Here I dive even further into an audacious (and perhaps considering my limited awareness — misguided) attempt to describe further what it means to reside on the Buddhic plane before attempting to describe even more specifically the various sub-planes of the Buddhic plane.
But, first a comment. Although this blog is about comparing Integral to the Ageless Wisdom teachings, we have already seen as we traveled through the petals on the egoic lotus, that correlations between the two approaches broke down. For this reason I am drawing primarily upon the teachings as put forth in the Alice Bailey model, as well as from my own intuition.
If you have been following this blog, you understand that as we move through the various Stages of Discipleship (which include what are known as the 1st and 2nd initiations — or expansions of consciousness into spiritual realms) we move increasingly from spiritual knowledge, to spiritual love, to an increased dedication to spiritual sacrifice. In this way we open in succession what are known as the knowledge, love, and sacrifice petals symbolized in the egoic lotus or casual body. You may also remember that all of this takes place primarily on the 3rd sub-plane of the mental plane, though for some it occurs on the 2nd or even 1st sub-planes of the mental levels.
I remind us of this at this time because as I mentioned in the previous post on the various levels of the Buddhic plane, movement through the egoic lotus brings us increasingly into the realm of sacrifice. Which leads me to making a few comments about the word sacrifice in general. Especially in our heavily materialistic world where most people aspire to the 1st sub-plane of the astral/emotional plane (Orange in Integral and Mustard in my newly proposed model of colors), the word sacrifice is almost a dirty word. For too may it smacks of images of Jesus hanging miserably on a cross and brings up sermons that evoke guilt and perhaps at some point a snide disgust as people tried to make them feel guilty about how Jesus sacrificed himself to save our sins because we are such bad people. When sacrifice is viewed in this way it becomes tied to feelings of suffering, of being penalized, of being made to feel guilty and full of shame.
Especially for those of us who no longer subscribe to magical or mythical forms of consciousness, we may even have an inner revulsion as we came to realize that too often the word sacrifice was used as a ploy to get us to go against our higher good so that others could steal the fruits of our physical labor and emotional devotion and idealism to benefit themselves at our expense. Like rebellious children who feel duped and betrayed we simply wish to throw the word sacrifice out. We will not longer be suckered in by ideologies that tell as children of the Divine we are not entitled to everything on Earth we want. Sacrifice is thrown out and instead a form of spiritual entitlement replaces it. This is seen in the Christian ideology promoted by many Christian sects and ministers that God actually favors the rich. Those how have it all are actually chosen by God and deserve all they get. We also see this in New Thought ideologies that tell us if we think rightly we grow rich and become ‘Masters of the Universe.’ Being rich and having it all is a sign therefore that we were ‘good thinkers’ and those who are not as prosperous as us and made a bunch of sacrifices just didn’t have their heads on straight. If we are secularists sacrifice is also thrown out, because we have an ideology that believes there is no other purpose to life than the “survival of the fittest” so what the hell, party till you drop and enjoy all you can, as we all become nothing but worm food in the end. Even those in the Alice Bailey teachings have their version of this. We hear about how sacrifice is part of the Piscean and 6th ray way of being. Now that we are in the Aquarius and 7th ray age, we are meant to have heaven on earth, so grab all the goodies you can possibly get as that is what the “New Age” is here for.
The problem with all the above ways of relating to the word sacrifice it is they all distort the true meaning of the word. Adherence to these views of sacrifice also demonstrate how we have yet to really penetrate or understand the Buddhic plane. To begin with sacrifice has within it a connection to the word sacred. To make something sacred is to make something whole again. Even at the most primitive level, such as when someone engages in a blood sacrifice of an animal or a human to a deity, there is a vague understanding of how sacrifice is an attempt to connect with something higher in order hopefully to improve conditions below. Sacrifice is not a cutting out, but a submergence or inclusion within. Looking at the model we are using in the blog, we could say that in many ways each time we go up a sub-plane we are sacrificing something below in order to integrate it into a greater whole. The idea of holons (whole within wholes) is attempting to convey the same thing. In fact one of the major problems with the step ladder model we are using is that it does not adequately show how each level above includes those below. A model with concentric circles would actually be a better visual representation of what may be closer to the truth of how the whole system unfolds.
Why a better understanding of sacrifice is important is because especially as we get onto the Buddhic plane (the 4th plane of the overall seven planes), we encounter the four-fold “cross” of sacrifice. This cross can take many shapes. It can be the Christian four-fold cross, the Celtic cross (of which two renditions are pictured below), the double-dorje equal armed cross of Buddhism, the swastika cross most often found in many Hindu yantras (the one that is moving in the direction of Spirit, and not the one perverted by the Nazis moving in the direction of matter), or even the Medicine Wheel cross in the Native American tradition.
Whatever spiritual tradition we follow we discover how as we reach the Buddhic plane we must bridge, integrate, and embrace the above so it becomes a perfect reflection of what is below either in aspiration where one bar of the cross is higher than the other, or through balance where the two arms are equal, or through motion where the arms are spinning into activity.
Jesus was known to say “take up your cross and follow.” In many ways this means as we reach the Buddhic plane we must consciously take up our own cross of conscious sacrifice. So how is the sense of sacrifice different on the Buddhic plane than on other planes? Perhaps the best way to give a sense of it is to go back to the word Unity. Especially in the Integral system the word “Unity consciousness” is thrown around. But, what does that really mean? As we have seen at the first initiation, we get a brief glimpse (or taste) of the buddhic plane and the sense of unity. But, is this really “unity consciousness?” In a way, yes. But, in many ways no. Just getting a taste of how we are all one is a far cry from the continual conscious awareness as we reside each and every day within that Unity or Oneness. And, what is that Oneness? It is the understanding that I am ALL THAT IS. And, because I am ALL that is, how can I not help but sacrifice?
Remember, we are no longer in the mental, astral and physical levels that live life on a daily basis as if I am here and you are there and we are separate. Rather, we are ALL the same ONE. In a way it is akin to a high level of Divine SELF-ishness. SinceI am ALL of humanity, then I SELF-ishly want all of “me” (humanity) to be whole, enlightened, SELF-realized, and free from the delusion of separation. Just as a human being might want to be free from cancer cells in a part of the body to help the entire body be well, I, the SELF want humanity (which I AM) to be free from the cancer of illusion, maya, and separation so that humanity as a whole (which I AM) can be free also.
This must be understood, even if we can only hold it as a mental construct, if we are to even begin to grasp what the sub-planes of the Buddhic plane must be like. For as we go up the sub-planes we simultaneous become more aware of and identified with the ALL-NESS that IS (symbolized by the vertical line of the cross representing the non-dual unity consciousness). And, here is a great mystery. At the SAME TIME we reach out with deep humility, compassion, and love to redeem, uplift, inspire, and serve those who do not yet have the realization of SELF because they are lost in the illusion of separation. We are vertical and hortizonal (unmanifest and manifest) all at once. We become “crucified on the cross” of not just unity or non-dualism. Rather we become non-dual/dualists. For the non-dual must contain the dual, since a non-dualism that negates duality is itself duality. This realization is beautifully illustrated in the yin-yang symbol where we visually see both the circle of non-duality (the unmanifest) and the duality (of the manifest world) contained within it.
And, what does this mean for the Buddhic plane? It means that we no longer belittle or fear becoming the Great Sacrifice (as we are prone to do when we reside primarily on the astral and mental planes). Nor do we come up with creative excuses to ignore the inevitability of it. Rather we willingly step on the cross of the non-dual/dualism (unmanifest/manifest) and embrace BEING the Great Sacrifice. This is what the great saints, sages, bodhisattvas, Masters and those who fully embrace Christ Consciousness more fully inhabit as they move up the sub-planes of the Buddhic plane. In fact, it may very well be that the further we go up the sub-planes of the Buddhic plane the more we not only willing embrace being the Great Sacrifice, the more we become infused with the joy and bliss of it because we are increasingly making our way to the Atmic (or Nirvanic) sub-planes where the bliss of sacrifice is our constant state of Being, or BE-NESS.
Before we get to the Buddhic plane those on the Path of Discipleship going through the expansions of consciousness connected to the what is known as the 1st and 2nd initiations in the Alice Bailey system, are too caught up in egotistical glamours causing them to subvert becoming the Great Sacrifice somehow. Too often they adopt forms of spiritual materialism where they can still have all the money, sex/pleasure, power they want in the name of spirituality. Because they have only had a taste of the Buddhic plane and do not yet reside on it, they still act in a mostly separative manner, behaving as if one part of the body (an arm for example), can “have it all” even if it is taking blood from the rest of the body whole (or whole of humanity), ultimately leading to dis-ease, suffering, and illness for the entire whole and the part included. Not being able to comprehend this, sacrifice is still too scary of a word.
Until we fully reside on the Buddhic plane we may look at the faces of some of the well-known people I have posted below and express some appreciation of them, but hope in our heart of hearts that somehow we don’t really have to follow in their footsteps. So long as we don’t land in jail, or take the bullet, or live in poverty, or have lives of hardship, or be forced to be in endless constant service to others every day of our lives, then maybe we will be safe. We can admire some of the people below, but can breathe a sigh of relief as we hope that maybe we can get away with being spiritual without having to make the sacrifices they make.
(List in Order of Above: Mohatma Gandhi, St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Jesus, Dalai Lama, Ramana Marharshi, Amma, Padre Pio, Mother Theresa, Meher Baba, Buddha, Helena Petrovna Blavatshy, Paramahansa Yogananda, Beethovan, St Clare of Assisi, Thich Nhat Hahn, Rumi, Ramakrishna).
Yet, the people shown above here (and numerous others I could have put here as well) are revealing to us, if we can only be humble enough to see it, what life on the Buddhic plane really looks like. Until we want to at least be mentally open to this realization, a further discussion of the various sub-planes of the Buddhic plane is pointless. But, if we are open, then in my last post on this topic I will attempt to show what life as the Great Sacrifice may be like.
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