Qualities of Being Love


The qualities listed here do not meet scientific criteria. They are rather unusual for people living in Western civilization. Some may seem absurd because they are unimaginable or in our opinion infantile and incompatible with the criteria as applied to educated Western adults.

What is the point of having a lack of criticism or being open-minded in our tough competitive world?

Space and timelessness may be in our dreams, but certainly not in our everyday lives in our clear minds when we are planning and caring to secure our future.

And yet these qualities seem not only possible but they are absolutely necessary for the experience of genuine human happiness. 

Incomplete, unordered sequence

The order of the qualities listed above does not correspond to a hierarchical sequence nor does the list claim to be complete. However, individual qualities by their vividness, clarify being love more than others. For example, “openness,” both in the sense of opening oneself to the world and opening oneself to our fellow human beings is an empathic experience personally made by most people. I therefore regard this quality as a core factor in determining the intensity of the experience of love. 

Some criteria of being love correspond to experiences from recent infant research; I postulate them as the state of the not-yet-socialized infant. The enumeration however does not only consider the state of the infant unconsciously in the primary self. 

Some of the qualities listed are assigned to conscious being love,  they correspond to experiences on the fourth level of Zen reality. Thereby not only eastern but also western religious and psychological “techniques” can lead to those experiences.

Also certain drugs, which in some “primitive” cultures have been included in a controlled way into religious rites are also used in certain psychotherapies. They lead to the experience of being love as is shown in connection with the physiology of being love.

Today however, corresponding psychoactive substances are primarily abused as addictive substances.

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By openness is meant the psychological openness to fellow human beings and “the whole world”: we perceive what is and do not try to manipulate what we perceive via cognitive control mechanisms – as preconceived opinions

THORWALD DETHLEFSEN writes that any form of love can be reduced to the act of letting in: “In love man opens his boundaries and lets in something that was previously outside it… Everywhere where we set boundaries we do not love – everywhere we let in, we love.”

Being love: open to meet divinity

OSHO says in regard to being open to the experience of God:
The moment you are open the meeting happens immediately. Divinity is always open, the problem is with us, we are closed. The sun has risen but we sit with our eyes closed – what can the poor sun do? Its light shines but we live in darkness. And it’s so easy to open our eyes.

And the same moment you open your eyes the darkness disappears. The same is true for the inner world. Divinity is always present, open, available, ready to fill you with love, with joy, ready to bless you. But we are closed, we are not ready to receive. We live in a closed cell without windows, without doors. We think that would be safe and secure. It is neither safety nor security, it is death. It is a life in the grave.

But once you open yourself, the joy of that opening is so great that you can see in comparison that you were living in a dark cell. Now the whole sky is yours, all the stars are yours and all the mysteries are yours.

The great vulnerability in being love

In a loving-open state we are vulnerable. Most people therefore “instinctively” only get involved under the protection of a trustable intimacy (or by avoiding conscious responsibility while under the influence of alcohol or drugs).

The more conscious a person is, the more unharmed he/she can realize this state in everyday life. In “popular knowledge” it is known that in the – unconscious – extreme openness influences may assert themselves, which are hardly effective in the normal state.

Puerperal vulnerability

This is shown by a custom still followed on a Greek island until today: 

After the birth of a child old people (including grandparents) are forbidden to visit the woman with her infant in childbed. The reason given is that during such visits old people would have a tendency to vent about their small ailments and illnesses. In doing so, there is a risk that diseases are transmitted to the nursing mother.

When our grantee was breastfeeding her second son, her mother-in-law came to visit unexpectedly, in contrary to the local custom. She complained of a headache and left after a while, stating “the headache was better now”. A short time later, the woman in labor began to suffer from headaches; more than that, her breast remained dry from that moment on, she had to stop breastfeeding.

It is likely that at the moment of breastfeeding – when a mother is fully engaged with her infant – she is in a state of (unconscious) being love. In the interest of the infant she is completely open and thus accessible to many influences that are ineffective in everyday life. In this openness the mother is not only connected to the child through her resonance in the third body, but is also overly receptive to the wider environment.

Useful self-protection in the presence of unconscious openness

From this we can conclude that a certain degree of detachment – at least in a state of unconscious openness – is absolutely necessary for self-protection. For this reason Shamanistic healers prepare both, themselves and the ill for a state of psychic openness with the help of extended rituals. This is what makes healing possible.

Openness that can endanger the child’s soul

When we turn to the child, the core and at the same time extraordinarily dangerous consequence of this openness becomes apparent: out of the innocent, in loving trustfulness taking all in, basic attitude, a tremendous influenceability of the child’s soul arises.

BERT HELLINGER speaks of the great receptivity of unconscious archaic love. This uncritical love is open to everything, including “evil”; thus children, unconsciously entangled with destructive ancestors, again become destructive people themselves. Only as self-responsible adults in conscious love can they break free from this family entanglement, no longer living a destiny out of misunderstood love and assuming a role that is not theirs to play. 

The “Third Body” experience of meditators and lovers

One more phenomenon about openness belongs to this context. FEDERICO MONTECUCCO in the EEG has described an increasing synchronicity that occurs in meditating together as well as in the intimate encounter of lovers. It can be assumed that the same phenomenon occurs between the nursing mother and her infant, and ideally between healer and patient. It is the experience of the Third Body.

Whenever we participate in silent immersion in a worship service, a group ritual or an uplifting ceremony, this phenomenon plays along. It happens likewise when – with absolute devotion – we make music together, sing in a choir or simply listen to a concert. 

PETER SCHELLENBAUM writes about this:
Thus surrender is neither ‘to me’ nor ‘to you’, but is based on sensed, differentiated perception of a complex whole, of which we are a part. Love – the sustaining feeling in the Third Body – arises through careful bonding with what is.” (PETER SCHELLENBAUM)

Measurable, harmonious transmission phenomena within the Third Body

It opens new perspectives that such pronounced harmonious transmission phenomena are supposed to be detectable not only psychologically, but also physically in the EEG, as already mentioned (MONTECUCCO). Also the investigations of FRITZ POPP, who proved the ubiquitous occurrence of communicatively effective light energies (biophotons) could confirm such synchronous connections within the Third Body, similar to the effect of morphogenetic fields according to RUPERT SHELDRAKE.

Particularly in the so-called primitive cultures, people are found who are sensitive and open to the perception of these energy phenomena (auras, halos, aureoles). They are able to decode the information content of these subtle energies and possibly also use them for communication transmission.

Openness is also the quality of becoming permeable to unusual experiences, this is evident in the ability of non-focused sight; in this way I am unattached and in free-floating attention both outwardly and inwardly (with respect to my physical and mental awareness). 

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Lack of criticism in the sense of not-judging contradicts our everyday thinking. We are used to constantly judge, making decisions and evaluating everything by the standards of our morality.

This quality forces us to question apparently self-evident ideas. It therefore suits well as an example of lived being love. Yet in our culture it is difficult to find contemporary illustrations of this condition. People who behave accordingly risk not being “taken seriously”. They are classified as moronic or pathological, being “taken care of” in homes and institutions. 

1. Example of lack of criticism in the innocence of being love

Columbus and the Indians

In his journals, Columbus describes an encounter with the indigenous people of Haiti. His judgmental mind placed itself mature over what seemed to him the primitive naive child world of the Haitians:

“The Indians are so naive and so free with their possessions – no one would believe this, who has not seen it with his own eyes. If you ask them for something they never say no, on the contrary, they offer to share with anyone….

Both men and women chose their companions and left them as they pleased, without offense, jealousy or anger.” 

These behaviors are still found among today’s autochthonous races and testified by idealists such as the dedicated BRUNO MANSER, who lived for years among inhabitants of the rainforest in Malaysia, but also by scientists such as the ethno-pharmacologist RIVIER. 

In contrast to the preceding example, the following one is from a advanced civilization. It is about RAMAKRISHNA, an Indian mystic who lived in the 19th century and was a Hindu priest in a temple at the Ganges.

2. Example of unbiased being love

Ramakrishna meets his competitor

One of the great logicians and philosophers of Bengal, KESHAV CHANDRA – he was an atheist – heard that thousands were on a pilgrimage to RAMAKRISHNA. He challenged the latter:
“I will come on a certain day to discuss certain things with you”.

All of RAMAKRISHNA’s followers had great fears for they knew: RAMAKRISHNA knows nothing nor has he written any teaching scripture. He merely makes up songs to sing in his temple. He is uneducated. He has no idea of logic and philosophy. For him it is not about the mind. So, they were all afraid that it would be embarrassing, because KESHAV CHANDRA would give him a defeat in a few seconds.

And KESHAV CHANDRA came with his own disciples. RAMAKRISHNA jumped up from his place under a tree, embraced KESHAV CHANDRA and said,
“I am so happy that you have come” .
“I have come to refute you.”

“It does not matter whether you disprove me or I disprove you. From this moment on, our love will endure. Start disproving me – I am ready.”
“Start disproving you? First you have to state your philosophy.”
“I know nothing about philosophy. You must do both. Explain my philosophy and disprove it.”

Instead of RAMAKRISHNA, KESHAV CHANDRA now looked embarrassed:
“Where have I got to? ” But something had to be done, so he said,
“Okay, do you believe in God?”
“Believe? I know him. Why should I believe in him? Only ignorant people believe.”
What to do with someone like that? Believe can be criticized but this man says that he knows God! But still KESHAV CHANDRA made great arguments against God:
“It is a hallucination, an illusion, just an imagination that you think you know God.”

And every time he made a good point, RAMAKRISHNA got up and hugged him again, saying,
“You are a beautiful person, KESHAV CHANDRA; I love the way you speak, though it doesn’t change anything. The fact is, your intelligence is proof to me that God exists. Because your intelligence comes from existence. It cannot come from anywhere, and everything I reckon God is, is that the universe is intelligent. I am a poor fellow, I am ignorant. I am not proof of God’s existence, but you are.”

And in this way authority, authenticity and sincerity are too. For the first time in his life KESHAV CHANDRA felt disproved, even though this person had not countered him with any argument.

He touched RAMAKRISHNA’s feet and said:
“Accept me as your disciple. Seeing you, your behavior and your joy is enough to show me that dry arguments will not transform me. But you are a person who has been transformed. Most likely you are right and I am wrong. Although I can prove that I am right – but proving is one thing and being right is another. Your presence is the argument that counts.” (OSHO)

Lack of criticism in the sense of being non-judgemental

These two examples accurately illustrate what is meant by the term lack of criticism. It is about a point of view that so radically alters interpersonal communication that it is almost impossible for adults to empathise. 

The non-judgmental basic attitude of being love

A non-judgmental basic attitude as an adult is hardly conceivable for a Western-educated person (especially for the man as being trimmed for competition). The prerequisite for this would be that we could put aside all “defense dispositives” built up in years of discipline and that we would meet our counterpart in unprotected openness.

The transanction analysis with its model shows the path we have to go, if we really want to deal with our fellow human beings without being judgemental. It is evident that this quality brings risky downsides along. Yet transactional analysis is not about unilaterally developing a relationship level, not even the adult level. Rather, if possible, we should be able to freely enact all these forms of communication and adopt them according to the situation.

The same applies to the communication in the state of being love. Without simultaneous protection and relativizing evaluation of the situation by the adult part, we are – in the long run – not viable on the level of the “child like being”.

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The ability to look at the world in naive amazement is a proverbial quality of the young child. It encounters the world overwhelmed by the incomprehensible and the marvelous and is at the same time free of fear and meets the world in a trusting sense of belonging.

This form of experience is not only the happiness of the delusional child, but also of the adult during magic, emotional moments. Also animals, especially puppies, let us participate in their naive sense of wonder, if we can perceive them openly. 

Wonder is the ability to allow “miracles” and let ourselves be deeply touched by them without immediately being forced to give an explanation with our mind, thus demystifying them and placing them in the predictable everyday experiences. 

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In an apocryphal quote, Jesus says,
“In paradise there is eternity.”

In the state of being love, “time” has no meaning, it stands still, respectively it is “eternal” in the here and now, from moment to moment. Everything lasts as long as it takes, time pressure is of no importance, under time pressure essential qualities of being love cannot unfold.

The contrast with our everyday reality (our main reality) is enormous. By not relating the present to the past and future, a punctual sense of time emerges instead of the linear one to which we are used to. Seen out of the experience of the main reality, this “eternal” state seems like a time hole, an intangible void.

“The unhistorical moment , that is the stepping out of the modern continuum of time remains in NIETZSCHE as in FREUD the condition of happiness“, writes BERND NITZSCHKE and continues:
“The moment by which ‘happiness becomes happiness” presupposes the ‘ability to forget’; or, in a more academic expression, the capacity to feel unhistorically during its duration.”

“Let us remember: what Nietzsche is telling here is also the meaning of the ‘primitive’ cult which is supposed to ritually make possible the ‘unhistorical moment’,” and later:
“… this means dissolution of the subject, suspension of reason bound to the imprisoned subject.” 

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Here again we encounter the experience of emptiness, understood as a boundless, open and permeable, dematerialized “space”. We feel this emptiness as so mysterious because it is associated with non-thinking. Seen from an everyday perspective, this experience is enormously threatening and can give rise to panicky anxiety. 

The 68 psychologist NITZSCHKE provides an illustrative example of this:
Some of his revolutionary companions had obviously – in his opinion – exceeded the degree conceded by a clear mind; they dared to go an unconventional way, the eastern way.

This prompted NITZSCHKE to remark:
The greater the span between reality and (revolutionary) utopia, the stronger becomes the tension that would have to be endured, to be shaped by a practice guided by theory and limited by reality. He who perishes from this tension may be ‘weak’, but he is still stronger than one who in delusion throws himself into the arms of the next best guru to enjoy liberation in the ‘here and now.

There is no doubt that psychic emptiness is an indispensable prerequisite for the genuine experience of God, which in my opinion is closely related to the experience of being love

The Empty Heart as a Prerequisite for Being Love

FRANK NAGER points out :
The motif of retreating, of silence, of emptiness, of contemplation as an indispensable prerequisite for encountering God has resounded from time across the ages – from Taoism to Buddhism, from the Upanishads to Koran, from the Bible to the experience of God-grasping mystics of all times and latitudes.” – “Only the ‘void-heart‘, the ‘rest-heart’ becomes capable of ‘returning home’ to the root, of uniting with Tao.

This emptiness, this nothingness not only creates the context to receive existential fullness. It also allows us to let go of what has obstructed life so far: moral imperatives and prohibitions, ego ideals and masks, and in this way also character armorings and preconceived opinions

The spiritual emptiness corresponds to not having to think; the restless activity of the mind finally comes to rest, the consciousness – unclouded by programs of thought and memory – perceives what just is, outside, as well as inside. In this perfect stillness, this absolute silence, we are able to hear the numinous, God speaks to us. The Hindus call this highest state anandi, bliss. 

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According to MICHAEL MOELLER, love is “a child of freedom”. OSHO also was never tired of pointing out that real love is only possible in freedom:
Love is a bird that loves its freedom. To grow it needs the vastness of the sky. Be careful never to put it in a cage, never to keep it imprisoned, never to give it boundaries and a shape, a form, a name, an address, a label – never. Let it be a fragrance, invisible, and then it can take you on its flight to the highest.

Whoever wants to possess it, kills love. It cannot flourish in an atmosphere of constricting control. Because trying to reconcile freedom and security is like squaring the circle, many people fail.

Politically, freedom is the subject of countless declarations; indeed, it is one of humanity’s most important concerns. Psychologically, at the root of this need lies the desire for a state that transcends all limits set by humans, the longing for the unrestricted experience of being love.

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In the state of being love the body is in a restful activity. Using the terminology of Taoism: in the “doing nothing” of Wu-Wei, much like a predator that is at rest yet ready for lightning-fast action at any moment.

Both the striated muscles consciously controlled by our will and the smooth muscles not under our control are neither slack nor tense; the body is neither paralyzed nor overexcited: the person concerned is in the eutonic state. If, on the other hand, he imposes too much a control upon himself, he inevitably becomes uptight and tense (hypertonic), not only psychologically but also physically. 

Effects of muscle tension on the state of being love

In the 1920s WILHELM REICH, in consistent pursuit of the FREUDian approach, drew attention to the central importance of muscular tensions. In his opinion these tensions have been the physiologically manifest expression of sexual inhibition, respectively caused by the fear of the natural acting out of sexual energy.

Not only does this tension, which manifests itself in the muscular character armor, according to REICH lead to orgasmic impotence. In his eyes it is also directly or indirectly responsible for most neuroses, if not psychoses.

The links between anxiety and body tension are well established. These include psychosomatic disorders of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, and digestive systems.

New is the evidence of how early in the infant’s life these tension injuries can occur. Based on the fact that already the fetus in the womb responds motorically to external stimuli, it must be assumed that even at this early stage, tensions can become chronically embedded. They are presumably directly related to the threat posed by the temporary or permanent suspension of homeostasis in the phase of being love by psychological and physical tensions.

In addition, substances such as alcohol or nicotine ingested by the mother affect the fetus through the placental circulation and may in turn lead to early tension damage. The sexual congestion neurosis postulated by WILHELM REICH, following FREUD’s actual neurosis, is thus only a relatively late-occurring muscular reaction in connection with an inhibition of excited love

Because the shock of the loss of homeostasis can already trigger chronic tension in the fetus and the infant, the painless birth according to LEBOYER has a positive side effect for the child: if the mother is not tense before and during birth, the risk that the child will be physically or emotionally damaged at an early age is reduced. 

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We have heard ALFRED ADLER formulate the need for tenderness as early as 1908, and that this is substantiated for the child “by a loving attention of a You“. 

AUGUST HOHLER has devoted an entire book to the state of loving-empathetic physical contact. For him love goes through the skin. For the untouched, there is a spiritual famine. At the same time HOHLER recognized that this loving-empathetic bodily contact can be subversive in the sense that psychic pain and anger accompany it as siblings. And, I would add, all too often fear: All three are consequences of the loss of love.

As an infant researcher SUSANNE BLOCH has investigated the physiological effects of tenderness. She has found that tenderness is the only emotion that causes a significant decrease in heart rate at the same time with extremely quiet abdominal breathing. Its long expiration phase is followed by a pause. Therapeutically, therefore, she recommends that people with breathing disorders visualize the feeling of tenderness

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This corresponds, to speak with NAGEL, to the “view from nowhere”, that is, that “I” do not experience “me” as the center of “my world”. I experience “me” as what “I” am in reality, namely as an infinitesimally small part of the infinitely large universe.

The accumulation of quotation marks in the last sentence is meant to indicate that in this pre-perspectival state there is no isolated I, but a kind of transcendent state of being. We have already encountered the state of the “not-me” that experiences itself as “one with the whole” (with God) in connection with the fourth, spiritual level of my model of feelings.

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A . DITTRICH uses this word as the first criterion for defining an altered state of consciousness (ASC). 

Probably the term oceanic was introduced to the West by ROMAIN ROLLAND, who in depth studied the Indian mystic RAMAKRISHNA. His acquaintance with FREUD led to its popularization in his writing “The Discomfort in Culture”.

The ocean as a symbol of boundless oneness, of an unity in which all diversity vanishes and opposites merge. It goes back not only to the Upanishads and Hindu tradition, but is also one of the preferred metaphors for dissolving ego boundaries among mystics in the Buddhist, Christian and Islamic traditions. Christian mystics in particular are extremely fond of using it: “I live in the ocean of God like a fish in the sea…” 

OSHO also refers to the metaphor of the ocean:
From the outside man appears as a very small dewdrop. When you look from within your being, the whole view changes. The moment you are in your inner center and see yourself from there, you can be certain of a great surprise: you appear to be oceanic, as immeasurably wide as you can imagine, in fact wider than all outer space, bigger than the sky…. We are oceanic: neither small nor big, simply infinite, without beginning, without end. This is our divinity.

For VICTOR TURNER ego-loss is another flow property.The ‘self’… simply becomes irrelevant – the doer is submerged in the ‘river’… no ego is needed to ‘negotiate’ what should or should not be done…. ‘Flow’ is intrinsically satisfying, i.e. one does not seem to need external goals or rewards.

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In connection with this “non-cognitive thinking” the spiritual language also refers to No-mind (free from mind). Figuratively speaking valid is simply that which is reflected right now by the mirror of our consciousness, not what we know, cognitively remember and project onto the mirror.

Many of the Eastern meditation techniques (e.g. zazen, vipassana, and others) as well as everyday work practiced meditatively such as in Zen, in the monastery, aim to consciously lead to this state. It corresponds to a deeply felt being-with-oneself. 

Try not to think about monkeys…

This view is appearing strange to people who identify with the values of Western society. To turn off one’s thinking would bring such a tremendous change and at the same time such an identity problem that this possibility is perceived as threatening and is therefore rejected. As is well known, our mind reacts to the request not to think of something specific with the irrepressible compulsion to especially have to think of “it”: Try not to think about monkeys… 

For the adult, the brink of regression means an additional obstacle. We label infantile modes of experience and infantile behavior as childish, not purposeful and thus meaningless. In infants, this – unconscious – non-cognitive mode of experience is described as precognitive, sensorimotor imagery and affect.

It is impressive to see how adults who during a therapy session regress to these early stages only reluctantly emerge from it searching for appropriate words to describe the experience (Even though absolutely necessary for orientation they are never the right ones!). Lovers communicate wordlessly in deep attachment; in ecstasy words make no sense. 

On the other hand the digital language is composed of a sequence of abstract concepts and lacks any physical sensuousness. The following short paragraph gives an idea of what is meant by it: 

In connection with primary-process thinking I point to the figurative “thinking process” of the early childhood phase of life. The immediate here-and-now character of the process is crucial, which does not proceed logically-sequentially but simultaneously-holistically. This non-verbal process proceeds spontaneously and unlike later thinking can hardly be controlled by will, which is directed by means of abstract concepts (words, schemata).

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It is what is. Acceptance of what is leads to a sense of contentment. In the world of being love there is no future, no desires, we demand nothing. 

In the Buddhist view desires are at the root of human suffering. It is only because we can never get enough that the wheel of rebirths turns, and even sorrowful situations repeat themselves in endless succession. According to the Buddhist view if we reach the state of desireless detachment, we are saved.

This point is exactly where spiritual, transcendental search and this worldly experience of love meet:
A contented man is nothing but love. He is not even loving, he is simply love. He loves for the sake of love, because in this way he shows his gratitude to existence. That is his gratitude, his prayer; that is why he loves everything and everyone.” (OSHO)

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Pulsations determine all energy manifestations of the body, especially in the area of measurable breath and heart movements as well as brain activity. The more harmonious these pulsations are, the more intense the experience of happiness already seems to be in infants.

In order for these natural pulsations to be experienced and felt, we must be capable of surrender, of letting go. In the range of these vibrations the gradual transition from being love to excited love can be demonstrated: as soon as the basic energy increases, the amplitude and frequency of the pulsations increase.

This smooth transition explains why there is often a natural blending of those two forms of love. The excitement of the entire organism grows and becomes visible and perceptible even grossly and emotionally. It can, but does not have to express itself in sexual sensations. These can already occur in the infant, the “erection of the little man” and the accompanying joyful desire is a clearly visible signal. 

The hormone Oxytocin plays an essential role in this process; especially as an actual oxytocin ecstasy in the experience of the woman, but also of the man. It is interesting to note that the release of oxytocin from the pituitary gland into the blood occurs in a pulsating rhythm of a few minutes. The minutes factor (and not seconds!) could provide an explanation as to why the whole event takes place in unhurried silence.

Histoanatomically speaking, there are no super-fast neuronal processes but cellular shifting mechanisms between supporting and feeding cells on the one hand and oxytocin-secreting cell neurons on the other, that lead to a rhythmic excitation pattern. 

A clear break occurs when the harmony of the pulsations changes into nervous, irregular excitations interrupted by counterpulsations. Then, as is visible in secondary excited love, the forces of the secondary self are at play; our head takes over. 

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Dr. Kurt Eugen Schneider
Dr. Kurt Eugen Schneider