PART II: BOYS AND GIRLS, MEN AND WOMEN
We all seek the experience of being a real man or woman, of being "grown up", which is another way of saying we seek to accomplish emotional intimacy with ourselves, each other, and the world we encounter. Yet, we do not know what such an experience entails. Our modern world does not give us an example of what it means to enter authentic intimacy with any aspect of our life experience, let alone with ourselves. While we remain strangers to such an encounter, we remain boys and girls entertaining unrealistic fantasies about what it means to be "grown up". When we act on these fantasies we enter heartbreak.
INVITING AUTHENTIC INTIMACY…
There is a world of difference between boys and girls, and men and women. The difference is essentially emotional capacity, and is therefore not immediately outwardly apparent. On the surface we adults can pretend to be a men or women, but when the test of intimacy is applied, whether this pertains to intimacy with ourselves, with another, or with what God is for us, our authentic state of being is inevitably revealed. Mostly we adults are boys and girls in a state of pretence. Because our emotional body development in the modern world rapidly decreases as we depart childhood, our average emotional age is about seven to fourteen years old.
One of the most accelerated ways to overcome this stunted emotional condition is to seek an authentic experience of intimacy. This is because emotional intimacy, to be authentic, requires presence, honesty, and therefore vulnerability.
Only the emotionally mature allow themselves to be vulnerable.
Only the emotionally immature avoid vulnerability.
When attempting to experience intimacy we become aware of where in our experience we are seeking to run from the encounter, where we cannot be honest, and therefore where we are protecting ourselves from the experience of vulnerability. Discovering points of invulnerability within ourselves is the same as discovering points of fear, anger, and grief. It is also the same as discovering areas of our emotional body that are blocked and therefore underdeveloped. This is why, once we have entered a certain level of inner work with ourselves, once we have achieved a certain level of intimacy with ourselves, that it is necessary to consciously enter an intimate relationship with another human being.
To believe that we can cleanse all aspects of our emotional body alone is delusional. There is a vast amount of emotional cleansing we can accomplish on our own through using the outer world as a mirror, yet working alone cannot assist us to clear all imprinting related to the experience of relationship. There is certain emotional cleansing work that only comes to light when we intend to become completely vulnerable with another human being. This is the power of "a conscious relationship"; it assist us to take the next step in clearing the barriers that stand between us and an intimate encounter with all life. To enter a relationship with another human being with this as the intent is to invite ourselves to step more deeply into authentic intimacy.
Once we are able to give love to ourselves unconditionally, the next step is to give love to another unconditionally.
This next step is crucial in our emotional evolution, because only once we are able to give love unconditionally to another human being, which in turn transforms our relationships with all humans, are we able to approach God unconditionally.
Only when we approach God unconditionally do we enter an authentic relationship with what God is for us.
Entering a relationship with another with the intent to experience authentic intimacy invites substantial emotional development. Authentic intimacy is not an experience that just happens because we want it to. It cannot be acquired through purchase, claim, or demand. The ability to manifest such an encounter is not determined by class, birthright, culture, religion, wealth, race, or worldly status of any kind; it is determined by emotional bravery.
The ability to enter authentic intimacy with another human being is therefore a reliable barometer for separating men from boys and women from girls. Even though boys and girls can pretend to be men and women in the way that they carry themselves outwardly in the mental and physical aspects of the world - through a projection of their mental and physical behavior, appearance, and life circumstances - inwardly there is no fooling the heart. Authentic intimacy cannot be faked.
Authentic intimacy is primarily an emotional state that is radiated into our mental and physical experiences, not determined by them.
Like the experience of present moment awareness, it is easier to state what authentic intimacy is not than describing exactly what it is. Stating too clearly what it is encourages the mental body to assume there is a set of rules to follow to accomplish the experience. There are only guidelines to entering authentic intimacy; the actual experience is always a surrendering to, and an encounter with, the unknown.
The difference between boys and girls, and men and women, is that boys and girls still believe that the quality of their relationship has something to do with the person with whom they enter a relationship. Men and women know this is an illusion, and that to behave accordingly is delusional.
Men and women know that the quality of any relationship entered into with another is determined by the condition of one’s own heart.
We only seriously consider entering a conscious relationship with another when we have to some extent already entered this caliber of relationship with ourselves. Boys and girls enter a relationship with another not to continue self-development, but to hide from it. Their attention is therefore primarily on the other, on "what we are getting from them". In an authentic intimate relationship, the attention is on our own heart and what we are radiating into the other, on "what we are giving unconditionally to them". In other words, when it comes to relationships another useful barometer differentiating between boys and girls, and women and men, is whether the intent is "to give" or "to get".
SPACE AND BEING TOGETHER…
Authentic intimacy requires honesty, because honesty destroys the illusions arising from our childhood emotional imprinting about what we "think" a relationship is all about. Another discernable difference between boys and girls, and men and women, is that men and women have had their childish illusions about "falling in love" shattered and are grateful for this. Journeying into authentic intimacy requires confronting our personal illusions about relationships on all levels; about our relationship with ourselves, with others, and with what God is for us. This is what makes entry into authentic intimacy such a crucial step in the evolution of our species. Religions and spiritual disciplines that in any way deny us this experience stand between us and enlightenment. Without experiencing authentic intimacy with another human being the experience of enlightenment is improbable. Whenever we are lead to believe that a monastic, celibate experience is spiritually beneficial, we are being misled, disempowered, and distracted from our journey into Self-realization and God-realization.
The practice of celibacy, of living outside of the experience of intimate physical, mental, and emotional intimacy with another human being, is only part of the inner journey, not "the journey". Living monastically is necessary so that we may acquire a sense of our own energy, of our Self. We cannot gain a clear sense of Self while enmeshed within our birth family unit, nor can we accomplish this when we exit our birth-family experience and move directly into an experience of being in a relationship with another.
It is highly beneficial and necessary to live monastically, in a state of celibacy, for a period of our life, so that we may gain an authentic sense of self.
During a transitional celibacy experience is when we enter, explore, and establish an authentic relationship with ourselves. When we enter a physical relationship with another without first having given ourselves an opportunity to gain "a sense of Self", we inevitably completely lose ourselves within "the relationship". "The relationship" then becomes everything to us. Consequently, we react to the confinement of this predicament by "seeking space from the other". Having a sense of personal space is only possible when we have a sense of Self, of our own energy, of what it feels like to be in the world emotionally unattached from others. Ideally, this experience of celibacy, with the intent to gain a tangible "sense of Self", is to be established and maintained for a reasonable period of time before entering an intimate physical, mental, and emotional relationship with another.
A man and women bring space into a relationship with each other, whereas a boy and girl, when in relationship with each other, inevitably end up needing space from each other.
Living through a period of self-induced celibacy is "the practice of recognizing and maintaining the atmosphere of space within one’s Self so that one has the capacity to bring this experience of spaciousness into all other encounters". This sense of inner spaciousness is then carried into a consciously initiated intimate relationship with another and is what gives such a relationship room to breathe.
"Space" is what gives intimacy life, not togetherness.
An intimate relationship with another human being is not possible while we still entertain the illusions imprinted within us by our parents, culture, religious, political, and economic systems. One of these illusions is that we can use a relationship as a means to "be together". However, anyone who has taken the time to explore a relationship with themselves knows well that our state of being is not externally generated; it is an internal experience that is determined by the condition of our inner world. We first have to master being with ourselves before we can authentically be with another. If we do not master being with ourselves before entering a relationship, we will assume that "being together" is accomplished through things we "do". Our relationship will therefore not be a state of "being with each other", but be characterized by "something we do when we are together". Therefore we will mistakenly believe that getting married and having children will add something to our relationship. Consequently, whenever we encounter obstacles in our relationship we will wonder, "What we can do to fix our problems?" We will define the health of our relationship by "what we do together and by how much we do together".
If we have not yet established a sense of Self, a sense of personal space, then whenever spaciousness seeks to enter our experience of the relationship we will assume "something is wrong".
We will say, "You are being quiet…is something wrong?" Or, "We have not done anything together for a while…is something wrong?" Under such conditions our doings are necessary to fill any empty space that enters the relationship. Once we become bored of our doings, and space begins to enter these increasing moments of stillness, we will assume the relationship is over.
Shattering these types of illusions about relationships requires we confront the many aspects of the fantasy we have constructed around love, marriage, relationships, sex, and all we associate with having an intimate relationship with another human being. Confronting and dismantling our fantasy is what awakens us to authenticity.
We must unravel the "Once upon a time" illusion about relationships so that we let go of our inauthentic intent to use relationships as a means to "live happily ever after".
THE PATHWAY OF AWARENESS…
To assists in dismantling our imprinting about the role of relationships in our evolution it is necessary to reacquaint ourselves with The Pathway of Awareness as is discussed in the book, THE PRESENCE PROCESS.
The Pathway of Awareness is a perceptual tool empowering us to comprehend and therefore work alongside our natural flow of energy as it moves from our vibrational into and through our emotional, mental, and physical experience.
It is precisely because we are not consciously aware of, and therefore do not honor, the natural energetic pathway of awareness we all use in every encounter we have in this world, that we so easily accept illusionary states as being real and lasting possibilities.
If pilots do not understand the mechanics of aerodynamics it is not possible for them to fly a plane. Without this awareness any belief they have in their ability to pilot a craft will be based on illusion, just like a child playing with a toy airplane. The same applies to the paradigm of relationships. Unless we understand The Pathway of Awareness and consciously work with it, our intent to enter a relationship and to experience authentic intimacy is destined to be a fantasy. This is because without this awareness we will approach the experience based on our imprinting and on what the world models for us, all of which rests on illusion. Acquainting ourselves with The Pathway of Awareness awakens us to the energetic mechanics upon which all relationships must flow to be authentic and truly intimate.
When a pilot takes off and lands there are certain procedures that must be followed to facilitate this experience. Our entry into this world is no different; when we are born into this world our awareness deliberately moves along an energetic pathway that is not immediately apparent to us. This Pathway of Awareness is easily discernable by watching a baby’s initial development. When a baby is born:
It first emotes; it is purely an emotional being.
It then begins using its emotional behavior to communicate; its awareness enters mental activity.
It then begins physical participation in its experience by being able to consciously control its body; by reaching out and holding, etc.
The Pathway of Awareness therefore moves from emotional to mental to physical. This pathway is also evident as we move from childhood into adulthood. As children we are primarily emotional beings. Around the age of seven we then enter schooling and increase our mental activity, at which point we are called boys and girls. Around the age of fourteen we then go through a physical transformation called puberty and are subsequently called teenagers. This stage continues until 21, at which point we celebrate our entry into adulthood.
We can clearly see that each of these seven year cycles are focused on a different aspect of our development; as children our development is emotional, as boys and girls our focus become increasingly mental, and as teenagers our focus become more physically orientated. The Pathway of Awareness again moves from emotional to mental to physical.
This Pathway of Awareness is evident in all our activities whether we are conscious of it or not. When we have little or no emotional body awareness our attention is usually only aware of our mental and physical participation within this pathway. For example, we may see a dress hanging in a shop window that magnetically attracts our attention. It may initially appear that we want the dress because of the way it looks, because of the physical aspects of the experience. However, if we are able to check in with ourselves emotionally, we will discover that our attraction for the dress is being driven by "a feeling"; by the way we believe wearing such a dress will enable us to feel. Because the emotional body is the causal point of the Pathway of Awareness as we enter and interact with this world, the emotional content of the experience is always the causal point whether we are aware of it or not. When we see the dress we first entertain an illusion of how it will enable us to feel (emotional), then we calculate how we are going to acquire it (mental), and only then do we purchase it and wear it (physical). So, the simple act of acquiring a dress obediently honors the journey along this pathway from emotional to mental to physical.
From the point of purchasing it we travel along The Pathway of Awareness again: If we wear the dress and the reaction from others is not what we desire, if it does not enable us to feel good when we wear it in public, we then mentally decide it is not appropriate, physically take it off, place it in the cupboard and pretend it doesn’t exist anymore.
This obedience to The Pathway Of Awareness applies equally to buying a car, getting "that" job, making "those" friends, and of course, finding "the one" with whom we are going to "fall in love", marry, and "live happily ever after". All these movements of our consciousness travel along this Pathway Of Awareness. Let us now examine this movement of energy in light of what we have called "falling in love".
When we are still boys and girls emotionally, and find ourselves attracted to someone to the point that we believe they are "the one", what we are really saying is: "This is the person who can satisfy my needs and wants for me and who can do for me what I am emotionally not yet mature enough to do for myself".
All romance, all sudden passionate attraction for another human being, no matter how we "Hollywood" the circumstances, is an experience that is unconsciously driven, and one that is only awoken within us when we discover our own emotional incompleteness mirrored in another. The causal point of this sudden drive of "passion" is always coming from an inadequacy in our own emotional body. Usually, because we have no emotional body awareness, and because we are physically transfixed by the world, we believe we are being attracted to the other’s physical beauty. However, just like the dress or the car, it is because of the way they make us feel – or the way we think we can feel around someone like them - that we are so attracted to.
What we are really saying when we exclaim, "I have found someone to make me happy!" is that we have encountered someone who mirrors the issues that we must resolve within ourselves in order to bring our emotional body into balance.
Unfortunately, because we lack emotional body awareness, we do not even come close to realizing the reality of this. Consequently, we enter the unconscious dance called "romance" believing we are heading into an experience called "happiness". Inevitably, the very characteristics that initially attracted us to this person will, a few days after the marriage ceremony, be the very attributes that begin driving us crazy.
This is the inevitable predicament of all who rush headlong and unconsciously along The Pathway of Awareness toward anyone who reflects their unintegrated emotional issues. This unconscious and ignorantly blissful behavior is the foundation of all romance. Romance is by its nature an unconscious, drunken dance that ends with an emotional hangover the morning after the wedding.
The more we educate ourselves about The Pathway of Awareness, the more awareness we bring to the causal point of our behavior – which means becoming acquainted with the condition of our emotional body – the less likely we are to dance into the arms of another phantom relationship.
When we are driven into a relationship with another human being upon the wings of passion, we are entering an unconscious relationship in which the possibility to experience authentic intimacy is improbable. We may have fleeting encounters with it, like the temporary taste of bliss one has when being introduced to a new narcotic, but this taste will sour and we will chase it in vain into the dead-end corridors of disappointment and heartbreak. Because we have entered the relationship unconsciously we will have done so as "a means to fulfill our needs and wants"; we will have done so in an attempt "to get something" from the other. All our barometers for succeeding in this type of relationship will therefore be based on doings and on physical accomplishments, like getting married, having children, buying a "nice" house, living in an acceptable neighborhood, having the right friends, establishing ourselves in the right career, etc.
In other words, the intent of an unconscious relationship is very much about moving ourselves along The Pathway of Awareness from emotional, to mental, to physical; the relationship is a means by which to physically establish ourselves in the world. Our relationship will therefore only last and feel satisfying to us in accordance with our ability to accomplish these physical parameters. If, for some reason, circumstances prevail that impede our intents, the relationship will automatically begin to dismantle. Because there is no real love in an unconscious relationship, stuff, status, outward success, is all-important. Unless this fairytale approach of "living happily ever after" can be maintained, the relationship enters jeopardy.
This again is a crucial defining character that separates the conscious relationships from unconscious relationships, or boys and girls from men and women; boys and girls need toys and stuff, dolls and cars, pats on the back and awards, to keep their playhouse going. If these toys and treats are not present, the fun ends and no one wants to play "housy-housy" anymore.
Men and women entering a conscious relationship with the intent to explore authentic intimacy do not require outer props.
The reason for this is because a conscious relationship is not about riding The Pathway of Awareness into more acute levels of externalization; it is about reversing it. Whenever we seek to approach ourselves or what God is for us we automatically reverse The Pathway of Awareness. A child praying is a good example of this: When a child prays it first kneels and puts its hands together (physical), then it speaks its prayer (mental), and these words initiate a depth of feeling (emotional) in those who may hear. Their act of prayer is automatically reversing The Pathway of Awareness, and thus moving energy from physical to mental to emotional.
The same reversal of energy is witnessed in meditation practices: First we are taught to sit still in a posture (physical), then we are given a mantra to focus our thoughts (mental), and then through commitment we intend to activate feelings of love and devotion (emotional). The physical and mental aspects of prayer and meditation serve to move our attention along The Pathway of Awareness to the causal point of our experience in this world, the emotional or heart, and it is only when we activate this part of the experience that it becomes a real and transformative experience for us. Only when we enter "the heart of the matter" are we able to initiate an authentic vibrational (spiritual) experience. Prayer or meditation without feeling is mechanical and accomplishes nothing of substance. This is because our essence, or our connection with what God us for us, cannot be experienced through physical circumstance or mental activity alone; it requires the component of "feeling" for it to perceive and interact with the vibrational attribute of our Being. It is through the heart that we come to know ourselves and what God is for us because it is through the heart that we enter an awareness of the vibrational realm. The vibrational realm cannot be known through thought or physical circumstance alone, it must be approached by moving from the physical, through the mental, and then into and through the feeling body to be authentically perceived.
The feeling body, the heart, is the doorway into vibrational awareness.
When we enter a conscious relationship with another, this too is to be our intent: That "the relationship" be a vehicle to facilitate us in consciously reversing the direction our awareness moves along The Pathway of Awareness. We do not seek authentic intimacy as a means to further externalize ourselves into the physical; we wield it consciously as a medium to move our awareness from the physical, through the mental, and into the emotional, with intent to experientially embrace the vibrational. Therefore, houses, cars, marriage, children, status, the right neighbors, and the appropriate social standing have absolutely nothing to do with the "relationship". These outer experiences may come and go like seasons, but they do not determine the fabric of a conscious relationship; only "our level of presence with each other" does; our ability to be physically, mentally, and emotionally vulnerable does; and, our ability to be honest with each other does. And, all of this is determined not by the other person, but by the depth of our relationship with our own heart.
Entering a relationship with someone to consciously reverse our movement along The Pathway of Awareness so that our consciousness becomes anchored at the causal point of our experience is the intent of men and women. Boys and girls have no interest in such things; their focus is on the toys and on getting their needs and wants filled by "mom and dad" – or whomever they can seduce into playing such roles for them.
RITES OF PASSAGE…
In this civilized age our journey through and along The Pathway of Awareness from childhood into adulthood unfolds unconsciously. However, this was not always so. There was a time in our human experience when communities acknowledged this energetic pathway and its points of transition with deliberate procedures called "rites of passage".
A rite of passage is a consciously initiated and facilitated integrative procedure empowering us to move from one state of being to another.
"Naming ceremonies" used to be part of our developmental experience when we still lived in community with each other. These served as an important rite of passage in collectively marking and acknowledging an individual’s movement along The Pathway of Awareness from childhood to adulthood. When a child was born it was given a name based upon the circumstances upon which it entered this world. If the child came into this world screaming and kicking, or emanating tranquility, this behavior would be subsequently recorded and reflected in the name. If the child was born in unusual weather conditions, this too would be reflected in the name. In this way the event of the child’s arrival was acknowledged as inseparable from the environment and circumstances into which it birthed.
At the age of seven the child would then be given a new name; a name taken from observing how it had behaved as an emotional being, a name to mark its transition from being "a child" to being "a young boy or girl". This name would also mark a change in the way this individual participated within the community. By now being acknowledged as "a young boy or girl", it would be required to enter a deeper and more conscious state of learning about its culture from the elders. The stories told to it would take on a more practical fabric; their content now intended to develop the mental capacities of the individual.
At the age of 14 the boy or girl would then transition through another naming ceremony to deliver it into the experience of being "a young man or women", or a teenager as this stage is called in our society today. This newly given name would reflect their gifts and talents, intending to bring forth the potential of their future contribution to the community. This naming ceremony would also mark an increase in their physical responsibility within the community. The final naming ceremony would take place at around 21 years. During this occasion they would be given the name to be carried through the rest of their days, would be embraced fully as men and women, and begin making the journey through life intended to deliver them to the respected status of "Elder".
Rites of passage such as these ensured that all individuals entering this world traveled consciously upon The Pathway of Awareness in a manner that awakened them to their individual potential as well integrating them physically, mentally, and emotionally into their communities. This empowered them to appreciate their uniqueness as much as it did to feel intimately part of their world.
Today most communities no longer have conscious rights of passage. Subsequently, we travel The Pathway of Awareness unconsciously, do not understand our place in the world, cannot integrate our inner and outer experiences, and do not know, let alone have an opportunity, to fully express our potential. Consequently, we feel lost in a world that appears to have no meaning. In this modern age we appear to have many, many passages to choose from, and so we believe we are free, liberated, and advanced, yet we are not. Without consciously initiated rites of passage to guide us along The Pathway of Awareness we become perceptually imprisoned in illusionary passageways that lead nowhere. We now enter make-shift passageways based on instant gratification. These perceptual pathways, like the institution marriage has become today, are not constructed with the intent to deliver us into the experience of authentic manhood or womanhood, but to pander to the unintegrated needs and wants of emotionally stunted humans who have not been facilitate into consciously growing up.
Even though we no longer have rites of passage, we still instinctively seek out these experiences. However, we now enter them unconsciously. Consequently, as opposed to being creative and integrative, they have become a destructive and therefore fruit disintegration. Let us briefly examine two ways in which this occurs:
When we functioned in community, boys and girls around 14 years old, when ushered through their puberty experience, had the physicality of this transitional moment acknowledged by having their bodies marked in some way. Today teenagers pierce and tattoo themselves in an attempt to accomplish this rite of passage. However, without Elder guidance through this rite of passage these practices become reactive statements instead of responsive rituals. They become addictive instead of constructive.
When we functioned as a community, young men and woman around the age of 21 would often be delivered into adulthood by being fed plant psychoactive medicines by the Elders. This experience empowered them to enter expanded states of consciousness that destroyed the boundary of purely individual consciousness so that the birthing adult could experientially feel and know their presence to be "an integral part of a whole". This would also facilitate a conscious connection with "the ancestors", or what we may today refer to as the vibrational realm. Today this rite of passage has degenerated into buying a keg, scoring some weed, and getting blind drunk at someone’s 21st birthday.
Today we still honor The Pathway of Awareness, yet we do so unconsciously and therefore destructively. By dismantling, destroying, and discrediting ancient rites of passage practices, and by hypnotizing ourselves into believing these ancient procedures to be uncivilized, primitive, unproductive, sacrilegious, and unnecessary, we have fallen prey to the illusions instilled in us by our religious, political, and economic systems. The rites of passage that served in facilitating our evolution into integrated states of being are now replaced with impotent and illusionary societal passageways intended to condition and prepare the individual to enter the institutions of education, marriage, separate family unit consciousness, and life career, with the eventual promise of reward at the finish line. All such rites of passage and the passageways into which they steer our awareness are an illusionary, compartmentalized, fragmented experience, that deliberately serve to transform unique human beings into predictable fodder for the production line of profit-mentality. They have become "rites of profit".
At the very heart of this illusion is the institution called "marriage" and the trapdoor into this illusionary passageway is the fairytale spun around "falling in love". By embracing this idea, by pursuing this fantasy, and by entertaining this hypnotic seduction of "falling in love and living happily ever after" as something of substance, we automatically destroy the possibility of experiencing authentic intimacy with ourselves, another, and with all life. By "falling in love" we enter a passageway that leads only to dissolution, disappointment, and quiet desperation. Until we can see this for what it is we remain boys and girls. The moment we realize this to be nothing more than a fairy tale we are ready to become men and women.
Marriage is a fantasy only attractive to boys and girls.
Men and women see through the snare.
The belief that marriage can contribute in any way to our level of intimacy with another human being is delusional.
If we really love someone the last thing we would do to them is marry them. Marriage in this day and age is designed to destroy any semblance of a meaningful relationship. It is a tool that serves only political, economic, and religious agendas. It is a way of organizing and herding human beings into sheep-mentality. Billions of dollars a year are made out of this illusion. Ineffectual religious belief systems are maintained and supported through this illusion. It is a societal infrastructure designed to breed, train, and supply organic software for the political hardware that runs the planet. It maintains an education system that teaches humans nothing about life but everything about earning a living. It prevents individuals, at a crucial age when energy and curiosity is heightened, from entering self-exploration. It is nothing more than a societal Photostat mechanism that attempts to keep humanity in neat predictable piles. It has nothing to do with initiating a conscious, authentic, or intimate relationship between two human beings. Marriage entered through the passageway of romantic passion murders awareness, authenticity, intimacy, and is the death-nail in the coffin that buries love. Marriage as a rite of passage in this day and age leads only to disappoint, dissolution, and quiet desperation.
THE FAIRY TALE…
In this modern world most of us so-called adults are inwardly still boys and girls. This is hard to admit because we so desperately want to appear "grown up". We assume because we have adult bodies, are married, work in big corporations, earn sizable incomes, tell others what to do, have our own houses and cars, that we are "grown up". Nothing is further from the truth. Only once we can see ourselves for what we are, and admit this to ourselves, are we able to mature our emotional predicament. Denial of our current emotional condition accomplishes nothing but ongoing pretence. Children are heard to say, "Let’s play pretend." While we still pretend we are something that we are not, we are still boys and girls. We are not grown ups until we have taken full responsibility for the quality of our experience and therefore for the condition of our emotional body.
Being emotionally immature is not an ailment, nor is it the outcome of having done something wrong; it is the natural consequence of living in a world that does not value and therefore support emotional development as a necessary attribute in the health of its populations.
Being emotionally stunted is a natural consequence of being a human being in this day and age. All deliberate suppression of the emotional body is carried out by the emotionally impotent, by boys and girls in the junior playground of humanity. This does not make it acceptable, nor can this condition be used as gristle to blame another for our experience. The reality is that the institutions of the world do not value and support emotional development because this aspect of our evolution has to be inwardly generated. We cannot mature emotionally because "we need or want to"; we can only enter authentic emotional evolution because "we choose to". Emotional evolution, to be real and therefore lasting, must be approached as a response to our heart, not as a reaction to the world. Yes, we can be kept from knowing this, but the fact is that those who would behave in this manner only do so because they are not emotionally developed themselves. To blame a snake for eating chicks in a nest because it is hungry is futile.
In this discussion on the quest for authentic intimacy, what classifies us as "a boy" or "a girl" is that emotionally we have not yet grown up. Boys and girls are human beings who are no longer children, but who have not yet become men and women either. Becoming a man or a woman has nothing to do with mental accomplishment or physical bodily development.
Becoming a real man or woman is a consequence of self-determined emotional evolution.
Most of our planet is run by boys and girls catering to the whims of the emotional maturity of boys and girls. Because we place so much emphasis on mental and physical ability, we mistakenly assume that mental brilliance and physical prowess have something to do with authentic adult intelligence. The arena of politics is evidence of this misguided belief. This assumption is a grave error to make. Intelligence, to be integrated, must have emotional maturity as its causal point. Being smart or clever does not make us intelligent. Intelligence, to be authentic, is birthed in the heart, the emotional body, and radiates along The Pathway of Awareness into our mental and physical experiences. Mental and physical activity devoid of emotional maturity can not be defined as intelligent.
History is a roadmap into the wake left by the emotional impotent. All wars, whether we perceive them to be religiously, politically, or economically instigated, are started by boys and girls. All crime and destructive acts of lawlessness that cause pain and suffering to others, is committed by boys and girls. All acts devoid of the consequence of conscience are committed by boys and girls. All traditional religious organizations intolerant of other’s beliefs are founded and maintained by boys and girls. All commercial activities that cause harm to life on earth are run by boys and girls. All accumulation for the sake of accumulation is perpetuated by boys and girls.
Emotionally, a boy and girl is a human being that still relies on their parents (and on others whom they have turned into parental archetypes) to fulfill their needs and wants. A boy still needs a pat on the back and a girl still needs to be told she looks pretty, or vice versa. Boys and girls are all who still need someone to tell them what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and to grade them on how well they did it. This need for outer validation for one’s experience comes from an inability to give this quality of emotional support to oneself.
When our behavior is still driven by the need and want for outer validation we are still in the boy and girl stage of our emotional development.
The cause of our emotionally inadequacy, as we have already discussed, is in some part related to us having experienced no authentic rite of passage into adulthood. Without being facilitated through rites of passage we are emotionally ill-equipped to make choices leading us along passageways that promote self-development and therefore evolution. We are therefore vulnerable to selecting passageways presented to us that trigger our interest through their promise to "take care of us". We are driven into these passageways by our unresolved needs and wants and not by our intent to evolve. We are automatically attracted to passageways that promise stuff, support, and happiness. Until we consciously set about resolving our unintegrated emotional states that cause us to be driven not by what serves us, but by our neediness and wanting, we remain easily triggered into entering passageways that are nothing more than fairytales.
So this is another barometer by which to discern whether we are still emotionally "a boy" or "a girl": Our propensity to buy into the fairytale of "living happily ever after". This insidious fairytale is the same for everyone in the modern world. It has predetermined steps that, if followed, promises perfect happiness:
The 12 Step Program To "Living Happily Ever After":
Go to college/university.
Fall in love with handsome/beautiful person.
Commence a career.
Buy a house in a suitable area (plus a new car).
Enroll children into good schools.
Retire wealthy, healthy, and happy.
See children married to handsome/beautiful partners.
Watch sunsets with grandchildren bouncing on the knee.
The quest of "the boy and girl" is for the creation of a perfect family, the perfect career, and the perfect future. The word "perfect" is important in all fairy tales. The success of this entire illusion hinges on the institution of "falling in love and getting married" as being the necessary and appropriate rite of passage, the step that opens the door onto this fantasy la-la land. However, this fairy tale has no substance to it. It has no substance to it because despite what the world places before us as a barometer of success, the heart cannot be fooled.
We may pursue this fairytale bull-headedly, despite all the evidence that we are not reaping the promise of eternal happiness, and this we humans willingly do. This is because no other corridors have been opened up for our unfolding. Passageways that do not bow to this socially acceptable blueprint are perceived as exceptions to the rule, risky, flights of fancy, and unproductive. When we are emotionally still boys and girls we are afraid to head off the beaten track because there is no outer support for such behavior. "Falling in love and getting married" is accepted and supported by everyone and so this is the passageway we choose.
Fortunately, there is a major change happening in the bedroom; the fairytale is falling to pieces. Marriage has for generations been the death nail to the illusion of "falling in love and living happily ever after" and now many are not afraid to acknowledge this. As our human family awakens from the dream-sleep of these illusions, which is what is happening to us all, the drive towards establishing and maintaining such a fantasy is getting harder and harder to maintain. This is seen in escalating divorce rates, single parent families, and people choosing career above marriage. It is becoming clear that the pre-mapped life experience that our past generations have automatically accepted is no longer "the right passage"; it leads nowhere!
Yet, without another avenue for us to express our innate desire for intimacy with each other, we keep running down this same passageway, just in a different way:
We live together but do not marry.
We have many relationships but avoid any serious commitment.
We swing, wife/husband-swap, and we explore internet dating.
We become celibate.
Yet, none of this delivers our awareness to the experience it is truly seeking. Like boys and girls, we do not know what it is we are really seeking, let alone have a clue of how to manifest it.
CHOOSING TO GROW UP…
Whether we choose the conventional passageway that has been presented to us as a blueprint for happiness, which prescribes "falling in love and getting married" as the key to happiness, or whether we reject this and instead entertain relationship behaviors that are unorthodox, we still seek the experience of authentic intimacy out in one way or another. This is because the drive to experience intimacy with another is a crucial part of our evolution. Yet, while we do not take responsibility for our own emotional condition (by choosing to grow up emotionally) all such endeavors remain self-destructive and only lead into fear, anger, and grief. They remain hinged on unconscious passion, instant gratification, and childish selfishness. Subsequently, unlike authentic rites of passage, they become passageways into unconsciousness, fragmentation, and stagnation.
The first step in the quest to grow up is becoming aware that our drive to enter passageways that lead nowhere is coming from our unresolved emotional condition and that until we do the inner work to restore balance to our own heart we remain susceptible to being triggered into desperately reaching outward for props and illusionary means of support.
We have to commit to becoming our own means of support so that we do not enter the experience of a relationship as a means to be carried by another.
Being emotionally undeveloped is not a crime; it is a planet earth predicament. There are many, many factors contributing to this predicament. Some are:
We are emotionally unfulfilled because we birth into a world of emotionally unfulfilled parents.
We do not receive unconditional love because our parents did not, and therefore they cannot model an example for us of what such an experience looks like.
Our parents bought the illusion that marriage is a rite of passage to happiness and then dutifully sold it to us.
Our parents are of a generation that married before acquiring any authentic sense of Self and so they could not possibly model the necessity to achieve such a state for us.
Because our parents could not see their own authentic Selves, they could not see or value this in us; all they saw was what they needed and wanted us to become so that they would feel fulfilled.
By witnessing their needy and wanting behavior we emulated it; we became hypnotized by the assumption that "love is something we are supposed to get from another". We witnessed our parents attempting to get love from each other, and we in turn attempted to get love from them.
Our parents, driven by their unresolved needs and wants, even tried to get love from us. Yes, our parents birthed us thinking this was a way to get love. Because love can only be given, not gotten, everyone in this unconscious, emotionally immature dance is left needy and wanting, bitter and disappointed.
Parents will seldom admit it, but they blame their children for ruining the fairytale they thought they were entering, the "happy" life the world promised them through the passageway of marriage.
Most parents in this world are still boys and girls, and boys and girls are not emotionally ready to get married, let alone raise children.
All these factors impact the condition of our emotional body, manifesting energetic circumstances that appear as needy and wanting behavior. By the time we turn seven years old this needy and wanting behavior becomes us to the point that it appears normal. Yet, this is insanity, and our saving grace lies within the quest to break from this conditioning.
Intending the experience of authentic intimacy for ourselves is the inner journey that delivers us beyond the nightmare of trying to emulate the generations before us by "living happily ever after". Often, we are only ready and willing to consider this journey, to approach "a conscious relationship" with someone else, when we have had our illusions shattered. Having our illusions shattered by "failed" relationships is God calling us to awaken from this predicament. Unfortunately, our heart sometimes has to be broken into a million shards before we are willing to take responsibility for its condition. And usually, we first have to fully embrace the lies about marriage by buying into the institution before this happens. Let us therefore not judge ourselves harshly about the past, but instead look upon our experiences with the eye of honesty. Honesty is the first step in this journey into awakening ourselves from the fairytale. To begin with we have to ask ourselves one simple question:
Are we a boy / girl, or are we a man / woman?
If we intend to approach the experience of authentic intimacy with any amount of integrity, it is very important we acknowledge our present emotional condition. Fooling ourselves that we are ready for a conscious relationship when we are not, when we are still drowning in needy and wanting behavior, inevitably leads to dissolution, disappointment, and quiet desperation. We will only attract someone to us who mirrors our own emotional condition.
Our journey into authentic intimacy is not about finding the perfect partner; it is about becoming the perfect partner. It is not about getting love; it is about agreeing to grow up into a man or woman who is ready and willing to unconditionally give love. It is not about "living happily ever after"; it is about committing to a relationship in which the intent is "to be present and as conscious as possible in each unfolding moment". It is not about finding someone with which to hunker down and establish an unconscious routine; it is about being willing to join another in rising inward and upward as a conscious "route in" to the vibrational realm.
At every juncture of our journey the tool that drives us forward, or backward, is our ability to be honest with ourselves; to be honest even if it hurts. The level of conditioning from which we are seeking to liberate ourselves is deep and hooks itself into every pore of our human experience. It is our awareness of our predicament, perceived as honestly as possible, that transforms our predicament.
Here are some telling questions to ask ourselves. Answering these honestly activates awareness and therefore transformation. To approach them with the intent to give the answers "we think are more emotionally mature" is to miss the point. If we honestly seek to grow up then this is no time to deceive ourselves. If we sincerely seek an authentically intimate encounter with another, then we must show up in each moment with ourselves by being honest and authentic.
Do I want to fall in love and be with someone special?
Do I seek a relationship because I feel uncomfortable living alone?
Do I believe someone else can make me happy?
Do I believe happiness can be accomplished through a relationship?
Do I seek a husband or wife because it is the right thing, or is supposed to be the right thing to do?
Do I seek to get married because I do not want to end up alone in my old age?
Do I seek to get married because this is what is supposed to happen in my culture?
Do I want to get married because my friends are, or because my family thinks its time?
Do I feel a need to have children because this will in some way complete me?
Do I want to have children because soon I will be too old to?
When we answer yes to any of these questions we have inner work to attend to before we are ready for a conscious, intimate relationship with another human being. Saying yes to any of these questions shows our intent to be with someone is being driven unconsciously by our unfulfilled needs and wants, by outer circumstances, and not by our readiness for authentic intimacy. Under such circumstances we are seeking an outer parent to love our inner child, or we are seeking an outer child so that we can become the parent we wished we’d had. Or, we are seeking outer children as a means to make contact with our inner child self. We are therefore seeking someone to lean on because we have not developed the emotional strength to be that emotional support for ourselves. We are seeking someone to do for us what we are supposed to do for ourselves. Under these circumstances entering a relationship only serves to temporarily sedate and control our needs and wants so that we do not have to face them and attend to them.
When we are boys and girls we use relationships as a means to distract ourselves from the authentic condition of our own hearts.
The underlying needs and wants stemming from all the above questions are emotionally-based. The intent of a conscious and intimate relationship is not about "getting" anything from another, especially emotionally; it is not about satisfying our needs and wants. It is about giving, giving, giving, and only intending to give without any conditions placed upon the love that is given. This is the golden rule:
When we are entering a relationship because of something we need or want, because of "getting", we cannot experience authentic intimacy.
We enter an authentically intimate relationship only to give, not to get. To be able to enter from this state of being requires we "grow up" to the extent we become our own parent. Otherwise we unconsciously attract and are attracted to people who want to parent us and whom we turn into our parents. The moment we do this all intimacy is deadened. Who wants to be physically intimate with their parents? Only boys and girls need and want their parents to take care of them.
An unconscious relationship is born out of needing and wanting another to take care of us.
A conscious relationship is a choice to explore physical, mental, and emotional intimacy as a rite of passage into expanded awareness.
Michael Brown ©