Richard Smoley is editor of Quest: The Journal of the Theosophical Society in America. He is also former editor of Gnosis Magazine. His books include Hidden Wisdom: The Guide to the Western Inner Traditions, Inner Christianity: The Guide to the Esoteric Tradition, Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism, The Essential Nostradamus, Conscious Love: Insights from Mystical Christianity, The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe, The Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History, The Deal: A Guide to Radical and Complete Forgiveness, and How God Became God: What Scholars Are Really Saying About God and the Bible.
Here he proposes that, in spite of our spiritual ideals, romantic relationships are predicated upon an “equation” regarding the social standing, talents, and attributes of each partner. In arranged marriages, where people learn to love each other after they are wedded, this equation is particularly important. The esoteric tradition of Gurdjieff, from which the phrase “conscious love” is derived, teaches that the higher ranges of love are attained through work on oneself. The initiations described by Rudolf Steiner require one to pass by the “Guardians of the Threshold” that represent the parts of ourselves we consider ugly.
(Recorded on August 6, 2016)
Published on December 27, 2016