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946Re: [steiner] introduction

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  • Carl Jackson
    Jun 16, 2002
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      Hi Ashley and Christine,
             You remind me of all the reasons why I've  loved the Steiner people in my life.  As a community of spiritual friends I've always found them frank , wholesome, open,  inspiring,  gentle yet passionate, and almost always uplifting to be around - both your posts left me with a smile and made me think - and even more amazingly got me to post instead of lurk!
             Your situation, Ashley, has *some* similarities to my own, except that, being male,  a few of the perspectives are a little different.    I was haunted by your description of  the "spark" going out of your relationship - about 18 months ago the same thing led to the break-up of me and my de-facto, Gail,  of five years.  There is a particular type of sadness when a relationship that was full of life and vitality quietly ebbs away to nothingness.
              I identify with some of both you and your husbands situation.  Perhaps my situation might add another angle of view on his.  Like him I was in a pressured job - I was a sales manager and had to do a lot of international travel.  I too would come home a sit in front of the TV.  I found the corporate world sufficiently stressful that I needed to mentally "anaesthetize" myself to recouperate enough to face the next day and the TV was just right for the job - it seemed less harmful than drinking.   We had talked about putting in a few very hard working years to get ourselves into a financially secure position   and I think I was mentally prepared to "tough it out" for that long - but over about 2 years of this we became distant and started to fight.  It seemed that one of the essential problems was that in a stressful job it is MUCH harder to find the time and energy for romance and passion - previously I'd put a lot more energy focussing on her and making her feel special and loved and making her laugh - now I had transferred that energy into our mutual goal of achieving financial security.    Perhaps the old saying "you marry the job too" applies both in your situation and mine.   I always found that when she expressed fear and concern about security issues, particularly about money,  I would react by putting in even longer hours at work to try and "do something" to fix the cause of the insecurity.  It is a perhaps part of the male protective instinct that when your mate feels insecure then all other matters become secondary until you restore that sense of security.  I wonder if any of that happens with you and your husband.  
              Looking back on the situation with hindsight I guess I needed either a job that was compatable with my wife, or a wife that was compatable with my job. 
             The issue of romance and passion is one I strive to understand more than I do - particularly from a spiritual point of view.  Steiner embraced both Christianity and Buddhism - and I was educated in a Waldorf school and later become a serious Buddhist for several years.  But it seems to me that there are quite different views on an issue like Passion between Christianity and Buddhism and I don't as yet know if and how Steiner resolves these.   Buddha taught that passion is a manifestation of craving and craving leads to suffering and blocks the path the Nirvana. He taught that we should be aware of passions arising within us without reacting to them so that the passions lose power and dissapate.  I remember attending a 10-day meditation course and at the end of each day people would ask the teacher questions.  One day a woman came up and asked what the problem was with passion and the teacher answered more or less as above, to which she replied "but I LIKE it!"  It really stuck in my mind that on some level passion matters  a bit more to women than to men - in that setting passion was look at as not really different to anger or envy - and you certainly wouldnt have seen any of the meditators get up and make a stand for envy or anger the way this woman did for passion.   On some level it seems like passion is largely an energy that flows from men to women - it leaves women feeling more energized but their men feeling less so.  From Christs owns "passion" we get an entirely different view - at golgotha passion seems to be an essential part of his spiritual transcendance. And the "mainstream" modern western view is that passion is a very positive thing.  The truth about passion is, I suspect, one of the deeper mysteries.
       ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2002 9:18 AM
      Subject: Re: [steiner] introduction

      What a deliciously self-indulgent excercise, to consider your list of questions!  My IRL housewife friends *bristle* at the mention of my marital and personal problems.  I have attached my answers in a MS Word document.  Thanks again, Christine!  I look forward to knowing you better on this list.

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