11. Relationships

“There are certain growing dynamics that can occur only within the dynamic of commitment. Without commitment you cannot learn to care for another person more than yourself. You cannot learn to value the growth of strength and clarity in another soul, even if that threatens the wants of your personality. When you release the wants of your personality in order to accommodate and encourage another’s growth, you attune yourself to that person’s soul. Without commitment, you cannot learn to see others as your soul sees them; as beautiful and powerful spirits of Light.”

Gary Zukav

Brandon:

This chapter has been so reaffirming, and while I hate to admit it, validating in so many ways. On page 149, last paragraph, he gives a definition of what the archetype of a spiritual partnership is,”…of individuals joined in equality for the purpose of spiritual growth”, and while he spoke on spiritual partnerships before this, to hear this in the context of relationships in general is enriching. The validating part is when you hear this and you’re already engaged in connections like this, it reassures you that you’re on the right path. Even when you have these unions and bonds you can have a voice in your head that these are unfulfilling, colorless, and clichès. And while these voices usually come from the 5-sensory cultures we have been brought up in, or just the animalistic urges we all have, they can create distortions and diluted thoughts. It was significant to hear Gary speak about these relationships in such glowing terms, as if it brought life to them, which extinguishes any doubts or erroneous flames that may creep up. It is cool to add to these bonds any type of layer you deem necessary to evolve your partnership, but you must keep that spiritual foundation. Shout out to Gary for knowing how to talk to the people (smile).

“You are related to every form of Life upon this planet and beyond. As your soul evolves, you move into greater awareness of the nature of that relationship, and the responsibilities that you assume.”

Gary Zukav

Brandon:

Starting with the two-fold point of commitment, where on page 147 Gary speaks on the importance of commitment, then on page 152 he pointed out how love, commitment, and trust were key components in evolving relationships. I must say from a personal level, that this discussion of commitment resonated with me, as for so long-and still to some degree-I looked at commitment, in any tone or context, as being a removal of freedom, agency, or the latitude to do what I pleased. In my immature mind, if I committed to anyone or anything then it naturally followed that I would be surrendering my power. I imagine a lot of men think like this, and this is so crazy. I do not know of any person, organization, or movement that didn’t reach greatness or plain success without commitment. How can any relationship transcend any superficial conditionings without either commitment or devotion to one another or some cause. As I get older, wiser, and more mature, I understand how crucial it is to generate the willingness to commit to ideas and people, as this is what propels me and my relationships and involvements to next levels. While I usually dislike making linear conclusions, I think Gary makes one worthy of exploring. So he starts with LOVE, which is the selfless connection between one person and another person, thing, or world at-large and your inherent sense to know that all is united (all is one, one is all). So after a person develops knowledge and an understanding of love, logically it follows that you would generate a COMMITMENT to these people, things, and ideas, as you see them as not being separate from yourself. Who isn’t committed to their hand? Heart? Mind? You commit to what you deem as being “you.” Then as a result, you start to TRUST these people, things, and ideas more as you see them tied to the progress of you. “You” actually becomes “we,” and you trust your willingness to sacrifice more and more. We see how love, commitment, and trust must be established to create flourishing spiritual partnerships and sound relationships, and I know it was a reminder that I can only go so far without being properly committed to the people I engage with, and that is coming from a person who is professionally antagonistic to commitment.

Alexandra:

It’s interesting what you said about not desiring commitment and how our society at large frames it, especially when it comes to dating and how men should see it. I never understood when men would reference being ‘chained’ or ‘locked up’ when it comes to marriage because I assumed they were actually in love with the person they were about to marry so in my mind I equated that to freedom, but hey that’s just how I see it. I do agree with Gary that commitment creates something like a container in which emotions, circumstances, etc. can be brought to light in ways that benefit both people involved in a way that they couldn’t get if they were just going about life by themselves. A commitment is also an agreement that two or more people willing make in order to stretch themselves, in my opinion. In making that commitment though, there should also be an understanding that your needs won’t always come first, nor should they. There should be a steady giving and receiving between the two souls with the intention to grow and evolve as individuals and together. When it comes to commitment I’ve always been more concerned about who it is that I’m entering into a commitment with as opposed to the act itself. I tend to look at various dynamics between me and another person, even when it comes to friendships, to sort of gauge if there is room for growth and evolution in our relationships. I must be honest, if I am seeing early on that there is no possibility for evolution to happen in that particular relationship I will exit, to save myself and the other person the unnecessary drama and struggle. Now have I exited most of them when I should have, no, but that is why I have a very clear boundary when it comes to that now because I’ve learned enough from being in commitments that were one-sided and non-evolutionary and I’d rather put my energy elsewhere.

“Our species is no longer humble. It has no reverence. it is arrogant and filled with its own technology. It seduces itself constantly in terms of its illusions that it is in control, and so it creates chaos and still refuses to see that it is impossible for it to control. We take from the Earth and from each other. We destroy forests and oceans and atmosphere. We enslave each other, and torture and beat and humiliate and murder each other.”

Gary Zukav

Brandon:

Then I loved hearing Gary speak on page 148 about how the institutions of our society are constructed from 5-sensory values and approaches. This is so lost on a lot of people, as we wonder why something either with our government or social norms is completely out of whack. It is because it is due to faulty premises and the structure surrounding the situation is warped. If someone thinks they are a dog, and then wonders why they can’t smell like a St. Bernard, run like a greyhound, or grow hairy like a Collie, it is because they are proceeding from confused origins. Too often we see our relationships from the lens of the pillars of our social network, whether it be our churches, schools, congressional halls, courts, etc. We let the minister tell us how to connect with others, the teachers tell us when and how to conduct ourselves in unions, and lawmakers/judges to say what is the best way to do things. All of these functions and roles, while important, are narrow in their vision. We must, from this point of knowing our institutions are flawed, begin the process of suspending all that you think you know about social processes, and allow spirit, Indwelling Intelligence, and your essence to guide you to the righteous answers and meanings. Even as multisensory beings, we have to keep watch out for past conditionings by fragmented social persuasions.

Alexandra:

Yeah and then on pg. 150 he speaks on the fact that our evolution through our responsible choices contributes to the evolution of all aspects of society. He continues to shine light on the fact that we are all connected, which I 100% agree with, yet it is when we began to understand this and really embody it that we will see shifts in our world. This is something that every Native population I’ve ever read about fully understood but for some reason, maybe because we see our degrees and education as above this, we continue to create boxes and categories to separate ourselves and distinguish us from each other and our environment. It’s kinda funny when you sit back and look at what we do to ourselves when at the same time we desire unity and peace in the world! And this brings me to another gem he dropped in this chapter on pg. 151 when he states “what is in one is in the whole, and therefore, ultimately, each soul is responsible for the whole world.” So I thought about some areas in our city in this way and asked myself these questions: So is the way that we imprison people (harsh sentences, solitary confinement, isolation) just a larger reflection of how we imprison ourselves when we feel that we have done ‘wrong’ where we speak to ourselves in harsh ways and separate ourselves from others when we feel we’re undeserving or even punish ourselves in our own ways? Is the power structure within prisons (between the guards/personnel and the folks incarcerated) just a microcosm of the ways in which we see control/domination in our wider society where teachers sometimes talk to students like they know nothing and bosses threaten their workers with all manner of consequences and some city officials regard their constituents as not being worthy of having their voices heard in what should be communal decisions? Hell, is the way that I treat my dog a reflection of how I see all animals and nature? I mean like, wow! The Microcosm is the Macrocosm and vice versa.

Brandon:

To look at lastly how Gary Zukav acknowledges that there are different paths to spiritual growths. We must, we have, we are obligated to yield to other people’s spiritual growths and journeys. I say this in all honesty but I am completely open to your spiritual understandings Alex. I never question your intent, your revelations, or your trek to elevation. Was it like this always with me? Absolutely not. But I really have come to appreciate the beauty of other people’s lives and their experiences. This is what makes this Spiritual Partnership so amazing, as not only is this a combining of visions, truths, and spirits, but a blending of our abilities to give the other the room to be who they are, and express it in a spiritual language. I say it boldly, I love seeing other people have experiences and encounters that only they can have, and be able to apprehend and comprehend these completely distinct and individualized moments and meanings from a universal perspective. I respect and value your spiritual journey.

“If you wish the world to become loving and compassionate, become loving and compassionate yourself. If you wish to diminish fear in the world, diminish your own.”

Gary Zukav

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