My loneliness at not having a life partner is an obstacle to my spiritual development.

ET: There’s a part in every person—who you are on the level of form—that tends either towards the male or the female, and it doesn’t necessarily depend on the physical form. You tend either towards the male or the female and, therefore, you’re not complete because you’re only one half on the level of form—which can be the physical form or the psychological or emotional form just underneath that. And so, there is a natural longing for the other polarity—the completeness in a human being—and you can feel that as an ‘ah!’ that goes beyond sexual longing. There’s more to it than that.

There’s also an emotional longing for the other; they go together. There’s that pull that you can feel on the level of form, and when that is not satisfied, then that can lead to unhappiness, particularly if you have not transcended your identification with form.

If you’re still totally identified with you as this physical form and psychological form, the transcendent dimension has not come into your life at all. Then, you will become very dissatisfied—which also depends to some extent on what culture you live in. There are traditional cultures on our planet where you almost have to find a partner or everybody will look down on you as being a total and miserable failure.

But here in the West, it’s a little easier to step out of those collective expectations. It is more acceptable to say, “My choice is not to get married.” And you can even say, “My choice is not to have children,” and people say, “Okay.” So, there’s a bit more freedom and yet the emotional or the sexual longing for the other on the form level is still there.

The essence is to be able to transcend who you are on the level of form. Whether or not you find a partner that meets that longing, or whether you go from one partner to another and another, or whether you find one partner for the rest of your life—that is all secondary, really. Because even if you have a partner, if you have not gone deeper and encountered the transcendent dimension to who you are beyond the form identity then you won’t be satisfied in relationship. In the absence of the transcendent dimension, the spiritual dimension, you may come to some kind of compromise or manage to stay together but you’ll actually have a longing to get out!

So, the people who are out of relationships have a longing to get in, and those who are in have a longing to get out. In the absence of a partner, it is quite possible to notice a certain sense of lack on the level of form and yet maintain a lot of spaciousness around that sense of lack. You recognize, “yes, I can feel that there is a longing,” but the longing does not consume you; the longing has not taken possession of you, making you into an unhappy person, perhaps a totally unfulfilled and bitter person. No, the longing is there but exists within the spaciousness that is the transcendent dimension. Who you are is not the unfulfilled longing; who you are is the presence or the stillness around it. That is the shift.

So the longing may persist, but you can live with it; however if you are no longer trapped in the longing, it’s also quite possible that a change will come into your life, particularly if the intense neediness goes.

If not, then everybody you meet can feel the neediness. You’ve given somebody you just met your phone number and you are waiting for them to call, but they are less likely to call when the neediness is there. They’re more likely to call when a certain spaciousness is there.

Of course you can take action towards meeting somebody. You might not meet the most conscious people in bars, but there are other places one can go to meet people—even the Internet. Why not? Many people meet that way, but even there, if you haven’t gone beyond the absolute neediness then it’s less likely to work out for you. But if you have that sense of inner spaciousness around the longing, then the way in which you approach others changes.

So my suggestion then is, see how and where you could meet people and explore. Perhaps you will find somebody here or there. To realize that the transcendence is the most vital thing does not exclude the possibility of taking action on an outer level. Of course, that is always secondary, but why not? The longing will just become a thing that’s no longer overwhelming and then, take action and see what happens.

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