Marriage, to become a path to spiritual enlightenment, must be focused on the attainment, ultimately, of impersonal awareness. This, for many people, is not an easy concept to grasp, particularly as an ideal in the relationship between husband and wife.

Yet it is not such an alien concept as may first appear. For true impersonality is not coldness or indifference to another’s needs. Many monks and nuns, even, confuse impersonality with an aloofness that borders on pride. The only thing their detachment really shows, however, is their lack of sensitivity to others.

Impersonality, when rightly understood, is seen as the essence of kindness and selfless love. Impersonality means not to be selfishly attached to others, but to love them for their good rather than for one’s own. It means thinking, not, “What can I get out of others” but “What can I give to them?”

The great danger in the married state lies in the thought, “He (or she) owes me something.” This perception is both selfish and self-deluding. To depend on anyone else for the happiness we can find only within is to blind ourselves to the deepest truth of our own being. To make excessive demands of one’s mate is to trample underfoot the tender petals of true love.

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