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This article appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of Spirituality & Health. As a teenager working in the theater, I was struck by a scene in Eugene lonesco’s The Bald Soprano. Two people, seated together at a dinner party, have an extended conversation in which they gradually come to realize that they live in the same city, the same neighborhood, the same street, building, and even apartments. As each new revelation occurs, one or the other remarks upon the amazing coincidence. Ultimately the discover that they are, in fact, husband and wife. The contrast between the presumed intimacy of marriage and the polite alienation of this clueless couple express with dramatic power just how far the love relationship can deviate from the ideal. “There’s no reason in the world we should know how to have a conscious relationship with another person, because it’s never been done before, “says psychologist-author John Welwood (Toward a Psychology of Awakening). “Since men and women have only rarely looked at one another eye to eye, as equals, as whole human beings, apart from roles, stereotypes and inherited pr …

Alison Rose Levy is an award-winning writer and television producer. She founded the Smithsonian Institution’s Media Program, has been a producer for popular series such as CBS’s Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt and Street Stories with Ed Bradley, and has written for a host of national magazines. She developed a television series based on this magazine.


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