Nothing can be created unless there is mutuality. This is a spiritual law. It means that two apparently different entities come together to form one whole. They open toward each other, cooperating and affecting each other in such a way that creates something new. It is the law of mutuality that bridges the gap between duality and unity. It’s the movement that eliminates separation.

When a Yes-current goes looking for a No-current, these two islands in the stream will never connect.
When a Yes-current goes looking for a No-current, these two islands in the stream will never connect.

Make no mistake, this applies to every-stinking-thing, without exception. Whether we’re creating a work of art, composing a symphony, painting a picture, writing a story, cooking a meal, discovering a scientific breakthrough, healing an illness, building a relationship, or developing ourselves on a path of self-realization, the law of mutuality is in play.

For any self-expression, the self merges with something beyond the self and something new comes into being. First there must be creative inspiration and imagination. The mind extends itself beyond what it previously knew existed and a plan forms. Then this creative aspect cooperates with the second aspect of mutuality, which is execution. Implied in step two are effort, perseverance and self-discipline.

So the creative idea and these more mechanical, ego-driven activities must work together in harmony for some type of creation to take place. Step one must be followed by step two in order to ease on down this road. This is true even though these two steps seem alien to each other. Creativity is free flowing and spontaneous. Execution comes from determination, which is under the direction of the ego’s will; it’s laborious and needs consistent effort. Not the same mojo as the effortless influx of creative ideas.

When people struggle with creativity, they either lack the self-discipline needed to follow through on their ideas, or they’re too contracted to open their creative channels. In the former case, the person childishly refuses to be bothered by the trials and errors of the creative process. In the latter, they lack inspiration.

When we do the work of personal development, resolving our inner conflicts, we can bring this lopsidedness into balance. By restoring health, we open up to finding personal creative outlets that yield deep satisfaction.

An imbalance in these two aspects of creation is especially striking when it comes to couples. The spontaneous and effortless experience of attraction and love that brings two people together is not uncommon. In fact, it happens all the time. But rarely do people maintain this connection. We have lots of excuses and explanations, but mostly what happens is that people neglect doing the work of dealing with the inner dissensions that arise.

There is often a childish notion that we shouldn’t have to work at it and that once the initial fireworks go off, we’re powerless to determine the course of the relationship. We treat it like a stand-alone entity that for better or worse is going to run its own course.

In fact, mutuality is a steppingstone on the path to unity, but it is not yet unification itself. So while we’re on the bridge to unity, we’re going to have some work to do. There will need to be a harmonious interplay between effortless creative imagination and execution—which means labor, investment, commitment and self-discipline. We need this forward-moving, effortful aspect of mutuality to get across the bridge to unity.

For there to be mutuality between two people, there must be an expansive movement flowing from each toward the other. There must be both giving and receiving, and mutual cooperation. Two Yes-currents must move toward each other, nice and slow. This allows us to gradually increase our ability to accept, bear and sustain pleasure. Believe it or not, this is one of the hardest things for us to do. It depends directly on how whole and integrated we are. It depends on our ability to say Yes when a Yes is offered.

The Pull: Relationships & Their Spiritual Significance

So where, generally speaking, is humanity regarding the principle of mutuality? There are essentially three gradations that people fall into. There are those who are least developed, and so are still full of fear and misconceptions. These people are able to expand only a little. Since expansion and mutuality are interdependent, this means mutuality for people in this category will be next to impossible.

Of course we’re all afraid, to some degree, of opening up. We’re often too ashamed to admit this so we explain it away. We think there’s something especially wrong with us, something that no other valuable human being shares. As a protective measure, we think no one must suspect we have this flaw. But as we do this work of self-discovery, we learn to admit this problem of ours. We come to understand that we are not alone in this.

As we grow in our ability to admit to our fear of opening up and expanding, we’ll begin to see how we hold ourselves back. We hold back our energy and our feelings, believing we’re safer due to the control we use to contract ourselves. And here’s the nut: to the extent we do this, we’ll have problems with mutuality.

None of this does anything to our longing for mutuality. The longing is always there. That said, we can squelch our longing for expansion and mutuality throughout an entire lifetime or three. We lose our awareness of the feeling that so much is lacking. We pacify ourselves by being content with the pseudo-security of separateness and aloneness. After all, these seem to be so much less threatening.

But then development proceeds a bit further and we become more conscious of the longing. We become willing to open up but we’re still afraid of it when the opportunity presents itself. At this stage, we can only find the pleasure of expansion and union in our fantasies. What happens next is a frequent fluctuation between being convinced we are ready for real mutuality—our strong longing seems proof of this, plus we experience it so beautifully in our fantasies—and not actually experiencing it. We attribute this to lack of luck in finding the proper mate with whom we could bring our fantasies to life. When a partner appears though, the old fears are rampant. We contract and can’t realize the fantasy.

Crank up the excuse machine. We use all sorts of outer circumstances to explain things away, and some of them may even be true. That partner may in fact have too many blocks to help one live the dream. But then, doesn’t that point to something? Why do we attract partners who make it seem justified that we contract? Failure in a relationship is always an indicator that a person is not yet fully ready to make true mutuality a reality.

In this interim stage, people will alternate through periods of being alone with their acute longing, and then having temporary fulfillment of the sort where obstructions prevent full mutuality. Disappointments will pile up, lending ammunition to the cause of Never Open Up. Pain and confusion are profound for people trapped here, but these will eventually fuel a commitment to recognize the real inner cause.

Rarely do we understand the meaning of this stage, which results in pain and confusion because we don’t recognize the true significance of these fluctuations. What we fail to see is that the periods of alone time give us a chance to open up in comparative safety. As such, we experience some manner of fulfillment without taking any risks. To realize this is to take a giant step in the right direction.

Same holds true for recognizing the underlying significance of the challenges we face during times of tentative relationships. So the alternating periods of aloneness and relating act like a built-in safety valve: they help us preserve ourselves in a separate state while simultaneously helping us venture out to whatever extent we are ready.

At some point on this dusty trail, though, we come to realize how painful all this yo-yoing is. And this is what subsequently pushes us in the direction of making a commitment to open up to mutuality and fulfillment. We are then willing to expand, to cooperate and to experience positive pleasure. But now the jig is up. We’re going to have to give up our negative pleasure and its pseudo-safety. At this point, the soul is ready to learn, to take some risks, to remain open and to love.

This brings us to the third and final stage where people are relatively capable of sustaining actual mutuality—all day long, not in fantasy or in longing only. Of course, these three stages often overlap and interchange. This is not an exact science.

Does this mean that all steady relationships on planet Earth are based on real mutuality? Not by a long shot. Most are built on other motives, or else the original good plan for mutuality was pitched out when it couldn’t be maintained. Then some other motive got slotted into its place.

The Pull: Relationships & Their Spiritual Significance

So let’s get to the real heart of this matter: what are the obstacles that keep two lovebirds from living in the lap of mutuality? Sure, everyone has their inner problems. But that’s not all there is to this. It all comes down to the size of the gap we have about our own destructiveness. We can have mutuality to the degree that we know the side of ourselves that is bent on hate and negativity—on being evil.

If there is a large rift between our awareness of this and our conscious desire for goodness, love and decency, then mutuality can’t take place. Again, this isn’t about the presence or absence of evil in us—it’s about our awareness of it, or lack thereof. Make a note of this.

We usually approach this all wrong. We think we have to eradicate the still-existing faults and destructive parts, otherwise we don’t deserve the bliss that comes from mutuality. But we’re afraid of acknowledging these aspects, so the rift widens.

Here’s the situation: if we are disconnected from what lives hidden inside us, we will act out what we unconsciously know exists deep within. When we act this out with another person, we strike a chord that resonates with their concealed wounds. Then the relationship falters or becomes stale. Mutuality then, in the true sense, can’t unfold.

This is why it is crucial for us to get to know ourselves, including the good and the bad. Because there can be quite a gap between our conscious good selves and our unconscious devils. Yet here we are, putting up such a struggle, claiming it’s too painful to look at these hard-to-accept parts of ourselves. But what’s the alternative? Life will be painful and not truly lived unless we make this effort.

All evil contains an original creative energy that we are rejecting when we reject evil within ourselves. We need this energy to regain our wholeness. But we can only transform it when we are aware of its distorted form. Yet how can we reconvert it if we are busy rejecting it? Hence, we remain split within.

In the end, disunity within can never bring unity with others. It is utter folly to expect that it can. The splits inside of us will keep reappearing as splits between us and the ones we love, unless we become fully aware of ourselves. Bringing negativity into our conscious awareness is how we begin to mend the rift. As we learn to accept all the parts of ourselves, we create an inner mutuality.

But if we insist on maintaining unrealistic standards, demands and expectations of ourselves, it will continue to be absolutely unthinkable that we will be able to create mutuality with someone we can love. When we reject the evil in ourselves, we are in effect saying, “First I must become perfect; then I can accept, love and trust myself.” And isn’t this then effectively what we are saying towards our partner? Then it dawns on us: Hey, they’re far from perfect. So we reject them. Handy explanations are easy to find, but they don’t help us see how we are the ones who keep rejecting our own imperfect selves. This is such a missed opportunity for growth. Separation wins again.

This mechanism shows up in all our relationships: with family, partners, business associates, friends. Any place where we intersect with others. We can look at all the trouble spots and ask ourselves: to what degree am I open to the other person’s reality? Then look out. We’re apt to be hit with a flurry of justifications and rationalizations. Self-blame might also sneak in, masquerading as self-acceptance. But it’s really not a lick better than out-and-out self-denial.

We all know no one’s perfect. At least we pay this notion a lot of lip service. But in our hearts, are we intolerant, critical and unaccepting? If so, that’s the same thing we’re doing to ourselves. Perhaps someone is acting out their negativity, projecting a bunch of stuff on us. We may realize that their defense is more destructive than whatever they are defending against feeling in themselves. But if we can’t cope with this destructive behavior coming towards us, it’s only because we don’t know when and how we are doing the same thing. Although of course our acting out may look different on the surface.

So it’s often easiest to see our reactions towards others. We can use them like signal lights, pointing to where we are doing the same thing to ourselves. Plus, we hurt ourselves more by covering up our dirty work. Cover-ups make us feel unacceptable. Our self-hate widens the gulf.

We can also look at the depth of our interactions. If we’re in shallow, unsatisfying relationships that lack intimacy, where we only reveal the parts of ourselves that we think will be acceptable, we’ve got another good gauge. We’re not taking any chances because we don’t accept ourselves. And if we don’t believe that our genuine self can be accepted, we won’t accept others and where they are in their development. Mutuality: out.

When we hate ourselves, we are going to find the movement of opening up and accepting the emanations from another to be unbearable. It will appear to be dangerous. If we contract after every temporary opening, it’s not because we are evil. This happens because we can’t accept the energies that are alive in us. As a result, we remain locked in contractions, unable to convert them into expansions.

So where should we turn first? Inward. We can apply the principle of mutuality there before extending it to relationships with others. Keep in mind, all separation is an illusion. Separation between us and someone else is just as unreal as the separateness between the parts of ourselves. This is an artifact that comes about because of what we deny. Simple as that. We close our eyes and create two selves: the acceptable and the unacceptable.

In reality, it’s all us; we are not two people. This same illusion is what separates us from all others, but it’s an artificial construct created by our minds. In the greater reality, this division doesn’t exist. This concept may be hard to grasp, but we live in an overall illusion of being separate. And that is the cause of our pain and struggle.

In reality, all is one; every one of us is connected with all that is. This isn’t a figure of speech. One consciousness runs through everything. But we can only move out of duality and experience this truth of unity when there is no longer any part of ourselves that we exclude or split off. Mutuality is the bridge we can cross to get to unity, and the journey starts within.

The Pull: Relationships & Their Spiritual Significance

Let’s look at mutuality from an energetic point of view. When there is an expanding movement, energy flows outward. Two people who open up to each other in mutuality will be able to accept an open flow and not contract. Their energetic fields will interpenetrate each other. There will be a constant flow and exchange.

When two people are not able to open to mutuality, they will contract and remain separate. Each will remain enclosed in their own little bubble, as on an island. Little or no energy will be exchanged. This blocking of an exchange of energy literally delays the great evolutionary plan.

Sometimes a person can only open up when there is no chance of mutuality. In this case, a Yes-current will go out looking for a No-current out of fear of mutuality. So then the energy streams out but hits a wall and gets thrown back by the other’s closed energy system. These two islands in the stream will never connect.

We see this happen all the time. Either people are always falling in love, but their love is not returned. Or for seemingly unfathomable reasons, they fall out of love just when things start to heat up for the other. This also shows up in longtime relationships in which one person is only open when the other is closed, and vice versa. Slow steady growth is the only way to change this tune.

In the early stages of our development, there is a lot of fear present. The same fear that makes us not accept ourselves will make us want to run away. So we run and return. Run and return. While we are running from our fears, hate will come into being, in all its funky derivatives.

Of course our minds never want to be left out of the action. We jump into the process of avoidance with ready explanations, trying to make sense of what can’t be understood without a side of self-acceptance. Our minds become so busy we can’t hear a thing, especially the quieter inner voices that transmit on higher frequencies. These are the ones carrying the deeper truths of the universe.

Mental chatter then leads to more separation. We become disconnected from our own feelings and the state that got us here to begin with, causing us to live in constant frustration. All these blocks then show up in the body, which is where physical maladies come into play.

When we move into the stage of alternating opening and contracting, our minds get confused. We can’t find answers when we refuse to look at what seems to be the worst in ourselves. This is frustrating. And that makes us mad. More faulty logic attempts to explain all this away. Even more frustrating.

Meanwhile, back at the emotional ranch, longing and disappointment are sharing beds with fulfillment through fantasy. Back and forth between withdrawal and contraction. Also anger and hate. And don’t forget the blaming.

At long last, self-acceptance is what makes the world go ‘round. We need to find that flow, allowing a healthy alternation of expansion and contraction, which can only emerge when we attune with the rhythm of the universe in sweet harmony.

The Pull: Relationships & Their Spiritual Significance

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Read Original Pathwork® Lecture: #185 Mutuality: A Cosmic Principle and Law