Where are you on the ladder of love?

Though in reality love is already present in all dimensions simultaneously, it appears to us as if it evolves. Within ourselves as individuals, as well as within our social and cultural norms. It seems to enter our human consciousness in steps, as if we were climbing a ladder. From a physical instinctual style of living, to an emotional relational feeling style, to an intellectual thinking way of being, toward a more integrative and social creative mindset, and even beyond all of that, we are transformed. Most of us have at least touched the first three steps. But we differ in which step we choose to live our life from as our usual way of being, whether the physical, emotional or mental realm of love consciousness.

Most in our society seem to prefer the physical and emotional realms of experience, those that are the most tangible, concrete and sensory. Some of us have reached the fourth step on this divine ladder, the plane that regards all as equal in value and as worthy of unconditional and unwavering love, respect, gratitude and forgiveness. When we choose to live life predominantly from this fourth step and beyond, we cross the bridge from personal to trans-personal consciousness. With love as our guiding principle, our motivation shifts from personal gain and pleasure to the highest good for all of life’s citizens. We begin to live life as a soul, and in this way, establish heaven here on earth. On the fifth step, filled with the highest impulses of love, we are moved toward higher creativity and purpose. As we do, we are lifted to the sixth step of awareness, which gifts us with visionary insight, the ability to see what for most is unseen. On the seventh step, our spiritual connection is known. Each step brings with it a corresponding set of values or guiding principles. There are an infinite number of steps on this ladder of love consciousness, but these first seven are of chief significance to our daily human lives. So let’s discuss them in a little more detail. 1. Physical/Material Imagine that when love energy initially enters our human awareness, it brings with it the felt sense of a physical “I”. It helps us to differentiate ourselves from everything else. Whether we perceive unique-ness or alone-ness, depends on how we choose to look at our situation. The choice we make influences the rest of our life. To see ourselves as having strengths and special gifts to offer others ignites our confident action. To view ourselves as separate and solitary only serves to birth our fear, loneliness and despair. This is the plane of our instinctual cellular intelligence. When we are living from this state of consciousness, we tend to avoid danger and seek safety and security. We value food, water, nutrition, warmth, health, clothing, and shelter. In balance, this helps us to learn self-reliance and to develop a healthy sense of independence. Out of balance, it can lead to selfishness, addiction and even pathological narcissism. Some of us may find ourselves addicted to physical sensory pleasure, whether through extreme sports, aggression, alcohol or drugs. Others of us may become addicted to physical competition, reveling in our victories and gloating over others’ defeats, in a narcissistic, highly ego-centric, fashion. In relationship to others, it’s all about “me, me, me”. Those who live predominantly from this sphere of love, tend to identify themselves in terms of their material essence. They spend much of their energy maintaining their physical appearance, worrying about their physical prowess, and collecting material things that help them feel safer and stronger. Sex, sports and hands-on work are the hallmarks of those who are largely physical in their consciousness. 2. Emotional/Relational This is the plane of emotional/social intelligence, empathic understanding, and psychic development. This is the battleground of fear and desire, push and pull, repulsion and attraction. Notice that “I” in relation to anything and everything else evokes an emotional reaction when we attend to it. When we look at anything – whether a pillow, a color, a thing, a place, a person – we notice a particular emotion or set of emotions arises within us. An energetic resonance of similarity between “me” and “not me” induces some pleasant emotion, such as calm, happiness or joy. A dissonance, incongruence or dissimilarity causes us to feel an unpleasant or even painful emotion, perhaps dissatisfaction, anxiety or sadness. We may like it or not like it. It might trigger us to feel good or bad. Or, we may notice that some of it feels positive and some of it feels negative, depending on the complexity of whatever it is we are thinking about. Yes, it is possible to feel more than one emotion at a time. For instance, if we are thinking of another person, we may be physically attracted to him or her, but find that we don’t have enough intellectual interests or spiritual values in common. This is the plane of love that allows us to be empathic, to psychically pick up others’ energies. We find we are able to register their anger, disappointment, rejection or enthusiasm. Who hasn’t walked into a room and immediately felt a sense of anxiety or hostility? Or, at other times a sense of comfort and friendliness? Sometimes we find it difficult to separate our emotions from that of others. Those who live predominantly from this sphere of consciousness, tend to be highly social and preoccupied with the status of relationships in general. They long to express their creative self through having and raising children, connecting with friends and family, and building a life with an intimate partner. 3. Mental/Intellectual This plane of consciousness buds our thinking and motivates our aspirations. Our most common concrete, logical, rational intelligence, as well as our abstract processing stems from here. Those who live predominantly from this sphere tend to make decisions based on what they think about something more than how they feel about something. They are the thinkers in our society who love to analyze and solve problems. Very career minded, they seek meaning and purpose in their work, more than in their relationships. This plane of energy brings a renewed surge of personal power.Too little of it, and we tend to lose ourselves in our relationships. Too much of it, and we overpower our friends, family and co-workers. 4. Spiritual Love and Intuition Our mental energies are intended to be in balance with our emotional and physical energies. As an integrated whole, we enjoy confidence about our abilities in career and social settings, our state of health and well-being. This readies us for the fourth step on the ladder of love. The intuition awakens, and we begin to hear the call of our higher self, the soul, urging us toward even broader spheres of love. Beyond friends and family, the soul seeks to include all within its love. Before this, love had been reserved for our partners or spouses, and a special few of our family and friends. It was given on changing conditions we placed upon our loved ones. But now, from this place, love is given freely, to wider and wider spheres of life, until it includes all without exception or condition. Those who live predominantly from this plane of consciousness, value inclusion and altruistic love. There is a growing sense of responsibility to make the world a better place for all. Preparation for higher creative participation is likely underway. 5. Higher Creativity Already living from soul consciousness, we are stirred on this plane to to use all available resources and create for the good of all. We may be called to unite countries, heal the planet, or invent new ways to live more sustainably. Togetherness, cooperation, collaboration. We seek to share our gifts in the highest ways we can participate. We find those whose aspirations are similar to our own, and join in the process of building a better world. 6. Higher Vision Having engaged in the work to create at higher levels, we are shown what is needed and what to do. Those who live predominantly from this sphere are considered visionaries and pioneers. They seek to lead us into higher ways of living, and encourage us to follow. 7. Higher Spirituality  

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