you no longer perceive the world as hostile, there is no more fear, and when there is no more fear, you think, speak and act differently. Love and compassion arise, and they affect the world. Even if you find yourself in a conflict situation, there is an outflow of peace into the polarities. So then, something does change. There are some teachers or teachings that say, nothing changes. That is not the case. Something very important does change. That which is beyond form shines through the form, the eternal shines through the form into this world of form.

KE: Is it right to say that it is your lack of "reaction against," your acceptance of the opposites of this world, that brings about changes in the way the opposites manifest?

ET: Yes. The opposites continue to happen, but they are not fueled by you anymore. What you said is a very important point: the "lack of reaction" means that the polarities are not fueled. This means, you often experience a collapse of the polarities, such as in conflict situations. No person, no situation is made into an "enemy."

KE: So, the opposites, instead of becoming strengthened, become weakened. And perhaps this is how they begin to dissolve.

ET: That's right. Living in that way is the beginning of the end of the world.

Reprinted from
By Kim Eng Copyright September 2004 Source: Eckhart Teachings

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If I'm Really Awake, Is There Still A "Need" For Partnership?

What is so "Enlightened" about relationship? Isn't "Enlightenment" enough?

A recent clash with a spiritual teacher brought me face to face with this question. Like oil and water, the view of monk life and from that place, of celibacy disturbed me and when push came to shove, I found my core Amazon like strength to disengage from this teacher's fierce stance steeped in dogmatic ideas as my own voice of clarity awoke. Relationship with the opposite sex is the most powerful force that has stimulated my growth in awareness. That includes times when I am not "in relationship" with someone, which represents very precious time spent relating to life "as if all of life matters", because, well, it does.

The draw to partner is very strong for me... and I've wondered about that... Is it normal and healthy to be so powerfully motivated by male/female relating? And, have you ever askedd yourself this one: 

If I am to be fully awake, would I still have a need for a relationship? 

Would a guy still feel drawn to a me? Would I, as a woman still feel incomplete without a guy?

What's your experience? Questions? Your comments are so appreciated... what you have to share may be exactly what another person needs to hear to make a shift in their life to be more awake, more at peace, more alive...

From Erkhart Tolle's Power of Now when speaking on Enlightened Relationships:

Enlightened or not, you are either a man or a woman, so on the level of your form identity you are not complete. You are one-half of the whole. This incompleteness is felt as male-female attraction, the pull toward the opposite energy polarity, no matter how conscious you are. But in that inner state of connectedness, you feel this pull somewhere on the surface or periphery of your life. Anything that happens to you in that state feels somewhat like that. The whole world seems like waves or ripples on the surface of a vast and deep ocean. You are that ocean and, of course, you are also a ripple, but a ripple that has realized its true identity as the ocean, and compared to that vastness and depth, the world of waves and ripples is not all that important.

This does not mean that you don't relate deeply to other people or to your partner. In fact, you can relate deeply ONLY if you are conscious of Being. Coming from Being, you are able to focus beyond the veil of form. In Being, male and female are one. Your form may continue to have certain needs, but Being has none. It is already complete and whole. If those needs are met, that is beautiful, but whether or not they are met makes no difference to your deep inner state. So it is perfectly possible for an enlightened person, if the need for male or female polarity is not met, to feel a sense of lack or incompleteness on the outer level of his or her being, yet at the same time be totally complete, fulfilled and at peace within.

What is Self Love? Help or Hinderence?

I spotted a New Age magazine last night... the February issue... with its red cover and headlines proclaiming the power of Self Love... I'm often curious about what is meant by Self Love... In my own experience, I have had to develop an awareness of what is "good for me" and what is not "good for me" and the path that has helped me to lean towards more of what is good for me has been the path of Self Love. I'm embracing moving towards beauty and away from things that are not beautiful. What about the concept of Self Love will support that and what about Self Love will hang me up?
Asked another way:  What is the truth about Self Love? What is the truth about having a good relationship with "yourself" before you can have a good relationship with others?

Reprinted From Erkart Tolle's The Power of Now when speaking on Enlightened Relationships

If you cannot be at ease with yourself when you are alone, you will seek a relationship to cover up your unease. You can be sure that the unease will then reappear in some other form within the relationship and you will probably hold your partner responsible for it.
All you really need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.

But do you need to have a relationship with yourself at all? Why can't you just be yourself? 

When you have a relationship with yourself, you have split yourself into two: "I" and "myself" - subject and object. That mind-created duality is the root cause of all unneccessary complexity, of all problems and conflict in your life. In the state of enlightenment, you ARE yourself - - "you" and "yourself" merge into one. You do not judge yourself, you do not feel sorry for yourself, you are not proud of yourself, you do not love yourself, you do not hate yourself, and so on. The split caused by self-reflective consciousness is healed, its curse removed.

There is no "self" that you need to protect, defend, or feed anymore. When you are enlightened, there is one relationship that you no longer have: the relationship with yourself. Once you have given that up, all your other relationships will be love relationships.