As we all know, boundaries are a huge topic. So are close relationships. Boundaries are needed in “romantic” relationships, new or long-standing.
Love and the Expansion of the Self
Art has been studying close relationships since graduate school, when we met in Berkeley, California, in about 1967. He and his wife wrote a book also. This book’s ideas went from being totally obscure. Even if you doubt this, you can go to Google Scholar and look up “self-expansion,” “Aron self-expansion.” However, it is said that patience is the key.
Boundaries and the Unbounded
According to Vedic text, it is a passage from the Upanishads (Bhrihadaranyaka, 4.V.1), saying something like this: “The love of the wife for the husband is not for the sake of the husband, but for the sake of the Self. The love of the husband for the wife is not for the sake of the wife but for the sake of the Self. Same for the love of children, wealth, and every other conceivable aspect of the relative world. Socrates said the same thing, according to Plato, who recorded his ideas.”
As per the Socrates and the Upanishads, “both the self-centred and loving aspects of self-expansion are all steps on a path to the big Self. Maybe when we are young we want a pony. If we get one, when we are a little older we lose interest in the pony and want a car. Or a girlfriend or boyfriend. If we get one, maybe we part and go in search of just the right one. Then we marry. But we get used to the person and to being married and want kids, a better job, then more money, an even better car, travel all over the world—and we enjoy each for a while, but not forever. Or if we are not so lucky, we get stuck along the way, although some people stop this whole process and take a leap forward. Because according, again, to this Upanishad, nothing quite satisfies us because anything in the “relative” is finite and we get used to it.”
How Close Do You Want to Be?
When you get to know someone, your circles begin to overlap with each other. There is a sense of rapid self-expansion as well which is always a wonderful feeling, as you include another person in your life. But of course, there will be places where you do not want to overlap, whether it is how far apart you live, your boundaries around the things.