Marriage in the process | constructive postmodern view of marriage

 Marriage in the process | constructive postmodern view of marriage

1. Marriage is a matter of community.

Marriage does belong to both husband and wife, but we are not isolated individuals separated from the world by our own skin boundaries. When we enter the marriage life, we bring many people in our life, including our parents, relatives and friends. In the end, marriage belongs not only to ourselves, but also to the people associated with it and to the source of all life - the Tao Te Ching calls it the mother of all things (we can call the universal power it represents as the origin of life).

2. Marriage is a process of remarriage with your partner every day.

Marriage, like life, is a new day. Even though weve been married to the same person for 20 years, were constantly remarrying that person. Marriage is a process that needs to be updated every day.

We will never remarry with the same person.

The people we marry change over time. He or she will change with age, difficulty and life. Part of our commitment is to experience his or her change with this person, and one of the others commitments is also a journey with us.

4. Marriage is nourished by faith.

In our world and life, there is a spirit of creative transformation at work, which can be called Tao. As we remarry every day, this spirit will present many new possibilities. These possibilities include gentleness, forgiveness, adventure, respect, shared suffering, laughter and intimacy.

Marriage is fierce.

The guidance of great love to our life is not only for the sake of harmony, but also to constantly approach the two, which has its own meaning. Sometimes in our marriage, the intensity is more than harmony, and sometimes harmony is better than fierceness. Just as in harmony, beauty can be found in intensity.

6. Marriage is a greenhouse to cultivate love.

One of the purposes of marriage is to let us learn how to love and be loved. At every stage of a relationship, there is an opportunity to learn love, a process that can last a lifetime. We may never be able to complete this process in this lifetime, but we can continue to improve. Even after death, there may still be a need for marriage.

Marriage itself is not the ultimate goal.

Although a successful marriage does require mutual commitment to the relationship, it would be a mistake to understand marriage as an independent and closed unit, which itself is the ultimate goal. When marriage is not self-centered, it is more likely to succeed. Successful marriage is often inseparable from the happiness and goals found outside the marriage: especially in helping others. The people you help may be children, other family members or friends, but dont treat extended families and close friends as the only objects worth cherishing. In the end, a successful marriage can not only add beauty to ones extended family, but also to all inclusive sources of life.

Marriage needs humor.

In marriage, its important to share pain, but its equally important to share laughter. Without humor, without play, marriage will become stagnant. Humor will open up the space of mind and heart, let the partner experience the common joy, will not make themselves too serious. Sometimes couples need to make fun of each other.

9. Marriage needs mystery.

Its also important for married couples to recognize and respect the privacy of another person, which is the other side that the other person cant be known about and doesnt need to be known. This private and unknown side is also a beautiful part of them. Everyone has a side of privacy, which is beyond the relationship of their own core.

Marriage is a sacrament.

Sacrament is not only a limited reality or relationship, but also a window to the source of life, in which all life is unfolded. The kind of loyal, loving and trusting relationship between two people can really become such a window, which can be the place where people look for the source of life. One of the important purposes of marriage ceremony is to help partners to understand and confirm their hope in public that their marriage will become a sacrament.

In the context of the process, these ten suggestions can be targeted at all different forms of marriage, including homosexuality, lesbian and heterosexual. Both of them can be included in marriage vows, but more importantly, they can also be reflected in the goodwill between couples in daily life, which is like a private oath. Successful marriages often renew these vows, sometimes publicly, but more privately. There is a kind of beauty in new and new, and renewal itself is also a sacrament.

*Note: I mean, for an individual soul, if there is a continuing journey after death, it is likely that we need to continue to develop deeper love. In this sentence, I use marriage as a metaphor for the form of love learning.

Author: Dr. Jay McDaniel, an American process philosopher, whose works include: what is process thought? Seven answers to seven questions, Gandhi sHope:LearningFromWorldReligionsasaWaytoPeace ,Proces sTheology:AHandbook ,Livingfrom theCenter:SpiritualityintheAgeofConsumerism.

Translator: Lu Weidong, this article is reproduced from the official account: the blue planet has been authorized.

Original English text:



Ourmarriagesbelongtous,butwearenotisolatedindividualscutofffromtheworldbyth eboundariesofourskin.Asweenterintoourmarriedlives ,themanypeopleinourlivescomewithus,including ourparentsandfriends.Ultimatelyourmarriagedoesnotbelongtousalone , butalsotootherpeopleandtotheLifeinwhomallli vesunfold:whattheTaoteChingcallstheMotheroftheUniverse.Wecanspeakofthiscosmicforce ,thisMother,asLife.


Inmarriageasinlife, everydayisanewday.Evenifwearemarriedtothesamepersonfortwentyyears ,wearealwaysre- marryingthatperson.Beingmarriedisaprocesswhichneedstoberenewedonadailybasis .


Thepersonwhomwemar rywillchangeovertime.Heorshewillchangethroughage ,throughdifficulties,throughthe ordinarycourseoflife.Partofourcommitmentistowalkwiththispersonthroughhisorherchanges .Andpartofthatpersonscommitmentistowalkwithus,too.


ThereisaspiritofcreativetransformationatworkinourworldwhichistheTao spresenceinourlives.Aswere -marrydaybyday,thisspirittakestheformoffreshpossibilitiesforre- marrying.Thesepossibilitiescomeinmanyforms :possibilitiesfortenderness,forforgiveness,foradventure,forrespect,forsharedsuffering,forlaughter,forintimacy.


ThelureofLoveinourlivesisnotforharmonyalone,butratherformeaningfulapproximationso fharmonyandintensity.Sometimesourmarriagesaremoreintensethanharmonious ,sometimesmoreh armoniousthanintense.Therecanbebeautyintheintensityaswellastheharmony .


Onepurposeofmarriageistouslear nhowtoloveandbeloved.Ateverystageofamarriedcouple srelationship,thereisanopportunityforlearning,andthepro cesscanlastalifetime.Inthislifewemaynevercompletetheprocess , butwecanimprove.Evenafterdeaththerewillbeaneedformarriage *.


Whileitistruethatasuccessfulmarriagerequiresacommitmentofoneanothertotherelationship;itisfalsetosaythattherelationshipitself,understoodasaself-containedunit, isanendinitself.Marriagesaresuccessfulwhentheyarenotself -centered, whentheydonotf ocusonlyonthemselves.Successfulmarriagesarethosethatfindjoyandpurposeoutsidethemarriage :mostparticu larlyinhelpingothers.Theothersmaybechildrenorfamilyorfriends ,butitisimportantnottomakegodsoftheextendedf amilyandclosefriends.UltimatelyamarriageissuccessfulwhenitaddsbeautytotheextendedfamilyoflifeandtheLifeinwhoseheartalllivesunfold .


Itisimportanttosharesufferinginamarriage,butitisalsoimpo rtanttosharelaughter.Withouthumor ,withoutplayfulness,amar riagebecomesstagnant.Humoropensupspacewithintheheartandmind ,sothatmarriedpartnerscanexperiencecommonjoysandnottaket hemselvessoseriously.Marriedcouplesneedtoteaseeachother .


Itisalsoimportantformarriedcouplestorecognizeandhonortheprivatesideoftheot herperson:thesideoftheotherpersonthatcannotbeknownandneednotbeknown.Thisprivateside ,thisunknownside, ispartoftheirbeauty.Everypersonhasaprivateside ,acelibatecorewhichtranscendstherelationship.


Inaprocesscontextthesetenideasarerelevanttoall marriages:gay ,lesbian, straight.Theymaybebuiltintoweddingvows ,butevenmoreimportantlytheycanbebuiltintotheprivatevowsthatmarriedcouplesmaketooneanotherbysimpleactso fkindnessindailylife.Marriagesthatsucceedarethoseinwhichtheseandothervowsarerenewed , sometimespubli clybutoftenprivately.Intherenewalitselfthereisabeauty .Therenewalisasacrament,too.

* Note:Mymeaningisthat ,evenafterdeath,ifthereisacontinuingjourneyafterdeathfortheindividualsoul,therewillbeaneedtogr owmoredeeplyintolove.Iamusing marriageinthissentenceasametaphorforlearningtolove.