exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
Divorce: Part II
and Jesus said,
“yes, maybe you shouldn’t marry”
return to "Divorce" main-page
twice he warned, most of you will not be able to accept this
The purpose of this writing is to emphasize a particular item of discussion in the “Divorce: Part I” article. I felt it needed a “banner headline” format because Jesus himself went out of his way, not once but twice, in effect, to charge, “What I’m saying here is really hard and most of you won’t be able to do this right now.”
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.”
Let’s recall the teaching moment:
There were people in the crowd that day who wanted Jesus to tell them what they wanted to hear. They wanted him to say that they could marry for any reason, and be rid of a wife for any reason. Nice work if you can get it.
However, not only did Jesus refuse to rubber-stamp the cravings of their lower natures, he threw it back at them and said, “Far from what you guys are trying to pull, from the beginning the original legislative intent of the mind of God was to allow absolutely no divorce at all. None. Zero. Nada.”
what part of ziltch don't you understand
As we learned in the earlier writing, Jesus was speaking of the lofty spiritual marriage which, in more than 99% of the cases in this world, doesn’t even exist. It's for the future when we're more mature. But the Teacher didn’t try to make himself clear to the mob because their minds were already made up. He was more into “shock value” that day.
And shock them he did. Everybody was hopping mad at him now. None of rabbis, even the conservative ones, went that far. “Who does he think he is laying down the law that way?” And even his own men, his students, chafed at this new ultra-restrictive dictum: “Well, maybe we shouldn’t get married at all then if it’s going to be that way!”
Jesus responded to this mildly sarcastic jab with words that meant, “Yes, that’s right – maybe you shouldn’t get married.”
are we having fun yet
With all of the arrows going back-and-forth, all of the misunderstanding, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Jesus was making a statement to be taken seriously. He underscores his intent to be heard with phrases like, “If you have ears to hear” or “If you are one of the few who understands,” then “you should accept, you should live by, the words I speak today. You should not marry.”
what’s this all about, what’s really going on here
“From the beginning,” that is, from the metaphoric beginning of Adam and Eve, the original Twin Souls, it was God’s intent for male and female to mirror the divine essence, the Mother-Father Godhead. Man and Woman were “made in the image” and it was part of their destiny to become more godlike as they become more intimate and romantically bonded.
But this is a lofty view indeed. The marriages of this world fall far short of this ideal. The men in the crowd that day, with their hard hearts, egocentrisms, and materialistic views of love, life, and marriage, typified what’s wrong with the human race. In this unenlightened state, in this lower level of consciousness, it would be impossible to experience the spiritual Twin Soul marriage.
As we’ve seen, Jesus as Zen-Master wasn’t trying to be understood. It would be a waste of time attempting to vivify hard-hearts that did not wish to be awakened. But, what did Jesus mean when he said, “You should not marry”?
The directive, “You should not marry,” is spoken to anyone who has “ears to hear.” In other words, Jesus is saying, “If it’s your time to ‘wake up’ to a higher view of life, then you should not easily enter into a marriage contract typical of this world; a marriage that is egocentric, existing to merely satisfy the desires of biology or the lower nature. Those things are fine as far as they go, but there's more to life than that."
To those who have “ears to hear” and can “accept the words” spoken by Jesus, then they should not marry but, instead, live a solitary life as “a eunuch for the kingdom’s sake.”
What does this mean, this directive to live a solitary life?
We were made to live in romantic union with a Beloved; but the issue here is one of timing.
It means that even if you do understand and accept the words of Jesus, even if you’ve begun to catch a glimpse of what he’s talking about, your eternal Twin Soul, very probably, will not be nearby. She might be a world away, or even if she is nearby she’s probably not on the same page with this program yet; she’ll probably have her own maturity issues to deal with before she’s ready to enter the spiritual marriage.
If this is the case, and if you’ve begun to see some things about reality, the question becomes, how should you live your life until both of you are mature enough to enter the spiritual marriage? Should you marry, should you sleep with someone else, some willing pretty face, until your destined one receives “eyes in her head”?
consider the source of advice
The wisdom of this world would say, “Of course you should marry. It’s too hard to live alone, to sleep alone. Ok, maybe you do have a destined one somewhere out there, but – she’s not here right now, and you need to survive until she comes.” We’re familiar with this argument. The men in the crowd before Jesus would have said this. And most of your friends would say this to you.
But it’s not what Jesus said: “Most of you will not be able to accept what I say here, but, if you do understand what I’m saying, then you should live according to my words. You should not marry.”
For one thing, if you really are “waking up,” if you really do understand something of what Jesus is talking about, then it wouldn’t help you to take a bed partner. It would make you more miserable. All of that worldly wisdom about “Of course you should marry. It’s too hard to sleep alone” is given by people who’ve never experienced the real love, or even caught a briefest glimpse of what it is like.
Once you begin to awaken, even if your Twin is light-years away in hibernation, you will begin to miss her with a passion unknown to “John and Mary.” Her image is etched upon your soul, and you will “see” her in your dreams and during waking bursts of insight. You will not be able to put her away; if you try, you will feel that you've betrayed her. She will now live in your consciousness as a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, her sacred “presence” in your mind and heart will vivify and bring to life, more and more, your personal level of consciousness. And though she is not yet with you bodily, you will have already entered a process of which “The Wedding Song” speaks, a “drawing life from each other and giving it back again.”
What does it mean, "for the kingdom's sake"?
And this is why Jesus speaks of accepting the status of the metaphoric eunuch “for the kingdom’s sake.” What is the “kingdom”? There is only one “kingdom,” only one thing that's real. It is the domain of Universal Consciousness, which is God. If you are true to your mate, even in her absence, even though you might never have touched her body, a perception of a “union of spirits” – another “Wedding Song” phrase – will grow and grow in your mind. Just because you two are not yet together bodily does not mean that you will not be influencing each other, every moment of the day; that is, if you do not repress her image; if you heed the advice of Jesus and do not distract yourself with another bed-mate; if you allow her spiritual influence to shape and fashion your spirit, though she be absent bodily.
'a eunuch for the kingdom's sake' - but here's the Becker Living Translation
Twice Jesus warned his listeners, “Most of you will not be able to accept what I say here.” Ironically, even so many of those who profess to be very religious, those of the "health, wealth, and prosperity gospel," will not be able to live according to Jesus’ words; it's not what they signed-on for or why they remain.
Little wonder that his famous phrase, “a eunuch for the kingdom’s sake,” has been so massaged into irrelevancy, marginalized, misinterpreted, or simply ignored, by the churches. You can’t build a large membership with a draconian “let’s all sing kumbaya and live like a eunuch.” We'll get right on that; but don't call us, we'll call you.
But The Becker Living Translation, while offering no help in terms of making Jesus’ words popular, does make them plain; painfully so.
The “eunuch,” in easy-to-understand English, becomes “one who lives without touching another or being touched”; “one who lives alone, in spite of ‘offers’ or invitations to share a bed”; “one who bears his or her cross every day by waiting, in solitude, for the sacred beloved.”
This is not the way to build a large following, promote a best-seller book, or be invited on Oprah.
And the phrase, “for the kingdom’s sake,” might be rendered, “in order to preserve spiritual sanity”; “to keep one’s heart pure, undistracted, and free of egoic static-on-the-line”; “to maintain a clear-eyed perspective, a better level of consciousness, a mind and spirit undivided by the lure of base animal-inclination.”
Jesus was under no illusion that his teaching would be met by wild acceptance.
The ancient eunuch, the “bed guard” of the king’s harem, was chosen for employment because libidinous sentiment could not be reached as with other men. However, this does not mean that the eunuch could not be reached at all.
There is a deeper desire for sexual communion, for love and relationship, for oneness, not primarily rooted in physical anatomy but as a defining characteristic of the soul “made in the image”; as such, the eunuch would have suffered silently in his aloneness, a prisoner within in his own body, unable to feel or to express all that might be hidden in the deeper heart.
In this sense, Jesus’ metaphor of the eunuch also becomes that of “one who suffers his fate of dutiful consecration, alone.”
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing
There is a time to be alone. We spoke of this earlier. And this was on Jesus’ mind, as well. There is a time to walk alone, to live alone; a time to prepare one’s heart and mind for the spiritual marriage, for the coming of the destined eternal Sacred Beloved.
Editor's last word:
Once your eyes open to the higher reality of the eternal spiritual marriage, once you realize that "somewhere out there" is your Twin Soul, the Sacred Beloved, then it’s best to remain free; and do what you can to become free. You have to get off the merry-go-round, or maybe, the “marriage go-round,” in favor of what's real. One of you, at least, needs to finally get off and make oneself open and ready. If you do not do this, odds are, you will be pushing that sought-for reunion even farther into the future.
You need to be free so that, whether it’s next month or 50 years from now, when Spirit Guides arrange for you two to finally come together, you’ll be ready and able to be with her, to help her, without encumbrance of any kind. Further, if necessary, you will need to do this unilaterally, without any payment or encouragement - and be alone, possibly, for a very long time.
Yes, as our Trustworthy Friend tried to explain, most will not be able to accept this directive.
Editor's note: For more discussion on the nature of the eternal marriage see the article, "The Meaning Of Beauty."