The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Inner and Outer relationships

It is clear that the question of relationships touches an exceptionally deep and powerful nerve for many readers.    I appreciate both the rather raw and accusatory notes, as well as the comments from those who  would defend me.  Both of you, in your own way, are seeking to heal and express your light to the world.  As are we all. 

But what is that essence called love, and what is the nature of the human pair-bond?  Obviously, we still have desires and needs outside of that primary bond.  Even those most committed to monogamy admit that.  And there have clearly been, and continue to be, many, many ways to navigate these waters. 

For those who  are not interested in that monogamous bond, I ask, what is the nature of the bond and intimacy that you seek?  I would trust that such bonds are best created by those who are healthy, sane, happy, and have nurtured their capacity to provide goods and services to their chosen community—that these bonds are made of choice, and not because of any dysfunction.  In other words, they could choose to have any bonds they wish, and find these the most satisfying.  There have been periods in my life where I operated in this fashion, and was quite happy.  And now, at this point in my life, I am investigating the means by which a monogamous relationship can be deeply satisfying on every level, and that is the primary focus of my inquiry.
But be that as it may…what human qualities cut most deeply here?  Are most attractive to those we wish to attract?  Allow us the quality of perception that allows us to avoid toxic individuals masquerading as exciting opportunities?  I have a growing sense that it is a balance of male and female energies (however you conceptualize that), with the capacity to age or regress those energies along a time line.
In other words, whether you are gay, straight, polyamorous, an orphan, or whatever, you are the result of the union of a man and a woman’s genetic material.  I think that reality lives in our cells, even if we choose to live out our lives in another fashion.  Whether we are attracted to males or females, many or one, there are aspects of ourselves that  are…shall we say useful?  Yes, useful, to divide into male and female qualities, that usefulness dissolving the instant that we confuse a conceptual tool for some kind of immutable social or psychological truth.  It’s just a tool.
Here’s a thought exercise:  envision yourself sitting in front of a mirror.  See your body, naked.  Visualize it in whatever is YOUR definition of perfection.  Now regress it until you are an infant.  Can you see this clearly?  Can your eyes see beyond the flesh, to the spirit and light within?  Now, age it, take it to the point of old age, and the moment before death.  Can you still see the light?

Now bring it back to your “perfect body” stage, and morph genders.  If you are heterosexual, the body you see now should be damned attractive to you.  Regress it to childhood.  Age it to the point of death.  Can you see the light at all phases?

Now allow the flesh to dissolve, so that all that is, is the light.  Take that light into your own body.  Shrink it down, condense it until it is almost unendurably bright.  Sink it to your genitals, and then down to Muladhara, the spot at your perineum. Then feel and see and hear that energy flowing upwards through your body to your head, and then outward into a luminous cocoon.  Feel what you feel.  Then, taking all the time you need, come back to the room.
My suspicion?  Someone who can run their energy in such a fashion, can identify with all their ages, and with all the ages and stages of the opposite gender, is genuinely on the road to self-discovery. Take that energy and extend it to your community so that you are inspired to create goods and services they appreciate.  Take it and pour it into a healthy physical discipline to create fitness and vitality.  Take it and heal your own emotional wounds, love yourself and have enough love left to overflow into the cups of those you cherish.

Such a person is exactly the kind of neighbor, friend, lover, follower, leader I would want to have.  I think that on the path to becoming such a person, we accomplish all our “goals” and discover that they were never important in the first place: what was important was that we developed the ability to manifest them, that we disabuse our notions of scarcity.  We have the ability to love, and to attract love, and to have the kind of relationships, or sacred solitude, that nurtures us most fully. 

That’s what I think.  When I remember the thousands of hours of meditation, prayer, introspection, and ceremony I have engaged in over the decades of my life, it seems that the visual/kinesthetic process I just described goes to the heart of much that has been of genuine power and worth.  Much that has healed my heart and mind and body.  It is just an opinion.  I offer it here without further comment.

No comments: