Partners in Process

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Level 3: Co-Measurement

Co-Measurement is balancing Self Respect with Self Esteem. This opens an energetic flow between individuals where Autonomy can prevail. With Self Respect we can honor and value our potential. We can affirm our Life energy and Aliveness through Self Respect. With Self Esteem we can treasure how resourceful we have become to get where we are now. We can affirm our Light energy and Wisdom through Self Esteem. With both Self Respect and Esteem we can love our Self, taking us beyond personal fears and desires. This love is based on our Creative Nature, not our Personality programing or ego. The more we are balanced in Self Respect and Self Esteem, the less we will feel the desire to inappropriately rescue others. Instead we can differentiate what our lesson is from the lessons of others. This permits us to eliminate Co-Dependence and replace it with Co-Measurement.

While we possess the desire and urge to balance our needs with others, we need to experiment with our own boundaries to get it right. The Partners In Progress level encourages us to get better in balancing ourselves so our relationships with others can be more balanced. To accomplish this we need to be able to say No to the people we love the most. We learn to do this when the process of interacting with others actually diminishes our effectiveness or limits the greater good. To serve others, we must first serve ourselves, creating a key trade-off that goes into every Autonomous decision. Co-Measurement is the ability to say No when doing so would serve the greater good. It is also about honoring who we are and what we need, allowing us to continue to contribute to others. Many times, we forget that to continue to contribute we first need to take care of ourselves. Co-Measurement requires us to be Autonomous while searching for ways to support each other.

When we do not accept ourselves as having Self Respect and Self Esteem, we then seek others who will prove it to us. This is where rescuing others becomes inappropriate. In effect, we are making our lesson the lesson of others, which eventually they will come to resent. It is also an ineffective strategy for building friends and influencing people. The more we rescue people, the more they come to resent the fact that they needed to be rescued, and eventually will leave us because we remind them of their weakness. This is why we call this level ‘Partners in Process’. We ultimately need to find equal partners to be successful. This does not mean that we need to be the same, just that we have the same degree of Self Esteem and Self Respect as our partners. In this framework, there are no victims or superiors. We are simply partners.

We recognize that we are caught on Level 3 when we worry about what others think about us. This need to receive confirmation about how we are doing reflects a preoccupation with comparing ourselves to others. We constantly seek information about others so we can know if we are falling behind or leading them forward. Our self- perception of how we are doing is completely dependent on the people and groups with whom we associate. We are looking for as many possible reasons or justifications, making the case of why we are the best. We choose individuals and groups based on how they perceive us to make sure we are always considered winners in some way. This is driven by the fear that we will not have choices if we do not prove ourselves of value. We are also internally scared we will miss opportunities if we are not considered an asset to others.

We are managing expectations about how much good we can do. Some of us need adoration or attention to offset past disappointments. What we most want is to validate the reality of our growth and natural value. If we do not find it in one situation, we seek out other opportunities. As long as we identify with this comparison process, we experience anxiety. Superficially, we make associations between Anxiety and Goodness falsely believing it is helping us to be better people. What we do not realize is that it is only pushing us into greater struggles, as we seek to resolve the duality between the good we do and the good we would like to do but cannot. One core obstacle is the degree to which we want acknowledgement on our own terms.

Operationally, Idealization promotes a dichotomy between needing to be seen as good and feeling we are not good enough. We falsely believe there is a connection between feeling good and being good. When we feel bad, while doing good things, it does not make sense to us. We also do not know how to incorporate the experience when we feel good, but know that we are not being of service. When we cannot accept these differences, it creates a dissonance that we do not know how to respond to. This throws us into overwhelm, resulting in the inability to take action and general resistance to whatever others want to do.

This duality explains the difference between Idealizing others and Idealizing our Personality self. We Idealize others when we feel bad and believe we can help them by admiring or adoring them. This aspiration to embody the accomplishments of others can be uplifting. The problem is that it can defeat or distract us from following our own path. The more we Idealize others, the greater we feel compromised or limited in our passion. By taking the attention off of ourselves we avoid internal discounting. Another way this shows up is an amorphous desire or hope for everything to work out. While the desire to see the best in a situation is not bad, if we cannot see the bad as well, it is not good. This general projection of goodness occurs because we have not yet embraced our creative nature or committed to a specific contribution we wish to make. If we do this, the good and bad come into complete focus, and we are no longer concerned about making others feel better. Since we judge others to be better than us in this pattern, we believe they should get the credit that we desire. The more we defer to others, the less we actually do, encouraging us to think we cannot be a mover or shaker or bring the issues we want to light. As a result, we feel overshadowed and demoralized. This is why Idealization of others is an escape.

We feel pushed to find something, someone or some place where we can shine. We invest in people or groups that will appreciate an aspect of our Goodness or our ability to contribute. This gives us hope and we use any acknowledgement to build an Idealization about how we are impacting the world. This process encourages us to dream and to explore possibilities, but we frequently get caught up in trying to get others to believe in us when we do not yet believe in ourselves. The more we require others to defer to our Goodness, the more out of touch we become about the service or ideal we are trying to bring to the world. In effect, we become out of touch with our own heart’s desire by falsely believing that others should make our dreams come true. Self-idealization is why many become polarized and unable to work with others. People are reacting to their apparent arrogance, self-centeredness and paternalistic assumptions, which are typically grandiose and self important in nature. Most importantly, when an individual is caught up in an ideal, the ideal becomes bigger than who they are as a human being and they lose their natural connection to others. Until those of us in self Idealization wake up to our illusion that the world revolves around us and we attempt to be real with others, the people we attract are mainly going to be devotees, admirers and well wishers.

Many individuals eventually try to be in the middle between the two realms. When we are extremely sensitive to Emotions and/or Feminine Creative Expressions (Inventors, Compassionates, Visionaries), we vacillate between idealizing others and ourselves in small ways because we are repulsed, particularly by self-Idealization. It becomes hard for us to assert our Awareness or Creative Self and maintain our balance under adverse circumstances. We can recognize this when we always second-guess ourselves, doubting we have something to contribute. Some of us get caught in self-pity and end up vacillating between wanting to make a difference and feeling nothing we do ever makes a difference. What we need to do is let go of comparisons and recognize that we are on our own path, which does not need to be influenced by others in overt ways. Personality Detachment is the skill needed to build an internal sense of Autonomy by affirming our own process while still recognizing we can make a contribution to others that improve our ability to honor ourselves.

We can cut through Idealization with humility, openness, inner questioning and Personality Detachment. They key issue to address is the anxiety that causes Idealization to occur. We need to find ways to bring equality to all of our interactions. We need to see that different qualities can produce equal contributions under the right circumstances. Instead of judging others in terms of what we think is important, we need to let go of the possibility that our perspective is large enough to make this assessment. When we operate with others in a Common Neutral Ground relationship space, we become exposed to different ways of thinking, unique gifts and differences in perception based on a different emphasis on modality expression. By embracing the mystery of others we open ourselves to seeing possibilities that could not have been previously imagined. This allows us to focus on our mutual gifts so a new type of balance can be generated between us. This allows us to neutralize the final personality distortions around seeing ourselves as everything or nothing, based on how others respond to us. When this occurs, it encourages others to trust us, because we naturally demonstrate we are not using our influence in ways that take advantage of them.

People call Idealization a form of spiritual materialism because it imposes a competitive framework based on false perceptions of relative Goodness. Spiritual materialism is the personalization of goodness in a superficially fixed perception or idea. It is the Objectification of a spiritual principle into how it should appear. To simplify this, we come to believe the game is to prove how good we are, which is the scorecard used to validate our contribution. What we are not addressing is a lack of authentic congruence between who we are and how we present ourselves, which is the source of all Anxiety. Name-droppers use their associations with spiritual leaders as a way to prove their value in the world. In our experience, the need for credit, comparison and the pursuit of perfection, actually minimize any Goodness that occurs. This is especially true when we try to prove our path is the best, when all paths actually lead to the same place.

While it may not be apparent initially, everyone eventually learns to build connections with others so that they no longer need to compromise their own experiences. We need to understand that if we compromise ourselves it will inevitably lead to more compromise. On the other hand, if we speak up and honor our Truth, we develop greater capacity to resolve differences. We can be seen and loved for who we are, not for just our the good parts. At the same time, this process assists us in validating our own Truth so we can separate the real from the unreal. Not until we can clearly separate our experiences from others does it become obvious that many of our previous Beliefs were actually adopted from others. The basis of our self-confusion is that we are unable to differentiate what is accurate from what is not. This is why, at this Level, we get caught up in so many projections.

Relationships take on a new role at the third level. They become reflections of our own issues and lessons. Instead of creating safety and security blankets for others, we realize that relationships are the primary way we get support in the form of creative feedback from others. When we are not being responsible for the types of Truth we are communicating, we can get into trouble and overstep our bounds. It is also true that others may become reactive because we are not preemptively including their perspective in our own truth. It is good to stretch the boundaries of our partners, meaning it is not good to affirm that they are as limited as they think they are. These types of safety and security issues function like bicycle training wheels. If we are going to establish clear boundaries, hopefully it will be a temporary moratorium on not doing something that would trigger others. This allows us to regain our balance and re-cover our capacity to re-define our own safety and security requirements. Eventually, they should be able to affirm themselves and speak their own truth clearly, without needing us to prop them up.

In Level 3, we vacillate between sexuality and spirituality. We want a connection deeper to the earth, and yet remain connected to the dreams we have in the sky. Our Feelings and Emotions open us up to our feminine side, even if we have many masculine Creative Expressions. One indicator of this is being able to share our Intuition. When a partner can respond to our Intuition and trust our experience, it indicates a new level of connection. One of the primary ways we experience this deeper connection is through synchronized breathing or heartbeat. Intuitive bonding occurs when we can share our insights or perceptions without needing to justify or rationalize them. When either party can share their Intuitive knowing and the other partner respects and listens to it, it indicates that there is a greater creative alignment between the individuals.

When we are at the Partners in Process stage, we love talking about our dreams. At this stage, these aspirational statements are initially healthy to engage. They become unhealthy when we do not move forward. Some of us become preoccupied and attempt to recapture some of the magic that happened when we first thought of these things because it feels so good. Unfortunately, like any great addiction, we need to constantly commit ourselves to deepening into the possibility (like taking more of a drug) to continue to progress. Idealization is where we second-guess and doubt ourselves and never let ourselves manifest the dreams we have. In this way, we choose partners that reinforce the dreams, yet never shift into the next level to actually manifest them. Choosing a partner who is Idealized can keep us stuck in the past as they do not really want us to manifest our dreams because then what would they do? Unless both partners are actually making progress, it would create imbalance for one of them to break through.

When we identify with our ideals, we deny the full experience of our Passion. Passion is the commitment to fully engage our lives without holding anything back. It is not Excitement or Intensity or some combination of half-denied or half-compromised attractions. Passion is the experience of going beyond Roles, Pretenses and Defenses to creatively explore new possibilities with others. It uses Playfulness, Paradox and Participation to operate without a safety net. When there is no fallback position, we are fully committed to making the best of the situation. While this may seem rash, hasty and imprudent, it encourages us to be more resourceful, particularly in turning challenging situations into creative openings. The push to become a dreamer encourages us to be bold, inclusive and focus on what is possible. This is how and why we develop Skillful Means. Idealization is the result of projecting our beliefs on others, hoping they will see things our way. It violates our autonomy by seeking to limit their autonomy. It also limits the expression of intimacy by trying to conceal the expression of Passion. Examples of this in childhood include how parents used what we wanted to do as a way to get us to do what they wanted instead.

One of the biggest irritants at Level 3 is a self-perceived lack of fairness. Since we all have different versions of how the world should be, it challenges our sense of righteousness when others do not even attempt to make something right. Fairness becomes a way of knowing when a partner is the right partner or when they are incompatible with us. While some of this is bluster and generates self-importance, drama can emerge at this level. From our experience, drama is when we act out our pain and trauma without a connection to it. It is used to put others on notice that we are unhappy and they should get in line behind our vision (or there will be consequences!). This pattern is an emotional expansion of the intellectual bluster of Level 2. Some individuals telegraph and amplify their displeasure in a dramatic way to keep others from getting too close.

On a personal level, Idealization is a roller coaster where we are always trying to anticipate what will happen so we are not shocked when it does not happen. When we Idealize partners, we put them on a pedestal, only to be disillusioned by them when they do not meet our intentions. Then we are surprised when they do better than we expect because we had negative aspirations about them. As a result, our partners are always surprising us, even though we are try to stabilize our beliefs about them in relationship. The source of these imbalances is that we are not able to differentiate our lessons from theirs; we tend to amplify the things that would make them seem ideal partners and diminish them when they seem to have challenges we do not want to deal with. The problem is, this does not change our lessons because most of the time to grow we need to deal with the people who repulse us. It ends up that the people that we most get along with we have the least lessons in common, which means that we do not need to apply ourselves as much.

When we Idealize others, we project a polarization on them, which is the result of denying ourselves. Ironically, by entangling others in idealizations, we limit ourselves to ongoing comparisons with them. It is either an elevation of our selves over others, or others over ourselves. Over time, these comparisons become ingrained and accepted as normal. This is why questioning them becomes so explosive. Even our way of Thinking and Sensing become framed by our pre-conceptions of what we want and need to prove. As a result, we cannot see how our own judgments, rejection and resentment affect others. We are either envious or demonstrate scorn. At the least, we demonstrate indifference, faint-heartedness and disparagement. At the worst, indignation and despair. This is caused by our good intentions going awry, no matter how much effort we seem to put into it.

This allows us to hide our self-destructive nature by comparing ourselves to others. Each individual has their own path, lessons and capabilities that cannot be completely or accurately compared. The more we attempt to meet false standards or outer expectations of another, the more we are doomed to fail. This does not even begin to describe the corrupting influence such comparisons create. This attempt to live according to others’ standards tends to create resentment. Here we end up turning these standards around on them. The result is fanaticism and hypocrisy. It is also a blow when we discover that someone is not who we believed they were. In Idealization, we always start with the false premise that someone’s aspiration reflects who and what they are. This applies to us as well when we fixate on where we want to be in order to avoid being where we are. As long as we continue to avoid where we are, we deny the foundation of our being, minimizing growth. More importantly, we deny loving who we are creatively so we do not engage others openly.

Idealization is deadly because it assures us that everything is okay when it is not. When we Idealize, our glamour distorts our perspective and what we want to see or believe, predisposing us to see what we expect. The more we distract ourselves by dreaming about a better future, the more that future actually slips away. When we distance ourselves from our goal (ideal) by making it a long-term project, it provides the justification for why we cannot do anything in the moment. As a result, our Idealization is always about how our future should or should not be. We also Idealize people, falsely believing they are committed to the same things we are committed to. The trap is to make them equal partners before we even experience their contribution. Equality with us is a noble idea for partners who know each other’s contributions and have co-creatively worked together. When we Idealize others, we either give our partners, or ourselves, too much slack, sabotaging the process. While the relationship does not need to be completely balanced, equality of commitment and general action in support of a mutual plan is healthy.

Idealization creates mixed intentions, where we vacillate between wanting to make a difference and wanting others to make a difference for us. This type of drama shifts and changes as we become frustrated by the lack of progress toward our goals. What this reflects is that we are having a difficult time loving and accepting ourselves as we are, wanting only to focus on the positive or negative. At the core of Idealization is the Belief that we may not deserve what we really want in life. Therefore, we end up negotiating with the Universe to see what we can get out of it, if we are willing to work for it. In relationships, we are seeking partners who mirror our aspirations and intentions. This is usually accomplished by choosing people with similar Compatibility Factors. As we see incremental growth, we become more adept at choosing people with an additional similarity in each relationship. With each acknowledged similarity, we have a common point of connection, which allows us to operate more fluidly.

Anxiety is currently having a profound affect on our culture. According to anxietycentre.com, over 40 million adults between the ages of 18 and 54 are being treated for some sort of anxiety condition. Current estimates suggest the number may be as high as 30 percent of the U.S. population. While Higher Alignment focuses on stress reactions in relationships, the cumulative effect of stress is growing throughout society. Overall, Anxiety is the result of becoming more conscious about our own internal discontinuities and fears. While outwardly, we are concerned about what others think about us, inwardly, we are even more disconcerted by the internal blocks we have towards dealing with problems in our lives. Higher Alignment sees a direct relationship between not being able to confront our Objectification, Subjectification and Idealization issues and Anxiety. While many self-help books discuss the shadow side of human nature, they offer few concrete ways to address these issues. One problem is the complexity that comes from overlapping patterns and how it creates layers of awareness where we experience a general dis-ease. The benefit of exploring our shadow side is recognizing that what we are afraid to confront may be keeping us from embodying our Creative Nature. The more we ignore our shadow side, the more power it has to deceive us. Since the primary source of our shadow side patterns is our parents, Imprinting, Pretenses and Defenses can systematically identify shadow elements.

The problem with Idealization is that we become confused about where we are and how we need to take charge to make something happen. It is much easier to talk about living up to ideals rather than actually doing it. We can also be distracted by conversations about how to do it. These arguments distract us from taking any real action. The result is that nothing gets initiated and everyone delays doing what they can to make it happen. We become disillusioned when nothing happens. We fall out of interest in talking to our friends, partners and family members about the same old problems and ideas. We come to recognize that there is a general resistance to any improvement. This is true because most people are afraid of change and if they cannot see a safe way to change, they will not engage it.

When we are unconscious, anything that makes us uncomfortable is typically projected onto others around us. This is because we don’t want to deal with the dissonance or the anxiety of believing that things really are our responsibility. When others react to our projections, we believe that their reaction only confirms that they possess some limitation in this area. This creates many misconceptions that become fundamental defensive beliefs about what is true for our partners. We also take on and believe certain projections from our partners, whenever we feel more powerful by adopting them. This creates an overlap between our projections and the projections of our partner, which we seek to reconcile by negotiating or summarizing our perspective in a way that our partner cannot deny.  

In Partners in Process, we finally begin to notice when others are anxious. This does not mean we feel it, but instead we notice the sweat, red flushing of the face and the heavy stress indicators. As a result, we try to be nice partners and ask them about their experience. The result is something we wish we had not asked. The duality we are experiencing is between repressed Feelings and Emotions. Anxiety is the result of comparing ourselves to others, believing that their expectations of us should be the same as our expectations of us. In a world of many projections, this is not practical. It is just better to accept our own experience, not allowing it to be defined by others, no matter how much we love them. Otherwise, we are constantly at the effect of the needs of others and we end up over-reacting by either closing down or emotionally dumping on them.

We are only susceptible to projections because we are unable to distinguish our space from the space of others. A CNG minimizes projections because it allows us to imagine speaking from each of these spaces separately. This means that when I speak from my personal space, I naturally speak in a way where I take personal responsibility for the fact that this is my own perception, not a shared one or one that reflects another’s truth. For example, when I speak from my personal space, I can say, “It seems to me that a particular problem is occurring and I want to check with you to determine what you perceive in this situation.” This is very different from when we speak from a CNG space. An example would be, “I perceive in the Common Ground that we may have a difference between this issue and the other issue. What do you think about this?” Notice that the way we say this and the type of responsibility for different expressions is being clarified in the way we speak it.

As we become more conscious about our differences, it makes us more sensitive to our greater similarities. We become focused on finding greater Creative Alignment. We appreciate that our partners want to have a common understanding and not be locked into a different Defense. The full manifestation of this shift results in being attracted to similar Defense Style individuals. This eventually results in the desire to consciously merge so we can experience greater harmony and well-being. We also attempt to avoid the harshness of Level 2 by viewing ourselves as Creative, or Spiritual Beings. The more feminine Creative Intelligences we have, the more we want to see Goodness in our lives. If we do not breakthrough and accept our own, natural goodness, our default conditioning distorts our experience and goodness becomes a goal, duty or obligation. This can lead to greater unconscious, spiritual materialism. The more masculine Creative Intelligences we have, the more important our Truth is. Masculine expressions such as Implementer, Orchestrator or Investigator are more prone to Subjectification, where they push their truth on others.

One of the hidden indicators of the Personality Integration level (where we begin to seek out Authentic Creative connections) is Envy. Envy is the obsessive comparison of what we have versus what others have. Items of comparison could be appearance, success, relationships or even personal characteristics (values, humor, flexibility, etc.). These aspects provoke Envy when we have either not yet developed them within ourselves, or we feel we need them in order to be confident or capable. Underneath these outer assessments are the ways in which we anchor our own Passion, Participation and Engagement. When we feel limited or incomplete, it is because we have not balanced our Feelings and Emotions. The outer aspects of Envy are merely reflections of how we are either fragmented or unified in our self-perceptions. By neutralizing Envy, we develop a more holistic and self-affirming way to be present with others and ourselves.

It is false humility to share our selves in order to take care of others. It is false humility because we do not authentically want to support others as we are seeking their acknowledgement that we are superior. The more we fixate on our image at the cost of service, the less authentic we are. Frequently, we are confused about the differences between selfishness and selflessness. This is because we had parents who were overtly selfish, telling us to be selfless. The irony is, we cannot grow if we are denying ourselves. The more we internalize the Separative Desires of our parents, the more confusing it is when we are attempting to find our own path. Any compromise we make between our selves and others just increases our Anxiety. This indicates that we are trapped trying to help others without the tools to first help ourselves. If we find ourselves on a plane when there is explosive decompression, we must first put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we attempt to help others. The same is true with Goodness. Before we can be Good to others, we must first be Good to ourselves. In survival situations, we need to be selfish before we can be selfless, so that everyone can survive. Otherwise, we will collapse quickly and need additional caretaking by others. In our rush to be selfless, we miss the requirement that we must be internally balanced and externally responsive to both giving and receiving. Not receiving is not a badge of honor.

Personality Self-Rejection is breaking free of self-imposed rules and regulations about how we should be good based on the expectations of others. Any time we hold ourselves accountable to some standard of behavior that does not take into account what is really going on in the moment, Personality Self-Rejection Attractions emerge. Personality Self-Rejection can occur on Levels 1 to 3, but on the Partners in Process level it is particularly powerful because it is about perceptions of Goodness. When we outgrow the strait jacket of our need to be perfect, our conditioning strives to push us back into the boxes we initially established in childhood. As a result, we can become self destructive in our effort to break out of these ‘good’ restrictions. At best, it leads to increased self-criticism, at worst we need to destroy all the things we have worked on in an attempt to be more authentic.

On the positive side, this urge for authentic expression is good. On the negative side we tend to seek out individuals with self-image issues. This also means that if we are rebelling, we want a co-conspirator to rebel with or we want someone to complement our rebellion by telling us it is okay. Operating in a way where we cannot be true to ourselves, we tend to attract others who cannot be true to themselves. One indication that we are transcending this issue is our ability to accept a partner completely as they are, without attempting to fix them if they are expressing what we consider as bad. You may have realized that attempting to fix people only reinforces the problem.

Personality Self-Rejection shows up initially as stepping outside our boundaries, doing the unexpected, and discovering that it actually can help in unanticipated ways. Personality Self-Rejection is often tremendously repressed in the Partners in Process level. This Attraction is really about letting go of what repulses us. It is about wanting to destroy the limiting preconceptions of how to deal with an individual. Some of us go so far as to try to rebuild our image as a Bad Boy or Bad Girl so we do not have to live up to someone else’s idea of how good we should be. Until we find our natural Goodness, it is likely that we will swing back and forth between overdoing and under-doing the goodness; simultaneously trying not to upset our partner to the point that they reject us. The polar opposite attraction to Personality Self-Rejection is Self-Acceptance. Here it is important to tell our truth about how we want to be seen and integrate this internally. Otherwise, any attempt to live up to a false image further throws us into Personality Self-Rejection. In this space, we end up acting out this imbalance by doing overly dramatic things to prove our point or to get the attention of others that we did not receive earlier.

Learning The Meaning Of Love

In earlier levels, meaning is external, and taught to us. Many families and groups have explicit membership requirements or agreements about the expected behavior of participants. We are commonly defined in terms of what we should be, what we should want, and what we should need. This means we learn from the love others have or do not have for us. All the advice we received is based on Separative Desires, negating Fears, and attempts to personalize our understanding about how the world works. When we move into Level 3, we begin to appreciate what external beliefs make us happy, and those that will not. The more we are caught up in aspirations that do not motivate us, the more we are living the lives of our parents and previous mentors. We eventually come to a point where no matter how much we try the perspectives we were trained with cannot inspire us. This is the deepest stage of Idealization where everything becomes meaningless. We need to embrace the hopelessness of Idealization before we can reset the rebirth of love in our lives.

To heal Idealization, we need to go beyond outer expressions of love to being love. The main way we accomplish this is to accept our Creative Nature. Meaning that we begin to act, relate and actualize our Primary Creative Expression. Usually this requires operating not just in our ideas about how we are creative, but to really manifest or actualize our expression at Level 4 or above. As there are seven levels of actualization, Level 4 reflects how we have released our fears and are now shifting from Separative Desires to Transpersonal Desires. Compassion and service in our lives are good indications that we are making this transition. Unfortunately, there are many ways we can be trapped into externalized Attachments, Positions or Projections of love.

What this does is awaken us to the limitations of how we have engaged love in our lives. When we reset ourselves, the only thing that becomes meaningful is the actual experience of Radiant Self-Unifying Love. We emerge stronger when we learn how to nurture and validate what truly motivates us. The more we honor our Life Purpose, the clearer this self-love will become. The virtue of knowing what we are willing to die for clears our heads, and we no longer look for meaningless answers to life’s questions. Instead, we affirm what is meaningful to us so we map how our real Transpersonal Desires relate to the demonstrated desires of others. This keeps us from frustration when others cannot engage or follow through. Instead we take action and assume responsibility for our aspirations by engaging our heart. We quickly determine who is real and authentic, and who is not. We also can determine who has the capacity to grow with us and who does not. Idealizers count on others to make changes so they do not need to confront their own incongruences. They gather Adoration and Admiration by pushing or guiding others to make the change. They do this to look Good, not to be Good. In this way, Idealizers become obstacles to the changes they supposedly seek. This is why Idealizers are hypocrites.

One way of defining love is based on our needs, which we are defining as being driven by fear. If someone provides us Safety, they could believe they love us because they are providing for us. We could fall into the trap of believing that because they are providing for us, indicating that they care about us. This extends to Security issues. When someone provides for us through time, we imagine it as an ongoing demonstration of their commitment, therefore they must love us. Seeing love as something to prove is also an indication that we are dealing with love on the Subjectification level. On the other side of the chart, love can be about giving and receiving Pleasure, particularly when we are identifying love as a sexual expression. If we move up to the Subjectification level, this action is about demonstrations of Defensive Power that support us. Someone could take care of us or make sure we come to no harm by being directive with others. Ultimately, we start getting into real expressions of love the less they are positions and the more they are ways of interacting with each other, such as Passion. When we renounce external ways of taking care of each other, by making a commitment to be there for each other by attempting to be Co-Creative, equal and available in a whole new way, this is a more expansive expression of love than Safety or Security demonstration.

What we have not discussed is how Excitement, Intensity and Anxiety are artificial ways to feel connected to each other when there might be little or no real connection at all. As you may realize, Excitement is a solitary experience, and getting our partner Excited does not guarantee that they will love us. In fact, they could become very angry with us and not express themselves in their Excitement because it contains repressed fears. Intensity is also an internalized experience that provides little room for others to interact with us. Anxiety is also incredibly isolating because no matter what a partner says, we are comparing our self poorly to them. This is because we believe that we cannot change their perception of us and therefore we will forever be at the their effect. What this means is that loving, in these lower forms, is not as unifying as people anticipate.

The paradox is that we fall in love with the idea that others will heal us. It is our optimism and growing ability to identify bad partners that promotes this Idealism. What brings out our shadow side is the experience that others just want to blame us when things do not meet previous expectations. Our goodness, humility and caring only hide our anger and anxiety when our ideals are not met. Compromises in emotions and feelings get held until we cannot deal with the situation, and drama ensues. Initially, we seek alignment by choosing partners who have similar motivations, ideals and aspirations. What we are really seeking is someone to affirm us and reflect our values. Unfortunately, the outer representations of these values become more important than their essence. Until we clear out our Expectations and any false Motives, we cannot focus on our actual Authentic Life Expression.

One of the main ways we validate love is by exchanges of Protection, Direction and Support. If we feel protected or supported by a partner, we typically relax and feel good about having them in our life. What we do not appreciate is when a partner makes promises that turn out to be hollow and ineffective in their support. Typically, the more clear we are about what we need, and the more demanding our expectations, the greater the tension is produced, to the point where love becomes a full-out, Quid Pro Quo exchange of time, energy and effort. The more personality self-importance we have, the more demanding we become, and the less flexible we are in what we expect from them. Some would say that in this way, love becomes toxic. Usually this is because we have personalized love so that it becomes about how well they caretake us and in return, how well we caretake them.

While we will talk more about the true nature of love soon, most individuals get caught up in Attachments or Positions about love that limit their perceptions and growth. As long as we believe that sex and love are not completely available, we are caught up in scarcity and conditional love (Protective, Directive and Quid Pro Quo expressions). This can be validated by the degree to which we think we have to earn love or believe we are entitled to it in the way we want. As long as we associate love as providing safety, taking care of us, or affirming our aspirations, love can be marginalized. In the worst-case situations we can fall into addictive patterns where sex and love become the same. As a result, we become angry when our partners do not conform to our desires. Dr. Athena Staik has an article on love and addiction, which may be interesting to read.

While love can be amplified by personality perspectives it can also be overwhelmed by addictive imbalances.  Most will think that falling in love based on familiarity and the illusion of safety is all we need to worry about. Truthfully, this is only the most obvious addiction we act out. It takes greater insight to see the addiction involved in choosing the opposite attraction individuals. Until we choose partners with the same Defense style and awaken our creativity, we will usually not see any patterns of co-dependence. Even more subtle, is the enmeshment of shared visions. It is easier to first believe we have agreement with others, only to find out how much we were wrong. Idealization operates on mutual projections so we do not have to confront our own fears and inadequacies. This is why individuating our Self is critical in the second stage. Otherwise, we will not even see the addictions of Idealization. It is also the reason that co-dependence has a second life on Level 3.

When we shift into the Idealization of love, it becomes about how much our partner demonstrates their willingness to go beyond the norm and be outrageous in their pursuit of us. Infinite Love is a commitment to do whatever it takes to demonstrate our love. As you can tell from the title, it is very idealized. Eternal love is a commitment to be there forever and to constantly reassure our partner that they do not need to worry about us disappearing. We even Idealize service when we personalize it and need credit for how much we do for our partner on a day to day basis. A lot of times, this becomes a contest about who can do the most to prove that their love is greater than their partner’s love. Unfortunately, all these Idealized forms of love are unconscious ways of competing to prove how good we are relative to our partner, which is counter-productive in terms of having a good relationship. If we have to prove it this badly, it must not be real.

When we approach love from a Transpersonal perspective, it is not only healthy, but required for our progress. Love of our Personality self is isolating, defensive and positional. It leads to Anxiety and self-deception. Idealization is based on personality love and is repulsed by anyone affirming their authentic Creative Nature. This is the lesson of Level 3, where we make the transition from Personality love to a gracious gratitude of our ability to love everyone as they are. Making this experience real and meaningful moves us forward. Transpersonal love does not need any form of acknowledgement. In fact, requiring acknowledgment distracts us from providing true love to our partners. This is why we say that Radiant Self-Unifying Love is the most fulfilling type of expression. It is about the pure joy of contributing to another without the need for any acknowledgement or return on the investment. Until we embrace the fact that love is Transpersonal, and stop focusing it on individuals, we are not ready for fully conscious relationships.

We complete the healing of our Idealization when we no longer use love as a personality expression. This means that we do not get attached, positioned or project love onto a particular individual for the purpose of being affirmed ourselves. If we need this type of affirmation, we should be giving it to ourselves. It is one of the last major areas of incompletion before we move into fully conscious relationships. As long as we think we need a partner to complete us, we are not completely operating from Radiant Self-Unifying Love. While it is great to have a partner, we need to be able to love them in an expanded framework because they are connected to our environment. When a partner chooses to consciously interact with us, they do so through a CNG, which becomes a starting place for developing a larger connection. This connection knows no boundaries in energy, time or space. This means that they can be anywhere and we experience them to whatever degree we would like. This is Transpersonal love. Here we let go of any association of being physically present with each or not being present, and judging ourselves as being less supported because of it. This also releases us from thinking that we need this one person to be everything to us, when in fact, our partner is a mirror for more of our life than we even realize.

Authentic Love is a meditation with our higher Self. Everything we could say to others, we need to first say to ourselves to make sure we are complete and whole when we engage others. The more we can operate from our highest perceptions of ourselves, and the more integrated these perceptions are, the more powerful our sense of conscious presence will be with ourselves. While it is possible to personalize our love for our selves and others, it is not useful to get stuck in these personalizations. For example, we may see the outer beauty of another person and get attached to it, at the cost of not acknowledging their inner beauty. We can also love someone for their ability to tell their truth, while being repulsed by their defensive patterns. This repulsion could keep us from holding a higher possibility of loving them as they are. What we need to do is to affirm ourselves by honoring and loving ourselves completely, because our obstacles to love will become limitations in trying to love others. Dr. Athena Staik provides some good frameworks for stretching our inner sense of possibility so we can love ourselves more. Here is a link to her article, “Genuine Love” which summarizes True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh. Her second article on the topic, “Four Elements Of Love” discusses the elements of loving kindness, compassion, joy and freedom.

We will operate in the distortions of Idealization as long as we are unable to love ourselves. Self-nurturing is the capacity to be compassionate and take care of our selves on all levels. Any imbalances in our Modalities create defensive entanglements that will continue to irritate us as we become more sensitive in Level 3. Self Love allows us to see how we have mistreated ourselves, allowing us to be more compassionate with our Self. This is why it is so important to affirm how much we like and appreciate our natural creativity. When we can declare our contributions to the world, it allows us to show up as a true creative manifestation and that what we do matters. What makes this real is the personal meaning we assign to our life or to the people we serve. Without this level of embodied creative being, we cannot bring our personalities into account.

Making choices involves becoming more discriminating about the differences between how we serve the world and what we do to serve ourselves. While most individuals get caught up serving themselves, this limits the ability to see ourselves from a higher perspective. It prevents us from operating in our highest Creative Nature, so we can recognize what is important in terms of taking care of our personality needs. While on Level 2 we were balancing between our masculine and feminine, on Level 3 we are now balancing between our higher and lower expressions. Initially, we tend to go through a period of not taking care of our Personality, which is not helpful. We somehow believe that if we practice self-forgetfulness and do not take actions to be healthy, that somehow things will still work out. While this practice is useful to counterbalance exaggerated self-importance, we are identifying with our Personality. We eventually need to recognize that the balance comes from giving everything its due. If we are minimizing our reactions because we are becoming Transpersonal, then the personality considerations where we express our needs are not a barrier to being more creative. Instead, it is the best way to invest in our Self to increase our contributions to others.

One way to validate this is whether we are driven by our fears or desires (indicating conditioning). If Safety and Security issues consume the majority of our time, there is little or no investment in our Creative Nature. These are all indications that we are unable to love our Self because we think Love is external to us. If we step into our Creative Nature and love our ability to awaken possibilities in others, then we are on the right path to embracing the ability to love our Self. The more we invest, the more we can accept. This allows us to be compassionate not only with others, but with our Self. We then naturally seek to balance our Personality framework, which allows us to let this part of us express itself fully without taking anything away from our Creative Being.

Honoring Our Creative Being

A Common Neutral Ground at Level 4 opens up the portals of our perception to a larger opportunity. Now that we are no longer caught up in reactions, we can easily validate and investigate Compatibility Factors, Motives, Attraction and Relationships Skills in others and ourselves. The more we are self reflective of our inner processes and take ownership of them, the more we come to see how others’ responses reveal their patterns of interaction. This awakens us to understanding what is possible to share with someone without creating additional reactions and what will likely bond us in a more effective way. In order to implement this possibility we need to recognize what we can and cannot say in any moment. Ironically, the very ability that helps us sort out and predict where reactions will occur also guides us to being more present and outgoing in our desire to take risks in service of larger creative possibilities.

The core issue is to trust our reflections of what is congruent and what is not. The value of this is that we use areas of congruence and similarity to build Creative Flow, so we can have the Intimacy and Co-Creative experiences that will bond us. It is the harmony we create in these congruent experiences that supports us when dealing with uncomfortable differences or similarities. Wherever we are not congruent, either in ourselves or with partners, we need to learn to accept that some of our perceptions may not be accurate or appropriately applied to the circumstance. Without compassion for ourselves and our partner’s differences, there can be little or no engagement. By speaking directly to the issues we come to understand each other and can use our differences to forward the relationship process.

The most important aspect to creating and maintaining a CNG is to Love, Esteem and Respect our partner. This means operating with as much integrity as possible about our agreements and recognizing we need to proactively communicate when something is not working. We do not have a Co-Creative relationship unless we are both able to relax in each other’s presence, and discuss what we want to accomplish together. This means we need to have a positive emotional bank account with each other so we do not fall into a situation of not having enough desire to move the relationship forward. Two things that will guarantee relationship breakups at this level is a partner who either cannot tell their Truth (and constantly disappoints their partner) or when we do tell the Truth. This does not mean we do not love each other, but that we cannot be of highest service to each other.

When we honor the dignity of others, it permits us to establish better human relationships. Higher Alignment is about creating harmony where there was none. This requires that we recognize that we tend to affirm what we know and discount what we do not know. One of the real benefits of this document is to make you aware of all the different possibilities that exist. Even when we understand the differences, we can also have a bias toward believing what we do and the way we do it makes sense to us. Therefore, we believe in those individuals who think and act like us. We need to understand that how we measure performance is incomplete and distorted based on our own history. What we do know now, is that there is a wide spectrum of choices and gifts that emerge under various circumstances. This means we have to attract solutions and honor everyone, even if they do not what we would want. By focusing on what we need, we attract individuals with similar intentions. Our best option is that working together will evoke solutions that will surprise us. Otherwise, what are our options?

In a CNG, we experience every congruent truth as a mutual experience. When this occurs, our experience expands into their experience. They are able to mirror us and support our growth process. We are able to do the same for them. Any differences become opportunities to see the world in different ways. Our partner learns how to appreciate and enjoy things that may have repulsed them because we get so much enjoyment from them. We discover how these differences add a secondary level to our mutual growth process. They become possible expansions where we learn to neutralize any Intensity or conflict so we become more cognizant of how these differences can be useful in creative problem solving. The more natural alignment we possess in our Compatibility Factors, Motives, Attractions and Skills, the more natural space we bring to the process so that we can expand more quickly to embrace our differences. This does not mean that we cannot strive to neutralize these differences and create more harmonic experiences together through a direct approach of confronting and talking about them. It does mean that the more we love ourselves, the more naturally we can synergize with others and be more creatively empowered to change anything and everything we want.

When we affirm Radiant Self-Unifying Love for our selves and others, it opens the door to having transpersonal relationships. This means that while we are supportive of the needs of our partners, we do not define ourselves completely in terms of them. Instead, we recognize that every partner needs to affirm his or her Creative Nature to operate with Autonomy. Unless they assume authorship of their life and can define their own path, they cannot operate in a Transpersonal, Co-Creative relationship. Another requirement of Transpersonal relationships is the ability to be self-reflective and able to share our experience intimately. This is why Radiant Self-Unifying Love is such a heart-to-heart bonding event. While these relationships do not need to be romantic, they are Transfiguring because they provide new ways of interconnecting with others. These experiences deepen our understanding of our Self and our place in the universe. They provide meaning and clarity of our purpose. Most of all, they expand our Context so we are able to think in terms of how others will be affected or impacted before proceeding. Energetically this process is greatly facilitated through Defensive healing because it opens us up to experiencing the true modalities of our partner.

When our partners are more creatively in Alignment with us, we tend to adapt ourselves to their reality and not take responsibility for how we manifest our choices. This is due to a lack of personal Context. We find ourselves dependent on others to make connections for us so we do not initiate our own discovery and creativity. Instead, we become submerged in adoring our partners without recognizing that we need to be examining our own possibilities and making the best choices for ourselves. This is the final limitation to being present in our own Autonomy. When we can accept both the good and bad in our partners as they truly are, we are no longer distorting our image of them.

When we limit types of connections by denying particular Relationship Skills, we minimize connections with others. Each of the twelve Skills teaches us a new way to connect with others. Most people operate with three to five Skills at best. This means there are a lot of ways they could connect with others if they were motivated to learn additional Skills. Every time we close down a Skill that we have previously activated with another person, it creates pain for us and the other person. This creates the main reasons we leave partners at this level. Sometimes this has a lot to do with our conditioning about what we can or cannot do, which is particularly influenced when a partner withholds from us or otherwise hurts us so that we withdraw our willingness to participate. A benefit of developing our Relationship Skills is that with every Skill we add, we love ourselves more. This helps us trust individuals with similar Compatibility Factors. Until we do this, our Personality programming is more comfortable with opposite attraction relationships. It also prevents us from seeing or engaging similar partners, falsely believing that there is no creative chemistry. If we bond with similar compatibility factors, the creative chemistry will supercharge the sexual chemistry. Loving ourselves shifts our Attractions and chemistry, making conscious relationships operate in a different way.

What we learn is to keep our passions hidden so others will not be able to manipulate us. This leads us to play chess with our Feelings, Emotions and Passions, anticipating when and how it is safe or secure to proceed. One of the first things we do when entering this level is to determine who wants what we want and distance ourselves from those that are questionable. This means a lot of our opposite attraction friends and partners will be left behind because of their need to oppose and question us. The irony of this process is that we are still hesitant to fully engage our Passions. We are always anticipating that others will use our passion against us. This does not keep us from projecting our Passions onto them, because we believe that what is good for others, should be great for us. While we may not be conscious of this strategy to tie others into our needs, it does not escape us that we are often frustrated and lack patience when others do not align with our Passions. The problem with Idealization is that the enmeshment that occurs is frequently justified in the name of growth and the desire to be Good. This is why it can be so healing not to be a caretaker, defensively nice, or overly sentimental.

The Balance of Goodness

Essentially, Goodness is about making a positive impression upon others. We seek to bring out the best in others so they will accept and love themselves more. Externally, it is experienced as Humility, Striving, and Service. Internally, it is about dedication to our Purpose, while embracing the well being of those around us. Most individuals tend to personalize Goodness by seeing it as the degree to which we get along with others. They use niceness, caring, and even adaptability as indicators that they consider themselves Good. Higher Alignment proposes that Goodness is actually about operating in ways that produce the largest benefit for the most involved. This approach is more Transpersonal because it is about how we can meet and serve others without compromising Universal Intent. When we are operating on the level of our Creative Nature, it is no longer about personality needs.

On this level we need to integrate our Feelings with our Emotions to know what is actually good. Goodness comes from our Spirit and honors our natural desire to be human and vulnerable. It promotes acceptance and peace. It provides an opportunity for Grace to be experienced. We recommend periods of Silence to enhance our ability to be with our Goodness. Many times the voices in our heads reflect different personality aspects that are incomplete within us. When we can integrate these, Goodness and Peace become possible. We are then able to demonstrate greater Compassion for others. Instead of focusing on differences, we focus on how to integrate ourselves and be more inclusive of others. This is why cooperation becomes so important to us.

Goodness is a natural response when we feel connected to the universe. It is a way of interacting with all of the possibilities around us so that we embrace all of our opportunities. This permits us to make choices that serve us and serve the world at the same time. Without this integration, our personality distortions separate our mind and body knowing, sabotaging one or the other, based on our in-the-moment emotional state. This makes us dramatic and unpredictable. It means that we rely on our personality perspective to define what we want and how we want it. This creates a sense of entitlement where we can believe that the world owes us a living. We attract lessons where what we have becomes lost or unavailable because we have not been the best stewards of the things that we have, e.g. having a home and friends.

As you can see from this conversation, Goodness is usually personalized in terms of Feelings and Emotions. When we use our Emotions to try to control our Feelings, it creates distortions in our ability to act. We end up second-guessing ourselves. When the Feelings become overdone, and the Emotions take a back seat, we also have imbalances in our ability to tell our Truth. On Level 3, these imbalances become the basis of having either common aspirations or divergent ones. This means that initially we could do well with someone, until an aspiration surfaces that separates us from our partner. The problem is that we usually are identifying with our Feelings and/or Emotions to a degree that limits our ability to care for our larger self.

The more we are out of balance between Feelings and Emotions, the more we use Idealization in an attempt to manipulate or control our partner. In Level 2, this was more overt and focused on who had the best information or insights. In Level 3, the issue is always about who has the best way to make things right. The more we argue over how to engage, the less we are able to implement what we desire. The issue becomes one of differences rather than honoring similarities and moving together. In this situation, we typically blame the other and tend to define ourselves in terms of how our partner limits us. This is counterproductive and eventually leads to relationship breakups.

Revealing our true experience can either fragment the relationship or bring us together in a more complete and whole way. This is based on our ability or lack of ability to be compassionate with our partners and to be able to see their perspective as well as our own. Until we do this, we really do not have an ability to be completely Transpersonal. The benefit of doing this is learning how to be unified even when we have considerable differences. It makes us stronger as individuals and as a couple, when we can acknowledge differences and still embrace and use the similarities. We also begin to see how much we need to be seen by our partner in order to be effective in the relationship. For some individuals who have more experience with this, having a few similarities can be enough. For other individuals, who need to feel seen as much as possible, this means choosing partners with greater similarities.

When we unify our Feelings and Emotions, it also creates a connection between our body and mind. Our body awareness can then be an alternative perspective to our personal experience of truth. When we have both of these frameworks available, they can check and balance each other. It also creates a way to resolve conflicts between us by coming up with in-the-moment solutions where we act in alignment with our higher knowing. Some individuals call this unified framework our intuition, but at Higher Alignment, we call it Vibratory Expansion because it allows us to express and integrate our Passion. The more integrated we are in our framework, the more Passion we can express. It helps us to anchor our experience in our hearts. It also makes us clear when we connect to others. This is because our integration process allows us to resolve differences between our Creative Self and our Personality Self. The more harmonious we are in ourselves, the clearer we are about what is going on with others.

When we are balanced (between Feelings and Emotions) and present with our Goodness, Idealization is neutralized and we can see the Relationship Skills of our selves and others. The more Idealization we have, the more limited our connections to others, as we typically use two or three of twelve possible connections. The more we embody Relationship Skills, the more it indicates that we love ourselves as we are. Each Relationship Skill denied reflects parts of ourselves where we deny or do not accept who we are. In effect, we choose the types of connections with another by which Skills we activate with them. Most of the time, this reflects either the Skills they embody, or the ways they make themselves available. By appreciating them only for certain Relationship Skills, it sets us up to develop complimentary skills because we don’t know any better.

More importantly, equality is unfair and unsustainable in any project where we cannot be present with each other in the moment and feel relaxed and confident about our ability to make a difference. When we Idealize and end up disagreeing, retribution is the name of the game. We can see examples of this whenever people believe the best in people and then are disappointed, making them the worst people on the planet. Most examples of demonization are the result of some initial Idealization. It is also true that people in the public eye who accumulate a good reputation, tend to make others envious, leading them to undermine or bring down these individuals whenever possible. In the media, this produces a roller-coaster effect where celebrities vacillate between being good people and bad people to sell more stories. Idealization always intensifies drama and justifies people’s stories about themselves, even if they are not true.

On the third level of CNG, Co-Measurement is the ability to autonomously adjust to each other’s circumstances to maximize our mutual benefit. In Co-Measurement, we first establish what is our natural capacity to support others and do not go beyond this level. While most individuals idealize their ability to be creative with another person, the reality is that very few people have the capacity to adjust to others without compromising themselves. The reason for this is that we do not have a balanced method for assessing both our strengths and weaknesses. This leads us to either push ourselves to do more than we can, or hold back until we know we can. Having great CNG Skills means being able to see who we are because we are affirming ourselves.

The more we are around individuals with a strong CNG, the greater the speed of our integration and growth. We come to recognize that deeper individuals are more able to meet us. We notice how much joy we have being with them, because they stimulate us to be more conscious. The objective becomes finding others who can mirror us while simultaneously having their own inner realizations that distinguish them. This ability to have multiple learning and growing processes between partners can only occur when both have accepted the power of Paradox. Interdependent Lessons become more critical as we learn how to trust that if we do not have a solution, our partner will. Paradox is the ability to see many seemingly contradictory truths on the surface, but if we look deeper, we find a central unifying Truth.

One of the main benefits of interacting with others using a CNG is that we no longer need to caretake or help our partner be more conscious. How often do we find ourselves with individuals who need guidance and prompting just to complete whatever we are doing together? As we become proficient in CNG, we naturally learn how to keep our eye on the ball to make sure everything is going well. CNG increases our awareness when something is not working or flowing. We can feel obstacles arise in the CNG space. When we are with others, this awareness increases and we can support each other more effectively without being perceived as judgmental or defensive.

We have a balanced appreciation of our capabilities when we can be fully present in our bodies and minds simultaneously. When we idealize ourselves, these two sides of us can reflect different perspectives of how we are doing. When these aspects disagree, we have no easy way of reconciling them. When we are out of balance and not able to reconcile our own misgivings, we feel compromised when we adjust to others. Any change is seen as a lack of personal power. When we are unclear and unable to balance ourselves, the relationship becomes a burden. It is even more problematic if we attempt to adjust to others without affirming ourselves. This compromises our Autonomy and diminishes our energetic integrity. By denying ourselves, we end up becoming resentful and angry with others who need or rely on our support.

We can also get caught in attention-evoked-bliss (commonly known as Anxiety) when we fixate on certain principles, practices or places as a way to escape this Anxiety. Idealization distracts us by making certain things mean something more than is actually true. Since it reflects a disconnection and imbalance between our Feelings and Emotions (which are also seen as the dissonances between body and mind), Idealization favors one-sided perceptions (body feeling/knowing or emotional/mental knowing). Which one do you prefer? How do you attempt to make your reality reflect this preference? Can you recognize when your bias is in operation? What is the cost in energy, frustration, and inability to engage life with Passion? If the answers to these questions make you uncomfortable, there are parts of you that you do not currently accept or love. Remember that love self-unifies you and is not automatically a desire for Attention and Affirmation.

The more we believe that passionate experiences are based on physical or intellectual accomplishments, the more envious we are of others who demonstrate greater Unity or integration. Envy is often precipitated by the false belief that others have it so much easier than we do. Every person has their own path appropriate to their contributions and challenges. Until we trust this perspective, we will continue to be Envious. The way out of Envy is to centralize our Feelings and Emotions so our Desire becomes free and our intuition blossoms. When we bring our Feelings and Emotions together, we attract those who are equal to us. Otherwise, we are caught in a hierarchical world with people we have to caretake. We believe that keeping others from falling into a frustrating experience justifies our controlling their options.  When we transfigure Envy we are naturally more compassionate, open, available and understanding of others.

The problem on this level is that we want to be wanted more than is healthy for us. We attempt to convince ourselves that we are here for others. Most of the time this is a reaction to releasing ourselves from our defenses. Where previously we were self-preoccupied and focused on our own security, now we try to prove how positive we can be. The challenge becomes on how to actually be good, not an idealization of what we believe is good. Being good comes from our heart’s connection to everything. Trying to be good comes from our mind’s idea of how to be good. The answer is knowing the balance between the past and future where we can be present and whole, in the now.

At the third level of CNG embodiment, we begin to see the meaning of relationships. We wake up to the lessons that evolve in different types of relationships and how we cannot go beyond our partner’s capacity to embrace a lesson. This wakes us up to the limitations of relationships, and also helps us to understand where opportunities lie. The most important thing is that we begin to consciously deal with superficial obstacles so we can actually benefit from being in certain relationships. As this occurs, our confidence increases and we can take more risks in finding a way to optimize the relationships we are in. Some individuals at this level become overly committed to partners who do not want to expand or break out of these limitations. This choice, to choose to stay with partners even when they are not good for us, can be honored here because of the profound connections made. (No shame/no blame.) Sometimes the best we can do is to maintain the status quo.

The positive aspect of learning to engage others without compromise is that we no longer need to take on guilt, shame and blame inappropriately. The more we can get beyond these defensive patterns, the greater our Personality Detachment. As long as we are able to forgive ourselves for the mistakes of our past, and not carry them forward into our life, the more we can love ourselves. Otherwise, these self-judgments create havoc in our internal understanding of what motivates us. The real problem at this level is that the more we are imbalanced in our Feelings and Emotions, the less we honor ourselves. This leads us to inappropriately making others wrong for their contribution to our situation. At this level, it is important to recognize our impact in making mistakes so that we do not project our problems onto others. Ultimately, it is about forgiving ourselves so we no longer need to preemptively place our blame, shame and guilt on others.

All growth occurs through embracing dualities. In this case, we heal Idealization in the present by accepting that what we want to be true is only one possibility. Since the world is multi-dimensional, and every one of us has a vote in our future, it would serve us well to invite others to join our vision so that we can manifest it together. What does your dreamer seek? How would you like to live? We attract individuals that operate at the same level as us, and at Level 3, align with our vision so that they have similar desires. What we need to watch out for is competition around our Desires. This is why cooperation becomes so important. When we Idealize others or ourselves, we become self-preoccupied, which prevents cooperation. This is why we say Idealization covertly undermines relationships.

When we shift out of Defenses, our creativity begins to flourish. Things that seemed easy in the past now appear more complicated because we are now more aware.  We usually get caught up in how we can make a difference, only to be shocked when things do not go as planned. There is a natural period of readjustment where we need to discard the previous shortcuts and reorganize how we engage our processes without Idealization. When we learn to heal our automatic thinking about how something ‘should’ occur, things go better. We also need to wake up to the necessity that all interactions with others need a common space outside of our personal space. When we separate our personal space from our shared space, it creates greater clarity. The benefit is that we will not need to take in any of the comments of others that would have previously thrown us off balance.

We learn to differentiate ourselves around our Creativity. Our desire to become more transpersonal helps us to investigate new and different types of individuals. Most people are only comfortable with three to seven of the 343 different Creative Expression combinations. Going beyond our familiarity-comfort-zone, and exploring the kinds of relationships that bring out the best in us, changes our perspective about who we are and what we can do. Compassionate and Visionary Intelligences tend to personalize their experiences, which makes them able to see the differences in others while accepting themselves. This allows them to get out of their limited frameworks. Others have greater difficulties because their Expectations reinforce being with only a few selected creative types who are familiar, safe and secure. Most of our relationship choices are familiar because we have pre-identified safe combinations of Creative Expression, where we know what to do to maximize the benefits of the relationship.

One of the most important aspects of Level 3 is that we are learning the difference between compromising ourselves and operating authentically. When we are authentic, we feel more engaged and passionate. When we are compromised, we feel more envious and anxious. Embodying our Authentic Nature starts to be realized when we affirm our Primary Creative Expression. Initially, this could be a nebulous, emotional experience; it feels natural, and yet entirely new. We end up not being sure if it is real because it feels so involving and supportive to others. What makes our Primary Creative Expression different than our Secondary is that our Primary Expression is one where when we contribute we and others are served simultaneously by the activity. It also seems more Contextual (spacious) because we seem to not need to prove ourselves, but are interested in just letting things develop. As a result, this dream of being a co-creative being becomes real and actualized just by engaging it.

In Level 3, we begin building our authentic Creative Nature. We separate the false patterns and reactive impulses from those that resonate and create joy. Our Personality is fearful that our joy will undo all its remaining protection patterns. It’s valuable to remember that our Personality fear is not a reflection of our Creative Nature. The Creative Self lives in joy and wants to stand revealed. It is only our Personality’s Fears and Desires that interfere with this unfolding. Every time you do something with joy, notice to what degree your activity matches your authentic expression. If we are aligned, then joy and Vibratory Expansion will naturally confirm our choices. Every Compatibility Factor, Motive, Attraction and Relationship Skill will tell you the degree to which you are on your life path. This is the path of Right Relationships.

We seek full conscious participation with every engagement, no matter how large or small. Co-creativity brings out unity of purpose and spirit, and clarifies our path. What we want to do is build our internal resources so we are able to respond directly. This means exploring options, manifesting creative gifts and talents, and learning how to work with others. We will find that some resonate and understand our perspectives. We will also learn how differences—while challenging—can be uplifting as well.  All these differences and uncomfortable similarities are preparing us for larger contributions.

Learning to consciously connect to another is aided by using similarities to establish a foundation for sharing. These similarities could be common Compatibility Factors, Motives, Attractions, and Relationship Skills. The more we can meet others where they are and establish rapport, the greater the consciousness we can mobilize to make things better. We need to expand our inner connections so decision-making becomes the conscious way of engaging problem solving. The more individuals align together (using a CNG) the greater the synergistic effects. This is how a small group of individuals can have a profound effect on a larger, less conscious group. We begin with learning how to declare our intentions. After we establish our own CNG, we connect and overlap our CNG by visualizing a common space and setting an intention. This intention needs to be either a Transpersonal or Impersonal Desire. Separative Desires will not work. Every group needs to first align themselves to Universal Intent by imagining Life, Light and Love energies enveloping their physical form. By immersing ourselves in the support of the Universe, it allows us to stabilize our Personal Intentions within the larger framework. It also allows us to strengthen the CNG when we can concentrate on, meditate and contemplate the possibilities we have with others. The clearer we are about what we are dedicated to, the stronger the field effects will be.

Personality Integration is the process of bringing together our Creative Nature and Personality. While it is a long-term process, it usually initiates before we are 35. Not all people complete the process of stepping into their Creative Nature. In fact, the vast majority in this country do not. Duality arises between our mortal (Personality Self) and immortal self (Creative Nature). While we do not have to believe in reincarnation, it surely helps. To the more secular individuals, this transition is often called a mid-life crisis. This is where we notice something is missing, but we’re not sure exactly what it is. What we are sure of is that the old way of doing things no longer works. The key element that creates this duality is identification with our need to be Safe and Secure, which is our Defensive Identity. This Personality behavior gets codified into roles and patterns that seem to be the easy way to get what we want. Educating ourselves about these dualities of Life, Light and Love makes us human.

The benefits of affirming our Creative Nature is that we begin to distinguish what makes us authentic and real and what things we have adopted from others that is no longer real. This means we begin eliminating our Imprinting and Pretenses. When we do this, people find it easier to engage us. They also recognize the realness with which we are engaging other people and are attracted to it. We begin to be magnetically sensitive to other individuals who are embodying themselves as we are. This means we attract individuals with a higher Worldview. We also get used to being with people with greater similarities, which leads to more fulfilling, deeper connections. Most importantly, we start to express our Passion authentically. This can even lead to the use of Skillful Means where we use commonalities to promote easier co-creative connections.

Our Primary Creative Expression is, for most of us, a step into the unknown. This is because unlike our Mental Body Expression, which is about doing, or our Secondary Expression, which is about relating, our Primary Expression is completely about Being. There is always an unknown when we engage our Primary Creative Expression. This means we need to get comfortable with uncertainty, Playfulness and Paradox. When we first step into this arena, we usually have mixed results. This is because our Primary Creative Imprinting has conditioned us to doubt that who we really are can be seen and supported by others. As a result, we need to actively affirm and explore our Primary Expressions until we get consistent, clear and unambiguous feedback that we have natural gifts in this domain.

Another reason individuals are not sure about their Primary Expression is because there are different creative gifts that emerge when we connect up with different creative expressions. This creates 343 unique sequences. Comparing ourselves between these is like comparing apples with oranges. Each of these expressions has different degrees and capabilities that emerge only when we connect to certain expressions. Certain Creative Expression combinations produce a natural outpouring of skills and gifts while others provide completely different responses. It also depends on where we are in embodying our creative expressions, particularly including our Primary. We mark out these actualizations on a scale of 0 to 7, with 7 being the highest level. A common way to identify this hierarchy is to say that the first level relates to inner fears, while the second level relates to outer fears. On the third level, it is about inner desires, and the fourth level, outer desires. The fifth through seventh levels indicate the different ways we connect with people who are the same as we are, as well as people who are different. Level 7 indicates that we have mastered the full expression and are masterful in our ability to meet and support others in our expression.

The seven Primary Creative Expressions are:

  • Orchestrator Primary —We want to see, know and declare what is needed. Our comprehensive intention will carry the day. We are steadfast, determined and precise in the contribution we wish to make. We are very rare, but we usually show up either to clear the way for new development or to reestablish or reinvigorate a new area of creativity. For example, in the 1980s, a number of Orchestrator women were magnetized to Silicon Valley, which stimulated development at that time. We attract people with many diverse talents and skills, allowing us to assemble the exact right teams to accomplish any particular mission. It does not really matter to us whether the people get along or not because we impose ourselves in the middle of the process so most things come directly through us in order to be passed on to other people. When we are conscious about creativity, we become more relaxed and team-oriented.

  • Compassionate Primary — We want to experience and express love. We reflect back to people the things they have denied in themselves so they can be who they are. We are re-creators of others’ thoughts, and we help build greater connections between people, processes and places. What we bring to others is a sense of home. Some would say we are the most adaptive intelligence when it comes to people because we see what people need as well as what they want. We are integrators, amplifiers and synthesizers of both common support structures for society and new projects that build on the common welfare of the society. In the United States, with children younger than ten years old, we make up almost half of the population. This means there will be a great upsurge of Compassionate activity in the future. We have a lot of flexibility in our career choice. When we are in a job, people want us to be their boss. Our jobs depend on what we feel motivated to do. If the job is uplifting, it doesn’t matter what it is; however, if the job is suffocating, we have to leave it.

  • Implementer Primary — We want to experience the momentum of doing things the best way possible. Our drive for precise efficiency sets the standard for performance. While we could get caught in ‘doing’, the key thing we contribute is a sense that everything will work out. It is our clarity and comfort with challenges that allows others to relax. While there are many more Secondary Implementers than Primaries, particularly in the United States, we persevere by encouraging others to get out of the way when they do not know what they are doing. It takes confidence, grit, and a determination to succeed making it obvious to others that we should be in charge. Inventors have been mainly recruited here the military. Any kind of organizational or operational job with appropriate responsibilities is great for us.

  • Inventor Primary — We want to experience how our creative ideas change the world. Creating or recognizing key options that will produce long-term impacts fulfills us. During the last sixty years, we have been prominent, as seen by a rebirth in individualism in the United States. Our unwillingness to conform to the status quo has made us a country of rebels. Our desire for freedom and our capacity for out-of-the-box thinking have forced others to take note of us. The ideas we have generated and sponsored have finally expanded to a place where we know we are capable of doing whatever we desire. Now we are wondering how the young group of Compassionate Primaries coming into the United States will reintegrate us as a group. Since we do not like to work for others in traditional ways, we are on the forefront of creating new technologies, implementing new ways of doing things and, in general establishing our own businesses.

  • Investigator Primary — We want to understand why the world works the way it does. Transforming knowledge into Wisdom permits us to be useful in making world progress. We are still a driving force in our society with our focus on academia, documenting the progress of many different areas of development and scientific research. In the United States, our predominance in higher forms of education has gained us some notoriety. The main issue to confront is, “Can we move from knowledge to wisdom?” so that society can engage the process in a balanced way with us. Otherwise, the types of learning we teach will not match their ability to interact or process the information. Investigators can be found in all professions and activities, providing feedback about what is working and what is not working.

  • Visionary Primary — We want to be able to inspire growth under adverse circumstances. It is our independence and ability to create context that supports us in manifesting miracles. In the last millennium, we have been responsible for the acceptance of agape love in human expression. We are continuing this mission today. Now we are focusing our efforts on big-picture problems like global warming, ecology, recycling, extinction of animal species and we are effectively mobilizing support for these activities. We also excel at childrearing, foundations, product evangelism, and the health and healing professions. Our greatest gift is to bring about a unification of aspirations on an emotional level so that committed movements can awaken new possibilities. We also are contributing by doing therapy, coaching clients, and promoting commitment to spiritual expression. We are now seeking more practical ways to make a difference in the world, which is leading us to many forms of networking and wisdom teaching. In the past, we have been the primary group engaged in teaching children.

  • Storyteller Primary — We want to help everyone find his or her place of power in the world. It is our grounded, healing nature and our ability to see the etheric energetic truth that helps us to move any plan forward. In the next twenty to forty years, this group will grow substantially to bring about a leveling of hierarchies so there will be greater democracy in action. In the Aquarian age, there will be a greater emphasis on service and being aligned with Universal Intent. Our greatest gifts are to be able to see patterns, particularly among people, so that activities in groups can be enthusiastically designed and engaged to bring humanity together. Our objective is to bring about balanced, conscious relationships so individuals can maximize their effectiveness and growth. We will accomplish this by building inner awareness tools so that we can work in alignment with others. We are also communicators and seek to build practical solutions that will involve all segments of society. We can be found in management, publishing, politics, human resources, public speaking, and other contributions that require group unity and purpose.

In co-dependent relationships, there is confusion about who is Think-first versus who is Feel-first. For example, a Think-first woman and a Feel-first man will find themselves attracted to and frustrated with each other by experiencing difficulties in their communications. The Think-first woman who wants the truth, needs her partner to appear to provide the truth, even if she knows he’s about harmony. The Feel-first man wants to please the Think-first woman by declaring he wants the truth, but is actually in his heart. He is wondering about how he is going to do this harmoniously. The problem with Idealization is that both partners will compromise themselves to make it better for the other and then come to resent it later. This is because Idealization wants us to be similar so there is less conflict.

Transfigure Idealization occurs when we stop projecting our beliefs on others and automatically expect them to agree with us. One example that is obvious to many individuals is differences in Communication process. There are 7 different Communication sequences: Think, Feel, Act or Feel, Think, Act, which are 2 of the largest groups in the United States. More information about all of these patterns can be found in the Communication Process section of our website. These patterns are commonly attracted to each other. The Think, Feel, Act individuals want the truth and only get into their feelings when they have the time and are with people they trust. The Feel, Think, Act individuals want harmony and attempt to anticipate what people are going to say so that they can quickly respond to them.

Pacing, Decision Making Approach and Communication Process become more important because we want a flowing, interactive relationship. These Compatibility Factors awaken us to the real-time indicators of what works and what does not. Ironically, we tend to become not only more idealistic (on the one hand), but simultaneously seek to ground ourselves in something practical. This naturally occurs because we want to have a counterbalance to these lofty aspirations. The more we are reflected in a positive way, the greater our capacity to trust that we can work out common solutions together. The quality of relationships increases exponentially when we have similar ways of expressing ourselves in these core areas. The anxiety we experience at this level shifts from general insecurities into specific areas of insecurity where we are either not communicating or feel compromised and unable to share our concerns.

It is interesting that there always seems to be Anxiety about our future. This has to do with the fact that many of us do not affirm our full Creative Nature and are not comfortable loving ourselves engaging that nature. This uncertainty is what promotes the comparisons between our selves and others when in reality, there is no one-on-one comparison between ourselves and others. What we need to recognize is that while there is some Anxiety in engaging our Primary Creative Expression, there is even more Anxiety when we do nothing. Over time, we feel more and more stuck if we are not making progress. This is because the universe is growing around us and we are stagnant. This Anxiety can be quantified as the repression and denial of both our Feelings and Emotions. If we were willing to engage our Feelings and Emotions more, this Anxiety would lessen. It would also provide us greater confidence to try out new possibilities to see what fulfill us authentically.

When we accept our Feelings and Emotions, it allows our Context to expand quickly. We can declare new possibilities and imagine solutions immediately. Then it becomes about making real our inward perspectives in an outward way. The more we engage our creativity, the more natural this is. To manifest creativity, we need to take our inward imagination and manifest it externally. We also need to integrate our Context with a unified Intent and Content so that all elements of our consciousness are fully available and present. This process will increase our Worldview, will help us shift out of our Defensive history, and even minimize the engagement of Pretenses. Most importantly, it provides a framework for us to unify our Mental Body and Secondary Expression within our Primary Expression. When we become aligned on this level, it vastly expands our creative power. It also provides us the confidence to try new fields of work or endeavor with those who would be more naturally aligned with us.

To be fully embodied on a creative level, we need to see ourselves as whole and autonomous in our Creative Expression. This means that we have to let go of our attachments and be able to speak without compromise about our Intent. The irony of this situation is that we have to be able to Objectify ourselves in order to release ourselves from the Objectification process. Until we see how we have Objectified ourselves in the past, we cannot see the places we have denied within us. Whenever we believed that our appearances indicated who we were, we believed that we could compromise ourselves without loss. However, there was no such situation because all of our compromises resulted in pain and discomfort; we were just unwilling to experience them. When we Objectify ourselves without denying anything within us, there is no pain. Then the Objectification becomes real. When we are clear about the wholeness of our physical being, then we cannot be Objectified. This means that our experience on the physical level can be nothing but the complete truth. There is nothing left to be denied or hurt. This is how we get to a place where we have experiences that are undeniable. No one else, including us, can distort these experiences without first accepting their distortion.

The problem is that real differences mean we need to learn how to accept our partners, even if they are different. The more we can consciously Transmute our need for agreement into an acceptance that things may not be in agreement, the more likely we will be successful in our relationship. Can we have a relationship that does not appear to match us at the level of ideals? What does it mean about our ability to hope for a better future if this conflict is ongoing and undermines the relationship? Until we complete the process of individuating ourselves, which means accepting that our partner in the way they actually exist, there is no way to build a strong, creative foundation for the relationship. Instead of hoping that things are going to work out, it would be better to examine if we have the desire to deal with these differences up front, particularly in our selection process. If we are already in the relationship, it is much more difficult, because we do not feel we have the right to make a new choice based on new information.

Healing Idealization

A visualization that is helpful in healing Idealization is a beating heart encased in a green circle or globe. Symbolically, this image can be simultaneously interpreted in two ways. On one side it is a radiant, unifying symbol of love that is grounded in a larger, growing context. On the other side, it is a symbol of vulnerability and conscious sacrifice where we strip away all that does not reflect who we are so that our higher purpose is revealed. It is interesting to note that the ideal of love as a bright, happy place is actually an Idealization. The real experience of love is the daily commitment to service, not only to your Creative Nature, but also to others around us.

The key to healing Idealization is not to be blind to what we want to see, but to focus on what is authentic, embracing opportunities to fulfill our self-stated mission. While ideals and aspirations are great, when we project them in any way on people, they become ideals to us. There is no problem believing that others can live up to certain ideals. Idealization occurs when we want to fix them into our version of how they should perform those ideals. The more we get caught in this fixation, the less we can confront the total truth of an individual. This means that one of the primary indicators that we are in Idealization is seeing that someone is good or bad, but not both. When we Idealize an individual, and they perform in a way that we do not agree with, it encourages us to hammer them because it increases our fear and doubt. Idealization hides the fear and doubt we experience, but justifies making them objects or subjects to control.

One way to heal Idealization is to embrace Passionate Indifference. We want is to be passionate about our process while being indifferent to the outcome. When we attach the outcome to the process, it creates anxiety and tension. We either compromise the outcome by wondering how we got to this place, or compromise the process by fixating on the outcome and trying to serve both the process and the outcome. In the end we get less of each. When we fixate on the outcome, the goal is external and present, while it should be passionate and present in the moment. When fixated on the process, nothing we do is enough, amplifying our frustration when others do not do exactly what we expect. In this circumstance, we find ourselves trying to avoid the tension by hoping that things will easily work out. Passionate Indifference supports us by being present in the moment so we can act without fear of compromise. By disconnecting from the tension, it relieves the Anxiety permitting us to do what is best in the moment. Between process and outcome, it is HA’s recommendation to focus on process and let the outcome evolve or change to match the circumstances. We can then be surprised when the result is actually better that the outcome originally envisioned. When this occurs, we grow to accept that fluidity and responsiveness is much more effective than fixed expectations and any attempt to be perfect. It also becomes clear that unconscious tension drives us to extreme actions or drama that is often counter-productive.

Why do we tend to limit our experiences of Pleasure, Power and Passion? The answer is that our Attachments and Positions, as well as our Projections about our experiences, eliminate our ability to embody our experience. In other words, our past Fears and Desires keep us from being present to our natural Beauty, Truth and Goodness. These elements increase our sense of spaciousness and our ability to be present with our experience. What keeps us stuck is our Fear that we will become submerged in conflict, both internal and external. This is why we always believe that others will not live up to creative possibilities with us. It is also why we tend to distrust Pleasure, Power and Passion in our lives.

When we pierce the veil of Idealization, we give birth to our Creative Nature and Context. This allows us to locate our Creative Self outside of our Personality prescriptions, which includes Imprinting, Pretenses and Defenses. Our Personality Self includes everything we need to become conscious. Our Personality contains our drive for Safety, Security and Success allowing us to effectively stand alone. Its importance diminishes as we assert our Creative Nature. The objective of our Creative Nature is to learn how to bring out the best in our selves and the best in others. When we take ownership of our Creative Nature, it first shows up as the need to assert our own creative patterns, pushing us to find a way to best contribute so that others recognize and respond to our offerings. 

Idealization is the use of Objectification and Subjectification to prove that we are much more clever than others suspect. The more we project Goodness onto others and deny it within ourselves, or do the reverse, the more we are entangled with others and need them for validation. Most of the time, we do not even see that people are unlikely to acknowledge us when they feel we are in a higher position of power. The frightening issue is that Idealization is an attempt to subconsciously claim the high ground by establishing the points of reference between us. We think that if we can define the assumptions of a relationship, then we can manipulate the circumstances to our benefit. The thing that people do not realize is that these attempts at manipulation always get turned around because the perceived advantages never last very long. We always end up having to compensate for a new perception our partner has. It always comes from a static need to feel superior or in control. The truth is, no one is in control and it is a mess. The only way to beat Idealization is not to do it. We validate that we are not doing it by cleaning house, making sure we are not doing Excitement, Intensity or Anxiety patterns anywhere. These patterns indicate that we are still caught in some past Defensive Distortions.

Indicators that we are negatively caught on the Idealization level are Self-Pity, Suspicion and a Loving Acceptance of our partner. Self-Pity is based on the perception that we are constantly being tested for our commitment to our aspirations. Unfortunately, we find that people around us are not committed to the same degree and we feel victimized by their presence. Most of the time, we are caught up in our Thoughts and cannot understand why others do not have similar Motives. The core issue is that others do not see things in the same way we do, which causes us to feel hopeless and disconnected. We need to learn how to turn this deeper interest in ourselves into an interest in others in order to be more compassionate. On a Personality level, we need to become more Passionately Indifferent; being passionate about the process but indifferent to the outcome. The key objective is not to pay attention to what is nonessential, but to re-focus our attention on how we can be of service.

Since we have been hurt many times before, we can get caught up in analyzing everything based on being Suspicious. At the core, this issue is about not being able to distinguish the truth of our experience from lies we tell, resulting in not having the skill to identify what is good or bad in others. This experience of constant doubt undermines everything that we attempt to build in these relationships. This is particularly true for individuals with a Disarming Defense style. We need to affirm our loving nature to be able to see the loving nature in others. We need to honor that everyone has a choice to live their lives in their own way and therefore follow their own path. If we cannot honor ourselves and be clear about our commitment to service, then we cannot see the courageous nature of others and trust their experience. Meaning, we need to be the heroes we want to be, and be able to see the heroic nature of our partners as well.

We overcome Self-Pity and Suspicion by loving others. Understanding who they are while being curious about what they are doing to improve themselves can be illuminating. Aspirational striving is what distinguishes the courageous from the suspicious. It makes no sense to be suspicious of individuals who are trying to be better people. It also makes no sense to doubt yourself and the people close to you if they are inspiring you. The natural commitment to express Radiant Self-Unifying love allows us to move beyond these lower level perceptions to finding better ways for us to show up.

When we Idealize, we are often caught between the polarities of right and wrong. When we examine Skills, it is easier initially to see a lack of skills by recognizing what is not working within us. For example, we get Serious when we are not Playful, or Confused when we become overly identified with our Personality. When we are not being Autonomous, we are Co-Dependent. When we are not being Paradoxical, we overdo Certainty. The opposite of Intuitive Discrimination is Judgment. The opposite of Intimacy is Rejection. When we are not doing Mutual Learning, we get caught in Unilateral Action. Untrustworthiness is the result of not trusting our body’s natural discernment capabilities. When we minimize growth, we get caught in Inertia and lose all momentum. We can round out this group of Skills by recognizing that the opposite of Aliveness is Excitement and the opposite of Wisdom is Intensity. If we possessed these Skills, we would not have negative experiences in our lives. Most usually do not develop more than three to five skills, limiting our ability to meet others in a mutually supportive way.

Looking at this group of Skills Gone Wrong, we whimsically came up with what they would be called in terms of groupings. The Instinctive Skills we entitled Losing Ourselves Skills because they compromise us the most. On the Intellectual Level, we call them Enmeshment Skills where we cannot distinguish our truth from others. The Idealized Skills are called Isolation Skills, which are ways to push people away, even while appearing conscious and open. The Intuitive Level is called Misalignment Skills because we are consciously doing what we know will not work to try to make others pay attention to us. On the Masculine side, we call these Skills Ugly Pleasure because they are about pissing others off while being unaccountable for the results. On the Feminine side, we call them Non-Acceptance Skills because we are denying ourselves the skills we need to distinguish what is real and what is false. Finally, the integration process of Masculine and Feminine is where we confront the choice, “Do we want to show up or not?” calling them No Self Expression Skills.

If we wanted to grow the most, we would be looking at what repulses us in our partners and investigating why. We would also recognize that what we project on our partners is what we are denying in ourselves, which usually what makes us feel the most uncomfortable. The more we could engage this discomfort and unearth the problems, the more likely we would be able to grow, with our partner, at this level of relationship. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, the partners we choose usually have enough repulsion to go around. It makes us more mature and Transpersonal when we become more indifferent to these repulsions. The best way to get there is to consciously engage them so we can make clear choices about how we will heal them.

Each of us is in a natural development process to embody all of our Skills. It is only our discomfort in accepting our larger Creative Nature that is the primary obstacle to our growth. This discomfort significantly reduces the Pleasure, Creative Power and Passion in our life experience. Ironically, partners with greater Skills have more flexibility to bring out the best in their partners. Individuals with less ownership of their Relationship Skills often find themselves at the effect of their unwillingness to deal with new possibilities. This means that operating with true equality would allow both partners to bring out the best in all situations. The more inequality exists, the more both parties suffer in different ways. The more enabled partner suffers because no one can see and accept them completely, and therefore the best is not brought out in them. The person less embodied in skills suffers because they always feel that their partner has more capacity, therefore putting them in a more stressful response situation. Again, making comparisons limits growth.

When we discussed the actual Skills, we grouped them in terms of their main objective. For example, on the Instinctive level, it is about our gender development process, Aliveness representing the masculine and Wisdom representing the feminine, and Growth representing the unification of both. On the Intellectual level, it is about our individuation as people. On this level, we use Playfulness and Personality Detachment to facilitate the development of Autonomy (or harmless truth-telling). As you can see, these Skills support us in building relationships where we can count on our partners. On the Idealized level, it is about Connection Skills, which are Paradox and Intuitive Discrimination coming together to create greater Intimacy. Finally, on the Intuitive level, we call them Higher Alignment Skills because they are about optimizing our Creative Nature so that we develop greater resourcefulness in working with others. At this level, it is Mutual Learning with Physical Discernment that helps manifest Co-Creativity. To make this process more interesting, we have included the larger virtues that show up when we embody these Skills.

At the heart of Level 3 is the concept of Virtue. What drives us to remake our world in our own image? When we discover others who amplify our aspirations and encourage us to find virtue in our way of living, it is a very powerful force. Some misuse this force and direct it into fixed channels, seeking to rebuild the perceived glory of the past. Extremes of this are terrorists. Many are only reactionaries who want to maintain traditions and conservative values. With the quickening of our development and the intensification of our learning, they fear the change of being out of control.

What is not appreciated is that humanity and the world are living organisms that need to grow and evolve or die. This suggests that we must remake our virtues for the Aquarian Age. Our aspirations and ideals are great, as long as we do not become crystallized and defined by them. The more we hold onto the past, the more we limit our opportunities. Being proactive about our Desires is a great thing. It confronts us to deal with what is sustainable (locally, regionally and in the world as a whole). When we shift from personal to Transpersonal Desires it means making sure that what we are doing does not harm or interfere creatively with others. What we seek are Transpersonal desires that amplify and enhance each other. This is not as difficult as we think, because as a whole, most of our desires as humans are similar.

Intimacy is a key Relationship Skill. Like Autonomy, we need to manifest Intimacy with others because, ultimately, it is a shared experience. This means that even if we could create the Intimacy we wanted, in some situations, it would always be limited if we were not willing to deal with the unexpected or unanticipated. What makes Intimacy work is the ability to bring out new possibilities in each other. Without this, there is no magic in Intimacy. Our recommendation is to start with Personal Intimacy because everyone needs to recognize when they need to say “No.” This seems to be a real problem in our society because we end up defining ourselves in terms of others and do not know how to enforce appropriate boundaries. Now that we have a better understanding of Autonomy, we can deal with Intimacy, as it is its mirror reflection. When we say no, it simply means that this does not work. It is not necessarily a reflection of who we are with, or even a condemnation of what is going on. It is merely about whether it is appropriate at this time and this place. We need to be able to say no before we can truly say yes.

Intimacy is an unexpected, or new aspect that is being introduced in the connection with another. We are either seeing a new possibility in our partner who reflects us, or falling in love with ourselves as reflected in our partner. When we are seeing things from our perspective, and valuing how others contribute to us in some new way, we are expressing personal Intimacy. When we are seeing things from another’s perspective and valuing how we contribute to them in some way, this is Transpersonal Intimacy. Imagine knowing how to connect with others that brings out the best in them. This is an example of personal Intimacy where we appreciate an aspect of ourselves interacting with another that enhances them. Consider the kinds of friends that bring out the best in us. What levels of confidence do we respond to most? For some of us, it is their capacity to generate their own safety, security or authentic expression that inspires or uplifts us. For others, it is their personality traits or qualities: a sense of humor, assertiveness, humility, resourcefulness, intelligence, intuition, social gracefulness, or even dancing ability. This is why we recommend getting to know a wide variety of individuals to see what the possibilities are for personal Intimacy. This does not have to be limited to romantic partners, it could be friends, business associates or even family members.

Interpersonal Intimacy is the opposite side of this experience. What do we do to make it easy for others to relate to us? How available and committed are we to the friends, lovers, and partners we have currently? Most individuals try not to get overwhelmed by the demands of others, and limiting relationships based on minimizing their availability. In our search for the appropriate balance between giving and receiving, having time for ourselves or with our partner, or just learning how to make the best choices for our self at any particular time, opens us up to how the process of Intimacy is almost as important as the content. Some people talk about interpersonal intimacy and about how they want to be cared for. They long for somebody who has the right sense of timing, touch and sensitivity to address what is going on with them. Interpersonal Intimacy likes to be surprised by less structured responses where the quality of the connection and the ability of the partner to respond matters more than what they are doing together.

Bringing together these two elements so that we are making choices that work for us demands more attention and presence to the connection with others. The more we love ourselves, the less we focus on what we are getting so we can be delighted by what we are giving. Gradually, we come to realize there is more joy in giving than receiving. In some relationships, it becomes part of the ritual to find new ways to give to their partner. This tells us that the relationship is well balanced and has accumulated a large emotional bank account so any problems that arise will not derail the relationship. An obstacle to developing this perspective is that if we are addicted to love or sex, this prevents us from actually calibrating to others as they are in the moment. As long as we are operating with personal addictions, we are robbed of Intimacy with our partner since we are not fully showing up.

Transpersonal Intimacy is when we desire nothing from others that could not be given to us by someone else. Rather than fixating on what we need, it is more important to be who we are, being with partners who have little or no expectation of how it should be. What we are doing is shifting from making the relationship ‘special’ to having the relationship ‘be’ special through our deeply human connection. What tends to ruin our relationships is creating stories that separate us from the experience. These stories often become substitutes for the new experiences that would deepen us. The objective here is to become more fulfilled by the little things we do with others that transform our life. In other words, by focusing on another and making them an important part of our life, we realize it enhances the choices we make distinguishing the quality of love we experience.

The importance of Relationship Skills can be seen in the area of Intimacy when we start energetically placing this Skill in the CNG. Like all other Skills, if we are aware of it, it becomes a resource that both parties can utilize in the relationship. It is our expanding Context where our resources merge, that starts to define the real unity and expression of the relationship. The power of Skills is greatly enhanced when we start operating from the top Intuitive levels of Motives and Attractions. Universal Dominion, Mutual Accomplishment and Conscious Participation help us to develop an awareness to respond to our partner in an uplifting manner. The Attractions of Aliveness, Wisdom and Awareness begin to have an impact on bringing people into the type of conversations we want. The more we can trust our own experience and work with others in the CNG space, the more the impact of Skills will be amplified in all our relationships.

We know that we are not using Relationship Skills well when we get caught up in self-pity or suspicion of others. While we do not want to be attached or fixed in our perspective about how things should be, it is natural to be curious and adventurous in our ability to bring up new possibilities. When we resist this, or with our partner, it indicates we have reached an Upper Boundary Limit and our Idealization is actually keeping us from accepting our full authentic Goodness. Let us be compassionate and understanding with ourselves and learn that we should only trust partners to the degree we are willing to trust ourselves. Learning where our boundaries are in terms of Autonomy and Intimacy are critical to making this work.

With Self Love and a commitment to putting our partner first, we move beyond our self-perception to metaphorically encompass the universe. Our commitment supports us by establishing a link to what we want, and bringing it into our heart. A better way of thinking about it is bringing our heart’s love into the CNG so we can consciously connect with each other. Hopefully we will be able to develop the bonds of Intent, Content and Context in the CNG. Being present with our Self in based on these bonds remaining uncompromised. It is these bonds that make us available to others. When we connect to them in the CNG we are committed. It feels as if the purpose of the universe is flowing through us and back into the World. When this occurs the CNG feels more spacious and powerful.

There are three ways we manipulate our image of Goodness to make others sympathetic to us. We can Deny Anxiety, Adopt it, or Control it. When we Deny Anxiety, it is a call for help. We want others to prove to us that they are committed to us, before we are willing to be available to them. We hide our heartlessness and fanaticism as indignation, disparagement and rejection, keeping others from getting comfortable with us. Until we break through, they are always suggesting that we are not committed to them. When we Adopt Anxiety, it means that we use it as an excuse to be made wrong. We tend to use judgments, resentment, and playing indifferent as a response to others apparent abuse. We need some abuse by others to justify our behavior. When we Control Anxiety, we attempt to minimize others’ use of it by threatening to distance from them if they do not knock it off. We use despair, faint-heartedness, and certainty as a way to minimize the impact of Anxiety upon us. Underneath, we could be self-destructive because of the frustration we feel at being at the effect of others. Ironically, we’re usually considered indifferent by appearing challenging to others. What we are learning is to connect our inner experience to our outer experience of desire in order to neutralize these pairs of opposites.

We experience anxiety whenever a person does not agree with our self-perceived image. This means our image is under attack. While feminine energies are more susceptible to intrusive discounting or denial of their rights, all Expressions are susceptible to non-acceptance by others. Most individuals respond by trying to provide more information to the person discounting them, not realizing that the distortions projected at them are usually based on instinctive or emotional disaffiliation patterns.  Distortions such as Imprinting, Pretenses and Defenses all create fixed ways of interacting with others that limit the way we can connect. Finally, many people do not trust what an individual says to clarify the misperceptions that are challenged, due to the presence of Distortions. The result is a subtle form of disaffiliation, which needs these issues to be overcome so that there is a reason (and a way) to connect to an individual. Otherwise, the Anxiety-provoking interactions will continue.

While Anxiety also occurs on Level 1, at Level 3 it becomes a greater anxiety-producing process because we are more open to seeing beyond Objectification and Subjectification patterns. This heightened Anxiety is an indication that we have integrated our body-mind framework more. Some people go through a whole breakdown or breakthrough crisis where they need to remake their whole life in order to find a greater harmonic balance within themselves. We call this the Personality Integration phase. Some people call this a spiritual healing crisis, where we learn to deal with the cloud of our own unknowing. A lot of times, mid-life crises are the result of finding it difficult to shift beyond our Secondary Creative Expression. The internal conflict between our Creative Nature and our programmed safety and security patterns is what creates the major Anxiety at this level. In either situation, this transition can be challenging because our personal identity has to shift out of a defensive framework to a place of Creative affirmation.

Eliminating Defensive Distortions

A Common Neutral Ground allows us to acknowledge and deal with the three distortions of Objectification, Subjectification and Idealization, which minimize Life, Light and Love. Objectification minimizes our Life Expression, Subjectification minimizes our Light or Wisdom, and Idealization minimizes our ability to love either ourselves or others, or both. While each individual may struggle with a different mix of these distortions, we all have one or two of these blindsides. Common Neutral Ground (CNG) provides us with an experiential framework helping us identify these distortions and to notice where we experience pressures or deny options. This tells us what we need to affirm in our self and our partner to improve our Creative Flow with each other. The more knowledgeably we build and interact through CNG, the easier it is to see where we hold back, noticing the impact on others. We are able to identify what is needed and focus attention on solving problems as they arise. We get to see our improvement over time, because we are becoming more congruent and present with our self and others.

Objectification creates a rigid outer structure that relies on propriety and agreement to effectively function. Any chaos or questioning of traditions makes objectified individuals uncomfortable. The path of least resistance is to accept that “whatever we see must be true,” leading us to take things at face value. This not only interferes with our assessment of others, but also keeps us ignorant about discontinuities within ourselves. In this way, we disregard the inconsistencies between what we think and say or between outer appearances and the underlying reality we experience. In short, we learn to not notice things that would lead us to question our assumptions. The immediate impact is that we are often confused and non-committal, because we cannot see a clear path to where we want to go. The long-term impact is that we go along to get along, making us easily forgettable as we try to adjust to everyone else. In effect, we become wallflowers.

Subjectification amplifies all defensive patterns in different ways. It makes Distant Defense Style individuals more stubborn, imperious and adamant. It makes Dynamic Defense Style individuals more arrogant, self serving and determined to do what they want. It makes Disarming Defense Style individuals more covert and opinionated and unwilling to confront others even if they are obviously acting out their Fears and Desires. It makes Disnamic Defense Style individuals sensitive to taking opposite points of view so they are better positioned to get what they want. In these ways, Subjectification creates an artificial backbone where self-importance grows and the need to prove that we are right becomes critical to our self-image. This is why it is not enough to win, we also need to demonstrate conclusively that others are misguided failures.

Subjectification is more obviously an ego trip. It is a self-validated exploration of circular ideas and supportive emotions that reinforce the possibility that we are bigger than we actually are. When we start seeing our more inclusive truth, it undermines our Defensive Subjectification process. Just the ability to admit what we do not know opens us up to examine what we do know. If we started from this assumption most of the time, we would not be Subjectifying anyone or anything. Most importantly, we would come across as confident and clear about what we know, instead of arrogant. There is nothing egoic about admitting where we are or what we know. There is only our desire to amplify this sense of power so we can hold it like a club over others. What we need to remember is that clubbing people does not make us popular or encourage people to listen to us. The clearer we are with our Content, and the more we accept ourselves as we truly are, the more natural influence we have over people who are more conscious. The more we grasp at what we know and feel we need to prove, the more it escapes our grasp.

Idealization is where we live in a world of potential while wearing rose-colored glasses. Everything is better than we expect… Until we get disappointed. Fortunately, we are constantly trying to see the positive in every situation, which distracts us from our constant disappointments. Some of us use faith and beliefs to artificially build our capacity to see the Goodness in others. This blinds us to the obvious problems we find difficult to talk about. Most importantly, we end up not agreeing on how we want to get to the same goal. The more people attempt to find their own unique solutions without conferring with others, the more conflicts occur. We end up blaming others rather than trying to find a mutual solution. Some would say Idealization just gets our hopes up in time to see us crash to the degree of our denial. Until we learn to give up the ideal of hope, we will not see the true Goodness in people.

When Objectification overlaps Idealization, we use our stories to reset our own self-perspective in relationship. This means we get caught up in Romantic Mythology because our fantasies merge with our Idealization patterns. We can see this when we need others to accept our perceptions of ourselves to make romantic relationships work. This makes us more resistant to change. Until we have greater inner and outer clarity around our Desires, we feel trapped. When Subjectification overlaps Idealization, we keep seeking reasons and principles for why things work the way they do. This means we become frozen in our Thoughts about what is going on and we are at a loss as to how to engage others. The more we seek fixed answers to a changing process, the more Intensity it creates. This is greatly amplified when we also need certainty, or use Seduction to convince others that we are right. Usually, we become fixated about our perceptions of how it is, and act out our experiences with great drama. The solution is to engage the paradox of how our fears are being projected onto our partners because we are unwilling to accept them. When Objectification and Subjectification combine and overlap, we are disconnected to others and yet need them to feel comfortable engaging with them. In effect, our attachment to Roles and being properly appropriate requires them to play along with our games, or else they leave the relationship. The qualities that indicate this overlap are Self-Centeredness and Inertia. To heal this, we need to release our sense of isolation and practice playfulness without the expectation that anything will change.

Whenever we are caught in a defensive distortion (Objectification, Subjectification, Idealization), it causes reactions with our partners or groups that creates Energy Shifting, Time Shifting or Space Shifting. Energy Shifting is where our Fears are projected onto others, creating Inertia. When someone is doing Energy Shifting, they unconsciously drag everyone else down. This is because Objectification prevents everyone from expressing his or her inner creative beauty. This is an obvious shift from Aliveness to Excitement. Time Shifting is where our Desires are imposed on others, creating Resistance. When someone is doing Time Shifting, they are polarized and always taking a devil’s advocate position. This is because they have taken partial positions about their Truth that conflict with the Truth of others. This is an obvious shift from Wisdom to Intensity. Space Shifting is where our creative aspirations or personal lessons interfere with partners or groups Intentions. With Space Shifting, there is always confusion and an unwillingness to integrate the complete experience. This demonstrates how Idealization reduces our ability to see and accept our Goodness with others. The obvious shift is from Awareness to Anxiety. Being able to talk about these patterns allows us to see where our issues are limiting others. In this discussion, we need to recognize where our incomplete issues are located: in our space, the Common Ground, or their space.

The distortions of Objectification, Subjectification and Idealization are the unconscious distortions that cover up our unexamined Motivations, Attractions and lack of Relationship Skills. The problem is that when we seek to recreate the past (in a better way) we argue for our limitations by acting through hidden Motives. We also resist owning our Attractions and discussing them with others. Finally, each Relationship Skill is a doorway connecting us to a conscious relationship. The more doorways we establish in common, the more stable our relationship. Instinctive, Intellectual and Idealized Motives lead us to build Attachments, Positions, and projections in order to create some form of connection. Our Defensive Distortions keep us from accepting our own growth and natural Well Being. This unconsciously eliminates our best creative choices.

Idealization is further amplified when we are confused about Love. Many individuals in our society mix and match different types of understandings when discussing Love. On the Instinctive level (1st level), love is a function of sexuality, because we are convinced that we love someone due to the hormonal rush associated with sex. On the Intellectual level (2nd level) we look for reasons and actions to prove we are loved. This is where our conditional forms of love regarding Protective, Directive and Quid-Pro-Quo exchanges become symbolic of Love (similar to flowers and chocolate). These conditional expressions of Love reflect how we think we can do love behaviorally (by protecting, directing or doing as much for our partners as they do for us). It is all about effort rather than being present to a partner.

We also have Idealistic expressions of Love (3rd level) where we romanticize the commitment our partner makes because they are Infinite, Eternal and Committed expressions of service. We suggest that each of these limited expressions of love is an indicator of commitment in a romantic setting, which means that we are fixated on one person being everything we need them to be, this is doomed to failure. Instead, the reality is that we have different types of love for different types of people, which begins to open us up to the highest expressions of love. Love is an expression of sharing and communing without Attachments, Positions or Projections. This is why we say Love is a Radiating, Self-Unifying experience. It comes from an internal experience of abundance where affirming ourselves is affirming to others.  

Wanting a co-connected experience where others experience our Passion and we experience theirs is the tertiary driver of friendship and romantic relationship. The core quality we seek is conscious Intimacy. We get to that Intimacy by making better choices about what we share and do not share. Recognizing the Paradox that there are no set answers to anything, Intimacy is an unfolding process where there is always more to discover and learn. If it is fixed in nature, it is not Intimacy. Vulnerability is a natural process when we are intimate with another. If we are not vulnerable, we are not consciously being Intimate. Sharing vulnerability is actually a strength that shows that you have reached a level of maturity in relationships. Only people who have realized this are able to be a conscious partner. All others are still in process.

It is at the Partners in Process stage where we begin to question all of our assumptions. By questioning these assumptions, we recognize that in the past we have forced certain circumstances with partners that effectively terminated the relationship. Now we recognize that we could have been more open and flexible, but we were just too rigid. We did not know how to give our self the room to explore the options. More importantly, we did not deeply question what was motivating our partners and why they felt so agitated about the process. It would have also been helpful if we could have investigated our own agitation and found a more flexible, fluid way of responding to them. A lot of relationship opportunities at this level do not mature because we are not willing to investigate.

Creative Flow is one of the best indicators that we are engaging new possibilities at Level 3. When we operate in our defenses, we impede flow because we distance ourselves from others. By using the CNG space in a more conscious way, we allow our consciousness to come together with others’ so we can directly experience moment-to-moment how we are interacting. Creative Flow is greatly enhanced because it is a sharing of creativity and not just Positions, Attachments and Projections. It is not about our personality but rather about who we are as a Creative Being. Our focus shifts from talking about ourselves to talking about how we can connect with others. This is why relationships become more important at this level. Athena Staik, PhD discusses in her article, “Three Reasons to Cultivate a Consciousness of Optimal Thinking-Feeling” how a consciously optimistic mind is healthy and will increase the chances of success in any endeavor. What makes this a possibility is a greater sense of integration and a willingness to embrace differences.

Some indications that we are caught in the Partners in Process level are the Skills we use to open up creative opportunities. The Skills of Paradox, Intuitive Discrimination and Intimacy are all central to this issue. With Paradox, we come to recognize that there are no fixed truths that do not have interesting, counterbalancing perspectives. The idea that we could know our truth without it being illuminated by different perspectives is to make truth overly simplistic. All relationship truths have interesting Paradoxes involved. Intuitive Discrimination further amplifies Paradox by suggesting that there is a continuum of possibilities and that any choice on this continuum can work. We end up having preferences based on our Defenses and beliefs about what would be best for us. Unfortunately, these perspectives create imbalances where we are not able to see the wholeness or continuum of options, blinding us to the possibilities that can serve us and those around us. Intimacy is more than superficial niceness. Intimacy is also more than sexual, social, or relationship-oriented because it is about opening up and sharing how we love someone and how we appreciate their response to our love. On this level, without these three elements, we would find ourselves uninterested in relationships.

One of the biggest benefits of finding more aligned partners is that they will most likely have a common Authentic Life Expression. This greatly deepens our ability to drop a lot of our personality considerations, enabling us to become more creatively transpersonal. Facilitating this process is our Personality Integration where we complete the process of unifying our Sensations and Feelings, then our Emotions and Thoughts. Finally, we begin to unify our Body and Mind as reflected by the integrations of Feelings and Emotions. This process of integrating the various experiential Modalities is what we call Personality Integration. This is greatly assisted by identifying with our Primary Creative Expression, allowing us to become more centralized in our expression, assuring no extraneous or confusing activity. By affirming our higher Creativity and investing in our Authentic Life Expression, we learn that our lower personality or Secondary Creative Expression was actually a prelude to a greater integrated and active form of expression.

What would it be like to step into the possibility of expressing our experience and getting honored for it? How can we learn to accept our experience and no longer be controlled by it? What we first must do is accept the variety and diversity of our Nature and, second, see how we can unify it into one common sense of being by clearing out areas of denial and repression. The real importance of being present with our experiential Modalities (Sensations, Feelings, Emotions and Thoughts) is that we learn to integrate and accept our experience as it is. Then, we will not take on the experience of others and/or deny our own perspective, meaning that we will not react and build resentment from being around others.

Our personality is the separative ‘I’ experience we use to distinguish who we are from others. It has been operating on the first three levels of CNG embodiment and represents our egoic need for self-importance. With all the prevailing uncertainty at this 3rd level, we get tired of being at the affect of others. This creates cycles of ups and downs regarding our self worth and ability to love. We come to realize that we need to love ourselves to be able to fully love othersy. This awakens us to the limited way we have loved others for their looks, their complementary nature or how much they agree with our values. ‘Looks’ reflect our Attachments to appearances (Level 1). Choosing opposites (falling in love with an Opposite-Defense individual) reflects our complementary defensive Positions with each other (Level 2). Seeking agreement for our values reflects falling in love with the idea that our partner will heal us (Level 3). Until we supersede these love-limiting perspectives, there is no way to accept Radiant Self-Unifying Love, which occurs at Level 4.

Since our personality lives in the past and attempts to create a better future, it is in its own best interest to see what it wants to see and to ignore everything else. What is important about this is that there are three distortions (Objectification, Subjectification and Idealization) that our personality uses to justify its existence. Without realizing it, when we get caught in these distortions, we see what we need and want to see, and we minimize reflecting upon who we are. This gives us a very narrow perspective about our own Creativity and gifts. When we start realizing that we can handle our own Safety, Security and Well-Being, we no longer need the personality to be in charge. Instead, our Creative Nature can be in charge and direct the personality to do its own job (take care of the day-to-day operations in our life).

The personality likes the perception of certainty (even if it is false) because chaos undermines its power to project itself into the future. As a result, the personality systematically sabotages its own perceptions when these perceptions challenge the status quo or go against the ‘anointed’ story of our life. In effect, the personality tries to monitor our growth so we minimize the chances of failure. Unfortunately, this usually ends up eliminating growth. The way to break out of personality delusions (in Hinduism called Maya, Glamour and Illusion) is to rigorously examine and validate our own experience from the inside out. When we use external frameworks like defenses or pretenses to justify our responses, we end up suffocating our own Creative Destiny. When Fears and repressed Desires show up, it is important to notice what they are protecting—so that perceptions of personal Safety and Security do not prevent us from being present and experiencing our Authentic Nature.

The irony of this level is that the more we take responsibility for ourselves, the more curious we are about how others experience things. Opening the door to our own inner motivations allows us to notice the motivations of others. Instead of our preconceived ideas, we actually start getting real insight because we listen more to others. This re-orientation process takes us out of a dark, brooding and dramatic place into the light of day, where we can just be ourselves. One of the major indicators of this shift is that we do not care so much about what others think about us. Instead, we focus on how some individuals are actually naturally better at connecting with us than others. We also discover things about vibration and energetic resonance where Creativity occurs easily when we are around people who we are more aligned with.

Personality Integration allows us to awaken to the possibility that there are partners out there who can mirror and align with us better than others. While we want to believe that everyone is as adaptive and open as we are, at the Level 3 stage, we discover this is not as true as we had hoped. When Idealizing, we tend to choose partners who are not able to meet us or whom we cannot fully engage. Many times this is commonly articulated as ‘being out of our league’. Most individuals sabotage themselves when things get better or ‘too good’. We Idealize a partner and believe they are much better than they are which prevents us from approaching them, or we do not pay attention to a great partner right in front of us. The Idealization trap, where we try to artificially hold individuals as equals without realizing their differences from us in motivations and capacity, is an easy way for us to make ourselves wrong. We need to recognize that when people can meet us and resonate with us, it tells us that there is a possibility. When we do not have this experience, we need to learn to move on. Otherwise it promotes false hope. Ultimately, we may not find the best partners because we do not expect much. It’s called settling.

Are we able to deal with our own Upper Boundary limits for improving our choices? Instead of looking at things from a black and white perspective, we need to see the benefits of progress. We need to recognize that what makes a great partner is not necessarily their past, but how they can creatively operate with us. We need to use ‘Be Withs’ and creative projects to explore what works for us, and how that does or does not mirror the partners we are engaging. Until we accept where we are, we cannot effectively improve the way we are operating. This process allows us to effectively be present to partners on three levels. First, it allows us to sense their experiences so we can be more empathetic and compassionate with them. Second, it opens the floodgates for them to experience our love for them. Third, through Co-Measurement, we can improve and expand the results we generate. Idealization separates us from these possibilities, and/or makes our life more erratic and unpredictable.

When we experience Aliveness (Sensations and Feelings), we can be motivated by Pleasure. Unfortunately, our Imprinting and conditioning limit how much Aliveness we can experience, reducing our ability to appreciate Beauty and accept Pleasure. We experience Wisdom (by paying attention to our Emotions and Thoughts), and are uplifted by Truth and Creative Power. As long as we are trapped in our Defenses, it is impossible to see our own Light and able to share it with others. When we experience Awareness (paying attention to our Feelings and Emotions), we can honor our Creativity and Passion.

The personality seeking to control its experience does not want to trust that the Universe can guide us or support us. All of the personality’s tools are isolating and do not encourage us to grow. Instead, we become more secretive and, because we are convinced that there must be a few things wrong with us, we must hide who we are. What we need to do is investigate and explore our reality, operating from the premise that there is nothing we can experience or learn that would not be valuable. We need to be more inclusive and trust our own creative impulses so that the risks we take can become personal extensions of our creative nature. Instead of our personality being afraid of the openness, we need to embrace openness to actively create new perceptions of ourselves. We call this process Transfiguration.

As long as we are caught up in Pretenses, we are distracted from our Creative Nature, preventing us from expressing higher forms of Love. The principles delineated here are the same principles that govern the operation of our metaphorical vehicles. The problem has been that we did not know how to pay attention or calibrate to differences in perception, which elevate our Creative Nature. Now we realize that we do not need to worry about differences in perception if we have some degree of alignment in Context (which is having a common purpose). This is why, as we shift from our personality to Creative frameworks, we become more tolerant of differences in perspective as we become more spacious in our Being. Common Neutral Ground is ultimately a framework for bringing together Life, Light and Love, not only from within us, but also with others.

We limit the Belief in our Beauty, Truth and Goodness because we fear being creatively out of control. Beauty, Truth and Goodness would empower our creativity in both personal and transpersonal ways. Transpersonal means that our experience includes perspectives that go beyond what is personally meaningful to us. For example, we could open up to Life, Light and Love energies, which would connect us to our environment and how others are contributing to it or not. Discussions about this would be transpersonal Desires or Lessons. Personal Lessons are where we live in an artificially diminished reality, based on our personality Fears and Desires. The more we focus ourselves on a personal level, the more we constrict our creative possibilities. Our Common Neutral Ground can be a guide to our unfolding, encouraging us to take risks in expressing ourselves. Lacking a CNG, we experience limited flow and create distortions, throttling our evolution. The more we listen to and accept the Fears and repressed Desires of our personality mechanism, the more isolated and separate we feel, locking us into the personal level. In this state of isolation we do not realize our negative impact on others. This leads us to act out our reactions rather than to be self-reflective about them.

We come to realize how much we have been projecting our incompleteness or Fears and repressed Desires upon others. We suddenly realize that our vehicle, which became a plane, actually has an airtight oxygen system allowing us to go beyond the Earth’s atmosphere! This metaphor speaks to the fact that we learn to see in others what we are first able to acknowledge in ourselves. What kept our vehicle from becoming a spacecraft was our Idealization. Idealization is the attachment to the images of others. Here we put people on pedestals or tear them down depending on what is ‘trending’, without willing to simultaneously view both the good and the bad. Idealization is validated by the sensation of Anxiety. We are concerned about what others think of us and constantly need affirmation of our importance in order to justify our judgment of them. We allow ourselves to benefit from our airtight, oxygenated capsule by recognizing that we need to be passionately indifferent about external outcomes. This requires us to operate from our Heart’s Desire, while realizing that the Universe has its own plans, of which we are merely one part.

As the diagram indicates, each level of CNG embodiment opens the door to greater alignment. We begin with Connection, and then move up through Communication, Co-Measurement, Communion, Purpose, Community and Creative Being. Creative Being is first established when we become self-reflective of our own process and Intent. This is usually at the end of the Co-Measurement level. We need to declare ourselves as Co-Creative Beings in order to be in Co-Measurement, even if we do not know what we have to contribute. This means that Co-Measurement is a generalized undertaking, where we explore what is true as we develop it. HA suggests communicating the challenges of Co-Measurement in order to develop better ways to work together. Sometimes this requires making agreements in advance to deal with issues in a particular way. Other times it is up to us to intuit the best response and work with our partner to make sure they do not feel excluded or isolated.

One of the main reasons to have relationships is to be reflected, seen and valued for our contributions. Creating a new way of interconnecting that is harmless and creatively empowering is a creative step in having relationships that are actually supportive. Rather than idealizing opportunities, let us work together to design the best relationship for us. This takes discussing our aspirations and weeding out our separative desires. We know a desire is separative when it distances us from others. Whenever we seek something that is not a common aspiration, it is a distraction that will minimize our mutual future.

Doing this will eliminate a good portion of our Idealization. It requires focusing on how our personal life needs to integrate with our partnerships. Some talk about this as a work/life balance. Many are unwilling to create balance, because they do not understand that only by balance do we increase mutual productivity. We all need time for ourselves to be able to function well in relationship. As long as we are struggling with co-dependence issues, this balance will be hard to attain. When we develop a clear ability to make creative contributions in our work life, it builds Respect, Esteem and Love with our partners. This creates a virtuous feedback cycle where each element magnifies the other. This all begins when we invest in our Authentic Life Expression so we attract partners who are aligned with our mission. Another way this occurs is to choose a great partner who sees and supports our highest expressions.

When we do not have Skills to reconcile our inner conflicts, we tend to project these issues onto others. Because the person who is projecting cannot see that they are projecting, it creates an unpredictability that makes relationship difficult. People who know how to build a CNG can best deal with this unpredictability. When we have Skills, we can understand that others may not have the same Skills we do.  We need to make allowances for their differences, realizing it is the cost of having the relationship. This is one of the main Skills we learn in order to get out of Level 1. Otherwise, we are caught in our inability to see our own conditioning and to recognize the inconsistencies within us as we operate with mixed intentions from our programming. It is also important to realize that trying to question an individual (with mixed Motives) will not generate any positive response. This is because they are not able to see their own internal conflicts.

Becoming Simple (Accepting Ourselves)

At Level 1, we discovered that Stillness stripped away our conditioning. At Level 2, we discovered that Solitude allowed us to see how we were related to the bigger picture around us. Now, at Level 3, we explore our inner Silence and expand our Context, which allows us to understand that we do not need to define ourselves in terms of the outer world. As we resolve our internal conflicts, our personality mechanism begins to serve our Creative Nature and quiets our internal voices. On examination of the source of these voices we find that they are mostly Attachments, Positions and Projections that seek expression though our personality. Here we begin to explore how to be more creatively fluid and flexible. This inner quiet is also greatly assisted when we are able to create our own Safety and Security. The more we do this without defining ourselves in terms of needing others to validate us, the more heart and passion we experience in our life. Our experience becomes more about the adventure and the depth at which we are living our life, rather than the superficial experiences we have day to day.

Exploring our expanded perceptions can be greatly assisted by having some guidance. When we become more transpersonal and leave our defenses behind, we become greatly interested in what naturally connects us. We begin wondering why are we here and what is the core purpose of our life. In the past, we have always created meaning from our personal experiences. Now, we work to create meaning from our transpersonal experiences with others. In the Agni Yoga tradition, this is accomplished through small dialogues or aphorisms, where each day we have something to consider and ponder. You can explore the writings of Helena Roerich at www.agniyoga.org. All the books can be downloaded for free as pdfs. These books are extremely useful in clearing away Objectification, Subjectification and Idealization or discussing the blindness of Maya, Illusion and Glamour. Agni Yoga (meaning fire of the heart) is the next step beyond Raja Yoga and will grow in the Aquarian Age.

An added advantage of a CNG can be described as a process we perform for ourselves. For example, we could imagine a common space where all aspects of ourselves (Sensations, Feelings, Emotions and Thoughts) could come to a conference table to have a discussion about what are our greatest expressions of Beauty, Truth and Goodness. The more we bring together and unify our sub-personalities, or the competing aspects of our personality, the less we will need to act out our personality issues. This creates the experience of peace within us. This is also how we integrate our larger Creative Nature. Using a CNG for this integration is usually at least twice as effective as without a CNG. The increase is due in large part because we have activated our ability to be present using Life, Light and Love to address previous areas of denial (which used to contain and partition our energy). Another way of viewing this is that we learn to recognize how limited our personality is when we become caught up in its Fears or Desires.

When we choose partners based on who will heal us, it is our attempt to be important to others, or it expresses a need to prove that others need us more than we need them. We seek admiration, respect and unconditional love, not realizing that this could be enhanced with a creatively aligned partner. It would be extremely helpful for both partners to have some type of Authentic Life Expression synergy. Without this synergy, relationships become unstable because they are not focused in a common direction. This lesson is about manifesting a mutual, co-measured partnership so that both partners can co-create together. This requires us to be able to share without compromising ourselves energetically in time or in terms of another’s space. We do not need to be perfect to be in this stage of relationship.

To accomplish this, we need to eliminate our reactions to our partner’s ‘personal business’. We need to own our reactions so they do not become burdensome. Using a CNG, we can differentiate which reactions are either ours, theirs, or are a part of the relationship space. This clarifies who is responsible to clean them up. When a CNG gets trashed because a partner refuses to participate, engage or attacks the other partner, it is their responsibility to remake and rebuild the Common Ground. While it is always important for both partners to be responsive to each other, there are times when we cannot hold it together and the relationship is on life support. At these times, our partner needs to take the lead on making sure that no attacks or hurt are created. We call this process ‘holding space’ for our partner when they are going through some conflict, and this is never meant to be a long-term effort because it does minimize the capacity of the relationship. If our partner is unable to hold a safe space, the relationship becomes less trustworthy. What we need to be able to do is to build a relationship where contempt can never take hold. Until we operate with full transparency regarding our reactions, we are not ready for co-creative relationships.

When we stop doing projections, each individual can learn to manage and stabilize their own space. When we are not intruding in their space, they no longer need to be reactive or defensive. Their commitment to having an honest connection encourages them to build a separate CNG relationship space to work out the issues or deal with any disagreements within it, just as it encourages us to build a separate CNG relationship space. This means we do not need to personalize our issues with others.  It also helps us to maintain our own natural Grace and Creative Expression. Metaphorically, we learn that we cannot be violated without agreeing to the violation. This means we can always keep our own space clear and not attempt to inappropriately affect or influence the free will of others. It is this neutrality that reduces our defensive nature. As the Defenses become less important, this unused energy is then transferred to our Creative Nature, which enhances the power of our expression in the world. 

Now that we are more tuned into the energy of spaciousness, learning how to switch between our personal space and the CNG relationship space is critical. We are learning to be in both simultaneously, while feeling or knowing the differences between them. One of the best ways to anchor this is to remember that our personal space reflects everything that goes on in our life. Our CNG space reflects what we want to share with others. This means that some individuals will not be privy to some aspects of what is going on with us, which is appropriate. Having clear boundaries around this is much more effective than trying to hide something that only puts more energetic emphasis upon it. We can see this in many situations where what people are hiding becomes the most obvious thing in the room.

Another major difference in the CNG space is that their energy is mixing with our energy in it. Over time, we develop more and more tools, not only to quickly invite them into the space, but also to be able to deeply probe into their energy and recognize what is going on. This process can take only a few seconds giving you the lay of the land for the person in the last twenty-four hours. The key benefit is to be able to see how our process can match their process, allowing us to bring together a possible connection that matters in that moment. Most of the time, we are focusing on where the commonalities are, or where the mutual interests are that promise a deepening benefit for both parties in the relationship. As we become more proficient in a CNG, we are able, not only to feel the difference between our space and the relationship space, but to jump back and forth quickly, depending on our intent.

When we are first engaging new individuals, we may actually spend more time in the CNG than in our own space because we are trying to get the full picture. On the other hand, when we have been around individuals for a long time and we do not have a lot of extra energy, we may place the priority on maintaining our own space. In this case, we would only engage the CNG as a passive response to inquiries they are making to make sure we are on track with them. Typically, we use the CNG to the degree that we want to make sure that they are congruent with their responses. Any lack of congruence indicates that they are lying, distorting their own process, or not willing for some reason to see what is going on. Most of the time, we will invest in people who are congruent with us. This means that we do not have to pay attention as much to the CNG and it can be more of a mutual thing where we jump back and forth to make sure we are taking care of ourselves, or taking care of the connection with our partner.

Manifesting a CNG with others becomes more of a conscious step at this level. Even people who have not heard of this technology naturally learn it on their own. We usually direct them to the four-step description of how to create the CNG structure and then, when they have had more experience with it, we have them expand this into the seven-step sequence. The main indicators that we have reached this level of CNG are that we are self-reflective, more cooperative and seek to have greater transparency in our personal processes. This neutral way of engaging our partner helps many to use their active listening skills. This is how they initially develop the quality of Presence within themselves and with others. When people are at the third level, CNG classes become a benefit, bearing fruit because they assist us in eliminating projections.

Case Study #3: Eliminating Anxiety By Embodying Desires

Lisa and Mary have been business partners for 7 years in a public relations and website building agency. Since the first day they met, they were best friends with similar interests. When Lisa decided to expand the website side of the business, she immediately thought of Mary as the best partner she could have. This is because they always saw things from the same angle. As they developed their relationship, it became clear that in working together they could trust each other to look out for each other’s interests. Lisa felt Mary would always encourage her to take the next step. They were very productive, not only in convincing clients to use them but in maintaining client relationships over the years, because of the harmony between them. They attribute their longevity and trust to the fact that they are incredibly similar and aligned on many levels. It is ironic that they have had such a good relationship with each other, while it has been much more difficult to find good romantic partners.

What made them successful is their ability to unify their thinking and to operate non-defensively with each other. This opened up creative avenues where, through exploration, they were able to build complementary gifts that reinforced their ability to contribute to their clients. The only issue that kept agitating them was the anxiety they felt about the future. This drove them to keep doing things that would expand the business and build up their retirement funds. The only business problem they had was overworking, which created ongoing stress. This minimized their focus on finding romantic partners, because they always had a good excuse for not “getting out there”. Another one of the obstacles was that whenever they compared their relationship and level of Intimacy to a potential partner, it always seemed their romantic partners were much less engaged with them. Despite this, they were always egging each other on to find a great relationship and were dismayed when the options seemed much less conscious.

One of their common interests was a meditation retreat where they could clear out their conditioning and let go of their defensive patterns. Experiencing a deeper Silence helped clear out their personality concerns and gave them, at least temporarily, a sense of relief from the anxiety they experienced. Sharing their personal breakthroughs facilitated the growth they had in business.

Unfortunately, while they were always improving their choices of romantic partners, it had always felt difficult to trust potential romantic partners who were not aligned to their spiritual interests. Some of the choices they made were with men who did not even believe in or support their innate intuition. Another aspect is that none of the men were as spiritually oriented and open to sharing their spiritual practices. This made it harder for their Truth to be seen and accepted. Lisa was more adventurous, while Mary was more committed to choosing a partner who was not at all dramatic. Mary wanted to avoid partners who provoked her anxiety. This did not keep either one of them from hoping that someone similar to them would show up and be as committed as they were to a quality relationship. Some of their friends made jokes about Lisa’s propensity to explore relationships with men from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Both Lisa and Mary still carried a certain amount of anxiety, which made it easy for them to distance themselves from their own peaceful passion. By learning how to love themselves, they began to attract partners who loved themselves, which slowly shifted the quality of people they attracted. What Lisa was finding was a greater sense of refinement and presence in her partners. What Mary wanted most was a person who was doing his Authentic Life Expression and could share her experience. What she did not realize was that she was looking for a partner who could be a part of her own life work. The big unknown was whether they would find these partners in time to have children. This produced some tension where they vacillated between wanting to move forward with a lesser relationship or wait for the quality relationship they both needed.

When Lisa met her most current possibility, she recognized she would need to step up her game and be as loving to herself as she could be. This is because her partner was reflecting back some of the things she recognized in herself, which had irritated her previously. What she was coming up against was an Upper Boundary limit where she did not believe she deserved any great relationship. This made it difficult for her to acknowledge the gifts of her partner and honor his accomplishments. All she could think about was how she was not yet operating on that level. Mary was also having challenges where she was looking for stability, being fearful she would be abandoned. In her situation, she kept creating an abandonment framework so that her partners would leave her as soon as possible. The irony was that both women had their own concerns that overshadowed their gifts. They had difficulty accepting that partners would see them if they were willing to be true to themselves. They both doubted that love was available, which ended up attracting what they most feared—non-self-loving partners.

Until they are able to fully embrace both what they Fear and what they Desire simultaneously, they will continue to attract partners who are not a match for them. As a result, they end up having high expectations and want to trust their partners but find reasons why they cannot trust them. The more these Idealization patterns become the central way they connect with others, the more dramatic both women become. On the other hand, if they become conscious of these issues and do not define themselves in terms of them, the best partner will appear

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