Our relationships and friendships with others can and do exist on four different planes of depth. These planes are contained within each person, though the definition of each plane can change slightly depending on the person. The planes are ordered one to four from least depth to greatest depth respectively.
Between each plane, there can exist a 'mask' or even a series of 'masks'. You see, each plane reveals more of the true ego of a person. The ego, as defined by Carl Jung, is the self-held identity of oneself. In other words, each plane reveals more about the true nature and being of a person. Masks are used to disguise the true ego of a person, and hence they are used between each plane of depth.
The First Plane
The First Plane of Depth is the one that we see most often in our friends and acquaintances. It is the surface which we expose to others around us. Usually, there is not a mask present before the first plane, but there are some who find it necessary. People who have been abused or who are socially uncomfortable with themselves will sometimes place a mask before the first plane.
On the first plane, we find a person's likes, dislikes, sociability, and general attitude. Typical conversations of the first plane include favorite food, interest in sports or hobbies, current events, future goals, politics (although this is somewhat debatable) and past experiences. These are all basic things that anyone can talk about, and each person can relate easily to others within these topics.
Probably the most important aspect about the first plane is the first impression. The manner in which we present ourselves on the first plane determines how others perceive us and what they think of us. The second encounter with a person will often be a product of the first encounter. This makes the first plane extremely important, especially for sociable people.
There are some people who refuse to reveal anything past the first plane. They are usually perceived as being shallow individuals. It is possible that these people have not yet developed their deeper planes, or they may be extremely wary about anyone growing too close to them. People who have been emotionally scarred may display reluctance in allowing anyone to venture beyond the first plane of depth.
The Second Plane
The Second Plane of Depth is usually what we see in our close friends whom we have known for at least a few months. The second plane is usually the launch pad for romantic relationships and for profound friendships. It is more common for people to establish a mask between the first and second planes. This is because the second plane begins to reveal the true nature of a person, and most people like to guard their egos from others they don't know very well.
The second plane reveals people's motives, desires, personal thoughts, problems, and emotional state. These revelations do not happen all at once, and hence the second plane is usually the largest out of the four. It is very possible for a couple to remain within the second plane for the entire duration of a relationship. Depending on the the people involved, it may take well over a year for a relationship to move past the second plane.
People usually express their thoughts about God and love on the second plane. However, this can vary for different people. In fact, there are many people who expose their opinions about God and religion on the first plane. There are others (though not many) who confine their thoughts about God to the third plane. Money and politics are also variable in their position among the first three planes.
On the second plane, people begin to reveal stereotypes and grudges they hold against others. Hatred and love begin on the second plane, and can travel much deeper depending on the circumstances. Depression also begins on the second plane, though it's effects can extend out onto the first. The Second Plane of Depth is the basis for all emotions and principles which underlie the third and fourth planes.
The Third Plane
This is where things get serious. The Third Plane of Depth usually requires a large amount of trust to access. By the time the third plane is reached, the majority of the true nature of a person is revealed. Almost always, there is a strong mask in place between the second and third planes. This is where deep, serious relationships take the next step. Transition into the third plane requires a lot of confidence and elimination of the fear of judgement.
The third plane contains our sins, our deepest desires, our darkest secrets, and our ultimate struggles. This is where we confine the things we are ashamed of or are too afraid to reveal. A relationship that reaches the third plane becomes much more profound and personal. When we allow someone to access us on the third plane, we begin to change subtly as a result. This is where emotional healing or destruction occurs.
Our perceptions of others are usually confined to the third plane. This is why first impressions are so important. The roots of our emotions and thoughts toward others are planted in the third plane. The destruction of a third plane relationship can leave deep, unparalleled wounds, and because we rarely allow anyone into the third plane, it is extremely hard to cope with a disaster that occurs there.
For some, the third plane is not fully developed. Those who are less in-touch with themselves and their emotions do not have a clear vision of the third plane. Those who do not wish to be hurt in a relationship will often conceal the third plane from everyone except themselves. These people can be perceived as heartless or uncaring. Introverts are prone to dwelling within the third plane, whereas extroverts are prone to ignoring it.
The Fourth Plane
For some people, this plane is only hypothetical, but it exists nonetheless. The fourth plane is the pure definition of one's soul. No more concealments exist on the fourth plane, and the soul and ego of a person are revealed completely for what they are. The utter exposure of this plane scares many people, and some go their entire lives without allowing someone to see them on the fourth plane.
There are few relationships that ever enter this realm, and the ones that do are extremely potent and long-lasting. This usually happens only after many years of knowing a person. Emotions that exist on the fourth plane are extremely powerful and overwhelming in their scope. They override all other emotions held on any of the other planes. A person who is touched spiritually on the fourth plane is subject to a profound change of heart and mind.
Some people are incapable of reaching the fourth plane. These kinds of people may be obsessed with the masks they have constructed for themselves, or they are unhappy with their own ego. Some people simply lack the ability to examine themselves so closely and without bias.
Experiences on the fourth plane are rare. They touch the deepest part of a person and can fundamentally change someone for good. Often, deep desires that reach into the fourth plane are covered up by other emotions and clutter found on the other planes, giving the sense of having a 'hungry heart'. In this case, many people have a hard time finding what it is they need to satisfy their inner hunger.
The four planes constitute the inner workings of each and every person. While they can vary considerably from person to person, the four planes do not change in structure or order. Understanding the four planes is essential for the development of one's thoughts, emotions, actions and perceptions.
"I want you to be everything that is you, deep at the center of your being."