QUESTION: Is divorce against spiritual law?
ANSWER: Not necessarily. We do not have fixed rules like that. There are cases when divorce is an easy way out, a mere escape. There are other cases when divorce is reasonable because the choice to marry was made in immaturity and both partners lack the desire to fulfill the responsibility of marriage in its true sense.
If only one is willing – or neither – divorce is better than staying together and making a farce out of marriage. Unless both are willing to take this journey together, it is better to break clean than to let one prevent the growth of the other. That, of course, happens. It is better to terminate a mistake than to remain indefinitely in it without finding an effective remedy.
One should not, however, leave a marriage lightly. Even though it was a mistake and does not work, one should try to find the reasons and do one’s very best to search out and perhaps get over the hurdles that are in the way. Since they are due to inner mistakes, the partners could try to make the best of it, if both are in any way willing.
One can learn a lot from one’s past and present mistakes. To generalize that divorce is wrong, in any case, is just as incorrect as to say that it is always right. One should certainly do one’s best, even if the marriage is not the ideal experience that I discussed tonight. Few people are ready and mature enough for it. You can make yourself ready by trying to make the best of your past mistakes and learn from them.
QA253 QUESTION: Would you please give guidance regarding the truth in the present conflict with my wife over the divorce and its spiritual significance? What can I do at this time to resolve the money issue and possible legal incarceration, since the legal tactic of withholding only caused more pain and further complicated the problem? Would you please give guidance to me about my guilt and pain over leaving my children, as I see this being in conflict with my positive feelings about pursuing my own path?
ANSWER: The situation you are in is a result of many, many threads of negative interactions, negative motives, and false substitutions on both sides. It therefore takes a great deal of pain and perhaps sometimes momentarily negative measures to reverse the situation. In other words, you cannot remedy the result of years of negative interaction without having to resort to undesirable measures.
Take the example of your Second World War. The situation had progressed for so long without awareness on the part of many that in the end – painful and regrettable as war is – it was the lesser evil so as to begin again with a somewhat cleaner slate.
Perhaps even more weighty than the actual negativities I mentioned and the neurotic motives that made up much of this union, was the utter unawareness that you both have managed to achieve. You have thought of and related to the mere superficial manifestations, and have pushed deeper motivations and emotional subterfuges underground. This took a great toll for all concerned.
This also accounts for much of the guilt that weights you down – sometimes in an entirely misplaced way. So a basic imbalance in you can be stated: you are often hard – toward yourself and others – out of a misplaced fear of surrender, fear of being used, fear of vulnerability. Then, in compensation for this, you capitulate where this has the most damaging effects and only nourishes your suspicions and fears.
There are a number of other such false balances in this relationship. For example, your former mate compensates for a feeling of being cheated emotionally by your difficulty in giving, by being hard and demanding on an outer level.
As far as your children are concerned, all I want to say here is that nothing is as painful and traumatic for a child as living in an environment in which negative interaction predominates over genuine love, trust and communication. Once the upheaval will have settled down, it is possible to establish a new calm. Even while the painful dissolution lasts, you can work on a truthful, open and loving relationship with your children.
Do not forget that no one comes into this life and the circumstances it presents without this corresponding to exactly what the entity has to learn, to absorb, to experience. Do not blame yourself and feel guilty in that sense, for that only reflects the other side of your tendency to make others responsible for the painful lessons you have to learn.
Capitulation and false giving-in does not contribute to true surrender, positive vulnerability, and openness that make genuine love and trust possible. Ask for the guidance that is always with you so that you will not be confused about these issues. Also, avail yourself of the many friends on this Path who are in a good position to help and encourage you, because some of them may have had to go through similar difficulties.
Strive for the Christ consciousness without the common human misunderstanding of seeing it as weak and sentimental. Let it strengthen you and give you the assurance you need.