Self-Love: The Conditional, Unconditional, and Universal Love for Others

The idea of what it means to “love yourself” can often seem confusing, because the very concept of “self” is used in a vague manner without being accompanied by a description of the “principles” involved. What is typically called the “self”, is a creation as a concept or image produced by the mind and soul of itself, and like the mind, exists on 3 planes or levels of consciousness simultaneously, while still operating as “One”. As we create our perception and experiences of reality, we simultaneously associate with our experiences and get a “sense of our self” through our experiences, identifying with them as a result. Our concept of our “self” is shaped as our identity (the “I am”), which is formed on three levels simultaneously as our personality (identification with our body), our universal identity or ego, created through numerous incarnations (Higher Soul), and our true Higher Self, which is comprised of an archetypal matrix of universal qualities and ideas that we draw on in creating on the lower levels of manifestation. This is further complicated by what it is we refer to as “love”, due to the fact that most people perceive love to be an “emotion”, when in fact it’s a universal principle of “union”.

To love yourself doesn’t mean to love yourself as the personality of your body (lower self) and all of its tendencies and perhaps inappropriate or harmful behaviors established through your conditioning, but rather loving that part of you that actually warrants love because it’s pure in heart, and is what bestows the only true form of “unconditional love” upon you through all the phases and activities of your life. The idea of self-love is referring to the “Self” that’s also known as your “Higher Self” which resides on a higher plane of conscious awareness and is what’s actually conducting and administering the events and activities of the entire lower plane, used for exercising and developing your ability to create meaningful experiences. You’re not defined by the experiences themselves as objective and random events, but are in fact the one creating all of your experiences as a means of creating yourself. Love, in the higher sense of the idea is not an emotional state, it’s a “universal principle” of how we form “union” with different aspects of ourselves (notice this is always plural) in order to become whole and fully conscious on multiple planes simultaneously. Whatever we love, we desire, and whatever we desire we seek to become one with. It’s not an emotion we display as a pleasant form of attention, affection and encouragement, as many believe, it’s a principle that provides us with explicit instruction on how to create based on what it is we combine with and become the same as in mind and spirit.

To love our self is referring to our “true self” which is our Higher Self and what we call our eternal Soul. It’s not pampering yourself, sticking up for yourself, attending to petty needs, or accepting yourself in all your faults and self-induced dilemma’s, as many portray it to be. By connecting intimately with the part of us that we’re always in communication with that acts as a “parent” who guides us through things intuitively as a form of education administered with an all-pervading patience and understanding, is the “self” that’s being referred to, and not the lower self as the personality of your body, which resides in a predominantly unconscious state and unaware most of the time of the consequences of its actions. Our body and personality is simply what our Soul uses as a vehicle and instrument in being able to create experiences of itself as a reality, and is not our true Self. The most basic delusion of our material existence is that once we enter into an “unconscious-animal body”, we “forget” who we really are, and so come to believe that we are our body and the reality being projected through our body, rather than the one who’s creating and orchestrating it.

Love as a Universal Principle of Union

Love is a “principle” that operates as “desire” and is the means through which we enter into and become one with something. Whatever we form a union with in mind and spirit, we become one with in bodily form. The body itself doesn’t possess a “consciousness mind” (creative), it’s formed and operated out of the subconscious of the astral-body, which serves as a mediator and reservoir of the conscious mind, which resides on a higher plane and oversees and governs the lower plane of manifestation. The body is a passive receptor for consciousness, drawing it down and grounding it as an outer reality that brings experience of the “self” through the outer appearance of itself “as” another. Separation is an illusion produced by “being within” what actually exists as a greater, singular whole. We don’t use our body and the emotions produced by our body as primal instinct to “love ourselves”, but by forming a love for our “Higher Self” as a divine fully conscious and self-aware being, and as a result, cultivate the desire to “unite” with it in mind and spirit. As we unite with it mentally by cultivating deep feelings of reverence in relation with it, we act on our self to “draw down” the consciousness of our Higher Self, where it blends with us in and becomes our conscious awareness within our material body. Through mental union with our Self on a higher plane, we perceive ourselves from within a fully conscious state, and thereby create ourselves “as” we really are.

Due to the fact that our body works to generate emotion in response to our thoughts, which in turn motivate all of our activities, it will have a tendency to resist forming union with the Higher Self unless it’s represented to it in a way that inspires the emotion of admiration and adoration. We have to shape our thoughts as a representation and present it to our subconscious as an “image” that elicits an “emotional desire” for it. We’re always using “one aspect” of our mind to work with “another aspect” of our mind so they can work in cooperation with each other. We work on our subconscious by developing ideas as an “internal representation” within our imagination that naturally invokes the proper emotions necessary to motivate the behaviors necessary to manifest it. Within the lower plane all manifestation comes about as the harmonious union of thought as an idea that’s married to a corresponding emotion, which is the energy that determines how the idea expresses to become a whole reality as their offspring.

Due to the fact that the Higher Self is not manifest as the body within the lower plane of physical reality and exists only as a mental state as the “conscious aspect of our mind” that operates from a higher plane, a “representation” of it has to be formed and presented to the lower self that naturally invokes emotions of love and desire in regards to it. This “art” is demonstrated for us in how the “gods of mythology” were portrayed as being perfect, beautiful beings that inspired worship, with the idea of “worshiping an image of god” as a deity being formed in the imagination in order to inspire cooperation of the lower self. This is because it’s a part of the material plane and doesn’t have the ability to “perceive” what doesn’t exist as a material form. When working on any “plane” you always have to work from within the principles that govern that plane. The subconscious doesn’t possess the creative capacities of the higher mind and is “always present” within it’s immediate reality, and only responds to ideas that are “formed” in the imagination as physical entities. When we create an idea of our Higher Self that represents it in a way that inspires emotions of love and desire for it in our lower nature, it acts to “draw it in” while allowing it to take hold as a natural part of our normal awareness.

To love your Self is referring to loving yourself as a “god” who resides in a state of perfection on a higher plane which is only “drawn down” into the lower plane of unconsciousness through an overwhelming love for it and a desire to become one with it in mind and body. The lower self of the body is primarily instinctual and emotional in nature and it’s cooperation is only attained by shaping an idea as an internal representation in the imagination, which is the willful faculty of the higher mind, that elicits the emotions necessary to perform the joint operation. You only work effectively with your subconscious by first eliciting and working through its emotional state, which always comes as a natural response to our thoughts formed into an imaginary representation of an idea. As we think and picture an idea in our mind, we emote, and our idea ensouled by corresponding emotions produce all of our natural behaviors and the activities we engage in, manifesting the reality of our thoughts as an experience of our Self.

As long as we reside in a primarily unconscious state of our body and the material reality being produced by our mind in cooperation with our body, and we identify exclusively with being our personality, the principle being illustrated through the idea of “loving our self” eludes us, and can cause us to engage in what amounts to even more frivolous indulgences as a form of selfishness. All of what’s referred to as “vices”, which are ultimately destructive in nature, upon closer examination, comes as selfishness, whereas “virtues” are actions of selflessness. This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with pampering yourself every once in a while, or setting and maintaining healthy boundaries with others, and not beating yourself up as a way of “loving yourself”, it simply means that we start off this idea from the correct foundation of who we really are as a Higher Soul, and we learn how to work with Universal Principles as a means of utilizing the creative ability of our Higher Mind in truly “creating our Self”. It’s only when we approach this idea from the right orientation that we also realize that we can only love another by first loving ourselves.

Loving Yourself as the Means of Loving Another

This idea can seem even more confusing because it’s perceived as taking place from the “same plane”, and with the same interpretation of love being an emotion that prompts a certain type of perception and behavior. When we form a love for our self on a higher plane of conscious awareness that resides outside of and above the lower plane of the subconscious, we become the embodiment of that consciousness and begin taking on a more “universal awareness” which sees the entire material plane in its “wholeness” where we’re no longer separate and apart from others. Due to the fact that we’re no longer getting our “sense of self” from our personality “located” within the material plane as a finite being, where we’re invested in and determined by the activities and conduct of others, we no longer have “needs” that are being fulfilled by and through others. All of our needs are being met from “within us” where we draw on our own conscious awareness as an intimate and all-pervading connection with our Higher Self.

When this shift in awareness occurs, we come into any situation or relationship without a need for something specific to happen or the need to try and control the perception of others and manipulate it to a specific means, and we only look to “give” and participate in a way that serves the greater good of everyone involved. We truly become an instrument for higher consciousness to work within the lower plane. Because our Higher Self is not “of this plane” but the guiding force and administrator of its activities, we begin always looking at the bigger pattern playing out in any situation, and we leave people to their own creations without needing to change or direct them by imposing an influence on them. The Higher Self is the administrator of karma as universal justice that allows people to experience the reality of their own making and the consequences their actions render and draw back to them as experience.

This form of universal justice is the only true form of unconditional love that breeds sovereignty as the realization that we are the “only one” who is always fully responsible for creating our own reality through the Law of Cause and Effect. People only learn through self produced experience that brings self-realization around the consequences of their own thoughts set into motion by their actions. Karma is only resolved through self-realization that provides the basis for us to exercise “will” in correcting our own errors. All pain and suffering comes by way of our own hand and how it is that we’re always “acting on ourselves” to create our experience of reality. When we try to interfere in someone elses life by trying to impose our will on them in making their decisions for them, or by trying to influence and control them, we cripple them morally and hinder their spiritual growth in becoming fully self-aware of and through their own creations.

As we form union with our higher consciousness we begin perceiving from a higher, unified level of the larger patterns and dynamics being played out in any situation, and we begin participating with life as it is instead of trying to contradict it or control it somehow. It’s only when we begin perceiving others in a selfless manner where we don’t have any needs to try and somehow fulfill through them, where we don’t give only as a means of trying to get something in return, that we “become” unconditional love itself as a state of being. When all of our power comes from within us and we begin creating ourselves as a sovereign being who’s truly self-reliant, we begin building our identity out of a more universal perspective. When this happens we no longer incur or play out karma as unconscious creations, but resolve it instead by transcending it all together.

When we no longer feel a need to try and control others by getting them to comply with us in a way that satisfies a need of some kind or that validates us as being right somehow, or need to fell loved and desired by others, and we begin expanding our awareness to the bigger picture being acted out by a group of people as a joint-reality, we also begin realizing that when we try to interfere in other people’s lives we’re only acting to take their power away from them in being responsible for creating their own experiences, harming their spiritual progress as a result. To love someone doesn’t mean to do everything for them in an imaginary attempt to help them, or to smother and impose your will on them as a means of trying to protect them by telling them what to do, it comes in honoring their spiritual journey and the karma they have incurred and are now acting out as a means of redeeming themselves by waking up in the midst of their own imaginary drama. To love another is to “empower them” in being able to create their life and themselves from a fully conscious and self-aware state of moral sovereignty. We can only do this for another when we first do it for ourselves.

In this way, and only in this way, do we become the demonstration of unconditional love that’s administered across the board in a just and unbiased manner. All judgment of others is formed through a judgment of the same unconscious aspects of ourselves that we share with them while continuing to remain unconscious of them. When we unite with our Higher Self and embody a higher form of self-awareness that no longer fosters our unconscious projections by administering self-criticism, we no longer see those traits in others through our reaction to them. As we no longer judge ourselves for our perceived imperfections and undesirable traits, and we embody the divine aspect of our Self, we begin connecting with and seeing the divine nature in others, and act to demonstrate it as a normal part of our presence.


This is what it means to have to first “love yourself” in order to “love another”, with love representing a principle as union with a higher consciousness, and your self being your Higher Self as a fully conscious, self-aware, and divine being. Love on the lower plane of manifestation comes about as an emotional state and is always “conditional” in nature based on an interaction of “give and take”, where people only really love through compliance. Whereas love on a higher plane of universal consciousness is a state of being as “Universal justice” that empowers others in becoming their “Higher Self” rather than remaining in their lower unconscious self. This idea is represented by sayings like “love comes as giving without a need for return”, and the only true form of love is to “love without judgment”, because on the higher plane of conscious awareness we’re cognoscente of the fact that we’re always creating others in our own image and with our likeness, and all of what we perceive to “be out there” is but a projection and mirror image of what’s “in here”. Reality is a product of our own making that’s being projected by our mind from within, and as we begin loving our self as a higher, more universal being of a divine and creative nature, we simultaneously begin realizing that we “are” the entire lower plane of manifestation.

Dr. Linda Gadbois

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Linda holds a doctorate in Spiritual Sciences, and a Bachelor's in Clinical Hypnotherapy, along with numerous specialty certifications. She's a professional educator and Mentor, and offers a wide variety of Mentoring and Consulting Services, along with professional training programs. Some of her specialties include Personal Transformation, Self-Mastery, Spiritual Sciences, Transpersonal Psychology, and Integrative Mind-Body Medicine. For more info visit our Personal and Professional Services pages in the top menu bar of this site, or email us at: info@drlindagadbois.com