HJ: The four stages of love range from selfishness to selflessness and directly reflect your level of awareness/consciousness. To clarify, one can be operating at more than one level simultaneously in different aspects of their lives. It is important to note that none of these are right or wrong and one should not feel guilty or less than if they find themselves at less than the ‘highest’ stages. Life is a journey along a continuum and all parts of it are equally valid and necessary, for each stage builds upon the previous.
Understanding how we are approaching the act of loving is important because it can help us better understand the nature of the current level of awareness we are at and ultimately help us move into a more expansive, unlimited and enlightened perspective, which will result in an increase in happiness, fulfillment and ease in our lives. Many times having someone hold a mirror up to us is all we need to break free of the limits of the current paradigm we find ourselves in and move on to the next stage in our journey.
And lastly, we will note that how much you love others is a direct reflection of how much you love yourself. This concept then becomes and even more powerful tool for understanding and growing the self by identifying those parts of our own consciousness which still need healing.
This is a great article and does a wonderful job of outlining the 4 stages of love. Enjoy.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."- Rumi
Extraordinary Love is the ability to love for the sake of love itself. This ability to radiate extraordinary love in our lives requires a paradigm shift in how we love that can fundamentally transform every relationship that we know and is the essence of my book, “The Seven Symphonies of Extraordinary Love". Unless we are willing to shift the context or the paradigm that we operate in about love, any actions we undertake will lead to only a variation of the past. Most of us have been conditioned by society and environmental factors to operate in one or all the three models of love described below:
Love as a product of special circumstance:This is the paradigm of love in which two people are drawn together for a cause. As long as the cause remains, so does the love. But when the cause vanishes, the bond also dissolves. Take for example someone who falls in love with an artist to help them create a beautiful work of art. This kind of love is based on one purpose alone. As soon as the goal, the artwork, is achieved the love for the artist fades away. This demonstrates that this was a selfish love that wasn’t for the artist, but the art.
Love as a product of useful actions: This is where one falls in love with another for the service the other provides towards fulfillment of needs and desires. As long as the usefulness of the other person remains intact, the love blossoms and vice versa. A man may love his wife as long as she is willing and able to fulfill his sensual desires. However, when the needs are not fulfilled, he begins to look elsewhere. This means that his love was aroused by lower desires and needs, and was not for the wife at all.
Love as a product of attributes: This is the state where one falls in love because of the qualities and attributes the other exhibits, which causes the attraction. The bonding is strengthened with factors like common values, spiritual compatibility and mutual admiration of each other. The instant the person stops demonstrating those qualities, they grow apart and fall out of love. A woman may fall in love with a singer for his beautiful voice. However, when he is unable to sing due to illness resulting in a permanent loss of voice, the love may fade away. In another instance, a person may be handsome or beautiful and may be loved because of that quality. But if this quality should disappear, the love for that person would also disappear since he was loved for that quality alone. It was superficial love.
Love which is produced by a certain action or due to a quality is of a primary stage, because as soon as the usefulness or action is changed or lost, the love is also lost.
The new paradigm that I would like to propose is that of Extraordinary Love – the ability to love for the sake of love alone as described in my book.
Extraordinary Love: This love is superior to all the other types. Extraordinary Love is neither dependent on nor created by any external circumstances, actions, or qualities.
Therefore Extraordinary Love doesn’t vanish when circumstances change, when the work is done, or when beauty fades. The world view of Extraordinary Love comes from the belief that all the love we need is within us. From the state of Extraordinary Love a person loves another for no other reason than for the sake of love itself. The circumstances that bring them together don’t matter. The “use" they can provide the other doesn’t change this love. Nor do the qualities the person demonstrates. This is the highest state of worldly love, true love or Extraordinary Love. Once it’s been experienced, Extraordinary Love becomes a permanent feature of the soul. When one discovers this extraordinary love within, all other types of love grow to become part of it. All the actions, qualities, and goodness inherent in the other person are naturally experienced. This paradigm isn’t driven by selfish motives. The heart of such a lover is brightened by the light of love. She loves for the sake of love alone. This love is not dependent on external factors.
Consider adopting the paradigm of Extraordinary Love in every relationship that we know. In the context of everyday living and loving, I have observed seven different ways, seven different roles through which we relate to others with Extraordinary Love. These roles or the seven symphonies are: parent-child, friend-sibling, student-teacher, lover-beloved, man-community, husband-wife, and self-higher self.
When we bring extraordinary love in each of these areas of life, it creates peace within us like soulful music that soothes the mind and gives it rest, which heals the heart and makes it whole, that flows from heaven to the soul.
Kaushal Aras is a writer, professional speaker and a thought leader in the human potential movement sweeping our planet. He is redefining spirituality and success as a way of living by connecting to our higher self, to our collective heart, so we can transcend the barriers to Extraordinary Love and World Peace. Sign up for a free tele-seminar with Kaushal and download the free eBook version of The Seven Symphonies of Extraordinary Love: A Blueprint for World Peace at www.thesevensymphonies.com. To have Kaushal visit and speak at your next event or run a seminar for your company or community, please contact him directly at [email protected] or register for an upcoming workshop at www.kaushalaras.com.