This post continues the look at the Six Stages of Discipleship moving into Stage Four, Chela on the Thread. The post gives an introduction as to what the phrase Chela on the Thread means and outlines the major tasks that need to be undergone before this stage is completed. It also lays the groundwork for future posts where this stage is compared more in depth regarding what is talked about in the Integral/Ken Wilber approach.
To orient us let me again remind those of you who are reading these posts of the Six Stages of Discipleship. They are: Little Chelaship, Chela in the Light, Accepted Discipleship, Chela on the Thread, Chela in the Aura, Chela in the Master’s Heart. With Chela on the Thread we get a symbolic understanding that we are being linked up somehow. There is a thread that connects us with something else. As we will come to understand knowing what that something is, and discerning it correctly, is a big part of what the Chela on the Thread stage is all about. Also, when we review again the chart on Levels and Terms you will notice that I have currently assigned this stage to what corresponds to Violet/Indigo in the Integral model and the 2nd Initiation (expansion of consciousness) in the Ageless Wisdom model.
So let me begin by outlining my summary of the major tasks I feel are implied when reading the text from Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I by Alice Bailey. I will then give a brief summary of each task, with posts to follow going into more detail.
Chela on the Thread — Major Tasks: List
- Discern Between Higher and Lower Psychic Powers
- Learn the Science of Impression and Contact
- Establish Continuity of Consciousness
- Achieve Group Resonance
Chela on the Thread — Major Tasks: Brief Summary
1. Discern Between Higher and Lower Psychic Powers
Presently there is a lot of confusion about psychic powers. People or spiritual teachers who claim to have psychic abilities are given a great deal of status and even money. In the mass culture much is made of being able to see things others cannot see, hear things others cannot hear, so on and so forth. In fact, the largest block busters of our times (2016) typically involve super heroes who possess these abilities. They use the force (Star Wars), come from an alien planet (Superman), are like Gods (Thor), are mutants with supernatural powers (X-Men), and on and on it goes. The point is though these powers and abilities are glorified, they are not really that advanced. They say nothing about coming from a higher level of consciousness as even these popular movies illustrate. People who are quite destructive can possess them as well. At the stage of Chela on the Thread, the mystery, glamour, and distortions regarding these powers have to be cleared up and even cleaned up. Even the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali (an ancient text that is considered the foundation of yoga practice) has a whole book on the psychic powers attempting to get us to understand what they are all about. Then, they ask us to go beyond them all to something higher. The book warns of their dangers as well. Eventually, as we sort all of this out we can use all the psychic powers (so called higher and lower). But, until we do sort it out caution is advised on all levels.
2. Learn the Science of Impression and Contact
So what is this “thread” we are talking about? The thread is essentially a link, but a link to what? Basically it is a link to subtle and seemingly invisible realms. What we have to do here is learn to discern what we are contacting in these realms. Is it a figment of our imagination? A projection of our own subconscious? Is it symbolic? Real? A significant amount of training needs to happen along these lines to begin to understand what is going on here. And, if we are not careful we can get quite lost for a substantial amount of time. As for the two words, impression and contact, they have to do with receiving impressions (ideas or inspirations), and being able to send “messages” (contact) who we believe we are getting impressions from in return. To the scientifically minded all of this can immediately cause a feeling of revolt, and rightly so. Yet, that does not mean the topic is not worth serious investigation. After all almost all of us receive impressions or inspirations. Where do these come from? What use do they have for us? What is the source? As for contact, for thousands of years humans have attempted contact with Gods, Goddesses, Masters, Gurus, Saints, Archetypal figures, Devas, Dakinis, Angels, even Aliens. To just dismiss all of this as some sort of delusion seems delusional as well. That is why at this stage a clear investigation and comprehension becomes essential.
3. Establish Continuity of Consciousness.
Technically this phrase in the Ageless Wisdom teachings has to do with building a cable known as the antakarana, where one is able to stabilize one’s consciousness at a higher level. The more we stabilize at higher levels the more we can perceive what level we are on, intuit what levels are above, and what levels lie below. This said, when it comes to the Chela on the Thread we are not just speaking about the antakarana or Rainbow Bridge as it is also sometimes known. That “bridge” helps us perceive what level a point of contact may be coming from, but we are told it is not the mechanism of contact. That line of light is something quite different. Again, we need to understand the difference and be able to utilize effectively them both.
4. Achieve Group Resonance.
I have specifically worded this task this way because for me it better implies what is going on, while discarding the typical glamour that gets associated with this task. That is because from this point on we are heading into tricky terrain, and even Integral is sparse on commentary on this stage, probably for the same reason. We can get into dangerous waters here. Why? Because phrases are used like “getting in touch with the Master.” “Becoming part of the Ashram.” These phrases can lead to a great deal of confusion. For example, my husband was part of a spiritual ashram and in touch with a Master for twenty years. Already you can hear the skepticism and hesitation. What do I mean by this? Was he engulfed in glamour somehow? The ashram (spiritual community) was called Yogaville and still exists in Virginia (look it up online). His Master was Sri Swami Satchiananda, the guru who showed up at Woodstock. And, my husband spent twenty years helping to build this spiritual community. By simply mentioning the words Master and ashram you can already get a sense how tricky the whole subject is. Are we talking about a physical ashram (spiritual community)? Or is this ashram on the “inner planes?” Is this a physical Master or one not in the physical body? What is a Master? Is the person I believe to be a Master a Master by your terms? Is that person a Master at all or a fraud and impostor? Though I will discuss all of this more in an upcoming post, for now I want you to understand why I am shifting the focus away from contact with a Master or affiliation with an Ashram to group resonance. Here we don’t care so much about a “Master” and put our focus on how much do we resonant with the spiritual values, intentions, and purpose for existence of the group. We also ask ourselves questions about how fit are we to be a part of a true spiritual community? This puts the focus back on our own spiritual growth and development. More to follow again in later posts.
A final note regarding my comparisons with Integral. As we get into the Chela on the Thread stage we do not find these stages really outlined in the Integral model. They do talk about psychic powers and if they are real or not. They have conversations about subtle states. There is mention of continuity of consciousness. They do talk about becoming part of the Integral movement or Integral group. But, they do not mention these things in quite the same ways. They do not relate to them to their level model and see all of this as a stage. That is why the comparison between the two models in terms of levels is breaking down so much from this point forward in my posts. Still, since this is meant to be an Ageless Wisdom vs. Integral blog, I will continue to do my best to make comparisons where possible.
Have comments, questions, suggestions? They will be posted so long as they are civil and expand the discussion.
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