Human Relationships, Love and Sexuality
By Jacques Tombazian©
I’ve been often asked to comment on these as to their evolution during the Era of Pisces, and the profound changes that seem to await us during the succeeding Age of Aquarius. What can we expect? What about the sexual revolution and its effects on the Couple? Is there any relationship with the industrial revolution? What about the popular notions of Karmic relationships, Sister Souls, Twin Souls and so on? And lastly, I’ve been asked if there exist any divine Archetype we might call upon to either harmonize or heal relationships.
Wow! Answering all of these would require at least two or three books! Maybe more! Many have already been written, by all kinds of authors and from nearly all possible of points of view. Everybody seems to be on a Crusade to save Couple and Family from disaster. Songwriters, sociologists, priests and ministers, psychologists and even politicians are doing their best in that regard. I think that we should first make a fundamental distinction between Couple and Family: the Crusade to save Family, as we know it, is clearly an attempt to perpetuate an Archetype that has been alive in humanity in varying forms for many millennia. Everyone, whether for or against, sees clearly the dire peril it is going through, and many doubt that it will survive the next 3 or 4 generations, especially in the Occidental Civilization. Family is an identification with genetic survival through a particular means. It is an essential part of Patriarchism, a trial to ensure the genetic identity of children from the male point of view. It is also security and love, at least ideally. Its main redeeming aspect might be the fact of each member of a family having a place of unconditional belonging. One might imagine many other, non-patriarchal, ways to achieve similar results, and, in the U.S.A., dozens of Science-Fiction Authors have done so. It is immediately evident that women, for obvious reasons, have had no such problem: they have always known whose child it is! However, the invention of artificial insemination and of surrogate mother-wombs for humans has destroyed women’s total immunity to this problem, in the long run. Family is also the main basis of property ownership and transfer in all of our societies, except for the small minority of humans who still live in tribal forms.
As for the Couple… Through the last three or four millennia, we have been evolving from Tribal organization, through different degrees of extended families, all the way to the nuclear family that we know today, based on the Couple, rather than the three or four generation model that was dominant until very recently. Of course this evolution has to do with the Industrial revolution! It has been accelerated as we have evolved from an agrarian to an industrial, even a post-industrial civilization. I’m not going into this in any length, since literally thousands of studies, books, theses and articles have been published on this subject by historians, theologists, sociologists, economists, philosophers etc. etc. What I will go into is something different: the Couple as an Ideal of Love. This is very recent in human history. I don’t mean that men and women didn’t love and lust for each other since as far back as we can recall. They and we did. That’s not the point, here. What the Middle Ages came up with, romantically and sexually, was a Couple that was:
a. Permanent: once formed it was seen as not-to-be separated, ever, “until death do us part”, and even beyond death.
b. Exclusive: The love experienced was conceived of as total, Fusional and eternal, self-sufficient and self-fulfilling in and of itself. In many cases, and still today, it was seen as the right stuff of Life itself.
c. Conditional sex: in a culture that condemned the flesh and sex, a Couple’s Love was the Savior of sex and flesh. It should be remembered here that marriage as a universal social institution did not exist until the XVIth century. Before that, it was reserved first for nobility, then for the middle classes as they began to exist.
d. Love: The Romantic Couple (different from the Nuclear Family) was seen as the privileged vessel of the force of Love in this world. It was seen as different from family, and even seen as being destroyed by the fact of having children. If you don’t believe me, listen to any dozen love songs.
e. Completeness: The Couple was also understood and wished for as a kind of True Being, Complete for the first time since the division of humanity into dual sexes. In other words this Ideal can (and has gone) go so far as to state that the True Complete Being is neither a man nor a woman, but a Couple. Many books have been written on this subject. In recent times a man called Sabbato has written extensively on this ideal. This is the true source of the concept of Sister (or Twin) Souls. The most accepted view is that we used to be complete beings that were destroyed by being divided into male and female, and that our other half is still out there somewhere trying to find us to complete itself, and vice versa. The Greek Philosopher Plato was the first to introduce this concept as an Ideal, but the first to try and actually experience this that are historically known are Abelard and Eloise, in the Middle Ages. The Cathars of Southern France and their successors the Troubadours actually formalized this, by clearly distinguishing between the social institution of marriage, and all the genetic and economic energies that go with it, and the spiritual Couple, going so far as to institutionalize the fact that any person could have a Spouse, and a Lover, if and when they found their Other Half. Until then they were encouraged to engage in a search for it. The apparent sexual contradiction didn’t phase them at all, as far as we can tell today. They introduced the concept of loyalty in marriage, as distinct from fidelity. This concept of completeness went so far that it was conceived that once Fusion was truly achieved nothing could destroy it, and after both partners death the completed being remained complete and went on to live forever in some other realm of reality. One consequence of this was the necessity of dying while still fused, even if doing so was sometimes acrobatic. If physically separated, the two parts had to remain True one to another until death, and do anything to maintain communications. This happened to Eloise and Abelard, who were forced into separation for more than 20 years, yet remained true to each other and wrote each other letters that are still today the model of perfect love. On the darker side of things, it has been known for young couples in love to suicide together to make sure their fusion didn’t undo itself throughout life. It still happens today, once in a while. To say it all in a nutshell: Love as the Ultimate Redeemer of All and Everything, through the Vessel of the Couple.
So, that also answers the question about Soul Mates. But what if we aren’t only a half of a long broken something? What if each of us is (potentially) a whole and complete person in and of ourselves? (This is my own conclusion.) Then what? Conversely, we know of persons today who fear Love (in the sense of the Couple) because they think that this will hinder and block the achievement of their own individuality. In modern society, this position is best known in some feminist circles, but many males, past and present have held the same thoughts. We can see that this position is a reaction to the Fusional Couple.
In our modern society, Family and the Ideal of the Couple have borrowed from one another to strengthen each other. And we see many people desperately trying to achieve Romantic Fusional love at the same time that they become a Family. I suppose this isn’t impossible, but any degree of social observation clearly shows that it is very difficult to manage for any length of time. Still, the question remains: if Family is slowly foundering on the shores of a changing civilization, if the Ideal of the Savior-Couple is breaking up on the rocks of personal completeness, of individuation, what then? What happens to love, to couples, to family? What happens to sex?
The sexual revolution
Another ten thousand books, at least, have been written on this subject. I’ve no desire to re-write them all. The aspects I’ll delve upon are the correlation of the freedom of sexuality, both in its practices and in its choice of partners with the search for personal completeness and self-realization, on the one hand, and the correlation of sexual forces with spiritual development on the other hand. Some people might argue that both of these concepts are really the same!
OK! Let’s start with this: if each of us can become a completeness on our own, if we’re not just a half of something that has to come together to find itself whole, how come we’re male and female? Aside from making children, is there any reason for us to exist in two quite different varieties that we call the sexes? Is it possible for each of us to be complete in and of ourselves, and yet to need something the other sex has that we couldn’t have in ourselves? The answer to this one is YES. At the very least, aside from all the ordinary human emotions and needs that we spontaneously seek to fulfill with the other sex (see further for the question of homosexuality), there is a crucial stage of development, for each of us, that can only be found in a relationship with a person of the other sex. I’ll state immediately that, in theory at least, what we need from the other sex is not necessarily … sex. To be more precise, we need something that is more easily found through sex, but could be found through other types of relationship. Each of us carries the polarity of the other sex within us. A man has Yin somewhere in himself, and if it isn’t very developed at first, at least it is conceivable that he might. The reverse is true of a woman: she has a potential for Yang. So that although men and woman are equal in this regard, they also are very different in their processes. But the Yin of a male is NOT a woman, and the Yang of a female is NOT a male! So that although men and women are equal in the fact that they both can become whole persons in and of themselves, they will still remain different.
There is a threshold in the upward path to the divine beyond which a man needs a woman and vice versa. For now let us merely state that the path UP past the threshold can only be through a woman. Let’s be very clear: both sexes are needed for this but the path is clearly and necessarily through the feminine. Once the contact with… let’s call it beyond is made, the path that can bring divine energy back down to earth, literally, is through the man. But make no mistake, it also requires the participation of the woman. Once a person of any sex has made that voyage, in both directions, a certain number of times (most Traditions speak of 3, 5 or 7 times, but I think that there is no exact number, each case having its particulars,) then the person can do the same thing on his or her own. As far as I know personally there are two ways to achieve all this: either through a particular form of Conscious Sex with no barriers at all that includes Energy Circulation practices, or through a type of Unconditional Spiritual Friendship that doesn’t require any sexuality, one might even in this case counsel against it. For obvious reasons this path would be the privileged vessel for persons who are homosexual.
The conjunction of the factors above with the contemporary search for individual completeness and self-realization explains the advent of the sexual revolution from our spiritual point of view: both the spiritual search and the drive for being ourselves explain why we have moved away from the rejection of sex, personal consciousness and individuation that was our inheritance. Liberty is other way of saying it all in one word. In other words, the severe limitations that OldWorld imposed on sex, personal consciousness and individuation were all tied together. The fact that personal contact with the higher realms of spirit and divine energies depends on these factors is very significant. Of course, we all pay a price for this freedom: nothing is secure or guaranteed any more! Only the self lasts, if it succeeds at achieving itself! Then, as I write this last sentence I see that it isn’t true. Relationships should last. I think that once we make the passage to another civilization complete they will. But the forms that we assign to the idea “relationships”, these will change (are changing! ). It’s in this context that we can end this with a few words about healing or harmonizing relationships.
Healing or harmonizing relationships
The two concepts are complementary, but not quite the same. Healing implies a sickness of something that used to be healthy. This definitely happens in human relationships of all types, whether male-female, mother-child, father-child, friendships and so on. Harmonizing seems to refer to relationships that never quite get off the ground because the harmonious common ground hasn’t been found. The second case (harmonizing) is more simple to talk about: usually it is necessary to harmonize because the people involved try to make of the relationship something that it is not. For example, two friends might be trying to make their friendship into a marriage! Or, to the contrary, they might be afraid to acknowledge their love and try to keep it to a simple friendship. We need to harmonize our relationships when we try to make of them what they are not. Usually, frank talk and hard looks are sufficient to accomplish this. Often our wishful thinking makes this hard frank conversation extremely difficult, but it isn’t very complicated, merely difficult to bring ourselves to do so. If you want help from Archetypal forces in harmonizing a relationship, either through meditative techniques or through ritual, or both, the following Archetypes will be helpful: Lilith first, for finding the guts to confront the situation and the Truth about the relationship; Venus-Aphrodite for expressing-defining the form the relationship should take; Vulcan-Thor for creating the harmonized relationship in fact.
As for healing a sick relationship. Always first ask if it should be healed rather than abandoned! If the answer is “yes”, then proceed. But remember that as with some physical illnesses quick surgery is sometimes preferable to other forms of healing! As in our physical bodies, no effective healing can be achieved without a diagnostic. The first all important part is to be able to define exactly what is sick! Remember, regarding healable realtionships: even if you don’t want to admit to it, no relational sickness can exist on one side only, it DOES TAKE TWO TO TANGO! Therefore, if there is any guilt in there, it exists for both of you, albeit in different manners! When and if a relationship is sick only on one side of it, I mean that only one of the involved partners makes it sick (this DOES happen) there is NO possible cure. The “healthy partner” should run away from such a relationship as fast as possible! The reason here is that in such a case the relationship is not real. It exists only in your wishful thinking! But if a real relationship exists and it is sick, then you may try to heal it. Then both sides will need to be healed. The first step would be to recognize that there is no guilty party here! This is not the same concept as stating that both are guilty! The very first step would be to become conscious that there is NO guilt, merely … well there can be too many specific instances for me to try and be exhaustive. All I can tell you without writing a whole book about this is that sick relationships usually get sick because the involved parties stop looking at the other person as an other person. I mean that you start wanting the other person to bring you what you think you need or want rather than loving the other person as … a whole person who does NOT exist in order to fulfill whatever you need. You start loving, or wanting the relationship, rather than loving or wanting a person! It also probably means that you have stopped trying to become a whole person on your own, since you’re asking the other to fulfill you! So such a situation implies, most of the time, that, in fact if not in intent, you have stopped trying to become who you really are. That’s usually when we start trying to get the other person to fill in our own blanks! For some mysterious reasons this phenomena usually happens to both persons at the same time. And trying to figure out if one of you started it (and assigning blame …) is usually just as useless as trying to figure out if the chicken came before the first egg or if the first chicken happened before the egg! If you seek help in such a healing from divine Archetypes, whether through meditation or ritual, the following would be of help. In a first step, each partner should try and become conscious of when and why they quit on their own development process of becoming themselves. This should be done separately, but with a fixed date, sometime in the future (at least a month) where the results of this search will be shared. In the sharing, no party should challenge the validity of the others’ findings. This is the hardest part: accepting what your partner has to say about him or her Self! The old saying applies here: “Judge not, lest….” Accept that what your partner in the relationship (spouse, mother, son, friend, etc.) has to say about him or herself just might be more true than your own perception of him or her! Or course, this presupposes that each of you has a basic sincerity in the process. If this is not the case, we go back to the necessity for immediate surgery! If you’re not ready to severe the relationship, then you MUST assume that the other person is sincere! They might be wrong, granted, but sincere, yes. To help you in this part of the healing, use, once again, Lilith, with UR, and maybe also the Eagle and the Grail.
The second stage of healing will involve change and transformation, both of each of you and of the ways and means of the relationship itself. What is to change can vary too much from one particular case to another for me to go in any detail here. But the Archetypes you can best use are easy to point at: The Golden Scarab first, Horus immediately behind him, and the Red Rose to finish the process. If the relationship involves sexuality, add Hathor and the Black Panther (Tigana).