“The implications of this recognition is that the happiness – and by happiness I don’t mean that we always have to be smiling or laughing, it’s more like the peace, the sense of fulfillment, the absence of any sense of lack – the happiness that we previously sought in activities, substances, states of mind, relationships, and never fully found there, has now been discovered to be a quality of our essential nature – this sense of fulfillment, this sense of absence of lack.
The motivation to seek happiness in any kind of objective experience doesn’t disappear overnight, because there is a habit that we have been rehearsing for decades (seeking happiness in substances, activities, relationships). That habit doesn’t come to an end overnight, but it winds down, because the source of happiness in oneself or as oneself has been touched, known. And that has an impact on the desire to find happiness in any kind of objective experience. It winds down slowly.
That, for instance, has a profound effect on relationships. Anyone who believes or feels themselves to be a separate self is seeking one thing alone in life, and that is happiness. The reason, in relation to relationships, a separate self seeks relationships is not because they want the other. It’s because they want to be happy. If you knew the person you are dating was going to bring misery to your life, would we go on dating them? No way. It’s not the person that we want, or the activity, or the substance, it’s the happiness that we believe will be derived from them. So if we are no longer seeking happiness in activities, in relationships, does that mean that we simply stop having relationships? No, of course not, because we can have relationships either to fulfill our need for happiness, or to express and share and celebrate the happiness we already feel. We still have relationships, but we relieve the other person of the demand to fulfill our our sense of lack, to fulfill our sense of emptiness. So we’re not using the other as an object to continually fill up this sense of emptiness, which of course another can never do. And that is why relationships fall apart, because sooner or later we realize this other person is not fulfilling me, no person can fulfill us. As soon as we realize they’re not fulfilling me, the conflict begins and the relationship begins to fall apart.
But now, we don’t want to be in relationship with the other for the purpose of finding happiness. We relieve our friend of this impossible burden of providing happiness for an insatiable self. That attitude gives our relationship the best possibility of being truly intimate, truly loving, open, undemanding, and an expression of our shared being. It’s not a guarantee that an intimate relationship, for instance, will work, because there are many elements that go into the make of an intimate relationship, but this is the most essential part – the recognition that the other is not there to provide love for us or happiness for us.
That’s just one example of how it has a profound effect on relationships – relationship with our neighbors, with our children, with our parents, but particularly intimate relationships. I would go further and say that it was the prerequisite for true intimacy; that as long as we consider ourselves separate entities trying to derive happiness from one another, that position, and true intimacy are mutually exclusive. There cannot be true intimacy if we are demanding the other to fill up our sense of need, or lack, or want.
Isn’t true intimacy what everybody wants? Isn’t that why we have relationships? Because we all have this deep intuition of real intimacy – that’s what we’re looking for in a relationship. We all know deeply at some level the potential of a relationship. And over and over and over again we find that our relationships are spoiled by our projecting our needs and our fears onto the other person.” Rupert Spira
Above transcribed from this video: