Ecstatic Relations: An Excerpt

The Introduction

In these times of chaos and confusion, we’ve got no choice but to feed the world with beauty in every way we can. Some of my favorite forms of beauty are love stories, so here are six of mine to help you remember your own and to suggest that, in essence, the universe itself is a vast love story based not upon competing forces, but upon the forces of attraction, magnetism and connection.

Ancient wisdom traditions from all over the world have known of this underlying field of attraction, and called it by many names: Brahman, Tao, the Primordial Ocean to name a few. Mythology is full of allegories about the love affairs between the gods, and between the gods and their Creation.

In our time, the field which unifies all phenomena has been referred to as the Zero Point Field, the Free Energy Field, the Unified Field - all terms connoting an all-embracing source of magnetic energy within which matter, form, life and intelligence have their being. In these pages, I will refer to it as The Unified Field.

     …Beyond our human concerns of right and wrong
     there is a Field. I’ll meet you there.
     Our souls, sinking onto that fragrant grass,
     Will be too filled with ecstasy to even speak…1

…said the 11th century Persian mystic and poet Jelal-uddin Rumi. To Rumi the Field was the miraculous, sacred Love that transcended all forms and yet permeated all forms. He knelt and kissed the ground of this Mystery in a hundred ways, with the certainty that Love was the ultimate reality - the wild dance of the Cosmos in continuous passionate Creation: it was his Beloved.

Until quite recently, contemporary astronomers defined Space as empty, a vacuum. Nothing was out there; our solar system floated in a void and we were alone in the Universe. But this notion is changing, and new data is showing that outer space is filled with some mysterious energy and matter. Nothing has become something – dark matter, dark energy. Could it be that what has been called a vacuum is actually more like an invisible, infinite field of conscious, magnetic force?’

One of the earliest known hymns of Creation comes from the Hindu Rig Veda and includes this verse:

     … Before there was night or day, birth or death
     Could there have been some knowing, invisible Spirit,
     some essence of goodness like a conscious, infinite Presence
     breathing with windless breath?
     In this darkness shrouded by darkness,
     In this fathomless ocean of featureless, still water,
     Could this unmoving force have caught its breath with longing
     And roiled the dark waters into hot motion,
     Planting the primal seed – born of desire –
     Into the heated void?…

This interests me, this longing that roils dark waters into hot motion planting primal seeds filled with desire into heated voids. I long to know what it might feel like to be a Universe, to be dark sea of passionate power in a constant state of desire. I want to know for myself the ecstatic force that holds the Universe together, the cosmic glue that connects all the parts, uniting everything with everything. And I would suggest here that the deep bonds we feel with people we love are a reflection of that primal glue, a human, earthly expression of the cosmic Unified Field.

I wonder, often, about the intelligence that caused the Big Bang in the first place. Was there some longing in the darkness, as it says in the Vedas, that roiled the world into being; some yearning to know embodiment and its challenges, to experience the glories of human love itself? And might this longing, I wonder, have expressed itself more as a gasp of desire than as a big bang? 

Capturing the ineffable seems to be impossible, but being captured by it happens to me whenever I fall in love. I become breathless with an irresistible force of attraction, a pulsing magnetism, a desire at least as strong as the pull of the moon upon the earth’s tides. I feel shot through with potency, flooded with the longing of the whole cosmos towards union with my Friend. In that state, I know how compelling these forces are. It is as if nothing else mattered but to achieve intimate union, letting the Universe express itself through me. Colors are dazzlingly vivid, the world is wondrous and every joke is wildly funny; I cannot help but live at 100% of myself when the sacred force-field of the Whole Cosmos makes me an emissary of its love.

In the thrall of love I recognize the place just at the edge of memory that I had almost, but not quite, forgotten. I remember it as ‘home’ – where I come from and to where I will return – and know without a doubt that I belong to it. Loving, I remember who I am, what is real, and what I’m here for. 

So naturally I make a point of falling in love often.

From time to time, even during the forty-five years I have been happily married to my husband, I meet a person who has some quality that catches my attention, and I am drawn like a moth to a flame. Sometimes the feeling is mutual, and we begin a delicious courtship, discovering who is there behind the other’s eyes. It is a soul quest, I believe, an ongoing search for kinfolk, and when the match is right, we fall in love.

When I was young and exploring the world, I fell in love with dogs and gym teachers and piano players with red hair. Rarely did I fall in love with boys my own age. Over the years the pattern has persisted and I find these friends of my heart in the bodies of babies and elders, men and women, people gay and straight. Once it was even an intriguing little calico cat named Trinity.

What makes these relationships different from other loving friendships is the quality of physical attraction I tend to feel. Longing to be in the presence of the beloved is part of it; we want to touch, to be in deep communion – in the ecstasy. Sexuality has often not been appropriate to our relationship, but sensuality, and the desires that accompany it have been, and I have been shaped by these relationships like stones in a riverbed.

So here are my stories of five wonderful people I have loved deeply and well, and of Dukie, my childhood dog, who initiated me into the Mysteries. I have chosen these particular stories to tell not because they are the only ones, but because they represent the spectrum: male, female, gay, straight, young and old, and because recounting these adventures will give me, during these perilous times in the world, more pleasure than I can say. 

Many names, including my own, have been changed to suggest that these stories could belong to anyone, and I have fictionalized and telescoped events at will to keep the book a manageable size. If I remember these beloved ones as too good to be true it is because I was, after all, madly in love with them, but the delight of our adventures is as close to what actually happened as I could make it. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I relished writing them.

After each story, in the tradition of Talmudic commentary, is a short discussion of the aspect of universal law addressed in that story. These commentary chapters might be considered a survey of ‘sacred science,’ as I understand it, but the stories stand on their own so if sacred science is not your cup of tea, by all means, skip over them. 

My real goal in this book, through story and discussion, is to suggest that science and religion are not separate quests, but find their place along the same universal continuum of, in my grand-daughter’s words, “the invisible love glue” from which we all come. 

To my husband, Herb, goes the closing love story in the book and to him and our children – Ethan, Anne, Rebecca, Susan, Michael, Sofia - and our grand-children Alexandro, Robert, Camilla, Elizabeth - I dedicate this labor of love, with gratitude for our journey together all these years, and for all the attraction in the Universe.

Carolyn North
Berkeley, California
September 25, 2005