P1 In a spiritually highly developed person, the erotic force carries the entity from the erotic experience, which in itself is of short duration, into the permanent state of pure love. Only when love has been learned does the spark of the erotic force remain alive. This of course is the trouble with marriage. Without eros, many people would never experience the great feeling and beauty that is contained in real love.
Their fear of love would remain stronger than their desire. The utterly selfish person will, while this feeling lasts, have unselfish impulses. Lazy people will get out of their inertia. The routine-bound person will naturally and without effort get rid of static habits. The erotic force will lift a person out of separateness, be it only for a short time.
P2 How then is eros different from love? Love is a permanent state in the soul. Love can only exist if the foundation for it is prepared through development and purification. Love does not come and go at random; eros does. Only if the soul is prepared to love will eros be the bridge to the love that is manifest between a man and a woman. People who are afraid of their emotions will often do anything in their power to avoid—subconsciously and ignorantly—the great experience of unity.
There are also those who are over-emotional and they are not afraid of this particular experience. The beauty of it is a great temptation and they hunt greedily for it. This is an abuse and will have ill effects. In the next incarnation circumstances will be chosen in such a way that a balance is established until the soul reaches a harmonious state wherein there are no more extremes. This balancing in future incarnations always applies to all aspects of the personality.
These three forces—love, eros, and sex—often appear completely separately, while sometimes two mingle, such as eros and sex, or eros and love to the extent the soul is capable of love, or sex and a semblance of love. The sex force is the creative force on any level of existence. In the highest spheres, the same sex force creates spiritual life, spiritual ideas, and spiritual concepts and principles. On the lower planes, the pure and unspiritualized sex force creates life as it manifests in that particular sphere; it creates the outer shell or vehicle of the entity destined to live in that sphere.
Eros begins with the stage of development where the soul is incarnated as a human being. In rare cases, eros alone exists for a limited time. This is usually referred to as platonic love. Although love cannot be perfect unless all three forces blend together, there is a certain amount of affection, companionship, fondness, mutual respect, and a sex-relationship that is crudely sexual without the erotic spark which evaporated some time ago. When eros is missing, the sexual relationship must eventually suffer. You find yourself in a vicious circle and think that marriage is a hopeless proposition. No, my friends, it is not, even if you cannot as yet attain the ideal.
I am focusing on a relationship where the choice is a mature one and yet the partners cannot get around the pitfall of becoming bound by time and habit, because elusive eros has disappeared. With sex it is very much the same. The sex force is present in most healthy human beings and may only begin to fade—particularly with women—when eros has left. Men may then seek eros else-where.
P4 Eros can be maintained only if it is used as a bridge to true partnership in love in the highest sense. You will find that it is the adventure, the search for the knowledge of the other soul. Eros strengthens the curiosity to know the other being. As long as there is something new to find in the other soul and as long as you reveal yourself, eros will live. But where your great error comes in is that you believe there is a limit to the revealing of any soul, yours or another’s.
When a certain point of usually quite superficial revelation is reached, you are under the impression that this is all there is, and you settle down to a placid life without further searching. But after this point, your will to further search the unlimited depths of the other person and voluntarily reveal and share your own inward search determines whether you have used eros as a bridge to love. Only in this way will you maintain the spark of eros in your love. Only in this way will you continue to find the other and let yourself be found. There is no limit, for the soul is endless and eternal: a whole lifetime would not suffice to know it.
If people had the wisdom, they would realize that and make of marriage the marvellous journey of adventure it is supposed to be. This search for the other being, as well as for self-revelation, requires inner activity and alertness. But since people are often tempted into inner inactivity, while outer activity may be all the stronger as an overcompensation, they are being lured to sink into a state of restfulness, cherishing the delusion of already knowing each other fully.
P5 Two people may arrange an apparently satisfactory relationship, and as the years go by they face two possibilities. The first is that either one or both partners become openly and consciously dissatisfied. In either case, the dissatisfaction is stronger than the temptation of the comfort of inertia and sluggishness. Then the marriage will be disrupted and one or both partners will delude themselves into thinking that with a new partner it will be different, particularly after eros has perhaps struck again.
The second possibility is that the temptation of a semblance of peace is stronger. Then the partners may remain together and may certainly fulfill something together, but a great unfulfilled need will always lurk in their souls. Since men are by nature more active and adventurous, they tend to be polygamous and are therefore more tempted by infidelity than women. In the situation where compromise is chosen, both people stagnate, at least in one very important aspect of their soul development. They find refuge in the steady comfort of their relationship. The advantages of friendship, companionship, mutual respect, and a pleasant life together with a well-established routine outweigh the unrest of the soul, and the partners may have enough discipline to remain faithful to one another. Yet an important element of their relationship is missing: the revealing of soul to soul as much as possible.
P6 Only when you meet love, life, and the other being in such readiness will you be able to bestow the greatest gift on your beloved, namely your true self. But to do that, a certain emotional and spiritual maturity has to exist. The choice of a partner who is unwilling comes out of the hidden fear of undertaking the journey yourself. Humanity, on the whole, is very far away from this ideal, but that does not change the idea or the ideal. In the meantime you have to learn to make the best of it. To discover that (understanding of these forces) is already a great deal and will enable you in this life or in future lives to get nearer to the realization of this idea. Understand that God’s purpose in the partnership of love is the complete mutual revelation of one soul to another—not just a partial revelation.
P7 There are many who are not willing to reveal anything. They want to remain alone and aloof. (QandA) Usually the reasoning faculty is stronger in men. Because of this the revealing of his emotions is a very difficult step for a man. The mistake you make is in thinking that revelation and the meeting of souls is brought about by talking. It is not in the talking that you find the other soul or that you reveal yourself, though this may be a part of it. It is in the being that this whole and basic attitude is determined. For her it is usually easier to muster the courage to meet soul to soul and touch the deepest core of longing that is also in man. First the inner basis has to be established.
P8 Whoever is more mature and courageous at a particular instant will start, and will thus raise the maturity of the other which may then surpass his or her own. But before you can truly reveal yourself to God, you have to learn to reveal yourself to another beloved human being. And when you do that, you reveal yourself to God too. Many people want to start with revealing themselves to the personal God. But actually, deep in their hearts, such revelation to God is only a subterfuge because it is abstract and remote.
P9 The more partners you try to share yourself with, the less you give to each. In most cases avoidance of partnership is unhealthy. It is an escape. The real reason is fear of love, fear of the life experience. Examine yourself. Try to find out whether you fear love and disappointment.
P10 And to form a durable and solid relationship in a marriage is the greatest victory a human being can achieve, for it is one of the most difficult things there are, as you can well see in your world. There is human error in every religion. Here you simply have two extremes. (polygamy and celibacy) Anything without love is “sinful,” if you want to use this word. There is no such thing as a force, a principle, or an idea that is in itself sinful—whether sex or anything else. In the growing child who is naturally immature, the sex drive will first manifest selfishly. Nothing that remains in hiding can grow; you know that. Therefore, even in many grownups, sex remains childish and separate from love.
P11 Even where an immature choice was made, it could still become a successful marriage, but only if both are willing and are clearly aware of what marriage is supposed to be. Is divorce against spiritual law? Not necessarily. We do not have fixed rules like that. There are cases when divorce is an easy way out, a mere escape. If only one is willing—or neither—divorce is better than staying together and making a farce out of marriage. Unless both are willing to take this journey together, it is better to break clean than to let one prevent the growth of the other. One should not, however, leave a marriage lightly. One can learn a lot from one’s past and present mistakes. One should certainly do one’s best, even if the marriage is not the ideal experience that I discussed tonight. Few people are ready and mature enough for it.
—The Pathwork® Guide