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Is it Love or addictive clinging?

I have spent much time trying to understand why humans struggle so badly with intimate relationships. Of course, there are many other types of relationships to explore in this blog category, but I would like to start with this one...with a little help from Eckhart Tolle.


Tolle's famous and influential book "The Power of Now" was pivotal in my quest for spiritual growth and understanding. He included a chapter called "Enlightened Relationships", which EVERYONE should read.


The short version of his theory is that if one is looking for salvation in a relationship, then they’re pretty screwed. If you are looking for a relationship to give your life meaning, you’ve got it all wrong. Salvation (meaning peace of mind) can only be obtained right here, right now.

If you are waiting for an event to come and save you from your uneasiness or unfulfillment, you’ll be waiting forever. One must be in this moment and realize the peace that is already here. Because even if you get what you want, your peace is dependent on this external thing so if that ends, your peace ends too.


Here is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of the book:


"Unless and until you access the consciousness frequency of presence, (meaning...living in the NOW) all relationships, and particularly intimate relationships, are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional.

They may seem perfect for a while, such as when you are “in love,” but invariably that apparent perfection gets disrupted as arguments, conflicts, dissatisfaction, and emotional or even physical violence occur with increasing frequency.

It seems that most “love relationships” become love/hate relationships before long. Love can then turn into savage attack, feelings of hostility, or complete withdrawal of affection at the flick of a switch. This is considered normal.

If in your relationships you experience both “love” and the opposite of love — attack, emotional violence, and so on — then it is likely that you are confusing ego attachment and addictive clinging with love. You cannot love your partner one moment and attack him or her the next. True love has no opposite. If your “love” has an opposite, then it is not love but a strong ego-need for a more complete and deeper sense of self, a need that the other person temporarily meets. It is the ego’s substitute for salvation, and for a short time it almost does feel like salvation."


Learning to live in the present moment is yet another skill that can be obtained through various methods. Awareness, mindfulness and a willingness to gather new perspectives can and will change your external world and the experiences you draw toward you.

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