Spiritual Issues of Our Time 3
- a matter of helping ourselves
is probable that more words are being spoken and written about personal
relationships than any other matter under the sun. Yet for all those
words, when it comes to breaking out of conditioned expectations, we are
as helpless rabbits caught in the glare of headlights.
spiritually minded might like to call this being powerless before love
which confers a certain dignity, but the reality is that when it comes to
relationships we do not want to
have to reckon with ourselves or even to think intelligently.
want to believe that love is a miracle-worker: able to make good any
shortfall, no matter how obvious, to bind together, no matter how
unsuitable, and to defy the law of probability in order to give us what we
hope of a long lasting relationship is opiate of our time.
of us admit to being kept going by the hope that one day we will find
lasting love. We focus upon what this will give us and do not think of
what, in a time of rapid change, it will take. But provided we are getting
on with our lives whilst we are waiting for what we may or may not
recognise when it arrives, this is relatively innocuous.
innocuous is the process where by we allow unrealistic expectations to
lead us into destructive situations and then refusing to acknowledge our
own responsibilities in this send out bitterness and resentment out into
is the difference between hope and unrealistic expectation?
is the means by which we develop consciousness. Our experience in
incarnation is an experience in relationship. In incarnation we meet with
ourselves. We meet our own contradictions and problems in external forms,
principally our personal relationships, so that eventually we may acquire
a different consciousness. At a time of rapid change we are required to
face many different aspects of ourselves.
opportunity to do this is a gift of the Holy Spirit but we are receiving
it like a slap in the face.
is nothing wrong with relationships, our own or anyone else's. They
are doing the job that they are designed to do. Our problem with
relationships is that we will not move on in our thinking and let go of
old ideals. That is something quite different.
problem that we are caught up in now is not that the personal
relationships are breaking down to be replaced by others -degeneration is
a fact of form life and at a time of transition forms will break down
quicker - but that we do not have realistic expectations of what will be
the eventual outcome of a union between two people who are involved in
change. When the probable occurs we consider that this is aberant. We feel
wronged by life and love and burden our children with our bitterness and
aware people who accept this in theory tend to forget it no less quickly
than anyone else when they meet problems in their own lives, because when
it comes to personal relationships we have our own ideas on what
relationships should be and do for us.
fact, they are not our own ideas at all, they are inherited ideas and they
take no account of the fact that we are not as those before us have been.
We are not even as our parents were. We inhabit a different world. We have
a greater awareness of individuality, a different value system and
take up the challenge of change, we commit ourselves to growth but we do
not want to consider in any intelligent way why we cannot have the kind of
stability in relationships that our parents had.
belonged to a generation committed to continuity and security. They made
sacrifices for that stability that we consider a denial of individuality
and an obstacle to development. We hold onto their ideal of longevity
without thinking of what that took from them or the appropriateness of it
are living in a time of accelerating change. That change is working itself
out through us. How then can our relationships that are simply reflections
of ourselves tell a different story? They cannot and they will not and we
have a better use of our time than mourning the loss of something that we
have helped bring to an end.
could be thinking about how much better it would be for our children if we
gave up on the old expectations and started working purposefully and
positively with the idea of serial relationships, and all that that
involves for children, rather than with resentment, grief and a sense of
betrayal and aberration. These
are the greatest toxins in children’s lives, not the fact that their
parents are not still together.
where relationships are concerned we do not seem to want to challenge
basic assumptions. We prefer the familiar pain of investing in romantic
ideals featuring the one true love. Perhaps that is that because no matter
how debased they may have become since the twelfth century mystics put
them in place to emphasise that human love was a reflection of divine
love, we know that they have their origins in soul consciousness and
deserve our respect.
we forget we have to work our way back and the way to the one is through
the many. That is true on all levels. Love is not eluding us; but we need
still more of the learning that our relationships are giving us before we
can understand it and recognise it in all its appearances.
is not metered out to us in the form of one person and one relationship,
and it is still the greatest power on Earth regardless of what is
happening to the divorce rate.
function of love in human consciousness is to draw us to those things that
will eventually enable us to recognise what we are. It will not make us
what we are not. Nor will it make relationships other than they are which
is the principal agent of self-recognition, no matter how hard we scream
at the reflections that we do not like.
that produce a backlash in the form of anger and other emotionally
negativite states are not helping us.
speaking, New Age thinking has not tackled the problem of expectation in
relationship in any constructive way. It has retreated into
quasi-mysticism, which is always a good place in which to avoid hard
facts. If anything, it has encouraged indulgence and a lack of realism by
supplying concepts that enable us to dress up common-and-garden sexual
attraction, and loneliness, in self-dramatising terms that overlook the
fact that relationships have a job
to do in the process of spiritual development, and that is to make us
Jungian astrologers did not forget this, however, and some of their best
work was done in providing the concepts that would help us understand
ourselves and our relationships better. Liz Greene, Stephen Arroyo, and
Howard Sasportas deserve honourable mentions in this respect. Any one,
astrologer or not, who would try and better understand their relationships
should read their work.
my own work with clients there are three statements made often and with
which I will always deal briskly because they are helpful. They are made
from resentment, self-pity or laziness and they fuel unrealistic