Saturday, November 10, 2007

More on Intimate Relationship as Transformation

Where Andrew Cohen seems take the position that Romantic Relationship is an illusory path toward enlightenment, Robert Augustus Masters takes an entirely different approach.

Masters' new book, Transformation Through Intimacy, seems to be coming from an entirely different perspective.

In the introduction, Masters writes about the Evolution of Intimate Relationship, and in chapter after chapter, unfolds a radical path to intimacy touching on Immature & Mature Monogamy, States and Stages in the Evolution of Relationship, reactivity, shadow, conflict, emotional illiteracy, working with jealousy, power struggles, delusions, shame, guilt, anger, sexuality - and then, bringing it all together, he then addresses commitment. the need for safety, trust, love and a deeper love, attracting our beloved, and finally, in the conclusion, Mature Monogamy.

His latest newsletter features a chapter called The Art of Listening. To quote:
Listening is all about being wholly attentive to our partner, and not just to what is being said! As we hear what isn’t being said, and respond to that without speaking, we deepen our resonance with our partner, becoming an open space for the fullest possible expression of what he or she is attempting to convey to us.

As we listen so fully and with such authentic interest that our own thoughts all but disappear, we can hear our intuition’s messages loud and clear, without any dilution of the attention which we are giving to our partner. The deeper that we take this — or the deeper that we allow it to take us — the richer and more obviously multidimensional the intersubjective (or “we”) space between us and our partner.
Masters, like me, believes that Intimacy as a Path, is possible and desirable, not an illusion. Of course, it is an illusion if you believe it's an illusion, because here, as in so many other places, what we think creates our reality. If you're a teacher, and your partner is your student, can you meet each other as equals? Masters goes on to say:
When we are really listening, we are not only receiving our partner’s words, pauses, somatic messages, emotional state, and corresponding energies, but are also providing them with a conducive space in which to express themselves, level upon level.

We then learn to listen not only to their interiority (their perceptions, feelings, thoughts, and so on) and to their exteriority (their body language, behavior, and so on), but also to the qualities of the intersubjective space between them and us — as well as to the familial, cultural, and planetary forces which may be influencing them. The point is not to split these up into neat categories — for they all coexist simultaneously and share considerable overlap — but to make sure that we are covering all the bases as best we can as we listen, ever letting our listening deepen.
and finally,
Listen. What do you hear? Now listen even more closely. Listen to the silence letting yourself feel its presence, both all around and inside you.

Listen. Silence just said something. Don’t lose it in the translation. Silence does speak.

Listen. Listening is undividedly attentive, dynamic receptivity, as respectful as it is empathetic.

Listen until there is no self-contained listener, no self-conscious center of hearing, but only listening. And don’t forget to listen while you are speaking; listening to our listener only deepens our connection. Listen. There’s so much being said to you, through you, by you, for you, as you, at this very moment...
Powerful transformational work through relationship! In my 6-part workshop series. "Big Love Integral: An Exploration into Conscious Romantic relationship in an Integral Context," I show people how to use relationship as a vehicle for transformation and later stage consciousness. And if they're not in relationship with a Beloved, I give them ways to call that kind of a relationship into their lives. They see it because I model it for them, and Anyaa does the same thing in her workshops.

I'd almost think that perhaps someone actually has to experience that kind of relationship to see how a Beloved can inspire later stage consciousness, except I see people in my workshops who get it clear enough to want to call it into their lives. I still stand by my belief that, sadly, around this issue, Andrew Cohen doesn't get it. Andrew: Get to a David Deida workshop.

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