BETRAYAL: Bridge or Impasse  

The Act of Betrayal: Bridge or Impasse

The root of the word betrayal is from the Latin to lead across (OF be + trair fr. L. tradere fr. trans across + ducere to lead). To betray or be betrayed is part of every act that is not a direct acceptance of another. It is the dark complement of light in the definition of guru, that which leads one from darkness into light. Betrayal, a seemingly dark prodding nuisance, hangs out at the threshold of evolutionary growth disguising itself in order to keep the trolls, me and assorted others from crossing the bridge. Not recognizing the true nature of betrayal means that assorted others and I get trollmates instead of bridge partners.

Understanding the underlying significance of betrayal is crucial in spiritual growth. Having preconceived ideas and expectations about how others or I 'should' be in relationship, limits my ability to act, usurps the freedom of others to act and perpetuates the usual dark interpretation of betrayal.

If I treat one who ‘betrays' me with consummate respect, the act of betrayal of that individual seeds a greater flowering of knowledge within me. (You already know all this, don't you?) If I act from my own inner truth and my actions are misunderstood as betrayal, by holding firm to my resolve and by allowing myself to be misunderstood, I will be led further into the light of knowledge. The act of betrayal becomes a supreme life teacher.

Jesus was betrayed by his closest disciples; he even thought he was betrayed by God in a dark moment on the cross. He was crucified because he betrayed the religious laws of his time. Throughout history betrayal has always been a pivotal experience that turns the tide.

To feel/be betrayed gives resistance and opposition to one's desires. If you feel you betray another, you go against established norms of the relationship. Why would you or I do that? Is it seeking one's own 'selfish' desire or something else?

This conflict permeates and distinctly characterizes every stage in life. It is crucial for growth; it precipitates a crisis by revealing heretofore hidden desires. We all have the power to choose to 'cross over the bridge' and break free up the mind's interpretation of our own or another's act. We can also act consciously and freely according to our inner direction that might ordinarily be considered betrayal.

By not accepting another's choice, we are stuck at an impasse; by accepting another's choice, we open the way for transformation. By not resisting the natural flow of actions and by allowing things to be just as they are, the difficult conflict brought on by guilt dissolves.

In the diagram below there are seven levels of betrayal defined and correlated with seven stages in life. In each stage a truth is revealed by the Supreme Teacher (who is that?) who illumines the path according to the needs of the truth seeker. Perhaps defining life in terms of betrayal is a bit unorthodox; but I invite you to consider it.

Levels of Betrayal
Stages in Life
000 - 100

to unconditionally accept and be accepted by everyone

Perfected individual
0 20 - 80

to show and be shown what is not at first obvious


Sage or teacher

040 - 60

to fail and be failed, to desert and be deserted in moment of need


Parents raising children

050 - 50

to seduce and be seduced, to abandon and be abandoned

Marriage partners
060 - 40

to lead and be lead into error, sin or danger

Sibling rivalry
080 - 20

to deliver and be delivered to the enemy by treachery (birth)

Dependent baby

100 - 000






to deny and be denied by everyone




Ignorance, not in life




Supreme Teachings

Stage 7
The supreme inner teacher fully realizes the individual's potential.
State 6
The supreme inner teacher guides by impeccable self-inspection.
Stage 5
The supreme inner teacher dissolves dependency of the young by maturation.
Stage 4
The supreme inner teacher sustains through the torment of love-death.
Stage 3
The supreme inner teacher creates a bond with another inspite of separation.
Stage 2
The supreme inner teacher emerges with the spark of life.
Stage 1
The supreme inner teacher is the potential in total darkness.


Sagittarius is an ancient constellation depicting a centaur, half man, half beast, with a raised bow and arrow. It has been visualized this way, at least since times of the ancient Greeks. It probably originated with the Sumerian civilization around the Euphrates, who saw the constellation as Nergal, their archer god of war.

Sagittarius is depicted with a threatening look, aiming his arrow at the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion. The bow is marked by the stars l (lambda), d (delta) and e (epsilon) Sagittarii. In modern times the constellation is often visualized as forming a teapot.

The center of our Milky Way Galaxy lies in Sagittarius, so that the constellation is particularly rich in star clusters, planetary nebulae, and diffuse nebulae, both luminous and dark. The actual center is marked by a radio source known as Sagittarius A*.

To find Sagittarius look towards the north half way up the sky.

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© 2015 Laurel Hovde
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