What is Relationship FOR?
A spiritual look at conscious relating
Some Common Questions
How did you two meet?
We have discovered that “how you met” is an important part of the mythology of a couple. We go into this in some detail in Chapter 2 of One-Two-ONE. Because we think it’s important, we ask couples to share their Origin Stories with us. Where you came from, that is, how you originated, tells something very important about you. It starts the biography of your relationship.
Here’s how we met. Lila had been living in the lower level of a house owned by mutual friends. Together they had been trained to deliver a set of tools for personal development. David knew the people upstairs, and signed up for the training. Thirty people came to that training. The morning warm-up activity involved singing a simple Greek song, and dancing very simple steps to it. David sang out loud in Greek. Lila stood next to her friend who owned the house, pointed to David, and said, “I want one like him.” The woman said, “Hmm, you have good taste.” David was attracted to Lila also, and struck up conversations. When Lila learned that David was married, though the marriage was struggling at that time, she began to leave the room whenever David entered. This exiting-of-the-room happened for nearly two years.
After David began his divorce proceedings, Lila called and left a message, “Remember me? I’ve had a dream that we would present an audio-visual-theatre show together. Can we talk about it? Click.” David had just started working on one of his community theatre pieces, and thought that Lila’s experience with audio-visual back-drops (she used to do the large-screen back-ups for John Denver concerts) would be perfect. He also had had a piece of homework delivered that day in his performance skills class: “Invite someone dangerous for tea.” He invited Lila and they talked for many cups of tea.
They decided to collaborate on a piece of theatre, to see how they worked together. They hit bumps and abysses, and got through them all, affirming every day the power of a growing love.
What do you do for fun?
David: My most favorite person is Lila. Time with her is always fun. There are many extra rewards: the creative power of our conversations, the thrill of her touch, the fount of her wisdom. Sometimes Lila understands that I need to be off on my own. If I don’t arrange this, she will encourage me to leave—to hike, for that is my favorite invigorating sport, hike in the mountains, around lakes.
We have a far-infrared sauna and often spend thirty minutes together in the morning, where we have a meditation sequence that we go through, as well as a shared affirmation (a practice that we talk about in One-Two-ONE, and will write about on our blog), and prayers individual people as well as for world situations that we’re following. It often includes exchanging foot rubs, which adds to the pleasure.
What is relationship for?
That’s a question that we ask, and answer, in Chapter 1 of One-Two-ONE. The sequence of the answer is too much fun to spoil by telling you the answer.
Did you marry at an astrologically perfect moment? If so, how did you determine that moment?
We consulted two astrologers, because David’s form of astrology is about whole-life questions, not about setting a marriage date. Two different astrologers hemmed and hawed, and decided that the best time would be in two years. That was unacceptable to us.
We feel that astrology is helpful and often accurate, but cannot rule you. It can alert you to themes. The theme of the wedding date that we chose was that we would be committing a lot of our time to community, to the service of others. That’s been true since we were married in 1995. It changed in 2009 when we remarried, that is, went through a rededication ceremony (which we talk about in Part Three of One-Two-ONE). The astrology was different for that day, and appropriate for our new interests.
What is your next big project?
We feel that relationship is a path of development. This is not some nice idea; it is very important. It means that you can improve yourself through your relationships with others. This idea does not agree with spiritual leaders who reject relationships and anything worldly, urging their followers to meditate more and lift off the planet into heaven. Rudolf Steiner is one of the few who recommends the fiery crucible of relationship for growing. Many people have a hard time reading Rudolf Steiner’s writings. David has spent a lot of time at it and is comfortable with Steiner’s language. It’s ironic that someone so steeped in German philosophy and the complexities of thinking that come with that tradition should recommend the benefits of relationship. His thoughts on this need translation for normal people, but they are well worth listening to.
Both in Colorado and in Australia, we have land-based projects that are building sustainability. However, social sustainability—which is seldom spoken about by people interested in solar or geothermal or composting—is as important as the rest. That’s where our emphasis on relationships comes in.
Why “light”—as in Couple’s Illumination and Brain Illumination?
Light has an exterior reality and an interior one. Exterior light has many different qualities. The light directly from the sun feels very different from the light on a foggy day in a forest of tall pine trees. People speak of the special “quality of the light” in Florence, or Boulder, or Uluru, or in truth the special quality of light anywhere, for everywhere light has a unique nuance that relates somehow to that geographical setting. This study has fascinated painters and photographers for centuries.
If you study light closely, you find that it acts in a myriad of ways—sometimes straight, sometimes diffuse and bending around corners, sometimes flowing, sometimes flashing ….
Interior light is what people speak of when they refer to “enlightenment,” though an enlightened individual experiences exterior light differently too, and finds them related. One can feel light within oneself, within the body, and within one’s inner landscape. One can learn to radiate light rather than only take it in.
Sometimes images that you see in the world stick with you and give you a false sense of light. It’s the memory of light rather than the actual light gleaming inside of you. Movies can be especially tricky that way, giving you a very interesting wallpaper on your inside, but wallpaper isn’t a source of light. Your own imagination can assist you to build light within yourself as a source. You can develop the ability to radiate light.
When you go deep down into light, you come to different kinds of voids, some the absence of light (the shadow that we work with in One-Two-ONE), and some the very spacious place that we call “the root of light,” where light is potential and can flash forth at any moment.
Light is important in our DVDs, Couple’s Illumination and Brain Illumination. It also comes up very strongly in the Star Story called “The Golden Globe of Light,” in which the commentaries go into the physics of light as understood by science and as revealed in its magical essence.
What’s your connection to Mary Magdalene?
When in Israel in 1997, we encountered the cave in which Mary Magdalene may have lived. A cave? Yes, in a hot country, a north-facing cave provides coolness in the heat. This cave had the slightest remains of large cut paving stones and colored wall tiles, indicating the comfortable and ornamented palace that it must have been. It has not been preserved at all, and the vandalism has all but destroyed it. This is the cave from the inside of which David took the photograph of Lila at the entrance, with her arms upraised, that you see on the front of Re-Discovering Mary Magdalene. (Much of our story is told in that DVD.) During that trip, we felt a deep connection with this human being, much maligned for what we learned later were the wrong reasons. We felt her say, “Tell my story.”
What was known about her? A year later we began to scout her trail, especially through southern France. In middle France, outside the cathedral of Vezalay, in the tiny bookstore on the steep incline up to the church, our friend Joseph Rowe showed us the book by Jean-Yves Leloup, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene (in French), Leloup’s translation of and commentaries on a manuscript found in Egypt in 1894. We commissioned Joseph to translate it, and then pitched the idea to Inner Traditions, giving them the whole thing for free. Spurred by the Dan Brown Da Vinci Code phenomenon, which it preceded, the book has sold 250,000 copies. In that book, we have a preface giving the scholarly research to that point, as well as the conclusions from our own research, suggesting that she was a priestess trained in the arts of Egypt, and individuality well worth following into the present.
You can read more about our research in the Preface to The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. You can read the play that we made about her, My Magdalene. You can see about our research and the community built around a production of this play in the DVD Re-Discovering Mary Magdalene. You can hear the more recent story about an aspect of Mary Magdalene’s life, her seven initiations, in the Star Story, “The Initiations of Mary Magdalene.” So much of the material on Mary Magdalene seems immature to us. For example, the emphasis in the book and movie, The Da Vinci Code, on the blood-line of Christ seems vastly less important to us than the living teaching of Jesus Christ … and of Mary Magdalene! Whether Sophie (the heroine in the movie, a nice name, meaning the fount of feminine Wisdom, Sophia) can walk on water or not—an issue at the end of the film—seems far less important than how she can help others who are not blood related to learn her skills in physical healing.
Our resources are there to help you create your own connection with Mary Magdalene, then and now.
What People Are Saying
Here are comments from other people on the various projects that we have going together. We’ve mixed them up for the fun of it.
About Couple’s Illumination DVD:
The Couple’s Illumination DVD was incredibly well done and with such love and dignity! I could feel the authenticity of all that weaves between you and your Beloved. You have graced the world with a great deed. The Union of Love manifested before the viewers eyes with a strong, confident and enabling gesture between the feminine and the masculine.
The exercises you invite the audience to participate in are easily entered into and the animation of the chakras exquisite. I learned how to better recognize the presence of my chakras through listening to your comments about for example the difference between the physical hearts response and the heart chakra. That was illuminating for me. So simple and clear.
- Monique, northern California
From reading an early manuscript of One-Two-ONE:
When Maggie and I first began to work on our Central Flame Statement we drew on the pages we had written about our commitments to each other in terms of our physical, emotional, mental, sexual and spiritual health. The creation of the Central Flame Statement was a natural culmination of all of the work we had already done. And it was such a fun process to create this statement, which feels like it represents the heart of our relationship. Because it is such a potent statement of our commitment to each other, it became a centerpiece of our wedding ceremony.
Maggie and I stood together after speaking our vows to each other, and said our central flame statement for all to hear. For me, not only was this statement a tremendously powerful part of the wedding ceremony but it continues to be a resource day to day. When we speak it to each other, it offers us the chance to stop and reconnect to our commitment and love for each other.
Central Flame: Through Sacred Marriage, we joyfully co-create a life of harmonious partnership filled with happiness and beauty, deepening ever more into intimacy and love. As Holy Husband and Holy Wife, we empower each other to imagine and manifest our highest expressions of Self, in service to our own beings, to our Sacred Union and to the World Community!
- Dave S., Maine
About Couple’s Illumination DVD:
What an exquisite creation! The Couple’s Illumination DVD was beautifully articulated, well paced, never too long or belabored. And the two of you—how precious you are together. That is of course the teaching—basking in the shared love of a man for a woman and a woman for her man. Exquisite—just exquisite.
The story that you share resounds with potential toward further conversation regarding the mysteries of sacred union, the alchemical wedding “vow”, bringing what is ancient and primal back into the realm of the sacred, returning what has become “technique” to the mystery of Love. Many thanks for the preview. May your creation be long lived, well received, and bear much good fruit.
- L. P., Texas
Couples Illumination, Creating Sacred Relationships:
This DVD is a wonderful presentation of how relationships are containers that we form with partners which can truly nourish and support us in joy and discovery, as couples and as individuals. The emphasis on the unseen, but very real energies, that we bring to relationship is essential to understanding interpersonal dynamics, and a powerful awareness that benefits all our relationships as human beings.
David and Lila Tresemer, the presenters, are powerful, gentle, teachers and model their presentation in their own relationship. Woven with this embodied example, and the informational levels, are a graphical presentation illustrating how we can explore the energetic aspects of relationship and creating the energy of love. Their approach shows how relationships can be powerful vehicles for personal transformation and returning to Union, with Self, Partner and Source.
Though deep, the presentation is simple and clear, giving you powerful practices and tools. It is full of humor and humanness, inviting us to consciously embark on a journey of discovery and unfolding that can enhance all your relationships, but especially your intimate relationships. It is structured for use by individuals, partners, or groups. Highly recommended.
- Alan McAllister, Boulder, CO
About David and Lila’s Consulting, Counseling and Conversation services:
Lila and David asked some very important and deep questions in their one-on-one counseling, making the wedding planning process have a foundation and the completeness of the questions really impressed us. We got to contemplate and respond to questions about sex, money, children, religion, spirituality, family, education, relationship, and more.
Questions concerning practical considerations (as well as spiritual) helped us craft our vows, wedding dedication, and ceremony in such a way as to be useful to us everyday since, as a guide, a reminder to what we hold dear and sacred. All the preparation and details of the big day can be a crucial distraction to what we are actually doing, which is joining our lives and forming a blueprint of who we are as a couple and as a force of love in the world.
- Circe and Andy Macdonald, Pennsylvania
About a reading of Star Stories:
If one were to search out the *eye* of the storm … a place where time stands still and the world dissolves around you, it might be a walk along a quiet mountain trail, a yoga class, or sitting spellbound listening to David Tresemer read one of his stories from his Revelations series.
At the start of this month’s Writer’s Table—in which David was the featured speaker—Sina made reference to the Left Bank in Paris in the 1930s. He compared it to our gathering of artists and listeners at the City Club table and the feast of words we were about to enjoy. As David began reading from his most recent story, the scene quickly shifted back 2000 years to the time of Lazarus. Masterfully—with the voice of a skilled actor—David drew a curtain around time and held us spellbound.
He read from a story which he said had taken him years of research and meditation to complete. However, it unfolded as if he had simply plucked it from the air, complete, perfect, and even life altering.
At its conclusion—40 minutes later—we were all so moved that it took seconds, perhaps minutes to shift from the frequency of the heart, to that of speech.
- Alexia P., Boulder, Colorado