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The Art and Science of Conscious Love


by Steven Sevigny, 1995.

Why Conscious Love? Why Understand It?

By understanding what love is you can have greater mastery of its use and therefore greater mastery of your being which is, at a core level, love. Full mastery is attained only through full understanding, which is full consciousness. When you are influenced by an energy, without knowing what it is, you are at the affect of it, blindly controlled by it. When you receive an energy with conscious understanding, then you can fully utilize it and be master of it. Since love is such a central part of our existence and our every behavior, it is essential that we come to understand love.

The Importance of Love in the Present Universe

Our present solar system has as its central developmental focus the unfoldment of love and wisdom (intelligent love). The previous solar system unfolded intelligence. Intelligence is now a natural inherent part of all of nature in this solar system. All life here now works with a fundamental intelligent activity. Love and wisdom are now the primary focus of growth for everything and everyone here in this present solar system. After love and wisdom are fully unfolded, billions of years from now, the next solar system can begin its unfoldment of will and power with love and intelligence as inherent parts of its existence. Love is for us, evolution itself. Love is the energy and force of evolution. To love is to evolve. The more we love, the more we evolve.

What Love Is

What is love? Love is much more than can be put into words but words can clarify and open doors to its realization. Love is the most central type of consciousness. Consciousness always has two fundamental components: a receptive, in-taking, perceptual aspect, and, an expressive, out-giving, active aspect. When these perceptual and active components are combined a third aspect is created which is a state of being. This state of being always contains perceptual and active elements. Therefore, the definition of love has three aspects, perceptual, active, and being.
Perceptually, love is: the intuitive comprehension of value.
Actively, love is: the urge to include and equalize with another on a voluntary basis.
As a State of Being, love is: a sense of moreness of being (which, fundamentally, is pleasure and is attractive).

The Three Types of Relationships that are Ever Present

Before we explain this and detail the three types of love and the three types of anti-love, we must clarify the three fundamental types of relationships. A relationship is always composed of two positions. One position is assertive, energetically positive, giving, and superior because it has what the other does not. The other position is receptive, energetically negative, taking, and inferior because it needs what the other has. See diagram, POLARITIES OF RELATING. A relationship always has a fundamental flow of energy from the assertive, positive, giving, superior position to the receptive, negative, taking, inferior position. The three types of relationships that you can have are: receiving from a superior, giving to an inferior, and a mixture of both that makes you more or less equal with the other. (States of inferiority and superiority are simply facts of nature. Only the ego can have an aversion to this concept.)

The Three Types of Love

These three types of relationships create the three types of love. They are: reverence, relating to a superior; compassion, relating to an inferior; and affection, which is a combination of reverence and compassion, relating to both inferior and superior elements in the other creating equality. See table, CREATION OF FEELINGS.

Reverence is the perception of the value of the other for you. Reverence is the urge to include and become equal to the other. When you have reverence, you open to energetically receive what the other has to offer and thereby rise to a higher level. You are attracted to what the other has and feel pleasure, an expansion of self, in receiving energetically or on some level.

Compassion is the perception of the value that the other needs. Compassion is the urge to include and help the other to voluntarily become equal to you or to get what is needed. When you have compassion, you open to give what the other needs so that they can rise to your or the needed level. You are attracted to the need and feel pleasure, an expansion of self, in giving energetically or on some level.

Affection is reverence and compassion combined for the other. Affection is the perception of the value in the other for you and the value in yourself for the other. Affection is the urge to include and voluntarily exchange, to equalize the differences. When you have affection, you open to give and receive from the other what is needed so that each of you can rise to each other's types of superiority. You are attracted to the value and the needs of the other and feel pleasure, an expansion of self, in giving and receiving.

CREATION OF FEELINGS


|--------------------------------|-------------------|-----------------|
|    Relation Towards Object     |     Primary       |     Degrees     |
|--------------|-----------------|     Feeling       |     of the      |
|  Qualitative |  Quantitative   |     Element       |     Feeling     |
|--------------|-----------------|-------------------|-----------------|
|                                |                   |     Worship     |
|                                |                   |    Adoration    |
|                  (+)Superior   |    Reverence      |    Reverence    |
|                  /             |                   |     Respect     |
|                 /              |                   |    Admiration   |
|                /               |                   |     Wonder      |
|               /                |                   |                 |
|              /                 |                   |     Passion     |
|           (-)                  |                   |    Affection    |
| LOVE(for)(+,-)---(+,-)Equal    |    Affection      |   Comradeship   |
|           (+)                  |                   |   Friendliness  |
|              \                 |                   |    Politeness   |
|               \                |                   |                 |
|                \               |                   |    Compassion   |
|                 \              |                   |    Benevolence  |
|                  (-)Inferior   |    Compassion     |    Tenderness   |
|                                |                   |     Kindness    |
|                                |                   |       Pity      |
|--------------------------------|-------------------|-----------------|
|                                |                   |      Horror     |
|                                |                   |      Terror     |
|                  (+)Superior   |       Fear        |       Fear      |
|                 /              |                   |      Anxiety    |
|                /               |                   |  Apprehension   |
|               /                |                   |                 |
|              /                 |                   |       Rage      |
|             /                  |                   |      Anger      |
|           (-)                  |                   |     Rudeness    |
| HATE(for)(+,-)---(+,-)Equal    |       Anger       |     Aversion    |
|           (+)                  |                   |     Coldness    |
|              \                 |                   |    Aloofness    |
|               \                |                   |                 |
|                \               |                   |     Tyranny     |
|                 \              |                   |   Malevolence   |
|                  (-)Inferior   |     Pride or      |      Scorn      |
|                                |    Malevolence    |    Judgement    |
|                                |                   |     Disdain     |
|                                |                   |      Pride      |
|--------------------------------|-------------------|-----------------|


What Anti-Love Is

Now we come to anti-love or hate. Hate is the force that counters human and spiritual evolution. The more we hate, the more we inhibit our evolution. Hate is useful in the mineral, plant, and animal evolutionary processes because the beings involved are still individualizing on a soul level and therefore need to become more separate. For a human, defined as an animal and a god combined, to hate is to be animalistic, to love is to be godly, and to always love everything is to be a divine graduate of the human kingdom.

The underlying triple structure of consciousness applies to hate also. Therefore, the definition of hate has three aspects:
Perceptually, hate is: the non-comprehension of value, and, the misperception of the other as a threat.
Actively, hate is: the urge to exclude and dis-equalize in a non-voluntary way.
As a State of Being, hate is: a sense of lessness of being (which, fundamentally, is pain and is repulsive).

The three types of relationships create the three types of hate. They are: fear, relating to a superior; pride, judgement or malevolence, relating to an inferior; and anger, which is a combination of fear and malevolence, relating to both inferior and superior elements in the other creating equality. See table, CREATION OF FEELINGS.

The Three Types of Anti-Love

Fear is the nonperception of the value that the other has for you and the misperception of the other as a threat. Fear is the urge to exclude and to disequalize (to become less) so as to avoid confrontation and the possibility of being harmed. When you have fear, you close to energetically receive what the other has and therefore cannot rise to a higher level. You are repulsed by the misperception of a threat. You feel pain, a contraction of self, with the possibility of receiving on some level.

Pride, judgement or malevolence is the nonperception of the value of the other and of the value the other needs. Pride, judgement or malevolence is the urge to exclude the other as well as the, conscious or unconscious, urge to harm or suppress the other so as to not become equal to you or to get what is needed and thereby stay inferior. When you have pride, etc., you close to energetically giving what is needed and therefore the other cannot rise to your or the needed level. You are repulsed by the misperception of valuelessness and the possibility of loss to the other. You feel pain, a contraction of self, with the possibility of giving to them energetically or on some level.

Anger is fear and malevolence combined. Anger is the nonperception of the value of what the other has for you and of what the other truly needs. Anger is the urge to prevent exchange, to further disequalize your differences and to move into a superior, conquering position. When you have anger, you close to giving and receiving with the other what is needed and therefore each of you cannot rise to each other's types of superiority. You are repulsed by the misperception of the other as a threat, as well as, by the possibility of loss to the other. You feel pain, a contraction of self, in giving and receiving with them.

Transforming Anti-Love and Any Emotion Into Love

All anti-love or hate is potential love. When you have any kind of hate for another, be it fear, anger, or judgement, you are trapped in a dynamic polarized relationship. You will always be in a dynamic relationship with the object of the hate until you learn to love more and by the equalizing power of love, exchange strengths and help each other evolve to new levels. Everything and everyone that you have fear, anger, or judgement towards, that you seek to get away from, will always be with you until you learn to completely include them, exchange with them and equalize with them. By strengthening each other, by equalizing your differences, the relationship becomes neutral and harmonious. Love is the liberator, hate is the enslaver. You enslave yourself by choosing to hate in anyway, you liberate yourself by learning to increasingly love. If there is any phrase that needs to be eliminated from personal speech, it is "I hate . . .."

Repression of anger, fear, or judgement is not the answer because it always ends up in some kind of explosion or illness. All repressed hate, anger, fear, or judgement must be released, (in a harmless way of course). As greater love is cultivated, repressed emotions sometimes come up and this is good - it means that the channels for love are opening and getting cleaned out. If this occurs, allow the repressed emotions to release while focusing on the love to the best of your ability. Sometimes it may be necessary to briefly focus on the surfacing emotions and to allow yourself to fully feel them in order to facilitate their full release. However, you must be very careful that you are not energizing the feelings and giving them fuel to continue. Focus on them and feel them only enough to facilitate their release and then replace them with love.

Clearing traumas, old hurts, and emotions of the past as a focus of growth can be a downward spiral. There are endless amounts of traumas and emotional charges from hundreds to thousands of past lives. People who focus on this never find an end to them. The reason for the presence of any type of hate, be it fear, anger, pride, or judgement is that there is a lack of the opposite kind of love, be it reverence, affection, or compassion. The presence of any kind of hate is due to a kind of hole in our character in the area of love. The hole is filled with hate from the past or the present. To clear the hole of the fear, anger, etc. does give some relief, but it is temporary because the hole will fill right back up again from the endless reservoir of hate from the past. You can clear the holes repeatedly and repeatedly get relief and a false sense of satisfaction that you are accomplishing something. Yes, there is learning that occurs from doing this but the real lesson is to learn to love everything, totally. What is really needed is the permanent filling of the hole in your ability to love by proper cultivation and then you will be untouchable by any kind of hate. When you have enough reverence, you will be free from fear or hurt. When you have enough affection, you will be free from anger. When you have enough compassion, you will be free from judgement. Any type of hate diminishes and contracts your being giving you pain and enslaving you to the object of hate. When you can love everything, your being is expanded, full, filled with pleasure, and liberated.

The method par excellence of transforming hate into love is outlined in the ageless wisdom of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:
Sutra II - 33:

"When thoughts and feelings are present that are contrary to enlightenment (union with The One Life within all), the opposites are to be cultivated by pondering upon them."

Patterns of thought and feeling, even patterns of brain structure, are created and reinforced by what you focus on. When you focus on fear, anger, or judgement, you reinforce these patterns and make their future appearance easier. When you focus on reverence, affection, or compassion, you generate and reinforce their appearance and expression in your life and they replace their opposites. It can be hard to change a behavior while you are in it, for example it can be hard to be affectionate while you are angry. This is where meditation is so valuable. In meditation you can change automatic tendencies and set new patterns in place. By doing so, when confronted by situations that usually evoke a hateful reaction from your mind, a new momentum, a new tendency generated and reinforced in meditation will empower your ability to change in the moment or spring forth instead. By meditating on reverence, affection, and compassion, by generating and building these three types of love, and then practicing them in your day to day life, you can completely transform yourself into the kind of loving, fulfilled, and liberated person that you desire to be.

The cultivation of conscious love is important from the beginning of the spiritual path until the primary goal of the path is achieved, that of becoming a Master of Compassion, a Bodhisattva, a Jivan-mukta, or Christed Being. In such a liberated enlightened state, all fear, anger, and judgement have been completely replaced by reverence, affection, and compassion resulting in bliss and peace. If anger or judgement is used by such an enlightened one, such as Jesus in the market place, it is to teach some lesson and is never a personal reaction or faltering of their love but is motivated by their love. The full unfoldment of love is the primary goal of all human evolution. A more advanced goal on the spiritual path, after becoming a Master of Compassion, is to become a Master of Wisdom, a master of intelligent-love, which facilitates complete spiritual mastery.

The cultivation of love, at any point in your journey of self unfoldment, will reward you with an infilling of love, pleasure, and peace and will give you a mastery over circumstances. Your influence upon others and the world will become increasingly positive and healing. You will grow faster. Your consciousness will expand to perceive new freedoms. Stress will fade away. Your life will have a new harmony, grace, and ease. We attract what we put out and therefore more love will come into your life as you give love to the world.

When you develop reverence for what you feared or were hurt by, then you recognize the value in the other. Your being opens and expands to absorb the other's power, positive qualities. You rise to the other's level of power and become equal or greater. You become consciously free from suppressive influences and are able to be masterful. Your contracting pain is turned into expansive pleasure. Your personal sense of goodness increases.

When you develop compassion for what you judged or had pride or malevolence towards, then you recognize the good in the other as well as the good things that the other needs. Your being opens and expands to give to the other's need. They begin to rise to your level by virtue of your beneficial influence. The contracting pain of your resistance to the other turns into expansive pleasure. Your personal sense of goodness increases as the love of the universe increasingly pours through you to the other.

When you develop affection for what you had anger towards, then you recognize the good that the other has for you and that you have for the other. Your being opens and expands to give and receive. You each rise to new heights together. Your contracting pain turns into expansive pleasure. The personal sense of goodness of each of you increases as you give each other what you each need.

Practices for Cultivating Love

Understanding what love is helps greatly in developing it. That is why the explanation of love has been elaborated upon in such detail. For example, if you are having a hard time loving someone, once you strive to intuitively comprehend the value that they have, or, to put it more simply, strive to perceive the value that they have, then you will find it easier to love them. Further, if you strive to include that person and exchange positive qualities, create equality, your love will greatly increase. Understanding thoroughly what love is as a perception, as an action, and as a state of being is essential in order to love fully and to master the lesson of love that we are all here to learn. Therefore, studying and contemplating the definitions of love and striving to perceive these in your life is a foundation practice.

Something that can help you determine what is truly love and what is truly a form of hate is your physiological responses.

All types of hate, fear, anger, judgement, etc., from intense to subtle, are exclusive feelings and are accompanied by physical sensations of contraction of muscles and tension.

All types of love, reverence, affection, compassion, etc., from intense to subtle, are inclusive feelings and are accompanied by physical sensations of relaxation of muscles and expansion.

Checking your physiological response to a feeling can help you determine what you are actually experiencing. However, it is important to remember that self-judgement about what you are experiencing is a form of self-hate and needs to be replaced with self-compassion. Strive for the best with the understanding that you are doing the best that you can and that is great.

Meditation on feeling each of the three types of love is the next step to powerfully integrating them into your life. Create the space and time for yourself for quiet contemplation. Sit comfortably with eyes closed. Choose objects that easily evoke love for you. Practice having reverence for what evokes this for you. Practice having compassion for what evokes that for you. And practice having affection for what evokes that for you. Increase the feeling of each type of love as much as you can each time you sit to meditate. Every meditation love more and more and more, to the best of your ability. Slowly expand your increasing reverence, affection, and compassion to include more and more of your life.

After you have strongly developed the ability to feel each of the three types of love, you can begin to transform your patterns of fear, anger, judgement, etc. into their opposites. First, enter into a strong feeling of the type of love you are working with. Then, apply it to the object that you have the type of hate for, endeavor to love the object, to recognize the value, to include it, to expand to exchange energy with it. For example, you are working on fear. First you generate a strong feeling of reverence. Then you orient this feeling towards what you fear. You seek to recognize what the other has that is of value to you. You energetically absorb the qualities that the other has for you and thereby rise to the other's level of power. You continue until you feel totally relaxed, expanded, and loving with the focus of the issue. You have transformed the fear. You work in a similar way with the opposites of compassion and affection. Start out with minor issues, and after achieving success work up to major issues, and then after resolving them work on subtle residual tendencies.

Other emotions are resolved with love also. The trauma/hurt of being attacked in some way is resolved with reverence for the attacker (to absorb the other's power and rise out of victim into equality or higher) and self-compassion to cause self-healing. The trauma/hurt of loss is also resolved with reverence (to absorb back into yourself the sense of self that you have put in the other, as well as, whatever is in the other that you feel you need) and self-compassion, self-reverence, or self-affection (to generate self-reliance). Grief is resolved the same way as trauma of loss. Sadness, sorrow, and depression are usually caused by a disappointment in the circumstances and/or in one's self. For these, compassion for self and the circumstances is needed, and possibly reverence and affection for self and the circumstances. If you want to move out of any of these emotions and into a state of fulfillment and power you have to choose to cultivate the needed types of love. The universe will force you to cultivate love sooner or later. There is no point in postponing your happiness unless you determine that you need the pain for some good reason. It is easy to be a victim but it is a really terrible state. The only way to take control of your life and create what you truly want is through self action. Any painful emotion can be resolved with one or more of the following: self-reverence, self-compassion, self-affection; reverence, compassion, and/or affection for the other.

Ultimately you will want to love everything totally. In so doing you will be free from any personal pain or contraction, filled with pleasure, love, bliss, and benefiting everything and everyone around you. When you love everything, nothing can affect you negatively. You see the good in everything. Instead of seeing things as bad and good, you see things as good and better, everything being a step towards something better. You can make this change of concepts right now. You still discern, you still see the darkness in the world, and make choices accordingly, you just see the darkness as growing light, someday to be radiant. There is a lot of darkness in the world and it needs to be worked with carefully. However, hating the darkness usually only makes it worse. Loving the darkness usually illuminates it. The darkness of the world needs love more than the light. We must always discern and choose the light over the darkness for ourselves, but we also need to rise to a higher perspective where we include both opposites in our loving awareness and perceive the value of each in the world. The darkness of the world is a great teacher and helps unfold wisdom (intelligent love), the darkness clearly defines the light through contrast. As long as we hate the darkness, we are enslaved to a dynamic relationship of struggle with it. When we can love the darkness totally, along with the light, then we transcend duality and enter into the singular reality of everything being shades of light, gradations of goodness. In such a state we are free from struggle, seeing things clearly, filled with love, immersed in grace, consciously at one with The Creator of all.

What aspects of the world do we need to cultivate love for? All three types of love; reverence, affection, and compassion, need to be fully developed for our self. Other people, groups of people, and all of humanity need to be loved totally. The other kingdoms need our healing, saving love such as the mineral kingdom (the earth), the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom. And, the spiritual kingdom, that nourishes, supports, and guides our lives towards the best, can help us more if we increase our reverence of them, thereby opening to receive the gifts that they have for our betterment. These eight aspects of our world, self, people, groups, humanity, mineral kingdom(earth), plant kingdom, animal kingdom, and spiritual kingdom, all need our uplifting love and we need to love them in order to be free.

Learning to Learn Easier in the World School

There are three fundamental aspects of existence: Life, Consciousness, and Form. These demonstrate as the perceiver, the perceiving, and the perceived, as well as, the actor, the acting, and the acted upon. Form is the outer appearance. Consciousness is the qualities, information, abilities, and substance behind the appearance, encapsulated within the form on a subtle level. Life is the animating force that enlivens the consciousness and the form. You are: Life using Consciousness encapsulated by Forms. Loving the forms allows you to equalize your consciousness' (give or absorb consciousness). Strive to identify with the life behind and animating the consciousness and the forms. Do not identify with the consciousness nor the forms because they are always coming and going and are impermanent. Only the life behind all is permanent. Identification creates attachment. If you identify with consciousness or forms you will resist their coming and suffer as they leave, and they always will leave. Endeavor to identify with the permanent life in everything, everywhere. The world as a teacher is trying to help you grow by presenting you with consciousness encapsulated in forms. When you hate (have fear, anger, judgement, etc.) you resist the consciousness that is being presented to you. It is being presented to you because you need it, whether you realize it or not. It will continue to be presented to you until you learn to accept it, love it, and absorb it. Then you can move on to a new type of needed consciousness, a new lesson in the world school.

Meditations for Cultivating Love and Transforming Anti-Love

Level I. Reread and contemplate the definitions of love and anti-love. Seek to perceive and fully understand them in yourself and your life.

Level II. Focus on and become aware of how your physiological responses of contraction, tension vs. expansion, relaxation can help you determine whether you are exhibiting some form of hate or love. Use this tool without self-judgement, with self-compassion.

Level III. Develop the ability to strongly feel the three types of love. Create the space and time for quiet meditation. Sit up and close your eyes. Focus on objects of love that you can easily have these feelings for. These can be things, people, anything that evokes these feelings for you.

Develop the ability to strongly feel reverence. Start out with whatever you can, in degree of intensity, such as wonder or admiration and then work up to respect, esteem, etc., increasing the feeling as much as you can into reverence or adoration. Contemplate the value that the object has for you. Make the feeling as intense as possible.

Develop the ability to strongly feel compassion. Again start out with whatever you can, in degree of intensity, such as pity or kindness and increase the feeling as much as you can to compassion. Contemplate the good in the other and what the other needs. Intensify the feeling as much as possible.

Develop the ability to strongly feel affection. Start out with whatever you can, in degree of intensity, such as politeness or friendliness and increase to affection. Contemplate the value that each of you has for each other. Increase the feeling as much as possible.

Do this three part meditation regularly. Each time you do this meditation, endeavor to get into the feelings more and make them more intense than the time before.

Level IV. After you learn to generate strong feelings of reverence, affection, and compassion, you can start to replace your anti-love with love. Start out with minor issues, and after achieving success work up to major issues, and then after resolving them work on subtle residual tendencies. These can be anything or anyone that you have fear, anger, or judgment, etc. towards.

Generate a strong feeling of reverence and then apply it to something or someone that you fear (or have anxiety about, etc., see table, CREATION OF FEELINGS). Seek to perceive the value that the other has for you. Absorb the gift that the other has for you. Do this until you rise to the other's level of power or higher and are no longer negatively affected by the other. Do this until you feel expanded, relaxed, and at peace with the other.

Generate a strong feeling of compassion and then apply it to something or someone that you have judgement about (or pride, malevolence, etc.). Seek to perceive the good in the other and the value that the other needs. Energetically, let the gift come through you that fulfills the other's need. Do this until you feel that you have empowered the other. Do this until you feel expanded, relaxed and benevolent with the other.

Generate a strong feeling of affection and then apply it to something or someone that you have anger towards (or aversion, etc.). Seek to perceive the value that you each have for each other. Energetically absorb the gifts for you and give your gifts for the other. Do this until you feel that you have empowered each other. Do this until you feel expanded, relaxed and fully loving with the other.

Level V. Progressively expand your love so that you fully love, in these three important ways, your self, people, groups(races, nations, etc.), humanity, the mineral kingdom(the earth), the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, the spiritual kingdom.

Level VI. Learn to learn more and to give more in the world school. Identify with the Life, dis-identify with the Consciousness and the transitory Forms. Absorb the Consciousness presented to you in the Forms brought to you by the world, by loving them. Give the Consciousness requested of you by the world, by loving, in whatever way is best, the Forms presented to you.

Bibliography
Das, Bhagavan, THE SCIENCE OF EMOTIONS, Adyar, India: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1953.
Bailey, Alice A., TREATICE ON COSMIC FIRE, New York: Lucis Publishing Company, 1953.
Shultz, Karen, THE ESSENCE OF HEALING, A THEOSOPHICAL HANDBOOK, California, The Theosophical Order of Service, 1984.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

This article has been expanded into a comprehensive course called The Mastery of Love Course