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When ego dissolves, life will be a perennial romance.  

— Karmayogi


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Stairway to Romance

Love is not a fruit that grows on trees or a flower that drops from heaven and remains fresh for a lifetime. It is journey, an ascent up a steep incline toward an ever-receding peak. It is not a thing to be grasped and possessed, but an adventure of self-discovery for the brave of heart that grows only in complete freedom and requires unwavering courage, spotless sincerity, unending patience and unstinting perseverance. Romance is not something that happens to us, but something we choose - a way of living, a way of being.

Many of us can recollect at least one special moment in our lives when our relationship with another person transformed the whole world into marvel of ecstatic joy. Love may come by surprise like an arrow from cupid's bow. Or it may grow slowly and unnoticed like wild flowers beneath the shade of a tree. However fleeting the experience, during that time it feels like we have attained some heavenly state that will last forever.

Because it arrives suddenly and often when we least expect it, some may have the impression that the feeling of love can be sustained for a lifetime without any real effort on out part. Yet all too soon, the wonder fades into the common light of every day life and is tarnished by the dullness of familiar routine and the pain of difference and conflict. Feeling that experience of ecstatic joy for a moment is one thing. Converting the experience into a lifetime of harmony, affection, sweetness and bliss is quite another. The experience comes to many, the permanent state of romantic fulfillment to very few. Guiding seekers to that goal is the objective of RomanceEternal.org.

Many find themselves in relationships in which the spark of romance seems to have never been born or has faded away long ago. They regret the decisions that they have made in the past and believe that romantic fulfillment is not possible with their present partner. True romance is not something that can ever be lost. It remains alive beneath the surface and can be awakened at any time, often long after the initial attraction has disappeared. Romance lies ready to be awakened even in cases where that initial attraction was never felt. Finding a perfect partner never was the true basis for romance. Whenever people are attracted to one another, it signifies that they share a deeper complementarity which can become the basis for true romance. The key lies in discovering and bringing to the surface that hidden complementary.

The Stairway Of Romance shows the steps involved in the ascent from the charm of love at first sight to a lifetime of romantic fulfillment. The value of the scale is that it shows an ascending path and it provides practical strategies to help you move from wherever you find yourself to wherever you want to go.

This scale is based on the fact that human consciousness consists of several levels - a physical level which includes our physical needs and bodily sensations, a vital level of nervous impulses, interests and desires, an emotional level which is the source of our attitudes and deeper affections, a mental level based on opinions, ideas and ideals, and a spiritual level deeper within and above which is the source of our highest values and aspirations. The feeling of attraction to another person can occur at any or all of these levels. The lower the level from which it originates, the more physically intense but short-lived the experience. The higher the level which it embraces, the sweeter, more lasting and harmonious the relationship. The lower levels give rise to desire which generates fleeting pleasure. The higher levels give rise to enduring affection and ecstatic joy that is everlasting.

Each of these levels, but most especially the physical and vital, are characterized by both positive and negative factors that impact on the nature of a relationship. That is another reason why ascending the scale brings greater happiness. Our physical consciousness is subject to doubt, insecurity, selfishness, and clinging possessiveness. The vital can be excitable, irritable, angry, domineering, jealous and greedy. The emotions can be turbulent and demanding. It is only when romance is influenced by the higher mental and spiritual centers that it becomes refined, sweet, lasting and pure.

The ten levels represent an ascending scale of romance beginning with the most physical and rising to emotional, mental and spiritual levels. The ten levels are not entirely separate or disconnected from one another. Attributes of each level can be found at levels above and below but they will be less prominent. Each higher level includes the essential strengths of the levels which are below it. The positive aspects of the lower levels are purified and refined and the negative aspects become less intense and insistent as you rise up the scale.

Starting at the physical and vital levels, we can ascend the stairway to higher levels of emotional, mental and spiritual fullness. Each step upward removes some of the dross of the lower levels, expands our being and brings greater happiness and fulfillment into our lives. Use the scale to identify the present level of your relationship and to learn practical strategies to rise higher. Ascending the scale requires real commitment, serious effort and perseverance. But that is only natural. Whoever said that romance was for the faint of heart or a gift to be acquired just for the asking? It has to be fought for and won by self-discipline and self-giving, but those who sincerely aspire to attain it are sure of success.

Relationship is a journey that two people embark on together. So the question naturally arises whether you can rise to higher levels without the full cooperation from your partner. Cooperation is certainly welcome, but it is not the essential condition for success. That condition is your own determination. Too often partners think that their happiness lies in making the other person different than they are. In reality no one has ever attained romantic fulfillment by changing another person. Eternal romance is attained only by those willing to grow and change themselves. Ultimately your romantic fulfillment does not depend on a second person at all. It is something you create in yourself. And when you do so, other people and circumstances change to convert your whole life into an adventure of romance. That is part of the secret of romance which you can discover on this journey.

If you would like to raise general questions on romance, love, marriage and relationship or about any of the content in this article, please post your entry in the appropriate forums

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