Monogamy, polygamy, and true marriage


“The first time you marry for love, the second for money, and the third for companionship.” – Jackie Kennedy.  Wow.  It seems that even rich, beautiful, decent people can still have complex or even disappointing sex lives. (image source)

Hey everybody.  I don’t have a new article ready this week so I’m just posting a short quote with pics.

This is something I happened to read earlier this week which I thought was cool and thought you might enjoy it.  It’s from an essay entitled “Monogamy, Polygamy, and True Marriage”.

Conventional sexual desire is inherently promiscuous.

It is moved by worldly attractiveness, reinforced by romantic illusions, and both frustrated and stimulated by the factual limitations of bodily pleasure and mortality itself.

Marriage is not properly a means either for satisfying or confining the power of sexual desire.  True marriage is well instructed in advance.  It is founded on the understanding that transcends the power of the desiring self.

Such marriage is founded on relational self-granting, or love, in Communion with Living Divine Reality.  It is not founded on the satisfaction of desire – or even the frustration of desire.  It is founded on Divine ecstasy, self-transcendence, and higher human responsibility.

The usual man cannot understand true marriage, because he is motivated by desire.  He is inherently promiscuous and self-possessed.1  All of his associations with sex are problematic and ultimately disturbed.  Both his monogamy and his polygamy are closets of mortal things.  He would indulge his desiring with many others, but he fears to do so, or he dares to do so.  In any case, he is in doubt of Life.

Only those who are awake in God may also engage in true and free marriage, which is self-transcending and sex-transcending…2

(In case anyone is wondering, I pick stuff for this blog that helps me personally.  Whether it helps anyone else is something I don’t know until I read your comments.)




“Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.” – Abraham Lincoln, who sometimes had a wry sense of humor (source)


. . .



Vince Neil of Motley Crue in a hot tub on Sunset Blvd, getting read for an orgy later that night.3  When I was younger I used to wonder if I should emulate the guys on MTV, who seemed to have achieved adulthood with success, happiness, and popularity.4

. . .



“The usual man cannot understand true marriage, because he is motivated by desire… All of his associations with sex are problematic and ultimately disturbed.”  (image source)  Remind you of anyone you know?




  • What do you think of this claim:  “The usual man or woman cannot understand true marriage”?
  • How many people do you know who are happily married?
  • Where does “Divine ecstasy” fit into all this?
  • When we put lots of energy into adulterous pursuits – flirting with other men’s wives, trying desperately to be “liked” by the opposite sex on Facebook – is something about this kind of pathetic?
  • Religious people have often recommended putting God first, and your marriage partner second, otherwise they say you’re making your spouse into an idol.  I used to think this was primitive, childish and unnecessary, but that was before I had much experience with relationships, lol.  What’s your take?  When we spend years or decades worshipping sex in and of itself, what kind of fruit does it bear?

BOT Student

  1. “Self-possessed” in this context means a person is possessed by a false sense of “self”.  Usually “self-possessed” means that a person is in control the situation, hip, self-sufficient, all that kind of thing.  But who or what is the “self” that we are possessed by, even in moments of calm?  I dunno but it’s an interesting question.
  2. This is from an essay by Adi Da Samraj (1939-2008), published in “Love of the Two-Armed Form” by the Dawn Horse Press of Clearlake, California, in 1978.  There was more to this quote about polygamy but I cut it short to keep things simple. :)  However, you’re free to post a comment about polygamy below the article.
  3. Image is a screenshot from some documentary about Motley Crue, courtesy of the daily messenger. Apparently these folks are in a hot tub limo driving down Sunset Blvd.
  4. “Where are they now?”  I was curious so I looked this gentleman up.  According to wikipedia, Vince Neil was married and divorced four times, given a restraining order after beating up an ex-girlfriend, and was arrested after beating up a “sex worker”.  So… probably not someone for me to emulate.
Print Friendly

Related posts:

Posted in quick quote and tagged , , .

17 comments · reply to one or post a new one

  1. Christina   Thumb up +9

    Glad to hear about this inquiry & looking forward to hearing everyones comments.

    We just celebrated our 25th anniversary a few weeks ago. One of your questions felt like it stood out the most for myself and that was putting God first before your partner. In the beginning of our marriage it was so, but then after about 10 or 12 years the waters got really rough. In an attempt to understand more about myself & what was going on, I started attending retreats which emphasised a relational connection with partner as divinity, I stuck with it for a good 10 years & that aspect didn’t go so well. Although it did teach me many other very, very, very valuable lessons. It has only been in the last 2 years of going back to God for my desires, and having that faith, (faith for the highest good in all matters in relation to our union) that our union really got on. There was a need to feel it for myself with God first & not for my husband first. It feels like my relationship with God ignites that with him. A large understanding & indicator for my self is the fruit which comes from the relationship…

    We have a very old apple orchard on our property…almost 100 yrs old, Jonathan apples. They dont fruit predictably or often but every three years or so, when they do they are prolific, their branches lay down with the with the weight. When tree is not fruiting it always offers cool beautiful shade. So, for me putting God first and then waiting patiently for the fruit is all that, it creates a gentle tension in my body & yearning that has exceeded constantly beyond the sexual experience. Sometimes that feeling is overwhelming. I apologise in advance for any confusion in the mixing of my words & such. I try to not muddy the waters, but it is difficult & I so appreciate those who provide rich, poetic, more thorough & concise words. Thank you.

    • Wow, 25 years.

      I’m certainly not an expert on this topic – I choose topics for my blog that I myself need help with. Just so we’re all clear about that. :)

      Anyway I think for me, as a man, if I try to put God first then I end up treating the woman better. Rather than seeing her as someone whose purpose is to make me feel good, I see her as a gift from God, even when she upsets me or annoys me.

      Easier said than done, of course.

      My sense is that that kind of commitment and love is really out of style these days, at least in popular culture. We’re moving into a time of greater and greater confusion about sex and relationships as portrayed on television and everywhere else.

      The amazing thing is that when I feel God asks me to be loving, or to “stay present” in the midst of conflict or difficulty, or to have a greater commitment in my life than simply my own satisfaction – oddly enough all those things often transfer over to the bedroom to make that a much better experience as well.

      Thank you for sharing Christina. I’m amazed at how some of the comments on this blog are so much more interesting and moving than what I have to say myself!

    • Again, I’m far from an expert on these things, but I learned once that spending time apart from one’s spouse can be a good thing.

      Adi Da taught us that when a husband and wife sleep side by side, night after night, and are constantly on top of each other in the house all the time, this can create problems. The man has a masculine energy and the woman has a feminine energy, but too much mixing all the time, and it either creates constant conflict or it’s like a flat coca cola with no life left in it.

      So the suggestion is that a man and a woman could choose to sleep separately sometimes, or spend time apart sometimes, and this recharges the relationship. It’s like the idea of the “man cave” or the ladies night out.

      I think it goes back to the idea of not making an idol out of the spouse. When the spouse is our “idol” then we might expect them to provide all our needs. Which, speaking for myself, has never worked very well.

      It’s tricky though because in our modern culture we’re taught from a young age to make an idol out of intimate relationships. Sleeping separately now and then is seen as some kind of terrible thing, like an indication that the marriage is falling apart. Whereas when I would do that, I would actually feel stronger as a man and more happy to spend time with my woman.

      Just a few thoughts. Definitely not an easy topic though.

      Thanks again Christina for sharing. Very interesting to hear about your experience.

    • Christina   Thumb up +1

      Yes, we have different rooms, but right now I am sleeping in his room because I feel like he wants to much sex! LOL

      I agree also with not expecting your beloved to provide you with everything, although that seems to happen, the desire to provide is equal in that respect. It feels like a great hole sometimes that it means nothing for me to give him everything, only because he doesnt care what is done or not done. None of that matters.
      your statement really hit home, because he literally works upstairs at home.. on top of me while im in the kitchen cooking~ Sometimes… he or I will spend time with other people of the opposite sex…but it is done with extreme caution so that nothing can be misinterpreted & that our intent is always true, if its not then my response is to do an inquiry into why and usually it is because my relationship with God~self is not as intact as I would like it. Intent is a big part of it, and from what I understand, sex is not exclusive with Love. It is a very, very, very small part of it. Thats probably obvious to a lot of people on here… but it took me what felt like an eternity to find that out.

    • I love the imagery you shared about the apple trees.

      The timing of the fruit cannot be predicted…

  2. Paul   Thumb up +2

    All interesting. I was amused by your posting of swan photos, perhaps because swans have been considered exemplars of monogamous fidelity, perhaps also because they are beautiful birds and convey a sense of serenity.

    In fact there has been a lot of research recently into the actual mating habits of many species, partly because the technology is now available to more easily find out what is actually going on. Turns out that other “monogamous” species aren’t much more monogamous than us humans, and swans are no exception. See, for example, this article:

    So monogamy isn’t “natural”, whatever that might mean anyway. It’s a social expectation, which varies greatly between cultures. In some, polygamy is allowed. In others, the degree of expectation of fidelity with a “monogamous” relationship varies greatly.

    In present Western culture there is a lot of variation. Public attitudes to “infidelity” by prominent politicians is one interesting way to gauge this.

    • Thanks, Paul, for sharing.

      Happily, three weeks ago I learned right here on this blog (cf. Darwin article) that human beings are not animals. :) So whether humans choose fidelity or not isn’t dependent on what an animal does, it seems. Maybe we’re free to aim higher than an animal or a pile of dirt. :)

      Anyway I liked how the brief quote talked about monogamy. It’s like Jesus is quoted as saying in the book of Matthew:

      But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

      In other words, something like fidelity is not so much a social matter, from this point of view, but more of a spiritual matter, it seems. It’s an interesting way to look at it. Maybe there are spiritual repercussions for what we do with our wives or husbands or other people we meet? I hope to read more comments from folks.

      P.S. One great thing about women is they frequently help us men stay in the “feeling” dimension, according to some people. So thanks, ladies.

      And thank you, Paul, for the info on swans.

  3. Terry Cafferty   Thumb up +7

    I was best man at three of my father’s eight weddings. He also came on to my then intimate partner on his cancer deathbed when he was 77 years old. His marriages and relationships always devolved quickly into disasters, mirroring his relationship to his mother, who moved her replacement husband into my father’s childhood home while her first husband (my grandfather) was confined to his deathbed in the other end of the house. With this background, it may not be surprising that my lifetime of four relationships hasn’t turned out all that ducky.

    Now at age 69, I’m convinced that father, grandmother and I (as well as the vast majority of people I know) are all looking for something from our mates that cannot be found there. I’m not certain what that ‘something’ is, but I suspect it is a ‘something’ which only God (of whatever flavor is assumed) can provide, maybe like a completely convincing sign that, in spite of the fact of universal suffering and death, everything is OK because the real situation is Love. A convincing sign we are perfectly loved.

    If that sign is given and received, then I imagine that (the otherwise inherent neediness) and anxiety is relaxed and released, freeing the person to manifest real caring, sensitivity and love.

    Sex may be more or less satisfying based on any number of criteria, but in the case where love is lived, then sex becomes something altogether an expression of love. I know this because I was mysteriously given the gift of truly needless, loving sex once. If asked what it was like, I couldn’t really say, because there was no discernible separate me there observing. There was just free, happy, amazing feeling, with no boundaries of any kind. It was a gift from God.

    • Hi Terry,

      Thank you for sharing, sir.

      I think the reason television is so popular these days is that as human beings we are desperate to feel connected to other human beings, we need to hear stories, we need examples to learn from. We need a sense of community, other human beings who are available to learn from their experiences.

      While television these days does a better job emulating that and pretending to be that, compared to 30 years ago, it’s still a manufactured thing, and the stories on television somehow don’t have enough *reality* in them to do us much good, I think. It just becomes an addiction, whereby we keep hoping we’ll get the satisfaction we crave if we tune back in next week.

      It reminds me of something I posted years ago on this blog about community and our craving for it – I think it was the very first thing I posted on this blog:

      We yearn, that is, for community, for that network of human associations which enlarges the individual’s life. This hunger runs so deep that even the appearance of community will feed it… (link)

      Part of the essay I quoted above from “Love of the Two-Armed Form” actually mentions the importance of true community in the context of marriage. I left that part out to keep things simple, but it said that a true marriage is not something that can be given to us by the State, but is best served in the context of a true community of devotees of the Living God. In that context, true marriage can be both valued and supported – and perhaps community can provide us with many of the things we otherwise seek to get from marriage. Whereas a government marriage license by itself doesn’t have the power to do all that.

      What I’m trying to say is thank you for sharing your experiences Terry. The comments people post on this blog help me to see that 75% of the value of this blog is just being a place for people to come together to learn from one another.

    • Rick Brenner   Thumb up 0

      Terry said: “looking for something from our mates that cannot be found there. I’m not certain what that ‘something’ is, but I suspect it is a ‘something’ which only God (of whatever flavor is assumed) can provide”

      When I was a naive teen my emotional-sexual goal was to find a girlfriend who I could become “one” with. I didn’t know this was simply an unconscious drive to find the One True Reality (Divine, God, Brahma, Nirvana, or whatever name you like). We seek unity, not realizing we are already One.

      PS – 57 year old male seeking 27 year old mistress LOL!

  4. Edu   Thumb up +5

    I think that much of todays frustrations about relationships comes from the confusion bettween lust and love. One is animal. The other is divine. But with today’s so scientific society, the divine is gone, and all that is left is a blur of emotions, sensations and social programing that we call love. University professors will say that eating chocolate fires the same neurotransmissors in our brain that love does. The result I see is that young people no longer know what the heck is love. As you perfectly put, they think Idolizing the partner is love. And notice how love is mostly protrayed in mass media: It’s Painfull! People think they must suffer in love, they must give up of themselves in passion and constrict each other in petty whims, without ever making effort to improve themselves as human beings. No wonder why man and women don’t understand each other, as their natures are naturally different when they behave like animals.

    Lust is like a self-seeking, self consuming black hole, always looking for the ultimate experience and yet never finding it, because it’s never there. It makes terrible ideas look great, and people to become egotists, narcisists or to become dependents with poor self steem. It leaves one empty and always wanting for more. This is what happens, in my view, when sex is completely divorced from love, as it’s being seem as fashionable today.

    Love on the other hand is about building durable bridges among people, about learning to be tolerant and caring, and seeking shared spiritual growth. Perhaps something one step above of the sense of comunity? In my view I think that when “holy texts” talk about “fornication” as sinful, I think that what they mean is simply sex outside the spiritual commitment of love, and not sex otuside and dead social contract called marriage. Perhaps the sacred scriptures are meant to read INTELIGENTLY, and not in a dogmatic simple minded fashion.

    I think this makes me to think a lot about whom I relate with because most girls simply can’t understand relationship in this context. I see the cute girl, and think: “I could date her”. But them a feeling of emptyness hits me as I see that our perspectives of relationship are so different. It’s just lust and wrong expectations and manipulation. DARN! In the end she is simply not someone I would commit with. I don’t wan’t to pretend that I’m some sort of spiritual eminence but I find myself over and over to be in complete opposition to the society I currenly live. It bothers me to death. It’s weird because there is a sort social of expectation that ones needs to fuck at every possible opportunity until one is seriously engaged. If you don’t, you’re sick, a weirdo, a dogmatic religious, or a gay (no way!)! I just find that if I related with people for sensuous gratification only, it would be unfair, dishonest and ultimately painfull for both. I just don’t want to hurt others for my own gratification.

    • Yes, “love” is easy for everyone to talk about, even in fluffy platitudes on Facebook.

      But when we start talking about stuff like fidelity or commitment then all of a sudden it gets a whole lot more “real”, and not everyone is sure we are still on board with it. lol.

      Thank you for sharing, Edu.

      Yeah, I know what you mean about not wanting to hurt people. Some people say sex creates a literal energetic connection between two people that binds them together, even long afterwards, and the limitations, the karmas, the illusions, and the emotional and mental challenges of one person flow right into the other person. This might be acceptable, even ideal, in a committed relationship, where we willingly take on the other person, for better or worse.

      But such “soul ties” might be less welcome in the case of casual sex, which pretends that such profound connections do not occur, and that there are no spiritual realities or repercussions to take into account.

      “…and they two shall be one flesh” – Ephesians 5:31

      Also, in the absence of love and commitment, I think it’s possible for one person to manipulate and control another person through occult sexual means, perhaps even without consciously realizing it.

      Wow… so different from what I was taught on tv.

      P.S. Maybe you could ask one of your lady friends to post a comment here, so we can hear from her perspective? :) Always nice to hear a variety of responses…

    • Christina   Thumb up +1

      Im confused. What do you mean about the cult sex without people being aware? & also, about communities supporting a marriage and seeking to receive what what it is lacking from it…

      Edu~ Nice distinction about animals & people, as a woman intimately connected with the earth, I get that. I burn allot of bridges, mostly in simple dogmatic fashion…

    • Hi Christina,

      Well to be honest I don’t have any experience with “negative occult” sex practices. But some people say that when two people have casual sex (or to take it a step further, let’s say abusive sex such as incest), it’s possible for one of them to manipulate the other one. The idea is that sex without love creates possibilities for manipulation, even a kind of “mind control.” One person could be innocent and naive (or desperate), and the other person could be looking to tie the other person on a string.

      Thankfully I have no experience with that.

      There’s a video here of a woman talking about how a man can manipulate women via sex, but I’m sure this kind of psychological manipulation can be done just as easily the other way around. Also incest survivors, pedophilia survivors, homosexual rape survivors and so on – you can find stories from them as well.

      I don’t agree exactly with everything Alexyss says in that video, but I love her way of speaking. She reminds me of some folks I went to high school with. lol. Anyway she says “don’t let every man hit the bottom of your ___”. And that was the point I was trying to make. There is a necessary openness and vulnerability and letting down defenses in sex, and it seems unwise to do that with someone you don’t trust, simply out of loneliness or addictive habits and so on.

      . . .

      Regarding communities supporting marriage… well, part of the idea for me is that when you have friends who support your spirituality, who support you to make good decisions, and who provide human contact on a regular basis, this can help take pressure off of a marriage, take away some of the neediness that we might otherwise naturally feel.

      Imagine being in a spiritual community of happily married couples who all share a commitment to God, and also some folks in the community who are single but who have a greater focus in their life than just getting laid – until the right person comes along.

      Then imagine being surrounded by a different set of people, say, in Los Angeles, who want to try to seduce you or your husband, or who constantly encourage you to imitate their own selfish behaviors, who have no focus in their life other than money and status and drugs, etc.

      The two situations are worlds apart.

      As it says in 1 Corinthians: “Be not deceived: Bad company corrupts good character.”

      Here’s another couple sentences from the essay above:

      Only the holy community… can properly regard and accomodate true marriage. Therefore, each man and woman should be awakened by Divine instruction and then marry in the eyes of others of like mind and intent.

      This initially sounds a bit “stuffy” to me, but on the other hand I can imagine it would be very helpful to participate in such a community, and having had some experience of that in the past, I did find it helpful to my relationship. Very helpful.

      Otherwise, with just television programming, economic recessions, one another and nothing else to support it, a marriage can be really hard at times. The idea of the community is that it can provide a “buffer”. Almost a “sanctuary”, a reprieve from worldly values and messages. Not a utopia by any means, but a support.

      For me, the people I meet on this blog are almost a kind of community which I find supportive. And this is just a taste of what is possible, maybe.

      Who knows, maybe with the world in as dire straights as it is, more people will wake up and give one another the emotional support to choose a different way of living than the one propagandized on television…

    • Edu   Thumb up +1

      About manipulation, I just get the sense that if I would be with someone with a poor sense of self knowledge and a romantic tendency to idealize the partner, that person would become, in a practical sense, an extension of my own will (or worse, someone else will). There would be very little of the actual other person in the relationship, which in my opinion, is the whole point of having a relationship with someone else. I think an important point of a love relationship is that it must be two-sided to be genuine.

      I notice that it comes to a point when one seeks to build it’s own spiritual energy that a certain charismatic magnetism arises, that can unconciously atract other people, who are deficient themselves of their own energy. People throw energy at each other everytime, specially desires, and with our external oriented culture, it’s very hard to people to know what is their energy and what is others people energy. People “bewitch” each other all times.

      I’m strong willed and hard headed, and can become very controlling even without noticing it, specially if the other person can’t stand on it’s own. This is just me, ok? Don’t take it as law please!

  5. Christina   Thumb up +2

    Saw this & wanted to share, its interesting when going back to topics written in the past & I thinking to my self, what the heck! What was I thinking? That happens alot. I wouldn’t consider myself stupid at all, (of course, who would?). This mind changes perspectives quickly, most of the time it feels best not to say anything because what is the point, my mind will change about this and flip about and there will be no consistency. There never is. Im really strong headed & controlling as well, on one hand its a great trait that i have, as it allows me to power through situations really well until the job gets done, but the issue with that is this body simply was not made for it, my knees are giving out & i suffer from severe adrenal wipe out & other systems are not working as well as they should.

    Being in a long term relationship is tricky because yes, you have to remain authentic to yourself & Its always changing learning to trust that and be flexible to the ever changing landscape is crucial. My partner adores me & it seems like my nature naturally changes to flow with his needs, and my needs seems to pre-empt his. So when i am being true to myself & authentic, this is very good. SOmetimes he gets pissed because he wants to create those waters, & within his freedom, his sense of individualism he wants to control that. & that is frustrating, so he will do little things like try to take credit for my creative musings & we get into big arguements about whose idea it was. He works really hard, I mean it is rediculous to me how hard he works & its getting worse as he gets older.

    This stuborness is actually quite good because the way it works is that I desire a strong uniqueness within & surrounding myself. It would be nearly impossible for me to follow along with whatever is going on in the masses, in a defiant way I guess. But it doesnt look like that on the outside. I think most people believe Im like the 50’s housewife who obeys her husband and does all that other stuff no matter what. I stay at home, but my practices are actually incredibly deep no one would really know who I am on the inside. I know and see so much more than I like to admit to because I get caught up in “teachings” and then find that before i know it, the tide has once again gone out and new treasures are on their way.

    Its endless, the joy of discovery sticks and there is a great attraction to that. Getting better at staying in source, distraction is an ever deepening opportunity/inquiry/challenge/surrender. When a man expresses greatness of truth and a talent for expressing that, it is difficult not to surrender all of your self to it, down to the smallest of parts. even if he is hard headed but if one cannot stand on their own then it could eventually have a sort of “culty” feel to it. I can see how that could be a conundrum. I dont even know, I mean then there are stalkers and all that. As my daughter would say…You’ve got yourself in a pickle. LOL

  6. Mara Gazelle (Maria)   Thumb up +1

    This comment is for Christina. I am amazed at your description of your marriage, as it is a duplication of my marriage and describes how my husband and I operate, so to speak. After 15 years of being together, we are just now realizing our unique way of relating and supporting one another is our own creation–me as the supportive inspiring Muse…he a very busy creative guy with a lot of responsibilities, who sometimes does try to take credit for my ideas!
    The authenticity of being myself comes from having peaceful solitude moments throughout the day, and contemplating the Divine One as part of my Spiritual practice. Much self-understanding comes as a result…i guess I am an anchor that way in my marriage.
    Long stretches of ‘doing nothing’ and resting, have helped me to be able to start to heal my adrenals lately. Its been a long process, but Grace-full process of learning that worrying and fretting and staying in the past, can indeed be released.

    Tendencies in me to travel to far away lands still persist, but that would be a sure way to stress out again during this healing phase.

    I live in So. Colorado in a small quiet town which usually suits me just fine and a lot of my spare time is spent online connecting with other devotees of Adi Da.

Post a new comment

Question? See privacy policy or comment policy.