According to the simple definition offered by Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 'marriage' is 'the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law'. Somewhat vague in its simplicity, maybe, but in other words, marriage might be more popularly described as a 'lifetime' commitment of two people, whether of opposite or same-sex, in which they live together, with all that entails, for a multitude of purposes, not least of which is pro-creation ( at least, for opposite sex couples ). But is it really that simple?! Can marriage be defined simply? It has been said that 'marriage is a purely human institution' & so, in that sense, if that sense alone, it is, but does it not go deeper than that? Should it not go deeper than simply fulfilling the human being's innate animal lust?
'Animal lust', in & of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing ( 'it is what it is' comes to mind here ); like the Ego, like so many other aspects of the human animal, the 'lust of the flesh' is a very natural part of our make-up. When we allow our lust, though, like the Ego ( et al ) to rule us, then we run into issues! Whether one deems this part of our human nature to be 'a necessary evil' or not, it is an unavoidable attachment that helps us to cope with our perception of Life. Is it possible to go through Life without 'falling prey' to its temptations? Sure, for some, the answer can be as simple as withdrawing from society, while others go to extremes, even going so far as mutilation, in pursuit of a more chaste life. Yet others have found the Strength Within themselves to persevere in such a course, even in the midst of the temptations of 'civilized' society!
A 'civilized society' seems to be based upon the notion of the progress of evolution; in essence, that this society has advanced beyond that one. In many ways, this evolutionary progress can be tracked ( as far as history books go, anyway ), but have we really made much, if any progress, where it really matters, in the past several hundred years? The last couple thousand? In many ways, we have, as a society ( worldwide ), made many technological & political advancements ( astronomically, even ), but have we really progressed in our humanity? We're still the same old human beings, with the same self-centered nature that we see in movies about 'the good old days', or read about in ancient history. The only difference is that we've learned how to do it ( ? ) more efficiently!
Getting back to the subject at hand, but coming full circle, one might well note, marriage has suffered in this evolutionary progression as well! 'How has marriage suffered?', you might ask. Before there was a license, before there was even an official clergy to orchestrate the ceremony, marriage was a fairly simple proposition. A man & a woman came together as One. The marriage continued till it ended, usually with the death of one or both parties. Divorce is a relatively new concept & is one of those 'civilized' advancements we're talking about. Even up till the last century or so, most couples found a way around their difficulties, whether it meant living in separate houses ( or states ), or with the help of a 'little yellow pill'.
'Marriage is NOT piece of paper!' Again, with the advancement of 'civilization' came the whole notion that, not only must a marriage be presided over by an ordained ( male ) member of the clergy, within the last hundred years, give or take, it MUST be licensed by the State in order to be legal & valid! Although there are some states that still honor the so-called 'Common Law' marriage, it often makes better political & economic sense to simply invite the State into the marriage bed, in essence, apply for a license. With that in mind, many marriages have deteriorated into a mere contract that can be undone as easily & quickly as it was done. That said, the original concept, from as far back as the Middle Ages, is alive & well. In fact, a growing number are joining a rather quiet rebellion & saying 'NO' to Government involvement in their marriages, if not their lives!
Is marriage truly as simple as a man & a woman living together, basically becoming One in purpose, if not in deed? As defined by the overwhelming majority, both officially & unofficially; yes, that's what marriage looks like, at least, upon a surface examination. But as any married couple can tell you, it's really NOT that simple! The reason for this, though most seem to be painfully ignorant of it, is that there is more to the human being than meets the eye! Every human being on this planet is possessed by an individual Soul. This is the Heart of Marriage. Without it, marriage is merely mundane, but with IT, Marriage is Magick!
'Marriage IS Magick!' By 'Magick' is meant that It is the product of Intention & Intention means Soul! The problem with marriage today is that it has lost its soul. Many failed or failing marriages will often produce statements like, 'we've lost our spark', or 'there just isn't any magick left in our marriage'. Most, I would imagine, will readily admit that marriage is at least as complex a proposition as human beings are complex individuals, but most, I would imagine as well, rarely explore how very deep this well goes! Admittedly, it can be a very painful process, but, once the Soul has been bared, the Journey can begin in earnest. This is when the Marriage will begin to grow by leaps & bounds!
Now, don't get me wrong, when I say 'leaps & bounds', by no means am I saying that once the Soul is bared, everything will be 'hunky-dory', a bed of roses, so to speak. No, quite the contrary, once the Soul is bared, the pain ( and healing ) really begins. In fact, one might note that, UNTIL the Soul is laid bare, the healing will NOT begin. This is what most couples who go for professional therapy find out. The Ego, which is attached to the Individual Soul, but really has more to do with the mundane side of our nature, has much, if not the most, to do with the problems that human beings suffer in their marriage.
The Ego, as we've noted before, in previous posts, is neither good nor bad; it just is: however, when we allow our Ego to 'get the better of us', in other words, control our thoughts & actions, then's when things get ugly! If, however, we can learn to control our Ego ( even use it to our advantage ), rather than letting it control us, then our Individual Soul will shine through. Who we really are, not just as a Person, not just as an Individual, but More than Human, will make Itself known. Once this happens, once we know ourselves for who we truly are, then we may begin to learn More about our spouse/partner. This encapsulates a much deeper knowledge than just knowing their quirks, being aware of their 'triggers', their idiosyncrasies, etc., etc. It involves what Marriage is all about, the Blessed Union of Souls!
Marriage is not all it's cracked up to be! This is why the overwhelming majority of what passes nowadays ( in fact, for much of history ) for marriage have failed. Rather than being based in Soul, they are rooted in the basest animal desires ( which, again, are not necessarily a 'bad' thing ) & because our feelings/desires tend to change like the weather in Montana, when the desires exit stage left, the 'marriage' often flies out the window, as well. Having been in one of these 'quasi-marriages', this blogger can personally attest to this disturbing fact.
However, when Marriage is based in Soul, as it should be, it can be very blissful! Again, it's not always a cake-walk, a walk in the clouds, so to speak; there will be times when you'll want to claw each others eyes out, but then again, times when you'll want to tear each others clothes off! Both of these actions are natural, human reactions, controlled by the Ego, so neither necessarily 'good' or bad', but 'as above, so below'; when the Marriage is based in Soul, WE will control our actions, not allowing our Ego to gain the ascendancy. But even then, because we are Individuals, there will be times when issues present themselves: then is when we will need to remember that we are More, even, than Individual Souls; we are part of One Whole!
Magick is Intention! As Human Beings, intentions change, not unlike our feelings, but when we learn to be Soulful in our Intentions, Magick occurs! Not just in our marriages/relationships with others, but in our relationships with ourselves. This is where Soulfulness begins, for if we cannot be Soulful with ourselves, we will never be Soulful with anyone else. Bringing the Magick back to Marriage, even if we have ignorantly ( or regrettably ) contracted with the State, or some other such entity, will ensure the stability of that relationship, as long as both parties are consciously Aware, that is. In order for any type of relationship to work, all parties involved must be on more or less the same level.
'Marriage is NOT a piece of paper!' Let that sink in................................for until it does, we ( human beings ) will continue to view marriage in a contractual sense! Marriage, by its very nature, like US, is so much More than meets the eye. It is, 'as above, so below', a Union of Souls. More than that, though & more importantly, It is a Union of Soul! It helps us to realize that, although we comprise Individual Souls, we are, in Essence, One. As a Christian, I learned that Marriage is a picture of the Christ & His Church; as one who has moved ( evolved? ) Beyond Christianity, I now better understand the Truth of this statement. Marriage, True Marriage, not the human institution known as 'marriage', brings together, not just two Individuals, but reunites two pieces of the Whole, the Collective. In that sense then, Marriage can almost be said to be open, not just to two Individuals, but can include a Multitude, a Community of Souls!
'Full circle', then, we must dispense with the notion that 'she/he belongs to me'. Marriage, True Marriage, knows no ownership! No human being can really claim ownership over another. If one does claim to own, or have power over another, you can be sure that the Ego is strong with this one. Whether 'right' or 'wrong', this one has allowed their Ego to control their thinking, if not their actions. Marriage gives us no 'rights', especially the right to control another! ( To be perfectly honest; as human beings, we have enough difficulty controlling ourselves; why would we even think we can control another? ) If we think, then, that marriage includes ownership/property, we have another think coming!
As More than Human, indeed, More even than Individual Souls, having dispensed ( thoroughly ) with the antiquated notion of marriage as ownership/property/rights; let us begin to see Marriage for what It is, a Restoration of the Divine to the mundane! Marriage presents a Vision of Life as It truly is; not just Individuals going about the day-to-day, but truly 'Heaven on Earth', with Humans living together in Sacred Geometry & Symmetry!
Namaste' & Blessed Be!