Expansive vs. Contractive Love


I was trying to find information on codependent relationships for a friend of mine who meditates with me. Is there anything related to this topic from Swamiji or Master? I searched but it returned no results. Thanks. :)

—Maia, USA


Dear Maia,

Yes. Maybe the specific word “codependent” wasn’t used, but “dependent” or “clinging” or “possessive” or “attached”: all are attributes which oppose our central teaching of Self-realization, and which also go against true love.

True love is not possible with attachment, as attachment always makes demands (“Love is a giving, a sharing; it is not a taking”).

Here is a long quote by Swami, and three short ones by Master.

SWAMI (from Expansive Marriage)

“There are two ways for couples to grow together. One is by intertwining themselves, like twin creepers, until they end up so unanimous in everything that it is difficult to tell them apart – except, perhaps, by the clothes they wear.

Such a relationship is suffocating, for it implies total inter-dependence, not creativity in sharing.

No one, if locked in such a union, can reach out expansively toward a larger reality.

The other way for couples to grow together is by accepting the simple fact that perfect union is achieved not only physically or mentally, but above all in soul-union.

Such a union cannot be forged by the tendrils of a close embrace. Nor is it formed by the mere concurrence of personal tastes and ideas. It is a union in Eternal Truth….

Only in a state of inner freedom can we preserve that creative joy which is the highest promise of any relationship. Remember, alone you came into this world, and alone you will leave it at death.

Any effort to escape this finality by clinging to another human being is founded on a profound misunderstanding of what, simply and forever, IS.

Any union that encourages such a clinging is headed – like a rudderless ship – toward the rocks of disappointment and disillusionment….

Never be possessive. A marriage certificate is not a deed of ownership. Possessiveness can be like a creeper, squeezing the life out of the tree around which it twines.

A plant grows best when it is given free access to air and sunlight.

Human beings, similarly, need the “air” of freedom if they are to develop their own insights, and the “sunlight” of inner inspiration if they are to transform intellectually acquired knowledge into mature wisdom.

Without the freedom to grow, in yourself, and to live by your own perceptions of reality, you are robbed of your integrity, and your personality is suffocated.”

MASTER (from Spiritual Relationships):

“Demands, deceptions, sordid sense of possession, courtesy’s lack, self-love, suspicion are cankers which eat at the heart of friendship.”

“Attachment is a sort of blind feeling that causes torture to the soul. It does not accomplish anything. Attachment is not love. Real love is happy only in the happiness of the beloved.”

“When the mother can withdraw her natural human attachment, she will understand what true love is. Attachment cannot foster that love. Rather, it destroys love, and is, indeed, the source of much misery.”

I hope this is what you are looking for.

God bless you and your friend,