BOOKS FOR GREEN SINGLES AND COUPLES
The Path to Love: Spiritual Strategies for Healing, by Deepak Chopra, explores the topic of love from a left-hand, spiritual, green perspective, with its basic premise that we ARE love and that we are lovable the way we are. In essence, Chopra—like so many other spiritual teachers—makes a convincing case that our capacity for human love is a direct reflection of the depth and embodiment of our psychological health, spiritual realization, and level of ego transcendence—the three areas that support us in removing blocks to love such as anger, fear, egotism, insecurity, and mistrust (page 14). His book is a wonderful complement to this rather technical Integral relationship manual, as it addresses the idealistic and
spiritual dimension with emotional insight, depth, and many heartwarming stories, for example when he states that “A man and a woman can reflect divine love in their love for each other.” He offers a path that unites (or equates) spirit with romantic love by outlining the benefits of giving and receiving of affection, the psychosomatic stressors in the absence of love (pages 29-50), the four states of love (attraction, infatuation, courtship, and intimacy—page 64), positive thinking, realistic expectations, avoiding projections, equality, surrender that fosters (sexual) intimacy, non-
attachment, allowing, passion (for life), and cultivating inspiration/ecstasy.
As always when ignoring certain quadrants and vertical levels, we get a limited view, and this book is no exception, as it downplays or ignores perspectives of the right-hand quadrants and worldviews of orange and below (even though he mentions lower and higher levels of the seven chakras on pages 316-321). It is however a wonderful guide for lovers in green and above who see partnership predominantly as a spiritual path.
Undefended Love, by Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons, may be the most radical book to address the upper left-hand quadrant from a GREEN altitude. This book for committed couples was inspired by the work of A. H. Almaas and other spiritual psychologists. The focus throughout is to uncover the essential self by transcending any emotional defenses that may prevent unconditional (or undefended) love. By claiming that our essential capacity to love lies within and does not depend on a loving, compatible, or perfect partner, the authors outline various false identities and defenses that we have developed to avoid re-experiencing the psychological wounds that were inflicted upon us during childhood. The book offers many useful practical exercises (see pages 55, 68, 76, 89, and 155) that support readers in owning their emotional reactions to their partner’s reality and to effectively uncover, release, and heal old pain. This allows for ever-increasing healthy closeness (intimacy) that the book clearlydifferentiates from unhealthy codependency. By learning how to stop reacting to a partner’s reality and moving from needs (or neediness) into “no-preference,” (pages 139-150), the authors suggest that we can co-create partnerships that don’t require any agreements (page 97) or certain agreeable behaviors from our partner (pages 18-20).
The premise of this book is highly challenging, especially for women, as it takes an ascending approach (being present) and requires healthy descending (surrender) in a partnership. Since it ignores all other quadrants and addresses couples instead of singles, it gets lost on many GREEN women who avoid partnerships with men for the very reasons that are outlined in the book, such as “I love myself too much to endure any more pain in a partnership,” “it is on men to become more conscious,” “a man needs to have status and money to be worthy of me,” etc. Undefended Love is
the perfect guide to support couples in second-tier to heal their remaining UL psychological wounds.
How to Be an Adult in Relationship: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, by David Richo, starts with the premise that “all the love in the world will not bring us happiness or make a relationship work. That requires skill [and practice], and this skill is quite attainable” (page 1). According to him, most people feel loved when they receive the five A’s: (1) attention, (2) acceptance, (3) appreciation, (4) affection, and (5) are allowed the freedom to live in accord with their deepest needs and wishes. The ability to bestow these five elements unconditionally onto a partner—and ultimately the world—requires working through childhood and personal conundrums, and the practice of compassionate mindfulness and ego transcendence,
which transforms relationships into a path of psychological healing and spiritual growth. The book discusses each of the five A’s and how they apply to childhood wounds, relationships, and spiritual maturity—with the goal that the reader becomes a more loving person, with the world as his or her beneficiary. After the obligatory chapters on healing psychological wounds in part one of the book, part two provides advice on (1) choosing a partner who meets a list of criteria (page 85), 488 (2) providing “full disclosure” of positive and negative character traits, (3) rising in love (instead of falling into addictive behaviors) during the romance phase, with a helpful list to identify the difference between the two on pages 118-119, (4)
dealing with conflicts (if need be with the help of a therapist), (5) introverted and extroverted types, (6) healthy conflict versus stressful drama, (7) neediness versus needs, (8) fear of abandonment and engulfment (see list on pages 165-166), (9) jealousy, (10) infidelity, (11) letting go of ego, and (12) ending a relationship—with a list on pages 203-204 that can help to make this often difficult choice. Part three of the book is dedicated to
the spiritual potentials of committed partnerships between soul mates who support each other in their healing and growth.
As many other authors who address singles and couples at the green level, Richo calls them to balance and harmonize the four drives in the interior quadrants through psychosocial healing and a spiritual practice that will allow them to move into second-tier consciousness, where healthy committed partnerships between opposites and equals can become a reality. Unlike others, he has a talent to interweave spiritual and therapeutic aspects with pragmatic advice on how to choose a partner and make a relationship work.
Love and Awakening: Discovering the Sacred Path of Intimate Relationship, by John Welwood, presents a “psychospiritual” approach to relationships that focuses largely on the upper left-hand quadrant. He believes that we can know another, and be known, only as deeply as we know ourselves. To create a sacred relationship that reaches beyond amber duty and orange pleasure requires coming into a deeper connection with our true essential nature—both psychological and spiritual. Seen in this light, love becomes a path of awakening—rousing us from a sleep of old,
unconscious patterns into the freshness and immediacy of living more fully in the present, in accord with who we really are (introduction, page XIII).
Defining love as “be-ing fully present” in the moment (page 3) without having or doing, he notes that most couples are not really there with each other. What separates them are outer pressures of life and inner obstacles such as old beliefs, emotional reactions, fears, and patterns of denial and avoidance (page 6). By confronting these obstacles, they can regain their capacity for compassion, which is the antidote to human suffering (page 13). According to Welwood, there is no time to lose, because only between one person and another can the renewal of our world begin (introduction, page XVI). The chapters that follow outline how humans develop a false self and unconscious identity (ego) during childhood that becomes defensive when a romantic partner brings them up against the prison walls of their personality structure—which needs to be pushed against before it can be broken through (Sartre—hell is other people—page 32). In Chapter four, Welwood distinguishes between a universal kind of love that we can feel towards many human beings and the unique connection that soul mates (which he calls worthy opponents—page 54)
experience as “the opening of a further dimension—seeing and loving each other for who they could become under each other’s influence” (page 50). Overcoming the inner enemy that is all too often projected outwardly onto our partner is the topic of chapter five, which opens with a Hermann Hesse quote: “Whenever we hate someone, we are hating some part of ourselves that we see in that person. We don’t get worked up about anything that is not in ourselves.” As soul mates bring out the best and worst in each other (see chapter six, co-emergence, pages 95-99) they can use their partnership for transformation once they realize that their conflicts are rooted in a “fourfold truth” (page 103)—each partner’s objective
behavior and distorted emotional reaction. Working with the chaos of conflict by bringing the shadow into the open (page 126) through truth–telling (pages 131-138), exposing the raw edges (pages 138-139), and no-fault listening (pages 139-142) will lead to a new birth of consciousness, which is the topic of chapters seven, eight, and nine. Chapter ten outlines the inner marriage of the feminine yin and masculine yang—the balancing and harmonizing of agency, communion, ascending, and descending. 489 The next chapter is dedicated to men in relationship because “despite all their
expertise in worldly affairs, they are still primitives in their relationships with women—because fully engaging with a woman means probing the uncharted depths of their own inner life. “This is the new frontier for men today” (pages 181-182). In “the dialectic of male (animus) development,” Welwood calls for “a different brand of heroism” that overcomes men’s fear of women and to meet them “with an open heart and mind, to be receptive to what they have to teach or to hold their own ground in the face of their emotional intensity or earthy strength” (page 184). Seeing the feminine as activator (the anima that animates ), balancing his strength and softness, and channeling his forcefulness (anger and potency) in a
conscious and mindful way, can be used in the service of his sacred vision and purpose (page 199). In the final two short chapters, “Suchness and magic” and “The broken-hearted warrior and the renewal of the world” Welwood reminds us that the deeper meaning of love is not to get our needs met by an object of our desire, but a longing for the sacred presence that lies at the heart of our being and at the heart of the world. Intimate relationship is therefore the outer reflection of this sacred love affair (page 231), and “broken hearts” are actually “hearts that are broken open” to
this deeper reality (page 236). Like most other green books, Love and Awakening ignores aspects of the right-hand quadrants, but is a wonderful book for green and second-tier couples who want to explore and deepen the sacred dimension of their partnership.
The Heart’s Wisdom: A Practical Guide to Growing through Love, by Joyce and Barry Vissell, is the latest book by this couple that has walked their talk since they met in 1964, married in 1968, and started to teach relationship seminars in 1972. Interlacing many personal stories from their own journey, workshop participants, and clients, the Vissells introduce their readers to the importance of a committed love relationship as a soul mirror that allows the couple to see parts of themselves that would otherwise remain invisible (page 3). At the heart of their book are three upper-left RED/ GREEN beliefs: (1) that love continuously brings us back to ourselves, (2) that each of us is ultimately in relationship with ourselves, and (3) that this inner relationship is the spiritual path that most of us in Western culture are following (page 20). Hence their teaching embraces the idea that we cannot open to the fullness of love until we stop pointing the finger at our partner and see ourselves as the source of all our feelings, includingour reactions, independent of what he or she did to cause them (page 24). They follow the masculine logic that a deeper view of ourselves provides a deeper view of everyone else (page 22) and that who we are attracted to or repelled by represents aspects of our psyche that we need to cultivate or deal with in a better way (page 23) in ourselves. While they acknowledge that a deep connection with another soul is one of life’s most precious treasures (page 26), they frequently return to the importance of agency and the connection to the self, which can be contradictory and confusing at times, as they don’t seem to make the leap to see the relationship as a new whole. The book, which is not very linear in its approach and sometimes mixes pre-conventional believes with post-conventional experiences, has 23 chapters that cover topics such as gratitude and appreciation, constructive criticism, unspiritual and spiritual partners, overcoming fears and doubts, codependence and interdependence, learning from the mirror, anger management, saying “no,” passion and compassion, dealing with jealousy and disappointment, relationship transitions, being of service, and making love last. Each chapter closes with questions and suggestions for practices that allow motivated couples to deepen
their heart connection by strengthening their ego (sense of self, self-esteem, self-love, boundaries etc.) instead of transcending it, while making their partnership central to their life. This book seems most suitable for green and above couples with her on an ascending ego-strengthening, and him on a descending ego-transcending path.
BOOKS FOR GREEN SINGLES
If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love On a Spiritual Path, by Charlotte Kasl, provides a short and easy read for singles who seek a vibrant human relationship based on authenticity, equality, spirituality, and joy (page xiv). Drawing from Buddhism, Sufism, and Christianity, part one focuses on grounding through spiritual wisdom, such as awareness, compassion, and loving kindness, that leads to transcendence of needy desires or fears to be in a relationship, which she describes as manifestations of the egoic mind. Chapters six and fourteen cover the dance of oneness (communion) and separateness (agency), followed by her insight on page 44 that dating and relationship advice for red and amber
singles focuses on understanding and accepting the differences between men and women, that orange experts encourage the sexes to express themselves authentically, and that green teachers do not differentiate between the two. Part two of the book is dedicated to attracting a partner who is an equal on the level of: physical/material, intellect, interests, values/lifestyle, psychological/emotional, creativity/passion, spiritual, essence, and
sexuality (pages 62-68 and 120-127),, with chapters containing practical examples to formulate what we want and have to give in these areas (pages 7581), when to trust our attraction to another person (pages 81-84), how to free the heart from unfinished business of the past (pages 85-93), and how to open up wholeheartedly to a love relationship without reservations (pages 94-96.) Part three covers the actual dating process with chapters on staying conscious and going slow, how to overcome fears, first dates, children and dating, sexuality, and giving and receiving. Part four dives into the process of choosing a mate who will join us on a spiritual path, covering how to deal with fear and ambivalence, tonglin (often spelled tonglen) meditation for healing and compassion, four lists to set a bottom line (1) unacceptable behavior of others, (2) unacceptable behavior of our own, (3) rationalizations and stories we use to disregard our bottom line, and (4) consequences of disregarding our bottom line or not taking care
of ourselves), handling obsessions, astrology, and graphology. The penultimate chapter instructs the reader how to go deeper with a partner to create a “durable fire” and how to deal with the bittersweet moments of love, before the final chapter reminds us of the universe’s gift of a lover, with a 14-point list to rate the doubts, fears, and joys that partners may experience in their love relationship. Written from a feminine left-hand perspective, the book also addresses practical lower right-hand strategies and how to balance agency and communion. It is highly recommended for green singles of both sexes who want to attract/find a partner to join them on a spiritual Buddhist path.
Calling In “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life, by Katherine Woodward Thomas, starts with her confession that—despite her longings to be in partnership—she was “unconsciously” unavailable to good available men until a friend asked her what she was avoiding by choosing to be alone in life (page xvi). In her early forties, childless and never married, she started to take responsibility for her attitude and hidden agendas that made her avoid love, material abundance, and commitment. A few weeks after this decision she reconnected with an old lover that she had turned down twice before, soon after got married to him, had a child, and has been doing the “happily ever after thing” for several years now.
From her own experience and work as a psychotherapist, she realized that there is a huge chasm between wanting to find an ideal partner and being truly available for that partner when he appears (page xxi). Based on this insight she developed a seven-week course with 7 x 7 = 49 lessons that instruct women to take the less-traveled intimidating and frightening path that leads to freedom from the past and love in the future, instead of repeating the same old safe patterns that ultimately lead to more of the same disappointments.
Week one, “Preparing For Love,” is dedicated to honoring the human need for others and making the space for love.
Week two, “Completions,” contains lessons on how to let go of the past and relinquish unconscious patterns.
Week three, “Healing Core Wounds,” provides suggestions for healing old childhood wounds, releasing old beliefs, and reclaiming the disowned self.
Week four, “Setting Your Course,” outlines how to set clear intentions, clarify the soul’s purpose, receive inner guidance, and make wise choices.
Week five “First Things First,” focuses on making commitments, body acceptance, a woman’s sense of self-esteem, sexual healing, and cultivating solitude.
Week six “A Life Worth Living,” makes suggestions on being happy, listening with an open heart, and speaking up.
Week seven “Living Love Fulfilled,” teaches how to move from “me” to “we,” and to live a loving enchanted life.
The book provides an upper left-hand spiritual, idealistic, “law of attraction” path to love that will speak to attractive new-age RED and GREEN women, as well as Sensitive New Age Guys (SNAGs).
A BOOK FOR GREEN MEN
The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire, by David Deida, is one of several books by this author that focus on the spiritual and sexual dimensions of the feminine and masculine polarity between men and women (for his other books see the Bibliography below). It challenges men to grow beyond the macho-jerk, “all spine but no heart,” and the sensitive New-Age wimp “all heart but no spine” ideals by mastering the second-tier challenges of living an authentic masculine life while embracing the feminine in themselves and in women. Although written for heterosexual men with a masculine essence (page 10), this controversial book is mostly read by women who are either outraged by Deida’s suggestions that women want to be sexually taken, fucked, and ravished by a man with an unabashed masculinity, or yearn to be with a partner as described by him. In the introduction, Deida outlines how society has moved from clearly divided feminine/masculine gender roles that are found up to amber, into a 50/50 sameness—with a disappearance of sexual attraction/polarity—in orange, and a complete role reversal in green. The 52 short chapters that follow are divided into 8 parts that cover (1) A Man’s Way—how to live fearlessly on the edge of your authentic purpose NOW, (2) Dealing with Women—that her words usually express momentary “nonlinear” feelings/emotions instead of logical finite positions, and how to stay present and love her in the NOW, (3) Working with Polarity and Energy–outlining the masculine desire for pleasurable oneness with the feminine, (4) What Women Really Want—the committed, unwavering man of her
choosing with a directed divine masculine presence and integrity that she can trust, (5) Your Dark Side—a man’s drive towards freedom and to “fuck it or kill it” that attracts the feminine, (6) Feminine Attractiveness—the masculine desire for the union of its consciousness with the fullness of life in general, and a woman’s body in particular, (7) Body Practices—how to control and “redirect” ejaculation up the spine through conscious breathing, and (8) Men’s and Women’s Yoga of Intimacy—how to balance the masculine life mission/purpose with the feminine need for connection/flow that fosters love between couples and their capacity to be of service to others.
The Way of the Superior Man will elude or annoy most men in ORANGE and below, and provoke, frustrate, or disturb men in GREEN, as it challenges them to evolve into second-tier consciousness. If your partner reads or suggests this book to you, it is a clear sign that she yearns for you to lead with your masculine while deeply connecting with her through your feminine.
CONCLUSION TO APPENDIX I
In their essence, all relationship self-help books give advice to singles and/or couples on how to effectively balance and harmonize agency and communion at a particular Kosmic Address. Picking the book that best addresses the quadrant and level of consciousness/ pathology at which the relationship problem occurs is therefore crucial for its effectiveness.
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