Today is Monday, March 17, 2014.
When I read Gary Zukav's book, The Seat of the Soul, back in 1990, I realized that I had been coming to some of the same conclusions as Zukav, over the years, about the purpose of life and about relationships in general. What I was missing was a way to express my thoughts in words.
In order to understand where Zukav is coming from, you have to understand that his central premise is that human beings are not just the body or the intellect, but Soul, and that Souls come to this physical world for a reason – probably not just one reason, but a number of reasons, combined. We come here to learn, grow, and serve. Interacting with one another in relationships is how we accomplish our growth and service. Zukav's idea was that if people could learn to identify their reason for being here, as Soul, they could enter into relationships with a clearer idea of what they could accomplish in the relationship. He contrasted a traditional marriage, bound by gender-based social roles, and contracted for reasons of physical survival and procreation, emotional stability, and social convenience, with a spiritual partnership, contracted between two Souls who understand why they came and what they agreed to learn. The Souls recognize how their partnership can benefit each of them, and they agree to do whatever it takes to assist each other in their mutual growth, regardless of gender-based social roles. Zukav recently wrote, "When two people in an intimate-couple relationship look at their
interactions as opportunities to learn about themselves instead of
change each other, they are infusing their relationship with the energy
of spiritual partnership." Basically, we enter into relationships as a means of promoting our own spiritual growth, knowing that when we do so, the other person will benefit spiritually, as well. Zukav says, "A spiritual partnership is between people who promise themselves to use all of their experiences to grow spiritually."
I read and re-read Seat of the Soul many times, getting something new out of it each time as my own consciousness expanded. I have enjoyed reading Zukav's other books, as well, and I have especially appreciated his process of refining ideas over time. That's why, when I read his book, Spiritual Partnership, The Journey to Authentic Power, I was pleased to see that his definition of the term "spiritual partners" had expanded, because my own definition of the concept had expanded, as well.
The idea of "soul mates" has been around for a long time, but the term has been overused and misused. A lot of people think a soul mate is one single person you are fated to meet, that you are supposed to marry your soul mate, and that your soul mate is supposed to "complete" you somehow. That's very romantic, but it's all bullshit. I like Zukav's term, "spiritual partners," a lot better, because it gets away from the idea that two people have to be spouses or lovers in order to be partners. In his book about spiritual partnerships, Zukav specifically says that spiritual partners are not always marriage partners. They are simply Souls who have, for one reason or another, agreed to meet in this lifetime to work on issues for their mutual benefit. In a social context, spiritual partners can be friends, business partners, or people with whom we work to complete any kind of project. We can enter into spiritual partnership with more than one person at any given time.
Dr. Michael Newton's books, Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls have also contributed to my ideas of what spiritual partners are, because in his books he talked about Soul circles, groups of Souls who tend to incarnate together in order to learn. The groups are flexible, with some Souls exiting the group and others entering, based loosely on their level of consciousness and their common learning curve. In the past couple of decades I have identified a few Souls who seem to be in my Soul circle.
Zukav says that spiritual partnerships have four main qualities — commitment, compassion, courage and conscious
Unlike a traditional marriage, where the commitment is actually to a social role (I promise to be your wife/husband), a spiritual partnership involves a commitment to our own spiritual growth, because if we are not growing spiritually, we are not in any position to assist others. The commitment is also to assist, in any way possible, the growth of the partner. This is a vow you can keep, even if the relationship ends, because if you see that your growth and the other person's growth are at a standstill within the relationship, you can let the other person go, knowing that in doing so, you are releasing the person so that he or she can continue to grow elsewhere.
If the partnership is not a marital relaitonship, the same idea applies. Friendships, business partnerships, and other types of group partnerships can be contracted not simply for social reasons, but also with the knowledge that whatever process the relationship involves will result in spiritual growth for all concerned.
Spiritual partners recognize that nobody is perfect, and they see themselves and others as Souls, children of God, who are doing their best to grow under trying circumstances. Rather than seeing imperfections as something to avoid, spiritual partners realize that relationships are opportunities for themselves and their partner to grow and choose to change themselves, often in very uncomfortable ways.
It takes courage to stretch ourselves beyond limitations imposed by ourselves and our society, and to take our relationships into new, uncharted territory.
Spiritual partners strive to avoid reacting to situations in unconscious ways in which fear and anger are in control. Instead, spiritual partners identify as Soul and allow their higher perspective to frame their words and actions. Spiritual partners don't make assumptions about others; they speak only for themselves. They trust that the process they are in will result in the best outcome for themselves and their partner, whether or not it is a pleasant experience.
The format of traditional marriages, friendships and partnerships will be with us for a long time to come, but the old social formats can be infused with the new energy of spiritual partnerships. More and more, people are waking up to the fact that they are more than just the body, and that they came into physical life to grow, spiritually. When we consciously enter into relationships as spiritual partnerships, our lives take on a depth of meaning and a clarity that will allow us to grow spiritually in a more focused way. Who knows what we could accomplish if we all did this? :-)