In recent times, we’ve made a giant leap forward in our understanding of the spiritual meaning of marriage. 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 we would experience commitment to one mate 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. Then 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 opportunistic, materialistic and exploitative ends polluted our needs for sex and companionship. Worse yet, we saw this pollution 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.
We had to break away from the mess we had created. So 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.
Enter: the institution of marriage.
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