Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Evolving Together

Leah, you have asked some very good and sensitive questions.  I want to try to answer at least a couple of them tonight, and more on Friday.

You ask about our many moves, and if I would now prefer to have “figured it all out” sooner and saved myself some time and energy.  I know it is hard to believe it could take twenty years, but we were actually going as fast as we could!

It was more than that, of course.  I realize now that through all those moves I was working something out inwardly.  Or perhaps I should say we were working something in outwardly.  Really it was both.

Our moves served two purposes so closely bound together they were only distinguishable in retrospect.  For my husband they served to work toward a wholeness of meaning.  His was an outward search, where he worked that meaning into himself until at last he came to embody it.

For me those moves served the purpose of working through inner distress, an inner search for a feeling I could not forget and I could not find.  It was a working things out of me inwardly, until I reached the emptiness I remembered, the “white room” I left home looking for more than thirty years ago.

Our many moves and homes certainly permitted us to work through a world of trials and errors.  We evolved together, my husband, our room, and I.  We began over and over again together.  Moving our entire life so often had many practical disadvantages, but one advantage it had was that it permitted us to start completely afresh many times.  We were forever rethinking the whole of things back to the beginning.

That is I think what Sherry and Julie and Dewey are doing now, thinking things back to the beginning.  It is an outer and an inner movement.  I don't know how else to do it.  And, for us at least, I don't think we could have come at it more abruptly and remained whole.  We had to untangle a thousand knots, and tie up a thousand loose ends, to put the beginning back together again.

You would like to know what kind of a relationship it is that exists without ordinary internal conflict in such a small space.  And Bri, you very reasonably ask if I somehow surrendered my identity to my marriage—if my husband and I are not still different people?

Pam and Julie, you have each offered very generous and compelling explanations of this strange state of things.  I cannot improve on what has been said already.

We have spoken of how Michael and I are really just one.  Now you have me wondering with your explorations if it would not be more accurate still to speak of three of us as one—of my husband and me and Innermost House together.

Out in the separate world, my husband has a great deal of what you might call savoir faire.  He always has a feeling for the center of things, so he is not thrown off balance by unexpected or even desperate situations.  He carries a kind of moving stillness around with him.

I am the opposite.  I am always off balance in the world.  You never know what I'll say next.  I never know either.  That can make for some awkward situations when you have practical business to transact.  So when it is necessary to negotiate a difficult practical situation, it is best that Michael deal with it alone.

Together at Innermost House it is different.  Our relationship there is centered and intensified without complication.  It is the complication of worldly life I find so disorienting, so incomprehensible.  On the other hand, it is the undivided intensity of life at Innermost House that I most miss in the world.

In worldly ways my husband and I are not extraordinarily alike, we are extraordinarily different.  It is just that the nature of the difference is somehow such that we make one person between us at Innermost House without any pieces left over.  So you might say that the one person we two are between us is more the one existence we three are together.  Oh dear!

But before you despair of my explanation having gone from bad to worse, let me try once more.  That same one existence that we three are together has proved again and again capable of absorbing others into its oneness who enter into it in spirit.

So in a way it has nothing to do with me or us or anyone else as persons, and more to do with oneness.  It is as if what you leave behind you at the door of Innermost House is your identity, your person-ality.  That is the character of our marriage, and that is our way of receiving guests.

We three and our guests evolved together.  There have been as many of us as there have been homes along the way.  For each home was the Innermost House of that stage.  With each one we left as much of our personal selves outside as we could, as much as the house made possible.

There are important questions remaining, especially concerning the inner character of the Conversation and about changes in the next Innermost House. Those I look forward to addressing soon.


  1. I love this; the coevolution of you, Michael, and the space, into an organic whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Bless you!

  2. What an extraordinary blessing, to have found so complete a sense of union and belonging. x

  3. Beautiful, Diana. Your words and your life inspire me daily. Thank you!

  4. Diana, your description of the oneness in your relationship makes perfect sense to me. Also, the fact that you recognize complimentary differences in each of you that you use in the outside World is, I must admit, satisfying. I feel a kinship because I have recognized complimentary strengths in my husband that balance my weaknesses and vice-versa. Many couples here may share this. What makes your relationship exceptional is that both you and Michael know when and where to balance the other without ego or other agendas getting in the way. This last part is something my husband and I have not completely accomplished - but there is hope!

    Learning to leave our personalities (egos?) at the door is our second and bigger task. Seeing your example of this cooperation certainly makes me feel this is a worthwhile goal -- in fact an essential goal for the health and longevity of our relationship. Thank you!

    You also mentioned that you both have evolved WITH (emphasis mine) your guests. This is an important experience I share: The growth we experience happens within ourselves, but it can be fed and 'watered' by the presence and interactions with others.

  5. "Oh dear!" is right, Diana. How difficult to try to explain something as extraordinary as your marriage. Thank you for doing it. God bless you both. (I mean all three of you, of course!) Lovely.

  6. yes. i can see that it would be very beautiful to live in such a way with another human being.
    i often used the word soul mate in speaking of my husband. and i do think there is such a thing.
    but ~
    i cannot help but wonder ~ and dare i say this aloud ~
    if you are so connected and if your very breathing and living is totally attuned to him ~ what becomes of diana if she should lose michael?
    what then? i do not ask as an accusation. though it may sound like one.
    i lost my husband . . . my own soulmate . . . to cancer.
    i had to face the world by myself. i have had to soldier on. like so many before me and after me. it sounds wonderful to say that you are three.
    you and he and the spirit of innermost house. that is so beautiful.
    it is like fresh air to me . . . even thinking about it.
    but someday you may eventually be forced to deal with the practical world that you say you cannot deal with now. what then?
    i am asking to know what strengths the innermost conversation will give to you then. it is a very different world. it can be frightening. simply trying to survive. you are stronger than you think. but life being what life is . . . ever changing and re-arranging and forcing a certain "practicality" on us . . . i can't help but wonder.
    and please diana. you have to know this is not a critique of your life.
    i am striving each day to find my own inner space. but i'm doing it alone.
    and i am asking from that standpoint. love and peace to you.

    1. Tammy, as I am sure you know if you have been reading that I have experienced the same thing as you. I actually think I remember you mentioning something about it. I asked the same questions. If you go down a few posts you find what she had to say.

    2. God bless you tammy j, and your future life. I am facing what you and Sherry are going through. I really wish you all the best, friend.

    3. Tammy, the post was called "Safe and in Control" about 3-4 posts back. Email if you wish to talk things over.

    4. thanks so much sherry.
      i just got back. wrote my comment and then unexpectedly went out of town!
      i will go visit the post you mentioned now.
      again. thank you.
      i thought of you also . . . when i was writing it.
      a hug to you.

    5. julie. sherry.
      i just read safe and in control. how really remarkable and wonderful it was. i sometimes get so caught up in the 'way' she says what she says that i can miss the point. lol.
      my problem! not hers.
      you girls are so lovely and kind. there is community here.
      i do not always comment. but i always read. it sometimes just becomes too deep for me to tell you the truth.
      i'm quite a simpleton i guess. lol.
      and yes.
      i lol a lot! but it adds to my life.
      i'm especially excited about your little tiny 'inner house' julie! so admiring of your courage.
      i started a blog awhile back. it's a place where i hang out all my laundry. good and bad and holy. or is that holey? yes
      probably holey. hahaha. not to make light of what is said here.
      but there is laughter in my soul and it has to come out.
      if you should ever want to visit . . . peanut on the table blog.
      love to all of you.
      and many thanks dearest diana. and your michael.
      i will keep visiting here. and hope to keep growing.

    6. my bob has been gone long and long. i became a widow at 33.
      i am 67 years old. you would think i would have it pretty well figured out by now. just thought i should say that. because my comment above made it sound more like sherry's and julie's timing in life. just proof that one can get older outside and be a whole different age inside. the alone part is okay. i have learned. the growing part i still sometimes despair!

    7. Tammy, I'll go and find your blog.


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