In a sense, all conscious relationship can be reduced to the symbolism of what I call the Sacred Triad. This is a triangular configuration that represents the three points of Self, Other, and Source (or ‘God’—but that word here is not meant in the traditional religious sense of some Great Person watching over you. It’s rather meant as the Greater Reality of life that we are all part of). The essence of Conscious Relationship is to develop a Source, or goal, oriented consciousness that prioritizes one’s relationship with Source. The idea there is that co-dependency, or dependent relating, occurs when we try to turn the Other into the Source of our well-being. We use them as a means to an end, and that ‘end’ is a guilt-free peace of mind that arises from feeling completely taken care of.
While it is possible to manipulate a person into taking care of us—a process that utilizes charisma or what I call ‘spell-casting’—it never lasts, because sooner or later our care-taker runs out of gas. Our greater purpose is to grow spiritually. If we ignore this greater purpose and insist on deriving our energy and well-being from our partner, we sooner or later are met with failure in some fashion.
At this point we have to ask the basic question, ‘what is Source?’ ‘Source’ in this context may be understood as that which both transcends and includes Self and Other—the greater Totality of All That Is.
Another term for ‘Other’ is ‘Not-self’. Whatever is ‘not-me’ is, by definition, ‘Other’, and conversely, whatever is ‘Other’ is by definition ‘not-me’. My partner is not-me, and is Other. But so is that tree over there, that building, or that star in the sky.
The French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said, ‘Other people are hell’. This can be reduced to ‘the Other is hell’. The statement is deeply insightful because it puts its finger square on the problem: if we fail to do Source-work, we will rely on the Other for our completion. Because this is a path that necessarily must fail, the Other therefore becomes our personal hell.