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Excerpted from Embracing the Beloved by Stephen and Ondrea Levine. Copyright 1995 by Stephen and Ondrea Levine. Excerpted by permission of Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Although we often speak in terms of merging, or becoming one, or dissolving into oneness--this is not a giving up of one person to another."

Stephen and Ondrea Levine, Embracing the Beloved,
Part 1

This book is not meant to be read in only a linear manner. It often offers an experiential process. It is as much poetry as prose. Absorbed phrase by phrase, image by image, it allows healing to enter the heart, the mind, the body.

We share the process from which we are learning daily for the benefit of all who wish to use relationship as a path of self-discovery. This work is not to be taken lightly. This is a book about co-commitment, not co-dependency. These techniques are not applicable to anything that resembles the old-style dominant/submissive relationships which have for so long perpetuated our all-too-human suffering.

When true hearts truly join there is a mystical union. An inter-connecting of whole human beings which, is the foundation for great insight and growth. It is a collaboration in healing.

Although we often speak in terms of merging, or becoming one, or dissolving into oneness----this is not a giving up of one person to another. It is not - as the great German poet Rilke fears of such commitments, "a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both of their fullest freedom and development.."

Indeed, if two people attempt only to become one, they certainly may get lost. But if the oneness just beyond such concepts is their ultimate concern--if each heart is committed to the universal heart, our birthright, our original nature--neither stops. And the ongoing aerial act is spectacular.

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