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EBUP11: Bonding or Binding

Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #11

Eric Butterworth Sunday Services — Bonding or Binding


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I would like us to share some ideas today on the subject of “bonding or binding. Perhaps we should define our terms.

When we’re talking about bonding, we’re talking about the movement between individuals to develop an interconnectedness, a love, mutual trust, and sharing and caring. A transcendent awareness so strong that there’s oneness even in separation, there’s no holding on. Complete unrestricted love, a feeling of he will always be there. This is bonding, it’s a relative term.

The other word is binding. We’re using this particularly because of its euphonious nature, but basically, we think of it as a metaphor for all it is not working toward bonding. Is a binding process that takes place within us, which blocks the flow, which breaks the interconnectedness. We begin to think selfishly, we begin to worry, we have negative feelings about a relationship, or binding.

And using the words adjectivally. They’re action words. Bonding is a process that always goes on in the direction of the one you love, and the one you care for, and the one you wanna be with. In order to achieve bonding, once and for all, I always get a kick out of the fundamentalists Christians who talk about being saved. Think of it as the end and all, I’m saved, are you saved brother? They’re very sincere, and unfortunately it seems to me that salvation is not something that’s done once and for all, it’s a continuous process, where you’re saved for today, but what about tomorrow?

So it is with bonding. We tend to think in popular psychology, dealing with the human relationship, if you bonded with a person, it’s like having money in the bank. You have a certificate that says you’re bonded, you’re together, you’re one. Most of us know, however, in human relationships it doesn’t work that way. There’s a certain amount of slippage that takes place in all human consciousness and experiences. You need to get disciplined, and watchfulness is important. Continue to do the unselfish thing, a thoughtful word, an expression of love. There’s bonding and binding. We’ll think some more about that.

Love is an interesting word. We can define love, but I don’t like definitions. You define a thing, you effectively limit it. That’s all it is, this is it, this is love. Love is dah, dah, dah, dah. And is anybody mentions love is dah, dah, you know what it is, it’s love. You essentially say “I dah, dah, dah you.” But love is not an absolute, it’s a relative. The Greeks divided love up into several parts. Eros love, agape love and so forth. As if these are the three areas ... We have certain, particular things you stop. Your agape love, your philia love, and you get into Eros love. Something separate and apart. The love is universal. You can’t break it down into segments. It’s sure that in a very, very human sense, sensual sense, love becomes erotic, it’s Eros. But, still love is the same love that is spiritual. Same love as divine love, in a relative sense, relatively experienced.

So love is not to be defined. The underlying consciousness goes into all things, but because love is expressed and experienced at various levels, I would think that if two people love each other they would have a beautiful bonding relationship, not necessarily so. Because love may be human, love may be sensual. It may be a lower level of the love consciousness. And that lower level, it may not be a complete interconnectedness. There may not be complete caring and sharing. There may be selfishness. There may be possessiveness. There are many limitations that happen between people who love.

So, love is an activity that is universally present. We are told He has loved us with everlasting love. It is a constant loving ness within us to be expressed. In that case, the fact is we’re always expressing love on certain levels of consciousness.

We talk about bonding and we’re not just talking about loving. Talking more than that. Talking about a big selflessness, ability to understand, to be patient. Interesting thing is, if you stop to think of it in this sense, the classic metaphor for true loving, true bonding is a friend. A friend may be more bonded than two lovers. Because quite often in love, we have jealousies, we have insecurities, the feeling that maybe we’re not fulfilling our role as a lover, friend. A lot of times I tell people when they get married: whatever you do, be good friends. Sometimes people who fall in love, they don’t have friendship. Friendship is the true bonding. That people in love have this friendship, this stability, this being there always, has understanding, has patience, do they experience bonding.

It can be said that the first bond in the universe and in history is the bond between God and man. It’s a constant. We may not be conscious of it, we may lose the lose the awareness of it, we may fall far short of the expression of it, but that’s the true bond in the beginning. The relationship that we hold between God and ourselves.

We talk about God, we, again, talk about a word that has many meanings, and is applied to many states of consciousness. Olga was reading something recently and it said, surprising to us, “Jehovah God was the first dysfunctional parent.” Interesting that some people put God into that category. As a parent, it’s loves and hates and resists and tears down and builds up. But we know God to be whole and complete and universal, changeless and eternal.

The first experience of bonding in our life occurs, not always, but most of the time, when we’re born, to our mother. A child is born, within hours there’s a move toward bonding. If the mother is secure, well-balanced, stable in self-awareness, there’s an easy, natural bonding for this beautiful creature. The interconnectedness that builds up a relationship, it carries throughout our lives. It has an effect on the mother and the child. The mother sees the child beginning to develop. She has a transcendent awareness that transcends separation. As the child begins to pull away, to become independent, her love is strong enough to tolerate this and to adapt their self to it. As the child grows out in the world, the mother makes herself progressively unnecessary, and lovingly so, willingly so. She lovingly looses him and lets him go into life, and feels good about it. And there’s always a oneness because there’s a bond.

But if the mother, this is sometimes the case, is insecure, not quite self aware, when she looks at this little creature that she holds in her hands for the first time. Perhaps she’s fearful, sometimes even resistant. Sometimes, emotionally disturbed. Sometimes, inadequate. In all of these states of consciousness, there’s a binding that takes place. This happens to a mother who, apparently, has the closest relationship to the child, because she’s always holding the child, always drawing him to her. Unconsciously she expresses possessiveness. This often makes the child and emotional cripple. This happens more than we’d like to admit.

I talked to a man a few years ago who had a special offer for a job that meant great things in his life: increased income, increased responsibility opportunity to embrace creativity. I asked him what he was going to do. He said, “Well, I’ve got to talk to my mother first.” He was 48 years old. He had become a total emotional cripple. There was no bonding. He was holding on to his mother, and she was holding on to him. They were close in all respects, we say, but there was no bond, no interconnectedness. She was always worried about him, always concerned, always fearful, always anxious. She was always binding.

Lao Tzu said in 600 BC, “Divine life is beyond relations, it is a person lives, a person with a number of points which he makes contact with life and with the world.” By this concept of the flow, we know that he is referring to getting centered in the individual fountain within. He talks of the points in which he makes contact with life and with the world. He’s talking about an inner bonding with the source. An awareness of this bond that exists between us and God. And horizontal bonding with people out there. There were points with which he made contact with the world, with people. Human relations.

It’s interesting to note, that there’s a common belief in new environment, when a person is thrust into a new environment, that he has to make friends. You’ve been in that situation. You’ve gone into a job, moved to a new town, left college in one time of your life and stood under the world. A whole new environment, new people. We’re told “you should make friends.” How many understand the basic bonding realization? We can never make friends, you can make friends with anybody. You’d only accept friends. If you try to make friends, unconsciously, as a tendency to try to make them over. Redo them, reshape them. To convert them, to remain friends as long as they’re converted, they remain converted. They begin to express some differences from their ideas and goals you could be in a bind.

You can never make people be in relations, you make them be together, but you can’t make them one. You’re here to make people be in relations. For one person, seems to have more friends than the other. Not because he’s made more friends but because he’s accepted more friends. You will always be spiritually with God, as a bondage between ourself and the infinite process, we are always in serious unity with all persons, but we’re not all as aware of it. This is a universal aspect of love, will you live in love? Always.

Some of you will say “I’m in love with this person” beautiful. Did you know that you’re in love with all persons? We’re all in love together. Falling in love, quite often is a delusion. Falling in love, is literally a very painful process. I remember the time I talked to my young son who was coming home from Sunday school, he was kind of moody and I said, “what’s the matter?” And he said “I’m in love with a girl in the class.” That’s marvelous, he said “no, but its so painful, why does it hurt so much?” Many folks have experienced that.

The pain, strange enough, is a binding process. It’s not bonding, before it can be a bonding in any relationship, there has to be a writing in love. Writing out of that lower level, erratic love. Agape love, is in descriptive consciousness. Quite often people are so slow to let that rising process take place, sometimes it never does take place. Be imaginative in the sense, that what God would put asunder let no man keep together. “A new insight into divorce.” We’re always in unity in God, with all persons.

We’re always in love with people. You need to be awakened to realize it. You don’t have to make yourself love anyone, you can’t make yourself love anyone. Love is a process that we’re all involved in, all the time, at various levels. Even if you’re awakened, feel yourself in this conscious of love. Where we find it easy to be friends with people and have friendships and relationships and real bonding. Anyways, in marriage and friendship with co-workers, and so forth. There’s always an opportunity to grow.

And some may present you with more opportunities than others. But, you’re willing to give yourself to the process of personal growth and the relationship will become mutually helpful and fulfilling. Because if you’re looking for window dressing, for life that you have no desire to change, there will be nothing but trouble ahead. Anyways, we’re all aware of that. When the bonding process turns into a binding activity, there’s an unconscious tendency to try to change people and make them over, turn them into something that they’re not. But a person can never be other than what he is. He can’t be anybody else, you’re only yourself. You’ve heard the classic story of the Ugly Duckling. Imagine momma duck in her exasperation over this misfit, this delinquent. Why doesn’t he fit in? She made every effort to try to change him, it didn’t work. He was just an ugly duckling. The key is not changing him, but accepting him. Helping him to accept himself. And then bonding with him. Maybe that could eventually change and it probably should. He became what he had always been, a lovely swan. Many of the misfits in life, come to this kind of rejection - this negativity.

Its probably come through, a binding process. Perhaps with mothers, with parents, with friends, with people around them, school teachers. Always binding, when they’re with him. Binding in a sense that they’re fulling away from any possibility of bonding. Many people dealing with self improvement in the superficial way, make a great effort, taht is by all the things we read about psychology. We build an attractive personality, probably think this is proper material growing up. Put on the personality, it’s a mask we wear. Almost as a concealment for the person behind the mask. We’ve been binding, in our relationship with ourself. And the theories ae inadequate with the self conscious, limited. We begin to bond in ourself. Think those things that make our self awareness, self confidence, self reliance, self control. A whole new thing happened within us. We see ourselves in a different light. We get to know the person behind the mask. The idea of a mask may seem foreign to you but the fact is that, we all wear them. We all place a mask when we come into a church like this. Maybe it’s our “go to church” mask. A mask of piety, we’re doing something good every day.

You may say a mask is not sincere, but it still is a mask you put on which you take off when you meet someone in the subway that’s better hostile. You can change the mask quickly. Put on the mask of anger and irritation, we have many of them, but the personality mask is very definitely a problem. It makes for good actors. It hinders our ability to have good relations. We try to deepen our relationship with what we call as significant other. The mask, yours and the others will always get in the way. This may be due to a fantasy, but some day, you’ll find the right person. The need is not to find the right person, its to be the right person. There are some unreal expectations in a relationship, we build up in our consciousness, a crazy amount of relationships even before they happen. You’ll be looking for the significant other, who will make you feel happy and fulfilled, make you feel loved, defined, and supported, expecting your own life to be changed. You hold this burden to lay on the other, who you dream of coming into your life. Expectations of unknowing fulfill. Selfish motive for a relationship.

Times are unlikely that there will be an real bonding. Much of the activity is binding, self limiting. Placing a block between any bonding relationship. We deal with forming a friendship or a more serious relationship, purely on human consciousness. We will be, a tendency of possessiveness. Any relationship should be a bonding of peers in which there is no need for dominance or submission or satisfying possessiveness. Sometimes you can find in yourself, if you’re honest with yourself, perhaps a counselor could tell you or in a group activity, people will tell you, if they’re honest with you. Many of your friendships or relationships, that you have in the world, on the basis of the fact that you have control, you can get them to do things for you, you use this as a power. You are really honest and analytical of yourself in all your relationships, you’ll find that a certain amount of this exists, more than you know. If you were to see this and take away the binding activity, which is so human, and begin bonding, moving toward selflessness, the willing to share. Mutual helpfulness. Creating a bridge of oneness, wholeness, love.

We look to our primal bonding with spirit, we stop looking to persons to fulfill us. The only thing we are focused when relative relationships change, from what other can do for us, or what we can do for them. And the desire to posses, the desire to share, we want to relate, not own. We want to commune, not dictate. By accepting people for who they are, not just what they can do for us, we grant them the freedom to be themselves. And so doing we establish a deeper bond with them. The misleading action that has wide acceptance, that love comes naturally whether we find the right object of love and be loved by. Love comes naturally. When you find the right object to love and be loved by. Its an erroneous thought, there people that put absence of ways of attracting a person. Both men and woman have taken a while as they use, to drive the opposite sex, its a part of human consciousness.

Let me tell you about a woman who desired marriage for all the wrong reasons. She wanted a husband, she wasn’t aware of it but she wanted him as a possession. She has job, she had a family, now she wanted a husband. Had him scalped around her belt. She was all the whiles on this nice man. She chased him till he caught her. The friends she invited, he didn’t have a chance. Neither did love have a chance. There was no bonding attempted and none achieved. For the marriage to continue for a length of time, the man would have to come to a binding possessiveness. And what it needed to be a major attitude in the part of the woman. I can say, because I knew about the case that she did hold him to come to understand her error, so it wasn’t a total loss. She tried to set it right but it was too late.

Relationships like this sometimes, unfortunately, continuer for years. These people live out their lives in quiet desperation. People say “I try to be loving, I try to love, I try to be kind” they say often, though it may be shocking to you. To try to love is not to love, love isn’t trying, its being. Many are caught in this, they say “if you can just be a little more loving to this person, make every effort to love and to forgive and I’m going to forgive if it kills me.”

There’s no forgiveness then. The story I tell so often, the Irish woman who put her head out the window, to a room outside. “Ms. Fogerty” The other woman said “yes”, “the father says I must love you Forward, so I love you. But you know what I think of you Ms. Fogarty?”

Try to be forgiving, try to be nice and try to be kind, try to be loving, is to be binding. You’re creating a block all awhile you’re trying to make this effort. You should make an effort to love. You better let go and get away. You desolve the relationship and desolve the block in your own consciousness. Many folks are not willing to do that. Its all important, to keep centered in the love flow, and your contact with people, you become lovable and loved, you’ll never be lonely. Because you have an inter connectiveness that transcends any separation from loved ones. You become attractive and socially acceptable. You’ll make many friends and companions. Into this flow of relationships, there may appear one special person with whom you may experience a very special kind of deep and mutual love and support. It’s not a matter of falling in love, it’s a rising of love. The level of awareness that is almost mystical and very beautiful and enduring. And when the bond exists between lovers as mother and child, there’s no possessiveness as you’re holding on. You always shave by looking at yourself, that you have a bonding process going on.

You’re jealous, you’re fearful when a person leaves you, you’re always worrying about them. You need to let them go, is not love. Its binding, it’s a pretty high ideal to keep up to and remember we’re spiritual beings and we have a potential within us to live an abundant life, a full and well rounded life. We have to take hold of ourselves, take responsibility of our own consciousness, and take charge of our lives. there’s space in the togetherness of the people who are truly bonded, Kahil Gibran said “let there be space in your togetherness.” This feeling of security and the kind of connectedness that Ruth had with Naomi, who are your mother-in-law, because most people think of an in-law as an out-law. Its very difficult, but this is a great expression of love, a perfect bonding. Remember those words, I call it ruthien love. Words of Ruth, I should say. “Intreat me not to leave thee, but to return from following after thee and whether thou shall go I shall go, your people shall be my people, your God, my God. Wherever you shall die, I shall die, and there I might be buried. Lord do so to me and more also death part thee and me.

Ruthenian love. Now this is not just a romantic relationship, not just a bonding with a mother and child, a total unconditional love provided light to in laws or out laws, friend or foe, neighbors or aliens, committed to the idea, and Shakespeare was only 16 when he says “love is not love, which alters when its alteration finds” that’s a hard one. “Love is not love, which alters when its alteration finds”. You say “I love this person, I loved her, I loved him, with all my heart and soul. And after what he’s done to me, ill never forgive him.” You’re telling the tale on yourself, you never loved him, not really, your possessiveness and binding, “love is not love, which alters when its alteration finds” so if you find your lover or someone alters, think less of them because of what he’s done, you never loved. That’s a very stiff goal isn’t it? We have to decide whether we are going to be involved in bonding towards certain people or we are going to give into the human conscious of binding.

To bond to all the others who have wakened to our true nature in God, and relate to the person in this consciousness, in pure binding, there can never be a binding of selfishness or possessiveness, its just where we say often, the illustration of bond and human experiences, is a friend. Often a friend will accept you with all your faults without criticism. Always be there to cancel the guide, to help. To remain mutually supportive, mutually caring and sharing as a friend. We have this kind of friendship. The bond endures even across the miles in separation cause the interconnectedness is spiritual and limitless.

Many of the parents of the children in the Saudi Arabian desert [TruthUnity note: this talk apparently was made sometime during the First Gulf War (1990-1991) when many Americans were deployed to Saudi Arabia] are very challenged, to decide whether they are truly bidden with these other people where they’ve been involved in binding. For those of you who are truly bonded and blessed the youngster, pray for him, see him in good light, give thanks for his protection not worry about him. I constantly feel like he’s got to come home, he’s got to be here. Obviously we want all of them to come home. The funny thing is our attitudes, you can’t do much about a person separated from you.

You can do everything about your attitude toward that experience. You can always work on yourself. As the Greeks said, “never stop working on your own statue.” Its all a great mystery and we’ve all got a long way to go. Many challenging relationships to deal with, in which to go. We’re open to inner guidance, consciously keep standing in the creative love flow which is the fountainhead for those who is a transcendent in nature who takes giant steps upward and downward. And his process is not yet manifested where manifestation will be.

Join me now in a few moments of quiet. I’d like us to use our imaging power if you will. Think of one person, with whom you desire to have a deeper bond, with whom you would like to get up binding and begin bonding. See this person here before you. And for the first time, really see him or her. Look beyond the appearances, beyond the masks, and personality. Beyond the differences that existed between us and have blocked the flow. This person is whole, a beautiful expression of the universe, manifesting at that point, as that person. Reaching forward to futuristic consciousness, believing that all the difficulties, limitations, and possessiveness and selfishness, binding has fallen away. For a moment believe, and act as if there’s a perfect bond in that consciousness perhaps you’d like to the consider the words, go through them as I say them, words of Ruth and Naomi, her mother-in-law. Ruthenian love. “Intrigue me not to leave thee and return from following after thee, for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge, my people should be my people, my God, my God.”

Feel good about that, feel good about it. Even there is now within you and between you and this person, a perfect bond, your wishes should be no separation, no breaks in connectedness, when the persons not with you. Release and loose him or her, let them go. Give thanks that this bond that exists between you, which you envision is within you now, should keep you forever in perfect peace. To give you fulfillment and definition and support. Bless this person. Give thanks to this moment of bonding. You should know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Amen.