Marriage | General

15 QUESTION: The medium wanted to ask a question: apart from biological reasons and civil law, what are the spiritual laws in connection with marriage between brothers and sisters?

ANSWER: When people are incarnated in the same family or in the same environment, there are always karmic reasons – reasons connected to fulfilling a task. Now, brothers and sisters are often incarnated because love should be learned between these souls, but love in a certain way only.

In other cases, people should find themselves as husbands and wives, because when passion or sex plays a role, it becomes possible to learn to love where hatred existed before. It is easier this way.

Between brothers and sisters, this element is removed, because at this stage of their karmic relationship, it may be that love should be learned without the help of eros. Exactly this may just be their task. This is why, from the spiritual point of view, marriage is prohibited between souls who are incarnated as brothers and sisters.

 

62 QUESTION: Could you elaborate on what exactly is meant by union? Just what does it entail?

ANSWER: The concept of union can be discussed on two levels, as far as our subject is concerned. I do not speak now of union with God. In the highest sense, union is the melting and fusing together of two beings who were split. It occurs when two beings become one entity again. Union on this Earth sphere between a man and a woman strives for the same end and attempts to achieve it to some degree inwardly. In rare moments it can happen. But all the layers of ignorance and fear soon erect a separating wall again.

The aim of development, as such, is to destroy these separating walls, whether they stand between human beings and God, between humanity and spiritual truth and reality, between people, or between man and woman. Love is the only key to eliminate this wall. With love, understanding is open. And with understanding, oneness or union can be achieved. But love cannot be forced.

Love can only be gained by removing all blocks and errors in the human soul. Ego-importance and preoccupation are directly opposed to love. But before the little ego can be removed, it has to be recognized in all its facets; it has to be allowed to come to the surface. Then, and then only, can the true personality evolve which no longer needs what the little ego seemed to need. Then love can truly unfold and bring about union.

This holds true for all human relationships. In marriage, the love between two people makes the attainment of union easier than in other relationships, such as friendship for instance. It is easier because it is nourished by eros and the sex impulse. Without these elements the separation is more difficult to overcome. Frictions cannot be smoothed over as easily as they are when eros is present as a bridge to love [Lecture #44 Love, Eros & Sex].

On the other hand, a more casual relationship has less of a chance to bring out frictions, therefore in that sense it is easier to maintain. We might sum up by saying that marriage would be practically unfeasible for the human race if it did not have the help of eros and the sex drive. The maintenance of these toward the partner is therefore a goal in itself in marriage. In the simplest terms, union is finding the other on as many levels as possible.

There is much more to it than merely understanding the other, being in tune with him or her. It is a blending of two people’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual natures. It can be done if both have the will and the understanding.

What holds true for all human relationships certainly holds true even more in marriage. Each friction and misunderstanding, no matter how flagrantly wrong one person may be, is an indication of something distorted or ignorant in the self. In the ideal marriage, this would always be kept in view and both partners would search for that element in themselves. They would then find that the other reacted, perhaps at times with undue vigor, to this one little part that is blurred, so to speak.

The disharmonious part in one reacts automatically to the disharmonious part in the other. The two disharmonious parts are not always of equal strength, but that does not matter. If this key to marriage could be found, a real tuning-in could be accomplished. The tuning-in would further self-development, and at the same time it would furnish more keys for tuning into one another. In this way, true union is successfully attempted.

 

102 QUESTION: If a man marries without being really deeply in love with a woman – first, is this wrong? Second: is it possible that with proper guidance this marriage could turn out well? Is it possible that they then fall in love, that it develops into a real love affair, even though it was started rather coldly?

ANSWER: It is very hard to answer you with a definite statement of right or wrong. It depends on so many circumstances. It depends on the motivation, on the kind of feelings you do have, and on the will and effort that is put into the relationship.

But, generally, I may say that if the motivation is sincere and if feelings of affection, respect, liking for the other human being are there, together with certain common basic interests, this may indeed turn out to be a better marriage than one based only on passion. In the latter, the real values may be overlooked. Yet, I do not mean that if two people are in love, they necessarily overlook the real values. They may have fallen in love just because of them.

What you say is certainly not a rule, but it is possible under certain circumstances if real values are perceived. However, a careful examination should be made in such a case as to the motivation in both people. This cannot be quickly and easily done, because deep and hidden factors may play a role. Even distorted and unhealthy motives, when finally brought out into the open, may not have a damaging effect. But they will be extremely damaging if one is unaware of them or not willing to deal with them.

 

QA133 QUESTION: What is marriage and is it necessary?

ANSWER: In the first place, I will answer what is marriage. Marriage is the most intense relationship in existence. Or let us say, it could be. It could be, because – and as compared to other relationships, even of the most intimate of friends – the possibility exists to take one’s masks off.

And that is a healing element for the soul which withers away when it is, as it believes, forced to hide behind guards all the time. Therefore, such an intense relationship affords the taking off of pretenses, of masks, of guards.

Number two, marriage affords growing out of one’s problems. That is, if a marriage is to work, the mask has to be taken off, the defenses have to be eliminated, and one really has to meet the other person as one is. In the process of this, one discovers where the problem areas within one’s own soul are, and how these problem areas affect the partner and vice versa.

If there is a meeting, an open meeting, of these two people, then the growing process takes place and the meaning of marriage and the significance of marriage under these circumstances is that growing does not take place in a painful way.

Taking off of the masks is not a painful process, but it affords the greatest bliss. It is the spiritual fulfillment people usually expect in a far away beyond. It is the bliss of what people might also even call a mystical experience. But this can only be when marriage is just exactly what I say here. And this, of course, as you all know, is very seldom the case.

More often than not, marriage becomes a habit where people live side by side with their masks, with their defenses and guards on – with their pseudosolutions – trying to infiltrate the very marriage relationship itself, and therefore not understanding their alienation from one another, the stalemate in the relationship – physically, sexually, emotionally and spiritually, even often mentally. That way, one either continues a dissatisfactory marriage or ends it.

In some cases, one solution is preferable to another; in other cases, vice versa. But again what is then done, one cannot generalize. Each case is different. The solution is not in one alternative – let us say the alternative of continuing a shallow relationship as to being preferable to discontinuing it or vice versa.

The solution could only be found in why do so many masks – so many pretenses – exist that allow the partner to be so oblivious of what separates them on all these levels. This is the meaning of marriage. The meaning is so beautiful, because growth and dissolution of problems can actually exist in the most blissful way, which every human soul consciously or unconsciously yearns for.

The human soul yearns for expansion. It yearns for a state of being without pretenses, without fearful, anxious guards. It yearns for meeting another in reality. It yearns for the bliss that is the result of all that. And this yearning can be fulfilled in such a relationship. That is the meaning.

Now, whether it is necessary or not, again, one cannot generalize. I would be very careful of saying it is necessary for everybody. And I would be equally careful of saying for some people it may not be necessary, because both statements are misleading.

I think the best approach to this question would be to realize that this is the possibility; this is the potential; this is a possible way for everyone, if one feels at this time ready and willing to take this way. If one says, “Yes, this is my way, and it will be my way too, but perhaps not quite yet; perhaps I have to go through other phases at this stage,” that depends on each case.

Does that answer your question?

QUESTION: Yes, it does.

ANSWER: Is there any other question evolving out of what I said that you would now like to ask?

QUESTION: If this possible fulfillment is not seen as likely between two people who live together, then obviously they should not be together.

ANSWER: Yes.

QUESTION: Then marriage would not be necessary.

ANSWER: Well, the word “necessary” is perhaps not the right word, but what I would like to say to you here is this. Of course, there is such a possibility. But it is extremely important for you to realize that if you make such a decision, you make it and do not wait for sanctioning, for there is nothing wrong spiritually in such a decision if you be wholehearted about it.

But if you have your doubts and you want to eliminate these doubts by a sanctioning of another authority, such sanctioning will not really eliminate your doubts. In other words, my advice is to meet your doubts. Maybe your doubts are unfounded. Maybe such a decision would be quite desirable for all concerned.

So again I say, it is not the decision itself that is in question here. It is your doubt about it that may be the very crucial point.

 

QA133 QUESTION: I have a very personal question. It’s concerning my relationship with a friend. We have a very good relationship and a great understanding too. Only my feelings for this person sometimes are like feelings for a father, which I always wanted. I don’t know if this is a good feeling or not. Is this to be good for the future in marriage?

ANSWER: I assume you do not ask me of whether or not you should marry. {No} You ask me in principle whether the father tie that is not yet resolved is a hindrance in marriage. {Yes} If you would, as so many, many other people do, not be aware of this and believe even that these feelings are perfect and right and good, it would, in the long run, turn out to be a hindrance. Because one cannot be married to a father, and one cannot really be successfully a wife if one is a daughter.

But knowing this and working on this Path, it is absolutely possible to establish a successful relationship long before one has resolved such a problem, if one realizes it is a problem. If one sees in what way the danger areas could exist in a marital relationship, one certainly does not have to wait until one has resolved all problems. Then the marriage would never exist.

This is just what I meant before when I answered the question on marriage – that people can grow together and, whether or not it is discussed in such terms, really be open to one another, from this point of view. Then the growing together will prove a wonderful thing.

 

QA167 QUESTION: What inner resources do I possess that can give help and a sense of fulfillment to my wife, and on which we can rebuild a wholesome marriage?

ANSWER: My answer would be in this way. In the first place, it is absolutely essential that those inner resources you can mobilize and bring to bear upon your problem must first of all be directed toward yourself. You must establish a total self so as not to be dependent in any way, shape or form, on anyone else.

Now, this does not mean – and I have said this many times and in many ways to my friends – that you should live alone, that you should not have a deep and meaningful relationship. But such a deep and meaningful relationship can only come to pass as a luxury, as it were.

In other words, one must be so rich and so strong and so self-contained and have so much to give because one stands on one’s own two feet within oneself. Then the other person is no longer necessary in order to sustain, in order to give strength, in order to give self-assurance, in order to give a sense of adequacy. The other person is only necessary in order to fulfill the supreme pleasure of giving and receiving love and sharing one’s growth and sharing one’s innermost soul.

Now, these questions can be very easily confused and can be concealed. It happens again and again and again in mankind that the need to be sustained by the other person – because one feels oneself inadequate – can very easily be concealed, and one can believe “well, this is pure love.”

But inwardly, your innermost self is never deceived. It knows. And everyone else’s innermost self knows too. All immature human beings who have not resolved these problems lean on the other person, demand from the other person, and it becomes a burden that the other person cannot assume.

Always in such cases, the other person has an equal need of an equally immature nature, and the two begin to conflict. So the remedy must lie in considering: “What can I do to activate the resources within me so that I know I am adequate, so that I do not need anyone else to give me that feeling?”

The further question, “What can I do to activate the inner resources in me so that I can live and cope with any situation, all my feelings, and grow from them no matter what happens? I do not need anyone else for that reason.”

I think, in your case my friend, the situation is favorable. For even though you have not been directly involved with such Pathwork, it is not that far away from your consciousness that you do approach relationship from this point of view. And of course, you are not the only one.

Everyone who is struggling in life has a similar situation. Then it is only a question for the individual to see it. Once you see yourself in this imbalance – where the other person is supposed to fulfill what must come from your own self – then you have more than half the battle.

Then you will comprehend deeply and with feeling that relationships cannot possibly really work when the partner has to take on that role, and when you in turn have to take on that role for the partner.

For what then takes place in a relationship, if it is really seen, is almost a preposterous situation: each person invests all his strength in making the other person strong enough to sustain his own strength.

In other words, each one invests all his already-activated and available resources for the purpose of getting the other person to sustain himself or herself. That, of course, becomes then an untenable situation that kills gradually the genuine feelings and the genuine possibilities of giving and receiving in a healthy, free way of real sharing.

Then one goes out and looks for another relationship, or is heartbroken about whatever the case may be. The other relationship will end up in an equal situation, unless these problems are faced and resolved.

Then, when the problems begin to be resolved, the natural balance structure will take place that those resources, the already available resources, will be used to look, to grope, to grow, to understand, to activate what is in the self. And then a real relationship becomes possible.

QUESTION: Is the activation of these inner resources always accompanied by pain and suffering?

ANSWER: Yes, I would say it is true. The pain and suffering is purely of an illusory nature, but it is nevertheless true while one experiences this. The pain and suffering come from the fact that one has to accept one’s imperfection, which is often much more than one would like to be or one would pretend to be in order to think of oneself as an acceptable human being.

That is one kind of pain. Another kind of pain is to give up the means the personality has used to control others in order to make them sustain the self. Doing so seems terribly painful and perilous. Going therefore through those steps where the unconscious and emotional reflexes are still geared in this illusion, that battle is temporarily a painful one.

But I would say the Path is not a completely painful one. It is only painful when one confronts these issues. Once one summons the courage and breaks through the specific phase one is involved in, the relief is as great as the overcoming was, until the next hurdle has to be tackled.

You cannot expect to avoid the pain on any kind of path. On the other hand, I would also like to say this. It is also an illusion to believe that this pain that the Pathwork brings is just the result of the Pathwork.

It is a pain that is inevitable and much worse when a person is not engaged in any way of self-confrontation. It would come anyway – and more acutely perhaps, and more drawn out at the same time, and with less understanding.

 

QA254 QUESTION: For the past few years I have worked on the issue of my marriage and the lack of real mutuality here. During this time, I have gradually moved from blaming my wife for the difficulties we encounter, to a position of accepting responsibility for my creation of tension and competition between us. Now I have reached the place where I realize that I withhold the real expression of my love, that I do not give the sweetness and warmth that I give my children to my mate. This lack of loving is causing me pain and some real guilt.

At the same time, I have been meeting another important issue lately, namely my inability to deal truthfully with real or symbolic authority, especially a male figure. I sense that there is a deep connection between these two problems, that both have something to do with a deep withholding quality in me and that it is important that I deal with them at this point. I need help and guidance and would appreciate anything you can tell me.

ANSWER: Yes, the connection is your fear of expressing your real needs. It is also true that you wanted, on an unconscious level, your mate to be a parent figure, in that she was supposed to give you all that you did not dare believe you can supply for yourself. For instance, your manhood, your security, your value.

What is more, she was also supposed to be omnipotent in the sense of knowing your most secret needs and wants, even those you were yourself unaware of. Thus, you did not have to struggle with the labor of communicating, of trying to make yourself understood, with the risk of not being understood or of not obtaining what you want after all the struggle of making it clear.

This childish attitude automatically put her into the position of an authority figure. If you confer that much power to a person, he or she naturally becomes awesome. You may not consciously have thought of it in those terms, but this is what it amounted to.

In addition to that, you represented a similar figure for her, again without awareness on either of your parts. So you can imagine the entanglement, the negative feelings, the complicated combinations that created a knot that needs to be disentangled if this relationship is going to work. You have developed tremendously in the last few months and are truly beyond the state I have described.

You are now capable of giving value and security to yourself. You are also capable of undertaking the task of learning how to communicate, of taking the risk of not being understood, of struggling with making yourself understood and, finally, the risk of not getting what you want and going on from there. To be specific, you must know and feel your need for a total spiritual relationship, in which your souls meet and your paths are being shared, in which both grow. For not growing creates stagnation in every way.

Your acute awareness of this need must first be cultivated within yourself. Once you keenly feel this longing, you can go about expressing it, without a forcing current, without a hidden agenda, simply as an expression of who you are now and what your higher self now requires for your life. If you can make yourself understood in that way, it may affect your mate in a very, very new way, so that your lives can truly be shared. If this does not happen, God will give you guidance so that you can fulfill yourself and your task for which you came.

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