Interpersonal Love, Falling in Love, & Being in Love III

Interpersonal Love, Falling in Love, & Being in Love III

Dennis Bradford

389 Posts



N.B.:  The following post is the third of a 7-post sequence on love.  Since I wrote them, I’ve revised them and put them together into Interpersonal Love, Falling in Love, and Being in Love.  Instead of reading the sequence here, I encourage you, if possible, to download it for free with no strings attached at:  If you do and are able to print it out, it’ll be easier to read on paper and you’ll be reading the final revisions.  I hope you’ll find it very helpful and I welcome your feedback.  Be well, Dennis

What is being in love and how should we evaluate it?

The previous two posts were about the idea of love in the western tradition as well as falling in love (click here for the first post and here for the second post.)

Assuming the argument so far to be sound, whereas falling in love is a form of insanity, being in love is sometimes thought to be part of the highest quality of life.  Let’s investigate that.

There’s a problem:  How?  It would be nothing short of hubris to rely on my own experience.  That would be to make the idiotic assumption that I am an authority on love.  I am not.

So, who are the authorities?  To whom should we turn for wisdom with respect to love?

This is a specific instance of our most important epistemological problem, which is based on the fact that there may be no intrinsic or phenomenological difference between a true opinion and a false one. 

I assume here the basic distinction between knowledge and opinion.  Whereas there’s no such thing as false knowledge, there not only are false opinions but also they are distressingly common.

Merely thinking or believing a proposition to be true doesn’t make it true.  Whereas knowledge is backed by demonstrative evidence (cf. Panayot Butchvarov, The Concept of Knowledge), opinions are only backed by nondemonstrative evidence and, so, may be false.

There is no agreement about what nondemonstrative evidence is.  It’s not just that Hume pointed this out in modern times, but philosophers have been aware of this problem at least since Plato’s Theaetetus.

Unless they are true, opinions about love are as useless as other opinions.  We can attach or cling to them, but that’s irrelevant.  The questions is: “How can they be justified?”

There is a way out.  We ourselves may be unable to tell the difference between true and false opinions, but the greatest sages seem able to.  So, who are they?  Who are the authorities about love? 

My answer follows in this post.  In the next post, I’ll sketch out what they tell us about the nature of love.

Socrates thought that human error is involuntary.  The problem, again, is that what we think is true may not be what actually is true.

That we lack the inherent means to distinguish true opinions from false ones is amply demonstrated by the widespread phenomenon of false beliefs that are frequently accepted as true.

Probably you learned that as a child.  Perhaps you were taking a test in school and were convinced that one of your answers was correct.  After the test was over, you looked up the answer only to find out to your chagrin that your answer was false.  Being convinced that some proposition is true doesn’t mean that it is.

The good news is that Dr. David R. Hawkins discovered a way out.  To understand it and evaluate it for yourself, read in order 3 of his books, namely, Power Vs. Force, The Eye of the I, and I.  What follows here is a very brief introduction to his powerful discovery.

An entity is a real form (object, thing).  Every form is limited (bounded, circumscribed).  This is what enables us to single them out, attend to them by separating them from their backgrounds.  Real forms are multiply singleoutable (cf. my The Concept of Existence or Butchvarov’s Being Qua Being). 

For example, if the tree that I’m seeing is the tree that you’re seeing, it’s real.  For example, if the tree that I’m seeing is the tree that I’m touching, it’s real.

Every entity emanates an invisible energy within consciousness.  Each energy field or level of consciousness may be calibrated according to their measurable effects. 

As the frequency or vibration of energy increases, there’s a corresponding rise in the level of consciousness and reported level of happiness or well-being.  The higher one’s personal energy or consciousness calibration, the happier one is.

Every apprehension of truth is relative to a certain perspective; judgements are true only under certain circumstances from a particular viewpoint.  These come from “attractors,” which are hidden energy patterns relative to different levels of consciousness.  The phenomenal world we experience expresses the endless interaction of different attractors of varying strengths.  However subtly, every form interacts with every other form.  This interconnectedness grounds the idea of the unity or oneness of the world.

Dr. Hawkins developed a logarithmic (not arithmetical) map or scale of all possible levels of human consciousness from 1 to 1000(Unlike arithmetical scales, logarithmic ones do not have equal distances between measurement levels.) 

Our personal calibrations are not fixed until we die.  At every moment, we all have a specific level of consciousness.  It can sometimes increase or decrease significantly.  Although one’s level cannot be directly thought, it can be calibrated indirectly using muscle testing when the calibration is done by an experienced, qualified tester.

If you’d like to learn how to do the calibrations yourself and plot their results, see the first 4 chapters of my How to Dissolve Unwanted Emotions. (That book calibrates at 569.)  Hawkins died in 2012, but many of his calibrations can be found in his Truth vs. Falsehood.  If you’d like my updated list and become a coaching client of mine at any level, I’ll give it to you.

We’re naturally most interested in the happiness that comes from living well.  Those who live well are wise.  Sages are those who have mastered life.  The purpose of philosophy is to become wise.

Hawkins’s map provides us with a way to determine who is wise.  So, though you and I may not be wise, there’s now a way to determine who to ask to answer our questions about love.

Those whose personal calibrations are 600 or higher are sages.  While the personal calibrations of dead sages is fixed, living sages can be ranked from 600 on up.  Since truth is relative to a specific level, pay more attention to the teaching of a sage who ranks at, say, 950 than to one who ranks at, say, 750 or 610.

Sages are the less than ½ of 1% of human beings who live heavenly lives.  They occur infrequently in the human population; there may be only one sage in ten million people.  They enjoy unconditioned awareness that transcends ordinary personhood, and, so, live beyond the delusion of individuality that causes all dissatisfaction.  Theirs is a 100% happiness rate.

According to my own calibrations, the greatest living sage is Eckhart Tolle.  Some other recent spiritual teachers such as David R. Hawkins and Roshi Philip Kapleau as well as contemporary ones such as The Dalai Lama, and Thich Nhat Hanh are relatively well-known.  

This gives us a simple method for learning about love or wisdom:  pay attention to the teachings of the sages with the highest calibrations and pay little nor no attention to the teachings of nonsages.  Among the highest-ranked sages are The Buddha and Jesus Christ, who both calibrate at 1000.

Most of us are not sages.  We have no access to sagehood, which requires unconditioned consciousness.  Our calibrations are 599 or lower.

Those whose personal calibrations are 199 or lower live hellish, animalistic lives below the level of integrity, truth, and empowerment in the world of force.  200 is the most important division.  Practical wisdom requires avoiding the influence of such people as much as possible.

Everyone else with a conditioned mind calibrates in the domain of integrity, truth, and empowerment between 200 and 599

500 is the second most important division.  It’s the division between the objective material domain [1 – 499] and the subjective immaterial domain [500 – 1000] where love begins to blossom.  The ability to love unconditionally begins at level 540

Ultimately, people with personal calibrations of 499 or lower live in fear, whereas people with personal calibrations of 500 or higher live in love.  Those in the 500s have a 98% happiness rate.

The 400s are the domain of rationality, which trumps emotionality.  Becoming rational is a valuable achievement.  Theirs is a 79% happiness rate.  However, it’s as if many with that degree of conceptual sophistication become satisfied with it and simply stop developing. 

Our conditioning is culturally and not just personally relative.  The average calibration in some favored countries such as the U.S.A. and Canada is much higher than the average calibrations of, say, many countries in the Middle East.  This does not mean that the average North American is morally superior or more valuable than the average Middle Easterner, but it does mean that the average American is happier than the average Middle Easterner simply by being lucky to be an American. 

This point deserves emphasis.  Having a higher personal calibration does not make someone better than someone else with a lower personal calibration.  Why?  Unlimited formlessness [Being, God, the divine] is present as the essence or whatness of all limited forms.  Although some of us are luckier and happier than others, we human beings are all essentially equal from the moral point of view.  Nobody is more valuable than anyone else.

What we believe determines what we experience. The content of mentation is recontextualized at every major paradigm shift, namely, 200, 400, 500, and 600.

With the concentration and fixity of focus on constantly surrendering all mental contents characteristic of advanced spiritual practice, detachment evolves into spiritual purification and nonattachment as the separation between the observer and that which is observed diminishes and, for sages, eventually dissolves.  That is the end of dissatisfaction (suffering, discontent, misery, unhappiness).  This typically requires faith, a true teaching, dedicated adherence to an effective spiritual practice to the point of mastering it, and almost always the guidance of a qualified spiritual teacher with integrity.  

We all want to be happier.  The problem has been that we don’t know how to become happier.  After Hawkins’s discovery and research, we have a measurable way forward.  That’s important because what is measurable is easier to improve than what isn’t.  We become able to tell what’s working and what isn’t. 

Those whose personal calibrations are 600 or higher are the happiest and most abidingly loving, joyful, and peaceful human beings.  Those whose personal calibrations are in the 500s are on the doorstep to sagehood and happier and more loving than anyone whose personal calibration is 499 or lower.

If you want to become happier, raise your personal calibration.  The wiser you become, the happier you’ll become.

Most people who attain a calibration of 500 or higher do so by mastering some classic meditative practice or other such as zazen or aliveness awareness.  In other words, they practice “no thinking” and learn to live in alert consciousness without compulsive thinking (judging, conceptualizing, evaluating). 

Alert consciousness without thought is spiritual wakefulness.

In addition to being formless, Being is characterized by silence, stillness, and timelessness.  If you think of thoughts as mental noise, it makes sense to imagine how dropping them could remove obstructions to the direct realization of Being.    

That’s why Bodhidharma, who died about 530 C.E. and was the first Ch’an master from ancient China, says that being able to live without thinking is the zen life: “No thinking about anything is zen.  Once you know this, walking, sitting, lying down, everything you do is zen.”  

The key to spiritual development is surrendering (letting go of, detaching from) all egocentric attachments, which include thought forms and concepts.  That’s why it’s impossible to think one’s way to sagehood.  The way to wisdom is the way of nonattachment.  Becoming a sage is transcending egoic personhood.

The lower someone’s personal calibration, the stronger the ego.  Personal calibrations of 199 or below are really “varying degrees of emotionalized egocentricity” [from Hawkins’s Truth Vs. Falsehood].  Persons who calibrate that low have no ability to use muscle testing well.  The happiness rate between 100 and 200 is just 15%.  Between 50 and 100 it’s 2%.  It’s 0% at 49 or lower.  The stronger the ego, the lower the happiness rate.  Why? 

“[T]he core error is that the ego’s dualistic, distorted perception sees everything in terms of the perpetrator/victim model (cal. level 130)” [ibid].  People with calibrations that low don’t live in reality; instead, they live in “emotionally motivated fantasy” [ibid].  The narcissistic ego refuses to accept personal responsibility.  “Narcissism is inherently paranoid” [ibid],

As the threshold of integrity at 200 is surpassed and personal calibrations continue to increase, acceptance and compassion more and more dissolve the ego.  As ego delusion diminishes, happiness and well as abiding love, joy, peacefulness increase.  Our consciousness calibration is the single most decisive influence in the quality of our lives. At levels 600 and higher, egoic personhood is transcended.

The more surrendering to reality and nonattachment there are in someone’s life, the more accurate muscle testing calibrations made by that person become.  The results of muscle testing are plotted on Hawkins’s Map, which yields personal calibrations.  There’s no reason why nearly all human beings cannot calibrate at 500 or higher, and, so, saner and more loving.

If you’d like an independent way of estimating your own degree of wakefulness, there’s an inventory in the Appendix to Dr. Steve Taylor’s The Leap.  You may also be able to find a zen or other qualified master who is willing to test you. 

Since there’s an egocentric judgment at the heart of every emotion [as I’ve argued in multiple places such as Emotional Facelift and Emotional Empowerment], emotional afflictions decrease with ascending personal calibrations.  Effective meditative practice dissolves prolonged, unwanted emotions [see my How to Dissolve Unwanted Emotions]. At levels 600 and higher, emotionality dissolves as egoic personhood gets transcended.

Sages can still function as persons, but they have actually transcended personhood, which is a truth that those of us who still calibrate at 599 or lower cannot understand.

So, how should we understand love or being in love?  Ask sages!  What they tell us follows from the perspective just sketched in this post. 

To understand more, please go on to the next post.

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