The imprisonment of special relationships

Thursday, Nov 09, 2023 1400 words 6 mins 13 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2023 Paul West

Everyone should love everyone, and be a part of everyone. That is natural. What is unnatural is to be separated off and not share with each other.

The device which we use to separate ourselves off, is the body. Bodies act like little anchors that root you in a little spot of space and time and keep you apart from others. And without a body there cannot be specialness or special relationships.

Within this scenario, all bodies are separate and unrelated. There are no relationships, only separateness. Everyone is alone. The body is like a prison with legs, walking around keeping its occupants inside. The prisoners cannot reach outside of their prisons, but they can shuffle their prison cells around to try to get closer to each other. Usually the prisoners clash and disagree and hate each other for their differences.

Sometimes, when two prisoners find each other and regard each other as similar, sharing common ground, common features, common backgrounds, common interests and beliefs, they see each other as less of a threat. They are less than totally hated for a while, granted special rights and privileges.

To perceive another as being like you, in terms of physicality or form or beliefs etc, creates the illusion that you are less at war with them. There seems to be something that you agree about. When there is a lot of agreement, you might even feel trusting enough to become closer to the person.

You then enter into a special relationship. The relationship, which is really the absence of relationship, and more like two prison cells banging against each other in the darkness, brings two together so that everyone else might be excluded.

"When two INDIVIDUALS seek to become ONE, they are trying to DECREASE their magnitude. Each would DENY his power, for the SEPARATE union EXCLUDES THE UNIVERSE. Far more is LEFT OUTSIDE than would be taken in. For God is left WITHOUT, and NOTHING taken in."

They come together to share on the basis of how they are alike, and therefore how they threaten each other less than others. This mutual illusion of trust seems to open doors and lets the two become more intimate. But their intimacy depends on the rejection of all others.

These chosen ones, the special love interest, the exclusive partner, the one with whom special rules are agreed to, whom has special rights which cannot be shared with anyone else, becomes the idol. They are given special artificial value, not inherent to who they are, but in contrast to what others seem to lack.

And so they experience feelings of closeness, seeming special love, a certain degree of trust, a magicalness in which the whole world seems to disappear, and you wish you could be with this person forever and to hell with everyone else. Coming home to this person feels like a breath of fresh air, as you both lick your wounds and hate the rest together, pointing out their flaws and keeping them at a distance.

The so-called relationship is then a tentative state of mutual partial agreement, or allegiance. Certain terms are made which cannot be broken. The persons are not allowed to become too different or step away or act outside the prison walls, otherwise they are violating the contract. And the contract may even be called a marriage.

If one of the persons strays too far, goes outside the envelope of interests, violates the common ground, breaks the walls, stops being exclusive, tries to become intimate with another, changes in a way which makes then unalike, or steps on their toes, the underlying sense of loneliness, isolation, abandonment and rejection will come flying out, hurled at the other to accuse them of sin.

And so the special love quickly turns to special hate, as those who once were trusted allies turn into enemies, brothers become strangers, lovers become divorcees, and significant others become forgotten.

For as much as they allowed the other to come into their secret circle, they kept everyone else out. They had to in order to make the relationship special. This chosen one was the only one permitted to be loved. This special one was the only one who could gain permission to access secrets and hidden hates. The whole world was against them and they against it. But their conditional love always had conditions from the start.

At some point, a relationship based on bodies, and on such specialness, and illusions of joining, may be brought into question. If there is enough of a movement or willingness towards becoming more unconditional, truly open, or sharing more honestly, a relationship not based on flimsy illusions but on something deeper, then the special relationship will be brought into question.

This questioning of it will reveal that the two did not really come together in love, they came together in hate, and hated together, and thought this was love. And the whole relationship will be seen as unfounded, in which what they thought was a magical kingdom of perfection and bliss was in fact founded on a lie. A lie of loneliness and shared suffering and false empathy and codependency and enabling and justifying attack together.

This can produce a lot of pain and misery and shock, because suddenly what was an illusion of love and magical specialness and special value is suddenly recognized as false, faulty, flawed and fake. You thought you were in a relationship but you really weren't. And so now in order to convert this specialness into a true relationship, a holy relationship, it's going to take some transcendence of its exclusive limitations.

The terms of the relationship will have to change. Who you think you are relating with will have to open up. You will have to become more unconditional and accepting and tolerant. You will have to put aside grievances and unforgivenesses and hatreds. You will have to dig deep to find love even in the face of rejection and attack. And this will also mean having to heal and love yourself so that you are willing to give more than you ever gave before.

If the relationship can tolerate this transition, from a make-believe love affair of idol worship, special love, body worship, physical intimacy, safety in numbers and so on, to a more encompassing inclusiveness, then it can be converted into a holy relationship.

To do this, bodies must be transcended. The other cannot be regarded as a body. Nor can yourself. Special values and beliefs which seemed to apply only to the two of you have to be questioned, and now the interests of others have to be incorporated as well. Others have to be included in the circle which has to expand to include everyone. Exclusivity has to go out the window, and all sense of physical limits has to be uprooted. The whole sense of who and what you are, your identity, is brought into question.

This is where you are learning to truly join, to unconditionally love, to identify beyond the body, to learn to see the other for the first time beyond the body, to truly open up and expose oneself, to join in minds instead of in bodies, and to realize that you ARE each other. Interests become shared, special boundaries become blurred, the world is no longer an enemy, and an equality sets in.

In true equality, the other can no longer be seen as a parent, or a child, or a special one, or someone better or worse than self or others. They have to be seen as God's equal creation, alongside you, in which it is an honor to support and help them in their ascension into the light. To heal with them and to share with them. The two of you have to come into the light of honesty and truth and forgiveness. And then you might find that you are able to actually BE related, because you are part of each other.

The prison doors begin to swing open, true access begins to reveal itself as mind reaches out beyond the body, and now the two can become one. Thus specialness ends, and the unholy become whole again. And now the wholeness incorporates the whole, and all are regarded as included in this whole. One way of relating to every one. One love, one truth, one family of God.

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