We think our unity comes only from feeling close with our partners. But there is another place where we can discover essential Unity, and that fulfillment at a deep level of self enables us to experience closeness, calmness, and tremendous Love for our partners.
Mystical realization points us to the discovery of an endless depth of presence, Being. Most of us have had glimpses of infinitude, of Spirit, of a sense of God or the timeless nature of the universe. These glimpses may have been prompted by spiritual practice or they may have come unbidden when we were young, racing breathlessly across a sun-soaked field. Too often those tastes of the infinite are discounted, forgotten. We can recall them, and orient ourselves around a new order of relatedness that they reveal. Take a moment and let your memory float, touch a memory or a timeless moment that filled you with unbidden joy and an inexplicable sense of connectedness.
When we allow ourselves to realize anew that our nature is not separate from the dimension of Self that we can’t touch but that we know as surely as we know ourselves to be alive, we discover a very different orientation to others. We dis- cover an essential liberation from lack, from the bondage that comes from insatiable desire and longing, from perceiving another as a servant for our needs. When you are rooted in a knowledge of wholeness and your spouse is too, your coming together will be characterized by Love meeting Love, Self meeting Self, wholeness meeting wholeness. Your mutual expectation then will be to enjoy together as two inherently full selves—no fear, no lack, no reason not to be close.
When we are rooted in the recognition of Unity—what Vedanta calls Brahman or the “One without a second,” what the Desert Fathers called “being in Christ,” what Walt Whitman called “cosmic consciousness,” and what mystical traditions refer to by a variety of descriptors—Being, Emptiness, Fullness, the Unborn, the Deathless, the infinite—we realize that there is no separation at a fundamental level. There really is no other. There’s nothing missing from you that anyone could possibly fill or complete because, ultimately, at this fathomless depth of Self, no boundaries or limits or walls exist.
This is subtle but non-separateness is something we can picture.
Do you remember being a child, lying on your back and looking up at the night sky, wondering how it all works? You could see the blackness and it has no end. But then, in your child’s mind you think, “But it must have an end!” And then you reason, “But if it does end, what comes after?” . . . Expanding the metaphor, that blackness of the night sky is somehow deeper than, untouched and unaffected by the stars or whatever objects seem to pass through its boundarilessness. That image of the night sky behind the stars is a perfect metaphor for our intimation of something beyond, an ever-present awareness, an unbroken dimension of Being or Self that underlies all of the world of form and time, all of the births of matter and life.
The power of this Self-recognition is profound. Putting our attention there creates a sense of respect, space, depth, awe, mystery, fullness, emptiness, and not knowing. It anchors us when we are intoxicated with the bliss and the chemical explosion that occurs when we get into a new relationship. It steadies us when we’re letting go of relationships. We find ourselves at one with ourselves, non-separate from that infinite expanse, not lacking, not troubled no matter what may be occurring in our lives.
This is a powerful context for relationship.
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