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By Dr. Guy A. Pettitt, drawn from ideas shared by Edith Stauffer, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, Torkom Saraydarian, Alice Bailey, Scott Peck and others before them.


To foster Life. To bring forth the best potential. To extend the Self in the service of the spiritual growth of the loved one and of the whole.12 Goodwill in action. Love evokes, and partners, joy.

The Right building in form, the Right use of form, the Right de-structuring of the forms so built when they no longer serve.

To build or restore Right Relationship, Unanimity, Harmony, and Peace.


To first - to love oneself fully

then - special others fully

then all others inclusively

and fully, and through


to love

the Source of Life fully

There are so many ways we use the word love, we can become confused. We use "love" for liking ("I love golf"), for romantic attraction, for maternal, paternal, filial, brotherly, sisterly and group forms of love. Most of these "loves" are conditional upon the loved person or object meeting some expectations in the mind of the one "giving" the love. As we contemplate these many different kinds of "love" we begin to see different "levels" of love, different qualities of energy, and different ways of using the will.

The first level is "conditional love".


Conditional love is like a kind of bargain with the Universe to give you self-love if you "take care of" people. Tends to make others responsible for your needs and happiness. Includes the "Care-taker ", "Good Prostitute", "Reluctant Martyr", "Rescuer ", stances in life. Wants, and to a degree does get, rewards and approval from others. There are secondary gains in this position, though the price paid is being less than one's True Self.

Possessive, holds on when the other grows or heals...and then needs another needy partner. Expectations++. "I will love you (=take care of you) if you are good, clever, white, black, richer, poorer, sicker or more well than me, male, female...etc..." "I love you and if you love me you must promise me...." etc. Can easily feel victimized/angry again when the conditions are not met. Can make the one loved in this way feel very resentful ("hostile dependency"). Dependent on the approval of others.

"Social Activist Level I" ..."Crusader" ("I will fight for peace, - even if I have to kill or assassinate to get it"). Still angry with personalities and more focused on those than upon issues, therefore oversimplifies. "I will love you if you adopt my point of view, the "right" political persuasion....or do what my parents did - or did not do" Easily falls prey to anger or fear, or feels victimized if frustrated. Can explode with frustration and become "Perpetrator" or "Terrorist"; or feel powerless - "Doormat" or "Victim".

This level corresponds in psychosynthesis to the level of the subpersonalities. There is a tendency to "love" only the perceived "victim" in any situation, to identify with the victim, and to hate the perceived "oppressor". Unable to see that the oppressor is also suffering, but in a different way and expressing their suffering differently. Both the victim and the oppressor are giving out a cry for love and for their unmet needs to be met. There is a tendency for one operating at this level to hold others responsible for their happiness (and therefore unhappiness!), and at the same time push love or help away when it has been offered. This often leads to burn-out, or a win-lose situation, in which all are losers. I call this the Bermuda Triangle (see diagram).


Tough Love is less dependent upon others for a sense of self-worth and self-esteem. A more skilled Care-giver. Self-love and self-esteem is enough to take more positive action. Recognizes own needs and is willing to take responsibility for getting them met. Can confront caringly. "I love myself enough to love you and tell you the truth"... "I can serve you without manipulations".

Can also receive love with openness, does not push it away when it is offered.

"Social Activist Level II", Can separate people from their actions, more focused on issues than on personalities. "We are separate but equal" "I give you responsibility for your actions, the way you lead your life, and I take full responsibility for mine". Can negotiate assertively - i.e. firmly, but without putting the other party down .

This level corresponds more to the level of the psyche called in psychosynthesis, the personal self. There is more discrimination, will, love and energy.


It is the exploration of what this might be that we do from now on in this seminar - and in life after the seminar! Its mystery and depth cannot be explained. Yet we all recognize its presence and its magic. It reveals itself through joy, which can even increase in adversity. We can learn to see ourselves as moving towards becoming able to express it ever more fully. We can learn the steps in developing this quality, which is still in the process of evolving or revealing itself.

Unconditional love is enlarging the self, and an act of will. It is not a feeling or an emotional reaction. Think of the difference between falling in love, and growing in love through all difficulties and conflicts. Unconditional love is an act of mental and spiritual will, it cannot and does not take place upon the emotional level, which is where the problems first register. Unconditional love is extending oneself in the service of the spiritual growth of oneself and/or another, independently of reward or the behavior of others.

To truly love in this way could include:-

1. To call forth a sense of responsibility, and a capacity to make wise choices.

2. To point out weaknesses people have, - but very caringly so that the best in the person is drawn forth in response, rather than resistance.

3. To challenge people to strive and attain, and discover their true selves..

4. To help people work on their habits and weaknesses so that they become stronger. To show them how to use their will correctly.

5. To help people learn to cooperate, and thus to overcome their little egos.

6. To engage people in working for humanity.

7. To teach people how to overcome their prejudices, resentments, separative tendencies, vanities, illusions, and other blocks to their own joy.

To truly love in this way does not mean:

1. To surrender to weakness.

2. To accept things that are harmful.

3. To encourage weakness or irresponsibility.

4. To accept dirt or ugliness in thought, feeling or action.

5. To exploit or use people.

6. To put people into sleep.

7. To tolerate laziness.

Unconditional love causes you to see what has really caused a situation and to see through the outer appearances to the true needs or yourself and others, without criticism of yourself or others . It causes you to see the basic good in yourself and other(s).

Unconditionally loving people see their own errors and joyfully self-correct them .

They love themselves, others and the Source of Life, and therefore the whole of life. In particular, they are inclusive, and can maintain love and goodwill towards both the apparent "victim" and "oppressor" in a situation.

They seek to radiate their inner harmony and joy, peace and healing into any situation - without conditions or expectation of reward, and independently of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others.

They are group conscious and do not react by immediately taking sides.

They serve the cause of peace and goodwill, and can often find ways to a fair solution of conflict that are not available to emotionally charged people. Gandhi taught the use of ahimsa and satyagraha, which is the willingness to cooperate harmlessly with the good intentions of the other for the true benefit of both.

The Forgiveness Process can be seen to be a process which moves us towards this goal of unconditional love.

"Peace on earth will come when the love of power is replaced by the power of love" (Sri Chinnoy)



The levels of unconditional love

Drawn from Edith Stauffer, "Unconditional Love and Forgiveness".

In the physical body there is warmth and relaxation of muscle tension. Further research is needed to delineate the other physiological effects of unconditional love - on pain, mood, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, immune and other systems. And upon bio-rhythms - appetite, sleep, hormonal cycles.

Many categories of drugs are used to counteract the effects of the sustained unforgiving state - muscle relaxants, tranquillisers, analgesics, hypnotics, antidepressants, anti-adrenergic drugs etc. These are very expensive and becoming more so. Unconditional Love is free!

At the emotional level, there is openness, absence of defensiveness, fullness, completeness, and acceptance. Patience, inner peace, kindness, outgoing goodwill are all increased.

On the mental level there is a greater objectivity and understanding, a wider perspective that embraces all points of view, accepts and allows for the differences between people. There is absence of blaming or judgmental criticism.

On the spiritual level one relates to others as one would like to be related to. One accepts others as being of equal worth to oneself. One sees the needs of oneself and others accurately and desires to met those needs if practical. There is an all-pervading feeling of positive, creative, loving energy. One wants to give to others with no sense of "should". One wants to relate to others inclusively. There is an increasing sense of oneness and shared humanity with all. Above all there is trust, a deep sense of inner security and of knowing that for oneself and others all is well within, even in times of deep crisis.

One could say that the state of being unconditionally loving towards oneself, all others, and the Source of Life, and of being unconditionally loved from within, is our "natural state", in the sense that when it is experienced, it is like "coming home". It meets some of our most fundamental needs.

A law that can be tested in the laboratory of life is that one who maintains the attitude of love will also receive love - not necessarily from certain specific individuals, but from the Source of Life and from their own Higher Self.

Transpersonal love is not the same as the other "loves" for which we use that word:- mother love / father love / romantic love / possessive love / sexual love / mateship / loving an activity e.g. golf (cathexis) / loving a place

Most often these are far removed from unconditional love, because they may turn to resentment if one partner disappoints the expectations of the other. These "loves" are often very conditional:- "I will love you provide that you ........................." If the expectations are not met, the love is withdrawn. The word "love" is thus very often used to describe a feeling, and emotion, a desire, but this is not what unconditional love turns out to be.

Beware of the illusion created that your love is unconditional which occurs for as long as your conditions are being met! Under these conditions we may feel as if we have been experiencing love.

When the demands are not met however, we may cultivate an attitude of hostility or resentful indifference, to drive out fear and to feel strong. This "strength" may feel good enough that we entertain it for a long time, not knowing how to transform it into something more worthwhile. In fact we are being weakened and harmed by it. Hostility blinds us to the good in others and ourselves. Cynicism is one variety of this which research has definitely shown to be a health hazard. Hostility closes us to love. It is a defense, a protection against what we perceive as bad. It is natural that we should want to destroy that which we perceive as bad or threatening, but the hate damages us.

Looking for the good or the good potential does not imply ignoring the negative, it is simply a choice to give attention to the good as much or more than to the bad. Energy follows thought.....if you only give water to the weeds in your garden you quickly end up with a garden full of weeds.....

It is unlikely that anyone can live a day without finding that conditions have been put on someone which need to be cancelled in order to maintain the flow of love. Especially those with whom we live and work.

"Forgiveness makes whole

both the forgiver

and the one forgiven"

Edith Stauffer

It is not hard to imagine the different quality of driving that would occur in the resentful state as opposed to driving in a loving state. Or of handling machinery; or of lifting with tight or relaxed back muscles; of teaching in a school; of performing surgery; of nursing; of negotiating in conflict situations in the home or workplace; or internationally. The implications for health care, industrial relations, international peace, or for education are not hard to see.

Forgiveness Programme - Contents

Forgiveness Programme - Emotions


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Last updated: 07/11/09

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