Four Stages of Love and Personal Development

You will often see in mythology various things centered around the number four – four of this, four of that, four times four, etc.

Carl Jung states that the nucleus of the Psyche or Self works as a fourfold structure. We will looks at this structure first as it relates to personal development and then as it relates to love.

Four Levels of the Psyche

Psyche Level 1: Purely instinctive and biological relations – man as an animal, the Id.

Psyche Level 2: Romantic or aesthetic pleasure, the appreciation of beauty and the higher senses.

Psyche Level 3: The spiritual level, man as a spiritual animal, the appreciation of the ineffable or indeterminate.

Psyche Level 4: A super-wisdom transcending even the most holy and pure. This is something like the state of satori that the Zen monks talk about. It can also be seen in higher states of consciousness by Indian yogis accessed via yoga and whatnot. This may refer to what Nietzsche was talking about when he discussed the Ubermensch, the man who has transcended all base and earthly passions and has risen above it all.

I am thinking that most people in the West never reach Psyche Level 4 in their lives.

Now we will look at the same structure as it refers to love:

Four Levels of Love

Love Level 1: Sexual love. Pure sex and animalism, sex without love, a biological and primitive yet enjoyable act.

Love Level 2: Romantic love. A step above pure sexual love in that it rises above to the level of romance and passion to where one actually feels an almost religious-like devotion to the other person. However, this is still considered to be “tainted” somewhat by base and primitive passion, as there is usually still quite a bit of animalistic sexual passion here.

Love Level 3: Spiritual love. Here we see love at one of its highest levels – the love of God or the spiritual realm. This rises above even romantic love; it is more all-encompassing, and it is not even grounded on the Earth or in one other person as romantic love is. It can extend to the love of many or all and to love beyond the simple Earthly plane.

Love Level 4: Love raised to its highest level, even beyond spiritual love. Here we are dealing with a type of “Love” or “Passion” that may better be termed something like “Wisdom” that transcends even the most holy and pure spiritual love. In this sense, “wisdom” is the ultimate form of love or passion.

As with Psyche Level 4, I believe that most people in the West never reach Love Level 4 in their lives.

8 Comments

Filed under Culture, Disciplines, Meditation, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sex, The Unconscious, Yoga

8 responses to “Four Stages of Love and Personal Development

  1. SHI

    It’s a profoundly beautiful post and would make an excellent conversation topic and I could really use it in a lot of places that matter. Robert, mind if I steal…I mean borrow your idea? I’m sure you’re a level 4 by now.

    • Sure go ahead my friend! You can use it any way you wish!

      I am thinking though. Do you think many people in Western society ever make it to Level 4? I am thinking no.

      I hope I am a Level 4!

      • SHI

        I don’t think that either the West or the East have a monopoly on the subject of spiritual growth. Sure, Jesus is awesome as is Buddha.

        All human beings at their point of conception are PURE SOULS, untainted by greed, duplicity and other corruptions of the adult world. For me, being spiritual is about REKINDLING that lost connection as an infant, finding my way back to the exact mode in which I popped out of my mother’s womb.

        During one of my recent magic mushroom “therapies”, I believe I made this precise encounter with my natal origins. I was in a coma-induced sleep for at least 12 hours and clearly myself surrounded by WHITE LIGHT. I don’t think they come out of my imagination but deep set memories. It was very bright like a starry sky. Everything felt heavenly, like the smells and surrounding sounds, the tranquility, the love, pure, angelic as snow. I felt unhurried, stress-free, super-calm and I felt PURE JOY.

        Unfortunately, I woke up and back to this cruel world.

      • Noneofmany

        I know this may sound kind of tactless, but I don’t really think there is anything beyond level two.

        Saying you truly love everyone suffers from the same error that the saying; “to say everything is sacred is the same as saying nothing is sacred” points out.

  2. Santoculto

    Spiritual ”wisdom” is just a eastern method (homologue) to put certain types of men in the monasteries and look distant from mainstream public and from reality.

    • SHI

      I disagree. You don’t have to be a monk to feel the spiritual connection. You can very much be a part of this world and continue elevating your mind to a higher spiritual ground.

      The very fact that I have a loud and deeply entrenched spirit is the reason why I feel alive. In the past, when I experimented with atheism, I found it hard to believe that we all really die like cockroaches and there’s no human soul. That after I die, I would be just a corpse that keeps decomposing for millions of years eventually sprouting into a tree or something.

      Nopes. I’m firmly convinced that each of us as human beings have some unique purpose in life. We are moving at a breakneck speed and the universe really calls out to us to keep moving ahead.

      • Santoculto

        ”higher spiritual ground”

        What it mean* how work*

        ”Nopes. I’m firmly convinced that each of us as human beings have some unique purpose in life. We are moving at a breakneck speed and the universe really calls out to us to keep moving ahead”

        Yupes, i have the same impression, humans reflect consciousness of universe but in a nano-scale of existence, like a mirror. Multiphormic existences are like dynamic or non-static organic consciousness, at various levels. The human ”destiny” will be become much more similar to the universe.

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