Enlightened Relationships & Transcending Pain

Excerpts from Chapter 8: Enlightened Relationships of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. Putting them out in the blogosphere hoping they find their way to those in need.

-_Q

“It may appear that if you could only eliminate the negative or destructive cycles, then all would be well and the relationship would flower beautifully ― but alas, this is not possible. The polarities are mutually interdependent. You cannot have one without the other. The positive already contains within itself the as yet unmanifested negative.

There cannot be the positive without the negative, or vice versa. Not until both are transcended with true love.

“…there comes a point when your partner behaves in ways that fail to meet your needs, or rather those of your ego. The feelings of fear, pain, and lack that are an intrinsic part of egoic consciousness but had been covered up by the “love relationship” now resurface. Just as with every other addiction, you are on a high when the drug is available, but invariably there comes a time when the drug no longer works for you. When those painful feelings reappear, you feel them even more strongly than before, and what is more, you now perceive your partner as the cause of those feelings. This means that you project them outward and attack the other with all the savage violence that is part of your pain. This attack may awaken the partner’s own pain, and he or she may counter your attack. At this point, the ego is still unconsciously hoping that its attack or its attempts at manipulation will be sufficient punishment to induce your partner to change their behavior, so that it can use them again as a cover-up for your pain…

This is one reason why most people are always trying to escape from the present moment and are seeking some kind of salvation in the future. The first thing that they might encounter if they focused their attention on the Now is their own pain, and this is what they fear. If they only knew how easy it is to access in the Now the power of presence that dissolves the past and its pain, the reality that dissolves the illusion. If they only knew how close they are to their own reality, how close to God.”

Avoidance of relationships in an attempt to avoid pain is not the answer either. The pain is there anyway. “

The pain is already there, inside you. The relationship brings it out, which is something to be grateful for. It shows you what needs to be addressed, shines a light on it. If you are in a relationship with someone who is also seeking peace and enlightenment, you can help each other minimize the pain-body and the pain-pleasure cycle to find peace together.

“For love to flourish, the light of your presence needs to be strong enough so that you no longer get taken over by the thinker or the pain-body and mistake them for who you are. To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment. To disidentify from the pain-body is to bring presence into the pain and thus transmute it. To disidentify from thinking is to be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior, especially the repetitive patterns of your mind and the roles played by the ego. If you stop investing it with “selfness,” the mind loses its compulsive quality, which basically is the compulsion to judge, and so to resist what is, which creates conflict, drama, and new pain. In fact, the moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace. First you stop judging yourself; then you stop judging your partner. The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is, without needing to judge or change them in any way. That immediately takes you beyond ego.

Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form. In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love.

Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the “love” of ego. However, the intensity with which true love is felt can vary. There may be one person who reflects your love back to you more clearly and more intensely than others, and if that person feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love relationship with him or her. The bond that connects you with that person is the same bond that connects you with the person sitting next to you on a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of intensity with which it is felt differs.

True communication is communion ― the realization of oneness, which is love. Usually, this is quickly lost again, unless you are able to stay present enough to keep out the mind and its old patterns. As soon as the mind and mind identification return, you are no longer yourself but a mental image of yourself, and you start playing games and roles again to get your ego needs met. You are a human mind again, pretending to be a human being, interacting with another mind, playing a drama called “love.”

Although brief glimpses are possible, love cannot flourish unless you are permanently free of mind identification and your presence is intense enough to have dissolved the pain-body ― or you can at least remain present as the watcher. The pain-body cannot then take you over and so become destructive of love.”

Please see that we can find our way out of this cycle together. Through practicing and expanding the presence we already share. We can do this, my love.

Relationships as Spiritual Practice 

“..every crisis represents not only danger but also opportunity. If relationships energize and magnify egoic mind patterns and activate the pain-body, as they do at this time, why not accept this fact rather than try to escape from it? Why not cooperate with it instead of avoiding relationships or continuing to pursue the phantom of an ideal partner as an answer to your problems or a means of feeling fulfilled? The opportunity that is concealed within every crisis does not manifest until all the facts of any given situation are acknowledged and fully accepted. As long as you deny them, as long as you try to escape from them or wish that things were different, the window of opportunity does not open up, and you remain trapped inside that situation, which will remain the same or deteriorate further.

With the acknowledgment and acceptance of the facts also comes a degree of freedom from them. For example, when you know there is disharmony and you hold that “knowing,” through your knowing a new factor has come in, and the disharmony cannot remain unchanged. When you know you are not at peace, your knowing creates a still space that surrounds your nonpeace in a loving and tender embrace and then transmutes your nonpeace into peace. As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.

So whenever your relationship is not working, whenever it brings out the “madness” in you and in your partner, be glad. What was unconscious is being brought up to the light. It is an opportunity for salvation. Every moment, hold the knowing of that moment, particularly of your inner state. If there is anger, know that there is anger. If there is jealousy, defensiveness, the urge to argue, the need to be right, an inner child demanding love and attention, or emotional pain of any kind ― whatever it is, know the reality of that moment and hold the knowing. The relationship then becomes your sadhana, your spiritual practice. If you observe unconscious behavior in your partner, hold it in the loving embrace of your knowing so that you won’t react.”

Read more here.

 

~ by omgrey on February 21, 2012.

9 Responses to “Enlightened Relationships & Transcending Pain”

  1. THANK YOU THANK YOU for the reminder! Breathing in the NOW~
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  2. […] Enlightened Relationships & Transcending Pain (omgrey.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] willing to do that. He and I are on the same path, after all. I can only hope he will read Chapter 8 on his own, since he was unwilling to read it with me, and stop running away, to face and […]

  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedgehog%27s_dilemma

    I take the Hideo Anno approach to this question, in that I don’t believe love means much without ego. Letting go of identity seems to castrate any meaningful relationship. I’d rather feel the porcupine’s spines and deal with my lover’s unique personality. Make an effort, people! Don’t transcend the pain, live it!

    • Agreed about making the effort, too. My recent ex didn’t invest himself into our relationship. It’s no wonder it failed. I also agree about feeling the pain, as it’s part of life. However, transcending the pain doesn’t mean no longer feeling it. It means that one doesn’t hold onto it but rather lets it flow through them. And letting go of ego isn’t synonymous with letting go of identity. Ego is defined in different ways depending on the teacher/book. I’m using it the way Eckhart Tolle does.

      Thanks so much for the comment. It’s so refreshing to hear from people who understand the effort and investment involved in loving, romantic relationships. Peace.

  5. […] Enlightened Relationships & Transcending Pain (omgrey.wordpress.com) […]

  6. […] Enlightened Relationship & Transcending Pain […]

  7. […] Enlightened Relationship & Transcending Pain […]

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