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Masculine and Feminine polarities...
are defined as ascending/descending and agency/communion. Read below and attempt to place yourself on both sides of the graph. Now place your partner on both sides and notice the differences and/or similarities. We only have a certain amount of energy, so consider that if we are over functioning on one of these lines, it is likely its opposite will be under functioning.
1. Healthy ascending.. is characterized by a desire to improve, to go beyond, to grow, to transcend, to create, and to think big. This is accomplished by gaining wider perspectives of the self and the nature of things. It requires a willingness to change by letting go of old paradigms and not sweating the small stuff. Unhealthy ascending is characterized by ignoring and repressing feelings, the body, sexuality and nature and attempts to control and dominate the lower, instead of embracing and caring for it.
2. Healthy descending means to be connected with and sensitive to the richness and fullness of the world, to be down-to-earth and in touch with one's body, feelings, emotions, and sexuality. Unhealthy descending means to be overwhelmed, fused with, and run by the many details of life and its manifestations, feelings, earthly desires, and needs.
3. Healthy agency supports the autonomous functioning of the individual. Unhealthy agency is characterized by too much assertion, isolation and leads to alienation, power over and dissociation from others.
4. Healthy communion is expressed through the peaceful, responsible (response-able), considerate, and caring connection between people. Unhealthy communion leads to fusion, dependency, neediness, and clinging-with the loss of one's own will, individuality, and autonomy-which eventually leads to resentment.
The Anima/Animus complex...
ANIMA- the male seeking more communion and descent- the need to develop the right hemisphere of the brain.
ANIMUS- the female seeking more agency and ascent – the need to develop the left hemisphere of the brain.
This complex relates to the creation of our self-identification as boys or girls during childhood when we invariably cover up, split-off, disown, repress, or dismiss qualities of the opposite sex to various degrees (shadow). In later years we can heal and transcend this complex.
There are five potential stages for men: 1. Women as mother: He needs a mommy to take care of him. 2. Women as sex object: He wants her to make him feel good. 3. Women as wife: He wants her loyalty and support. 4. Women as guide to healing and awakening: He grows through her need for independence. 5. Women as equal partner: He values and meets her as an opposite and equal partner.
and women: 1. Men as alien outsiders: She fears, hates, and "desires" him. 2. Men as father, God, or king: She wants his approval. 3. Men as hero: She wants to look up to him and to have him take care of her. 4. Men as independent beings: She wants her independence from a partner. 5. Men as equal partners: She wants and meets him as an equal and opposite partner. (for more details see Integral Relationships pages 58-66)
- Unfulfilled primary fantasies. - Different passions, lifestyle choices or visions for the relationship. - Psychological wounds and shadow. - Different levels of spiritual, sexual, or anima/animus complex development. - Incompatible love languages or unawareness of differing personality types. - Different attachment styles (anxious, avoidant, or secure). - Failure to balance and harmonize healthy feminine and masculine polarities in the four quadrants.
In most cases, these and similar problems can be solved through better "translation" (communication/understanding/behaviour/psychological health etc.) with the help of appropriate books, workshops or relationship professionals if both partners are at the same level of consciousness. Otherwise their relationships are basically doomed -- sorry.Enlarge the image above and learn about you and your partners centre of gravity. This one takes a bit of study to grasp where you and your partner are on the above scale, but at least for now, know there might be good reasons why life is not working together, or conversely comforted by your potential together.
Here's a brief summary. Couples who are at different levels of first-tier consciousness have fundamentally different values, concerns, meaning-making structures and world-views that collide. Their differences could only be overcome through "transformation" (not to be confused with "translation" above - which is often seen as "transformation") by the partner at the earlier level of consciousness. This is often unrealistic, since "transformation" requires serious efforts over an extended period of time (sometimes years, with a breakdown of the old structures) while the more evolved partner may continue to grow as well.
Below is a very short outline of the eight stages/levels of consciousness that the Integral (Relationship) Model uses. A different color of the rainbow is assigned to each stage to deflect from ranking or labeling individuals, and to avoid confusion between the various numbers and names of the multitude of developmental systems (see appendix of Integral Psychology by Ken Wilber for the latter).
First-Tier Pre-conventional: 1. Infrared is the archaic "dead or alive" stage with a focus on basic survival (food, shelter, sex). 2. Magenta is the magic "safe or unsafe" stage with a focus on belonging e.g. a tribe/group. 3. Red is the egocentric "good or bad" stage with a focus on individuality, power, and instant gratification.
Conventional: 4. Amber is the mythic "right or wrong" stage with a focus on deeper meaning and conformity, e.g. through religious beliefs. 5. Orange is the rational "win or lose" stage with a focus on objectivity, personal liberty and worldly success.
Post-conventional: 6. Green is the pluralistic "sensitive or indifferent" stage with a focus on holism, compassion, idealism, and involvement.
Second-Tier Post-post-conventional: 7. Teal is the integral "integrated or partial" stage with a focus on multiple perspectives and the process of development itself. 8. Turquoise represents the transpersonal and all higher "wisdom and compassion" stages with a focus on full embodiment and embrace.
Defining Integral Love...
If your Triangles of Love are not balanced and harmonized, then you are not having the most fulfilling relationship possible.
If you lack intimacy (left side), you are most likely at different levels of your consciousness and/or spiritual development, and/or have different interests, needs, dreams, and goals.
If you lack sexual passion (right side), then you may no longer meet each other's Primary Fantasy, be at different stages of your sexual development, have lost your feminine/masculine polarity, or have a different lifestyle.
If you no longer experience dependence (bottom), then you have either completed the emotional healing and shadow work that attracted you emotionally in the first place, or (more likely) are dissociated from your feelings and repress negative emotions into your unconscious to avoid conflicts whose resolution could be beneficial for your healing and personal growth.
If the left and right sides of your Triangles of Love are mostly balanced, and you have occasional fights (apply the 80/20 rule that 80% of the relationship should be harmonious and up to 20% can be dissonant), it will be beneficial to stay and to heal the underlying wounds.
If you are in a partnership and at different levels of consciousness and/or vertical development, then you want to assess the potential for the less evolved partner to grow. Nobody can be legitimately asked to constantly regress in order to make another person happy.
If you are more than one stage apart in any of the four lines that we integrated in the Personality Matrix (consciousness, spiritual, sexual, anima/animus development see the Manual page 87-91), it may be beneficial for both of you to end your partnership in a loving and peaceful way. This is especially true if you are in amber or above and with a partner in red, which happens most often to green.
If you are one stage apart and the partner in the earlier stage is transitioning up, then it is wise for the more evolved partner to stay and to provide loving support for his or her transformation.
If you are at the same vertical and horizontal levels and have conflicts because of communication problems, gender differences, feminine/masculine polarity issues, pathologies, or shadows and complexes, then it is most certainly wise to stay and to heal--if necessary with the support of a therapist or coach, or, in less severe cases, by participating in workshops or working together with an applicable relationship book. (see Appendix I of the Manual for book suggestions). Otherwise, the same problems will emerge in your next relationship or haunt you in your single life.
It is challenging, and maybe impossible, for men at any altitude to be in partnership with a woman that moved into stage four of her animus complex development. Unless she is willing to stay and he can give her all the freedom and space that she requires to transition through stage four, she will inevitably leave him or make his life miserable. In either case it is NOT HIS FAULT. Red men in such a situation often threaten women physically, amber men may plead and use shame/guilt tactics for years to hook their wives, orange men often try to use their financial and/or intellectual power to buy/talk her into staying or make her divorcing him as expensive and painful as possible for her, and green men tend to use manipulative emotional blackmailing to hang on to her. All these strategies will ultimately offend and alienate her. The only way for partners in their anima/animus stage four development to stay together is to be at a similar altitude and to make the transition into stage five a conscious process.
There may be other good reasons for staying in an unhappy partnership, such as caring for others (children, parents, community) and economic or political reasons, but ultimately you are doing neither yourself nor your partner a favor by prolonging a hopelessly unrewarding relationship that fulfills neither one of you.
SINGLE - HAPPY Being genuinely happy and fulfilled without a partner is unquestionably the best place from which to enter a new love relationship, because you will not come from a place of emotional, economic, sexual, or social neediness, but from a sense of contentment, fullness, satisfaction, abundance, and wholeness. People in this phase of their life have usually arrived at stage four of their anima/animus development and orange and above, which is quite an accomplishment that should be celebrated. Unfortunately, especially in New Age circles, these stages are often hailed as the ultimate level of personal development by men and women who conveniently overlook that any integrated personality development appears in intimate self-other relationships and that most of their living western spiritual teachers and evolutionaries of caliber live in committed partnerships. It is therefore a good idea for them to look at possible pathologies that show up as fears of being in a partnership, and their unhealthy desire/attachment to being alone. Both can be expressions of denial, repression, or narcissism. Once their underlying wounds are healed and they realize that human beings are always partial and already whole, they can fully open up to invite a compatible partner into their life.
SINGLE - UNHAPPY It can be a fine line between the neediness that originates from a sense of lack and deficiency that insecure people try to fill with sex or romance, and the desire of mature singles who want to share the joy and richness of their life, body, mind, heart, and soul with another human being in an intimate love relationship. The former is indicated by compulsive serial dating and a desperate behavior towards the opposite sex that dominates the afflicted people's lives and overshadows any other activity. Their sense of urgency causes repetitive cycles of highs when falling in love, clinging while in partnership, heartbroken when abandoned by a lover (or abandoning others), and desperate searching when alone. These people are perfect candidates for "SLAA"-Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. The latter represents the healthy yearning of the soul to find a mate and is experienced as openness towards potential partners that are good for him or her. This yearning leads to a consciously focused approach to find/attract him or her while living one's life purpose, often by working with a dating and relationship coach.