A couple of weeks ago I attended a retreat on Evolutionary Enlightenment with Andrew Cohen. A woman raised the topic of women’s liberation. She described, how many of us women are still concerned, first and foremost, with finding a – or the right kind of – man.

Andrew was impressed with her honesty and asked her, why that would be the case. “Do men make you that happy?” he asked. Every woman in the room burst into laughter, proof for how deeply we know that this is not the case.

Why do we live in such a contradiction?

The longing for and the desire for a man emerges from parts of ourselves buried deep within our biology and the history of our gender.

For one, and this is nothing new, the survival of our species depended on us being drawn to men, and them to us. In fact, this is, dare I say it, the prime reason we are drawn to each other, whether we intend to produce babies or not.

And related to that is the fact that for thousands of years, men acted as guarantors for the physical survival and security for women –even if they enslaved, abused or traded them, their power meant they were the source of any protection and safety.

It is sobering –to put it mildly – but also clarifying to look at these roots of our longing and ask the question anew: why are we still spending so much time and energy attracting Mr. Right, while knowing perfectly well, that our needs have changed and that we will not find lasting, profound happiness in any sexual relationship or romance?  (That does not mean that they cannot be beautiful or significant, but the fundamental approach to them would be different.) The current conclusion is that men should adapt to our changing needs – but does that make sense? Is that fair? And even possible?

I think it is a lot more exciting to look at exactly what it is at this point in our history and development that truly gives us fulfillment. In my experience this has to do with a higher creativity, self-realization in the biggest sense and deeper spiritual development – none of which men have the power to bestow upon us in the context of a sexual relationship. What is possible though is that our independence in these matters enables us to meet and come together in new, more satisfying and deeper ways.

Then our lives do no longer run contrary to our intelligence.

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The Goal Is Peace

March 28, 2010

I had a great conversation with a friend last night.  Both of us are students of  A. Cohen, and according to him, one of the highest achievements in sexual relationships is peace – being together without creating karma, which can be defined as creating pain and suffering for others out of ignorance or lack of care. When I first heard this, it seemed like a pretty modest goal – after all, I was used and conditioned to expect a lot from my partners: from ultimate fulfillment and ecstasy to merging with another and even enlightenment, the transcendence of personal self. So simply not creating karma seemed, to put it mildly, kind of lukewarm. But the longer I am living with and contemplating this goal, the bigger I realize it is. So often, simply because we spend a lot of time with someone, we begin to feel entitled to share the less palatable aspects of ourselves. We almost begin to make the other part of ourselves, our mind and all the garbage in it and stop holding ourselves to the standard, we set out with. In the beginning, the very best intentions are put into action almost naturally – you realize, how precious and delicate it actually is to have a man and a woman be together in peace, in respect, without clinging and dependence and in trust. Over time, old mind-patterns just come back and your perspective changes – unless there is a very strong commitment to stay awake. I read that there have been studies that people, when they are in love, temporarily can live at a higher level of contentment and happiness than they are used to on their own, but they always slide back to their regular ways. How familiar is that??? So in terms of the goal of creating a peaceful and karma-free space between you, it’s good to know that there is a part in each of us that is perfectly willing, at any moment, to destroy and attack and then to keep that part under wraps with all my might. To me, one of the real meanings of love in this context means to do that more and more.

Being alone together..

February 7, 2010

 Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of listening to spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen give a teaching on relationship. The occasion was a ceremony for six of his students, who had decided to enter into committed relationships. I wish I could recount the whole teaching here, but will focus on one particular aspect of it for now, which also relates to what Khin brought out in one of her responses, see previous post. Just to remember that the context here is a teaching of conscious evolution, or evolutionary spirituality which interprets relationships differently from, say, a psychological or traditional spiritual context. First of all,

here  is a five minute clip of the teaching.

So Khin said, that she is recognizing, that we are not together to fulfill each other. And Andrew, in this teaching, explained this as the ability to leave each other alone. He said we cannot assume to know the others interior, i.e. what it is that is going on in their heads, their hearts and their souls. This is a big point, because once you share a bed and a kitchen sink, you usually assume that you do. And so hearing him say that was like a breath of fresh air. I am very aware of how easy it is to start reading all kinds of things into my partners responses, silence or acts. Most of the time they are fearful projections or arrogant conclusions and I cringe at the thought of how often I used to simply throw them out there, forcing him or others to deal with them. Now, 9 out of 10 times, I am surprised to discover, that there was no need to worry, that he was dealing with whatever he had to deal with while I just had to deal with keeping quiet. It does mean leaving alone this constant need to ‘feel’ connected, to have affirmed that we really, truly, undoubtedly are, when, in actuality, we already are.