I was at dinner with some colleagues visiting from England. They were here on business and had flown in early on the weekend so that they could get some time to see the sights. I realize that most visitors to India want to visit the Taj Mahal if they can find the time. My dinner companion had also wanted to go and visit the Taj Mahal. But he chose not to at the last minute. I asked him why he had changed his mind. He said "I have always wanted to go to the Taj. My wife and I have been planning this for the last fifteen odd years. And finally, it seemed that I had the opportunity to do it. However, somehow, it did not feel complete going to the Taj without my wife. She urged me on and that is why I planned the trip. But at the last minute, I could not get myself to do it without her." This made me think...Yes, many of us have had such incomplete experiences. Incomplete because you wished you had your partner to share it with.
I do not mean this in a "romantic chick flick" manner. I contemplate this from a "oneness of identity" perspective. It is strange yet surreal that over time, you and your partner seem to have a single identity. Well, I have heard this often that people who have been married to each other for a long time start looking like one another. I have not seen any of that yet, but yes.....when I look at the older couples, they do seem to come across as one entity. They share one identity. It does feel that one is so incomplete without the other. When someone says "She is made for you" . When the astrologer says " The stars are aligned". When you take that one-fifth of a second to decide someone is just right for you. When you do any of the above, you are buying into a new identity, one that is much better than your own existing one. Quoting Joseph Campbell, "Marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity. When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship."
So, if marriage is really a single spiritual identity, then, it is not only about the small journey to the Taj. It is about the much longer and more challenging journey through life and everything else you believe happens after. In fact, a friend of mine who is keen on progressing on his spiritual journey had a conversation with his guide. His guide's first question was on the readiness of the partner to go along on the journey. He was advised to go slow if the partner was not ready as yet. Don't you think it is a little bit like the trip to the Taj? You don't want to do this alone because that would be so incomplete !!!