What Attracts Us That We Call It Love?
One of the interesting after effects of a Near Death Experience is that the spouse of the person who has died and returned often cannot handle the positive changes that have happened to the near death experiencer. The spouse sees him/her as a different person. Even if the changes are for the better, the spouse falls out of love. The spouse “fell in love” with a mate who was a certain way. He/She may have been a flawed person but all that “stuff” is a big part of what attracted the spouse. With all that stuff gone, with only Love in its place, the spouse feels all alone. S/he falls “out of love.”
If that is the story of a typical marriage, and it seems to be, what can we say about the “love” of marriage? For one thing, it is very shallow. All of the stuff of one personality gets attracted to all the stuff of another personality. In Buddhist psychology we would call all this personality “stuff” the “skandhas,” the aggregates or “bunches” of things, attitudes, and deeds that manifest as a person.
Marriage is said to be of this world, not the higher orders (“Til death do we part”). We can get a big help in sorting all this out by the cosmology of A Course In Miracles. The Course points out that there is a God created universe called Heaven which is characterized by Love, Truth, and Eternal Laws, where the Father and the Sonship forever extend their Love. In this Cosmology we learn that God is only unconditional Love. “He” does not know judgment, punishment, evil or any of the things that characterize the man-made world within the illusory universe. The man-made world does not know Love. It knows attachment and attraction. One set of skandhas finds it fits in with another set of skandhas! Then all the conditional rules come it: “Don’t you change on me…don’t think about other men/women…come home after work…I don’t like you hanging out with the boys…I expect you to show me some respect…we never make love anymore…I need you to want me.” And on and on it goes. Two unreal personalities are entangled in an unreal mess that we call marriage! Is it not insane? So, into this insane marriage comes an event of awakening for one of the spouses, whether it is an NDE, meditation, ACIM or something else. The awakened spouse gets to peek behind the curtain and see some Truth. S/he gets awakened to Love’s presence and S/he thinks: “OMG THIS is what Love is!! I had no idea.” So all s/he wants to do now is think about Love, helping others, including her/his spouse. He may make dinner for her and vacuum the house, bring her flowers, be kind and considerate.
SHE sees this and says, “OMG where is my husband and who is this man in my house!” She tries to like the changes but she can’t because she doesn’t know the real Love that he knows. She only knows “fitting” into his skandhas, and they aren’t there anymore!! They are gone! He has new ones now based on Love. What is she to do? She explodes, “Where the hell is my husband?” Eventually they divorce. She finds someone else who fits in well with her skandhas and he becomes a Lightworker. It is at this point that the Course in Miracles offers us a new understanding of a true and lasting relationship. It can last past death because death is not real. The Course offers us a “Holy relationship” rather than the marriages found in the man-made world. A Holy Relationship does not come from finding someone you fit in with like one set of skandhas finding another set to match. A Holy Relationship is one in which two people experience real Love, the only reality in truth, in each others’ presence! It is unconditional Love so there are no contracts of expectations and demands. Love is wise and will provide the atmosphere and the actions the couple need to stay real. The two, experiencing One Love, join in mind and become an example to the rest of the Sonship of the journey of joining before us. A Holy Relationship does not require a formal marriage ceremony. The relationship is already real by Love and the two are joined in mind. However, if they choose to have a former ceremony it will not contain any of the contractual neediness of the man-made marriage. Like guarding their peace, the couple will guard their Holiness. In their lives they will chose to do their work while sharing the Love that joins them in mind. There is no other rigid template. It is as flexible as Love is unconditional. If they choose to have sex, the sex will be an expression of that Love they share. In the man, that divine Love evokes the desire to give to his partner. In the woman, it arouses the desire to receive and nurture. There are no templates or plans. Their lives would be given to them through guidance. None of the earthly rules apply. Their relationship will not be based on physical attraction, body shape, age, or any of the other skandhas. Their relationship is given by God, and because it is, they respect the body of the other. If you really Love someone with Divine Love, it doesn’t matter what their body looks like or how their personality is shaped. You just know that the most real and wonderful whole of being you is found within the Love that you share with that other person!
Now by this time you may be asking, “How can this work in the world we live in?” It is a good question. The man-made world is all based on separation and duality. “I like this. I don’t like that. I am unique. I am separate from you…etc.” And in addition to all that, “I am also separate from God…whatever that is,” because in the dualistic world you would not know unless you discovered Light. So into this dualistic world with special relationships (special loves, special hates) comes the Course in Miracles and it shows you how to live a non-dualistic life within a dualistic world!! You really get it that Love is the only thing real. You will stop projecting the opposite of Love which is fear. The Course will take you by the hand and very gently but very firmly help you to undo all the mistakes in thought you made about how things really are, including relationships. You will discover that God’s plan for you is that you should be a Light to the world by offering forgiveness. One person who has seen his own Light has something to give to humanity. In a Holy relationship, two people who have joined in mind and seen their own Light can speed up the joining process within the Sonship and bring the Kingdom of Heaven down on earth. That is just a little bit better than what you thought a relationship could be. Holy Relationships are the result of miracles that Jesus inspires. The miracle gives Light where there was darkness and Love which is to be shared. Holy Relationships are not earned because there is no economy in Heaven. There is no lack, only abundance. The Holy Relationship is of the spirit, although it respects the body. It is not of time, which is an illusion. It is of eternity. “Til death do us part” belongs only to the body and man-made marriages based on patterns. The Holy Relationship is a perfect picture of the whole Sonship joined in One and in One-ness with the Father. There is no place where the Father ends and the Son begins, neither any place where the Son ends and the Father begins. There is perfect One-ness, extending Love and Light throughout the universe of Spirit they create. The Holy Relationship is a picture of our co-creation with the Father. Yes, this can work in the world we live in now! It just takes work and vigilance. Is it worth it?