Yes, I know this is a confronting series of articles, and very intentionally so. I’ve been an ardent student and teacher of A Course in Miracles for almost four years now, and even I for a long time resisted the part about letting go of the “special” relationship. The Course actually predicts this, as it predicts many things that have already happened to me. It is, after all, a prophecy of the salvation of the world.
This is what the Course predicts about the difficulty of letting go of the “special” relationship:
You who have tried so hard, and are still trying, to fit the better picture into the wrong frame and so combine what cannot be combined, accept this and be glad: These pictures are each framed perfectly for what they represent. One is framed to be out of focus and not seen. The other is framed for perfect clarity. The picture of darkness and of death grows less convincing as you search it out amid its wrappings. As each senseless stone that seems to shine from the frame in darkness is exposed to light, it becomes dull and lifeless, and ceases to distract you from the picture. And finally you look upon the picture itself, seeing at last that, unprotected by the frame, it has no meaning.
The other picture is lightly framed, for time cannot contain eternity. There is no distraction here. The picture of Heaven and eternity grows more convincing as you look at it. And now, by real comparison, a transformation of both pictures can at last occur. And each is given its rightful place when both are seen in relation to each other. The dark picture, brought to light, is not perceived as fearful, but the fact that it is just a picture is brought home at last. And what you see there you will recognize as what it is; a picture of what you thought was real, and nothing more. For beyond this picture you will see nothing.
As I read through the Part 2 about Monogamy, I see a lot of people struggling to fit the “special” relationship into the new frame. It’s not going to work. Sorry, folks, monogamy cannot be squared with the Course. Period.
So after much soul-searching about this and exploration of this topic, I’m now ready to let go of the “special” relationship, and all of its egoic trappings. Not because it is being taken away from me. Because I don’t want it. Nobody does. The “special” relationship damns you to guilt, hell, and death. It damns you to a world where you never get what you really want. Is that what you want?
Let’s examine this more closely …
Let’s notice what happens when you allow yourself to get involved in a “special” relationship. Especially when you make promises of exclusivity to another person.
The first problem is obvious. You have promised to be exclusive, and “temptation” arises in the form of another person with whom you want to connect. Depending who you are, your solution may be to “go behind the back” of your partner (and please don’t underestimate how common this is) and “cheat.” … ooooooh, guess what?
You’ve now got GUILT. You cannot break your word and not experience guilt.
But there’s an equally guilt-ridden outcome that most “moral” people don’t understand is just as destructive as “cheating.” And that is what happens when you don’t “cheat.”
You have committed yourself to a monogamous relationship, and next thing you know, you are telling other people that you “can’t” connect with them in various ways because of the promises you’ve made to your “significant” other (a label which implies that other people are “less significant” than your “significant” other) … oooooh, guess what?
You’ve now got GUILT. Despite what you may think, and what the ego would like you to believe, the guilt here is just as destructive as the guilt you will experience by cheating. You cannot choose among your brothers and sisters in this fashion and not experience guilt. You cannot put one person above everyone else and not experience guilt.
And guilt, my friends, is the great saboteur. It will bite you in the ass every time. In fact, if you don’t wake up, it will lead you straight to sickness, suffering, and death.
It doesn’t matter what form the guilt takes. Any form of choosing among one’s brothers and sisters will do the trick. Thus, the same goes for women who say “I have a boyfriend” when they don’t, so they can avoid connecting with a guy they believe is “beneath” them. If you believe anyone is beneath you, or above you, or above others, you are asking for pain.
“Under the Holy Spirit’s teaching all relationships are seen as total commitments, yet they do not conflict with one another in any way.” – A Course in Miracles
Really breathe that quotation in, and notice what a breath of fresh air it really is … I am no longer choosing among my brothers and sisters …
If you are not totally committed to every person whose life touches yours (and, by definition, you cannot be totally committed to everyone if you have made ego-based promises of exclusivity), you will experience guilt and all of the unfortunate outcomes that go along with guilt. You DO NOT WANT THESE OUTCOMES.
So it is time to open up our relationships. It is time to share our relationships fully. Don’t kid yourself. Don’t pretend you are sharing the relationship fully with the world if you are keeping certain areas “exclusive.” Everything must become non-exclusive and shared. Starting right now.
“Love, too, would set a feast before you, on a table covered with a spotless cloth, set in a quiet garden where no sound but singing and a softly joyous whispering is ever heard. This is a feast that honors your holy relationship, and at which everyone is welcomed as an honored guest. And in a holy instant grace is said by everyone together, as they join in gentleness before the table of communion. And I will join you there, as long ago I promised and promise still. For in your new relationship am I made welcome. And where I am made welcome, there I am.”
– A Course in Miracles
Don’t kid yourself. The phrase “at which everyone is welcomed as an honored guest” means you share EVERYTHING. You don’t leave the feast and go back to your SEPARATE bedroom to have sex with your exclusive lover, unless you want to exile yourself from Oneness.
And I assure you, you don’t want to exile yourself from Oneness, because you are damning yourself to hell by doing so. Make your own choices, but when the inevitable suffering bites you in the ass, don’t tell me I didn’t tell you so ….