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What role does marriage play in your vision?

Whether married, single, divorced, partnered for life, what role do you feel marriage plays in today's society? Do you think that will change or maybe even is changing, and if so how?

Is marriage an archaic institution built upon a man trading his desire to know his progeny are really his for food and security in a violent world? Does it hold fast the moral fabric of our society? Is it a place where one can find deep spiritual growth? Is it all of these, none of these?

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Jeanne, I so learn from reading your posts. While my marriage is over, the lessons continue, and for that I am grateful.

Jeanne said: "Much like marriage, we must dance carefully through the field of relationships in general... because we are simultaneously attracted to the urge to merge and repelled by the possibilities of losing ourself... getting our toes stepped on.

I resisted the losing of self, for a long time, before finally getting married. My ex and I were in a long term relationship, but the potential loss of self was there. What I didn't have the eyes to see, or the trust to feel and do something about, was that the bartering had already begun before I met him! There were already parts of myself---important parts---that I'd already told to pipe down and not express so much. I told myself those parts of me were unnecessary and perhaps harmful to the relationship. So, the loss of parts of self, were covered with a more reasonable, safe me to show.

When I think back on that, which was at one point necessary for me to objectively deal with a part of me that wanted to continue to be a "victim," I realized that I made the choices and it me and me alone, who had chosen to remove the various toes out of harm's way.

Jeanne also said: "It's as if the commitment is a third entity in a relationship, with two people maintaining their individuality and being responsible for self development, yet both nurturing the third entity. That third entity is what separates marriage from other relationships.

VERY well stated, and the most important aspect of marriage!
Hi everyone,

Thank you for adding to the discussion. Its a bit courageous to step out there and speak your truth. Just to step out means to me that we trust each other in some manner.And I appreciate that.I also appreciate the respect that is evident for the topic and how we can grow together. Much gratitude , Lee, for setting the tone with this.

I 've reread the last few responses and marvel in all the wisdom that is there in the questions and the responses. It acknowledges how omnipresent is knowing, how we all come from different perspectives, different ways of learning the same truths.

Marriage in its potential is a wonderful vision for me to hold . Jeanne. I love that you for brought this idea forth.

"Marriage is a commitment to the 'we' and is intended to insure that the me is only a third of the relationship." It's as if the commitment is a third entity in a relationship, with two people maintaining their individuality and being responsible for self development, yet both nurturing the third entity. That third entity is what separates marriage from other relationships."

I suppose my focus has been more upon my relationship with self. . "What the heck am I doing here? How do I do my best at whatever that is? What is true love? How do I find it?"

I am still integrating the learning of this past year ,during which I watched my efforts be nearly totally undermined by that which I could not accept and love in myself. The only hope I had of seeing it was looking at whatever I was judging in another...whether it was my partner , my friend or my colleague.

So mirror ing in this sense is a God send. .. a wonderful gift . "Control" never enters into this scenario. Most people have no clue they are mirrors.

Our reactions tell us who our mirrors are.

It is my understanding that mirroring is not a conscious act for most of us. What we see in someone else, that we just can't stand, is ourselves that we have pushed away . In other words , at some time ,an experience occurrred that we felt was too painful , scandalous, scary. etc to really acknowledge as the way we feel and we hid that feeling or energy away somewhere.

Lots of us stick painful memories,energy, in our bodies which is why there is pain.If we place enough energy in our favorite hiding place, we are finally going to the Dr . Mikes of our communities to have tisses or organs diagnosed or surgically removed.


However , if the memory still repressed, we just find another place to put it.Full healing takes in what is happening for us emotionally, too.

As unconditional love melts judgement.,my focus became to know more the potential o f my heart to love self and others uncondtionally. What I find is that I have not even tapped the surface of the possiblities of love.


The beautiful thing is I don't carry my "mistakes " and wear them like a badge anymore. I let them go as fast as I am ready to do so.

.
I hope to experience partnership as the " we" in its fullest potential.Wherein we can use hot sauce on our eggs as we simply hold the vision for the highest potential to result in our exchanges....and they do.
.
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Jeanne said: The Urantia book proclaims marriage to be the highest form of human relationships. I rejected that idea upon first read, thinking the raising of children was paramount... but now with grandparenthood and a different perspective on child rearing, I can see the truth of that... idealistically speaking; which is probably why we intuitively understand the achievement of those who have reached their golden anniversary. Imagine spending decades with another... your relationship having lived through young romance, children, grandchildren, etc., career transitions, geographic moves, mental and spiritual dead ends and growth spurts, extra-marital affairs and other unkindnesses, governmental and national changes, wars, and deaths...

The largest source of sadness for me is my decision to marry young enough that I did not ask myself the questions I now would. This sadness takes the form of knowing that I will miss out on the decades spoken of above.

I now feel about marriage exactly how it is stated in the excerpt above from the Urantia book, and this is the exact reason I posed the original question. I seem to be in a vast minority when it comes to the view that if two people marry, the relationship that is formed is the first priority. And, I do mean even higher than the children. I feel being witness to a healthy relationship is the best gift children can receive. This is the point from which they judge all relationships and indeed the world. It is all symbiotic, but it starts from the relationship formed from a conscious decision to enter into something bigger than oneself and even bigger than the sum of the parts. This relationship if properly nurtured appears to me to be the best vehicle available for growth. Just the transition from the romantic first part of a relationship into the reality of a shared life is littered with opportunities for growth. I can only imagine what the years to come would have offered. The confusion I tread through due to the dichotomy of seeing intimate relationship as described above, and the reality of not being successful in accomplishing this vision, is the reason for the first question in the query “Whether married, single, divorced, partnered for life, what role do you feel marriage plays in today's society?”, and I am thankful for all of the input. It has all helped sort out a complicated and very personal circumstance.

Ain’t this internet thing cool. I get to bare my soul to a bunch of strangers that are willing to share. If you see my profile change in the near future, I think you should all still call me Lee.

As for the second question, “Do you think that will change or maybe even is changing, and if so how?”, in lieu of finding a counterpart near my age and experience, that believes what I do, I have begun to explore growth in other ways. As I seek this growth, and look upon my life, I can't help but realize that my children are receiving a very well rounded upbringing due to having lots of time with two devoted parents. The model of marriage that has led to the current divorce rate seems to be failing. The example I see of modern marriage does not appear sustainable or very beneficial for anyone involved. The people in my life that have maintained a marriage and decided to have children, both work, and in many cases appear less than nurturing, spend little time with their children, are hyper focused on their life away from family, and seem to quite often be at odds with each other. Conversely, the people that I know that have decided to divorce, have become more focused on parenting as a result. It begs the question: Is the current model of marriage working considering other societal evolutions? I would answer no. This leads me to the question: Is marriage itself and perhaps intimate relationship overall, undergoing an evolutionary process that should be acknowledged? Or maybe, and this is just now occuring to me, marriage itself has become a misunderstood entity, and this misunderstanding is the cause for dramatically high divorce rates. Maybe it is a combination, in that marriage has always been misunderstood, and now that it is being brought to light by an increasing divorce rate, this new knowledge will lead future generations to more responsibile decisions where marriage is concerned.
Linda said: "It is my understanding that mirroring is not a conscious act for most of us. What we see in someone else, that we just can't stand, is ourselves that we have pushed away . In other words , at some time ,an experience occurrred that we felt was too painful , scandalous, scary. etc to really acknowledge as the way we feel and we hid that feeling or energy away somewhere.

Lots of us stick painful memories,energy, in our bodies which is why there is pain.If we place enough energy in our favorite hiding place, we are finally going to the Dr . Mikes of our communities to have tisses or organs diagnosed or surgically removed."


Yes, and yes again----the mirror. Looking at what is being shown to us, is often difficult, but necessary IF we are to grow. In Sacred Contracts, that mirror is the contract or the vehicle to bring growth to us, should we choose to the path to learn about our-selves. While the mirror, as you said, is not a conscious act, it IS energetic.

And, a great big BINGO on sticking the painful memories (energy) into our bodies. I often think of those "issues" as little parts of me that go into hiding. I did it and the result was cancer, and it was no surprise to a part of my true inner me, when that happened. One day it hit me, and I asked myself a question that I really had avoided asking for a very long time. That question was: What part of me, who was afraid to come back out, helped to make this cancer? And, at the same time, I KNEW that if I didn't get the lesson of the cancer, there was NO point, and no learning for me.

You also said: "The beautiful thing is I don't carry my "mistakes " and wear them like a badge anymore. I let them go as fast as I am ready to do so."

Heh---the badges---spot on, Linda! :-)
Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle. ~Amy Bloom

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ~ Mignon McLaughlin

I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage. ~Mohandas K. Gandhi:
Dear everyone,

First I wanto acknowledge Akashic Wreckage for sharing ;

And, a great big BINGO on sticking the painful memories (energy) into our bodies. I often think of those "issues" as little parts of me that go into hiding. I did it and the result was cancer, and it was no surprise to a part of my true inner me, when that happened. One day it hit me, and I asked myself a question that I really had avoided asking for a very long time. That question was: What part of me, who was afraid to come back out, helped to make this cancer? And, at the same time, I KNEW that if I didn't get the lesson of the cancer, there was NO point, and no learning for me."

I have spent five+ years learning how and clearing the stuff I have packed away inside. It changes how one looks and feels as the old feelings go. They are much scarier in thought to confront , to feel , than in actuality.And it is like u said, little bits o f self are inside of us that we chipped off and said " Can't feel this right now. You have to hide."

We put on a face to hide it and off we went. Never knowing that this would take us further and further form the living life in truth each time we did so.

and....

I felt to share the two responses below with you. They are from a discussion I started in a group that I host.

The question was "What is your favorite hurtful thing? Most of the ones who responsed did so privately.

This first one below is from one who is speaking about marriage and relationships..



"I guess what I can say at this point, as it is an ongoing area. I feel that any beliefs I have made about relationships and marriage have been a way to understand the gap between what I see as the ideal and the large shortfall that happens more often in mass consciousness and in my own reality. Which was painful to comprehend at different moments, esp as a kid, so mental constructs were formed eg it didn't work as it wasn't true love. So that belief hasn't served me in these moments where the experience contradicts that belief, that led to much pain as the illusions came down.So the conclusion has been whatever belief i replace one belief with, will ultimately all have to be transcended, which seems like a pointless exercise. Therefore I am going with the new, I can't feel or sense into a new belief and am pondering is that even necessary, maybe a 'feeling' of the new hasn't been formed yet. So i leave self open to explore new areas, as old beliefs come up, i remind self to let go, that it isn't serving to bring into the new moments. I choose to feel trust, safety instead of put another mental label onto recent experiences. I see the future and the now moments of doing things differently, taking the lessons of the past and applying what I see would be different behaviours, so for eg remaining centered, releasing attachments to being in a relationship - which indicates a need so looking at what i am neglecting in self and seeking in other or avoiding with other, allowing self to see the truth and many other things.I hope that makes sense, its more of a feeling thing - i can feel the old fears and wobbles want to hang on, plus the heaviness of the mass consciousness that feeds the old system and the mental beliefs and constructs like to back that up, so the mental newness is the reminder that I am safe and I feel into the new strength of sourcing own love, stronger alignment and centering etc. "


the second quote is ...

"* We choose to believe whatever we like. We create a myth around it and live with it. We can drop it just like we dropped believing the myth of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny."

When I realized I am here on the planet to advance the growth of soul rather than self I became more able to be grateful for everything that happens .the soul , it is said, is objective. It guides us to what we need to experience to have a certain result.

So, if we are hanging out in an old area of understanding , refusing to grow with something that is long due to be over ,we get a jolt, a surprise , a shock...a move forward. an invisible nudge or kick in the butt, from our soul.

I have had events happen in life that from a soul's perspective , sure the learning is evident and powerful and heart opening. From an egoic point of view I could claim victim and be forever in saddness.

Life is wondrous.


warm regards,
Linda

a single mother who loved her experience..that's another story
Lee said: "I seem to be in a vast minority when it comes to the view that if two people marry, the relationship that is formed is the first priority. And, I do mean even higher than the children. I feel being witness to a healthy relationship is the best gift children can receive. This is the point from which they judge all relationships and indeed the world. It is all symbiotic, but it starts from the relationship formed from a conscious decision to enter into something bigger than oneself and even bigger than the sum of the parts. This relationship if properly nurtured appears to me to be the best vehicle available for growth. Just the transition from the romantic first part of a relationship into the reality of a shared life is littered with opportunities for growth. I can only imagine what the years to come would have offered. The confusion I tread through due to the dichotomy of seeing intimate relationship as described above, and the reality of not being successful in accomplishing this vision, is the reason for the first question in the query “Whether married, single, divorced, partnered for life, what role do you feel marriage plays in today's society?”,"
*****

To the underlined part above, I totally agree with you in that ***to me*** it was the most important part, it's what I witnessed when I was growing up. I saw my parents put each other first, and their relationship first, and they even spoke about that to us kids, very frequently. And, that was my hope, to be in that kind of relationship.

I don't want to come off as jaded, because I'm not. I'm not sad that the marriage ended and I know it was a good decision.
I'm not sure what my now grown boys see, as they look back on those years.
A part of me hopes that they did see:
That I allowed my own spirit not to be nourished and not to be nurtured during many of the years of the marriage---that their mother pushed things to the side, and, inside, and that she re-covered; that she knows who she is, and why she is...

And as cold as it might sound (and I don't mean this in a cold way), I hope they see:
That their dad was a product of what he saw and experienced; he didn't see parents who truly loved each other---he saw a constant battle of wills. Ugly, ugly, ugly---but it's what he KNEW. I hope they see that their dad didn't nurture his own spirit either...so that they can take that learning with them, without having to experience it.

And, I surely hope that they understand, and have learned from their parents, that it's up to them, and them alone to:
Nurture and nourish their spirits and to make sure that they allow themselves to love and to elevate that love.

And, I do know that they remember and love the good times we all shared---we did have a good family life, despite the flaws, and in spite of the mistakes.

We've all come away better for the experiences...
Linda said: "I have spent five+ years learning how and clearing the stuff I have packed away inside. It changes how one looks and feels as the old feelings go. They are much scarier in thought to confront , to feel , than in actuality.And it is like u said, little bits o f self are inside of us that we chipped off and said " Can't feel this right now. You have to hide."

We put on a face to hide it and off we went. Never knowing that this would take us further and further form the living life in truth each time we did so."


Yes, I completely agree with you, Linda. It DOES change how we look and feel. I was amazed looking back on pictures of myself from the years just before the diagnosis of cancer----very unhappy and unhealthy looking person I saw. So much was tucked away, and, while it was uncomfortable to coax those pieces of me out to be confronted, so far it's been worth it.

I also realized how un-authentic I had become, and I would have sworn that the opposite was true...
Lee said: "The example I see of modern marriage does not appear sustainable or very beneficial for anyone involved. The people in my life that have maintained a marriage and decided to have children, both work, and in many cases appear less than nurturing, spend little time with their children, are hyper focused on their life away from family, and seem to quite often be at odds with each other."

Sadly true... and as AW pointed out, people who aren't nourishing or nurturing self do not see that in themself. But, how could they? When they are over their heads in continual demands on their time and energy... to the point that a childs needs become just another straining point in an already over taxed system?

I believe that simple ritual helps... some have church or family to assist with that... but what of those who cannot tolerate the dogma or whatever other factors that are a turn off to them?

I came up with a simple ritual that has no rules and anyone can adjust it to their own comfort zone.
Turn off the television, computer, PSP, Nintendo Wii, Guitar Hero, stereo, phones, etc. (This list alone clarifies why we are disconnected from the human element.)
Sit in a circle with a candle in the center of the group. Some people like to gaze at for awhile to allow for relaxation.
I also use the intonation of a single chime struck three times, with each strike listened to until you can no longer hear it.
Then each person takes a turn speaking in this now more relaxed state. I usually start with speaking about the gratefuls... what am I grateful for right now.

Its difficult to explain how a simple ritual like this can bring renewal to our home and family life. But when we consider how this modern disconnection is a relatively young phenomenom and how we humans traditionally gathered around the evening fire for thousands of years and sang and told stories... it is what we are, who we are. In the middle of all our technological sophistication, we have lost the simple touches.
I am in a committed multi dimensional relationship that Lotus and we chose to ritualize it with what might in some circles be called a "marriage".

It is easy to say it does not work if you are in one that isn't or you are single talking about all your past ones the didn't.

To have grace and joy in a up close and deep look at yourself through the reflection of an intimate other it takes courage, high willingness, integrity. responsibility, vast love and alignment on all the deal braking issues.
Well - I was not a great believer in marriage despite my parents life long and beyond adoration of one another.
I wrote songs about keeping free and going beyond attachments etc....
But then the universe organized The meeting of David and Jaiia (see photos on my page)
I lived a whole lifetime or several before marrying - and now the synergy and the commitment have added octaves of brilliance to an already magical life. Not to mention a collection of love songs to add to 20 years of composing for the tantra world and for Gaia...the song below almost says it all - but the music adds dimension.
Marriage is all about to whom, when and why. It can cripple or liberate. We had done our homework before we met and now it is the best of all gifts in a blessed life.

Jaiia Earthschild

Hieros Gamos - (Sacred Union)

I feel your life giving love pouring on me
Like the sun pours down into the ground
I feel my love for you rising like a forest to the heavens

And between these forces
these tremendous forces
life flourishes

Every union (that begets love that begets love))
Is a sacred union (that begets love that begets love)

Love is the force in life that makes everything right
Yet it's elusive - so hard to find
Got to love with our hearts - can't love with the mind

Between the earth and the sun lies a distance a perfect space
And everything we know as life
depends on that celestial embrace

That same sacred space lies between every living being
You can fill it with love or your inner peace
And the fear that keeps us apart just has to release.

And between these forces
these tremendous, holy forces
Life flourishes

Every union (that begets love that begets love)
Is a sacred union (that begets love that begets love)


Jaiia Earthschild-Techau '08

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