The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ram Dass Headshot

When I Look at Relationships

Posted: Updated:

When I look at relationships, my own and others, I see a wide range of reasons for people to be together and ways in which they are together. I see ways in which relationship -- which means something that exists between two or more people -- for the most part reinforces people's separateness, as individual entities. And as those individual entities the people in the relationship treat the separateness as a reality rather than simply honoring the differences.

When I used to perform weddings the image I always had was the image of a triangle, in which there are two partners and then there is this third force, this third being, that emerges out of the interaction of these two. The third one is the one that is the shared awareness that lies behind the two of them. And the two people in the yoga of relationship come together in order to find that shared awareness that exists behind them in order to then dance as one. The twoness brings them into one, and the oneness dances as two, and that's a kind of a vibrating relationship between the one and the two. People are both separate, and yet they are not separate. And they are experiencing that the relationship is feeding both their uniqueness as individuals and their unit of consciousness.

Now, that is extremely delicate because it is so easy to get entrenched in your own "I need this," "I want this," "You are not fulfilling this for me" and seeing the other as object. But the delight, which all of you have experienced, of being with somebody, where you are sharing an awareness of the predicament you are both in is poignant. And you are sharing an awareness of the predicament even when you are having an argument with each other; there is an awareness that you are both almost delighting in the horrible beauty of it. I don't know whether any of you have had that. I have had it quite often. You know, we have differences. But we are enjoying -- we're hating it and enjoying it both -- because there are these levels we are playing at all the time.

We come into relationships often very much identified with our needs. I need this, I need security, I need refuge, I need friendship. And all of relationships are symbiotic in that sense. We come together because we fulfill each others' needs at some level or other.

The problem is that when you identify with those needs, you always stay at the level where the other person is her or him -- it is satisfying that need. And it really only gets extraordinarily beautiful when it becomes us, and then when it goes behind us and becomes I.

This Sunday OWN will be airing an all-new interview with spiritual teacher and best-selling author Ram Dass on "Super Soul Sunday" at 11 a.m. ET/PT and will be airing his powerful film "Ram Dass: Fierce Grace."

Around the Web

Relationships | Psychology Today

Relationship Advice, Dating Tips, Parenting Advice and More ...

7 Relationship Problems and How to Solve Them

Relationship Help: Tips for Building Romantic Relationships that Last