Category: Twin Flames and Soulmates Written by Robert Wilkinson Views: 2011
- Knowing The Difference Between Courtship
and Seduction Creates Happy Relationships -
Happy Valentine’s Day! Since this is a day dedicated to loving, affectionate relationships, it’s time for our yearly look at how courtship is different from seduction. Later I’ll offer you a bit about the story of the origin of Valentine’s Day. For now, let’s take a stroll down the Path of the Lover Archetype!
We began this journey yesterday, so if you haven’t read that, please take the time before jumping into this one, or if you would rather do it the retrograde way, go ahead and read it after you read this. I’ve rewritten quite a bit of it, with an eye to using this material in a book I’m writing on help mates, Soul Mates, and Twin Flames. These are definitely not the same things, and knowing the distinctions can help us understand how our dances with others led to both wonderful and difficult experiences and realizations on our relational Spiritual journey. Today we pick up exploring our inner Lover archetype, why our emotional body functions as it does, and how to know the difference between courtship and seduction.
Valentines’ Day is the one day of the year dedicated to lovers, which is a great thing unto itself. Picking up on themes introduced in yesterday’s article, each of us has six different archetypal roles, or Grand Masques, which are the “faces” our personality shows to the world. The Lover is one of the six, and is the part of us which seeks relationship, whether with others, our Higher Self, or our dance with Spirit.
In Astrology, we find the 6 Great Archetypes in the 12 signs, which express as six axes of two signs each. The Axis of Aries/Libra is the Lover, which can also be called the Relator, since those signs are associated with the Axis of the “I-Thou” relational dance in our charts.
We discover our inner and outer Lover Archetype, and how we wear that Grand Masque (and the Grand Masques of the other Archetypes) through our interactions with others. All parts of who we are have a relationship with all the other parts of who we are, and all parts of us are impacted by the relationships we have with others. As we grow from infancy to adolescence into adulthood we learn to imitate our image of these Archetypes according to what we’ve learned and what appeals to our Anima, or subconscious mind.
As we learn to imitate various aspects of archetypes, they become fixed as images in our Astral (emotional) mechanism. Some of these are conscious, while others reside in the subconscious mind. That’s why often we don’t even know we’re being a certain way or acting out a certain unconscious role, until a) someone points out what we’re doing, or b) we have an electric moment when our Higher Self holds up the invisible mirror to our personality and it awakens to what it never saw before that moment.
Why We Like What We Believe We Like
The nature of subconsciousness, or the Astral mechanism, is to like what it likes and not like what it does not like, regardless of how reasonable or unreasonable those desires and feelings may be. Because we weren’t trained as children to evaluate our desires with an eye to our spiritual growth, we often found we “liked” something because we were taught to like it. Very few of us are taught to question what we like and why we like it, and so we cling to those desires until we awaken to our need to choose a different path.
Chasing a desire without knowing whether it’s good or bad for us is a symptom of how we’ve been seduced by the unconscious part of our personality. By taking a look at the part of us which always wants more of what it believes it “likes,” we can see how we were seduced into that desire by our childhood and early adult conditioning. Then we can understand how we have been holding on to our “likes,” and change the ones which are unhealthy.
Time is the means by which we measure our movement through experiences. With time and experience, our understanding of the material, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes of life evolves. As we evolve, we have both similar and different interactions with others in our world. Along the way we discover at each turn of life’s wheel that we continue to like some of what we used to like, do not like some of what we used to like, and have awakened to new things and people to like.
Our Eternal Lover is always open to interactive dances with those we meet along the road of life. However, often our subconscious Desire-Mind (Kama Manas) gets seduced by the “likes” of another, whether it’s good for us or not. How and why does this happen?
It is part of the human experience to project our likes onto our world, and we are the recipient of the projected likes of others. It begins with our parents’ verbal and nonverbal cues, where we learn that some things bring smiles and praise, while other behaviors, likes, and attitudes bring frowns and disapproval. These are powerful cues that influence our choices, both those that bring pleasure and those that bring pain.
Our path to spiritual maturity naturally leads us to be more conscious of our likes and dislikes and how these relate to the growth of our personality. We begin to spot unhealthy desires, and are able to note when we are swayed by the desires of another. As we learn to be our Higher Self in our interactions, we then can see what we express and others express as projections. Once we become conscious of what moves our desires, we learn to be increasingly aware of our conscious and unconscious projections. Over time, we find we have the power in each moment to choose to turn our actions, feelings, and speech to a better interaction, freed of projections, expectations, and attachments to perceptions.
As we evolve consciously, we grow to see how not to be seduced by anything or anyone, and learn to make conscious choices that lead us to ever-greater states of happiness, joy, fulfillment, and occasionally true bliss. We no longer yield to the seductions of our lower self and others which used to pull us into discontent once our lower nature has embraced the courtship with our Higher Self. All our interactions, within and without, help us awaken to the greater Love we ARE. Everything in our lives points us toward ways to become the greater Love we seek with each dance step we take.
So let’s take a deeper look at what seductions look like, examine how they arise from superficial, callow affections and maladjusted desire minds, and explore how to step back from ours and others’ projections. In looking at the differences between courtship and seduction, we find that there are “symptoms of seduction,” where we can learn to see the difference between healthy affection and seductions that only leave us feeling wounded.
The Difference Between Seduction and Courtship
Our old friend the I Ching makes a distinction between seduction and courtship. We’ll begin with the nature of how we influence others and how they influence us. In one highly respected translation, it offers that any healthy influence between people must stem from “reciprocity that stimulates joy,” indicating we’re on the same “harmonic wave length” as the other. To understand healthy influences, we must look at innate tendencies and see how various influences work in us and others.
Expanding on the concept, from Hexagram 31, "Influence (Wooing)" also known in various other translations as "attraction," "persuasion," and "reciprocity":
... for it is perseverance that makes the difference between seduction and courtship; in the latter the stronger takes a position inferior to that of the weaker and shows consideration to them. This attraction between affinities is a general law of Nature. Heaven and earth attract each other and thus all creatures come into being. Through such attraction the sage influences human hearts, and thus the world attains peace. From the attractions they exert we can learn the nature of all beings in heaven and on Earth. (Wilhelm/Baynes edition)
I note that “consideration” is a keyword for the expression of respectful sincere affection, and so it seems that one clue about whether seduction is present is found in the consideration or lack of consideration of one for another. If someone we’re with is not respectful in their affections, then it's a seduction. This often accompanies a lack of respect for appropriate boundaries, and/or not allowing for a healthy individuality to express itself.
Any time there is a coercion or a push and pull that seems out of balance, it’s a symptom of a seduction. So are offers which disrupt your life with associated demands to explain why you aren't going along with them. Remember that seductions may seem playful, but if you don't go along with them, be alert for overt or implied threats.
These can be active threats or passive threats, and can take many forms. Examples of passive threats are when another goes into a mood while withholding affection, gifts, or even emotional connectedness. Moods always indicate a seduction is present, since emotional maturity is strong enough to express itself without threats or coercions.
Examples of “disruptive offers” are “I've done x, y, and z for you, and you don't seem to care.” Or “Because I've done a, b, and c, you should be doing d, e or f.” This is where we learn to discern the difference between coercive manipulation and genuine reciprocity. While it’s always good to be part of a dance where we both express genuine love, gratitude, and appreciation, those cannot happen if there’s a one sided coercion going on.
In all forms of bargaining with another, make sure you agreed to the bargain to begin with, otherwise it's a seduction. If you didn’t ask for a gift, but there is an expectation you will do something simply because they brought you a gift, (other than thank them,) it’s a seduction.
While it’s true reciprocity is very important for a relationship to stay in balance, a seduction isn’t about reciprocity. When one partner tries to do things the other did not ask for, and expects something in return for the "favor," it’s a seduction. While some seductions are relatively harmless, others can bring disaster. This is where the potential results of the seduction must be kept in mind. What are we agreeing to, and why are we agreeing to it?
Moods are seductions by the subconscious desire-mind. A good mood is when the subconscious desire-mind has been bought off, a bad mood when it has been denied its desire. You can observe more moods, and moodiness, than usual when a seduction is going on. Objectivity, detachment, and dispassion are the solutions to moods and seductions, since these are not easily manipulated by either subconscious images or the desire mind (Kama Manas), the two means by which we are seduced.
I have noted that seductions are often accompanied by too much emotional baggage automatically associated with expressions of affection. These are interactions that escalate much too quickly to be authentic. Other times, seductions involve the need for one to "save" another, or "be saved" from something by another. Seductions do not like a healthy autonomy, as they are based in unconscious power and control factors.
To the degree our inner Lover is unhealthy, we are needy and hope someone will come along to end our feelings of inadequacy. If our inner Lover is healthy, we tend not to attract destructive or clingy people who get attached and controlling, or those who quickly begin offloading heavy emotional freight or expecting a form of salvation from us and what we offer or don't. Beware of self-pity, as this is a common form of seducing another into "helping" in ways that don't help.
Robert Johnson (the author, not the blues legend!) wrote some interesting things about the nature of seduction in his three classic works, He, She, and We. These are short, enchanting works that explore certain archetypes within us and our world, and definitely worth the time.
Ultimately, as offered earlier, the Lover is about the dance of courtship between the lower self and the Higher Self, and we play out this dance through relationships that mirror both of these parts of our inner nature. As we embrace the courtship of the Higher Self to bring our personality out of various forms of suffering, we can find a way to view all our relationships through the eyes of our inner Lover, and grow beyond the seductions that only cause us pain.
So How Did Valentine’s Day Come To Be?
We now segue into a brief and interesting history lesson about Valentine's Day, because it’s a good thing to honor the circumstances that brought our world to give a day to valuing lovers. That’s a strange notion in itself, given the barbarism of our world these past few thousand years.
Of course, being about a saint, it's a holiday of recent invention, originating in Rome. February 14 originally honored Juno, the Queen (who also happens to have an asteroid named after her, but that's another article for another time.) February 14 was the day before the Feast of Lupercalia, where children were allowed to pair up for the festival, and longer if they chose.
In a nutshell, Claudius II, the tyrant of the third century, needed soldiers, not lovers, so he cancelled marriages and engagements in Rome. Saint Valentine continued to marry people in secret, so Claudius chopped off his head on February 14. After that the church co-opted the Feast of Lupercalia, re-naming it Valentine's Day. And there you have it.
So for today and the next while, please take some time to review how throughout your life others have offered you healthy affection, and how you offered it to them as well. Consider all you have liked and loved, and everyone and everything that inspired you to give and receive your tender affections and a higher Love.
These were the times you were wearing the Grand Masque of the Lover, doing a timeless dance with a form of the beloved, and therefore yourself. We all like that which is beautiful to us, since it mirrors our own beauty. And exploring beauty is a very good thing. Happy Valentine's Day, you beautiful lovers who read this. You ARE the love you seek!
© Copyright 2021 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
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