In sharing the 7 levels of love I use the metaphor of water flowing to the Ocean. These levels of love are a journey that each and everyone of us is required to take in order to fulfil our full potential as a human being.

There are different ways of describing the stages of love that we all go through no matter how long this adventure into the KNOWING of Love takes. Here is the writer’s way of describing that journey.

This post is not about the stages an individual goes through in a romantic relationship.

These are the stages and levels of love that are part of the human journey from the very personal feeling of separateness to the bliss of union with Divine Love.

7 Levels of Love

The levels of love as shared here are: –

  1. The Dewdrop of Possibility
  2. The Puddle of Passion
  3. The Pool of Potential
  4. The Stream of Allowing
  5. The River of Emptiness
  6. The Ocean of Fulfillment
  7. The Ocean in the Dewdrop.

These stages are not necessarily liner in progression.

In one moment you can be mired in the puddle of living that is co-dependency and suddenly be graced an experience of Oceanic Love (Agape) that would change the way you view the world.

Levels of Love 1 – The Dewdrop

levels of love the dewdrop

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Metaphorically speaking we each come into this dimension of time and space as a dewdrop of unique potential. This dewdrop is a symbol of our individual existence. We come into the form of a human body from that formless vibration of Creation.

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans. – Khalil Gibran

This is the infinite eternal Good vibration of Love. In manifesting into this dimension of time and space we forget that Love is the image in which we are truly made.  This is part of the eternal and paradoxical process that is the Return to Love.

This is the play of the Divine who has created this unique dewdrop that is you, so that it can know itself through you as the Ocean of Love. (level of love 6) In this experience of forgetting, which is a necessary part of the Cosmic game of Love’s forever becoming, there is the experience of feeling separate.

This feeling of separation is first experienced around the second year of life. It is recognized as the terrible twos. It is when the infant begins to feel that mother and it are two separate people. Before the experience of separation the child felt the mother’s body to be an extension of its body and the world a further extension of the child’s body.

You as the individual dewdrop emanate from the eternal Ocean of Love. To begin with when you enter this world of time and space there is no felt separation from this Ocean. As a baby you do not feel separate from your mother. You and the world are one. The is the 1st of the 7 levels of love that is the magnificence of the journey you are here to KNOW and BE.

There is, yet, no personal sense of “I am.” You feel yourself to be the play of the one I AM which is the Ocean of Love. The sense that “I am” a separate person, as distinct from the Universal I AM, comes to us all.  In the Bible this experience of separation is referred to as the fall.

However, it is a falling upward to a more expansive experience of Love. We each begin the process of individualization so that we can know what it feels like to live both within separation and within sacred unity. This is the challenging and magnificent journey into the fullness of KNOWING that you, as the dewdrop are the Ocean, and that the Ocean of Universal Love is in you the dewdrop.

You, as a unique dewdrop from the Ocean of Love are like a diamond. You glisten in the morning sun. When you are first incarnated within this time and space dimension you naturally reflect the Light of Love.

As you grow into the child, you as the dewdrop, begin to move further away from your KNOWING you are also a part of the Ocean of Love from which you are never apart.

Your work here on this planet is to take the return journey of allowing yourself to merge into the Ocean and at the same time allow the Ocean to merge into you – level of love stage 7

There is no loss here although for the developing sense of the separate self the expansion of the personal into the Universal feels to be a great loss. For those who have had the courage to allow this emergence there is the knowing of infinite depth and fulfilment.

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Levels of Love 2 – The Puddle of Passion

levels of love the puddle

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Looking for Love ‘out there’ only delays the discovery of love and blocks the entry of that love into our life when, in truth, it already lives in the last place we learn to look, in our own heart

Mike George – The 7 Myths about Love … Actually

Living as a Puddle of Passion is the extent to which many people view the experience referred to by the word ‘Love.’ The hope is that you meet with another puddle where, in the words of one Hollywood movie character, you can declare, “You complete me.” The promise of the Hollywood view of romantic love is that if you meet and merge with your dream Puddle of Love that you will live happily ever after.

Jerry Maguire (1996) starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr.,  and Renée Zellweger

As someone living as a Puddle of Love you see love as a problem of finding the right other who will make you feel complete and, in this way, alleviate your sense of feeling separate.

It is this feeling of separateness that is the root cause of most unnecessary suffering in this world of time and space. This merging with another can be a beautiful and fulfilling experience.

It can also be the entry into an experience of hell on earth. This journey into Love as an experience of merging with another intensifies in your teens and early adult years. For many people it continues beyond this time and they never move beyond this idea and personal ideal about another fulfilling their need for Love.

The Experience of Unconditional Love

The nearest they might ever come to an experience beyond personal love is at the birth of their children that gives them an experience closer to the Ocean of Love that is unconditional.

The experience of living as a Puddle of Passion with another Puddle of Passion is highly dualistic, at least following the honeymoon period.

There is much opposition felt within the experience of relationship. The experience of the other often disappoints.

The experience of personal love disappoints or if not then does not lead to the sense of personal fulfilment that one hoped for.

Your Purpose is to Follow Love’s Purpose

This is because the puddle is limited in its ability to renew itself from the Source of Love. For the most part the puddle feels disconnected from the flow of the One Life. The Puddle of Passion is identified with love as being something to be acquired.

However, you cannot acquire what you are.  Love is not an energy to get and keep but the flow of Life moving through you, and as you, when you are in a state of allowing.

You do not fall in love because you cannot fall into a state of Being that is your natural state. Your task is to learn to abide within that natural state that you always are. From this state you experience fulfilment. From this state of fullness you naturally pour forth the radiance of Love.

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Given enough disappointment the Puddle of Passion begins to dry up and become muddied. In later life the result is disappointment and often bitterness and regret.

The real purpose of having been incarnated into this world of time and space has not been realised. The personal has remained only personal and not been expanded beyond the idea of Love as being an infinite expression of the universal through the personal.

Individually, we are one drop.
Together, we are an ocean.
– Ryunosuke Satoro

The dewdrop does not become the vehicle through which the Oceanic experience of unconditional Love is known ad poured forth to bless oneself and bless others. In remaining purely identified with love as being “my love” the cycle of Love is incomplete.

The Dewdrop does not merge into the Ocean and the Ocean into the Dewdrop. The purpose of Love remains unfulfilled which is also your purpose for being on this planet.

Levels of Love 3 – Pool of Potential

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The individual who does not get stuck at the level of the Puddle of Love expands into that deeper dimension of Love that is the Pool of Potential. The Pool is deeper than the Puddle. It is less liable to dry up.  It is not so likely to be muddied with the darker emotions of the separate sense of self such as co-dependency and narcissism.

The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one’s narcissism. Eric Fromm – The Art of Loving

There is a wider and deeper sense of the personal self. The Pool of Potential is the opportunity for the development of a mature personal love experience.  This is the invitation to self-love that opens to the deeper and higher possibility of Love of Self.

The individual living as a Pool of Potential has moved beyond the dynamic of co-dependency and the deep sense of separateness that is the narcistic personality. The Pool is till felt to be personal and is still felt as separate from the Source.

From the Will to Power to the Will to Love

The individual who lives as a Pool of Potential is still identified with the will to personal power rather than the more expansive Will to Love. The Will to Love is the beginning of the entry into that state of being beyond identification with the personality or persona – meaning ‘mask.’

The individual who lives as a Pool of Potential feels a certain level of self-respect and self-worth. They have clear psychological and ego boundaries. They have a sense of an authentic self.

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This is needed because the clear boundary of the personal self is necessary to move to the next level that is the allowing of the experience of the Boundless. To be allowing of the Boundless requires a degree of trust and faith in the unknown.

It is the beginning of letting go into the flow of Source energy. To let go into the unknown takes a degree of integrity.

Getting Stuck at the Level of the Personal

As with all levels of Love other than at the highest the individual can get stuck at a particular level. The individual who is a Pool of Potential can get stuck at the level of personal identification. They can achieve much in terms of what is culturally accepted as fulfilment.

If this is where they remain then in the words of the Master Jesus they have gained the whole world but lost the potential of finding true fulfilment.

This is to realize that they are not just a personality living within the boundary of time and space but one who is both personal and universal both within and beyond time and space.

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Love created you to be a glorious extension of itself. As a Pool of Potential you begin the real journey home to the Land of Promise which is to be the promise you are created to be and to bless the world from.

The potential seeded within you has begun to flower.

The higher energies of scared unity within you have begun to flow. You begin to become a Well of Silence. This is the first time there is a real sense of well-being. This is a real experience of health.

The idea that you are separate from the Source of Love is now experienced as unreal. The eye of the heart is beginning to open.  The focus of your life force is now connected to a still deep source connected to the Ocean of Presence.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

You are focused less on doing than on being done through. At this stage you will experience much resistance. You are moving away from the idea of personal love to the greater power of Universal Love.

Your ego will not like the fact that you are now changing the power base.

Levels of Love 4  – Stream of Allowing

levels of love the stream

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Now we reach that level that is the bridge to Love beyond the personal. The lower levels of love (dewdrop, puddle and the pool) are what most people are identified with. The word lower is not be judged lesser but seen as a step on the journey into wholeness and KNOWING.

This level of the stream is the level of the open heart. Your energy is now beginning to be in flow. It is beyond this level that mystics, Prophets and Seers live. This is the level that lights up the personality from inside. This is the level that begins to open you up to an experience of real fulfilment.

This fourth level of love is where you being to fall in love with who you are created to be and become. You begin to recognise yourself as having a treasure within you. You begin to treasure the contribution you are here to gift the world.

You begin to be committed to bring that treasure into the world through your focused actions. These begin to feel whole-hearted actions. You begin to move as Love in action.

At this level of love you are to a large degree an integrated personality. You are not engaged in spiritual bypassing or transcendent accent for your own glory. You are living an embodied spirituality.

You are not seeking to get into Heaven as a personal quest for salvation for you or your group of chosen few. You are intent on becoming a vehicle for brining Heaven to Earth as a living experience of embodied Presence. You become a body in full Presence.

At this level of Love you have clear boundaries. You are not seeking to have someone complete you. You are aware that completeness is who you are would that you learn to trust the magnificence of the Light of your own Being (Hafiz).

At this level you know that:-

Our calling is where our deepest gladness and the worlds hunger meet – Fredrick Buechner _ Theologian.

It is at this level of love that you have developed a mature ego. You are not, as many immature spiritual seekers are engaged in, trying to get rid of the ego – the separate sense of the personal self.

The individual with the mature ego is aware that there is the necessity of surrendering the ego so that one’s soul can access the Universal and allow it to express through you and as you.

You may be in love with an individual more than others but within this relationship there is inter-dependence and mutual companioning your greatness. This is not a relationship of co-dependence. It is not an ego adieu where two people hang onto each other for dear life because they are afraid or incapable of being alone.

Here at this level of love you will begin to love for no reason. You begin to value silence in a way that might not have drawn to before. Silence begins to be felt, not as a nothingness but as a spaciousness that invites awareness of fullness and fulfilment.

This is not an experience of the intellect. It is the beginning of heart KNOWING.

At this level of love you will experience a beautiful paradox. You will be attracted more and more to solitude. You will be drawn to be alone but you will feel close to the All One rather than feel lonely. For Westerners this draw toward the practice of solitude is challenging and for the most part discouraged.

The word discouragement means, “The refusal to enter the heart.”

Sometimes it takes darkness
and the sweet confinement
of your aloneness to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you

David Whyte

Levels of Love 5 – The River

This is the level of Love where you are in communion with Source energy. You are not simply communicating. You are more of a living Presence. Your life is now so much less about your personal self than being available to as a channel of SELF.

You are so much more for Life. You are aligned with saying Y-E-S. Your Energy System is in flow. The blocks that blocked your awareness of Love as who you are and why you are for the most part have been released.

They can and do return to be released at a deeper level.

Your task is not to seek for love but to remove all blocks to allowing it – Rumi

You are beginning to feel confidence in your ability to communicate this experience of communion. You are not out to convert people to a belief system but to a way of living beyond belief.

You preach a different kind of gospel. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi you might, if really necessary, use words.

The essential way you communicate is through your alignment with Presence. Those who are seeking for Love will be attracted to the energy you radiate. There will be a part of them that recognizes your KNOWING.

Others will either feel no connection or be threatened by what you are bringing to gift the world. The invitation to this Power of Love threatens established ways of belief.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.- Matthew 5:10

This is why mystics of all traditions have been disowned, marginalized or murdered by the established religious traditions. They threaten to turn believers into those who are KNOWERS.

In that way there is the overthrow of religious and institutional hierarchy. Those in established religious hierarchies are out of a joy which should be their primary focus, fi they were properly doing the work of revelation.

One of the main functions of organized religion is to protect people against a direct experience of God. – Carl Jung

Level of Love 6 – Ocean of Fulfilment

This is the level of Love that is a new way of SEEING. It is a revelation. It is real conversion. It is seeing through the third eye. It is seeing as mystics see. It is such a radical experience that it is hard to describe in words.

Words can only point toward such experience.

On such description of this way of seeing is given in the poem Love After Love by Derek Walcott.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

In this experience of Love after love, which is the experience of yourself as Love rather than as someone who expresses the qualities of love you see the world in a new way.

You meet again the one who has loved you all your life. This is the ONE who KNOWS you by heart. This is an experience of real communion.

You give bread. You give wine. You give your personal self-back to the Universal Self.

You begin to feast, not on your own life, but on the Life that comes through you. This is the experience as promised when the Master Jesus said:-

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. – John 10:10

This way of SEEING is a great grace. True SEERS know that each and everyone is chosen. However, the real choice is whether or not you take the journey of descent into this revelation, not as a belief but as direct experience.

From such revelation, which is true conversion, you feast on your life and your joy is to share the banquet.

You are no longer a seeker after Love but a revealer of Love. You revel in your task. You become a servant of Love. Your life purpose is aligned with Love’s Purpose. You follow the 21 Ways of Love’s Message.

You are present to HOW Love is designed to come through you.

Song of Celebration

Mike Scott and The Waterboys – This is the Sea

Level of Love 7 – The Ocean in the Dewdrop

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Here we come to the pinnacle of what it means to be a fully actualized human being living within this dimension of time and space.

We have actualized Heaven on Earth. We are and enlightened Being. We are a Christed One. In the words of St. Paul:-

I no longer live but Christ lives in me – Galatians 2-20

Do not take the word ‘Christ’ as being the second name of Jesus Christ. Christ is the universal principle of Unity. It is not an experience only available to Christians.

Words absolutely fail to come anywhere near this experience of At-One-Ment. When I was graced this experience I was know as “Silver Tongue” by those who knew me. However, I also knew that what I was sharing was not understood by anyone.

It is rare that an individual will stay at this level of Love. What is more usual is that they glimpse this High State of Being and return to the everyday experience of living as the personal separate sense of self.

Yet everything has changed on the inside. Nothing much will have changed on the outside accept that now you KNOW your true purpose and destiny.

Your life purpose becomes focused on integrating the great Grace you have been given to KNOW and BE. You are changed forever.

This High state of union is the real goal of living a Yoga Lifestyle.

The attainment of this level of Love is always a great Grace. You don’t get it because you are good or belong to the chosen few. Why it is given to some and not to others is a mystery.

However, the journey into the Return to Love has been mapped by those who have gone before. Toward the end of this journey there is always the waiting. There is no guarantee that the gift of KNOWING eternal life will be yours. However, this does not change the reality that this is who you are and always are.

Still and all you are required to make the effort. You commit, you practice and you exercise patience. In this way you follow the Yoga Journey for Life. This is your true life’s direction.

At least, if only intellectually, you now have the map of what it means to be gifted the opportunity of eternity as the Essence of who you are. From taking this journey you will ultimately KNOW that in the words of the poet W. B. Yeats:-

I am blessed and can bless – Vacillation IV.

Poem of Awakening to the Ocean

Vacillation IV

My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.

W. B. Yeats

7 Levels of Love Conclusion

I hope this journey through the 7 levels of love has been of value. I think this is an essential understanding for anyone committed to living a Yoga Lifestyle.

This understanding, even if it is only an intellectual understanding to begin with, is an essential life skill for everyone.

It is an outline of the map of the journey of the destiny of what it means to be a fully actualized human being living in this dimension of time and space.

This map of the 7 levels of Love is a much more expansive view of the potential seeded within each of us. It shares the real glory of the potential we each are and are created to become.

You were born with potential.
You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.

You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings.
Learn to use them and fly.”

― Rumi

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Tony Cuckson

Writer - Storyteller - Musician at Yoga Journey for Life
Writer of Awakening the Heart - 21 Ways for Following Love's Message. Also author of Being Beautiful - Learning to Treasure the REAL YOU. Workshop Leader in Learning to Companion YOUR Greatness.
Tony Cuckson
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