All newsletters below (c) Martin Ucik. Permission is granted to use/share with reference to the author and www.integralrelationship.com.
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Integral Relationship Evolutionaries
5/15/13 - Integral Relationship Evolutionaries do what they love, do well, the world needs and pays for
5/8/13 - The Evolution of Love Relationships
4/22/13 - Ennegram: Instinctual Variants
2/4/13 - Monogamy vs. non-monogamy survey results and my process to monogamy out of choice
1/25/13 - Survey and question: What motivates monogamy and non-monogamy at "Integral" and higher stages?
12/09/12 - Four reasons why men should be integrally informed about love relationships (and women should choose these men)!
10/13/12 - Building a world-wide Network of Integral Relationship Professionals and decoding the IR logo
9/29/12 - Using your Integral lens to evaluate relationship experts!
8/20/12 - Why do couples argue and get into fights, and why are singles single?
7/29/12 - Are women more evolved than men?
6/8/12 - We need more Integral Relationship Evolutionaries!
2/28/12 - Four Secrets to great romance, passionate sex, and everlasting love!
2/22/12 - What is an Integral relationship?
2/11/12 - My visit to Ken Wilber
1/26/12 - My critics where right
1/12/12 - Two women critically reflect on Integral Relationships Discourse with Integral New York
1/3/12 - Burning out while manifesting your authentic Kosmic Creativity?
1/28/12 - An Inconvenient Relationship Truth
12/13/11 - The purpose of my recent rant and Los Angeles IR Gathering sign-up deadline Wed. 12/15
12/10/11 - Four reasons why many love and relationship experts are not truthful.
11/24/11 - My recent conversation with Andrew Cohen about Evolutionary Relationships.
11/15/11 - The 97%.
11/3/11 - Are women morally superior to men and in their capacity to lead?
10/10/11 - Putting "Lasting Love Made Easy" videos in an Integral context.
9/29/11 - Let's discuss and refine the 12 Core Values for Integral Relationship Evolutionaries.
9/23/11 - To be or not to be -- that is the questions.
9/8/11 - My cultural shadow.
8/24/11 - How the Wilber-Combs Matrix improves love relationships.
8/5/11 - The way out of our economic and ecological crisis.
7/29/11 - Andrew Cohen. Priority of love relationships in our lives.
7/20/11 Five ways to spot soul mates in Integral Relationships.
7/13/11 Conscious coupling and uncoupling. What happened to happily ever after, devotion, and humility?
4/28/11 How many perspectives can you and your partner hold?
Integral Relationship Evolutionaries
In an Integral Evolutionary Relationship, both partners are at an Integral or higher level of consciousness and share (1) what they love to do/feel called to do, (2) what they do well, (3) what the world needs, and (4) what the world will pay for--their Evolutionary Purpose.
These four dimensions correlate with Ken Wilber's Four Quadrants that are essential to our human existence (small image top right).
- What you love = Upper Left "I" Intentional
- What you do well = Upper Right "It" Behavioral
- What the world needs = Lower Left "We" Cultural
- What the world will pay for = Lower Right "Its" Social
Realizing our fullest potentials in all four dimensions leads to personal satisfaction, comfort, contentment and fulfillment. Neglecting any of them leads to imbalance, dis-ease, and suffering in individuals, our relationships and the world.
Singles sometimes struggle to realize their fullest potentials in all four dimensions because of interior and exterior conflicts and because it is impossible to simultaneously embody feminine and masculine polarities (small image bottom right). Trying to rotate through all four dimensions without the balancing support of a partner or neglecting some of them over longer periods of time can become exhausting and frustrating. Most singles who entered into Integral Relationships report an increase in life quality and contribution.
Conventional and postconventional couples often either neglect certain dimensions, or they divide responsibilities between them. They may both ignore doing what they love or what the world pays them for, or one partner is focusing on what he or she does well and what the world pays for (career/success), while the other focuses on what he or she loves to do and what the world needs (vocation/fulfillment). Even if this is working for some couples, on a global economic and environmental scale we see that this division of rights and responsibilities is not sustainable.
Integral Evolutionary Couples create synergy by equally sharing:
What they love and what they do well (= passion)
What they do well and what the world will pay for (= career)
What the world will pay for and what the world needs (= charity/ethics)
What the world needs and what they love (= vocation)
Because their Evolutionary Purposes are aligned, it is only natural for them to take turns in assuming equal rights and responsibilities in each of the four dimensions by balancing and harmonizing their healthy feminine and masculine polarities of ascending, descending, agency and communion. This authentic evolutionary co-creation between opposite and equal partners is the latest emergence in the evolution of relationships; post patriarchy and the female equality/empowerment/Goddesses/singles movement (see last weeks newsletter below.)
If you are single you may want to explore what you love to do, what you do well, what the world needs from you, and what the world will pay for. You can then find/attract a partner at an Integral or higher level of consciousness who shares your Evolutionary Purpose and with whom you can co-create synergy in all four dimensions as opposite and equal partners. Just think about the possibilities of sharing resources, knowledge and your Integral Life Practice with an equal and like-minded partner. Visit www.integralsingles.com to find your perfect match.
If you are in a relationship you may have a conversation with your partner how you can realize your fullest potentials in all the four dimensions by co-creating more synergy through equally sharing rights and responsibilities and balancing and harmonizing your feminine and masculine polarities.
Make use of the resources on this website to co-create an Evolutionary Relationship.
Evolution of Relationships
As we evolve as humans, so do our love relationships. At this time we can map out eight stages:
1. In the most fundamental form, love relationships are driven by basic survival instincts: food, shelter and sex. Our primary sexual selection process is still driven from this level and experienced when we drop any rational or moral consideration in order to become sexual with another human being.
2. At the next level, a deep sense of magical belonging to a partner emerges. This is often described in fairy tales, over-romanticized movies, romance novels, and books about soul-mates or twin-flames who we shared previous lives with. We experience this form of love when we sense that we can't live without a specific person who makes us feel (psychologically) complete. Some therapists call this "mutually compatible pathologies". This stage is not to be confused with the transpersonal stage of balancing and harmonizing feminine and masculine polarities with an uniquely compatible evolutionary co-creator.
3. Following this magical stage, we desire a partner who satisfies our ego by giving us all that we ever wanted and deserve right now; someone who selflessly satisfies all our needs and desires, while sacrificing his or her own. If he or she fails to do so, we demand to be loved, supported, accepted and respected, and are quick to punish our partner and end the relationship if we don't get what we want.
4. As we evolve further, we realize that sexual, magical and romantic feelings do not equate love, but that "Real Love" is not a feeling but an action that is governed by mythic rules such as irrevocable commitment, humility, selflessness, sacrifice, devotion and "marriage until death do us apart". Separating from a spouse is unacceptable and if we do so leads to immense personal guilt, punishment by society and condemnation by a higher authority/power.
5. In the next stage of love, we realize that exceptional couples support each other in realizing their highest potential for self-actualization, professional and personal success, freedom, sexual fulfillment, optimal emotional and physical health, wealth, and happiness. We don't even consider a relationship if we don't get 100% of what we desire in a mate (see for example Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb). If an existing partner can no longer support us in reaching our goals, and after some obligatory couples therapy, it is advised and legitimate to seek a new partner who has the necessary personal qualities and social resources to propel us higher and helps us to realize our highest dreams and aspirations.
6. Once we exhaust our potentials for worldly success and deriving happiness through a partner, the potential for non-localized "spiritual" or "unconditional love" emerges. We find an inner source of higher love that also flows out to all sentient beings. As Rumi wrote; "our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it." Many forms of love relationships emerge from this level, and we can love and be sexual with multiple people who love us and all others in return (with the performative contradiction that we ostracize people who we perceive as un-loving, namely people in stages 4, 5, and 7).
7. We escape the "everything goes" variations of love in the former stage when we integrate the healthy aspects and partial truths of all the previous forms of relationships, and transcend their limited views. This allows us to co-create a committed partnership in which we meet our own and the physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual, social, psychological and spiritual needs of our partner by making an agreement to choose to love, and to heal, learn and grow together.
8. The latest emergence of love relationships is between couples who fully embody the previous "Integral" level and share an authentic evolutionary purpose. They are not only committed to supporting each other's ongoing deeper psychological healing and higher spiritual/evolutionary realization, but are also uniquely poised to serve the evolution of humanity into an ever more peaceful and sustainable future as a couples with equal rights and responsibilities. These couples provide the greatest good for the largest number of people through their authentic evolutionary purpose by advancing into novelty together.
Couples who are at different stages of their evolution/development or are pathologically attached to limited vies of earlier stages or have not fully included (transcend and include) the healthy aspects or basic capacities (rungs) of each earlier stage will experience dissonance in their relationship. In some cases, transformational Integral coaching or Integral therapy can provide a solution, in other cases, ending the relationship with love and compassion serves both partners best.
See Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men (and curious women) under "Ladder Climber View" on page 126 and "To be or not to be" on page 160 for more.
If you are (or become) single, you can find an Integral partner at www.integralsingles.com.
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Last year on 4th of July, my girlfriend and I where invited to dinner by one of her women friends. Over the wonderful Portuguese meal, the other guest showed an interest in stage development in love relationships. The two of us began an intense conversation that continued as we walked outside to watch the fireworks. As we walked down the street my girlfriend nudged me, obviously upset, and said "me and my friend are still here too." She felt that it was very rude of me to interact with only one person for over an hour while the four of us where together, while I assumed that they would either included themselves or have their own inspired conversation.
As my girlfriend and I later discussed how we had experienced the situation differently, I remembered the three Instinctual Variants in the Enneagram and we did a test at www.enneagraminstitute.com/ivq.asp#.UXVre7Wsh8E.
Sure enough, it turned out that she is primarily a Social Type and I am a Sexual Type. This helped us to frame the situation in a different context.
As I investigated the topic further I learned that some relationship experts maintain that couples with different Instinctual Variants don't get along very well or not at all. That may be true if they are in 1st tier consciousness. However, integrally informed couples can create synergy between each other by putting their differing Instinctual Variants in the service of their shared relationship vision or higher purpose that is larger than either individual. I made a mental note to add Instinctual Variants to Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men, so below is a brief description from www.enneagraminstitute.com/ivq.asp#.UXVre7Wsh8E.
The focus here is easy to understand from the name. People of this Instinctual type are preoccupied with basic survival needs as they translate in our contemporary society. Thus, Self-Preservation types are concerned with money, food, housing, health, physical safety and comfort. Being safe and physically comfortable are priorities. These people are quick to notice any problems in a room such as poor lighting or uncomfortable chairs, or to be dissatisfied with the room temperature. They often have issues connected with food and drink, either overdoing it or having strict dietary requirements. In the healthy to average Levels, of the three Instinctual types, they are the most practical in the sense of taking care of basic life necessities—paying bills, maintaining the home and workplace, acquiring useful skills, and so forth. When these types deteriorate, they tend to distort the instinct to the degree that they are poor at taking care of themselves. Unhealthy Self-Preservation types eat and sleep poorly or become obsessed with health issues. They often have difficulty handling money and may act out in deliberately self-destructive ways. In a nutshell, Self-Preservation types are focused on enhancing their personal security and physical comfort.
This subtype is focused on their interactions with other people and with the sense of value or esteem they derive from their participation in collective activities. These include work, family, hobbies, clubs—basically any arena in which Social types can interact with others for some shared purpose. Within that social instinct, however, are many other implicit imperatives, and primary among them is the understanding of "place" within a hierarchical social structure. This is as true for dogs and gorillas as it is for human beings. Thus, the desire for attention, recognition, honor, success, fame, leadership, appreciation, and the safety of belonging can all be seen as manifestations of the Social instinct. Social types like to know what is going on around them, and want to make some kind of contribution to the human enterprise. There is often an interest in the events and activities of one's own culture, or sometimes, of another culture. In general, Social types enjoy interacting with people, but they avoid intimacy. In their imbalanced, unhealthy forms, these types can become profoundly antisocial, detesting people and resenting their society, or having poorly developed social skills. In a nutshell, Social types are focused on interacting with people in ways that will build their personal value, their sense of accomplishment, and their security of "place" with others.
Many people originally identify themselves as this type, perhaps confusing the idea of a Sexual Instinctual type with being a "sexy" person. Furthermore, lest one think this type more "glamorous" than the other two, one would do well to remember that the instinct can become distorted in the type, leading to the area of life causing the greatest problems. In healthy to average Sexual types, there is a desire for intensity of experience--not just sexual experience, but having a similar "charge." This intensity could be found in a great conversation or an exciting movie. Much has been said about this type preferring "one-on-one" relationships versus the Social type's preference for "larger groups," but a quick poll of one's acquaintances will reveal that almost all people prefer communicating one-on-one than in a group. The question is more one of the intensity of contact, and the strength of the desire for intimacy. Sexual types are the "intimacy junkies" of the Instinctual types, often neglecting pressing obligations or even basic "maintenance" if they are swept up in someone or something that has captivated them. This gives a wide-ranging, exploratory approach to life, but also a lack of focus on one's own priorities. In their neurotic forms, this type can manifest with a wandering lack of focus, sexual promiscuity and acting out, or just the opposite, in a fearful, dysfunctional attitude toward sex and intimacy. Sexual types, however, will be intense, even about their avoidances. In a nutshell, Sexual types are focused on having intense, intimate interactions and experiences with others and with the environment to give them a powerful sense of "aliveness."
If you don't know your own and your partners Instinctual Variant then I strongly suggest that you do the test at www.enneagraminstitute.com/ivq.asp#.UXVre7Wsh8E and make them a part of your Kosmic Address.
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Monogamy vs. non-monogamy survey results and my process to monogamy out of choice
Almost 150 people participated in last weeks survey about monogamy vs. non-monogamy and many provided additional perspectives (see www.facebook.com/integralrelationship and here)
Thank you to all of you!
3 = 27%
8 = 73%
20 = 80%
5 = 20%
33 = 80%
8 = 20%
18 = 72%
7 = 28%
1 = 100%
0 = 0%
20 = 75%
7 = 25%
99 = 76%
31 = 24%
Based on the self-assessed answers above, my friend Bill (see newsletter below) is right that there is non-monogamy in 2nd-tier, even though it seems a little less than in 1st-tier if we consider "Don't know", "Green" and "Exit Green" as 1st-tier. We also see an increase in non-monogamy among 2nd-tier women compared with men, as I guessed in the last newsletter.
My process to monogamy out of choice instead of fear:
In my Amber and Orange marriages I was monogamous because I made a promise and assumed that monogamy is normal for married people. Underlying was a fear to fall in love with someone else, to hurt my wife and children, to ruin the relationship, social and cultural norms, and my own insecurities and lack of access; in short--monogamy out of fear.
In my Green phase I was on and off monogamous and non-monogamous and felt challenged when my lovers/partners where not sexually exclusive with me. With the support of therapists, groups, lovers and friends, I went through the fire of dealing with my fears and insecurities around non-monogamy.
As I healed and moved into Teal, a deeper love for all humans emerged and I became "poly-till". My lovers and I had the mutual understanding that our sexual relationships would end if they would choose so, or if I would find/attract a compatible partner for an Integral Relationship; in short--non-monogamy out of fear to be lonely and without sex.
(The image below illustrates the three elements (Intimacy, Passion and Dependence) that form eight different kinds of love, depending on how each partner experiences the three elements in kind and degree.)
Click on the image above to learn more about the Triangle of Love and Integral Relationships.
I ended all my loverships before finding/attracting a compatible Integral Partner when I became inspired by Andrew Cohen, Terry Patten, Elizabeth Debold, Craig Hamilton and others to focus my time and energy on the evolutionary purpose that I experienced to emerge through me instead of maintaining multiple sexual relationships. I also sensed that I would be more open to attracting/finding a compatible Integral woman with whom I would share an evolutionary purpose (as indicated in the image below), and that I could be more effective and in integrity as an Integral Relationship Evolutionary, workshop-leader and consultant.
Other major considerations for ending my loverships where that I wanted my single female friends to be fully open to other men, to built trust and avoid misunderstandings with clients and workshop participants, and to deepen my compassion and support for men and women who desire to find a partner.
Without the ability to be non-monogamous I would not feel that my choice to be monogamous when in relationship is authentic. In other words, for me monogamy vs. non-monogamy became a process and not a fixed position.
(The image above illustrates the three-dimensional nature of Evolutionary Integral Relationships, where couples share Intimacy, Passion and Dependence (as in an Integral Relationship) & an Evolutionary purpose.)
Now that I can choose freely to be without lovers when single, it seems sensible to be monogamous out of choice instead of fear when I am in committed relationship. This leaves room for non-monogamy if yet another shift around this topic may occur or if there would be unique circumstances.
I recognize and respect that other peoples paths may be different and will stay curious to learn more about what motivates us humans to be monogamous or non-monogamous, so thank you again for your feedback.
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Survey and question: What motivates monogamy and non-monogamy at "Integral" and higher stages?
Go directly to http://integralrelationshipsurvey.weebly.com/ to participate in the confidential survey. Thank you.
After my friend Bill McCart took a look at The 12 Core Values for Integral Relationship Evolutionaries he pointed out that the last one, "We engage in sacred/tantric sexuality and practice monogamy out of choice instead of fear" implies that all people at an Integral or higher level would choose to be monogamous. He wondered if this could be so, as each stage of consciousness development seems to have produced its own forms of monogamy and non-monogamy.
I offer my thoughts below for discussion and invite your feedback by filling out the survey at http://integralrelationshipsurvey.weebly.com/, responding to this email and/or joining the discussion on www.facebook.com/integralrelationship. Thank you.
At archaic "Infrared" and magical "Magenta" stages, which are centered around basic survival needs and family clans, the lines between monogamy and non-monogamy seem to be blurred and somewhat unclear. High status males may have multiple "wives" who are forced to be faithful and harshly punished when committing adultery. Lower status males may only have one wife and be monogamous, have to resort to forms of rape, or be without a partner. We may also see the rare form of polyandry at these two stages.
At the egocentric "Red" stage, monogamy may often be practiced out of fear of punishment from a partner or tribe/gang/cult. Non-monogamy (outside of polygamy and the rare cases of polyandry) takes on the form of cheating without any considerations for later consequences (STD's, pregnancy, emotional harm, marginalization etc.)
At the mythic "Amber" stage, monogamy becomes informed and enforced by religious beliefs and moral laws that establish and protect the nuclear family and stabilize societies by giving every man a fair chance to find a wife (widespread polygamy necessarily leaves many men without a partner) and providing for women and children. Marriages are "until death do us apart". Non-monogamy (outside polygamy, which fades away at Amber) takes on the form of cheating, having mistresses, and visiting prostitutes. If done by men in secrecy, it is often silently tolerated or even condoned by society. Non-monogamy by women is condemned by society.
At the rational "Orange" stage, gender plays less of a role when it comes to sexual behavior, and monogamy becomes a practical choice for men and women in their pursuit of the good life of material abundance and personal liberty. Non-monogamy still includes cheating, but also takes on accepted forms of open "don't ask don't tell" relationships, swinging, casual sex, sex parties, the cougar movement, escorts, sex tourism, adult clubs, etc. (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas).
The image below, which I found on the Internet, depicts most current forms of non-monogamy in a tongue in cheek way.
Click on image for larger view.
At the pluralistic "Green" stage, relationships shift toward self-fulfillment and gender roles become more blurred and sometimes even get reversed. Monogamy and celibacy may be chosen as a spiritual practice and for psychological healing. Non-monogamy takes on the form of polyamory, which means "many loves." In their purest form, poly relationships provide alternatives to the primarily sexually motivated non-monogamy options of Orange (if Orange truly falls in love with another partner they usually separate/divorce) and the social stigma of Amber (where divorce is often not an option) by openly loving and being sexual with more than one partner.
Polyamory becomes chaotic and painful when Red (which Green cannot distinguish from itself and does not want to marginalize or exclude) enters the poly scene and violates the various ethics, agreements, rules, and processes of genuine polyamory under the guise of being "poly", while it is merely a justification for cheating and taking advantage of their partner(s), who then experience it as "polyagony". Even though polyamory is theoretically gender unbiased, there are usually more men with multiple partners than women, and I often found that men are happily poly until their partners take on lovers as well.
Now my question is:
What motivates monogamy, non-monogamy (or celibacy) at "Integral" and higher stages? What forms does it take? What role does gender, age, hormones, status and access (to partners) play?
I noticed that most men at Integral and higher levels (including me) prefer long-term monogamous relationships and marriages, maybe to counter our previous promiscuity and serial monogamy in Orange and Green (see for example Robert Augustus Masters' ideas about Mature or Awakened Monogamy, or David Deida who "strongly recommends monogamy for most people including himself" on his website). I also observed that Integral women may be less interested in such exclusive and long-term arrangements and desire more sexual freedom and less commitment (but I don't want to speak for them, hence the survey), which challenges some Integral men. This dynamic may also be related to lowered testosterone levels in middle-aged males and hormonal changes in females.
I admit that Core Value #12 may be more my wishful thinking than a reality. My thought was that Integral couples would be more interested in healing, learning and growing together to serve a higher authentic evolutionary purpose as a couple, than to seek sexual variety and experiences, but I may be wrong--so hence my question above.
As I already hinted at above, there is a twist to all forms of non-monogamy that I find quite significant, but that is often overlooked.
Most first-tier non-monogamous relationships, including polyamory, are composed of attractive (tall), high-status/high earning, potent males (and/or men with lots of free time on their hands) who have multiple female lovers who are typically monogamous with them. This creates a challenge for less attractive and busy males to find a female lover and partner, as the women rather share a man who they find highly rewarding than to settle for a less attractive mate. For sake of argument, assume that 10% of highly attractive males would have 5 exclusive lovers each. This would leave 50% of men single, frustrated and in potentially harmful competition.
What are your thoughts and experiences? Please take a moment to fill out the survey at http://integralrelationshipsurvey.weebly.com/ so that we can get a clearer picture. We will share the results (anonymously of course) in one of our next newsletters. You may also respond to this email with your thoughts, join the ongoing discussion at www.facebook.com/integralrelationship, and/or continue the conversation at one of the upcoming workshops.
Feedback from the survey.
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Four reasons why men should be integrally informed about love relationships (and women should choose these men)!
1. It takes two people to co-create a love relationship, but only one person to end it.
2. Men (statistically) suffer more after breakups and divorces than women*.
3. Men generally benefit more from being in a committed love relationship/marriage than women do**, but are frequently less informed about what makes love work.
4. A peaceful and sustainable future of humanity depends on changing our sexual selection process, and this change needs to come from men***.
Men are still largely expected to approach and pursue women, take the risk of rejection, and pay for dates and diamond rings. This makes some sense, because men generally benefit more from being in love relationships than women do when it comes to life expectancy, physical and emotional health, income, career, and sexual satisfaction**, while this is only true for women in healthy relationships.
Statistics and men's experiences (and certainly mine) tell us that women end over 70% of all relationships and marriages.
As a result, most men suffer more emotionally (because they don't have the emotional support system in place that most women do, and often overly focus on their partner for intimacy**) and financially after a breakup or divorce. One indicator for this dynamic is the ten-times higher suicide rate of divorced fathers compared with divorced mothers*.
Nevertheless, women buy and read over 90% of all relationship books and typically outnumber men 3 to 1 in relationship seminars and workshops--unless they have sex in their title and content.
After my second marriage ended very amicably and I started dating again, I asked myself for a while why so many women left me and other men, and worked on improving my relationship skills. But then I started wondering why I and other men got involved with women in the first place who would eventually dump us. A few months after yet another women had left me on July 15, 2006, just a few days after we had returned from a trip to Germany where I introduced her to my family and a visit to Paris (that I paid for), I realized how Ken Wilber's Integral model would allow me to make better predictions about compatibility and the outcome of my love relationships.
As I wrote down my thoughts that eventually turned into Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men (which also resonates with some women) and applied the Integral map to the territory of my relationships, my love life improved tremendously. Instead of breaking my heart and bank account, most women that I dated and romantically related with became my friends.
As I finished writing the book in 2010, I also realized that a peaceful and sustainable future for all humanity depends largely on changing our sexual selection process, and that this change needs to come from men***.
Integral Relationships covers:
- Primary sexual fantasies of males and females and how to celebrate them instead of being unconsciously driven by them.
- Primary emotional reactions of shame in males and fear in females and how to stop the downward spiral.
- Learned gender roles and how to transcend them.
- Feminine/masculine polarities and how to create synergy between them.
- Multiple intelligences, passions, interests, values and needs that connect.
- Levels of consciousness, spiritual, anima/animus complex, and sexual development that need to be compatible for relationships to thrive.
- States of love and how to navigate them for lasting relationships.
- Love Languages and Enneagram types that allow them to deepen their connection.
- Four essential dimensions of our individual human existence and how to move from "me" to "we", to "us" to "all of us" and "all of it".
- Mutually compatible unconscious dimensions (shadow and untapped potentials) that allow them to heal and grow in their relationships.
- Dimensions of intimacy, passion and commitment that need to be balanced and harmonized for a relationship to be sustainable.
- (In)compatibilities between partners and when to stay and when to leave a relationship.
- Importance of co-created love relationships between opposite partners with equal rights and responsibilities for a peaceful and sustainable future of all humanity.
Integrally informed men who are in a relationship can identify growth potentials that allow them to deepen their loving connection on the levels of body, mind, heart, and soul/spirit.
Integrally informed single men receive a clear road map to finding/attracting and identifying compatible partners for the co-creation of sustainable relationships between opposites and equals.
Women who are interested in healthy sustainable relationships greatly benefit from partnering with Integrally informed men.
* See Patricia Love, Steven Stosny "How to Improve your Marriage Without Talking About It page 46: "The devastating effects of divorce on men present a strong argument for the fact that his partner provides the meaning of his life."
Laurie A. Rudman and Peter Glick "The Social Psychology of Gender" page 223 - 225: "Thoughts of ending the relationship are especially physically taxing and aversive for men."
http://articles.cnn.com/2000-03-15/health/divorce.suicide.wmd_1_divorce-higher-suicide-rate-women-attempt-suicide?_s=3DPM:HEALTH and www.afsp.org/ in 2004 overall US male suicides 25,907, female suicides 6,730.
** See Institute of American Values (www.americanvalues.org/) "Why Marriage Matters, Second Edition: Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences" and Patricia Love and Steven Stosny "How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It" introduction page 3: "Research and clinical experience also tell us that marriage and committed love relationships are more important to the health and well-being of men than women. Divorced men do not work as well or live as long or "survive" with anything like the quality of life enjoyed by married men. They are at considerably higher risk of alcoholism, suicide, physical and mental illness, unemployment, car crashes, and other accidents. They lose contact with friends, stop going to church or social groups, and eventually isolate themselves completely, except for whatever company they can find in a bar. In short, they lose meaning and purpose. Without a partner, men just go through the motions of living."
*** I suggest that men should become integrally informed about relationships and take responsibility for their sexual selection process to end their own suffering (if they still do), the suffering of women (if they still cause them suffering), and the suffering of the planet (if they contribute to it). We as men cannot ask (or expect) women to fix those things for us and themselves. From there, YES, as women do their part of the work (e.g. Elizabeth Debold's 10 Core Values for Evolving Women), we can become co-creators with equal rights and responsibilities in Evolutionary Integral Relationships. This slowly starts to happen at an Integral level and beyond, while women and men at earlier stages of development naturally fight this idea and blame each other for their problems and the problems in the world.
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Building a world-wide Network of Integral Relationship Professionals and decoding the IR logo
We are in the process of building a world-wide Network of Integral Relationship Professionals who support singles and couples in co-creating healthy sustainable love relationships.
As Andrew Cohen wrote: "If we want to catalyze evolution in consciousness and culture, we are going to have to share our deepest convictions and spiritual intuitions of what's possible, and then work hard, together, to make that possibility a reality." In this spirit we want to further the Integral Relationship Vision through the network.
Please forward this email to professional dating and relationship coaches, therapists, counselors, psychologists, fitness trainers, health and nutrition experts, practitioners, teachers, and photographers who already support singles and couples in co-creating healthy relationships and may be interested in taking an Integral approach to their work--or click here if you are a professional who wants to join us. There you will find a link to the terms and guidelines, an application form to join the network, and a list of professionals as they come on board.
As the logo below indicates, the Integral Relationship approach considers multiple dimensions of your and your partner's being:
- Your individual bodies, what attracts males and females to each other on a physical level, hormones, and how to stay fit and healthy (upper right quadrant).
- Your social environment and what makes you compatible (lower right quadrant).
- Your individual consciousness, values, passions, world views and sense of beauty, and how they impact your relationship (upper left quadrant).
- Your way of creating intimacy, shared meaning and goodness (lower left quadrant).
The white lines that form a cross in the center of the logo point to the four feminine and masculine polarities of ascending (up), descending (down), agency (right) and communion (left) that must be balanced and harmonized to generate sexual attraction and synergy between you and your partner.
The two rainbow colored vertical lines that frame the logo on the left and right represent the growth potentials in consciousness as well as spiritual, sexual, and anima/animus complex development for you and your partner, or the Seven Chakras if they are more resonant with you.
States of falling in love and how to navigate them successfully, as well as various personality typologies such as The Five Love Languages and the Ennegram that allow you and your partner to create synergy by taking advantage of your differences as you walk the path of love together are represented by the couple in the middle.
The triangles indicate the three core elements of love; (1) passion, (2) intimacy, and (3) commitment (the latter created by five forms of the unconscious and five forms of dependence), and how their presence in kind and degree result in eight forms of love that you and your partner may experience (including Integral Love).
The circle around the couple represents the ever-present dimension of Unconditional Divine Love.
The horizon that the couple is moving towards visualizes the Evolutionary purpose of Integral Relationships; to heal, to learn, to grow, and to share a purpose that is larger than either individual and serves the greatest good for the largest number of people.
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Using your Integral lense to evaluate relationship experts
Below is an outline how to use your Integral Relationship Lens to evaluate the advice that you receive from relationship experts. Click here for comments on the interviews by the experts pictured below.
This is timely because Fabienne and I where recently invited to share the Integral Relationship Vision at the FREE Letlovecometoyou.com online Relationship Summit with over 25 contributors such as our friends Michaela Boehm (only counselor trained and authorized by David Deida) and one of our favorite writers, David Richo (How to Be an Adult in Relationships, Daring to Trust etc.)
Beginning on Monday, October 1st, you can listen to one interview per weekday or within 72 hours after it became available on-line for absolutely FREE (the offered VIP package is completely optional, even though it appears a little unclear.) Our conversation will become available on October 24th.
Please click here to sign up for FREE. (You can safely unsubscribe from their mailing list after the summit if you are no longer interested.)
If you are Integrally informed, you can identify the part of the relationship territory that each of the relationship experts covers by assessing the level of consciousness (altitude), feminine and masculine polarity, lines of development, personality types and perspectives (a.k.a. The Four Quadrants "I", "We", "It" or "Its") they approach relationships from. In other words, what is the Kosmic Address (altitude + perspective) from which they speak.
Altitude (above) + Perspective (Four Quadrants Below) = Kosmic Address
- Do they suggest authentic "transformation" (growth) to the next higher
level of consciousness, or simply better "translation" at a particular level
of consciousness, e.g. through better communication (We), change in behavior
(It), or opening up to additional perspectives ("I", "We",
"It" or "Its") at a particular level of consciousness to solve
relationship problems? Both are important and valid!
- Do they favor the feminine descending/communal, or masculine
ascending/agency polarities, or suggest to balance and harmonize the healthy
forms of all four drives between equal and opposite partners?
- Do they look at love from a gender divided male or female point of view,
or advocate for equal rights and responsibilities for both sexes (a.k.a. Gender
- Do they differentiate between several lines of development (e.g. sexual,
spiritual, anima/animus complex) and personality types or take a rather
- Do they address various states or phases of relationships or take a
romanticized view on love?
- Do they confuse pre-rational magical thinking with trans-rational mystical
levels of consciousness or are they aware of the pre-trans fallacy and clearly
differentiate between the two?
As you listen to each expert through your Integral lens you can apply their wisdom to your relationships without falling into subtle (or not so subtle) reductionism or flatland perspectives. As Integral maintains, everybody is right from their own perspective and all perspectives are alive in us and our partners to various degrees (transcend and include).
If you are not yet Integrally informed about relationships you may order Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men (and curious women) at a 50% discount here.
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Why do couples argue and get into fights, and why are singles single?
There are many reasons why couples argue, get into fights and end their relationships, and why singles can't find a partner or avoid relationships altogether:
- Unfulfilled primary fantasies.
- Different passions, lifestyle choices or visions for the relationship.
- Psychological wounds and shadow.
- Different levels of spiritual, sexual, or anima/animus complex development.
- Incompatible love languages or unawareness of differing personality types.
- Different attachment styles (anxious, avoidant, or secure).
- Failure to balance and harmonize healthy feminine and masculine polarities in the four quadrants.
In most cases, these and similar problems can be solved through better "translation" (communication/understanding/behavior/psychological health etc.) with the help of appropriate books, workshops or relationship professionals if both partners are at the same level of consciousness. Otherwise their relationships are basically doomed -- sorry.
Why is that?
Because couples who are at different levels of first-tier consciousness have fundamentally different values, concerns, meaning-making structures and world-views that collide. Their differences could only be overcome through "transformation" (not to be confused with "translation" above - which is often seen as "transformation") by the partner at the earlier level of consciousness. This is often unrealistic, since "transformation" requires serious efforts over an extended period of time (sometimes years, with a breakdown of the old structures) while the more evolved partner may continue to grow as well.
Below is a very short outline of the eight stages/levels of consciousness that the Integral (Relationship) Model uses. A different color of the rainbow is assigned to each stage to deflect from ranking or labeling individuals, and to avoid confusion between the various numbers and names of the multitude of developmental systems (see appendix of Integral Psychology by Ken Wilber for the latter).
1. Infrared is the archaic "dead or alive" stage with a focus on basic survival (food, shelter, sex).
2. Magenta is the magic "safe or unsafe" stage with a focus on belonging e.g. a tribe/group.
3. Red is the egocentric "good or bad" stage with a focus on individuality, power, and instant gratification.
4. Amber is the mythic "right or wrong" stage with a focus on deeper meaning and conformity, e.g. through religious beliefs.
5. Orange is the rational "win or lose" stage with a focus on objectivity, personal liberty and worldly success.
6. Green is the pluralistic "sensitive or indifferent" stage with a focus on holism, compassion, idealism, and involvement.
7. Teal is the integral "integrated or partial" stage with a focus on multiple perspectives and the process of development itself.
8. Turquoise represents the transpersonal and all higher "wisdom and compassion" stages with a focus on full embodiment and embrace.
(Click here for detailed descriptions of each stage).
Very generally speaking, we can say that individuals who are fully actualized at their level of consciousness are most compatible with partners who are at the same level of consciousness, as indicated by the shaded fields in the matrix below, as long as they effectively deal with the unique conflicts that arise at their particular stage through better "translation". Individuals who are in transition from one stage to the next will be attracted to partners at the level they are transitioning into. Irresolvable conflicts arise between first-tier partners who are one level apart and each fully actualized at their altitude. Green fights Orange, which most vehemently rejects Amber, which is utterly frustrated by Red.
The Red-Green Pre-Post Fallacy:
Both, the "pre-conventional" Infrared to Red stages, and the "post-conventional" Green stage are "non-conventional" and are therefore often confused with each other by Red and Green people. They are prone to mistake the pre-conventional unrestrained but ultimately narcissistic/egocentric behavior with responsible authentic expressions of post-conventional freedom. Thus, the pre-post fallacy leads to many misunderstandings and suffering in love relationships between pre- and post-conventional partners.
Male/Female difference in growth:
Males in first-tier consciousness tend to grow like the banks of a river by transcending and excluding the limited views of earlier stages and remaining at the highest altitude they have reached. Females in first-tier consciousness tend to rise and fall unconsciously like the water levels of a river by transcending and including basic capacities of earlier stages. Therefore, women often only feel met at the highest level that they share with their partner while meeting their other needs outside the relationship or getting frustrated.
See Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men (and curious women) page 122-128 for details, including "ladder, climber, view".
In an Integral Relationship (see previous newsletter here), the couple is aware about stages of development in multiple lines and how to balance and harmonize healthy feminine and masculine polarities in the four quadrants at the level of all seven chakras. They can then make an explicit agreement to heal, learn and grow together to serve the highest good for the largest number of people.
To say it with Rumi:
It's the old rule that drunks have to argue and get into fights.
The lover is just as bad.
He falls into a hole.
But down in that hole he finds something shining, worth more than any amount of money or power.
Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street.
I took it as a sign to start singing, falling up into the bowl of sky.
The bowl breaks.
Everywhere is falling everywhere.
Nothing else to do.
Here's the new rule: break the wineglass, and fall toward the glassblower's breath.
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Are Women More Evolved Than Men?
Barbara Marx Hubbard gives us a first pointer to answering the question if women are more evolved than men when she shared:
"I have always been inspired by the great men who were evolutionaries. They were all men! I was attracted to their ideas and their seed, and it awakened in me the feminine co-creator. And then I became a guide to the men who were not yet evolutionaries but who were brilliant."
She is right. Most of our influential spiritual and evolutionary teachers are still men:
Eckhart Tolle, Thomas Hübel, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Cohen, Ken Wilber, Terry Patten, Saniel Bonder, Adyashanti, David Deida, Neale Donald Walsch, Alex Grey, Michael Beckwith, Robert Augustus Masters, Roger Walsh, Sean Esbjörn Hargens, Allan Combs, and Craig Hamilton, to name a few. In Fact, the Watkins' Spiritual 100 Report for 2012 lists 78 men and 22 women (see www.watkinsbooks.com/review/watkins-spiritual-100-list-2012.)
So why do many women feel that they are more evolved than men?
Because there is an imbalanced gender distribution in the pyramid of consciosness development.
In the very top we have mostly males followed by a larger group of females, and more men than women in the bottom.
The women in the middle look up to the few men at the top (who are mostly married), while finding fewer men at their own level of development, and therfore correctly experience that they are more evolved than the men in the bottom of the pyramid.
The main reason for the fewer men in the middle part is that they still need to be success oriented to make money and gain social status to be attractive to women. Men usually have to choose between having a successful career or following a path of spiritual and personal growth, while many modern and postmodern women can afford to do both.
Craig Hamilton gave a great summary of this dynamic at http://integralenlightenment.com/evolutionaryman/audios/ (see last audio in the list).
This is highly frustrating for women and men alike. So what is a possible solution?
Again, Barbara Marx Hubbard: "Men do what women want. Women attract the male shifting from the patriarchy into their own inner essence. Women are the leaders of the liberation of men. Men can be liberated and guided through women."
For her proposed shift to happen, two things are necessary :
1. Couples need to share in finding environmentally and socially responsible and sustainable ways to produce their family income. This will not only solve the myriad of problems that we face as a humanity, but also give men more freedom to pursue a path of spiritual and personal growth.
2. Women need to encourage, support, and guide their partners in their evolution and reward them for their progress.
For these two evolutionary shifts to happen, one or both partners need to become integrally informed about their primary sexual fantasies, learned gender roles, feminine and masculine polarities, different intelligences (a.k.a. developmental lines), developmental levels (especially consciousness, spiritual, sexual and anima/animus complex), states of consciousness, personality types, and shadow work.
In my own experience, I continue to be guided by women who challenge me to heal my wounds and grow in consciousness.
Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men (and curious women) provides the general map for this journey. It contains many pointers to resources for a deeper understanding and practices in any one of the areas mentioned above. Women can inspire men to read Integral Relationships, or read and discuss it together with them. Partners can then develop a new vision for their relationship to heal, learn, and grow together while sharing a higher purpose that provides the greatest good for the largest number of people. The couple can then engage in an ongoing Integral Life Practice with modules for the health of body, mind, spirit/soul, shadow, ethics, sexuality, work, emotions, and relationships.
Instead of shaming men and putting them down as less evolved, women can actually lift them up and guide them to a better life for both sexes and all of humanity.
If you are single and want to find a partner for an Integral Relationship you may look at www.integralsingles.com. You may also consider Integral Relationship Coaching.
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We need more Integral Relationship Evolutionaries!
What is an Integral Relationship Evolutionary?
Throughout history, males and females co-created three major forms of relationships that supported their survival and procreation:*
1. In hunter/gatherer societies that existed exclusively until about 12.000 years ago, hunting males and gathering females took equal responsibilities for their food supplies. They formed relationships between opposites and equals.
2. In agrarian societies that followed, men took on the primary responsibilities for food production and public sphere, while women began to dominated the private sphere. They formed relationships between opposites who where not equals.
3. In the industrial age that emerged about 200 years ago, male strength was gradually replaced by machines and modern weapons, which allowed women to enter previously male dominated domains and made them increasingly independent from men for their survival. Today, relationships are predominantly between men who are stuck in their old gender roles (to be success oriented) and women who have the freedom to choose (occupation, to be success or fulfillment oriented, to be single or in relationship, to have children or not, etc.) Time Magazine asked in an article about The State of the American Woman in 2009: "What needs to be done to free American men to realize their full potential?"
The world fertility rates per female (with over-aging and shrinking western societies as a result) also illustrate this relationship trend in modern and postmodern societies:
Red = < 2, Yellow = 2, Green = 3-4, Blue > 4, World = 2.58 children per woman.
USA: 2.1 children per woman in 2008 (down to 1.93 in 2010). 2.9 Hispanics, 2.0 African Americans, 1.9 Asian, 1.8 Whites.
Relationship Evolutionaries realize that human history has been created through the female sexual selection process and the resulting offspring, and that this dynamic will continue in the future. As Barbara Marx Hubbard said: "Men do what women want," and Warren Farrell wrote: "If women loved and had sex with men who walk on their hands, men would be setting up hand-walking contests tomorrow!"
Relationship Evolutionaries also see that the significant social, political, economic and environmental problems that we face today are created through our sexual selection process--or the lack thereof if women decide to stay single, which is also a form of sexual (non)selection--and that the solution to these problems lies in making different partner choices and co-creating different kinds of relationships, which we may call Integral. It is a bottom up process; from the individual to love relationships, families, communities, nations, societies, and world.
Integral Relationship Evolutionaries co-create partnerships in which men and women assume equal rights AND responsibilities. Not only for their individual partnerships and children, but also for a peaceful and sustainable future for all humanity. These couples realize that their relationships tetra-arise in all four quadrants. They balance and harmonize the four healthy masculine and feminine polarities (click here for previous newsletter for details) along the levels of all seven chakras (material, sexual, power, emotions/heart, self-expression/creativity, vision, and spiritual/higher evolutionary purpose). Integral couples not only focus on a masculine transcending (evolutionary) path of ascending (away from the body, emotions and the earth) but INCLUDE the feminine descending path as well. They not only focus on hyper individualized agency and going it alone, but also on responsible communion and deep intimacy, where authentic truthfulness becomes more important than the outcome of the relationship.
Integral Relationships are the next step in the evolution of human love! They become possible after women claim their full female authority or exercise their feminine power, and start living their authentic evolutionary purpose in partnership with Evolutionary Integral men (see Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men).
Many western spiritual and evolutionary teachers (who are mostly married) see this need for Evolutionary Integral Relationships:
"Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness."
Eckhart Tolle "The Power Of Now" page 132 (159 paperback edition)
"It is important that women rise to full partnership with men in the whole domain of human affairs. This is happening whether men like it or not. As women rise, men are regaining some of their deepest capacities, instead of being so patterned by their traditional roles, which don't work so well anymore as the economy and the ecology are collapsing. This is the time for women to get together WITH men and make them see what women can offer, such as the sensibility for process, patterns of connection, and-above all-creative wonderful strategies for issues in local communities; not as power, but with love. This is giving us a very great and different perspective on the relationship; men and women are deeply, deeply, deeply needful of each other."
Ken Wilber in response to the question if it is possible to evolve beyond the need to be in a romantic relationship:
"No, that would be like playing checkers with ourselves. On the "manifest side of the street" things tend to manifest in polarities all the way up in the gross, subtle and causal body, and the boy/girl duality is pretty fundamental to our existence. Even though you want to embody both qualities as well as you can, you can't be feminine and masculine simultaneously. In order to engage in the dance between the two polarities requires a man and a woman-all the way up. And where the two-the ultimate masculine pushing, clarity and drive, and the ultimate feminine compassion and embrace-come together in "one taste" is on the other side of manifestation."
"Relationships dedicated to growth constitute one of the best bulwarks against stagnation. Growth-oriented relationships provide us with honest feedback to compensate for our blind spots. Relationships aimed at recognizing and releasing psychological, spiritual and developmental limitations are invaluable. There are many forms of relationships, however, perhaps the supreme method for obtaining second person feedback are intimate relationships and marriage."
Roger Walsh in a conversation with Ken Wilber
"The proof of the depth and embodiment of your realization will be seen in your love relationship. That's where the proof is in the pudding. If it all collapses in your relationship, you have some work to do. And people do have a lot of difficulties in their relationships."
Visit www.integralsingles.com if you are single and would like to be in a helathy Integral relationship.
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February 28, 2012
Four Secrets to great romance, passionate sex, and everlasting love!
Of course I am kidding about "Secrets". There are no secrets!
After reading over 200 relationship books, participating in countless workshops and trainings, dating for several years (after being married twice for a total of 21 years, with four daughters), and writing Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men, I am certain that there are no "Secrets" about love and relationships; only readily available information that we need to embody and put into action in order to co-create healthy, sustainable love relationships.
Non-Secret #1: Realize the many economical, ecological, social, physical/sexual, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual benefits of being in a healthy sustainable love relationship.
More and more Americans move from unhealthy co-dependent and dependent relationships into healthier independence.
- 50% of the American adult population is now single (see new book Going Solo).
- 28% of American adults live alone (the remaining singles live with parents, house mates, friends, etc.)
- Only 3-7% of couples experience happy long-term relationships (Gay and Katie Hendricks etc.)
- 47% of 1st time marriages (65% for 2nd, and 70+% for 3rd time) end in divorce.
- Women initiate over 2/3 of all divorces.
- Millions of Americans date online.
- Romance novels outsell any other book category ($1.358 billion).
- Women make up 91 percent of romance book buyers (same as relationship self-help books).
- There are more middle-aged men than women who would like to be in a relationship (see AARP survey).
To most independent and interdependent singles, any form of a long-term committed monogamous relationship and marriage looks like regression. But there is an emergent evolutionary relationship potential beyond independence and interdependence (singlehood, FWB, open relationships, serial monogamy, polyamory, polyagony etc.), which is called Inter-Being or Integral Relationship.
Non-Secret #2: Become aware of your Primary Sexual Fantasy and explore to what extend it is hindering you in co-creating a healthy sustainable love relationship.
It has become increasingly hard for modern and postmodern women to find financially successful AND spiritually/emotionally evolved men to "marry up to". And many men have developed unrealistic expectations when it comes to finding younger, sexy women. This has lead to a distribution curve around the Primary Sexual Fantasy as shown below, with men competing for women they can't afford, and women competing for men of which there are fewer and fewer.
We can't transcend our primary fantasy, just as we can't transcend our primary hunger for fat, sweet and salty foods, but we can become aware of it, be more realistic, make different choices, and focus on the inner and outer qualities of a partner that really matter. Neither the male nor the female primary sexual fantasy is sustainable, so we need to come to our senses sooner than later, otherwise it will become pretty ugly!
Non-Secret #3: Remove psychological obstacles (wounding, false identities, shadows, old attachments, spiritual bypassing etc.) to love and healthy relationships.
The nature of the unconscious is that we can't "see" it, so many underestimate the role that it plays in our relationship life. For women I suggest the Calling In "The One" book and process by Katherine Woodward Thomas (especially if framed in an Integral context) and for men Spiritual Bypassing by Robert Augustus Masters to get more clarity. For evolving couples I suggest Undefended Love by Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons, and Love and Awakening by John Welwood (who coined the term "spiritual bypassing" in the 80's). And if you can't do it on your own, contact us for an Integral Relationship Professional who can help.
Non-Secret #4: Become Integrally informed about relationships (also see below)
This will allow you to identify your own and your partners "Kosmic Address" in the matrix below, along with future growth potentials. If you are at similar levels of consciousness, spiritual, sexual and anima/animus complex development, and share values, passions, lifestyle choices, and a vision for your relationship, then you can agree to heal, learn and grow together to make a contribution that is larger than either individual. This will keep your relationship alive, rewarding and passionate. Otherwise you can decide to end your relationship with understanding, love and compassion to allow you and your partner to find a more compatible mate, instead of keeping you both hostage in a relationship that does not evolve and serves no one.
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February 22, 2012
What is an Integral Relationship?
In a dialog with Allan Combs, Ken Wilber gave four definitions for Integral:
1. To be Integrally informed.
2. A horizontal integration of the four quadrants at a particular level of consciousness.
3. The highest levels of development possible.
4. The integration of all levels/chakras.
How does this translate to love relationships?
First of all, we can look at any relationship between two individuals (holons) through an Integral lens (all quadrants, feminine/masculine polarities, lines, levels, states and types) to determine the Kosmic Address of each individual and the resulting eight forms of Love (from non-love to Integral love) that the couple is most likely to experience.
1. Translates to a love relationship in which at least one partner is integrally informed. This allows him or her to realize healing, learning, and growth potentials for both partners if the couple is at similar levels of consciousness, spiritual, sexual and Anima/Animus complex development, and to guide that ongoing process, or to end the relationship with love and compassion.
2. Translates to a couple that is at a similar level of consciousness development (archaic, magic, egocentric, mythic, rational, pluralistic, integral, transpersonal or higher) and naturally/intuitively balances and harmonizes the healthy feminine and masculine polarities (ascending, descending, agency and communion) in their individual and collective interior and exterior ("I", "You/thou/We", "It", and "Its") dimensions.
3. Translates to a compatible couple that
A. is at an Integral or higher level of consciousness development,
B. embodies gross, subtle and causal state/stages of their spiritual development,
C. practices sacred/tantric/transcendent sexuality (meaning that their sexuality is part of their spiritual practice), and
D. has transcended their Anima/Animus complex.
An Evolutionary couple grows from there into the adjacent possible or creatively advances into novelty.
4. Translates to a couple that integrates the healthy qualities/capacities at the level of all seven Chakras and balances/harmonizes the feminine and masculine polarities at each level in the gross, subtle and causal realm.
Curious? Join us!
Order Integral Relationships for yourself and your partner, family, friends, and co-workers today at a 50% or higher discount here.
Sign up for Integral relationships introductions and workshops.
Start a local Integral Relationships group or host an evening or weekend event with Martin in person or via skype.
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February 11, 2012
My visit to Ken Wilber
Last Thursday 2/9/2012, I had the great honor and pleasure to meet Ken Wilber at his loft in Denver, CO.
At the end of ISE #2 over New Years 2010/11 I was shocked, saddened, and moved to tears for several weeks after hearing Ken sharing with us in a live phone interview with Marc Gafni that he could no longer write books and that it was now "on us" to move his Integral Vision forward.
It was certainly the final kick in the butt for me to step up and to promote my book and ideas. A year later, Integral Relationships is thriving world-wide and my dream of meeting Ken in person came true.
After the meet and greet, we sat down and had a frank conversation about some regrettable mistakes that I had made as I stepped forward in 2011 (dating women who projected on me, ranting about other relationship experts), what I learned from these mistakes, and how I have healed and grown to avoid them in the future.
Ken was then curious how the Integral Relationship book and talks/workshops/coaching are received (click here for upcoming events and reviews of previous events) and provided helpful advice as well as encouragemnet. He asked how Integral Life could best support authors/activists like me who apply his model in areas such as relationships, spirituality, art, education, business, politics, medicine, community building, psychology, technology, law, activism, etc., to which I had quite a bit to say.
Ken shared about some exciting new projects such as Chrysallis (a Million Help a Billion) that Robb Smith had presented at ISE #3 and how Integral Life plans to better help to connect Integral Evolutionaries worldwide. We then touched on several other topics before my two hour visit ended.
Needless to say that I admired and loved Ken and his work already, but his warmth, humility, kindness, openness, presence and spirit left a lasting impression with me. I know some of his critics, and I am not a starry-eyed blind follower who drinks the Kool Aid or participates in Guru worshipping (which Ken does not seem to care for anyway), but when you meet Ken in person you just have to love the man, feel his goodness and compassion, and pay him the respect for his work that we can now all benefit from and build on.
I know several people who work on new Integral books, ideas and projects, and I want to encourage you to move into the adjacent possible and advancement into novelty if you are competent, feel the passion, and have a unique contribution to make.
As Andrew Cohen wrote in Evolutionary Enlightenment on page 174:
"Anyone can experience egoless consciousness in the stillness and solitude of deep meditation. But if we want to catalyze evolution in consciousness and culture, we are going to have to share our deepest convictions and spiritual intuitions of what's possible, and then work hard, together, to make that possibility a reality."
The Integral Relationship Vision has become such a possibility.
Please spread the word: "Integral Relationships is one of the best ways to get introduced to--or revisit--Integral theory." Nomi Naeem, Senior Librarian, Brooklyn Library.
I look forward to meeting you and your family and friends who may be new to "Integral" in person at one of the upcoming Integral Relationship events. Together we will make the possibility of all forms of healthy, peaceful, sustainable thriving relationships a reality.
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January 26. 2012
My critics where right
In early December last year I ranted in a newsletter (click here to read) about "lying relationship experts". An emotional button was pushed when I heard the Soul Mate expert who I was trained by as a Coach promoting Conscious Uncoupling and Calling In "The Next One" courses to her mostly female audience.
Several people pointed out that my rant was neither Integral (seeing that everyone is right from their own perspective and what these perspectives are) nor productive, and they where right. Through reading Spiritual Bypassing by Robert Augustus Masters (excellent book) and doing some shadow work with friends, I realized that I was projecting my own frustration and the collective pain-body of men who have been unilaterally left by their partners (70% of divorces and breakups are initiated by women with the suicide rate of divorced fathers being ten times higher than that of divorced mothers) onto her and other relationship experts who don't take an Integral approach to their work.
- First of all I realized that all relationship experts are well meaning and do the best they can.
- Second, all of their work provides elements and details to fill in the Integral Relationship Map (see Appendix I of Integral Relationships with 30 relationship book suggestions for different levels of consciousness) that we now benefit from.
- Third, books like Calling In "The One" provide value to singles at all levels of consciousness.
Readers in first-tier consciousness (egocentric to pluralistic) can use such books/courses to attract partners to further heal and learn in deficiency-need based relationships.
Integrally informed and second-tier singles and couples can benefit from such books to co-create sustainable growth oriented being-based partnerships if they so choose.
- And last but not least, Iwill focus back on my circle of influence by promoting co-created, healthy, sustainable Integral relationships--in whatever form they may take--and no longer on my circle of concern about our sexual selection process, painful breakups and resulting socioeconomic, ecological and political challenges that we face as a humanity.
Our first Experiential Integral Relationships Workshop and Gathering last weekend in Los Angeles was a very moving and inspiring experience. We therefore scheduled two more US weekend events, one in Berkeley, CA (March 2-4) and one in New York (March 16-18).
A LA participant wrote:
"Thank you again for calling forth such a powerful vibration of love, growth and inspiration which I felt in attending the Los Angeles Integral Relationship Workshop. When I first read your book I was overwhelmed with the charts, graphs, diagrams, etc., as my brain does not easily grasp a concept in a visual format. And yet through the written word of your text I was intrigued enough to attend your workshop and to learn more about Integral Relationships. I was wonderfully surprised at how much I grew to understand this concept and attribute it fully to the format of your workshop. Through the many experiential exercises [almost 20] I was able to understand the concepts introduced to me in your book. And thus, am better equipped to practice this as a way of being in the world for better understanding and compassion for myself and my partner as well as all those I am connected to in relationship.
I appreciate the way we opened up the workshop on Saturday in meditation and with the "circle of affirmations" and then went immediately into the pairing up in the quadrants with a partner. This really helped break the ice and set the tone for a safe place to be "real" for the weekend. I found the lists of questions you supplied most helpful in inviting a more authentic and open dialogue with another. You're facilitation kept me so engaged the entire two days of the workshop that not once did I care to check the time. By the end of the day Sunday, I felt so connected to not only each workshop attendee but to my extended community and the planet as a whole. What a beautiful "holon" of love we co-created together!
I'm so grateful to you, Martin, for the work you have done in your life in writing this book, for your courage and integrity in sharing it with others - and most of all for allowing me to feel and see a heart wide open to love! My prayer is that you continue to share your love and gifts to as many people as possible. Thank you for the way you show up in Life. Your life is truly a blessing! Thank you for sharing a bit of that with us."
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January 12, 2012
Two women critically reflect on Integral Relationships Discourse with Integral New York
The latest issue of the donation supported, free online magazine Integral Leadership Review features an article by Barbara Larisch (left) and Robin Reinach (right) titled "Martin Ucik, Author of Integral Relationships, in Discourse with Integral New York."
In it they write: "As women and Integralists, we both admired Ucik's honesty and his willingness to be vulnerable. We further appreciated the fact that he shared his first-person perspective with such humility and good humor. This first person openness was quite unexpected, given that many people have remarked that Ucik's manual on Integral Relationships is incredibly dense and presented entirely from a third-person perspective."
Their article gives you a taste of what to expect at the upcoming Integral Relationship Events in Los Angeles (01/20-22), San Francisco (02/13), New York (03/16-17), Germany (03/22-4/2), Switzerland (03/24), and Copenhagen (4/3), (see www.integralrelationship.com/events.asp for details and to register).
Martin after his talk at Integral New York with Alex Grey
· Connect with like minded singles and couples.
· Experience Integral Relationships through engaging paired and group exercises.
· Explore and discuss your:
- Primary sexual fantasy
- Primary emotional reactions
- Learned gender roles
- Feminine/masculine polarities
- Multiple intelligences, passions, interests, values
- Effective communication skills
- Levels of consciousness, spiritual, anima/animus complex, and sexual development
- Love languages and Ennegram types
- Unconscious beliefs about the opposite sex
- Eight forms of love
- (In)compatibilities between partners.
· Couples will identify growth potentials that allow them to deepen their loving connection on the level of body, mind, heart, and soul/spirit and to co-create a shared vision for their relationship.
· Singles will receive a clear roadmap to finding/attracting and identifying a compatible partner for the co-creation of sustainable love relationship between opposites and equals (and possibly meet their soulmate at the event).
Albert Einstein said, "The significant problems that we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking (consciousness) we were at when we created them." If you are single and want to be in a rewarding love relationship, or your current relationship is not working, and you have tried "everything else", then you (and your partner) need a new level of thinking/consciousness about love that the Integral relationship model provides.
Please join us!
Become integrally informed about relationships.
Order Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men for yourself, your partner or date, family, friends, groups, and co-workers at a 50% or higher discount discuss it, and make better relationship choices.
Join us at one of the upcoming Integral Relationship Events in Los Angeles (01/20-22), San Francisco (02/13), New York (03/16-17), Germany (03/22-4/2), Switzerland (03/24), and Copenhagen (4/3).
Organize a local Integral Relationships Event and invite Martin via skype or in person.
Listen to a conversation with Ken Wilber about Integral Relationships at http://integrallife.com/node/110684 (join Integral Life or use free membership option).
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January 3, 2012
Burning out while manifesting your authentic Kosmic Creativity?
I spent the New Year's weekend with over 300 Evolutionaries from around the world at the Integral Spiritual Experience #3 in Asilomar, CA and had a blast! Our theme was "Kosmic Creativity -- because life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself".
With the graphic below, Barbara Marx Hubbard illustrated for us how evolution advanced from the Big Bang in the lower left to the UNIVERSE, EARTH, LIFE, ANIMAL LIFE, and HUMAN LIFE, and how it is now on us to become authentic evolutionary GLOBAL COCREATORS in one or more of the segments in the big circle (Justice, Health, Arts, Economics, Education, Spirituality, Media, etc.) to move us towards a UNIVERSAL HUMANITY with INFINITE POTENTIAL.
We listened to Ken Wilber and many other inspiring teachers/artists such as Andrew Cohen, Alex and Allyson Grey, Michael Dowd, Terry Patten, etc. and worked with each other to identify the Kosmic Creativity or "advancement into novelty" that wants to emerge through our authentic self (see Andrew Cohen's important new book Evolutinary Enlightenment) and how to manifest it in the world.
Through my own inquiry and listening to others I realized how many authentic Evolutionaries feel stuck, frustrated, stressed, trapped, burned out, and may even go broke while trying to serve others and making a living doing so.
The reason is hidden in Barbara's graphic above: If you look closely you note the common category error to place "Relations" as one of the segments instead of seeing that (1) relationships brought us here through one Billion years of sexual selection and pro-creation, (2) that relationships pervade and inform all other segments (see Kenneth Gergen's argument in "Relational Being" that there is actually no self-awareness or creativity outside the context of relationships) and (3) that relationships are essential for effectively manifesting our authentic advancements into novelty at all levels of our being. As Ken Wilber said: Relationships go all the way up and all the way down!
The brilliant Barbara Marx Hubbard herself gives us a pointer in an earlier interview with www.womenontheedgeofevolution.com how to solve this problem: "I have always been inspired by the great men who were evolutionaries. They were all men! I was attracted to their ideas and their seed, and it awakened in me the feminine co-creator." Aha!
What she is pointing to is that men AND women (or same sex partners) inspire each other and then co-create by balancing and harmonizing their healthy feminine and masculine polarities.*
Individuals (holons) can only share their gifts and co-create with others effectively (having a long-term positive effect) by balancing and harmonizing the healthy feminine and masculine polarities of agency, communion, ascending and descending in all four quadrants (body, mind, culture and environment) with an equal and opposite partner. Otherwise they cease to exist over time. Since we can only occupy one of the two feminine and masculine polarities at a time, it is very ineffective and tiring to constantly go back and forth between them without a balance on the other side. This creates stress with elevated levels of cortisol and adrenalin, especially in women (see John Grey, Why Mars and Venus Collide, page 54) and burns us out. It is like playing checkers or being on a seesaw on our own.
In one of the afternoon breakout sessions at ISE, Brian Whetten, who received a Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley and a M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica (he was there with his wife and little daughter), confirmed this insight when he showed us how we get trapped in the shadow between the feminine and masculine polarities (which was a new insight for me), procrastinate and burn out, as he did twice. When he asked how many are in a relationship, only a few hands went up. When he asked how many would like to be in a relationship, most of the remaining hands went up. We seem to know intuitively that it takes co-created Integral relationships to have the necessary impact in the world to effectively share our Kosmic Creative impulse and to move us forward towards the Universal Humanity and Infinite Potential that Barbara calls us to, without burning out. But only very few know how to co-create such a relationship and keep muddling on in frustration on their own, hang in an unproductive/unfulfilling "partnership", or move from one partner to the next (which, as you know, saddens and frustrates me to no end).
That is why co-created Integral Relationships between opposite and equal partners who make an explicit agreement to heal, learn, grow and create together at all levels of the seven chakras are soooooo vital for a sustainable and peaceful evolution of all humanity. With Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men we now have the Integral map to co-create such relationships, so no more need to go it alone.
We are now in the process of building a world-wide network of Integral Relationship Professionals to support you in co-creating an Integral Relationship and invite you to the upcoming Integral Relationship Events in Los Angeles (01/20-22), San Francisco (02/13), New York (03/16-17), Germany (03/22-4/2), Switzerland (03/24), and Copenhagen (4/3).
Order Integral Relationships for yourself and your partner, family, friends and co-workers today at a 50% or higher discount.
Sign up for the above events today
Listen to a conversation with Ken Wilber about Integral Relationships at http://integrallife.com/node/110684 (join Integral Life or use free membership option).
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December 28, 2011
An Inconvenient Relationship Truth
Eckhart Tolle writes in The Power Of Now on page 132 (page 159 paperback edition): "Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of our life and close relationships in particular [emphasis added]. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make us happy or fulfilled. If we continue to pursue the goal of salvation through relationships, we will be disillusioned again and again. But if we accept that relationships are here to make us conscious instead of happy, then relationships will offer us salvation, and we will be aligning ourselves with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness."
In June 2011, I participated in a five day relationship coaching training in an upscale Hotel near the LAX Airport in Los Angeles. While there, I stayed overnight at a friend's house on the other side of the airport. On my walk to the seminar hotel on the morning of the fourth day, I encountered a middle-aged black man on a little bicycle at the end of the LAX runway, watching planes land and take off. As I walked by I said "isn't it amazing that these things fly" and he told me how it calms him down to watch them come and go. Probably not used to seeing a white guy walking the dirt strip next to a busy road, he asked where I was going. After I told him, he shared the heartbreaking story of his wife leaving him for a man with more money and how he is now living on the streets. He asked me how much this "love seminar" costs and I told him "a few thousand dollars". This left him completely dumbfounded. After I said good-bye and was about 45 feet away he shouted after me "Sir, can you spare a Dollar?" I walked back and came close to giving him all the money that I had in my wallet, but only left him with a $20 bill.
I cried all the way to the hotel. There we where, 90+ women and 4 men, having traveled thousands of miles from all over the world, spending thousands of dollars to learn how to support relatively rich and privileged women in bringing love and abundance into their lives by attracting a successful partner who makes them happy and fulfilled.*
See below for details about this chart
And there was the other extreme, the homeless man watching planes on the runway, begging for a dollar (representative for me of all the people in the world who suffer). I felt so much shame and conflict about my own hypocrisy and for not doing more to help to address the significant global problems that we face:
As we know, our human sexual selection process, in which the most successful and competitive men are chosen by the sexiest women, has made human evolution a huge success story. But if you stay on top of the news then you know that this sexual selection process is no longer sustainable individually (see Primary Fantasy graphic above with fewer and fewer men that modern women can marry up to - or "where are all the good men???"), economically (see upward distribution of wealth/world-wide economic crisis), and ecologically (see global climate change, etc.)
The good news is that, as Ken Wilber points out, biology is not destiny. So the first step to conscious relationships (as suggested by Eckhart Tolle above) and a sustainable future for all humanity is to make our unconscious sexual selection process conscious and then to make different choices.
This is what the Integral Relationship Vision suggests: The new pattern in which opposite partners with equal rights AND responsibilities co-create sustainable healthy love relationships, including socioeconomically and ecologically, with a focus on their mutual healing, learning and growth to serve the highest good for the largest number of people. This relationship model is of course more complex and demanding than the outdated quick-fix ideas and relationship "secrets" that we have been fed so far.
Click on image for details about the model
Thank you again for supporting the Integral Relationship vision and my very best wishes for a transformational sustainable Integral relationship with an existing or new partner in 2012.
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December 13, 2011
The purpose of my recent rant and Los Angeles IR Gathering sign-up deadline Wed. 12/15
The pictures below may
better illustrate the point that I was trying to make in my last
The authors of the 200+
relationship books in my research library below are all specialists who cover a
certain area of the entire relationship territory. I owe a lot of what I
learned to make sense out of my relationship experiences to them and honor
them (and I apologize if I offended anyone with my rant.)
(Click on image above for partial bibliography)
spent 30+ years to create a framework of the entire territory of human growth
and potentials. He considered all recurring patterns of human wisdom and
knowledge from the East and West and integrated the largest amount of research
from the greatest number of disciplines-including the natural sciences (physics,
chemistry, biology, neurology, and ecology), art, ethics, religion, psychology,
politics, business, sociology, and spirituality-that had stood the test of time.
The result was his Integral Model (documented in his books below) which has
already been used in such fields as politics, ecology, economics, medicine, law,
art, management, education, and spirituality. I am eternally grateful to
Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men applies Ken Wilber's
Integral Model to the co-creation of healthy sustainable love relationships by
integrating the wisdom from the 200+ relationship books above with my own
experiences in two long-term marriages and as a divorced father of four
daughters into a complete map of today's relationship
want to inspire you to become integrally informed about all your relationships
(even if the above image may look complex at first) and to do your
best to create a sustainable future for all humanity by co-creating a
sustainable love relationship with a compatible partner that serves the greatest
good for the largest number of people. Am I asking for too much???
have the relationship tools and knowledge, but they are useless (as the
increasing numbers of singles and unhappy couples clearly indicate) if
we don't put them into an Integral Context and apply them
to our day to day love life. It pains me to no end
to see our love relationships, our economy, and our environment go down the
toilet, and I want to invite you to help turning the tide.
We need to move from "me", to "we", to "us" to "all of
us". It is a Chain of Being or a Natural Hierarchy!
take a moment to read Integral Relationships book reviews at www.integralrelationship.com/reviews.asp.
Integral Relationships for yourself and for your family and
friends at a 50+ % discount at www.integralrelationship.com/friends.asp.
up at www.integralrelationship.com/events.asp for
our upcoming gatherings and workshops in Los Angeles in January
(sign up by December 15th so that we can reserve the room), New York,
Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark to meet with like-minded singles and
Meet me at the Integral Spiritual Experience http://integralspiritualexperience.com/?page_id=4 over
New Years (call or text my cell phone at 707-529-2958 while
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December 10, 2011
Four reasons why many love and relationship experts are not truthful (see appology for my rant above):
1. They want/need to make money:
John Gray said in a conversation with Ken Wilber:
"My first book, Men and Women in Relationship was a much more intelligent work than my later Mars and Venus books. But it was too dense for the mass population, as there are only a few people who have the patience and lifestyle [level of consciousness?] to read a densely written intelligent book. So I wrote a watered down version which was more fun and easy to digest, had fewer points, and was something that people could apply right away in their [conventional] relationships. These simpler books, beginning with Men are from Mars Women are from Venus became a pop phenomena with over 40 Million [now over 50 Million, see www.marsvenus.com/john-gray-bio] copies sold." Listen at www.integrallife.com/editorial/resurrecting-postmodern-sex-life.
Another famous author told me that her publisher asked her to eliminate the male perspectives from her writing, as 95% of the companies buyers are women who would not care for, or even be offended by, her taking a balanced view.
2. They don't live up to their own promises of lasting love, romance and happiness:
The author of Calling In "The One" (which is actually a good book for single women if framed in an Integral context) got divorced a few months ago. True to her book/course she already called in "The Next One" (working title of her forthcoming book) who makes her really truly happy. Instead of seeing that her approach is flawed (it focuses solely on an "Upper Left" me, me, me, female perspective) she now offers a "conscious uncoupling" course to her almost exclusive female audience (the first call had over 13.000 participants). Contrary to her first book, she now states that it is normal for modern and post modern women to go through several significant relationships in their life. She now discloses that she had agreed with her former husband to only stay together as long as they could support each other in their career/purpose (70% of divorces are initiated by women).
And she is not alone. The scene is littered with divorced and single (and often childless) love experts and writers. It is pathetic.
3. They don't know any better:
Nobody can know what they don't know about. Everyone sees the world from their own limited level of consciousness and perspective, including me (oh bummer ...). As Robert Kegan wrote in "In Over Our Heads", we are all to an extend "in over our heads", especially our love experts. How else could the number of singles and unhappy couples have risen in the past 40 years while they sold millions of books, seminars and hours of counseling. Each of them sees, writes, and teaches from their own limited level of first-tier consciousness, or waters it down as John Gray did. They don't tell or know that each first-tier level creates its own type of [love] relationships (or the lack thereof), with its unique learning and growth potentials, as well as the accompanying problems that lead to the devastating breakups and divorces (or stagnant flatland relationships) when couples unknowingly grow apart or fall "out of love" and the "expert advice" no longer applies.
4. They are in the business of selling SECRETS (aka Snake Oil):
As Erich Fromm asks in The Art Of Loving, written in 1956, on page 1:
"Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort. Or is love a pleasant sensation, which to experience is a matter of chance, something one falls into if one is lucky? This little book [129 pages] is based on the former premise, while undoubtedly the majority of people today [again he wrote this in 1956!!!] believe in the latter."
It has gotten worse since. Have you noticed that almost every new course or book about relationships has the word "SECRET" in it? If there is a "secret", something that is kept from knowledge or view, that we can "buy" (woohoo!!!) to get ahead of everybody else (how loving is that?), then we don't have to do the work. Instant gratification... ! And selling secrets can be repeated over and over (see #1), because if the previous secret naturally does not live up to its promise ... then surely the next one will. It is like buying one lottery ticket after the next. It works... for the seller!
And while I am on my soap box:
Industrial growth versus personal/spiritual growth:
From a Euromonitor Global Market Research Blog:
"The rise in single person households worldwide (202.6 million in 2006, up from 153.5 million in 1996 ) is creating great business opportunities for a range of sectors, including providers of online communications, manufacturers of domestic electrical appliances and consumer electronics, the construction industry, and the entertainment industry." See http://blog.euromonitor.com/2007/09/one-person-households-opportunities-for-consumer-goods-companies.html.
Do I need to say more???
With almost 50% of the population living alone in the western world, and many liberated single women feeling (rightly so) repressed when it is suggested that they "should" return to conventional and often emotionally and physically abusive relationships, politicians can't state the obvious socioeconomic and ecological benefits of healthy long-term relationships and alienate 25% of their potential voters. And trading economic growth for personal/spiritual growth (which will ultimately solve all socioeconomic and environmental problems) isn't in the interest of big business, and hence politics (see above).
New-Age Churches and Teachers:
They have become magnets for single people who buy into the business of new-age narcissistic spiritual bypassing and materialism. If we are, as they try to teach/sell us, whole and complete in ourselves, which is a partial truth, why would we need anyone else for our happiness and well-being? This idea flies in the face of any objective scientific research and deeper non-dual spiritual understanding about the importance and benefits of healthy relationships. If it would be true that we are creating our own world, including our suffering and happiness, completely independent of others, which is just plain and painfully wrong (see Gergen Relational Being or Brooks The Social Animal), as all life is a four quadrant affair, why would we need a healthy relationship with a partner? As one die-hard single Minister at a New-Age Church told the audience in her "Love" workshop that I attended: "The men who come here are not interested in doing the work; they just come here to pick up women." There may by a partial truth in this cynical and emasculating remark, but it is just sad, both ways.
Multi Billion Divorce, Dating and Marriage Industry:
This is obvious ...
Evolutionaries and Western Spiritual Teachers:
We have to hand it to them when it comes to relationships. Almost all of them are in long-term marriages and unanimously, from Eckhart Tolle to Adyashanty, Roger Walsh, Alex Grey, Robert Augustus Masters, Michael Beckwith, and Andrew Cohen (to name a few), state in one way or another that "the depth and embodiment of our psychological health and spiritual realization will be seen in the quality of our [love] relationships. That is where the proof is in the pudding." And if you have not done so yet, read Grace and Grit by Ken WiIber, which may well be the greatest true love story ever told.
As Jiddu Krishnamurti summed it up: "It is not a measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Ouch...
All that said, there are legitimate reasons to end relationships as consciously as possible and to be happily/productively single, and I outline them in Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men (page 160 - 162).
What frustrates me to no end is that not more experts are Integrally informed and truthful about the three evolutionary phases that couples could potentially navigate together (or at least make their path and breakups more transparent and painless) to co-create a sustainable future for all humans:
1. Survival and need based co-dependent and dependent relationships that many people are outgrowing, which is a healthy and necessary step towards Integral relationships.
2. The chaos and confusion of developing a healthy (but ultimately illusionary) sense of an independent or autonomous self, with singlehood and the many forms of uncommitted or transitional relationships.
3. The co-creation of sustainable Integral Relationships in which opposite and equal partners with a shared vision balance and harmonize healthy agency, communion, ascending and descending at the level of all seven chakras to serve the highest good for the greatest number of people, instead of me, me, me.
As Andrew Cohen wrote to me this week after taking a look at Integral Relationships:
"I read the pages you suggested and am impressed by your scholarship! You must be one of the first people in history to put the post modern predicament as it relates to sex and romance on the integral map, and you've done an impressive job. It was clear that your ideas regarding what truly evolved transpersonal relationships would actually look like were somewhat speculative, but what else could they be? We're not there yet..."
Many are not there yet; but we now have enough evidence from people like you and our evolutionary teachers how these sustainable relationships take form, and with Integral Relationships (and thanks to Ken Wilber) we have an accurate map to co-create these relationships now.
Become an Integral Relationships Activist:
1. Share this newsletter with your friends by email and on facebook (go to www.facebook.com/integralrelationship and click on "share".)
2. Become integrally informed about relationships.
3. Co-Create an Integral Relationship with a compatible partner and become an inspiring role-model for others.
4. Gift Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men to your family, friends and teachers (click here for reviews and here to order at a 50% or higher discount).
5. Invest in our affordable Integral Relationship Weekend Gatherings and Workshops in Los Angeles, Jan. 20-22, 2012 (sign up by Dec. 15th), New York, Mar. 16-17, 2012, and Switzerland/Germany, Mar. 22 through Apr. 3, 2012 (see more and sign up at http://www.integralrelationship.com/events.asp).
6. Start a local discussion and support group (I am happy to provide you with guidelines and to participate via skype, and offer massive book discounts for orders of eight here.)
7. Facilitate a weekend workshop after coming to one of the above events or contact me about facilitating your local event.
Thank you for supporting our vision of "A Sustainable Future for all Humanity, Co-Created by Couples in Sustainable Integral Relationships"
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November 24th 2011
My recent conversation with Andrew Cohen about Evolutionary Relationships.
In my July 29th 2011 Newsletter I criticised (married) spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen for saying that "romantic love relationships should be somewhere between priority number four to ten in our lives".
After reading his inspiring new book Evolutionary Enlightenment with chapters such as "Face Everything and Avoid Nothing" (including love relationships??), "A Higher We", "Catalyzing Emergence", "Creating the Future", and "The Edge of Evolution", I was even more puzzled by his statement, so I contacted Andrew and he was gracious enough to talk with me for an hour this week.
He first clarified that the whole notion of relationship and relatedness has been the most important part of his work for many years. For him, any form of purposeful, transcendent intimacy is the goal of spiritual practice, and what his teaching of Evolutionary Enlightenment is all about. His interest is first and foremost in inter-subjective non-duality and the significant effects it has on cultural evolution, versus the subjective experiences of non-duality in individuals.
That said, Andrew observed that many people see romantic love and sex as a substitute for--or even as a path to--authentic awakening, when it can actually be a hindrance. He therefore gives the pursuit of need-based "relative" romantic love relationships a low priority in the larger context of awakening to our authentic self and all that it entails, because such relationships often lead to sexual and emotional attachment instead of spiritual liberation. But once this spiritual liberation is achieved, he says that its expression is most explicitly and most importantly seen in the quality, depth, profundity and greater significance of all our relationships, including intimate/sexual love relationships.
To me it seems that as a spiritual teacher, Andrew naturally puts the emphasis on Evolutionary Enlightenment and all that it entails (as outlined in his new book). Healthy intimate love relationships may then happen as a result, or not. He concludes in a Blog about the multiple meanings of love: "Some of those rare souls who have drunk deep from the source of the Absolute can literally no longer even relate to any dimension of personal or relative love, while others are able to embrace both dimensions simultaneously."
From the perspective of other teachers and Evolutionaries, the profound healing, learning and growth that can lead to enlightenment often occurs through our intimate love relationships, because they entail all seven chakras, force us to face our deepest shadows, and are more likely to prevent spiritual bypassing (see new book by Robert Augustus Masters). As (now married) Eckhart Tolle, who reportedly awoke outside a love relationship, wrote: "Avoidance of relationships in an attempt to avoid pain is not the answer either. The pain is there anyway. Three failed relationships in as many years are more likely to force you into awakening then three years on a desert island shut away in your room."
To me, both paths, or a combination of both, with the guidance of a spiritual path/teacher and, if necessary, therapy, seem viable, and hardly anyone questions the importance of healthy love relationships for a sustainable future for all humanity.
At the end of our conversation, in which we touched on topics such as Tantra, feminine/masculine polarities, procreation, anima/animus complex, transcend and include/exclude, and the Wilber-Combs Lattice, Andrew and I agreed that we need more couples in Evolutionary Integral Relationships because, as Andrew writes in his new book: "Finding each other--finding those other individuals who feel as passionately as we do about the evolution of consciousness and culture--liberates and uplifts our spirits and gives us the inspiration to take bold steps we otherwise might not have the courage to take."
Evolutionary Enlightenment in combination with Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men provides you with a path to balancing and harmonizing feminine/masculine polarities, higher stages of transpersonal consciousness, non-dual spirituality, transcendent sexuality, and healed anima/animus complex that makes Evolutionary Integral Relationships a possibility.
Please join us:
- Talk to your partner about the evolutionary potentials of your relationship.
- Find/attract a partner for an Evolutionary Integral Relationship if you are single.
- Order a signed copy of Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men at a 50% discount.
- Forward this newsletter to your friends and invite them to join our mailing list at www.integralrelationship.com
- Join us on www.facebook.com/integralrelationship and post your questions and experiences.
* A few more quotes from Evolutionary Enlightenment that touched me:
Page 174: "Anyone can experience egoless consciousness in the stillness and solitude of deep meditation. But if we want to catalyze evolution in consciousness and culture, we are going to have to share our deepest convictions and spiritual intuitions of what's possible, and then work hard, together, to make that possibility a reality."
Page 191: "At the heart of this new order of human relatedness lies the ongoing interplay of several dynamic principles: the simultaneous experience of autonomy and communion, the vertical pull of evolutionary tension, and the generative spark of creative friction."
Page 192: "When two or more people transcend ego together, such a seemingly paradoxical event [simultaneous experience of autonomy and communion] can happen."
Page 193: "When an individual experiences powerful autonomy, it's often at the expense of communion with others."
Page 194: "Evolutionary tension is the experiential quality of the new consciousness that is liberated between individuals who come together in autonomy and communion. That's what authentic, evolutionary enlightened spiritual partnership is all about."
Page 196: "Did you know that human beings only develop through interaction with each other?"
Page 197: "Remember, the relationships we engage in and the values we share create the structure of the intersubjective dimension, which is culture."
Page 198: "What happens to love when God becomes the evolutionary impulse, or Eros? That's the emergence of a very different form of love--the expression of God as Becoming."
Page 203: "If you are trying to do something genuinely new [such as an Evolutionary Integral Relationship], you have to be a pioneer, you have to be a change-agent. Otherwise, you are going to be following the beaten path, living out the patterns that have been formed by countless others."
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November 15th 2011
Relationship experts tell us that only about 3% of the adult population enjoy long-term, happy relationships (50% are single, 20% are happy in their relationship right now, 50% will end up in divorce). We may call this a National Crisis. Albert Einstein said, "The significant problems that we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking [consciousness] we were at when we created them." We now have the tools available for women and men to make the shift in consciousness to grow the number of happy couples to a tipping point of 10%.
Calling In "The One" is a proven 7 week book course that allows women to clear away the obstacles to a loving relationship and to attract the love of their life. Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men (click here for reviews and 50% book discount) allows men to meet women at their level of consciousness as an opposite and equal partner. Taken together, they provide a path for singles and couples to healthy sustainable love relationships.
Benefits of healthy relationships:
Living together makes our ecological footprint smaller and so reduces pollution of our environment. Sharing two incomes and material resources (car, home, appliances, etc.) allows us to work less, be more financially secure, and be more fulfillment-oriented, all of which reduces stress. Most couples receive tax breaks and many other financial incentives (e.g., insurance, two for one offers, etc.). Many chores take the same time being done for one or two people (e.g., shopping, maintaining a home, cooking) which gives couples more leisure time. Married men and women are on average more successful at work, get promoted more often, and receive higher performance appraisals. Supporting each other in daily life (driving to the Doctor, maintaining a home, etc.) makes us less dependent on paid services.
Couples tend to be physically healthier than singles because they look out for each other--evidenced by their longer average live spans. Monogamous couples have less risk to contract STDs. A healthy sex life relieves stress, boosts the immune system, burns calories, improves cardiovascular health, boosts self esteem, improves intimacy, reduces pain (releases oxytocin), reduces prostate cancer risk, strengthens pelvic floor muscles, promotes vaginal health, and helps us sleep better (from webMD).
If we know better, we do better. In our modern and postmodern information age, two people combining their knowledge in different areas of life empowers them and makes them more successful.
We can only heal our relationship wounds in relationships. Roger Walsh, in dialog with Ken Wilber said: "Relationships aimed at recognizing and releasing psychological, spiritual and developmental limitations are invaluable. There are many forms of relationships, however, perhaps the supreme method for obtaining second person feedback are intimate relationships and marriage." And Eckhart Tolle: "Avoidance of [love] relationships in an attempt to avoid pain is not the answer either. The pain is there anyway."
Being in a committed healthy love relationship is seen by most western spiritual teachers and evolutionaries--who are mostly married--as the best place to practice ego transcendence (ascending) and compassion (descending) . They maintain that the proof of the depth and embodiment of our spiritual realization will be seen in the quality of our love relationships (e.g. Adyashanti and Eckhart Tolle).
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November 3rd 2011
Are women morally superior to men and in their capacity to lead?
In a recent (brilliant) article on Beams and Struts, Vanessa Fischer concludes:
"Theorists have argued for jettisoning the term "Feminine" all together due to the problems it poses in polarizing men and women and essentializing certain qualities about women that over-idealize traditional femininity and set women up as morally superior to men. Another area where the shadow side of the feminine rhetoric can potentially become an issue is when there is an assumption, that simply because we are women (and we are "Feminine"), that we are somehow special. There is no significantly convincing proof that women would do a better job running the world than men have ... and I believe there are many shadow dimensions how we show up with men that we will have to engage and consider very deeply before we make any assumptions about our superior capacity to lead."
Her profound insights--applying Ken Wilber's four Quadrant Model--and her humility open up the potential for a renewed dialog between men and women.
To put this dialog into an Integral Relationship context I suggest to clearly define what we mean by:
1. Biological Sex
2. Learned Gender Roles
3. Anima/Animus Complex (Male/Female Shadow)
4. Feminine/Masculine Polarities
We can then integrate those dimensions with the differences in consciousness/moral/spiritual, etc. development in men AND women. This will allow us to move beyond the tiring discussion if men OR women are more evolved and better leaders, to realizing that we need more evolutionary/evolved men AND women in sustainable Integral Relationships to co-create solutions for a sustainable future for all humanity.
Please join our conversation about this topic on www.facebook.com/integralrelationship.
Below are my suggestions for operational definitions (from Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men) for the above terms:
1. Biological sex and the resulting Primary Fantasy, which often judges women as harshly by their looks and age as it does men by their social status and wealth, has already been covered in previous newsletters.
2. Gender roles are learned after birth, often vary between cultures and throughout history, and can be transcended. Gender Mainstreaming, as put forward by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality (www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/conceptsandefinitions.htm) or Warren Farrell's suggestion to move from role-mates to Soul-mates, attempt to give men and women equal rights and responsibilities.
3. Anima/animus complex relates to the creation of our self-identification as boys or girls during childhood when we invariably cover up, split-off, disown, repress, or dismiss qualities of the opposite sex to various degrees (shadow). In later years we can heal and transcend this complex.
There are five potential stages for men:
1. Women as mother: He needs a mommy to take care of him.
2. Women as sex object: He wants her to make him feel good.
3. Women as wife: He wants her loyalty and support.
4. Women as guide to healing and awakening: He grows through her need for independence.
5. Women as equal partner: He values and meets her as an opposite and equal partner.
1. Men as alien outsiders: She fears, hates, and "desires" him.
2. Men as father, God, or king: She wants his approval.
3. Men as hero: She wants to look up to him and to have him take care of her.
4. Men as independent beings: She wants her independence from a partner.
5. Men as equal partners: She wants and meets him as an equal and opposite partner.
(for more details see Integral Relationships pages 58-66)
4. Masculine/Feminine polarities are defined as ascending/descending and agency/communion. It is important to dissociate these polarities from sex, gender and the anima/animus complex as they are potentials for growth and embodiment (versus shadow) that can be equally embodied by Integral males and females.
1. Healthy ascending is characterized by a desire to improve, to go beyond, to grow, to transcend, to create, and to think big. This is accomplished by gaining wider perspectives of the self and the nature of things. It requires a willingness to change by letting go of old paradigms and not sweating the small stuff.
Unhealthy ascending ignores, represses, controls, and dominates the lower, instead of embracing and caring for it. It denies feelings, the body, sexuality, and nature.
2. Healthy descending means to be connected with and sensitive to the richness and fullness of the world, to be down-to-earth and in touch with one's body, feelings, emotions, and sexuality.
Unhealthy descending means to be overwhelmed, fused with, and run by the many details of life and its manifestations, feelings, earthly desires, and needs.
3. Healthy agency supports the autonomous functioning of the individual.
Unhealthy agency leads to alienation and dissociation from others.
4. Healthy communion is expressed through the peaceful, responsible (response-able), considerate, and caring connection between people.
Unhealthy communion leads to fusion, dependency, neediness, and clinging-with the loss of one's own will, individuality, and autonomy-which eventually leads to resentment.
(see Integral Relationships pages 23-28, available as a FREE PDF by email request).
Please join our conversation about this topic on www.facebook.com/integralrelationship
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October 10th 2011
Putting "Lasting Love Made Easy" videos in an Integral context
Gay & Katie Hendricks recently released a new series of FREE videos with profound advice for making Lasting Love Easy.
You can watch them here.
The videos are reminiscent of the men in the dark who touch only parts of an elephant while trying to understand the whole animal. You get the most out of these helpful videos by putting them in an Integral Relationship context, considering:
- Primary Sexual Fantasy of Males and Females
- Learned Gender Roles
- Feminine/Masculine Polarities
- Lines and Levels of Development (especially consciousness, spiritual, sexual, and anima/animus complex)
- States of Falling in love
- Personality Types
- Unconscious Dimensions
- The Four Quadrants (Body, Mind, Material/Social and We/Culture)
- Personality Matrix
- Triangles of Love
- Compatibility Matrix
One video (my favorite) describes how to successfully navigate the states of falling in Love (see chapter 5 in Integral Relationships).
A second video outlines how women can transform their unconscious and false beliefs about men and relationships into positive affirmations that will allow them to attract a wonderful partner (see page 110-111 and chapter 11 in Integral Relationships about the unconscious).
A third video touches on elements of the primary fantasy such as money, sex, and weight issues (see chapters 1 and 2 in Integral Relationships), stating that--despite their and many other relationship experts efforts--only 3% of the US adult population are having a really good time in their relationships (maybe related to the 3% of adults at an Integral or higher level of consciousness???). Clearly a sign that we need an "Integral" approach to relationships (and many other issues)!
Please share your feelings, thoughts and questions about the videos and this newsletter at www.facebook.com/integralrelationship.
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September 29th 2011
Let's discuss and refine the 12 Core Values for Integral Relationship Evolutionaries
Last year, after publishing Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men, I heard Evolutionary Enlightenment Guru Andrew Cohen and Beyond Awakening teacher Terry Patten speak live. Until then, I felt caught in a state of presence, surrender, acceptance and non-resistance (generally a nice place to be stuck in) that prevented me from moving forward with promoting the Integral Relationship Vision. Whenever I felt an urge to speak up or do something, a voice said, "but everything is perfect as it is," "there is nothing to do," "what you resist persists," "don't be judgmental," "this is just your ego wanting something," and so on and so forth (sound familiar?)
Through Andrew and Terry I realized that there are actions that emerge from an awakened state of Love and non-resistance through, what Cohen calls, the authentic (versus egoic) self. These creative evolutionary impulses push into "what could be," or "the adjacent possible", such as an Integral Love Relationship.
Evolution generally means the emergence of ever larger structures of complexity and order, arising out of a sea of disorder (entropy) with multiple potentials and much uncertainty. In other words, evolution is a beautiful and messy process--just as we see in the many facets of our human love relationships. People who push into these untapped potentials (or adjacent possibilities) are called "Evolutionaries". You may be one of them in your field of spirituality, art, education, business, philosophy, medicine, community building, psychology, technology, law, politics, activism, etc., AND in your love relationship(s).
Once I followed this impulse to connect with and inspire other Integral Relationship Evolutionaries things started to flow. Ken Wilber got a hold of my book through Jeff Salzman, loved it, and told me at the beginning of a three hour phone conversation "It's a terrific book, Buddy. The more and more I read, the more and more I was just really astounded how much territory you cover. I will read sections of the book and hopefully people will get a sense of just how complete this thing is. Honestly, I haven't seen anything quite like it--it's very impressive."
Since then, over 500 books sold in 30+ countries and I connected with wonderful Integral Relationship Evolutionaries like you world-wide (read letters and reviews at www.integralrelationship.com/reviews.asp).
In the next 12 newsletters I plan to comment on each of the 12 Core Values of Integral Relationship Evolutionaries below that I suggested a few months ago and invite you to discuss them on facebook so that we can refine them based on your personal experience. I hope that you will join us.
1. We choose to love, instead of something that happens to us or that we attract.
2. We see the depth of our heart and soul connection as well as the level of humility and devotion to our relationship as an indicator of our psychological health and spiritual realization.
3. We transcend our primary fantasy and base our relationship in Being values, versus material, sexual, or emotional neediness.
4. We use our relationship for ongoing mutual learning, healing, growth and awakening towards the capacity to love unconditionally.
5. We hold an evolutionary perspective and have reached or strive towards an integral, transpersonal or higher level of consciousness.
6. We continually develop, balance and harmonize our healthy feminine and masculine polarities and meet each other as opposites and equals to create synergy at the level of all the seven chakras.
7. We share a purpose for our relationship which is larger than either individual and is offered in service for the greatest good of the largest number of people.
8. We have an Integral Life Practice (ILP) with modules for the health of our body, mind, spirit/soul, and shadow, as well as ethics, sexuality, work, emotions, and relationships.
9. We make an explicit agreement to tell/listen-to each other's truths without the need for validation or acceptance from our partner, and to own our emotional reactions to our partner's reality.
10. We set and respect each other's healthy boundaries.
11. We share material resources and pursue an environmentally and socially responsible lifestyle.
12. We engage in sacred/tantric sexuality and practice monogamy out of choice instead of fear.
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September 23rd 2011
TO BE OR NOT TO BE - THAT IS THE QUESTION
In the past few weeks, several people asked me this question from Shakespeare's Hamlet (about ending one's life (relationship) or continuing to suffer) . Their pain of staying is becoming larger than their fear of leaving, or for singles, their pain of being alone becoming larger than their fear of being in relationship.
Below is an excerpt from Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men that provides some pointers:
The answer is, of course, "it depends."
IN RELATIONSHIP - HAPPY
Congratulations to you and your partner. You most likely know why your partnership is thriving, healthy, happy, satisfying, and rewarding. You have been (1) lucky, (2) used your insightful experience to attract a compatible mate, and/or (3) did your growth work to co-create a healthy partnership--most likely a combination of all three. By reading the manual you may gain a clearer understanding of your individual developmental levels and the opportunities, challenges, and rewards that may lie ahead as you and your partner evolve further. You will be able to identify early warning signs if you drift apart and so start an integrally informed dialog and practice that may keep you together on your path, or allow you to separate amicably if you have taken different directions. It also allows you to welcome any potential conflict as an opportunity to support each other in your healing and growth.
IN RELATIONSHIP - UNHAPPY
If your Triangles of Love are not balanced and harmonized, then you are not having the most fulfilling relationship possible.
If you lack intimacy (left side), you are most likely at different levels of your consciousness and/or spiritual development, and/or have different interests, needs, dreams, and goals.
If you lack sexual passion (right side), then you may no longer meet each other's Primary Fantasy, be at different stages of your sexual development, have lost your feminine/masculine polarity, or have a different lifestyle.
If you no longer experience dependence (bottom), then you have either completed the emotional healing and shadow work that attracted you emotionally in the first place, or (more likely) are dissociated from your feelings and repress negative emotions into your unconscious to avoid conflicts whose resolution could be beneficial for your healing and personal growth.
If the left and right sides of your Triangles of Love are mostly balanced, and you have occasional fights (apply the 80/20 rule that 80% of the relationship should be harmonious and up to 20% can be dissonant), it will be beneficial to stay and to heal the underlying wounds.
If you are in a partnership and at different levels of consciousness and/or vertical development, then you want to assess the potential for the less evolved partner to grow. Nobody can be legitimately asked to constantly regress in order to make another person happy.
If you are more than one stage apart in any of the four lines that we integrated in the Personality Matrix (consciousness, spiritual, sexual, anima/animus development see the Manual page 87-91), it may be beneficial for both of you to end your partnership in a loving and peaceful way. This is especially true if you are in amber or above and with a partner in red, which happens most often to green.
If you are one stage apart and the partner in the earlier stage is transitioning up, then it is wise for the more evolved partner to stay and to provide loving support for his or her transformation.
If you are at the same vertical and horizontal levels and have conflicts because of communication problems, gender differences, feminine/masculine polarity issues, pathologies, or shadows and complexes, then it is most certainly wise to stay and to heal--if necessary with the support of a therapist or coach, or, in less severe cases, by participating in workshops or working together with an applicable relationship book. (see Appendix I of the Manual for book suggestions). Otherwise, the same problems will emerge in your next relationship or haunt you in your single life.
It is challenging, and maybe impossible, for men at any altitude to be in partnership with a woman that moved into stage four of her animus complex development. Unless she is willing to stay and he can give her all the freedom and space that she requires to transition through stage four, she will inevitably leave him or make his life miserable. In either case it is NOT HIS FAULT. Red men in such a situation often threaten women physically, amber men may plead and use shame/guilt tactics for years to hook their wives, orange men often try to use their financial and/or intellectual power to buy/talk her into staying or make her divorcing him as expensive and painful as possible for her, and green men tend to use manipulative emotional blackmailing to hang on to her. All these strategies will ultimately offend and alienate her. The only way for partners in their anima/animus stage four development to stay together is to be at a similar altitude and to make the transition into stage five a conscious process.
There may be other good reasons for staying in an unhappy partnership, such as caring for others (children, parents, community) and economic or political reasons, but ultimately you are doing neither yourself nor your partner a favor by prolonging a hopelessly unrewarding relationship that fulfills neither one of you.
SINGLE - HAPPY
Being genuinely happy and fulfilled without a partner is unquestionably the best place from which to enter a new love relationship, because you will not come from a place of emotional, economic, sexual, or social neediness, but from a sense of contentment, fullness, satisfaction, abundance, and wholeness. People in this phase of their life have usually arrived at stage four of their anima/animus development and orange and above, which is quite an accomplishment that should be celebrated. Unfortunately, especially in New Age circles, these stages are often hailed as the ultimate level of personal development by men and women who conveniently overlook that any integrated personality development appears in intimate self-other relationships and that most of their living western spiritual teachers and evolutionaries of caliber live in committed partnerships. It is therefore a good idea for them to look at possible pathologies that show up as fears of being in a partnership, and their unhealthy desire/attachment to being alone. Both can be expressions of denial, repression, or narcissism. Once their underlying wounds are healed and they realize that human beings are always partial and already whole, they can fully open up to invite a compatible partner into their life.
SINGLE - UNHAPPY
It can be a fine line between the neediness that originates from a sense of lack and deficiency that insecure people try to fill with sex or romance, and the desire of mature singles who want to share the joy and richness of their life, body, mind, heart, and soul with another human being in an intimate love relationship.
The former is indicated by compulsive serial dating and a desperate behavior towards the opposite sex that dominates the afflicted people's lives and overshadows any other activity. Their sense of urgency causes repetitive cycles of highs when falling in love, clinging while in partnership, heartbroken when abandoned by a lover (or abandoning others), and desperate searching when alone. These people are perfect candidates for "SLAA"-Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
The latter represents the healthy yearning of the soul to find a mate and is experienced as openness towards potential partners that are good for him or her. This yearning leads to a consciously focused approach to find/attract him or her while living one's life purpose, often by working with a dating and relationship coach.
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September 8th 2011
My cultural shadow.
Seeing a reality in our romantic relationships is one thing, getting emotionally triggered and hung up on it is another. I recently realized that I had a huge cultural shadow that took me eight years, including writing Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men, to see and transcend.
As you may know, I grew up in West Germany and moved to Northern California with my (then) wife and our two daughters in 1995. My wife was pregnant at the time with our third daughter. When we applied for health insurance--a no-brainer in Germany and most other industrialized countries--she was declined because of her "pre-existing condition" (being pregnant that is). I had never heard of such a thing in my life and was dumbfounded. Years later we also learned how expensive it is in the US to send kids to college--which is still mostly free in Germany. Actually the German government pays children of low income families to go to school (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_loans_in_Germany). German parents also receive approx. $300 "Kindergeld" per month for each child under 19/25 (see www.howtogermany.com/pages/kindergeld.html) and of course ALL children are automatically enrolled in the "free" single payer health care system at no extra cost to their parents.
Now don't get me wrong; I live in the US by choice, I am grateful to be here, and recently became a US citizen. What I did not see for the longest time, because of my cultural conditioning, was why most American women are so obsessed with finding boyfriends and husbands with social status and wealth. If American women want to have children, they have to, because it can cost up to one million dollars per child to raise them through college, while it is much less in other countries.
This cultural/social difference raises the financial bar for American men who want to be with an attractive woman, including those who don't want to have children. On the other hand, with the ongoing upward distribution of wealth (see http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph) and the increasing incomes of women (young childless single women now earn more on average than childless single men), it becomes harder and harder for women to find men that they can marry up to (see www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1930277_1930145_1930309-2,00.html).
The following diagram (originally by Donald Symons and adopted by Warren Farrell) illustrates this dynamic:
On the horizontal X axis you find the increasing attractiveness of men (dashed line) based on their income/wealth and that of women (dotted line) based on their physical attractiveness. On the vertical Y axis you find the number of males and females at each horizontal level.
While the US median income in 2006 for people age 25 and older was $32,140 (with only 5.2% of single men making more than $75K), most attractive women (of which there is a high number) desire men who make $75K - 150K or more. This leads to the dynamic that many men with average incomes (see the bump in the center of the graphic) look at sexually attractive women (see the bump in the right side of the graphic) whom they can't afford, while these women look for men with high incomes and social status, who are few and far between (where are all the good men???). As a consequence, we see an increasing number of frustrated single men and women (now almost 50% of the adult US population).
I admit that I was quite upset and frustrated in the past when I was rejected by attractive women because of my average income, low social status and for having children (and if I hear the same from other men). Now that I understand the difference in our cultural background and the real or perceived necessity for women to be with men in the top income brackets, I no longer get upset. Instead, I feel compassion, as I know from being a dating coach how hard and frustrating it is for most single women to find/attract and keep a high earning men (if you need more evidence read Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb or one of the many other books for modern women seeking successful men).
In Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men, this dynamic is further explained and differentiated for men and women at different stages of consciousness development, so this broad outline can only provide a generalizing orientation. There are also exceptions where women have indeed chosen to marry down or to "buy a husband".
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August 24th 2011
How the Wilber-Combs Matrix improves love relationships.
In the youtube video at www.integralrelationship.com, Prof. Allan Combs briefly explains how the Matrix that he developed with Ken Wilber applies to love relationships.
This may sound awfully technical and unromantic, but as most of us know from painful experiences, Love can be unconditional, but relationships are not.
The relationship dynamic that develops between partners beyond the fulfillment of the individuals' Primary Fantasy (see heated discussion in my blog at Integral Life) is determined by developmental potentials that all adults possess. To better grasp how these multiple dimensions interconnect and affect the quality and sustainability of our partnerships beyond the love-struck phase, we start out by placing the eight stages of consciousness development on a vertical axis in the left side of the graphic below. Next to it are two vertical lines, showing the most common tendencies of the feminine and masculine polarities for men and women as they grow in consciousness. Then we'll map five state/stages of spiritual, sexual, and anima/animus complex development onto a horizontal axis, since these aspects can develop independently from each other at each level of consciousness. This gives us 1,000 different correlates (8 x 5 x 5 x 5) for the fluid feminine/masculine polarities and personality types of every person (deep breath now).
Using this matrix allows us to identify compatibilities and differences between us and our partner, and provides directions towards future growth potentials.
You may, for example, be a pluralistic (green), feminine, kinesthetic, Enneagram type seven man at stage three of your spiritual, stage two of your sexual, and stage four of your anima complex development, who is in a partnership with a rational (orange), masculine, visual, Enneagram type three woman at stage four of her sexual, stage one of her spiritual, and stage five of her animus complex development. In the future, you may both remain at your vertical level of consciousness or grow further, become more masculine or feminine, or evolve along some or all of the three horizontal lines (or not).
Couples with similar lifestyle choices, interests, intelligences, and passions, who are at the same level of their consciousness, spiritual, sexual, and anima/animus complex development, with opposite feminine/masculine polarities and complementary personality types experience the most fulfilling long-term partnerships. These compatibilities allow them to enjoy their sexual attraction and synergy, and to resolve conflicts by the same means until they grow apart in their developmental lines or lose their opposite sexual polarities. Partners with minor differences in their horizontal stage development may be able to get along and support each other in their growth. The conflicts between partners who have grown apart or realize that they are at different stages of development once the "love-struck phase" is over can't be simply solved through better communication or other means of reconciliation. Their relationships are basically doomed--sorry.
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August 5th 2011
The way out of our economic and ecological crisis.
The signs of our economic and ecological crisis become more evident every day. This underlines the importance and urgency for more men and women to evolve into "second-tier" consciousness where our sexual selection process (aka choosing a partner--which traditionally women do) takes on more responsible forms from both sexes. This will allow for the co-creation of sustainable healthy love relationships, which in turn create sustainable social and ecological structures--from functional families, to thriving communities, caring societies, and peaceful nations.
As Jean Houston said in an interview with www.womenontheedgeofevolution.com: "It is important that women rise to full partnership with men in the whole domain of human affairs. This is happening whether men like it or not. As women rise, men are regaining some of their deepest capacities, instead of being so patterned by their traditional roles, which don't work so well anymore as the economy and the ecology are collapsing. This is the time for women to get together WITH men and make them see what women can offer, such as the sensibility for process, patterns of connection, and-above all-creative wonderful strategies for issues in local communities; not as power, but with love. This is giving us a very great and different perspective on the relationship; men and women are deeply, deeply, deeply needful of each other."
Barbara Marx Hubbard replied to the question about the role of females in the evolution of men: "Men do what women want [reward]. Women attract the male shifting from the patriarchy into their own inner essence. Women are the leaders of the liberation of men. We don't reject or see men as inferior or oppressive. Men can be liberated and guided through women. I love men and I have always been inspired by men, fulfilling a lot of the impulses from men by being a woman as I saw their genius. I have been "inseminated" logically by the ideas of great men. I have always been inspired by the great men who were evolutionaries. They were all men! I was attracted to their ideas and their seed, and it awakened in me the feminine co-creator. And then I became a guide to the men who were not yet evolutionaries but who were brilliant."
The process of repetitive coupling and uncoupling that we see so often in "first-tier" modern and postmodern relationships that is driven by the fulfillment of deficiency needs and our Primary Sexual Fantasy (which is at the root of the global challenges that we face) can lead us into "second tier" consciousness. There, couples develop a shared vision for their relationship that is larger than either individual and provides the greatest good for the largest number of people.
Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men, in combination with the Calling In "The One" book/work by Katherine Woodward Thomas for women, provides a road map for the sustainable relationships between integrally informed evolutionary men and healing evolving women which we so desperately need for the future of all humanity and our planet.
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July 29th 2011
Priority of love relationships in our lives:
I was somewhat puzzled when I recently heard a well known (married) American spiritual teacher state in an interview about The Future of Love (00:23:00) that romantic relationships should be somewhere between priority number four to ten in our lives. He did not say what the higher priorities should be, only that awakening to one's authentic evolutionary purpose is at the top for him. He further stated that seeking salvation through deficiency-need based romantic love is a fallacy.
Putting the importance of a healthy love relationship rather low on a vertical hierarchical scale and to deny the insight that we can only heal our relationship wounds inside relationships seemed like a category error to me. When Ken Wilber was asked a similar question, he said that love relationships go all the way up and all the way down, and that avoiding them is like playing checkers with yourself--meaning that relationships are a vital part of our healing and awakening process, and that no one is too evolved or too unevolved for being with a partner.
Adyashanti said after facilitating a couples retreat with his wife: "The proof of the depth and embodiment of your realization will be seen in your relationships. That's where the proof is in the pudding. If it all collapses in your relationships, you have some work to do. And people do have a lot of difficulties in their relationships," and Eckhart Tolle (married to Kim Eng) wrote in The Power of Now on page 127 (page 153 in the paperback edition): "Avoidance of relationships in an attempt to avoid pain is not the answer either. The pain is there anyway. Three failed relationships in as many years are more likely to force you into awakening then three years on a desert island shut away in your room."
These statements may imply to some that there is something "wrong" with everyone who is single. That is certainly not so! There are many legitimate reasons to make that choice, and some of us have simply not found or attracted a compatible partner yet. For me, Rumi put it best when he wrote:
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."
So while I fully resonate with the importance of living our authentic evolutionary purpose, I don' t see it in conflict with being in--or staying open to--a healthy co-created love relationship with an equal and opposite partner who shares our purpose. To avoid a love relationship because we think that we are too enlightened or that our purpose is too important/unique for being shared is like trying to pass a test by not taking it, or avoiding the left by always turning right--and therefore ending up going in circles.
You can find a deeper exploration of this topic in Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men on page 160-162.
Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men provides readers with a clear vision and road map how to co-create a second-tier soul mate relationship with an opposite and equal partner.
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July 20th 2011
Five ways to spot soul mates in Integral Relationships
In Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men, "soul" is defined as the unique/authentic sense of self that remains after we strip away all learned conceptions and false beliefs (ego) about who we are (page 58).
This is best accomplished in authentic soul mate relationships.
In first-tier "need-based" relationships, the term "soul mate" is often (mis)used to describe a partner who triggers a rush of love hormones by fulfilling our primary fantasy, sharing of mutually compatible pathologies, and making us happy by meeting our various needs. As partners grow through the stages of first-tier consciousness, their material and psychological needs change. Unless they manage to heal and evolve together as a couple, who they perceive as their "soul mate" changes as well.
Scott Andrews with www.AspireNow.com offers us five ways to spot lifelong soul mates who are in Integral relationships (see end note #222 in Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men for complete text):
1. They contribute more good to the world as a team than if they were apart.
2. They are both aware of their spiritual nature. They have their eyes first upon a higher evolutionary calling or power, second upon each other, and third upon their purpose together. Their family, career, and other things will always follow in some priority after these three.
3. They are on an evolutionary spiritual life journey. These journeys, when their souls coincide for maximum impact, always run parallel in such a way that it creates a relationship that is more about the union, or the team, than the individual.
4. They offer unconditional Love (that does not want anything) to each other and challenge each other to learn the lessons that support their awakening process (John Welwood calls second-tier soul mates "worthy opponents").
5. They possess harmonious and complementary natures. Their relationship is about who they are (experiences) and what they contribute to better the world, rather than what they have (possessions/social status).
Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men provides you with a clear vision and road map how to co-create a second-tier soul mate relationship with an opposite and equal partner.
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July 13th 2011
Conscious coupling and uncoupling. What happened to happily ever after, devotion, and humility?
In a recent training that I participated in, the internationally acclaimed Soulmate Attraction Expert announced her divorce--explaining that it is now normal for women to have an average of five consecutive "committed" relationships/marriages.
In addition to her popular "attracting your soulmate" programs, she will soon offer her mostly female audience "conscious uncoupling" seminars ... so buckle up guys.
What happened to happily ever after, devotion and humility?
If we look at this modern and post modern relationship phenomenon from an integral perspective, we see a clear evolutionary pattern:
As we know from the Integral and other development models, adults have the potential to grow through multiple stages of consciousness--from egocentric to conventional, rational, and pluralistic to Integral and higher stages. At each of these stages, we see different relationship patterns.
- Egocentric couples tend to be in co-dependent and often abusive relationships that are largely based on sexual attraction and mutually compatible pathologies.
- Conformist couples tend to be in long-term conventional marriages, sanctioned and held together by social and cultural norms, as well as religious conventions.
- Rational couples often stay together as long as the relationship serves their individual professional careers and goals.
- Pluralistic couples often focus on self exploration and self fulfillment, and stay together as long as the relationship serves their inner journey.
Relationships in these first-tier stages of consciousness are based on the fulfillment of the respective deficiency needs, and couples separate when their partner no longer fulfills their needs, or if one of the partners moves to the next higher level of consciousness (until memes do us apart).
Relationships between Integral and higher couples (approx 2% of the US population) are no longer based on need fulfillment through a partner, but on Being values and a shared vision for their relationship that is larger than each individual.
So instead of saying that The Future of Love is an endless cycle of attracting a "soulmate" and (un)conscious "uncoupling", we see that relationships in first tier consciousness serve as a conveyer belt for singles and couples to evolve into second tier consciousness where sacred lifetime "Mature Monogamous"* partnerships and marriages flourish.
This is further evidenced by the many western spiritual teachers and evolutionaries in second tier consciousness who are in thriving and rewarding long-term marriages that share a larger purpose.
And this is what "Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men" is all about:
To provide a vision and road map for these new "Integral" relationships that can indeed last a lifetime.
If you don't have the manual yet, you may order a signed copy at a 50% discount at www.integralrelationship.com/friends.asp. And if you already own a copy and have not given me your feedback yet I would appreciate to hear from you.
* See Robert Augustus Masters in Transformation through Intimacy: The Journey Towards Mature Monogamy on the page before the Introduction:
"The passage from immature to mature monogamy is not just a journey of ripening intimacy with a beloved other, but also a journey into and through zones of ourselves that may be quite difficult to navigate, let alone get intimate with and integrate with the rest of our being. But however much this passage might ask of us, it gives back even more, transforming us until we are established in the unshakable love, profound passion, and radically intimate mutuality that epitomize mature monogamy. And even if we don't end up in such a relationship, our having taken the journey toward it will immeasurably benefit us in whatever we do."
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April 28, 2011
How many perspectives can you and your partner hold?
Imagine a bookstore that organized its relationship books by the number of perspectives that their readers can take.
Looking at the bottom shelf, you find books for egocentric men (The Pickup Artist or The Professional Bachelor Dating Guide: How to Exploit Her Inner Psycho) and needy women (How To Catch a Millionaire, The Rules, or Men are Scum, Women are Stupid) who only have their own relationship interests (sex/money/approval) in mind.
Placed on the shelf above are books offering advice for men and women who want to make their partnerships work through understanding and accepting their gender differences (by taking a conventional second-person "me-you" perspective). Titles might include Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women, or The Art of Loving.
The third shelf features books that take a third-person rational "it" perspective on love relationships, such as: Why We Love, Falling In Love, Getting The Love You Want, The New Rules Of Marriage, Passionate Marriage or The New Psychology of Love.
The top shelf holds a row of books for lovers who can see their relationship from a fourth-person postmodern, pluralistic, or spiritual perspective, including such works as: Love and Awakening: Discovering the Sacred Path of Intimate Relationship, The Path to Love: Spiritual Strategies for Healing, Undefended Love, or If the Buddha Dated.
Partners who resonate with books from different shelves would have a difficult time resolving their relationship conflicts; or not get into romantic relationships with each other in the first place.
Individuals at Integral or higher levels of consciousness would find partial truths in books from every shelf, but would not necessarily know how to put them into a larger context.
This is what Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men has elegantly accomplished. It integrates the wisdom from over 200 relationship books, carefully chosen from every shelf, to allow men to meet women at their level of consciousness and co-create healthy love relationships with them.
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