This is the sixth installment in a series of posts, Seven Degrees of Illumination.
Level Five – Connection
Milestones to fifth degree
- In stage three, I moved from force towards choice
- In stage four, I am:
- accepting accountability for everything about me
- releasing my need to compare myself to others
- releasing my need to defend myself from others
- releasing my need to have others agree with me
- accepting that rightness is beyond my capacity to understand
- surrendering ego to Self
- paying for my unconsciousness by cleaning up after myself
- testing my resolve to stay committed to recovering my Self
- getting “sneak peeks” into who I really am that motivate me to progress onward
Characteristics of the fifth degree
- CONNECTION – I connect by:
- Demonstrating empathy through compassion
- Living free of judgments
- Living symbolically
- Attracting/inviting rather than coercing/manipulating
- Deep rapport that fosters compassion
- Realizing I can role play or shapeshift at will
- Being aware of how I manifest my intent
- Extending acceptance of others as myself
- Realizing freedom from my investment to:
- Convincing others
- Be convinced
- Be right or wrong
- Have rights
- Have agreement from others
- Defend in any way
- Judge and compare
- Experience pain and other forms of resistance
The Fifth Degree
This is the level of connection in which I intend to be aware of others as my mirror. I get it that my environment is me in disguise. I no longer feel the need to defend against myself.
In level four, I started this process of awareness of who I am beyond the illusions I present as mirrors of myself. In level five, I complete that awareness.
The Symbolic ME
In level five, I begin to realize that everything I perceive is symbolic. It is not real. Everything has meaning to ME about ME. It is feedback.
With level four recognition that my environment is a mirror of myself, level five brings this recognition into realization. I don’t yet understand the language of that feedback or the meaning behind it. Yet the awareness of the symbolism can no longer be denied. Level five is the level of practicing and learning the language of that symbolism.
Connecting with ME
Through level five awareness, I consciously connect with empathy to an aspect of me that I once perceived as separate from me. Personal accountability for my life now extends to others in such a way that I recognize that my perception of them is my gateway to what is beyond.
I have released my needs. My life sustains itself without effort. I am aware of how I manifest my intent.
I understand at this level that my mind is capable of creating and manifesting any experience to support my belief. Then the creation serves as a reminder to me, its creator, of my intent through its manifestation.
Manifestation <=> Intent.
As I strive to understand the symbolism of my mirror, I will inevitably fail to comprehend. It’s a new language to me. Like a little child learning a language, I’m bound to misunderstand now and then. Patience, patience, and more patience as I practice the language, and practice, and practice some more.
Stuck or Not Stuck – that is the Question!
Until I took personal accountability in level four, I believed I was stuck being the me I projected onto others. I could imagine the experience of others through a sort of false compassion, in which that image was in comparison to that earlier level “me” – “how would I feel if I were in their place?” would result in an assumption that usually presented as a setup for judgment, “I’d have felt [some emotion I’d feel], so they MUST feel that way, too.” The assumption would be based on my image of myself – and lead to a judgment that often little resembled the feelings the other person was actually experiencing.
Although it appeared as connection, it was actually another attempt at returning me to the familiar territory of my judgments. Having failed in my attempts at empathy, I can NOT imagine how “they” feel because I can’t “get in their heads.” I can’t “vibrate” with them because I feel stuck in my own vibration. Frustration! Maybe I’d get lucky and they might happen to be vibrating at MY frequency – like when we both experience the same event at the same time in the same way – then maybe I’d have a shot at empathy.
Unable to adjust my personal frequency at will, I’m stuck in a seemingly endless downward spiral of judgments, corrections, missed opportunities, and calamities.
Going Back Home?
Recognizing previous stages, I can appreciate them without getting stuck in them. That does not mean I can’t get stuck, though. Even at this level, there is danger – that I may revert to sympathizing and justifying – relapsing into comparison, belief in hurt, and competing with others (“I can see you are hurting and need my help…” or “Things will get better for you when you get to my level of enlightenment…”).
Faced with people who may bombard me with “tell me what to do with my life” wishes, I could get caught up in that and find myself living in stage one rather than “just visiting.”
If I find myself slipping or falling back, I must remember that falling back into an earlier stage is like falling off a bicycle – you don’t have to start over from scratch; you can instead simply learn from the experience of falling and get back on. Because you’ve felt the freedom and exhilaration of riding, your motivation to ride again will propel you back into that condition. Same with falling from the “grace” of level five – the trip back to this level will likely be more meaningful and quicker.
The Love Connection
We sometimes get a glimpse of the phenomena of this level when we fall deeply in love. We feel that we are “connected” at a deep level. We begin to think the same thoughts, say the same words, and love the same things. Deep rapport.
This is the level in which one becomes passionately and intimately in love with Self – independent of agreement with others. I experience intimacy with others around me in a new and profound way – as I become them and me – oneness – love.
This level of love is my introduction into the Sixth Degree.