The Final Frontier
By James Westly
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Although human beings may not be highly advanced on the galactic scale of measurement, we have penetrated the experience of most possibilities, certainly on the physical realm. The new frontiers are metaphysical now, spiritual.
One of the most challenging of these new frontiers is spiritual growth through relationship. We have been through a profound awakening in that realm over the past several decades as we've learned to share the contents of our inner world with strangers, be they fellow participants in an awareness seminar, or the therapist across the desk.
Now, with the emergence the economic equality of women (i.e. working single mothers), the old motivations for remaining in intimate partnership are disappearing, making the relationship challenge an emotional/spiritual one, rather than economic survival. The task is to find conscious intention in a realm where that quality is most elusive.
Intimacy is a work in progress for our race. So too then, are these comments upon it. Expanding the edges of a frontier is journeying into the unknown. No rules exist. They are made up as we go along, so we must have some awareness of the principles of intentional creation. Otherwise, we create from thoughts that exist below the threshold of our awareness, producing experiences, relationships, that appear to be random, or accidental.
Then, of course, there's the need for love as a basic requirement. Specifically, some minimal knowledge of the need for and awareness of the power of love of self, a vast topic in itself. We must consciously fill the heart's golden chalice ourselves, or be doomed to vainly search for someone to fill it for us. This is a condition that some mental health professionals define as co-dependency, but which we might developmentally consider to be simple emotional immaturity.
When we have relative freedom from neediness, or at least are consciously aware of its existence and are working on it, then it becomes possible to appreciate another more unconditionally, loving them for who they are, not for whom we want them to be. This, of course, is a moment-to-moment challenge, the practice of which involves tolerating a high rate of failure.
Having the simple courage to be "ourselves", and to live our inner, personal, truth,. being creatively honest about our feelings no matter what they are, sharing them constructively, resisting the automatic urge to take the other's behavior personally, releasing the fear of rejection for being who we truly are, requires persistence, eternal beginning, and a willingness to embrace the discomfort that comes with the expansion of edges. Our ego may call this vulnerability. Yet, in those rare moments that we truly arrive at a clear state of constructive emotional honesty, the ego, having nothing left to defend, unexpectedly finds immense strength, clarity of perception, and depth of vision.
Evolving spiritually in intimate partnership has the advantages that come with having a built-in mirror. When one is dedicated to the development of self-knowledge, a mirror is essential. Without it we easily fool ourselves, prolonging the unfoldment process. When both are consciously agreeing to allow their lover to also be teacher, self-discovery is accelerated, there is no where to hide. There's the challenge. It's far easier to be intimate with strangers with whom there are no consequences. This defines intimacy as a true path for spiritual development, the way of love and pleasure.
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