Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Relationships are Means and Not Ends

“You say sex is messy,” I said. “Is not relationship messy as well? Who knows what to do in relationship anymore? Men are encouraged to be more nurturing, women are out of the homes providing the finances. The traditional roles are being turned upside down.

“What is the ideal relationship? Please help me in this. Though I seek the Self, I find myself again and again in a relationship with a woman.”

“Beloved, there is no conflict in being in a relationship and seeking to know the Self. Relationship with a woman is but a means.”

“But,” I pleaded, “I do not want to be all strung out and caught in the web like all those we saw.”

“To be caught in the web of relationship is when you see the relationship as an end, not as a means.

“Most children are trained, in one way or another, to get married, have children and prolong the family’s name.”

“What is the means then?”

“To share love.

“And to share love is to know love. For love is an action and not some thing to be had.”

“How do you know when love becomes a thing?” I asked.

“A good measure to see how much of a thing love has become is the amount of drama to be found.

Dreaming, Janaka Stagnaro
“When drama abounds you can be certain that both parties are caught in the web of you are supposed to do this and you are failing.

“Love makes no demands because it has nothing to gain.

“Only things can be added onto.

“Dramas are a drain. It is the ego’s way of maintaining control. Control means fear. And fear keeps the ego alive.

“Especially in the West, where the individual personality is worshiped as the Self, the relationship, the marriage, will be substituted for the individual.

“As most personalities are self or ego-centered, so too do these relationships become self-centered and not Self or God-centered.

“There becomes a constant vying for control, of getting something out of the relationship, of maintaining the personalities.”

“Then are you saying that an Eastern sort of marriage where tradition, and not personalities, dictate actions is better?” I asked.

“Who can say what is best for each soul. Both the West and the East offer a different learning experience.

“In a more traditional marriage, for instance, actions can become like learning by rote. This is how we do it because we have always done it that way. So that is what one does.

“There exists not much agony of choice as there is in the West where tradition is thrown out the window and everyone is standing on the edge of the unknown.

“Of course, in the more traditional setting less creative expression, fewer innovations, will arise as well. And the Soul can feel stifled.”

“I would agree,” I said. “I am a child of the West, my family scattered, doing their own thing, many divorces, separation. And it has been lonely at times, with the longing of a more traditional background.

“Yet when I see such a traditional marriage or family, I shudder at the thought of living in such a one.

“However, dramas do get old and that is what all my relationships have been. What can I do to end the drama?”

“Approach a relationship as you must approach all things. You are going to die. You are terminally ill with the disease of living in a body. Your time is short and precious.

“You do not have time to argue points, to barter favors, to demand, to submit.

“Act with assurance, the confidence, that there is no relationship to maintain.

“You are dying so how can you hold onto anyone? Give up dwelling on dramas. Focus only on Rama, only on God. It is not a coincidence that Rama is found in the word drama. If one sees only Rama dramas will not have such force to disturb one’s peace of mind.”

“Yama, if I acted as though I was dying might I not want to spend it with my loved ones and cut away what was not important?”

“Of course, if that is what you really wanted to do, what your heart bid you to do.

“The difference is that you are not working at making a successful marriage, you are not acting out of obligations, you are not doing anything then.

“You are simply acting out of Love.

“The problem with your relationship, and so many others, is trying to make these things work: Too much talk and seeking causes, and not enough listening; and far too much grasping.

“By knowing you are dying, the grasping falls away, love can be listened to much easier. 

“And love is vast. Love is not confined to one’s relationship or family. Love is an immense ripple, moving across the universe caused by the I AM.

“A healthy relationship is a reflection of the ripple, rippling out as an extension into the world.

“Love, my dear, may even ask you to leave a marriage.”

“How does one know it is love and not fear? Fear of having to love one’s spouse unconditionally, and wanting to just run away from all the pain of dealing and growing with another human being who comes with all their baggage?” I asked.

“When there is not drama. When calmness guides the action. Be fearless. You must be ready to cut away everyone, even your child, as the source of your happiness.

“Just as a soldier must leave his family to go and serve his country, or a doctor to leave her family at a moment’s notice, so must you be ready to do so.

“After all, I am the ultimate summoner, and you cannot refuse my summons.

“A relationship to be healthy must extend into the world. When one is assisting in making the world a more beautiful, uplifting place, then one is working with mighty beings, ones who are working with the Soul of the World.

“Many families exist only for survival’s sake, making sure there is enough food and adequate shelter, and when that is accomplished, to increase the family’s comfort and opportunities for advancement.

“And these become little fiefdoms where loyalties and obligations hold prominence, and must not be broken.

“When a relationship is serving love and truth obligation and loyalty is reserved for God. Each partner must make contact with the silence within so that the other is seen not as someone who owes anything to the relationship, but as simply another aspect of God sharing a short time together.”

“But what if you awaken to the desire to serve the world, and your partner, or your other family members for that matter, are focused only on the family and will not support what your heart bids you to do?” I asked. “What do you do then?”

“This may sound strange, but remember how that teacher was swallowed by the serpent because of the company he kept, surrounded by followers of the untruth?”


“Just because a person is in your family, whether of blood or by choice, does not oblige you to keep their company. If you have work to do to better the world, to better your Awareness of God and who you are, that you must do.”

“No matter how loud the protestations?”

“No matter. This is where fearlessness comes in.”

              --excerpt from The Teachings of Yama: A Conversation with Death

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