Excerpt from Amy Edelstein’s book Love, Marriage & Evolution: Chapter 1
What we expect from each other has to do with how we define the greater purpose of our lives and our marriages. Often times, we “commit” to each other without articulating what that union actually means or stands for. Knowing what we stand for sets guidelines for how we want to be together. Those larger aspirations and principles create the framework for our lives.
So the first question to ask as we define expectations is, what is the framework—or context—within which we look for meaning and purpose, within which we set our life goals? When we’re clear about the guiding values and aspirations of our life, and the context that guides us, we can shape our expectations in our marriage. As we articulate this together with our partners, we’ll find ourselves able to navigate the currents of our life together with far more ease, fulfillment, and directionality.
To consciously set our own individual lives within the immense brushstroke of evolutionary unfolding is a powerful orientation for reaching toward our personal and spiritual ideals.
Establishing our relationships on our intimations of Spirit, discovering ways to come together in higher orders of unity, harmony, and complexity, and evolving the values that make up our culture are all qualities of the field or philosophy of “evolutionary spirituality.” The guiding principles of this perspective grow out of the knowledge that we live in a continuously evolving universe; and this knowledge provides a context for our relationship with the numinous.
Sages, mystics, and philosophers over the last hundred and fifty years, from Emerson to Peirce, Kuuk to Aurobindo to de Chardin, Swimme to Wilber to Cohen, and many others, have illuminated this perspective in far more depth and detail than I will do here. But what I will give you is a way to understand the broadest arc of these insights and how they can shape the expectations we create in our most intimate relationships.
Shared expectations that are based in a vast and deep context serve more than merely navigating the daily ups and downs. They set the fertile conditions for inner transformation, which then evolve the values of the culture we share.
To consciously set our own individual lives within the immense brushstroke of evolutionary unfolding is a powerful orientation for reaching toward our personal and spiritual ideals. And it’s a powerful contextualization for marriage and relationship. We discover that we are non-separate from the incredible propulsion of creativity and life. We are not separate from the process of evolutionary unfolding. When we set our intimate life in that large a context, it repositions everything. Against that vast backdrop, how we navigate our finances, our personal idiosyncrasies, our likes and dislikes, and our moments of affection and intimacy shifts. The same instances, issues, and responses look very different. Sometimes entirely different.
This is an excerpt from Amy Edelstein’s new book Love, Marriage & Evolution. If you like what you read here please download the entire book, and share this content with friends and family.