Monday, May 26, 2014

Following Pleasure: Recommitting to Love

Following Pleasure: Recommitting to Love

The other night I had the pleasure of seeing Michael Meade who told the story about the guy who was looking for his keys under the street light, not because he lost them there, but because that is where there was enough light to search by.  Sychronistic because just that day I was on the elliptical trainer at the gym, spending some time noticing my internal flux and flow, some time watching people and occasionally getting drawn into the row of T.V.s above, and everywhere I looked I saw people trying to develop and feel their personal power.  Work out for a stronger body, do yoga for a sexier body, eat better food, drive a sweeter car, be good at attracting more lovers, make more money, communicate, cut off fat, take drugs for more dependable erections, identify with a winning team... endless possibilities.  But all searching for the keys in the light rather than where they were lost.

Why do we search in the light of cultural acceptance when the keys are waiting to be found in psychospiritual development?

Why? Because we are confused and afraid.

More and more, fear is being whipped up in a way that is leading to negative self-fulfilling prophesy.  The dangers are being cataloged and dire predictions abound, merchandisers scream that without their product we will not compete, news media pushes what is frightening and scientists prove over and over that we are speeding up our collective demise.   The dark forces are pouring the cake batter of fear into the pans of our hearts and it is getting hotter in here. 

The problem is that fear triggers survival behavior.  And survival behavior does not consider the big picture.  It’s about fight or flight or freeze.

When we are afraid of being abandoned we might withdraw our attempts to reach for love, and therefore end up getting what we are afraid of — being dropped.  When we seek superficial “powerfulness” we create a false sense of security and tragically lose the thread to our inner core where our destiny, and thus fulfillment awaits.     

What we need to focus on is how we can thrive.  How we can tease the thread of our soul out of the darkness of our bodies, and ball it into the heartfulness of satisfied living.  It requires awareness, embodiment, imaginal perspective and relational skills.  It is more about truth than comfort and it results in the tempering of the personality.  Not coincidentally, this is what we will focus on in our week in Mexico.  (Though I have to admit there will be plenty of comfort that week.  ...Because awareness, embodiment, imaginal development and relational skills all blossom when we are relaxed.)

 Psyche and Eros

While in Mexico we will work all four of the keys mentioned above — awareness, embodiment, imaginal development and relational skills.  Imaginal development will be supported through the telling of the story of Psyche and Eros.

This myth holds the structures of transformation and initiation that are involved in the path of relationship.

Psyche was a human girl who was so beautiful that she made the reigning queen goddess, Aphrodite, jealous.  This led to many trials and tribulations for Psyche.  But in the end of that story, Psyche has tempered herself and is allowed to marry the god of love and desire, Eros.  She is then a goddess, or at least a demigoddess.  An initiatory process has happened; her consciousness has been raised.

It is generally agreed that in the beginning of the story, Psyche represents the human mind.  As she cultivates desire and marries Love, she transforms such that she is “soul,” the human organ for connecting with the larger forces of unfolding life.

Since we will be exploring how to raise consciousness in loving, sexual relationships, the myth of Psyche and Eros can support our exploration with deep transpersonal roots.  By immersing in the story we can find archetypal patterns for soul development — with and through our lovers.

In the story, Psyche and Eros have a daughter Voluptuous, or, “Pleasure.”  By combining mindfulness, embodiment practice, relationship skills and immersion into this myth, we, like Psyche and Eros, will bear the fruit of pleasure.  We will follow our pleasure into a celebration of all that we can be in relationship and will use the energy to recommit to our love practices.


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