There is an article at TZF’s Consider This! called Marriage as A Path which offers in some detail my take on relationships between and among humans.Could you expound on your idea of Relationship, as you used it in your post?
In this thread, I mean to raise relationship in its broadest sense. When, as seekers, we find ourselves able to raise our sights above the separative perspective that is an aspect of the human condition, we begin to see that a fundamental truth of the physical universe (by which I mean everything, tangible and intangible, perceived by the mind) is that it is all about relationship, that carbon-based units (to use the great term from Star Trek, wasn’t it?) are able to exist only in relationship.
We believe we are unique individuals, separate and distinct from one another, from the landscape in which we live, from the images and thoughts in our head, but that is an illusion. In fact, if the reality of relationship were erased from the universe, we and everything we know would – POOF! – vanish.
In the book In The Beginning, I recall the tree in the Garden of Eden whose fruit imparted the “Knowledge of Good and Evil”, and I suggested that what was actually meant by that image is that the fruit created “the knowledge of and”. That is, not just the knowledge of “good and evil” but the knowledge of “anything and anything else”: up and down, back and forth, tall and short, happy and glad, heaven and earth, you and me.
Thus, it was that fruit which created the word “and”. Before that, everything was (is) One. Before the fruit, everything is “I”. There, there is no need for the word “and”. How would it be used? “I” and “I”? That makes no sense. And there is no relationship there. If “I” is all there is, whom is there to have relationship with?
The fruit created “and”, and “and” created Relationship. Now, in this condition, everything is in relationship with everything else. Up with down, happy with sad, rich with poor, man with woman, and so on. Nothing exists self-independent. Everything is dependent upon some other thing(s) for existence.
In the Garden of Eden, the first significant – shall we say archetypal – use of the word “and” is in “Adam and Eve”. The phenomenon “Adam and Eve” is the One Itself appearing to Itself as two (many). But in the context of this thread, the important point is that “Adam” is meaningless without “Eve” and likewise “Eve” is meaningless without “Adam”. To the egoic perception, they look like two separate and unique people (“you and me”), but in fact neither can exist without the other, precisely because they only Truly Exist as One, as the One, just as they were in the Garden before the creation of the word “and”.
In the book, I suggest that when Adam and Eve first perceived one another, he said to her, "I am Adam", and she replied, "Yes, I know. So am I." (It is a nice coincidence that "Madam, I'm Adam" is a palindrome -- reads the same backwards and forwards.) Likewise "you and me" is one whole. You think that you exist independently of me, and I (me) think that I exist independently of you, but that is an illusion. Indeed, that is the illusion.
In Taoism and Confucianism, this concept is presented as Yin and Yang, two opposite and complementary aspects of everything that exists. Yin and Yang are constantly in relationship with one another, and we are that relationship, at every level. Yin and Yang are at play in every cell in every body and every thing, and simultaneously the entirety of every body and every thing is also Yin and Yang in relationship. And so is the universe itself, in whole and in part. Just as with “Adam and Eve”, there is no such thing as “yin” independent of “yang” or “yang” independent of “yin”. If you dissect yin from yang, the result is POOF!
When we seek to avoid relationship (to use DFJ’s nice phrase), either within ourselves or among the apparent others of our life, we put ourselves into stress, and suffer accordingly. Why? Because to avoid relationship in any aspect of our life is to seek to divorce Adam and Eve, and it cannot be done. That's what the Gospels Teacher meant by "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder". It isn't that we shouldn't put asunder what God has joined; it is that we cannot put asunder what God has joined, and to attempt to do so will only bring us pain.