By Andrew Schneider
There are basically four levels of soul contact that we experience in our relationships – within ourselves, with each other, with the world, and with the Universe/God. These levels are psychologically all expressions of love. Whenever there is lack of unity or disconnection it is because one of the following soul invitations are not being responded to.
1. Pay attention to me. (I exist; I am here; see me; notice me.) Whenever any being meets another there is a demand for attention and this where we seek to communicate with each other. Communication requires attention. When others do not pay attention to us we feel cut off or separate. It is the essence or soul of things and beings which automatically and always sends out this message: ‘Pay attention to me!’
The soul is the magnetic energy of unity. It attracts other souls. Human beings often camouflage the message with distortions of who they are, and with behavior that alienates rather than attracts. We need to be perceptive enough to go beyond the distortions and masks to see and hear the essential invitation to connection, regardless of what the behavior is.This stage of contact is about valuing or validating one’s uniqueness. It demands attention to individuality. Our response could be:
- From a human soul level we notice how someone is different and unique. We can also acknowledge their efforts, skills and talents.
- From a spiritual soul level we notice how someone is beautiful – i.e., their uniqueness shows us their beauty. We can also acknowledge soul qualities or attributes they have.
2. Love me. At a deeper level beyond ‘pay attention to me,’ soul emits the message: ‘Love me!’ Once we get the other’s attention, this is the next message we can hear. Love is the essence of soul – the essence of our essence. When we do not love ourselves, then our behavior will reflect this invitation to connection – even though it may be inappropriate behavior to achieve that end.
On a feeling level we are searching for validation of our acceptability, goodness, worthiness, valuableness. When we don’t get the responses from others that we want we frequently go to the mental level and try to affirm or justify our ‘rightness.’ This is like saying, ‘If I can’t be acknowledged for my goodness, then at least I can be right.’
We might also reject others through blame or other judgments when we do not get the love from them that we want.These first two messages (‘pay attention to me’ and ‘love me’) come from personality, yearning toward that inner connection. Since it is not achieved inwardly, it seeks it outwardly through others – which is what personalities always do.
3. Be one with me. Beyond the invitation to ‘love me,’ when one is connected to the love within, in a conscious way, there is a love that sees the other as oneself and therefore seeks to unite with that. It is an invitation to share, to cooperate, to give and take, to mutual commitment, to honor and respect.The invitation to deeper connection is based on the need to share the love that one has acknowledged and activated within oneself, and the perception that this expression requires a unity with others. This unity often leads to service beyond the relationship itself.
4. We are one. We experience the ‘We are one’ when we enter the beauty of the other in our heart. This is the deepest level of soul emanation and soul consciousness. This state of unity is a profound affirmation of the oneness of life as we identify with it.
These four messages come from the soul and can be heard only by the heart of another. The heart will hear them if it is not preoccupied with its own survival or individual well-being. When we are not getting the responses we want to either of the first two requests, there is disruption to meaningful or fulfilling relationships. When this is the case a person needs to do the following:
a) Identify these messages being put out to others
b) Examine how they are being communicated
c) Look at the needs behind these messages and
d) Make the necessary adjustments without expecting others to change. This might require going to the third level of soul emanation and focusing on the love that one has to express.
The first two messages – ‘Pay attention to me’ and ‘Love me’ – are in the realm of personality functioning. When they are issues, conflicts arise and help is often sought to reduce the conflicts.
The third message – ‘Be one with me’ – is in the realm of spiritual soul expression and arises in matters of shared values, service, meaning and purpose.
The fourth message – ‘We are one’ – is in the realm of spiritual soul where there is no conflict and no question. All is well. This is the consciousness goal we all strive for. The soul journey moves us through these four levels of soul contact and expression.
1. Examine a particular problematic relationship you have in light of the four levels. (If there is a real ‘problem’ it is about level 1 and/or 2.)
2. Verbalize how the soul messages are being communicated to you or by you.
3. Identify the needs behind the messages.
4. Decide what responses you will make in order to improve the relationship.
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Relationships: Transformation and Commitment