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Love Between Equals: Relationship as a Spiritual Path


  • Portland, OR - Oregon Friends of Jung 811 Northwest 20th Avenue Portland, OR, 97209 United States (map)

Equal and reciprocal love between adults - in marriage and committed partnerships – is in many ways more problematic now after decades of struggle for gender equality and sexual freedom. Marriage has moved from being a vow of impersonal loyalty (“in sickness and in health, until death do us part”) to a vow of personal desire (“as long as this meets my needs”). Commitment based on desire, equality and reciprocity is destabilizing because it requires ongoing negotiation of conflicts and needs. Wanting to be respected, to be cared for, and to be witnessed as yourself by someone who is an equal, leads inexorably to power struggles. This presentation introduces "personal love" and how it unfolds from falling in love, into chronic conflicts and toxic unconscious communication, and finally the ongoing process of becoming a witness and being witnessed. Participants will see that chronic projective identification between partners requires the creation of a “mindful space” of differentiation, in which both individuals must develop new psychological and spiritual skills in order to thrive as a couple.