Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Short Piece About Marriage and the Valleys

My wife and I spend a lot of time talking about the Writings, specifically how they apply to marriages and life.  We figure if something doesn't apply, what good is it?   And since we know the Faith is good, we know it must be able to apply in all areas.

Sometimes we have a bit of difficulty figuring out an application of a specific verse, but that is what makes it all the more fun.

That being said, we were talking about The Seven Valleys last night, and she told me that I had to write down what I said here in this blog.  So here goes nothing.  The italics, by the way, are excerpted pieces from this wonderous work of the Blessed Beauty.

I suggested that the list of the seven valleys could be seen like an outline of a healthy relationship.

You begin in the Valley of Search by searching for a partner.  You look everywhere, while riding that steed of patience.  You should never be downheartedNo counsel will deter you as you seek that eternal partner.  You will witness a world of desiring ones searching, but never give up, for you seek her/him everywhere.  Haply somewhere you will find her/him.

Labor is neededArdor is neededAnd if you taste of this cup, you will cast away all else.

And if, by the grace of God, you find your partner, you straightway step into the Valley of Love.  Everything is wonderful and blissful.  You are no longer aware of yourself, for the fire of love is ablaze; and when the fire of love is ablaze, it burneth to ashes the harvest of reason.

You have no thought except for that of your beloved.  Everything is tinted with that rose of love.  You are not even aware of the steed of pain.

When you finally escape that dream-like state, and are free from the claws of the eagle of love, then you get to the Valley of Knowledge.  You begin to know the other person and that beautiful heady rose starts to lose some of its petals.  The rose is growing, evolving into the fruit of the flower: the rosehip.  You have successfully shut the doors of vain imaginings, and begin to better see your lover for who they really are.

Hopefully by now you are married and well into the Valley of Unity, drinking from that cup of the Absolute, and gazing on the Manifestation of Oneness.  Your lives become more intertwined as you learn to become interdependant with each other, sharing your strengths, helping each other grow where they are weak.

It would be so easy to go on and on, comparing your lover to a lower-case version of the Lover described in this Book, but I will let you read this for yourself and see it with your own eyes.  While we all know that God is the true Lover referred to in this Work, the concept of macro/micro still works, and we can see an analogy here for our partner.

To continue this journey, you enter the Valley of Contentment, satisfied with your life.  You are no longer  burning with desire.  Your sorrow has been turned into bliss, and your anguish to joy.  You are living a life of delight and rapture.  Although you may dwell upon the dust, you feel as if you are throned in the heights of mystic meaning.  Life is truly wonderful.

You have entered the Valley of Wonderment.  Every moment your sense of wonder grows.  Every line of this Valley abounds with a new meaning, each metaphor is filled with hidden depths as you contemplate your life, your partner, and your family.   In sum, there is no end to the description of these stages.  To try and even capture some of this makes my pen groan and the ink shed tears.

And then your children enter college and you move into the Valley of True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness.

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