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From Romantic Love … Toward Core Love

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The degree to which we can overlay our socially acquired pictures on a prospective partner is the degree to which we see romantic potential in him or her.

The Shambhala Master

Don't Cling to Me


Shambhala students cannot Consciously direct their lives until they are aware of the unconscious, socially and biologically acquired concepts that hold them captive. Shambhala students must dare to look into the deeply permeating, widely held concepts of “love, bonding, and marriage” to better understand the powerful hold this romantic package has on them. Shambhala students must open this tightly sealed package of romantic illusion. They must rigorously examine the concepts that direct their life choices without them being aware that they are being externally directed.

Shambhala masters know that romantic illusions must be thoroughly scrutinized with our students before our students can decide whether or not they want to throw out the whole romantic package, or decide what parts of the romantic package can add to the quality of their lives. Most students are unsettled and scared as they begin to unwrap this taboo, never-to-be-opened box of romantic illusions. Since the beginnings of human time people have been warned in hundreds of different languages to “Leave well enough alone.” “Curiousity killed the cat.” and “Don’t rock the boat.” Consequently, most people carry a deep, dark, frightened, unacknowledged suspicion that tampering with any part of this romantic package, much less dismantling its contents, subjecting every piece and part of it to rigorous scrutiny, means that they will be forever doomed to grow old alone with no romantic moments, no special person to warm them through the coldest nights, no one with whom to share their life experiences.

Shambhala Masters know that these monsters-in-the-mind are not real. We know that the more scrutiny we apply to romantic illusions, the better our chances of enjoying intensely Intimate relationships and romantic moments with the people we love for the rest of our lives. And so, with reverence and rigor, because both are crucial when exploring our social and biological inheritance, I shall show you how Shambhala Masters unwrap these romantic illusions with their students.

There are two critical aspects to the illusion of romantic love. The first is socially acquired: the creative rationalizations attached to opposite sex pair bonding (OSPB). The second is the instinctual or biologically acquired: the chemical responses which increase the probability of OSPB through stimulus/response cueing.


People have been creating romantic explanations and illusions for opposite sex pair bonding for centuries. Songs, music, stories, jokes, and gossip have taught us since human time began how to interpret what we are experiencing. Parents, teachers, actors, preachers, political leaders, siblings, and peers throughout the ages have told us exactly what kind of socially shared meanings we are to assign to our daily experiences. The concept of “falling in love” is one of these socially shared meanings. Depending on the society in which you live you have been taught to believe that if you are experiencing any of the phenomena listed below, you might be “falling in love.”

  1. Feeling sexually aroused in a certain person's presence.
  2. Hoping, wanting, wishing him/her to be sexually aroused by you.
  3. Hoping, wanting, wishing to sexually experience him/her.
  4. Hoping, wanting, wishing him/her to sexually desire you.
  5. Feeling possessive, jealous, angry, or threatened if s/he appears to be experiencing any of these chemical reactions with anyone else.
  6. Feeling possessive, jealous, angry, or threatened if anyone else appears to be experiencing any of these chemical reactions with him/her.
  7. Feeling possessive, jealous, angry, or threatened if anyone else appears to be making sexual advances to him/her.
  8. Feeling devastated or infuriated if s/he sexually experiences someone else.
  9. Feeling anxious and insecure if s/he appears to have any romantic energy for anyone else.
  10. Feeling guilty and disloyal by being sexually aroused by or sexually experiencing someone else.

All of these chemically triggered emotions can be traced back to primitive survival patterns. All were, at one time, historically relevant in securing the survival of the clan through opposite sex pair bonding. But, in primitive times these responses did not carry romantic meaning. There was no need to assign romantic meaning to bonding behavior because OSPB already carried its own unmistakable importance. OSPB was an obvious survival necessity.

Yet, Shambhala Masters have known for centuries, that these chemically triggered and emotionally prompted behaviors are no longer survival relevant. Consequently, we know that a great deal of creative time, energy, and money is socially dedicated to attaching romantic significance to what is no longer a survival necessity. Creatively fashioning romantic illusions became necessary as chemically and emotionally cued bonding behaviors became less and less survival relevant, but more and more commercially and politically useful.

Consequently, Shambhala Masters teach their students to ask and answer the following questions for themselves: Why do societies keep these outdated, chemically, and emotionally cued behaviors operative? Why do societies retain behavior that has outlived its survival relevance? The reasons are plentiful, and Shambhala Masters discuss them in detail with their students. Suffice it to say for now that inertia, familiarity, cultural lag, social control, economic manipulation of the masses, political advantage, and maintaining the status quo are all reasons why societies promote behaviors that are no longer relevant to the individual survival or quality of life. The following is a list of romantic illusions that have been socially designed to chemically trigger bonding behaviors which are no longer germane to our survival:


  1. We will spend all our time together, we will do everything together.
  2. We will build a life together.
  3. I yearn for him/her when we are apart.
  4. I am always thinking about him/her.
  5. I only have eyes for him/her.
  6. I am only energized by him/her.
  7. S/he will give meaning to my life and make me happy.
  8. I will never hurt his/her feelings.
  9. I never want us to part.
  10. I will always walk the extra mile for him/her.
  11. His/her feelings come before my own feelings.
  12. His/her needs come before my own needs.
  13. S/he will make my life worth living.
  14. S/he will be my companion; I will never be alone again.
  15. I will not grow old alone.
  16. My life will now be romantic and emotionally intense.
  17. I want everyone to know s/he is mine.
  18. We are committed to each other.
  19. We will be number one in each other's lives forever.
  20. We will always be best friends.


Most people deeply believe in these romantic illusions. More importantly, societies throughout time have taught people to measure their worth based upon these romantic illusions (i.e., in poems and song “You're nobody 'til somebody loves you. You're nobody 'til somebody cares”; sung by Dean Martin), in stories and fairy tales (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White;), through theater, advertising, movies, sitcoms, jokes, and romantic novels. The message is everywhere - - your worth as a person is continually measured via your success in securing a “special” person of the opposite sex who is eager to share all these chemically triggered and emotionally loaded behaviors and the romantic illusions socially attached to them.


Our societies also hand us the prescriptive illusion of our perfect prince and/or princess. These romantic recipes for Mr./Ms. Right changed from century to century, from decade to decade, and today, they now change from year to year.

For example, a man who measures high on the yardstick of prince hood will fully embody the current definition of masculinity. If consumerism is crucial to the society's economy, then earning power and entrepreneurialism will be important aspects of masculinity. In a consumer oriented society, a young woman who is evaluating the princeliness of a suitor will be asking herself (whether or not she hears herself ask), “How good a provider and businessman will this man be for me, for our children?”

In our current high tech, physically fit, and health oriented society there are numerous other characteristics that measure a prince: education, physical fitness, mental prowess, current job, earning history, assertiveness, ability to take charge, competitiveness, the car he drives (or wants to drive), where he lives (or wants to live), grooming, aesthetics, eating habits, personal competency, ability to think on his feet, and the strength of his desire to “get ahead.” All these characteristics are vitally important to a prince's ability to provide for his princess in a high tech, consumer oriented society. All of them go into creating the illusion of the perfect prince in a society that is technologically/economically advanced.

On the other hand, in a society that is survival focused, one that is fighting to gain or maintain its own territory, the characteristics of the perfect prince will be different than in a high tech, consumer oriented society. In a survival focused society, the recipe for a perfect prince will more likely be physical stamina, brute strength, fighting skills, military training, rank, courage, leadership skills, knowledge of weaponry, etc.

Our societies train us to fall in love with the picture, not the person. The degree to which we can overlay our socially acquired pictures on a prospective partner is the degree to which we see romantic potential in him or her. Shambhala Masters frequently remind our students that they also measure themselves, usually unconsciously, by these same prince/princess pictures. If Shambhala students measure up favorably in their own eyes to the socially acquired picture that matches their gender, then they feel hopeful about their relationship future. If students fail to measure up in their own eyes, then they typically feel like losers.

Shambhala Students cannot Consciously evaluate the relevance of these pictures of the perfect prince and princess unless they are acutely aware of all the characteristics and assumptions that go into these pictures. Most of these illusions are affectively taught, and consequently, they remain unconscious and unquestioned. Society will censure all other possibilities or present other alternatives in a negative light.

For example, there are many things that princesses are expected to do, especially in the early stages of a relationship, according to the socially acquired illusions. There are always exceptions, but the list below enumerates typical princess behavior during courting:

  1. She will dress to please him.
  2. She will take up less space than him (i.e., keep her arms in close to her body and her knees and ankles together).
  3. She will be cautious about interrupting him when he is talking or working.
  4. She will be wide-eyed, interested, and coquettish in his presence.
  5. She will appear to be fascinated in what he is doing and saying, especially in public.
  6. She may have good posture and carriage, but she will think small so as to not threaten him with her height.
  7. She will carefully position herself below him so she can look up at him as often as possible.
  8. She will take her cues from him and wait to be positioned by him.
  9. She will engage him in conversation, asking him questions, interviewing him, and listening attentively to his responses.
  10. She will enlist his masculine assistance frequently.
  11. She will become intuitive and hyper-sensitive to his feelings and needs. She will spend her time and energy figuring out how to meet his needs even before he has assessed his needs for himself.
  12. She will smile and be pleasant.
  13. She will put him at ease.
  14. She will be supportive and ready to pull him out of any embarrassing situations he may get himself into.
  15. She will not question his judgment, especially in public.
  16. She will attend to his domestic needs.
  17. She will make him proud to be seen with her.
  18. She will flatter him about his appearance, his thoughts, his plans, or anything else that appears to be important to him.
  19. She will make him feel important and keep him entertained.
  20. She will fade into the background and be quiet so as not to distract him and his male friends when they are talking, working, playing, etc.
  21. She will be feminine, dainty, and provocative with her gestures and her body language (i.e., playing with her hair, tossing it gently around, fondling cups, spoons, glasses).
  22. She will not appear smarter than him.
  23. She will let him set the pace, walking, talking, breathing, etc.
  24. She will let him make the final decisions or let him think he's making the final decisions, unless he wants her to decide.
  25. She will be reliable and predictable, (i.e., she will not do anything that might throw him off balance or be unexpected).
  26. She will use a soft voice and coquettish eye contact that flatters and sexually arouses him, (i.e., dropping her head and looking up at him with coy, demure eyes, she will peek at him sensually over her coffee cup or wine glass, etc.)
  27. She will fill in any uncomfortable silences, but with nothing too significant or weighty.
  28. She will not swear, speak loudly, or call unnecessary attention to herself in his presence. She lets him have the limelight, unless he wants her to be showy. In which case, she will dress provocatively and behave flamboyantly.
  29. She will rationalize, block out, or ignore all negative or even marginally unpleasant observations and feelings she has about him.
  30. She will learn to develop coy and emotionally manipulative behavior styles to get her way with him (i.e., crying, whining, soft begging, subtle withdrawal).
  31. She will attend to his physical comfort: make sure his coffee cup is full, the room is not too warm, he is sexually released when he is aroused, etc.
  32. She will take the time, sparing no expense or discomfort, to package herself in ways that allure and titillate him.
  33. She will defer to him (i.e., let him drive, let him pick the restaurant, etc.).
  34. She will be kind to and entertain his associates.
  35. She will have and attend to his (their) children.

Princesses (women) often do all this without being aware that they are doing it because they have unconsciously acquired these behaviors. Princes (men) will automatically respond to these behaviors because they have been socially programmed to do so.


Shambhala students will become equally knowledgeable about the subtleties, benefits, and liabilities of the prince's illusionary traits and styles. Shambhala Masters teach their students to examine these socially acquired illusions and decide which of them are Self-serving. Dedicated Shambhala students will spend years studying the subtleties, benefits, and liabilities of these gender assigned roles.


Shambhala Masters know that prince/princessing and all its chemically directed behavior once made good evolutionary sense, because most human beings are throw away vessels. Their genetically prescribed purpose is to pass on continually evolving genetic codes to future generations Most people are disposable gene dispensers. So, as long as they procreate they have served this primitive purpose. They have generated new life and new, more complex possibilities for evolution.

Yet, Shambhala Masters also know that there are individuals who are not just throw away vessels. Shambhala Masters and their students are not limited to simply passing on their genes to powerfully affect evolution. Evolution has progressed to the point where we are able to act as more than just biological emissaries of evolution. Shambhala Masters and their students are emissaries of evolution through every thought they think and every act they Consciously commit. Shambhala Masters and their students are powerful evolutionary emissaries because their thoughts and behaviors are impacted the thoughts and behaviors of others through change agents known as “memes.” Prince/princessing, marriage, family, political and religious institutions are mechanisms that promote gene survival. They are the social support systems that can produce and protect future disposable vessels. They also become utilitarian bonding systems that can provide domestic and economic comforts. But, they are not, nor were they ever meant to be, sources of Intimacy.


If prince/princessing, marriage, family, political and religious institutions were never meant to be sources of Intimacy, then why do people spend so much time and energy looking for personal and communicative Intimacy from them? Why do people suffer so much grief when they feel so unknown and personally un-affirmed within prince/princessing, marriage, family, and religion? Why do people continue to believe they can quench their hunger for Intimacy within these social systems, even when their personal experiences continually tell them differently?

Shambhala Masters know that all of us have an instinctive, deep seated hunger to “Know thy Self” and to be Known. Intimacy is Knowing our spiritual center and sharing this Knowledge with others. This primal hunger to Know your Self, to Know your spiritual origins, and to merge through this Knowing with others and with the Source of your Being — is insatiable. It is unnamed, but ever present. Consequently, it is easy for societies to define this nebulous drive for their own purposes and use it to direct the masses.

People are taught to try to sate this primal hunger in ways that serve the social mandates. Society capitalizes on your instinctive, deeply seated need to Know your Self and to be Intimately Known. Society teaches you that you will find Intimacy from those who profess to love you. It tells you that you will find it in religion. Shambhala masters know that Intimacy is not found in prince/princessing, marriage, family, or religion. Intimacy (Love) can be created and shared within these institutions, but is found first within your Self, and second, with others who are compelled to Intimately Know their Selves.


Intimacy, spelled with a bold capital I, is not what your society has taught you to think it is. Intimacy has nothing to do with the chemical rushes of prince/ princes sing, dating rituals, sexual knowledge of another, or the social or legal aspects of marriage. Intimacy is Knowing your Self so deeply, with such breadth, empathy, caring, and sensitivity that your life becomes infused with a Self-renewing energy that directs all your thoughts and behavior. Intimacy is the merging (communion) that can only happen between you and that which Creates. The taste of that oneness is ecstasy. This is Intercourse (communication) in its finest, most powerful sense.

Intimacy is not meant to be a solo experience. It is meant to be a shared celebration. It is meant to fuel the coming together of souls. And, it does just that because Self-Knowing generates a desire to share the deepest parts of your Self with others. Intimacy fosters an urgency to search for greater depths of Knowing through the Self discoveries of others. As soul searchers are drawn together, and Intimacy becomes a shared process, our souls merge, and we become spiritual partners.


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Core Love (spelled with a bold capital L) is not like taking a fall as in "falling in love." It is not lust or chemical attraction. Instead, Core Love is a scary, but exhilarating climb up a never-ending, precarious ladder. It takes constant energy and courage to require yourself to keep taking one rung at a time. Core Love is not so much a feeling as it is a Conscious choice which results in one highly Iintentional action after another — actions that are scary and — soul nurturing.

Shambhala Masters know that Core Love is Conscious choice and Conscious action. We know that Core Love has nothing to do with doing for others, gifting others, good intentions, sacrificing for others, or putting the needs of others before your own needs. Core Love has nothing to do with giving up something that you hope will make someone else, or even God, happy. Core Love is your willingness to put your deepest, dearest relationships at risk every day, moment by moment. Core Love is your courage to place your relationship with your Self above your relationships with others. Core Love is your Conscious choice to honor your personal Integrity and your constantly emerging sense of all that you, I, and we could be above your needs to secure me in your life or to keep me happy. Core Love is your loyalty to your Self, to my Self, and to our Selves.

It is not Loving for you to overlook something that I did that caused you to lose even a modicum of energy for me as a person. It is not Loving for you to look the other way when you sense either of us being disloyal to what we are Called to be. It is not Loving for you to politely keep quiet when you suspect Self-abandonment: yours, mine, or ours. You may do these things from time to time, for they may be politically advantageous, or they may be socially expected, or in "good taste." But they are never Loving.

*The word “Called,” is spelled with a bold capital “C.” The Shambhala Master uses bold capitals when referring to the primal, Core, spiritual essence of a word, as opposed to the conventional understanding of the word. Please consult the Master’s Glossary for the definition of this and other unfamiliar terms.

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