In the course of the Inner Year, the annual cycle of soul development. Where Christmas, at the dark of the year, is the time we focus on our spiritual solitude – the deep interior of our lives, summer, when the sun shines brightest is the time of the Inner Year to focus on our life that reaches into the world and into relationships. We look at our earthly reality as bounded and formed by time and space, well-being and story. This is the time when we study and learn about our capacities for creative intimacy with others, creative contribution to the world and creative balance in our daily lives.
This post looks at intimacy and describes the teleseminar I am offering to help us become more intimate with how intimacy lives in our souls and our gestures in the world.
Intimacy emerges from inmost closeness and knowledge. How willing and capable are you to be close to and to know another, physically, energetically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually? Intimacy is complex. You can be physically intimate, spiritually intimate. Spiritually intimate, but not emotionally intimate. You can be close and not know or be known. You can know or be known at a distance.
What is your ability for intimacy?
Like all things human, intimacy is a two way relationship – we are the object of intimacy and the subject of intimacy. We are born the object of intimacy – our mother is holds us close to her and knows us our every need and our every development. How our mother succeeds in providing us with feelings of intimacy, shapes are capacity for and our gracefulness in intimate relationships. As the subject of intimacy, we feel, think and act intimately in regard to a certain object of our intimacy.
We each make intimate choices. We recognize our needs and desires for intimacy. We resist and reject intimacy. We allow ourselves varying degrees of intimacy as object or subject – I can be close to you, but I will not reveal my inmost reality – so I will limit how much you will know me in spite of our closeness. Paradoxically, how intimate it is to speak the truth of your intimacy boundaries, to acknowledge to another that you need to limit the degree you will allow yourself to be known and close.
You can be closely related, but not intimate. You can hardly be acquainted with someone, yet find moments and brushes of profound intimacy. How have you experienced relationship without intimacy and intimacy without relationship? How have these intimacies caused joy or sorrow in your soul?
Intimacy is about the intersection of relationship with encounter. In encounter there is an adversarial component – a sensitivity to difference and otherness. Through encounter we find a closeness to the other and revelation of difference that is extraordinary in the context of the relationship. With each intimate encounter, the intimacy of the relationship grows. How open are you to intimate encounters? Do you feel unsafe or resistant when confront the difference and otherness in someone? Are you willing to look at your lover or your friend, your child or your colleague, as if they are a stranger and seek to encounter their inmost truth?
Intimacy asks us to gaze at each other. Not look, stare or glance at each other, but gaze! When we gaze we seek to know what is inmost in each other. When did you last gaze at another or experience someone gazing at you? Of course, we can gaze at another in our imaginations. How do you develop your capacity for gazing? How do you develop your ease at being gazed at?
There are measures of intimacy. How frequent are your intimate encounters? How intense are your intimate encounters? How enduring are your intimate encounters?
Like all things living, intimacy evolves and morphs.
Look at your biography of intimacy…
How close were you to…
Did they know you…
Aunts and Uncles and Cousins?
Best friends (What is best?)?
True loves (What is true?)?
Do you have an intimate relationship with God and the Spiritual World?
Do you have an intimate relationship with Nature?
How have you known …
What are your…
Needs for intimacy?
Strategy for intimacy as subject and object?
Weaknesses as intimate object or intimate subject?
Spiritually, we can meditate on the karma and destiny of intimate encounters and relationships. Where is a relationship (or an aspect of a relationship) an encumberance or an obstacle? When are intimate difficulties and disappointments sources of opportunity and blessing?
Intimate knowledge never forms fixed judgment. It is so much about being truly sensitive, aware, attentive to the evolution of the object of intimacy. Like a mother’s womb to the fetus, or the walnut shell to the walnut, intimacy is a kind of evolving, responsive embrace to the subject.
Tuesdays, 7:30PM – 9PM Eastern, 4:30PM – 6PM Pacific
June 23, June 30, July 7, July 14
Join this intimate group on intimacy. Limited to 12 participants.
We will reveal our stories and find our questions of intimacy. We will intimately listen to and be inspired by the stories and questions of 11 other people. We will be open, truthful, vulnerable. We will not try to fix, correct or heal. The group is a learning group, a liberating group, a questioning group. The reverence for each other will protect what is shared. The wonder at each other will nurture heart-confident disclosure and insight.
Do you seek to have more intimacy in your life?
Do you have too much intimacy in your life?
Do you desire more consciousness in your intimate relationships?
Do you desire more balance in your intimate relationships?
Can you express yourself intimately?
Can you contain yourself?
Does intimacy over stimulate you?
Do you withdraw and self-inhibit when faced with intimate encounter?
What inmost questions appear in your soul when you answer these questions?
The Questions of Intimacy teleseminar will not awaken all your questions and solve the intimate mysteries of your relationships, but it will help you articulate a few questions – enough questions to support your inner development over the Inner Year so that next summer you will be ready to become more intimate with your inmost questions of self and other.
You will need to plan on 30-60 minutes of “homework” and also be willing to have a phone conversation with another participant to work with your thoughts on “Questions of Intimacy.”
To pay by check, please mail it to Lynn Jericho, 132 Hillside Avenue, Chatham, NJ 07928 and send me an email immediately so I can include you in the seminar.
Questions? Or if you do not live in the US. please email me or call.