The Sacred Marriage: Pleasure and Pain

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sacred kiss

More than ever I’m realizing the significance of marriage and commitment.

When we rise in love, we fall into an enchanted spell.

We throw ourselves into the cauldron of fire to be burned over and over.

Cooked.

We have to submit to the fire and become the ashes we sprinkle over our vast ocean of love.

We are cooled and then flow into each other again.

Deeper.

It’s a cycle that repeats over and over.

I discovered a love poem written by princess Rabi’a bint Ka’b, who lived in Afghanistan in the 10th century.

Legend recalls that she fell in love with one of her servants; when found out, Rabi’a’s brother had her and the servant lover executed.

He had her wrists cut and put her in a steam bath to bleed to death.

She used her own blood to write this poem on a wall of the bath:

[pullquote width=”400″ float=”left”]my love for him brought
about my bondage again
all essays in secrecy
proved to be in vain

I knew not when I rode
the high-spirited stallion
the harder I pulled its reins
the stiller it would remain

love is like an expansive sea
with no shore in sight
who knows, oh wise woman
how to swim in it outright

if you ever aspire
to go to the end of love
welcome with it all things
vile you could think of

when witnessing things hideous
fancy them lovely and neat
when given deadly poison
imagine it tasting sweet[/pullquote]

A tragic love story that birthed a poem which speaks volumes about committed, conscious partnering in love.

Wild Stallion

There is a different translation of the poem that struck me, the second paragraph in particular:

”I acted like a wild horse not knowing: to struggle only draws the noose tighter.”

Throwing ourselves into love is both an endless pleasure and a certain pain.

As we die again and again into the relationship the love becomes more pure, unconditional.

And the drive to run away becomes stronger. The Ego has to surrender and this is the pain.

But the pleasure holds us, binding tight what may come apart.

Who knows the secret to everlasting love?

“Love is an ocean with such a vast space
No wise man can swim it in any place.”

Perhaps the only way to experience it is to have total faith in the Mystery, and to keep diving into the vast sea of eternity.


I’ll share more mythic love stories in the coming weeks. You might also want to read my post, “The Lover Divine” if you enjoyed this one.

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