It’s a question that’s about intimate relationships…
How to live these relationships from this pure love, and not like…
In my personal experience, it’s always coming back to the identification
as soon as I… It doesn’t come from pure love. And in the end, of course,
I’m disappointed, because I have projections… and… I have… ah… yeah;
I need something from the person; and it seems like…
Since I’m disappointed, I go back to this Advaita;
I say to myself, “OK, I withdraw”; and that’s
where I really feel the peace of my true being.
It seems like there is something…
Like, as if I’m caught in some part of life…
I think the Church of England should rewrite their wedding vows.
[Audience] Yes. Yes. Yes. [Laughter]
And instead of…
vowing to obey…
and… and all that…
We should take a vow to…
to love each other unconditionally;
which is simply another way of stating
the prior nature of our shared being.
We don’t actually have to vow;
it’s an acknowledgment of what is already the case;
an acknowledgment of the fact that behind our differing thoughts and feelings and our sometimes conflictual activities and ways of relating are being shared.
That would be the first thing to acknowledge when getting married.
And then the second statement I would have couples make to each other
as they get married, is to look each other in the eye and to say to one another:
“I don’t need you”.
[Audience very sweetly agreeing] Mmm…
Those two recognitions.
The recognition that we share our being, irrespective of
the content of our thoughts and feelings and our behaviour.
That is the essence of a loving relationship.
And then at a more relative level…
If we had to have a single idea
that would give the relationship
the best possible chance of being
an expression of that shared being
in all realms of our experience,
it would be this understanding
that “I don’t need you”;
“I don’t need you for my happiness; my happiness is prior to this relationship and independent of it; I’m entering into this relationship because I want to celebrate this happiness and this love, intellectually, physically, emotionally, but I don’t enter into this relationship in order to get happiness or love.”
In other words, “I don’t need you.”
So many relationships, so much conflict in relationships would be cleared up, if just these two principles were remembered.
I see that the understanding is there, but you know, this whole pattern of behaviour is still present. So how to… That’s why, I think, that’s why it always brings me back to this Advaita path that you… kind of… you observe everything, you don’t touch the world, but…
But that’s only half the path, Anastasia.
It’s half the path.
Because, you see, if the peace of your true nature is only accessible to you when you are not interacting with others and the world, then your peace is… is fragile. It is susceptible to being disturbed by the slightest unkind word from a friend, or gesture, or action, or… That’s a fragile peace. It’s not… unshakable… peace.
So, you’re right, that the… this…
what you call “the Advaita path”,
the Vedantic path, the inward-facing path,
is the direct path to the truth of our own being.
You’re absolutely right about that.
But it is necessary at some stage to turn around again,
and to take that understanding out into the world,
and to… not only express it in the world,
but to have it tested,
by the world;
and in particular test it by relationship;
and in particular, for almost all of us,
test it in intimate relationship, because
these are the most testing relationships.
So, I would encourage you…
This… this pathway to yourself is very well established in you.
You have this pathway; you know where to go to find peace, and fulfillment.
I would encourage you to… to turn around again, and face the world, and go out.
You don’t have to… I’m not suggesting
you have to go right out into the world
and lose yourself in activities and relationships.
You may still choose to lead a quiet life
that is not fully deployed in the world.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
But I would encourage you
to allow activity and relationship to come to you.
Both to express your love and understanding,
but also to test it;
both to express your love, your peace and your understanding,
but also to test it.
you will find
that by testing it,
it will strengthen it.
But see what it’s like.
Experiment, in relationship.
See what it’s like…
–and I’m not just talking about intimate relationship, but friendship in general–
… entering into friendship, where you keep this feeling “I don’t need you; I don’t need anything from you.”
It’s so beautiful, to…
I’m sure you’ve felt it, when somebody approaches you in friendship, without wanting anything from you.
You know what it’s like to be approached when someone does want something from you.
But I’m sure you also know what it’s like when someone approaches you genuinely, with genuine friendship, but not wanting anything from you.
It’s such a relief.
And immediately the friendship…
There can be so much closeness…
So much intimacy… between you.
But it’s… it’s not sticky.
So I would encourage you to…
You can’t dictate how other people relate to you.
But if you relate to them in this way,
you will send them a very powerful message.
And they will pick the message up.
So you can come close to people,
in whatever form that takes,
but just hold in your heart
“I don’t need you for my bliss;
I don’t need you for my happiness;
I don’t need you for love.”
That will give the relationship, in whatever form it evolves,
the best possible chance of being a truly intimate relationship.
And it will send a powerful message to the other person.
It will, in a way, demand a certain integrity from them.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros