It’s Valentine’s Day, again.

On February 14th last year, we shared an Esoteric perspective on love and marriage, which looks at Damanhurian marriage – renewed annually – and also the soul-level bond of the esoteric marriage.

Here are some more thoughts about love, marriage and partnership on a path of spiritual awakening, from a conversation with a Damanhurian in the Way of the Esoteric Couples who has been married for almost 30 years and has supported many people in Damanhur in their decisions about marriage.

What is valuable about living in relationship? What is challenging? 

Well, sometimes it feels much easier to be single rather than living as a couple. Choosing the connection and intimacy of relationship can feel blissful and fulfilling, and it can also mean the discomfort and hard work of having a constant mirror for the most wounded and vulnerable sides of myself, the shadow as well as the light. It an always-active constant; I can’t really detach from this condition in relationship. The advantage is that it does speed up the process of personal growth and evolution.

What about falling in love? 

We all know how it feels to fall head-over-heels in love with someone. The feelings are often beyond our control and sometimes it’s not even a choice, but something that you submit to. It’s one thing if a couple decides to be together because they are in love with each other, knowing Wallaby and Alloccothat at some point, the falling-in-love phase ends and the relationship may end as well. This works only if it is a conscious choice, recognizing the impermanence. Even though a relationship may not last, it doesn’t mean that it’s a failure, because I always learn something new through the experience. I always grow in some way. Creating a life together as a couple though, it means building with conscious effort, it’s not something that comes from just falling in love.

What does it mean to be married at Damanhur?

Being married means creating a more complex structure in order to achieve things together, a common goal, intention or dream. A marriage is a building block in the social structure of the community. An esoteric marriage is another kind of path, which has a magical and energetic role.

A marriage can also be a support for achieving the Superindividual (a state of union and interconnectedness as a whole community), experimenting with the microcosm of the couple. I begin by creating a relationship with another person who has a similar direction and objective. It makes it fun in this way, working on personal growth and common goals together with someone whom I love and who is my best friend.

Being in a couple can also be a context for achieving spiritual goals – we sometimes consider Damanhur as a “monastery for families” – though it is necessary to stabilize an environment with guidelines for a certain period of time. In this way, we can experiment and see if the results are positive or not. It’s like having a kind of inner laboratory with full shelves. You need to keep a kind of order to everything. It can be the order you want, though you need order. Within the agreement of the marriage, we define this environment, the guidelines and objectives, and even if external things change, the core intention will still stay the same for us.

Who can get married here? 

In terms of marriage at Damanhur, there is no limitation on the gender of the people involved, or the number for that matter. That is up to the free will choice of the people.

What are the keys to staying together in a relationship?

heartsFirst of all, it’s important to value diversity and meet the other person where they are, in their own way of being. You may find yourself in a relationship with someone who is very different from you, and it may even be better that way. When people who are very similar are in relationship, they usually don’t have as much exchange and impact on each other.

It’s helpful to build a relationship gradually and steadily, to nourish it often. In this way, it can support us on our path of growth and be useful and enjoyable. If we have chosen to travel on a spiritual journey together, and not only because we are in love, then we need to nourish the fire of our love and togetherness, to put wood on the fire and keep it alive. It’s a choice. A choice to guide our feelings and emotions in this way.