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Integral relationships

Last post 01-25-2007, 7:18 AM by Helene. 490 replies.
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  •  09-20-2006, 1:12 PM 8591 in reply to 8546

    Re: Integral relationships

    Attachment: love me.jpg

    tamgoddess:
    You all know how the right teacher at the right time makes you fall in love, right? It's easy to get a crush on a teacher who really turns your brain on.

    I think a lover is a similar thing. They have something you really need in order to grow spiritually, and it entirely possible that it's your subtle body that does the tuning in to that-to see if the spark is there. Beats sitting on a mountaintop for 20 years!

    I don't remember who, but someone said that if you were a perfectly enlightened being, you wouldn't need any romantic relationship, because you'd be finished with that stuff-you'd love perfectly already.

    So maybe that's what intimate relationship is-learning how to feel that divine love, one hot guy at a time!

    Ok, I'm pretty silly this morning, but you get the idea.

    Not silly at all, Liz... You've got my mind ticking over again:

    You seem to be talking about the complementarity, the polarity, which I mentioned earlier.. Working on those potentials in us which haunt our dreams - and now they're right there in vivid reality right before our hungry eyes!

    Subtle body.  Yes, it must be that.  I can easily evoke this:  Compare any amount of vigorous yet casual bonking with a mere kiss, even a touch, of someone with whom you're deeply connected.... They're just on a different level.  Literally so.  A different Level.   Nothing at all amiss with the bonking. Its just that its only Gross body.  Even a LOOK from that special person totally eclipses it as the subtle body surrenders.... Anyone disagree?  Smile [:)]

    As for the perfectly enlightened Being: well, Ramana Maharshi and Gautama and Jesus were seemingly celibate... In AQALese, they've realised that they're already at one with everything, and romantic love is not rejected by them but transcended and included.   The same goes for us, actually.  We're one with everything too, but we don't realise that yet.  We keep getting these fun reminders, though...and from what I hear, some people even get more than one reminder at a time, though it doesn't seem to happen much on my street.  Though my neighbour DOES get a lot of visitors....Wink [;)]

    IAMisHome:

    I'm not sure I quite get the point you're making... Do you think that people CAN parachute straight into deep intersubjective intimacy?  I'm not saying they can't, just that I'm not familiar with it.  True, people sometimes do fall wildly in love and pair up in a whirlwind of passion. I myself was married 8 weeks after meeting my wife. But there's a 'honeymoon' effect, isn't there?  As Liz suggests, those gross and subtle bodies are clinging passionately to each other and finding that their deepest needs are met.  But.  Its like Wilber's states and stages.  After a while, you have to descend the mountain some way and start dealing with the boring stuff you missed out on on that headlong rush for the summit.  Habits you don't like. Things your partner wants to change in you. All that baggage from the past neither of you can let go of. You work on that, hopefully you start to climb back up, and its more permanent this time.  Or maybe it isn't.  Maybe that's for the next mountain....

    ~  David

     

     

     



    'This is all the time you'll ever have'.
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  •  09-20-2006, 5:20 PM 8636 in reply to 8591

    Re: Integral relationships

    Deida, in 1995 in Intimate Communion about the thirdth style of intimacy: 

     

    She wants to open the depths of her heart with a man who is willing to be fully present and committed in his intention, a man who is trustworthy and also strong enough to sweep her off her feet. Leah realizes that she wants a man who is not afraid to persist in his loving, to enter deeply in her heart and to embrace her gift of radiant  and vulnerable goddesshood as well as her equality and personhood.

    Leah is extremely sensitive to the relative fullness of a man’s Masculine sexual essence.  Paul’s energy is strong and his presence is full. He looks directly into her eyes and she can feel that he is at peace with himself, relax and confident – not divided inside.  His mere presence feels like a blessing to Leah, like a breath of fresh, clean air.  His smile is unencumbered by unfinished business and loose ends.  He is not elsewhere, inside his head or dwelling in the past.  He is present with her.  And through his presence she can feel the fullness of his heart.

     

    The way he moves, the tone of his voice, the way he touches her shoulder – they are all pervaded by confident love.  His presence and love are like keys that unlock Leah’heart and she naturally opens to him, without fear, because she trusts him as a full man.

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  •  09-20-2006, 7:54 PM 8649 in reply to 8172

    Re: Integral relationships

    Fantastic opening statement from David and interesting replies in the thread.

    One aspect of intimacy that I didn't see mentioned yet (and I'll admit I did a very quick read of the whole thread) was the notion of exposure/lowering of defenses/"nakedness". I'm a psychotherapist and I do couples counseling and I always talk to my couples about how intimacy is a willingness to be seen, to be naked, to lower defenses and let the other person in. This is what requires trust because it's ALWAYS an inherently risky proposition. Regardless of how much "love" is in the relaitonship (quotation marks to acknowledge how challenging it can be to define love from an integral perspective), people can really--or perhaps most especially--be hurt by the people that they love and who love them.

    But I really commend David's point about how empathy is an important part of the equation and the role of cognition in empathy. It's not something I've considered before, it resonates as significant and true. I'll likely integrate this new perspective into my work with my clients. So many thanks for that.

    Glenn
    There are two types of conversations worth having; those about the deepest things, and gossip!
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  •  09-21-2006, 2:04 AM 8678 in reply to 8649

    Re: Integral relationships

    LOVE is absolutely all.  Everybody knows that in the most intimate part of oneself.  From the first moment of one’s life till the last moment.   It is not something to explain.  It’s something we have inside of us. That is the spark pushing us up in the spiral. We have the movement inside in our genes and we must just have the faith to follow Love.  You, Unique and Beautiful.  It is the Music in our Heart. Dance, dance, dance with Love.

     

    That is the Voice inside.  Do you agree?  

      

    That being said, we have to remind it permanently.  And your “nakedness”, Glenn, is about that.  It is an act of love for oneself and for the other.  Being naked is often perceived as without defenses as vulnerable it is at contrary to find again our own real primary strength.  It is to remove the multiple masks on our face and to face other in one eyes.  Without that, how could we believe to know someone really?

     

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  •  09-21-2006, 4:29 AM 8684 in reply to 8649

    Re: Integral relationships


     

    Yes,  Glenn, I agree.  It is that continual willingness to be naked, radically open & vulnerable that is continually challenging.  It's just like awakening in each moment.
      We have to choose to be willing to be seen over and over and over.
     We all know how hard it is.

    So that is definitely a component of love, in my opinion.  And it helps develop empathy--if one will choose to practice developing greater empahty. These are compontents of loving interactions in all relationships.


    I dig the notions from other posts that our subtle bodies might feel a spark in someone else that would complete/test/develop the next ready part of us for growth.     And that love is ia 3body event.


    It does take time to thoughtfully compose a post--I have more to say, but not more time--


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  •  09-21-2006, 7:13 AM 8695 in reply to 8684

    Re: Integral relationships

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  •  09-21-2006, 10:19 AM 8725 in reply to 8684

    Re: Integral relationships

    The challenge is to continue to be naked with the other in your relationship, though. It's easy enough when you're just starting out. But there comes a day when you don't say what you're feeling, and it creeps up on you, seemingly inevitably, so subtly that you miss it entirely. To keep that day at bay...that is the challenege I have yet to meet fully.

    Enlightenment is like getting old-it's not for sissies, but it beats the alternative.
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  •  09-21-2006, 11:48 AM 8742 in reply to 8344

    Re: Integral relationships

    marianthi:

    Intesubjective depth.  I´ll get to that, David.

    As a life long empath, one who can easily feel what others feel and can sometimes even have intellectual cognition of where they are at, I can say from a personal perspective: No, this does not give rise to a deep relationship, even if the other person shares the same space of recognition.

    Marianthi.


    I still haven't read through the whole thread, so please forgive me if this point is raised elsewhere, but a possibility that occurs to me is that a child may have some kind of empathic resonance with another yet not have the kind of cognitive understanding that may come with further development.  A child might feel another's pain but not understand necessarily - or in the same way she would with further cognitive development - that it is another person's pain per se.  This could happen at a level where the ego or self sense was not fully developed.  So it's not that I understand and feel your pain as if it were my own, so much as I feel your pain as my own, in some sort of identity-fusion manner.  It seems to me that this could apply even if  I was able to tell a story about it being your pain and not mine...I could still have an identity (con)fusion rather than transcendence on some other line, such as self-sense.

    This may or may not apply to what Liz and Marianthi are talking about, but it seems to make sense to me.  Does it make sense, or am I getting confused here?

    arthur

    IIzaadz pod - http://pods.zaadz.com/ii - combines the best of I-I and zaadz. If you're turquoise and you know it, drop on by. :)

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  09-21-2006, 12:11 PM 8744 in reply to 8172

    Re: Integral relationships

    Davidd:
    From an integral perspective, I'd say that a relationship is on-going intersubjectivity...the intersubjectivity has to have duration, and it also has to have depth.

    ...I'll throw out the suggestion here that achieving intersubjective depth is the LL equivalent of achieving higher stages of consciousness in the UL quadrant.  Any takers for that idea?  If not, what would be the equivalent?

    ...

    Increasing intersubjective depth means increasing intimacy...how do we achieve it?

    In the UL, you meditate and engage in spiritual practices to increase the chances of development.  In the LL, the practice is to empathise.  

    Ken...points out that we have to see the world from the other's point of view.  Until we can do that, we can't have a relationship.  The way into intimacy begins with empathy...[which] is not an emotional activity.  Its an intellectual step.  I have to think myself into what its like to be you, through listening to you, observing you, hanging around you.  Once I can do that, my emotions will follow. But my emotions can't do it by themselves.  They'll just give me an extension of myself.  They'll bang blindly into your differences and won't understand them.  Only my mind can do this job.

    Thoughts?

    ~ David



    These are very interesting questions, David.  I believe empathic resonance with another - being able to really put yourself in their shoes (while retaining a distinct sense of identity) is part of it.  However, it seems to me that a sense of trust is equally important in achieving and maintaining relational depth - you need to feel that the person is not going to hurt or betray you, and that they are being honest with you; otherwise you may empathize with them quite deeply yet not be able to open to them in a deeply intimate fashion because defence mechanisms kick into play and shut down the openness.  Does this make sense?

    There are a lot of factors that would tend to cultivate or undermine trust, and that might be a worthy subtopic here – but at this point I just want to say that I feel trust is an important aspect of building an integral relationship, in addition to the ability to empathize. 

    arthur


    IIzaadz pod - http://pods.zaadz.com/ii - combines the best of I-I and zaadz. If you're turquoise and you know it, drop on by. :)

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  09-21-2006, 12:56 PM 8755 in reply to 8744

    Re: Integral relationships

    adastra:

    it seems to me that a sense of trust is equally important in achieving and maintaining relational depth - you need to feel that the person is not going to hurt or betray you, and that they are being honest with you; otherwise you may empathize with them quite deeply yet not be able to open to them in a deeply intimate fashion because defence mechanisms kick into play and shut down the openness.  Does this make sense?

    Sure does, my friend.  In normal development, we learn to 'put ourselves in another's shoes' as a natural stage of growth, the con-op stage.   Wilber quotes that experiment of Piaget's where you show a ball coloured green on one side and orange on the other to a pre con-op child.  You turn the green side to the child and say, 'what colour am I seeing?'  The child will answer 'green'.  Because it can't imagine being you.  Once the con-op stage is reached, the child will answer 'orange', because it can now empathise, imagine being someone else.   The socio-path won't reach con-op, possibly for genetic reasons.  However, exactly as you say, other things can interfere with normal development. Adverse experiences, particularly at this early impressionable age, can affect the child's willingness to 'come out' and imagine being someone else.   And its incredibly difficult to repair that early damage, isn't it?  To a large extent, subsequent life is damage limitation or compensation....  Partly because its so difficult to access that very early child within us and help it.  'Adult' (wordy) psychotherapies won't do it.  In this case, one is a little kid, and the little kid needs to be approached as such.....  I'd guess that many people are like this.  I had a dysfunctional childhood myself, but the dysfunctions occurred when I was somewhat older.   I never had the least difficulty empathising, in fact, to use Marianthi's word, I'm an 'empath'.   Its the trusting that was always the stumbling block.  A later stage thing...

     Smile [:)]


    'This is all the time you'll ever have'.
    ~ Dr Hannibal Lecter
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  •  09-21-2006, 1:44 PM 8759 in reply to 8755

    Re: Integral relationships

    Well, David, at least I know I'm not a sociopath! 

    As a child I could not continue fishing even though it was a big thing among my pals.  I could not stand the "suffering" I thought the worm was experiencing on the hook, let alone the even more identifiable distress of the dying fish.  Later on I could rationalize that though these creatures experienced pain, it was not what I eventually have come to understand as "suffering" which was a special treat reserved for those with bigger brains.

    But sophisticated knowledge aside, I guess those childhood reactions (sixth grade, if I remember correctly) testify that I've at least progressed to con-op.

    This is a great thread.  Does this qualify as an entry for the "Spiral Dynamics Game" thread also?

    MarkD


    Just enough enlightenment for this time around, please.
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  •  09-21-2006, 2:19 PM 8763 in reply to 8759

    Re: Integral relationships

    markdavenport:

    As a child I could not continue fishing even though it was a big thing among my pals.  I could not stand the "suffering" I thought the worm was experiencing on the hook, let alone the even more identifiable distress of the dying fish.  Later on I could rationalize that though these creatures experienced pain, it was not what I eventually have come to understand as "suffering" which was a special treat reserved for those with bigger brains.

    Hey, Mark: I 'came out' recently on the HeartMind forum (lovely place to dwell, btw) as an even bigger wuss.  I STILL can't rationalise the pain of these creatures!  I shoo flies out of the window rather than kill them, cradle spiders in my palm and spend hours rescuing moths from their flame-attracted suicidality....As you imply, there's a whole other discussion there about suffering....but I won't go there lest I be accused of spamming my own thread (now that could be an interesting first....Wink [;)])

     


    'This is all the time you'll ever have'.
    ~ Dr Hannibal Lecter
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  •  09-21-2006, 2:26 PM 8764 in reply to 8725

    Re: Integral relationships

    tamgoddess:
    The challenge is to continue to be naked with the other in your relationship, though. It's easy enough when you're just starting out. But there comes a day when you don't say what you're feeling, and it creeps up on you, seemingly inevitably, so subtly that you miss it entirely. To keep that day at bay...that is the challenege I have yet to meet fully.

    Yup.  Tell me about it, dear Liz...Smile [:)]  Maybe the rest of us too. The clue (seems to me) is to see why one is holding back.... Fear of hurting the other.  Shame.  Lack of complete trust.  Whatever.  All those issues that weren't dealt with at the start, in the understandable rush of love..  But seeing it is the thing.  If you're seeing it, you're not doing it.  That's being naked with oneself.    In the mirror, not looking away....

     

     

     


    'This is all the time you'll ever have'.
    ~ Dr Hannibal Lecter
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  •  09-21-2006, 3:14 PM 8771 in reply to 8764

    Re: Integral relationships

    Reading again the thread, it rings a bell to me.  The integral relationship begins by one.  Not necessary to wait for the other.  If, myself, I am totally honest in all circumstances I open the door of an integral relationship.  I'm not a liar so how could I be more honest than I am?  Maybe, in saying more the exact things I believe, not just the point to not hurt the others (even if it has a way to say things), not going in a space where I'm not myself.  In explaining better my point of view, how I feel, what I perceive of the feelings of the other.  Clarifying rapidly things.  When it is possible.

    I'm right with you Liz, it's really uneasy to maintain the deep contact but an important key is really to say our truth.  

     

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  •  09-21-2006, 4:07 PM 8779 in reply to 8771

    Re: Integral relationships

    IAMisHome:

    I'm not a liar so how could I be more honest than I am?  Maybe, in saying more the exact things I believe, not just the point to not hurt the others (even if it has a way to say things), not going in a space where I'm not myself.



    Exactly. I am more myself now than ever, and see that as the foundation on which to build relationship. You can't be true to someone else until you are true to yourself. Not just in a selfish way, but also integrating all the denied aspects of yourself as well. To find another person who wants to do the same thing-priceless!

    Liz

    Enlightenment is like getting old-it's not for sissies, but it beats the alternative.
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