Ask: Do two people have to consciously decide to have a Holy relationship?

I have a close female friend my ego brings to mind a hundred times a day (thoughts of intimacy between us). The ego wishes to be closer to her but, even though we have not talked about it, it seems to me that we have both turned off the possibility of the experience of sexual intimacy. Me because I have made the decision to be faithful to my wife and her because she simply would not be an adulteress.
We are both dedicated ACIM students who share a mutual goal of diminishing the ego and being more of what we truly are. While picking up a book for her one day I found Robert Perry's pamphlet on Holy Relationships. This is the first time I remember that subject coming into my awareness. I felt after reading it that at some level beyond conscious thought we have already made the decision to be in a Holy Relationship and it is just now coming to mind. Do two people have to consciously decide to have a Holy Relationship? Is there any value (to the degree that it would help us awaken) in speak to her of my ego thoughts in an effort to go beyond the ego together? I already do my best to see her as sinless no matter what and as what I think of as the “One Mind working together” creating experience for spiritual growth...
– MW

It is fascinating what the personal thought system (ego) will block out. You say you are a dedicated A Course in Miracles student yet you were unaware of the Holy relationship until you read another pamphlet about it. The entire Course is about a Holy relationship! It was written directly to two people (Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford) in one and once it formally introduces the Holy relationship in Chapter 17 it never lets up on the subject. The Holy relationship is the Course’s primary teaching tool.
I have experienced the Holy relationship in two ways. The first was what I call a mystical Holy relationship where I experienced another literally as my Self. I was not consciously aware of making the choice for this, but I must’ve been open to it on some level for it to come into my awareness. The first lesson in it for me was that everything that the Course teaches about what is real and what is not real is true. Then, when the other moved away and my experience of Oneness did not diminish when I thought of her, I learned that the Holy relationship is really with the Truth (God) within me. My relationship with this other was only the “doorway” to my awareness of Truth. So I learned to make my relationship with the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit) my primary relationship and all of my personal relationships then became manifestations of this.
My other experience of the Holy relationship is what I call the practical Holy relationship. This is what I experience today with my wife, Courtney. She is not a student of the Course, but she is on her own spiritual path (12-step/Christian). The decision for a Holy relationship was conscious on our part, though she did not label it as such in the beginning. This type of Holy relationship is where the real day-to-day lessons lie and where I wanted my first Holy relationship to go. It occurs when you practice what I just mentioned: putting your awareness of Truth first. You can experience Holiness without another being aware of It, but for a relationship to be Holy in the sense that the Course teaches you both need to be aware of Truth. Then you can each and together choose to put aside the personal thought system’s (ego’s) projections and choose to come from Truth in the relationship instead. This is what makes the relationship Holy.
For a relationship to be Holy it requires that you be completely open and honest first with yourself, then with the Teacher of Truth, and then, if you are guided, with the other. So how much you share with this other woman about your feelings for her is something that you want to discuss with the Teacher of Truth within you. Your relationship is under Its guidance now.
I recommend you re-read Chapter 17, perhaps with this woman. Also, be aware that a Holy relationship is a very intense classroom and that the personal thought system will be very, very threatened. In the beginning its attacks will be relentless, as you are experiencing with these fantasies. If you understand that this is what is occurring then you can support each other through this. (You can read about this phase in The Healed Relationship in Chapter 17). This can be an opportunity for you to learn to hear the personal thought system without actually listening to it. You can let its fantasies run in the background as you go about your day. Eventually, without your attention, they will fade away. Then the personal thought system will find a new way to distract you! But everything that comes up will be a useful lesson, if you give it to the Teacher of Truth.

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