Meditations on Monogamy

Article excerpt

India's spiritual guru, Deepak Chopra, has some surprising words of wisdom for gay and lesbian couples

Deepak Chopra, director for educational programs at the Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, Calif., is the author of 16 books that draw from Eastern wisdom and Western pragmatism. In his latest, The Path to Love: Renewing the Power of Spirit in Your Life, he suggests that romantic love is only a beginning, a safe place where you can get your first glimpse of the big picture that makes up real love; it's a trick to get you started on a pilgrimage that's about you, healing, and discovering the powerful source of love in spirituality. OK, fine. But how does all this work with monogamy?

What are your observations about monogamy or nonmonogamy for any couple--gay or straight?

As far as monogamy is concerned, I honestly believe that human beings are not monogamous biologically; they were not created that way. However, it is certainly helpful in society and social structure. So monogamy is more expedient.

That's what it comes down to? In society today it's just more expedient?

Absolutely, because of the family structure.

Gay families too?

Yes. In the future with gay and lesbian relationships, I think you're going to see families. You're going to see children; it's already happening: adopted children, biological. So in the interest of family structure, we've evolved biologically to the point where we are social creatures. As a result we are developing a system of values that is in the interest of maintaining a social structure. That's part of our evolution. Yet, biologically we weren't structured that way. That's why there is such conflict about this subject.

Yes, I think for many people the conflict comes with the feelings of intimacy and betrayal...

Well, I think more important than monogamy is to have an honest and open communication. Intimacy in a relationship requires that there are no hidden agendas. I think as long as the relationship is a complete and total communication of what the expectations are, then the relationship will be fulfilled. If there is a hidden agenda, then it will not be fulfilled.

So you're saying no one rule works for all couples?

No. In our relationships we must say, "This is who I am. Can you have a relationship. with me?" Many people will go for a monogamous relationship, and that's fine. You can't have everything. What happens frequently when there isn't honesty in a relationship is that there's all this covert activity going on behind the scenes. And that, of course, leads to betrayal and leads to anguish.

The confusion for many couples is that after they've been together for a while, they nay feel the sexuality between them diminishes. They think something's wrong--especially gay couples, who don't have the structure of legal marriage to support their relationships. …