A level is a tool used to determine if something, like say a wall, is parallel to the earth or perpendicular to the earth, or neither of those. We want our walls to be perpendicular to the earth and our floors to be parallel. If I am on the level it means I am trustworthy, honest and probably reliable too. A level headed person thinks clearly and often exhibits good understanding of even complex things.
To level the playing field means to make the players close to equal, remove special advantages. This level playing field can be created by adding a new capability in a business or adding/removing a rule. I invited my grandson to remove any two chess pieces from my side of the board. I was then allowed to remove any of his, but not the same ones he removed from me. Allowed us both to play full out. Great!
To place myself at eye level means that what/who I am looking at is at the same height as my own eyes. That could be the height of your eyes that I am to match. When would be lovers are looking deeply into the eyes of their partner, chances are they are at eye level with each other. To bend my 6 ft 1 1/2 inch self to be at eye level with a grandchild greatly increases the size of the channel of communication.
When building a road reference to a level grade does not necessarily mean the road is parallel to the surface of the earth. A hill is a valid part of a road. When we level the grade of that part of the road, we fill in the potholes and grade down the high spots to, when it is considered levelled, have a smooth surface, but on the angle of the road, up or down the hill, not at all parallel to the surface of the earth.
Level has this kind of honest feeling to it. I like the word. When I use it, I am doing my level best (couldn’t resist that one) to be true and clear and ‘with’ you. Why would I ever want to be anything but level with you? Oh, boy, don’t get me started. I have enough ego and fears to fill a book on reasons not to level with you.
Ahhhhh, there it is. To be level is to be fully, transparently, vulnerably, honest.