JOHN WELWOOD: "JOURNEY OF THE HEART: INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP AND THE PATH OF LOVE". PART 4
Sometimes when we are occupied with spiritual aspirations, we overlook the main thing. He says: "A person who believes that he has a spiritual life is just an idiot."
The same can be said about relationships: be careful when you start to think that you have a special "spiritual relationship". Love affair really allows us to see glimpses of the gold that is hidden in each of us. But by trying to turn relations into commodities, to give them a magical charm that will make us feel better, we distort and destroy them. It is here where the delusions of all the romance of romantic love begin. When we focus on a relationship as an instrument for achieving emotional or spiritual well-being, we are depriving ourselves of the opportunity to find deep joy, genuine lightness and honest connection with another person.
This is what it is about: we must be ready to be disassembled into parts, to allow old structures of our ego to collapse, in order to acquire an ability to embody those very glimpses of essential perfection that is the real focus of our true nature.
To develop spiritually, we must allow our undeveloped, hidden, chaotic parts to manifest themselves. As a rule, such destruction is essential before any meaningful breakthrough to new ways of living, to the ways that are not burdened with past experience and old emotional patterns.
Thus, the place of "heavenly funeral" is a metaphor for such a process of destruction/breakthrough, which is an important part of human development and evolution; it is also one of the gifts of a deep intimate connection that is being launched in the process in a natural way. But normally not many people want to be disassembled into parts. That's why people tend to try to interrupt this process by means of two common strategies: escape from the relationship or spiritual avoiding.
Escape from the relationship, as soon as first difficulties appear, is counterproductive because at this moment we also turn away from ourselves and from our possible breakthroughs. When we escape from the wounded parts of ourselves because we do not believe that we can withstand contact with them, we practice kind of self-negation and self-oblivion. And, as a result, we get scared even more and want to pay attention to them less and less. This is a vicious circle – we are afraid of ourselves and become extremely cut off from some of our parts.
One of the most frightening states that we can face in a relationship is a deep sense of dislike when we do not believe that we can truly be loved as we are, when we feel too imperfect and do not realize our true value. This is one of the most basic wounds of our heart – the feeling that we are separated from our true nature, our deepest perfection. And usually, we are ready to do everything possible to not face this feeling, to neutralize it, to eliminate it and never to experience this pain again.
Spiritual avoiding is the second way to get out of the difficulties in relationships: recurring to spiritual ideas or practices in order not to experience human feelings and needs, personal and development problems. Intimate relations at the individual level is the spark that illuminates the division between me and the other. Its emerging is possible if two strong individuals are able to establish a warm personal contact, mutually illuminating each other with complementary qualities and energies. This is a meeting of Me and You, once described by Martin Buber. This is not an impersonal spiritual unity, but rather personal participation, rooted in the deep acceptance of otherness of the other.