The final post doing a brief comparison of the Alice Bailey/Wisdom levels with those of Integral/Wilber. Here we are moving on to Group Nine and also Group Ten in the Bailey model and the Indigo level in Integral.
As a reminder in this comparison I have been using only a small piece of the Alice Bailey model for spiritual development, that of the 10 Groups of Human Development, in relation to the Integral approach as put forward mainly by Ken Wilber (Spiral Dynamics) and others. For Bailey’s Groups 1 – 7, the parallels were very close to what Integral speaks about. However, as we get into the more spiritual levels, these parallels are breaking down primarily because the system put forward by Alice Bailey nearly 80 years ago, is far more complex than anything these two approaches have put forward yet. And, due to the complexity of the Bailey system, I am only able to do very brief and inadequate comparisons here. Still, they serve as an introduction and orientation for those who want to attempt to understand how these various systems do, or do not, overlap one another.
Integral Levels of Development
As always in these posts I start with the Integral Map and its seven to ten levels.
And, here is another chart zooming in on what is emphasized above.
And, here is the Ageless Wisdom map, with its 61 levels, 12 of which are found within the Egoic Lotus..
10 Soul Groups of Alice Bailey & Integral Connections.
Again, a reminder that in Esoteric Psychology II, (EP II) pp. 200 – 214, 10 groups of evolving humanity are presented. We will now examine Group Nine and Ten.
Groups 9 to 10.
In Esoteric Psychology, Vol II, (EP II) as we make the jump from Group 9 (correlated with her Sacrifice/Love petal) to Group 10 (correlated to her Sacrifice/Sacrifice petal), we find ourselves increasingly in what Alice Bailey calls her 3rd Initiation, and we can include some of her 4th initiation here as well.
In the previous post (on Group 8/9 and Turquoise), I spoke a little bit about Group 9. To recap, Michael Robbins states in his Egoic Lotus Webinar Commentaries regarding Group 9 that at this level there is no longer any sense of “my soul or your soul, but simply the soul.” This is a fact in their consciousness, not just a mental theory, Robbins stresses. We are also told that by the time we are in Group Nine we have reached the 3rd Initiation, because we have achieved a stability in what is known as continuity of consciousness (though that is only 100% complete at the 5th Initiation). and all nine petals have been unfolded. In a sense we now become Global elders. To get here we have had to disidentify from the desire nature. We are truly selfless in fulfilling the needs of others and the world without the need for personal attention, recognition, or appreciation. We also learn that their mental attention is on the divine plan. Increasingly they know the plan regarding the various stages of evolution. For this reason in almost every organization they constitute the new and slowly growing group of world servers. Increasingly, they are adapting themselves and their environment for the sake of serving/saving the world, seeking to reduce so much of the selfishness that constitutes so much of what they see around them.
Some lofty stuff for Group 9! Now on to Group 10. Here we are moving even further along into what Bailey calls the 4th initiation where the causal body of the egoic lotus is being destroyed and there is no longer any preoccupation with the form, though they may still use it in what is known as the mayavaripua. In Group Ten, Robbins says we dwell eternally in the ONE SOUL which is utterly universal. We are withdrawn from identification from any aspiration in the form life. We become the great renunciants, the sacrificial vessels, seeking absolutely nothing for the separated self.
Integral and Indigo
And, here again are quotes directly from An Overview of Developmental Stages of Consciousness compiled by Barrett C. Brown, Integral Institute April 3, 2006.
Self-Identity. Main focus: Being, non-controlling consciousness; witnessing flux of experience and states of mind Qualities: Emergence of a perspective that is ego-transcendent or universal; people holding this stage of consciousness seem to “…experience themselves and others as part of ongoing humanity, embedded in the creative ground, fulfilling the destiny of evolution” (Cook-Greuter, 2002, p. 32); consciousness ceases to appear as a constraint but rather as one more phenomenon that can be foreground or background; an integration of feelings of belongingness and separateness occurs; multiple points of view can be taken effortlessly; the pattern of constant flux and change becomes the context for feeling at home; one is able to respect the essence in others, no matter how different they may be; one is in tune with their life’s work as “a simultaneous expression of their unique selves” and as part of their shared humanity. How influences others: No research data available
The Two Models Compared.
In this final stage of the Integral model (also related to Spiral Dynamics), we have many phrases that echo what is talked about in Bailey’s 3rd to 5th Initiations. The problem is how little is said in the Integral model compared to how much is said (1000’s of pages worth) in the Bailey model. Putting the two models together from this point on is not very possible because Integral seems to be heading into landscape Bailey was mapping out a lot more extensively already 80 years ago. And, it is impossible and impractical for me to attempt to blog about all that is said in the Bailey model in one short post.
Perhaps what I would most like to get across in this final post is something similar to what I said in the About section of this blog: there is a LOT to be learned from the Alice Bailey and Ageless Wisdom traditions that has yet to be picked up and expressed by the various authors that Integral draws from. As someone who has walked in both communities (Wisdom and Wilber) for decades, I will continue to use this blog to attempt to finally make these links, to expand dialogue, and to connect the two groups.
In doing so I want to point out some of the following differences that I have experienced in the two groups personally. (Note: This is my experience only and does not necessarily reflect the experiences of others. Nor, does it say that individuals in these various groups are this way. So, please take my own experience as only a point of reference). To begin with, I started in the Ageless Wisdom teachings in my early twenties, primarily entering into it through the works of a woman named Lucille Cedercrans (who later became a follower of Tartung Tulku and established herself in Estees Park becoming a Buddhist Lama). At the time I ran into her writings in the 1980’s, she had already passed away and her teachings were given in an oral format only. I was taught by her husband and by another woman I greatly respect, Georgia Lambert. Through this teaching I received an extensive amount of knowledge. Beyond the knowledge what was most important to me were the series of meditations given that were to be undergone in sequence over time. For years I followed these meditations rigorously, even meditating four hours a day for a two year period. Also during this time, I immersed myself more in the Ageless Wisdom teachings, primarily through the works of Alice Bailey. In addition I expanded my focus in the writings of Sri Aurobindo and some Tibetan Buddhism. As a result of my meditation work, I went through a series of mystical states. Trying to understand what was happening to me, I reached out to the Ageless Wisdom community. But, interestingly enough the only concrete help I got in understanding what I was going through came out of the Transpersonal community (especially through the writings of Stanislav Grof, Gopi Krishna, and Ken Wilber). Thus, my parallel journey in the 1980’s between these two realms began.
Still anchored in the Ageless Wisdom world, I continued to appreciate what I considered to be a more extensive theoretical model that gave me more of map for approximating higher levels of consciousness. But, I also found within Ageless Wisdom groups that too often they were less committed to actual research of the ideas they presented. And, there seemed to be less practical application in regards to applying their model to people actually going through many of the psycho-spiritual processes they talked about. Today that may be different, but overall I feel the commitment to research and practical application is one of Integral’s strengths.
Another difficulty I had at first with the Ageless Wisdom world was how very metaphysical it could be. As someone who had attended mainstream academic college (majoring in psychology), at times some of the claims made in the Ageless Wisdom teachings left me incredulous, and I did not often feel there was room for my skepticism. For this reason I kept getting drawn back over towards the Transpersonal and (later) Integral communities, which were much more open to a skeptical spirit. They were also much more academic and mainstream. On the flip side, when I was immersed in the academic and more mainstream Transpersonal and Integral communities, I often felt equally adrift. Having studied the Ageless Wisdom teachings just as extensively as Transpersonal (and since then Integral), I invited those communities to expand their models by considering some of what the Ageless Wisdom teachings had to offer. To say the least those I encountered in the Transpersonsal and Integral worlds were at that time responsive in a very limited way.
Now, many decades later, it is good to see the Integral world finally expanding their model to what they call Teal, Turquoise, and Indigo. They are even positing higher levels such as Violet, Ultraviolet, and Clear Light, though there is next to nothing said about these levels. In the Alice Bailey teachings there is a lot said about these levels in regards to what they call their 3rd, 4th, 5th initiations (expansions of consciousness that take you to a new “stage” or “level”). Bailey even goes on to talk about 6th, 7th initiations and more! I also appreciate how the Integral community has teased out “states from stages,” though those distinctions were made in the Bailey model a long time ago.
In conclusion, as Ageless Wisdom and Integral start a dialogue, some of my frustrations may be felt by each of them. For those more oriented towards Integral, the Ageless Wisdom teachings may be perceived as too untested empirically, too impractical in application, and way too theoretical to the point of even seeming fanciful by a more mainstream academic world. And, for those leaning more towards the Ageless Wisdom approach, the Integral world may appear too locked into trying to be mainstream and too closed to what might be valuable theoretical ideas coming from the Ageless Wisdom teachings. Still, as we grow these two models together at this point in time, we might find that they become of great value to each other. At least as I come to the end of this post on higher levels of spiritual development, I can say that their finding benefit in what each has to offer is my deep intention and hope.
Again below is a map of terms that we use throughout the rest of this blog.
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