OK. Valentine’s Day is coming up, right? You have about nine days left to figure out something special for that special someone. Ladies, you qualify as “that special someone” so don’t forget to treat yourselves. Now, with Valentine’s day in mind, lets explore a couple of ways that this relates to our final chapter of the Integral Lens: “States and Types”.
States are fairly simple to explain. They are non permanent ways of being. So, when you are happy that is a state. It comes, stays a while and it goes. This is different from levels of development which we talked about last week, because a level is a more or less, permanent state of being. You might say, “I was very happy yesterday”, but you wouldn’t be likely to say, “Yesterday I was an adult.”
There are many kinds of State experiences including emotions, dreams, and deep dreamless sleep. There are states that are induced by stimulants like caffeine, or depressants like pain medications, or psychotropic substances like Zoloft, Prozac, or Paxil. I had a friend in high school who used to see little smiley faces on everything and hear voices when she DID take her Prozac. She never told her doctors because she thought it was fun. . .
Anyway, Back to Valentine’s Day. The emotion of Love is a state experience. You may be IN love with someone all the time, and Marriage could be equated to a Stage or Level of Loving Relationship, but the actual feeling of love passes and returns and passes again. You may have a romantic dinner and share a great evening with your spouse, but that state of love doesn’t last through a meeting with your boss the next day. Or through the drama of getting the kids off to school. You are IN Love, but not always engaged in actually loving each other. Which is why Valentine’s day is nice. It gives us an excuse to spend some time actually engaged in the state experience of Love fostered through true intimacy.
This brings me to Types! Last week we talked Stages or Levels of development and now we have looked at States of experience. Types are what you get when you cross Stages with States. Different Stages experience the same States as different “Types”. For example, with our current discussion of Valentine’s Day and Love, A person who is mainly egocentric will express and experience a different Type of Love than someone who is more ethnocentric and that person will experience a different Type of Love than someone who is Worldcentric or Kosmocentric.
Whereas egocentric love is typified by receiving and seeking, Kosmocentric Love is typified by Giving and equanimity. Both are Love, but they are different types of Love. The point is that only PART of any experience is the actual State experience. The other part is the stage of awareness that is interpreting the experience. Another example: Two people may both have a state experiences of the grace of Christ. It is an intense and deeply personal state experience that changes them forever but the experience itself is momentary. The fundamentalist will express it differently and actually experience it differently than a liberal Christian. One might describe it as a humbling and incredibly gentle union with a deep and personal Love that inspired him to Love each and every one of God’s precious creations. The other might report a powerful and righteous blessing that has granted him authority to wage war on non believers. . . The Grace of Christ is the same across the board, the people are different. Same State, Different Type.
So, back to Valentine’s Day!
You can choose to have the State experience of Love on Valentine’s Day. But you can also choose to experience different Types of love on Valentine’s Day and many people don’t realize that. You can engage in egocentric Love by giving yourself something special, Partnership Love by sharing something special with a loved one, Sociocentric Love by participating in the community, and Kosmocentric love by giving to people you don’t even know. These are all different Types of Love available to you this Valentine’s Day, so why not make it multi-level Love fest and treat yourself and the world to the greatest gift of all, Your Love!
Love and Gratitude!