The Spiritual Life, Topic Twenty two
Special and holy relationships
The second possibility is love between two independent persons. That too happens once in a while. But that too brings misery, because there is constant conflict. No adjustment is possible; both are so independent and nobody is ready to compromise, to adjust with the other.
Poets, artists, thinkers, scientists, those who live in a kind of independence, at least in their minds, are impossible people to live with; they are eccentric people to live with. They give freedom to the other, but their freedom looks more like indifference than like freedom, looks more as if they don’t care, as if it doesn’t matter to them. They leave each other to their own spaces. Relationship seems to be only superficial; they are afraid to go deeper into each other because they are more attached to their freedom than to love, and they don’t want to compromise.
Osho. Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself (Osho Insights for a New Way of Living) . St. Martin's Press. 49 - 50
In psychology, the kind of “independent” relationship Osho describes is called “avoidant.” People are roommates. They are more like business partners who maintain a household together, who raise children together, who engage in social activities together when it meets both their needs but at a deeper psychological and emotional level they have little if any awareness of each other's well being.
People sometimes have a “trophy” wife or husband or partner. The partner is objectified as playing a role rather than being a real person. In the old days, a husband would refer to his wife as “mother” or the wife would refer to the husband as “father.” Even more telling is when the article “the” is used before the role.The husband might say to his buddies, having been asked to go play golf, “I’ll have to ask ‘the wife’ first.”
These independent relationships can function well in the world of the ego as long as they are cooperative and there is no conflict, but if conflicts and disagreements arise people “fight” and if they can’t compromise the relationship will often end in separation.
A person in such a dyadic relationship has a choice: to either continue it in the independent, cooperative, avoidant style, to attempt to develop deeper rapport and conscientious awareness of the other’s well being, or to separate and go one’s own way.
In A Course In Miracles the student is asked to consider the question, “What is the purpose of this relationship?” Is it conditional or unconditional? Is it a “special relationship” or a “holy relationship?” The independent style relationship is a “special relationship” based on conditions whether conscious or unconscious and is not a “holy relationship” which is based on unconditional love and not utility.
The spiritual question is what kind of relationships do you want? In what kind of relationship do you put your faith?