exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
Divorce: Part I
clearing a path, making space
for that which should have been
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hurting four people
“Your relationship may be ‘breaking up,’ but you won't be ‘breaking down.’ If anything, you’re correcting a mistake that was hurting four people: you and the person you’re with, not to mention the two people who you [both] were destined to meet.” D. Ivan Young
The difficult experience of marital divorce must be viewed within the larger context of where we are right now in terms of our journey toward spiritual maturity.
As we’ve discussed, the scientific evidence for the afterlife changes everything; and, as Kairissi and Elenchus came to see, “everything that happens in this world is provisional, reversible… nothing here is real… nothing here ultimately matters,” as it’s subject to revision and displacement by events and circumstances of the coming Summerland real-world.”
You’ll want to review this article on “Divorce” in relation to closely-allied topics, such as Marriage, Love, Suffering, Aloneness, Summerland, the books on Twin-Soul romance, and, of course, the eight core-writings centered about the Afterlife. While this ample corpus of knowledge will serve us well in our present discussion, allow me to offer additional clarification and also some new information.
the lower-levels of marriage are just "training episodes," mere "classroom experience" for the real event, the real life, to come
Andrew Jackson Davis outlined seven levels of marriage, beginning with the merely sensuous, the physically-oriented, all the way up to the eternal Twin-Soul romance. There’s a very great distance between those two pillars of experience.
Few of us will be surprised to learn that the marriages of our world are not based upon that which is enduring, that is, things of substantial nature. Therefore, let us not be utterly shocked to learn that most, virtually all, of present marital relationships will be swept away by our steadily advancing maturity and spiritual growth. As the ancient parable instructs, we cannot put “new wine into old wineskins,” and the relationships of this world, expressions of base egoism to various degrees, will not survive our better frames of mind and heart in the coming “real world” of Summerland.
Charlotte Dresser, Life Here And Hereafter (1927): transcribed by Dresser, words sent from the other side: "We see many who come here who had thought they had made an alliance which would last forever, who had no real conception of such happiness. It is felt only once by anyone, and can never be mistaken when it really comes. I have watched the growth of several such attractions here, and I realize that the earth-life seldom encounters the real thing. Many married people continue here together for a long time, and yet gradually drift apart as they learn the true laws governing such matings. It is always happiness, however. Such separations here are never accompanied by sorrow."
All of which is to say, we will not, and should not, be terribly surprised to learn that divorce will be a necessary “pruning,” a readjustment of our living situations, a natural part of growing up, as we discover our “true selves” and what we really need for our eternal lives – and not only “what” we need, but “with whom.”
suffering our way into wisdom
The scores of divorce-quotes on the main-page are remarkable in their own right. A great deal of collective wisdom is to be found there; the product, as Ernest Becker well stated, of "the vital energies of masses of men sweating within the nightmare of creation." It is a wisdom hard won and born of great sorrow; yet, wisdom, nevertheless.
So often in these quotations we find admonition, but only from clear-sighted ones, to "respect yourself," "don't settle for marriage as a form of servitude," and "esteem yourself worthy and deserving of finding happiness with a mate who will see you as his first choice."
How profound. What would it be like to be with someone who views you, and loves you, as his "first" and "only choice"! We should not settle for less. We should wait for that true one to come.
What is holding us back from this ideal? - from the reality that must yet manifest for us?
In a word, it is fear - a fear that takes many forms, afflicting people in different ways. There are fears of being alone, of failing, of not measuring up; of incurring financial loss, of diminishment in the eyes of family, relatives, and society; fears of disrupting the "well ordered life," unsatisfying as it may be; fears of offending an angry God who will judge us for moral laxitude, of not trying hard enough to "make the marriage work," of not being "spiritual enough" to endure a less-than perfect life-circumstance.
The fears go on and on, multiplying themselves in the darkness; especially, the existential kind. Of this panoply of disquietude, I would say, for many, that the greatest stumbling-stone to ending a diseased marriage centers about a divorce-quote phrase, "religious manipulation." We've now entered the Machiavellian world of Despotic Ecclesia with its vast arsenal of fear-and-guilt based doctrines designed to keep its sheep on a short leash within confined pasture.
egoic power-structures of history have sought to regulate access to love and marriage because people are never so free, never so in tune with their own sense of dignity and destiny, and never so likely to leave cultish organizations, as when they're in love
My college friend, attorney Adrian Smith, had this to say:
Adrian Smith, J.D., Why Totalitarians Hate Romance: “In George Orwell’s 1984, romantic love is outlawed and the criminal lovers are brainwashed in order to crush their experience. Thus they are returned to their prior conditioning – drone-like servants of the State. It seems all totalitarian structures are the same, as they seek to hold back our evolution and suppress our human potential. Those who would thwart our romantic impulses produce [by stultifying fear-and-guilt doctrines] a death-like trance in which we can be controlled. In this coming together of romantic love and spiritual growth, Spirit speaks to us in the language of the heart. The experience of joy and bliss associated with Divine and romantic union is closely related and commensurate with our state of Enlightenment. The Pagans had it right with their concept of Sacred Sex."
For almost 2000 years, Institutional "Religianity" has sternly informed us that denial, for denial's sake, is the God-approved spiritual path. This is altogether wrong, and wrong-headed, a propaganda, a clear departure from the instruction of the Genesis account, the apostle Paul, and the early Gnostic majority-view.
Party-hack ecclesiastical lawyers will draft church policies, thinly disguised as "true doctrine," but all crafted for one purpose, that of maintaining control and power over the hapless membership. The truth is, romantic love, for the masses, is extremely threatening to grasping hierarchies.
A man and woman in love are never more sublimely themselves, never more free, never more willing to live their truth, never more likely to escape the plantation, never more inclined to spurn "infallible true doctrines" and "infallible Dear Leaders." Lovers in love are hard to control, hard to deceive, hard to manipulate... what's a despot to do?
instruction concerning divorce from my biblical research
As stated elsewhere, there was a time in my life when I devoted myself to biblical scholarship; decades of this. My "German farm-boy" work ethic, applied to this new farm-field of endeavor, demanded that I leave no verse unturned or unplowed when investigating particular subjects. In those days, concerning a topic under review, I would, at times, seek out every occurrence of both Hebrew and Greek words - and their synonyms - which might number in the many hundreds. I eventually gave it all up, as I discovered, by close examination, the Bible to be wanting in terms of "infallible" authority.
All this acknowledged, I would also come to perceive that certain sections of the Scripture did contain a good measure of wisdom. Some, not all, of the writers were spiritually-minded, and some of the writings of these latter, not all, did reflect a higher wisdom.
Allow me to share with you, from my research notes of years ago, findings concerning the subject of divorce. I consider it to be valuable information; also, I daresay that you will not have heard of some of this as Despotic Ecclesia either doesn't possess the insights delivered below, or, as likely, doesn't want you to know of these things as little of it serves an agenda of power-and-control.
what Jesus said about divorce
Matthew 19:3-12, New International Version
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” Jesus replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one [person]?
6 So they are no longer Two, but One. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.
9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.
12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
stunning... shocking... radical...
This pericope from the New Testament should sport a warning label. I believe you will soon appreciate my statement.
Before closely examining the text, we should understand that Jesus, here, has adopted the teaching-style of a Zen Master. His purpose is to jolt his audience into awareness, and out of complacency. He carefully chooses words for their shock-value. He is not concerned if his listeners' first reaction is astonishment, or even confusion.
The Gospel Of Thomas: "When Thomas came back, his friends asked him, What did Jesus tell you? Thomas said to them, If I tell you even one of the things he told me, you will pick up rocks and stone me. Then fire will come forth from the rocks and devour you."
family values and the words of Jesus: did he really say that?
Jesus was asked a question about divorce and remarriage:
3 “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
The Teacher's answer pleased no one. He offended everyone - those on the right and the left; even his own men chafed at his response.
Jewish law was well-settled: a man could divorce his wife for any reason. The various Rabbinic schools of thought differed, somewhat, on this issue, but ended at the same point.
Some said that a man could divorce his wife literally for any reason - "even if she burns the soup," or, even if he finds a younger woman.
Other rabbis took a more conservative view and said that divorce was permitted only if the wife were guilty of immorality or unfaithfulness.
Editor's note: But do you see a problem with this latter view? Who is to define "immorality" or "unfaithfulness"? and how shall her "guilt" be determined? Then, as now, questions such as these were settled by clever lawyers who might make a case, for or against. While the conservative view might seem a little more just on paper, the practical effect proclaimed that a man could still divorce his wife, essentially, for any reason, if he found a lawyer who could trump-up the charges and make her look bad!
Jesus answers, not by quoting a rabbi, but by speaking of Adam and Eve.
4 “Haven’t you read,” Jesus replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one [person]’?
6 So they are no longer Two, but One. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
We cannot appreciate the force of Jesus' argument in Matthew 19 without first understanding the story of the primordial Man and Woman in the Garden. Let's recall now, in summary form, the Genesis story. While mythical and metaphorical, it's a message of...
• Twin Soul love, the Opposite-Sameness
• the Divine Feminine Principle
• why She is the better half
• awakening and enlightenment
• how all things came from The One
• the cosmic reason for marriage
• why Adam needed Death to teach him about Life
• the quest for gluing, the desire of the Two to find wholeness
• travelling on to the status of One Person
• a universe of Duality, leading to gnosis, experiential knowing
• the sacred dignity and infinite potential of the human-divine Soul
Editor's note: the Genesis account as background information to Jesus' comment cannot be discussed here in detail but is addressed in other articles and books.
Precepts, such as these, and likely others, would have been on Jesus' mind as he addressed the question concerning divorce.
the key issue: can you separate something that God has joined together?
6 "So they are no longer Two, but One. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Of course, no worldly power - heavenly, either, for that matter - can separate that which God has united; nor can any external authority conjoin - but, like the Wizard behind the curtain with his smoke and mirrors, they hope to convince you of just that.
Some of you may be thinking, "I don't see anything in Matthew 19 that seems so radical to me."
Most, without more information, will not see the entire issue here. May I respectfully suggest that the reason you do not view Jesus' words as radical is due to:
(1) you have not allowed the full implications of the Adam and Eve story to affect your thinking; and,
(2) you have not understood the meaning of "what God has joined together."
John and Mary, the typical couple of the world, have been taught that any fevered two, impatiently standing with oversized grins before a minister, priest, rabbi, ship captain, or a Las Vegas justice-of-the-peace in an elvis-suit...
as they breathlessly intone, "I do," and as one of these officials pronounces magic words over them, will now find that the God of the Omniverse and All Dimensions, quite accommodatingly, has joined them together - all ratified and duly recorded in the courts of heaven.
"well, ain't dat sweet, kinda gets ya right here"
And for the efficiency-minded and on a tight schedule, don't forget the drive-thru wedding chapel option; especially today, for smart shoppers with their $29.95 special nuptial-package and a free carnation, if you buy before 11 AM... just "say I do, wedding drive-thru"... kinda catchy, who could resist it?
Is this the way the Universe works?
Just say the magic words, "I do." That's all there's to it. Fast, easy, and binding-for-life. Dave Barry might say, "You have to be careful even to let your dog out, she might come back with a marriage certificate."
A marriage purportedly reified by an elvis-suit or a black-robe is deemed to be authentic and carries the force of law in all legal jurisdictions of the Western world.
- But, is this the way the Universe works? Are the magic words of elvis-suits and black-robes dispositive to eternal destiny? Where did we pick up the overweening presumption, the brash chutzpah, the height of arrogance, that mere civil legality of our diseased world would mean anything but my Uncle Bud's "tinker's damn" in the Astral Realms? It's like the ants in your backyard, just off your porch, making their little ant-decisions, crafting their little ant-plans, running their little roach-errands, and then fancying that their little machinations will affect the mysterious giants living in the big mountain with doors and windows; so too are the small-ego rantings of our world as efficacious with, and so impressive to, the Wise and Exalted Ones in Summerland.
Some of you are beginning to feel uncomfortable, maybe angry, as you sense where this is going. And this is why there were muted rumblings in the crowd that long-ago day, as Jesus offended every one of them, even his own students.
This is not the answer they wanted to hear.
Most marriages of this world fail to picture eternal Twin-Soul love. But, here's what we need to know...
God "joins two together" by giving them harmonizing, equally-calibrated, soul-energies; an inner musical confluence, two souls singing in harmony.
God "joins two together" as a process of natural law, a natural force of the universe, just as the proton and neutron are "joined together" in the atom's core.
God "joins two together" when they are created, as Twins, in the "soul nursery."
It is gross myth, a terrible and utter deception, that God "joins two together" through a ceremony via ecclesiastical magic hand signs and magic words. This is but one more propaganda ploy, one of so many, one more "true doctrine" by "infallible Dear Leaders," anciently designed by hierarchies to gather power over people.
the implications of Jesus' teaching are radical, shocking, stunning... are you ready to go there?
There's a reason why Jesus said, Most of you will not be able to accept this!
If God "joins two together," then there is no way, on God's good earth, or in any quadrant of the galaxy, that anyone - even the couple themselves - shall ever separate them.
The force that binds their souls is unrelenting, unremitting, unforgiving... it does not, cannot, will not, ever stop.
It is as eternal as soul-life itself. It is soul-life itself. Their romantic love is not merely an attribute, but the essence, of their own souls... not merely what the soul has, but what the soul is.
Consider, once again, the compelling Twin-Soul testimony of afterlife-entity, Silver Birch, who often speaks of his Master Teacher, the Nazarene ...
• "That love is deathless."
• "There is never any separation. Those whom the natural law has joined by love can never be sundered in your world or in mine."
• "Real love is so magnetic, so overwhelming, in its attraction, that it must find itself and claim itself."
• "If there is [true] love, there is nothing that will ever separate them."
• "Those who [authentically] love one another will not be separated from one another [when] they have passed through the incident that is called death."
Recall, too, the confirming message I received, via psychic-medium David. The Spirit Guides did not like any hint of reference to Twins being "separated" from each other, as, in their view, this was an utter impossibility.
all this is pure Matthew 19 philosophy
Jesus was asked a question about divorce from men-of-the-world who spoke of marriage as they might speak of their cattle or crops, just another asset on the balance sheet.
Anciently, a wife was seen to be the property of the husband; and this is why in The Ten Commandments she is listed - but not first - with his cattle, real estate, and servants. Sometime, you may want to check the OED on the origin of the English word "marriage." You will find that the historical roots of this term speak to property rights of a male.
Jesus, by referencing the Genesis account, ignores the limited and materialistic view of marriage by these hard-hearted men and takes the opportunity to speak of marriage in its grandest cosmic scope - the eternal union of Twin Souls.
it was not this way from the beginning
Jesus wants them to know that, yes, it's true, even Moses allowed divorce - but, this was mere temporary and grudging concession to those animalistic men with "hard hearts"; however, "it was not this way from the beginning" (vs. 8), this is not the way it was meant to be, not God's original legislative intent.
a bigger bomb is dropped
9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.
After allowing his audience, these materialistic men, the point that Moses had permitted divorce, Jesus regains the floor with, but "I tell you" that divorce is not allowed under any circumstances! - or does he begin to take the words back?
wait a minute - if the original intent was Twin-Soul love, why does Jesus grant an "exception clause" in what we heard was an unbreakable, eternal union?
The answer is this: the phrase "except for marital unfaithfulness" was added to the "infallible" text hundreds of years after the fact!
It is an unwarranted insertion, an interpolation, a fraudulent doctoring, of the original text by religious spinmeisters.
New Testament scholar Dr. Elaine Pagels of Harvard states that the phrase, "except for marital unfaithfulness," was added much later to the text, an attempt by manipulating churchmen to water down the impact of something they didn't understand - what they considered to be Jesus' too-harsh teaching!
Editor's note: In my "Bible" article I offer many examples of fraudulent doctoring of the text; however, for me, there's an interesting side-issue to this. The fact that Matthew 19 was altered by church politicians suggests the greater likelihood that this section of the New Testament represents authentic teaching by Jesus! Here's why. If this teaching-episode had been written, or dreamed up, by fraudsters a hundred years after Jesus' death, it would have been structured differently, with a "normal" sanitized message, not a Zen-Master conundrum creating confusion among the church members.
If we take away the "exception clause," we find that Jesus is actually saying there is no exception clause - there is no basis for divorce at all! Ever! Period!
What does he mean in practical terms? Surely he cannot be condoning even the abusive marriages? What is he really saying?
The very flow of Jesus' argument, and the audience's reaction to it, strongly suggests that the charge of subsequent textual interpolation is not unfounded. The rabbis allowed all sorts of exceptions that would end a marriage, and if Jesus had spoken in that vein, no one would have raised an eyebrow - the fact that the crowd objected indicates that Jesus spoke of something new, something they hadn't expected and didn't want to hear! No rabbi, no teacher, had ever posited that divorce is not allowed at all - and this is why tempers flared in the crowd, and even his own men grumbled.
Is it really true that there is never a basis for divorce?
This is a frightening assertion to many people. And the materialistic men in the crowd hated Jesus for saying this.
But let us bring to mind once again the context of The Teacher's comments. Jesus in Matthew 19 is not speaking of the typical John-and-Mary union of the world - patched together by animal spirits, domestic needs, fears of being alone and left behind, and mammalian instinctual response - but is making a statement about that grand cosmic ideal, the Twin-Soul eternal romance.
When Jesus, referencing Genesis, says that there is no basis for divorce at all, he means to assert what Silver Birch explained: If two lovers share the same music in their souls, well then, there's no getting over you, is there? If Twins are thus conjoined, they belong to each other, forever, and no one else, and nothing, in God's vast universe, now, or in the future, will ever change that ... because... what God has joined together cannot ever be separated.
Editor's note: Let us be clear here and not confuse ourselves. The ready-agent to authentic marital union is God-bestowed harmonizing soul-energies, not a Justice of the Peace in an elvis-suit, or other form of thespian attire, such as a black-robe.
This means that divorce, according to the nature of the case, for these Destined Two, cannot even be an option; indeed, divorce for Twin-Souls, constituting the sacred One Person, really has no meaning -- as you are just as likely to be able to separate from yourself, and good luck to you with that.
When Jesus, in his provocative Zen-way, asserts that divorce is not allowed at all, he is not speaking like some officious Rogue Church with doctrinaire, hard-fisted, arbitrary church-rules coming down from some lofty Infallible Dear Leader -- the sort of draconian, anti-humanistic church law which runs contrary to the spirits and hearts of real human beings who must live in our present imperfect world. But the celestial plane of Twin-Soul romance is utterly different. When Jesus says that no divorce is allowed, he speaks of Twins, with the unspoken dictum that no pair of sacred romantic Twins would ever, ever dream of wanting to be separated!
Twin Soul marital love is based upon natural law, that is, on what people are "on the deep inside" - not on arbitrary whims of religious cult leaders, nor on evaporating brain-chemicals creating a temporary procreative high. The eternal, true romantic love is founded on naturally flowing and harmonizing soul-energies; which means that, it's not so much that divorce is impermissible, but that... it's impossible.
Silver Birch concurs: "Those whom the natural law has joined by love can never be sundered in your world or mine."
We'll explore why this is so.
society's game of marriage: like kids choosing players for a softball team
You remember how it was. You’re ten years-old, it’s noon-hour at school, and a buncha kids want to play softball. Two captains emerge from the motley group, either self-appointed or with leadership thrust upon them by the mob.
One of the captains tosses a bat to the other. Then commences the solemn ritual of hand-over-hand positioning, all the way to the top of the bat, determining who gets to make the first choice.
Well, you know Jim’s gonna be picked first. He’s the heavy-hitter, and he’s always either captain or picked first. This is a law of the universe and no one doubts it. But you have hopes of being plucked from obscurity; at least, getting the nod before Bill. I mean, Bill's a nice kid, but he’s short and small, and it’s pretty much a given that Bill will be chosen last, if at all; which will spare you the ignominy and embarrassment of being left on the shelf. (Bill grew up to be a department-head chemical engineer, and today he has a new name - “Boss” - and now he's always picked first. We didn't realize then that he was tall on the inside. – smile)
pick me, pick me, pick me
But, didn’t you know, John and Mary choose marriage partners the way we used to choose ball-players in fifth grade. Everybody hoping to play the game is thinking, “pick me, pick me, I don’t want to be left out” or to suffer embarrassment as some captain’s “settling” choice.
In fact, it just feels so good to be chosen that a lot of people want to get married for that reason alone. So often, it's an ego-thing; trying to find one's significance in the approval of another. However, "If you're not enough without it, you won't be enough with it"; or, as someone once said, many people want to "get married," but they don't necessarily want to "be married." The subtle difference soon presents itself.
Pretty tawdry stuff this whole business. Marriage, they say, is supposed to be God-ordained and ratified in the courts of heaven, and once the priest or minister drones, “You are now man and wife,” then that settles that. However, though many "captains" would never admit it, they secretly really wanted Jim on their ball-team but had to settle for Bill.
The typical marriage in this world, the game of resume-shopping and choosing a partner, is all so arbitrary and whimsical, so prone to falling casualty to fate. You hope to get lucky and make something work, but you know the odds aren’t good.
But it’s not that way with the cosmic, eternal Twin-Soul marriage. There’s no arbitrary picking and choosing. It’s more like a magnet – inexorably, naturally – drawing to itself metal iron filings; not marshmallows, toothpicks, or marbles, but, according to the nature of the case, it has to be metal, and a certain kind of metal, responsive to magnetic attraction.
So it is with your eternal cosmic mate. In the final analysis, she will be drawn only to you, and you only to her. This is the marital union of which Jesus spoke from which there is no divorce. The iron-filings cannot be divorced from the magnet, nature won't allow it, if you see what I mean.
It’s all a function of natural law. No arbitrary and whimsical choosing in this process; in fact, it’s not a choice at all. It just is and will suffer no change. Welcome to the marriage that cannot be “sundered.”
You might “play ball like a girl,” but trust me, this will yet be your selling point. There is someone out there who would have it no other way. And you are his “to die for” first, and only, eternal choice.
Jesus isn't done with shock-and-awe
As we've seen, The Teacher does not go out of his way to remedy the confusion, to make himself totally clear. The Zen Master seems more interested in shocking his audience into a measure of wakefulness than merely imparting information.
And he's not ready to quit.
Even his men, somewhat cynically it seems, desire to press what they feel is the absurdity of Jesus' comment and say,
10 Well, “if this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
Knowing that they've understood not a word he's said, he plays along, throws it back at them, effectively responding with, "Yes, that's right - maybe you shouldn't."
now he plays the E-card
Jesus continues by further inflaming the dialogue with a very high-incendiary word... eunuch!
12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
We feel the temperature rising as, one more time, The Teacher indicates that his message will be too hard for most to accept.
Many rabbis had focused on the Genesis command to "be fruitful and multiply" as the most important reason for marriage. This is why they were somewhat lenient regarding permission to divorce: they would say, "A man needs his procreative freedom that he might fulfill Gen. 1:28."
In a society that revered the procreation principle, and male rights to it, the lowest of the low became the despised barren woman - but, wait! there's another poor schmuck who is even worse - the eunuch! "What a supreme no-good - how does he even justify breathing?"
Understanding their prejudices, Jesus now purposefully chooses one of the most inflammatory and offensive words he could think of to illustrate his point. Clearly, he is into waking them up.
well, just what you always dreamed of being since you were a kid, right after policeman, nurse, farmer, or fireman -- a eunuch for the kingdom's sake
The materialistic men in the crowd are hopping mad -- "What in hades is he talking about? so we're to be low-life eunuchs now, is that it?!"
those to whom it has been given
Jesus, I think, does not bother to fully explain himself, because he knows, even if he did, his audience, deeply in debt to the Small Ego, would not and could not accept his words. He has a history of speaking in impenetrable parables, the purpose for which, as stated elsewhere, is to protect the immature from self-incriminating understanding, the kind that might constitute sinning against the Purified Consciousness - and we're seeing this same teaching style unfolding here.
The Book Of Thomas: Jesus said, "Blessed is the wise person who seeks truth ... and is not afraid of those who want to disturb one." Yes, blessed, spiritually prosperous, is the one who is not threatened, who has sufficiently defused the Small Ego, to be able to fearlessly accept reality. It is not so much that Jesus' teachings are radical, but that many are so deeply blinded by the Ego to what is real.
We have discussed, on previous occasions, that merely to become aware of one's Twin is a mark of advancing spirituality; it means that the death of "the false self" is in process. The materialistic men in the crowd weren't there yet - Jesus knew this, so he didn't trouble himself with making clear his message.
But, in any case, what is Jesus' point regarding the eunuch-metaphor?
eunuchs in the ancient world
The word eunuch, a castrated man, derives from the Greek and literally means "bed guard."
While eunuchs were called upon to serve royalty in various capacities, their primary function, as etymology indicates, was to guard the bed, that is, the harem, of the king.
Jesus' eunuch-metaphor has been called upon to support a variety of philosophical positions; e.g., celibacy, homosexuality, the evil of sexuality, and the like. Tertullian even said that Matthew 19 offered evidence that St. Paul had been castrated! I don't think so.
impossible, not just impermissible: the eunuch not only does not marry, but cannot marry
The eunuch, the castrated man, is a radical, politically-incorrect metaphor employed by Jesus to teach an utterly beautiful cosmic truth about the nature of eternal romantic Twin Love. John and Mary might not like what he has to say - but, Jesus is not necessarily speaking to them right now, asserting that this information is only for a select Enlightened few.
The best analogies, as teaching devices, are simple. And the truth, when we find it, as embedded in the Matthew 19 teaching, or in any context, as Einstein said, will be beautiful in its simplicity.
And I think the simple teaching of Jesus' metaphor is this:
The eunuch, the castrated man, is not tempted to marry, and cannot marry, because he lacks the apparatus which would lead him to do so; in other words, it is impossible for him to consider marriage. This concept of impossiblity, a "eunuch for the Kingdom's sake," would become Jesus' word-picture to illustrate the impossiblity of Twin-Soul love suffering diminishment; that is, the spiritually enlightened person, if necessity, devoted consecration, and sacred duty demand, will live alone, touch no one, and will not marry - just like the despised eunuch of the ancient world. He will live alone, if his destined only one, his true one, is not available, and will not marry another or even seek for a bed-partner - an impossibility, so his own soul informs him.
The enlightened person, one who presently finds him or herself with no access to a true mate, will live as a "eunuch"; that is, it will be a time of solitude, of "making one's internal music pure," of emphasizing personal growth for love's sake; a time to internalize the reality of the impossibility of true marital union outside of Twin love.
Henrik Ibsen: "What's a man's first duty? The answer is brief: to be himself... The man whom God wills to stay in the struggle of life, He first individualizes... The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone."
The Gospel Of Thomas: "Jesus said, Blessed are those who are alone and chosen: you will find the Kingdom... Jesus said, Many are standing by the door, but [only] those who are alone will enter the wedding chamber."
Like two islands connected at the deep, like two trees with roots intermingled below, these Sacred Two - each in his or her own turn, first one, then the other - discover that they share a mystical bond, a spiritual nexus, hidden to the rest of the world; earlier, hidden even to themselves, but finally revealed when each, suddenly, caught in the other's soul-energy field, experiences a most commanding force; a transcendent familiarity, something utterly unique and previously unknown to them, but now, demanding attention, and resonating with the deepest part of their persons.
When this happens, whether in this world or the next, one will enter a mystical level of awareness wherein one perceives that divorce, in such case, is not merely impermissible, but impossible. As per the guidance of The Great Teacher, if that "true one" is presently not to be seen, then you will wait, for a proverbial "thousand summers," you will wait, wait alone, touching no one - because of the impossibility of being with another; to do otherwise would only invite to one's life greater misery. Somewhere, there is a person who waits for you, too; at the right time, when you're both mature enough, the stars will align, and your Spirit Guides will arrange circumstances for you to meet. In the eyes of that coming "true one," you are no "back-up plan," "settlement option," "yellow ribbon," or "consolation prize," but his absolute, breathless, to-die-for, first and only choice; and this, not just for a while, not just for the honeymoon, or until the oxytocin and vasopressin have been flushed from the brain, or when the "30 pennies are in the jar," but on a forever-love basis -- a permanent deep-soul-powered state of consciousness, that is, eternal mates who, together, will explore life, love, and the universe. As Jesus cryptically explained to his reluctant audience, it's a dazzling life-event, a shattering moment, both to meet her and of personal evolutionary advancement... all worth waiting for.
Editor's note: I must conclude here, not having addressed Paul's teaching regarding divorce as expressed in I Corinthians 7. Allow me to briefly say that, while Jesus discusses the lofty Twin-Soul ideal, Paul, a field pastor, dealing with the down-and-dirty circumstances of this world, speaks directly to the hapless John-and-Mary couples of his congregations, ones who came together by egoic reason for a temporary period of time, to whom he offers broad-latitude license to divorce if disharmony and strife reign in their lives and homes. It is the kind of compassionate advice any sensible, non-cultish person would advocate.
there is a time to be alone:
“a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to gain, and a time to lose...”
Good wisdom from Ecclesiastes.
I was having some herbal tea at Panera today; on my table, one of Sheldrake’s books served as silent companion, part of my effort to explore the “evolution” subject.
Just in front of me, though – you see the unoccupied table -- two women had been chatting, at decibel-levels to include my awareness.
'love is not a victory march' - Leonard Cohen
One proclaimed to the other: “Today is my forty-second wedding anniversary.” I noted, however, in this declaration, there was no tone of joy; more like a cadence of achievement when one overcomes a long illness or pays off the burden of a 30-year mortgage.
Then she said: “This past weekend, though, I didn’t know if we were going to make it through to this day”; meaning, “it was pretty rough,” if you know what I mean.
Most people – anybody older than 23, or maybe 16 -- know quite well what she means. We readily imagine this “Mary” on her wedding day, exactly 42 years ago. We see her negotiating with herself: “Ok, alright, maybe he isn’t my number one prince charming, but at least in my old age I won’t be alone.”
Has she, today, in truth, avoided aloneness? or, is she alone with someone, rather than alone by herself?
May I share with you something about this seemingly universal fear of being alone? It’s associated with many other fears: the fear of not having someone to share the daily tasks of running a household; the fear of becoming ill with no one around; the fear of entering a state of depression during the holidays or birthdays with no one near. All these, and many more, are deemed to be worse than cohabiting with someone whom, in your heart of hearts, you don’t really love.
But what if Life requires you to be alone, and you refuse the lesson?
I think it was Cher who said, “Eventually, everyone sleeps alone.” She should have added, “ – or should.” Stated differently, eventually, Life is going to require you to be by yourself. There are many valuable lessons to be learned, for a time, by walking alone, eating alone, sleeping along – doing everything alone. It’s not meant to be pleasant. It’s part of the individuation process, the very reason and primary purpose for which you came to this difficult world.
Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt, 1867: "What's a man's first duty? The answer is brief: to be himself."
Henrik Ibsen, Brand, 1884: "The man whom God wills to stay in the struggle of life, He first individualizes."
Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People, 1882: "The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone."
Once our eyes open to how this works, and if we remain with another who is no good for us, we begin to pervert ourselves. We strengthen the sense of fear, of egocentrism and manipulation that the disingenuous life encourages. We use others as “means” not “ends.” We declare, by our actions, that there is no God to help us, that a life of faith is for suckers, that pure motives are for losers, that the grasping ways of the ego is what really works.
she hasn't got the faith or the guts to leave him
when they're standing in each other's way…
you know you've been wrong and it won't be long
before you leave 'em all far behind...
Many people think, or hope, that achieving a fiftieth wedding anniversary is very important. It could be, but struggling on to win that milestone, when you perceive that Life is calling you to be alone, will do you no good. In fact, it will make you worse, it will increase your fears, and sense of helplessness. It will set you back, inject darkness into your spirit, and make you a candidate for a time in the “shadowlands” upon crossing over; for, as Spirit Guide Margaret warns, the number one reason for people, for couples, having to spend time in “dark detention” is due to their using each other for private gain.
See my four books for extensive discussion. Many people are hiding in ill-conceived marriage; hiding from Life, hiding from the "still small voice," but primarily, hiding from themselves.
send a sympathy card to the anniversary couple
I grew up in a farming community in which it was common for marriages to last 50 years or more. By nature we want to rejoice with couples who have earned this distinction; however, many, virtually all, of those couples were miserable together, just as the lady in Panera today: they "didn't have the faith or the guts to leave" and "were standing in each other's way"; and now they want to take a "victory march."
Most of those marriages, if the participants had been honest with themselves, and spiritually clear-eyed enough, should have ended, in favor of the sacred lessons to be learned by living alone.
This is the world wherein we are to experience one-time events. It's different over there. We’re headed for Summerland society where all good things are readily available. There is no suffering over there; not in the “better neighborhoods.” And so this is our one chance to gain a depth of wisdom by enduring loss and sorrow; facing it in the "open sunny air" – that is, when required, when there's nowhere to turn but to endure suffering honorably, when Life signals that it’s our time to participate in such severe classroom as aloneness.
Editor's last word:
As Norma once explained to me, your true eternal mate might not be someone you thought she'd be; she might fail the "e-harmony" compatibility test; you might flatly reject her "resume" in the "hiring" process; she could be the sort of whom Petula Clark sang, "I didn't like you much when I first met you"; she might even precipitate an initial reaction of the fellow in The Piña Colada Song: “Ohhh… it’s you.” (smile) But this ambivalence will soon drift into extreme delight as he, now consciously in her presence, becomes suffused with the love-joy-peace issuing from his own deepest inner-person. For a few dollars more, this unscheduled detour into ecstasy is part of the "made-in-the-image just for you" sports package, not available in the standard "off the lot" models.
She will be the choice of your soul and its hidden pledges, not of your ego or personality. She is the one, and you for her, each for the other, offered as God's gift as aid to spiritual evolvement.
How to find one's true eternal mate is really the wrong question. The real issue is finding yourself first, growing beyond the allurements of the small ego, and eliminating self-blindness. When you live in the dark, you won't see anything, including her. It's not about spatial proximity; she could be near you right now; or she could have been near you in earlier times - but she might as well have been on the Moon, until you grow as a person, allowing you to finally see.