14 The Evolution and Spiritual Meaning of Marriage

Powerful divine energies lend themselves to becoming more distorted than milder forms of creativity. And so it is that the great spiritual forces that are contained in the dynamic of love are feared, resisted and maligned—way more than some lukewarm current. This is why there have been such strong taboos swirling around sexual love. Simply put, releasing these spiritual forces appears to be the most threatening and dangerous experience there is.

These powers are in no way merely ethereal; they consume the whole person, including the physical body. And we all want a piece of them. But here’s the thing: spiritual forces are so strong, if we haven’t done the work of purifying ourselves—clearing our blocks and transforming our negativity—we cannot bear them. These powerful currents will instead create crisis, pain and danger. Well, drat.

Enter: the institution of marriage. It’s significant from this point of view. If we have a deeper insight into marriage, it will help us articulate what we want—what it is we’re longing for. This is the first step we must make if we expect to ever cross over to where our longing is our living reality.

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We humans have been wandering planet Earth for many, many centuries, and along the way we have developed in many, many areas. Marriage is one example. By looking at how it has evolved to date, we’ll gain a broader perspective towards marriage. In fact, it is only by understanding the spiritual meaning of earthly events that we can come to properly understand history.

So backing up to the not-so-distant past, we know that marriage served several purposes, but the least of these was love. Sharing and enjoying mutuality on all levels was not on anyone’s short list. More than that, mutual sexual surrender was downright rejected and condemned. Marriage was entered into as a financial and social contract, nothing more. It satisfied lower motives more than the profound exchange of energy on multiple levels.

On top of having financial and social advantages as the main event of marriage, people were absolutely convinced that these motives were rock solid. Therefore, it was morally right and virtuous for a man to marry a woman who brought a good dowry; it was considered a good pairing that raised his social image. This effectively glamorized greed and pride, overlaid with a healthy slug of righteousness.

Keep in mind that back in the day, men considered themselves to be the superiors of women. Marrying, then, was not so different from acquiring a slave who would obey the master of the house. Her job was to see to it that the husband received every comfort and convenience, but she wasn’t to make any demands for herself. And of course she was to be the object for the man’s lust, which was mostly impersonal. In exchange for these fabulous services, she would receive material security. All she needed to do was be an adequate object for him.

But of course, things are never that simple. A married man’s responsibility actually extended beyond just financial security. Because, since the wife wasn’t considered his full-fledged equal, she could hardly be held responsible for much of anything. The concept of emotional and mental responsibility within a marriage didn’t exist in those centuries, but of course these existed as a fact. Men then only acknowledged this responsibility toward other men. In dealing with women, it never occurred to them.

Everyone had some skin in this game. So while the men clearly had their own distortions and negativity, if the women hadn’t refused self-responsibility—on all levels, for a long time—they wouldn’t have co-created the unequal relationship between the sexes.

Deep down, both sexes feared—and still do fear—the forces of love, eros and sex, those splendid spiritual energies that arise between a man and a woman. This current of power is the stream through which every created thing gets made. It is the force behind the merging of the masculine and feminine power currents within a person, and it also binds a man together with a woman.

The unpurified soul can’t stand this. To whatever degree we have turned a blind eye to unpurified parts of ourselves, we are going to deny, suppress and split this power current. This results, for example, in sexuality that is split off from feelings of love, commitment and respect. If we think that promiscuous or pornographic sex is more pleasurable than openhearted sex with someone we love, well, we couldn’t be more wrong. But the power of sexuality that streams from a unified wholeness, where love and physical pleasure are combined in a spiritual union, is so strong that a soul living partially in darkness won’t be able to tolerate it.

Being able to remain faithful in a marriage is no guarantee that a couple has evolved beyond this stage of split-off sexuality, which was certainly prevalent in the typical marriage of former times where the sexual power current was suppressed and denied. For the man, this denial often resulted in an inability to feel sexual attraction for a woman he loved, honored and respected. This might manifest between different women—being sexually attracted to one and loving the other—or with the same woman. Then the man can have a certain level of love and honor for his wife, but he blots out her reality during sex since he deems her inferior. In fact, sexual union can then only happen when the woman becomes a low object in his mind. This explains the reason it has become socially acceptable for respectably married men to have pornographic sex.

For the woman, she denied the reality of the sexual power current within her own body. So whenever it arose, despite her best efforts to deny it, she experienced guilt and shame about it—enough to make a woman faint.

Society may have evolved in its overall acceptance of addressing sexuality, but such misunderstandings about repressing sexuality—and the guilt associated with that—are alive and well today. They arise from our inability to carry the full force of a unified love-sex current because we haven’t let go of our fears, doubts and destructiveness.

The power of eros works to unify this current by carrying us towards a committed relationship in which we experience mutuality and ongoing opportunities to further purify ourselves. If instead we opt for promiscuity, choosing passing partners without forming a heart connection, we are not so different from a moralist who remains faithful to a wife with whom he has sex out of marital obligation.

Our historical views about marriage arose directly out of our fear of the love-sex current. People weren’t into “finding themselves” back then, except to some degree in churches. But even there, the full force of this current was knocked back by the edict of celibacy.

True, spiritually advanced people have been known to use special gifts to evoke this spiritual power. Such mystical ecstasy is nothing more than the release of the spiritual power current—it’s the experience of God in full living color. This is the same thing that ideally happens when two people join together who are sufficiently free from fear and willing to follow a path of self-purification together. Their union will unleash this inner stream so that they will experience God in each other and also in themselves.

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The picture painted of historical marriage is not an attractive one. Ironically, it created a more sinful state than the sins that the holier-than-thou moralists condemned, namely promiscuous and pornographic sex, even though these acts do go against the grain of our God-given longing to unify love and sexuality.

Our fear and denial of the love-sex power current is a symptom of what it means to be a human being, or if you will, a fallen spirit. We’re all—each and every one of us—here to fulfill a task and, as much as possible, beat a hasty retreat back to being one with God and all that is. There’s no future in railing against this; it’s utterly futile. Those who do may overlook that they too have work to do, just like the rest of us.

The appropriate response to our fear of this love-sex current is to just accept it. Be with what is. Because we all need gentle training to gradually acclimatize ourselves to its voltage so we can bear it comfortably. Ecstasy can and will become comfortable as we develop spiritual stamina. But this won’t happen in a day; it can and will happen through the process of development that takes place over many, many lifetimes.

The biggest sin that fell out of the attitude toward marriage that prevailed until recently is guilt. Instead of admitting that he feared loving an equal, the man had to put the woman down. He had to make her an object. Instead of admitting that she feared loving an equal and experiencing the pleasure of sexuality, the woman made the man into her enemy. She made herself an object and then blamed the man for it.

The guilt we feel is for denying the fear; that’s a guilt everyone shares. Some of this guilt fuels the energies of the Lower Self. So for example, making money, power and social standing the primary motives for selecting a partner fostered greed. It was all about appearances, so pride and vanity were also made into virtues.

We can see the strength of this guilt in the moral indignation and self-righteousness that men and women adopted toward anyone deviating from these accepted social standards. People would cling to the highest moral standards, all the while hiding behind a mask of greed, calculated self-interest, prideful appearances and a mutual using of one another.

Such hypocrisy, so pernicious and deeply rooted, required a major uprooting. Otherwise, we weren’t going to get very far on our healing journeys. When we look at the history of marriage from this perspective, we see that marrying for love was very much the exception to the rule.

It was the collective state of people’s consciousness that created the conditions most people experienced in marriage. This same collective consciousness created the karmic conditions for individuals, since the whole universe operates like nesting dolls, with the smaller contained within the identical larger. This means that the antagonism that existed between men and women in general, also existed between husbands and wives, and to a much greater degree than today.

It was often predestined that two people would meet as marriage partners. This would bring out specific negative feelings in each which, once conscious, could become the basis for transformation. So while this might be called a match made in heaven, it wouldn’t hold a lot of happily ever after. Coming full circle, such unions—which were lacking in affection, attraction and respect—created societies with less-than-loving standards for marriage.

In recent times, we’ve made a giant leap forward. We are ready to shed old attitudes and create new conditions. We have set new standards and hold new moral values. Drastic changes are afoot. Women’s liberation, sexual freedom and a whole different approach to getting married are clear signs that a new consciousness is in the mix. If we view all this in the context of an overall evolutionary direction, we can grasp the inner meaning of these changes.

In all evolutionary movement, the pendulum swings over from one extreme to the other. This is usually inevitable and often even desirable, provided things don’t get too crazy. But if fanaticism and blindness send things swinging wide to the right, nothing has changed from when things tilted to the left.

Sexual freedom, for example, is a reaction to the shackles of the past. For a time, this movement was necessary until some new wisdom came along, arising from a more complete new consciousness. Then commitment to one mate will be experienced as more freeing and more desirable than hopping from bed to bed. So the cycle moved forward from a forced monogamous commitment—with a corresponding restriction of personal growth—to the libertinism of polygamy. From there, the movement is freed up to proceed to a new groundedness in real freedom where a person chooses commitment to a single partner because it is infinitely more fulfilling.

One of the most wicked aspects of the old marriage model was that our needs for sex and companionship were polluted by opportunistic, materialistic and exploitative ends. Worse yet, this pollution was looked upon as desirable. But whenever one soul current is secretly put into the service of fulfilling a less-upstanding one, both sink to the level of the lowest one.

So to break away from the mess we had created, some kind of upheaval was needed if we want love, eros and sex to find their rightful places. Then our real needs to have material abundance and respect in our communities can function in a Higher-Self way. So bring on the sexual revolution. It needed to happen and has only been undesirable when seen outside the context of history.

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Of course, we each need to learn these lessons for ourselves. The old ways desperately need to be overhauled. A new joyful acceptance of our God-given sex drive needs to emerge. Both men and women must come to realize the enormous importance of: allowing love, eros and sex to meld into a wholeness; respect and affection; passion and tenderness; trust and mutuality; sharing and helping each other.

We need to realize that commitment to a relationship is not a pleasure-robbing moral edict. On the contrary, the circuits of power available to us when we fuse love and respect with passion and sexuality are way, way, way more ecstatic than the relative milk-toast satisfaction of a casual hook-up.

There is so much juice in the love-sex connection that the same authorities that people rebelled against feared it more than anyone. Those same fear-mongering authorities aren’t so different from those with a strong sexual appetite who experienced their sexuality in a split off way, cut off from the heart and with little intimacy. Fear is fear and it’s all illusion; there is not a preferred variety.

It’s important to know where we’re heading—what’s our destiny. Without such a navigation chart, it’s hard to steer our ship. But there’s a ginormous yet subtle difference between using this model for course correction and trying to force ourselves to be what we haven’t yet organically become. We need to come to terms with our own humanity.

By virtue of the fact that we are here, living a human existence, we can’t immediately be an ideal, 100%-fused person. It takes time, experience, a whole lotta lessons, and many trials and errors. Untold incarnations are needed for our souls to come out of the laundry completely clean. But still, it’s helpful to know that state exists, even if we’ve got some more scrubbing to do.

No pressure. No moralizing. No discouragement. These only add more error and destructiveness to an already tough-enough process. Most organized religions have unfortunately made an attempt to enforce an ideal standard that people can’t possibly live up to at this time. And that, in a nutshell, is why participation in organized religion has dropped like a rock.

This idea of becoming whole is not something to take lightly; it is also not something to be used like a whip. Instead, we should use it as a reminder of where we are heading—of who we essentially already are and will become again one day.

To turn to atheism because of the errors of religion is just as foolish as discarding marriage because we ran into some distortions in the past. As people began to doubt the validity of the institution of marriage, the attitude shifted to people freely choosing to be with someone they love. Naturally, along the way, mistakes were made. People who were too young and immature to form a meaningful union picked someone based on a superficial attraction, without much knowledge of either the self or the partner. Not shocking, a lot of these marriages failed. So do we still think this was a necessary step on the road to maturity? Darn tootin’.

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We don’t tend to learn much—as individuals or as groups—if we don’t make some mistakes. Our immature souls and societies have to try some new ways of doing things if we want to gain wisdom and know truth. We’re going to stumble a bit. We need to cut ourselves enough slack to have the freedom to screw up. We can make choices, experience sexual and erotic pleasure, and grow our way into more mature relationships while not condemning the less-mature stops we made en route. They all help us sort out the real significance of marriage for ourselves.

Marriage needs to not be seen as being like house arrest. When opted for like the greatest gift that it is—the one offering the most desirable state imaginable—we’re signing up for developing some resiliency. Bliss and ecstasy are not offered on the clearance rack. They can’t possibly ever come cheap. They can only be borne when we’ve reached a sufficient level of clarity, security, faith and self-knowing.

Fleeting one-night stands are not the be-all and end-all of life. But maybe we need to ride through a few of them before further sexual liberation can come. Sometimes these interim stages need to be exaggerated, but that doesn’t make them any less temporary. No one who has gone all the way through this phase has ever found total satisfaction in it. Not even on the physical level.

We may get stuck thinking that this is the best we can do. But it’s not. We need to not delude ourselves into denying a deeper fulfillment of our longing, just because we managed to take off the edge. We need to keep going. We have further to go to get what we want and need, and surely it is our birthright to have.

The sexual revolution is not unlike the women’s liberation movement. Both had to fly a bit too extreme on their way to the middle. Some women became too hard, as unyielding as the men they felt locked in a battle with, in order to find their own backbone. As long as this too passes, it’s all right. But when this seems like the final frontier, we end up as damaged as we began.

Women are now ready to combine independence with softness. Men are ready to combine heart feelings with strength. The two can complement each other in wonderful ways, especially when joined in a new kind of marriage. This won’t be formed early in life unless a young person gains considerable maturity by doing genuine, intense work to know themselves.

Then such a marriage can be created that is totally open and transparent. No secrets whatsoever; the soul process will be totally shared. Such openness must be learned. This is what makes relationships a path within a path. We will be challenged to expose our difficulty in being transparent rather than hide it. If we’re not willing to expose our struggle to be open, we won’t be able to alleviate our unfulfillment, no matter how hard we try to put the blame on the other or outer circumstances.

Part of what we need to fess up to is our fear of this love-sex power current—the forces that are released when we unify sexuality and the heart. If we both share this fear with each other, we may be able to eliminate the obstructions fairly fast. Good vibrations can come from this kind of sharing.

If, in our marriage, the vibrancy has ebbed away, both partners need to hunt for the cause. There may be any number of reasons, none of which are necessarily bad or shameful. But once all the levels of both parties open, join and finally fuse, look out. The intensity of the sexual encounter will surpass anything imaginable. This kind of gigawatt connection can’t come about easily. It takes infinite patience and growth to get there. But that’s our destiny. And there’s nowhere else we’d all rather go.

To experience fusion of all the energy bodies—not in just the physical body but on all the emotional, mental and spiritual levels—well, that’s rarely the case. But when it eventually does happen, we not only fuse with our partner but also with God. We realize God in our loved one and God in ourselves. That’s a lot of power. That’s going to require a lot of scrubbing.

But once we get a taste of sexual fusion that includes all the energy levels, anything less will seem insufficient and uninteresting. Our whole approach to the sexual encounter will change. It won’t be casual or haphazard—it will become a holy ritual. The couple will create these rituals that may morph over time but will never deteriorate into boring routines.

The male and female energy currents are held together by a tremendous tension which can either be positive or negative. If it manifests negatively, sexuality will involve denials such as asexuality, impotence or frigidity. Sexuality may also be expressed negatively through sadism, masochism or fetishism. On the road to healing, it may be helpful to give such negative expressions some rope. For if they’re completely denied, the tension can mount to the point of violent acting out that is nonsexual, such as happens with rape. When expressions such as this are explored in fantasy or in a situation of mutual consent where no one is forced or harmed, they can help lead one to a more cohesive and connected sexual experience. This is especially true if this whole process is understood and it is not being done to glorify the distortion.

When the tension has a positive spin, it is what’s called a psychic nuclear point. The new kind of marriage we discussed is just such a point. Divine sexuality will then be recognized as a deeply spiritual experience that releases new energies, frees up creativity, and engenders mutual ecstasy. This can’t be found in old taboos, in moralizing judgments about this force, or in deviations that result from incomplete development.

The explosive force that comes from releasing the male-female tension permeates the whole person and transcends the known world of matter. It spiritualizes the body and materializes the spirit. And that, friends, is the whole point of evolution.

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