Conventional romantic love is temporary and transient, based around stimulation from an external object. Post-conventional romantic love is a lasting and deep seated experience of passion and ecstasy that arises from a deep connection to the infinite love and the reality of spiritual union that we find within ourself.
- Conventional romantic love is thus a temporary high that arises from the pleasurable stimulation that we get from something or someone outside of ourself.
- Post-conventional or transpersonal (meaning a sense of romance beyond the ordinary boundaries of our ego) romantic love is a type of happiness that comes from a sense of connection to the universe that we find inside ourself.
Conventional ideas of romantic love really centre around the ideas of desire and attraction in the sense that I have outlined in my previous article on these two qualities.
Our initial desire and attraction to a person or a pursuit causes us to temporarily connect to a sense of transcendence where all our problems seem to fall away and we experience joy, pleasure and feel great. The problem is that this only lasts as long as the novelty lasts. As soon as we start to get used to the person that we are in love with, or the work that we have fallen in love with starts to get tough, our old ego re-emerges and we crash back down to earth and all of our old problems find us again (and perhaps a few more that we did not think that we had before!).
The post-conventional or transpersonal view of romantic love is that the initial high that we experience when we fall in love is in fact real, but we mistake the person with whom we have fallen in love with the state of mind that our contact with them evokes.
It is indeed possible to experience a lasting romantic passion in our life (in any one of the Five types of romantic relationship that we may have) and for our life. However, in order for this to take place we need to shift that basis of our search for romantic love
- From an external person or object that gives us pleasure
- To an internal object (love and spirit) that gives rise to lasting, sustainable happiness and passion as an internal state of mind within ourselves.
Happiness arises always primarily from an inner source, pleasure comes mostly from an external stimuli. Knowing the difference between these two is a big part in negotiating our way to peace of mind.
Other observations about transpersonal or post-conventional romantic love:
- It can hold paradox. This means for example that you can be at once passionate and ecstatic, and at the same time be in touch with deep centeredness and peace
- It recognizes the external person or thing that initially stimulated our love as a doorway to the spiritual experience of romance. It does not confuse the state of mind with the object
- Our sense of love may be inspire by a person, place or type of work, but we can transfer that sense of love and see all things and events in our life through loving eyes
- Our life becomes characterized by creativity, flow and a sense of effortlessness (Or perhaps I should say here an awareness of the creativity, flow and effortlessness in our lif that was there all the time, but that we could not access)
How do you get to this post-conventional experience of romantic love?
Through the doorway of relationship, the second stage of romantic love as we are looking at it in these articles. It is through the challenges that we face with the people and things that we love that we are able to identify and clear all the aspects of our ego that are blocking our love. If we understand this then we will welcome the challenges that come into our romances, as we recognize that we can use them to travel toward longer term states of romantic passion and ecstasy.
What happens if I have not yet met my romantic “Soul mate”, or the person/spouse I am in a relationship does not want to use our problems as a way to deepen our love, but just wants to stay stuck in ego?
The journey to transpersonal romance often involves a level of patience and fortitude that most people did not think themselves capable of, so you need these qualities.
But, even if you never meet someone, or have to put up with a limited experience of love in your relationship with your principal human partner, remember there are five types of romantic love, and thus five different doorways through which you can experience romance in your life. If the human aspect has not come together, then you can still enjoy the other four and be deeply fulfilled in this way!
© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you MUST seek Toby’s permission first!
2nd November: Meditation class with Toby “Building passion as the central fulcrum of creative love in your life and relationships”
14th November: Workshop “How to use stress to your advantage”