To describe our view we have used an amalgamation of a statement we have written, some quotes and our notes to them and an e-mail conversation we had with Hans & Diny of Powerotics...
"Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law"
Firstly and, for us, most importantly: There is no TPE which is not a spiritual enterprise. The giving up of oneself to that which is Most Holy in the other, and thereby setting free that which is Most Holy in oneself, such is the Sacredness of the Path. (Please do not confuse with religiosity a very different matter )
There is a Sacred Devotion between us. A powerful Invocation of the most Holy within each, and between each:
"First, an Imprecation, as of a slave unto his Lord
Second, an Oath, as of a vassal to his Liege
Third, a Memorial, as of a child to his Parent
Fourth, an Orison, as of a Priest unto his God
Fifth, a Colloquy, as of a Brother with his Brother
Sixth, a Conjuration, as to a Friend with a Friend
Seventh, a Madrigal, as of a Lover to his Mistress
And mark well that the first should be of awe, the second of fealty, the third of dependence, the fourth of adoration, the fifth of confidence, the sixth of comradeship, the seventh of passion."
I am slave, vassal, child, Priest, Sister, Friend, and Lover. He is Lord, Liege, Parent, God, Brother, Friend, and Lover.
So it is between us and so we set each other free.
Below there are some snippets from texts we have found inspiration in:
Note: The Magickal Will is perhaps best described as that set of intentional acts that lead one to the Higher Principle, however that might be labelled.
"The Magickal Will is in its essence twofold, for it presupposes a beginning and an end; to will to be a thing is to admit you are not that thing. Hence, to will anything but the supreme thing, is to wander still further from it - any will but that to give up the self to the Beloved is Black Magick - yet this surrender is so simple an act that to our complex minds it is the most difficult of all acts; and hence training is necessary."
Note: This is the utter deliciousness of learning, and the terror of the fact that there is no escape from change. You can act to plot its course but change will happen.
"The best vow, and that of most universal application, is the vow of Holy Obedience; for not only does it lead to perfect freedom, but it is training in that surrender which is the last Task.
It has this great value, that it never gets rusty. If the superior to whom the vow is taken knows his business, he will quickly detect which things are really displeasing to his pupil, and familiarise her with them. Disobedience to the superior is a contest between the following two wills in the inferior The will expressed in her vow, (which is the will linked to her highest will by the fact that she has taken it in order to develop that highest will) contends with the temporary will, which is based only on temporary considerations.
The Teacher should then seek gently and firmly to key up the pupil, little by little, until obedience follows command without reference to what that command may be."
Note: Sound familiar?
"With many people, custom and habit, of which morality is but the social expression, are the things most difficult to give up: and it is a useful practice to break any habit just to get into the way of being free from that form of slavery. Hence we have practices for breaking up sleep, for putting our bodies into strained and unnatural positions, for doing difficult exercises of breathing - all these, apart from any special merit they have in themselves for any particular purpose, have the main merit that she forces herself to do them despite any conditions that may exist. Having conquered internal resistance she may conquer external resistance more easily."
Note: Chosen slavery to US (our being "Us" together, we are ours ), rather than enforced slavery to anyone or anything else!
"Once you take one step on the path, there is no return. You will remember in Browning's 'Childe Roland to the dark Tower came' :
'For mark! no sooner was I fairly found
Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two,
Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view
O'er the safe road, 'twas gone: grey plain all around,
Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound.
I might go on; naught else remained to do.'"
Note: As you said, the backdoor closes we are free of the tyranny of Choice.
"Make me and mold me to your Will
Take me when I am wounded, soft and yielding,
In harshness create me and forge my soul,
By disintegration make me whole "
Spoken by the Master Joshua ben Miriam as he hung upon the Cross. Now there was a boy who knew a thing or two about submission in its proper sense "not my Will but Thy Will be done, O Adonai!"
Now some responses to the thoughts you wrote about TPE:
You wrote: Erotic power exchange to us is a fully, naturally integrated part of our life, our relationship, the way we do things and the way we look at each other. This is hard to describe but let me try.
Hard to describe yes, we have tried this too, with varying success. It seems that people want so much to understand the how rather than the what or the why
You wrote: As a result neither of us identifies the erotic power exchange elements as either "special" or something that can be separated from the rest of the relationship. It is just there, all the time but not always as a prominent factor. No decision on whatever subject is made without it and the consequences of the way we incorporate the power element in our relationship will be a serious factor in anything we do.
Zardly: Yes, also for us. I have put myself completely under his responsibility and that means money, career everything. When I am at home, this includes all but the most minor detail. I serve in the house and outside, and am proud to be shown off in public. I also wear a collar at all times except when at work, or if there is some special reason not to, and this has been so liberating!! When I am away working, I may take small decisions like where to eat, but I am in constant touch by phone or e-mail and Qain always knows exactly where I am and how to get in touch instantly. When I travel abroad I wear a chastity belt. And yes it does set off the security alarms, and so I just take the security officer aside before going through the metal detector and tell them I am wearing a chastity belt. They ask to see it, I show it and the show goes on These things make me feel very secure and very happy.
You wrote: Probably one of the most important words in TPE is the "E". It is exchange but in an entirely other setting then it is in other epe-relationships. The exchange in a TPE setting is in the fact that either of the partners can live without the other. Two partners (eventually) fully integrate and the "team" as such partially replaces the two individuals. That is exactly why a TPE relationship isn't something you decide to do on a rainy afternoon, and it also is what makes it so extremely difficult to terminate as well. TPE is an ongoing, growing process and probably never ending.
We both fought against this connection long and hard in our separate ways, but in the end it was inevitable. Once our resistances to each other, and our fears and insecurities about the extremes we KNEW this would bring us to were overcome by our Love, and the simple Need, then we came together so violently that it almost broke us both. Yet in this devastation false doubt was vanquished.
You wrote: it is the two partners more or less becoming one and it is that "being one" that is important. The one can not do without the other. Take the exchange and the growing process away you will have taken the "raison d'etre" out of BOTH partners. It is not "I am his" or "She is mine", TPE is "We are ours".
Yes, our body being trained, our responsibility being tested, our resistances being overcome, our learning, our growing, our extremes. All ours!
You wrote: People who will tell you "My Master is the air that I breathe" are on the wrong track, because that implies the sub is forgetting herself and overconcentrating on her partner/dom. If she does that, she will eventually not only disappoint him, but will lose herself in the process.
Indeed the balance is lost and the whole collapses
You wrote: I do not submit, I deliberately make myself dependant upon my partner and accept the (all) consequences of that situation (although that is not exactly a simple thing to do very often.)
No, not exactly simple, but sooo rewarding
You wrote: Diny: Now we're getting to the difficult part - the fact that there are no real limits, no passwords and - most importantly - no real way out.
Yes, as per the comments above, we know there is no way but forward and so forward we go, sometimes stumbling, sometimes flying but forward ever forwards we go
You wrote: let's try the no way out part first. A TPE relationship basically starts like any other EPE-relationship. As the relationship progresses - usually very slowly (and that is one of the main difficulties) a situation will occur where partners will discover that things are becoming so intense, that step by step the "back door out" is closing. This is extremely difficult to describe.
Yes, we know this well.
You wrote: Being dependant needs a few extra words, because this is a process that doesn't come about easily. It is a slow, painful and difficult process not to mention dangerous if you do it on the wrong motives. I know there will eventually be a situation where I am totally dependant. Although we are working towards that, we're not there yet. Simply because it is scary and it requires me to give up the final bits and pieces of myself I am not yet ready for (maybe I may never entirely fulfil my own desires).
Zardly: I know this well, I am a career woman and have my aspirations (which are now OUR aspirations). Be patient, because the extremes will come that will make this dependence both easy and more and more free of fear for you. Then it will be not your individual being anymore but BOTH and paradoxically, in giving up your last bit of independence, you will gain the full and far richer independence of being "US" completely
You wrote: The consequences of working towards total dependency does require constant self-evaluation. You need to know where you stand and why you do things. You need to be strong, have a realistic self-image and you need to evaluate your partner, just as he does. At the same time I am struggling with the fact that I am teaching my daughters to be independent, strong and take care of their own business whilst I myself am in the process of trying to give all that up. That is paradox that is sometimes difficult to handle (which mainly has to do with myself).
The thing is to know independence, and build it so strong and rich and fierce that the power you set free by giving it up is so much the stronger for BOTH of you
You wrote: You need to know the differences between the safe environment where you are dependant and the dangers of becoming dependant to the wrong persons (which has happened to me and often happens to other women).
Zardly: Happened to me in the most terrible and destructive way but WE fought ourselves free.
You wrote: I have been mainly fascinated by the question how far you can take this not so much in the technical sense, but in the psychological sense of the word. Exploring "the outskirts" of anything is part of my character.
And both of ours too. We have sworn ourselves to the extreme, because it is the only way for us to be. The average observer might not, upon seeing us, think 'Wow, radicals!!!', but we feel no need to advertise, the extremes are extreme enough as they are! We also do climbing, whitewater kayaking and other adrenaline trips. Also the management consultancy field is fairly high-risk high-extreme, isn't it?
You wrote: It is not so much taking it to the edge, as well as exploring the possibilities and the consequences and I appear to have a strange combination of an "academic" as well as personal interest in doing that. It is taking it to my own limits as well as being fascinated by what happens.
We call this "scientific method" and its objectivity is what makes it possible to go to the extremes and sometimes reach outside the boundaries without becoming insane, obsessed or otherwise damaged.
You wrote: She is willing to take this just as far as I want it to go, even though probably both of us do not have a clear image of what "as far as" really is (which is part of the thrill). That does not mean that process is done without criticism or that either of us is losing touch with reality. In fact these are probably the issues we talk most about.
We also spend much of our time analysing what is going on, understanding the processes and learning the lessons.
You wrote: Both of us know that "feeling" where a limit is much more important then talking about them and we are confident enough the other (usually me) will spot the limit before we actually get to it.
We know intuitively and increasingly when to push and when to ease off, it is just never an issue.
Zardly: When he pushes me hard and I find it difficult and begin to struggle, (whether with a physical stretch or a psychological one) I know it is safe to react and show him my difficulty and that he will carry on or ease off as he feels it is right for US. I trust him to look after us. I have often been stretched well beyond what I thought I could take, but always I have grown and never been damaged. The courage that being US brings to him, which enables him to take me beyond those perceived limits, is breathtaking.
You wrote: The other fascinating aspect (which probably is one of the reasons why limits are never an issue) is the synergy. Actually from the beginning we seem to be able to feel exactly what the two of us want.
Synergy is the basis of what we are, and as our resistances come down so the synergy increases not by increment, but exponentially.
You wrote: I want her to be dependant because that way we understand each other and because it involves going to "the edge". It is a challenge in many ways to be a TPE Dom, most importantly a challenge to yourself, your ethics, your motivation and your ability to evaluate and constantly learn. I notice it learns me a lot about myself, and actually every day. What I am looking for is having the responsibility and the full weight of it.
As it grows the synergy increases and the responsibility and the weight ultimately becomes OURS
You wrote: To a certain extent I am "shaping" Diny in the sense that I am trying to bring out what is in there, whether or not she has already identified that herself (usually she hasn't). I think that is best compared to painting, drawing, in other words "creating".
Yes, in sculpting her you seek and test and nurture and grow the highest in her, just as she calls to the highest in you
You wrote: The psychological barriers - as dependency grows further and further - of course are the main ones.
These are the delights if there were no barriers you could not experience the immense joys of passing through them one by one, TOGETHER
You wrote: The best way to describe Diny's situation is to compare it with a corral where the barriers are getting tighter and tighter. She'll fight that on occasions, which is very understandable, just as much as I at various stages will either be frightened by the increased responsibility or if the process seems to stall.
Yes, in our case the process was building for about 7 years and then snapped into place in a series of sharp bursts over several months, and from that basis we have now been building very strongly.
You wrote: But yes, we do work it out, although that may often be difficult, sometimes painful and in any event self-confronting.
Self-confrontation is the first step, as in the quote above, "to will to be a thing is to admit you are not that thing" then you can work on it
You wrote: Diny will eventually give up the control over her own life, or- if you like - the power to make her own decisions. Without getting into a semantics discussion let me point out a few things: there are no what I (non-judgemental) call "control games" going on, like for example telling her how to dress, when to get up and such; on the other hand there is an increasing amount of control when it comes to much more serious issues, like making decisions in life (currently we have gotten to the point where Diny no longer makes decisions about career by herself for example).
We decide all career, money, lifestyle and other issues based on the TPE.
Zardly: I make no independent decisions of the "strategic" kind, and we discuss all work-related strategy issues also, with the intent of having an agreed strategy in these cases also. Now that can be a little scary when there's ¼ of a million pounds at stake, but all it really means is that I need to communicate the situation properly. Oooff
You wrote: The challenge is most of all in the "getting to know each other" part. There is a lot the Dom has to earn. Part of that is reading her body, mind and correctly interpreting all communication. But it is not only Diny having to trust me, it is vice versa. I have to trust her just as much. This means that there are lots of challenges to both of us. For example really talking about each others feelings, which from the male point of view sometimes is very difficult. And actually Diny is teaching me just as much as I am teaching her.
Hmmm yes we like to call it Interdependence
You wrote: Diny, does this mean that you have to learn to trust Hans to the point where you believe deep down inside, beyond all conscious thought, that he will not only not harm you but that he will *know* what you need at any given time? And for you to know him on the same level? That your obedience to him and perception of his needs become instinctive?
A: The most difficult point is in this. Eventually there will be a point where there will be no way out. And as a result at least technically speaking anything is possible and might happen (whether or not that would is an entirely different thing). Obedience is a word that does not fit into the vocabulary here because willing to give up everything means that not doing that is not being disobedient but being unfaithful to yourself in the first place.
But it still happens, just as the body is not "bad" to cringe from a blow sometimes when it is being stretched to the edge, so I am not "bad" for resisting when the stretching is psychological, but we notice when that is happening and we take it on right there and then. I now have an irresistible inner compulsion to tell him what is in my mind. This has grown out of an extreme level of work we have done together to break down a resistance to telling. The most pernicious and vile programme in the Universe is "don't tell" and we have worked so hard to conquer it. Now if I feel a resistance or do something I know I shouldn't have, I have a total inner compulsion to get in touch and tell him. The flip side is that this is praised and rewarded with warmth and support, because no matter how "bad" the thing is that I have done, to tell means we can work through it and turn it into learning and growth. This has been the single largest victory for us. It is overwhelming in its extremity. It shines on us every day. It is the foundation for our growth because it means that there is nothing that cannot be turned to advantage. (However, to turn certain things to advantage takes an extreme amount of analysis, courage and effort, but as you know, it is sooo worthwhile )
You wrote: Q - Total dependency, where you have final say in everything, implies she isn't the creator of her own life's destiny. A - Like hell she is. She is creating exactly the life she wants.
We are creating exactly the life We want
You wrote: Resistance is a big issue at times. As explained above we do take our ability to keep the relationship to the edge and beyond occasionally. Communicating and communicating and communicating again to us is the only way to solve that. Both of us - albeit that this sometimes may be very difficult - will always try to talk through a problem and find a solution, instead of walking away from it or just leaving it. Such an unresolved issue may turn into a deadly booby trap later on so if we want to make this work we need to keep communicating - but yes we do fight, scream, cry (and laugh a lot) along the way.
Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!
"Love is the Law, Love under Will"
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