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Real Relationship

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Real Relationship

Openness Defines Real Relationships

A real relationship is, by definition, open, which means that it is open to further developments. When a relationship is open and real, we have a better opportunity to discover deeper dimensions of reality, sometimes more powerfully than just when we are by ourselves. This is one reason why having a teacher is more powerful than working by oneself. A relationship with another person—whether in a friendship, an intimate relationship, or a marriage—can be powerful for our inner journey if it is real and open to new possibilities. An energizing dynamic can occur when two forces are interacting with each other—two souls, two vortexes of consciousness, blending their energies together. You are not simply adding one to the other—it’s not like one plus one equals two. It is more powerful than that. This is due to what we call mutuality, where there is not only interaction but also mutual interest—a common interest in the truth and a mutual desire to know one another. This shared interest in the discovery of the truth becomes a mutual love for discovering each other at the same time as we discover ourselves.

Real Relating Seen as a Spiritual Practice

When I say “real relationship,” I mean one that is developing in an optimizing way, that enables those involved to become transparent to deeper truth and reality. Due to the interactive dynamic force in the relational field, the relationship becomes a field of consciousness that opens to new forms of experience. This means that we can continually become more real; we can continually learn and discover new aspects of ourselves, of the other, and of the potential of relationship. And we can live in a way that actually embodies those aspects, revealing more about them through our living and interacting. “Complete” doesn’t mean “finished.” Completeness is a process; it is always completing. So how do we get there from where we are? We don’t. We don’t get anywhere. The process of maturing means that we nurture the seed that is here. We experience some human development, we come to some recognition of who we are, what we desire, what we long for. And we start with that. When we are speaking to another person, we start with where we are. We are as real as we can be; we recognize what we’re feeling and we experience that as fully as we can. We do our best, without trying to manipulate ourselves or control our experience. This is actually a spiritual practice, which embodies all the principles of this work that we have discussed.

The Relationship that is Actually There is Very Rarely Perceived as It Is

Today I will talk about a question that is difficult to talk about, something most people look for without knowing exactly what it is they are seeking. It is something normal, nothing out of the ordinary for human beings. The question is: What is a real relationship? What is a real relationship between one human being and another? The exact answer is very simple and straightforward: The real relationship you have between you and another human being is exactly the relationship you have between you and that human being. The real relationship is the relationship that is actually there. Now, saying that the real relationship is the relationship that is really there is not necessarily the same thing as saying it is the relationship that you perceive to be there. That is the crux of the problem. The relationship that is actually there is very rarely perceived as it is. In fact, most people tend to do everything possible not to perceive or acknowledge the real relationship. We always try to make it something that fits with our mind or our ideas.

When You See a Relationship in Absolute terms of All Good or All Bad it Cannot be a Real Relationship

When you see a relationship in absolute terms of all good or all bad, it cannot be a real relationship. It is a mental relationship—something in your mind. It is not what is actually happening. A true relationship is not like that. When you look at and perceive things from that absolute perspective, obviously you are not involved in the real relationship. You are reacting and being involved in a mental relationship that is not actually there. Don’t you notice, for instance, if you are having a good time with your friend or your spouse and something happens that disappoints you, you tend to get disappointed or hurt or angry as if all of the good is gone? It is as if whatever happened destroyed the whole thing. Of course, in time, after a few minutes, hours, or a few days, you might become more realistic. You might say, “Oh, it wasn’t true,” but in the moment you react, as if the relationship is all bad.

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