The ninth level of consciousness is the level of consciousness that I call To Love. It is a level of consciousness that is firmly rooted in all the levels of consciousness that have come before it. In order To Love, one must learn To Accept, To Understand, and To Give oneself what one needs in order To Give to others from an overflow of safety, contentment, and strength (rather than self-sacrificial starvation). For I firmly believe that only when one has been deeply nourished can one possess the strength of self required for truly loving others.
What do I mean by “love” in this context? On a human level, To Love means To Accept As Kin: to accept and treat another as though he or she were a member of one’s own family, a brother or a sister (always bearing in mind that such acceptance does not permit others to treat us with force, threat or blame).
On a nonmaterialist level, To Love means to open oneself entirely to God, to Goddess, to Spirit, to Goodness and Truth Itself. Such love involves the willingness to be totally transparent to scrutiny, because one has accepted and understood oneself in all one’s parts, wounds, limitations, and patterns. When one risks such transparency before God, one can find oneself overwhelmed by a sense of divine love so powerful it can reduce us to tears.
This has actually happened to me. Many years ago I worked as an office assistant to an environmental lawyer who was a devotee of the Hindu mystic Mother Meera. I’d been doing psychic work for many years, but I was in a vulnerable place, having recently lost my lover to suicide, my beloved younger brother to AIDS, and my mother to alcoholism. I was not (and am not) a Hindu, but what I knew of Mother Meera I liked very much; she seemed genuinely kind and giving, a clear channel for grace to those who came to her in Germany for her sessions of silent darshan.
One day, when I was typing away on my IBM Selectric, I heard my boss talking on the phone with Mother Meera’s righthand woman, Adelakshmi. Suddenly I heard him exclaim, “Mother!”, in a delighted voice: Mother Meera had broken into their conversation via a third phoneline, something she rarely did. The moment I heard my boss say Meera’s name, an odd and wonderful thing happened.
I was aware of my body sitting there at the keyboard, and of my boss’s voice talking to Meera over the phone. But simultaneously I felt suspended in a vast sea of light, an ocean that was pure consciousness and personally aware of me. That ocean knew me down to my smallest particle, supported me unreservedly and without question, and—most wondrous of all—desired nothing from me in return, because it needed nothing, being complete within itself. I had never experienced unconditional love before, and I wept uncontrollably sitting there at my typewriter in that environmental law office.
The experience faded, as such numinous experiences usually do. But the memory of it has never faded. I know what unconditional love feels like, and my experience of it has enabled me—rarely, to be sure, and not without considerable vacillation—to have moments in which I have been enabled to show unconditional love to others. And I believe that only by experiencing the divine heart of love in this way can we be raised to the most creative level of consciousness of all: To Know That One Already Has.
NEXT: To Know That One Already Has.