I was somewhat puzzled when I recently heard a well known (married) American spiritual teacher state in an interview about The Future of Love (00:23:00) that romantic relationships should be somewhere between priority number four to ten in our lives. He did not say what the higher priorities should be, only that awakening to one’s authentic evolutionary purpose is at the top for him. He further stated that seeking salvation through deficiency-need based romantic love is a fallacy.
Putting the importance of a healthy love relationship rather low on a vertical hierarchical scale and to deny the insight that we can only heal our relationship wounds inside relationships seemed like a category error to me. When Ken Wilber was asked a similar question, he said that love relationships go all the way up and all the way down, and that avoiding them is like playing checkers with yourself–meaning that relationships are a vital part of our healing and awakening process, and that no one is too evolved or too unevolved for being with a partner.
Adyashanti said after facilitating a couples retreat with his wife: “The proof of the depth and embodiment of your realization will be seen in your relationships. That’s where the proof is in the pudding. If it all collapses in your relationships, you have some work to do. And people do have a lot of difficulties in their relationships,” and Eckhart Tolle (married to Kim Eng) wrote in The Power of Now on page 127 (page 153 in the paperback edition): “Avoidance of relationships in an attempt to avoid pain is not the answer either. The pain is there anyway. Three failed relationships in as many years are more likely to force you into awakening then three years on a desert island shut away in your room.”
These statements may imply to some that there is something “wrong” with everyone who is single. That is certainly not so! There are many legitimate reasons to make that choice, and some of us have simply not found or attracted a compatible partner yet. For me, Rumi put it best when he wrote:
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
So while I fully resonate with the importance of living our authentic evolutionary purpose, I don’ t see it in conflict with being in–or staying open to–a healthy co-created love relationship with an equal and opposite partner who shares our purpose. To avoid a love relationship because we think that we are too enlightened or that our purpose is too important/unique for being shared is like trying to pass a test by not taking it, or avoiding the left by always turning right–and therefore ending up going in circles.
You can find a deeper exploration of this topic in Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men on page 160-162.
Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men provides readers with a clear vision and road map how to co-create a second-tier soul mate relationship with an opposite and equal partner.