Marriage is the Triumph of Ingenuity Over Intelligence
posted by Roman Hanis co-authored by Cynthia Robinson on October 15th, 2016“Marriage is the triumph of ingenuity over intelligence.” This modified Oscar Wilde quote resonates with me because love is ingenious and unreasonable, yet somehow makes perfect sense. Since I can remember, I’ve wondered: Is it possible to be in love all the time? I recently married my beloved Cynthia Robinson, who is also my dearest friend. We’ve been mostly inseparable for the past 7 years, but that’s not to say it’s been an easy journey. Actually it’s been quite the opposite – these years, have been the most intense, challenging, provoking, and hardworking of my life. This time however has been immensely fulfilling, allowing the most sincere self-recognition and reconciliation to come forth. In my life, an authentic relationship only happens when the habitual masks of personality dramas are dropped. The stage where the ego basks in the spotlight as the main character of life’s tragic comedy must be abandoned for deeper layers of union to emerge. Therefore, my main discipline in life is to sincerely recognize, acknowledge, and reconcile all superficial appearance, drama, pretense, and elaborate self-delusion of egocentric separation. My heart is willing to do whatever it takes to drop the resistance to being vulnerable.
What is a “normal” marriage?Since I was little, the most common example of people getting married has been a celebratory expression of commitment to another person, accentuated by mutual infatuation and the expectation of a happily-ever-after-fantasy. I’ve also seen many relatives and friends wear out of that initial infatuation after some time and either divorce or continue their marriages in a very miserable way. Rarely have I seen the love based on truly getting to know and appreciate each other while persevering on the path of self-evolution through life's difficulties. Wishing for each other to be whole, free, and at peace is precisely that rare type of relationship that I have not been able to compromise in my life. It’s been quite a heroic journey thus far, entailing continuous trials, tribulations, and errors; all of which have been relentlessly breaking down my stubborn resistance to look deep into myself and come to terms with the apparently irreconcilable conflicts, confusions, weaknesses, tensions, and other constituents of the grandiose ignorance that so proudly goes by my name. If I cannot make sense of myself, then how can I even pretend to be with someone else? The connotation to the heroic journey therefore relates to the continuous heroic effort of being vulnerable rather than being “right” and recognizing that there’s true strength in this vulnerability. A relationship united by the inspiration to share inner freedom and a purpose in life greater than oneself has been the guiding beacon to us from the start. The other rather disempowering option has been the suffocating dependency and controlling fear of seeing something in the other that I lack in myself and constantly needing them to be that for me. Since life is never quite as black and white as this, streaming insights into what it takes to embody an intentional relationship continuously beacon the way towards the ultimate expression of divine union.
The ultimate spiritual practiceTo practice being simultaneously brave, vulnerable, and heart-centered thus supports a relationship as a perpetual journey of heart’s mystery initiation into each other and oneself. An intentional relationship in our life is a catalyst of evolution unraveling a profound rite of passage into becoming human. So, is it unreasonable and foolish to be in an objective, genuine, and conscious relationship with the whole universe? Or is it responsibly ingenious? For Cynthia and myself, a sincere partnership based on friendship and mutual support of each other’s evolutionary growth has become an alchemical pressure cooker of spiritual growth. Our partnership is culminating into a maturing embodiment of service to all of humanity, beginning with ourselves as the seeds of change. We see our partnership as a lucid reflection of an innate quest towards truth, happiness, and freedom that’s universally shared by all beings and yet expressed uniquely by each one.
Our relationship success stepping stonesTo truly embody a divine union together, that union first and foremost has to be made within each of us as individuals. While that individual inner process of coming into union and wholeness may be a journey that lasts a lifetime, it’s a lifetime very much worth living. Here are some of the stepping stones that continue to be invaluable in our experience:
- We’ve found that establishing a solid platonic friendship first allowed for a very stable foundation for our intimate relationship to be built upon. A long period of initial friendship before intimacy helped us get to know each other’s individualities on a profound level and honor each other as autonomous human beings each on their own evolutionary journey.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery shares that “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” Our Tibetan teachers and some of the Andean and Amazonian indigenous elders we work with have a very similar perspective with the additional element that there is a state of true nature shared with all beings that can be seen inwardly as well. A mutual passion and inspiring purpose has allowed us to join our forces for a common cause and learn by complementing each other and working side by side, thus forging a powerful bond through the challenges of life.
- It's better to have friends who love truth more than each other. Our mutual love for truth has been a major magnetic force that allowed us to overcome all the personal issues. We practice with each other to be conscious and clear mirrors thus creating opportunities for greater recognition of the inner source. These innumerable opportunities cultivate immense determination for embodying wisdom and compassion, inseparable as symbols of our union.
- We engage with and share teachers as role models that we can honor and be motivated by, rather than worship. These teachers demonstrate how to be truly human in spite of the trials and tribulations of daily life. We find that living examples of the mastery of love are essential to see clearly what is possible in ourselves. The best way to show our gratitude to these teachers is to embody that potential in our life.
- Life experience is essential. Of course it took both of us experiencing the opposite spectrum of relationships in our lives that involved rushing into an instinctual roller coaster of instant gratification and becoming an amorphous two headed monster blob of dependency and expectation to realize what true love is NOT.