This post continues our exploration of the stage known as the Chela in the Aura in regards to the Alice Bailey model and shares how to get to this level one must have equanimity and hold a very comprehensive point of view regarding many areas of understanding if they are going to be effective in solving the Problems of Humanity. The post also shares how the Integral model includes some similarities to this stage, especially at their higher levels of development.
In the Alice Bailey model it is not enough to simply know the “oneness” of all beings. That is a very important step and represents a significant advancement in spiritual development, a step which in her system is analogous to what she calls the first initiation, or the first significant expansion of spiritual consciousness. This expansion is analogous to the Integral Green (and to a lesser extent Teal) stage of development. Beyond simply knowing that everything is One on the inner level, is the work to express that realization in a demonstrable way in the outer world. To do so requires an extensive understanding of the One and the many, the unmanifest and the manifest, the whole and the part.
To use a metaphor, it is easy to look out and say “All plants are One.” That orientation can motivate you to know the Unity of all plants and because of this to come to love all plants. But, does this awareness teach you how to help all plants to reach their fullest potential? My own experience with plants causes me to give a resounding no! To thrive the plants in my garden all have different needs. Some need more shade, some more sun. Some are best planted in the west, some in the east. Some need a certain combination of fertilizer that is completely different than the other. Without going into further detail it is far more complicated to know how to raise all plants into their full potential, than to simply declare they are all One and not have a clue how to help them grow or thrive based upon their unique needs and characteristics. To do so requires, wisdom, which is knowledge applied in a skillful and loving way. And, that requires a comprehensive point of view.
So far in the Alice Bailey model (and even in the Integral one), intelligence and skillful means become increasingly important as we move along the spiritual path. This is not the kind of intelligence that is what is called kama-manasic, intelligence that helps us get our material needs met (knowing how to make a living, skills to raise a family, build a home, etc). This is more akin to what is known as “buddhi”, or that comprehensive intelligence that comes from a place of Oneness and contains within it altruistic love that is skillful in its perception of both the unmanifest and manifest realms. Before we get to this level in the Alice Bailey model, our perceptions are distorted (full of glamours) and our motives of mixed (both selfish and unselfish). In Integral terms we are subject to what is known as the “pre-trans” fallacy, where our perceptions and intelligence are not sharp enough to help us see what is really going on. (Also, our egos are not small enough to help us admit we may not be seeing things clearly in part or at all).
But, if we are really to be of use then we have to allow for more humility as well as discipline of the mind. Not so we can just become better intellectual materialists. Or, become more foggy spiritualists. Rather, so we can become even more purified of our egotistical motives, and more able to let the mind reveal (versus hide) the REAL. A disciplined mind also involves the ability to be both compassionate and detached. Only then can we hold the mind steady in the light to keep our equanimity (or serenity as Alice Bailey speaks of it here), which is another result of reaching the Chela in the Aura stage.
To quote from Alice Bailey directly, “I would point out that serenity and peace are not identical. Peace must ever be temporary and refers to the world of feeling and to conditions susceptible of disturbance. It is essential to progress and an inevitable happening that every step forward is marked by disturbances, by points of crisis and chaos, replaced later (when successfully handled) by periods of peace. But this peace is not serenity and a chela is only permitted to dwell within the Master’s aura when serenity has been substituted for peace. Serenity signifies that deep calm, devoid of emotional disturbance which distinguishes the disciple who is focussed in a ‘mind held steady in the light.’ The surface of his life may be (from the worldly angle) in a state of violent flux. All that he cherishes and holds dear in the three worlds may be crashing around him. But in spite of all, he stands firm, poised in soul consciousness and the depths of his life remain undisturbed. This is not insensitivity or a forced auto-suggestion, neither is it a capacity to exteriorise the consciousness in such a manner that individual events and happenings are ignored. It is intensity of feeling transmuted into focussed understanding. When this has been attained, the chela has the right to live within the aura of the Master. There is nothing now in him which will require the Master to sidetrack His attention from vital efforts to the unimportant task of helping a disciple.” (DINA I, p. 750)
What is interesting about the above is that in again draws us back to what Bailey would consider to be the higher psychic powers, which has to do more with spiritual discernment, comprehension, intuition (at the buddhic level), idealism, and active service (to name a few). The person who reaches the Chela in the Aura stage has already sorted out the higher and lower psychic powers and though the lower powers may be used at times (clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc), they are not considered spiritual powers at all. They are simply extended spiritual perception. This distinction can also be seen when Alice Bailey talks about the description of the “aura” that the chela is moving into. I again put her quotes below.
What is an AURA.
“The aura of any form of life can be defined as the quality of a sphere of radiatory activity. Very little is as yet known about auras, and a great deal of nonsense has been written anent the matter. The aura is usually spoken of in terms of colour and of light, due to the nature of the vision of the one who sees and the apparatus of response which is in use. Two words only describe an aura from the point of view of occult knowledge and they are “quality” and “sphere of influence.” What the clairvoyant really contacts is an impression which the mind rapidly translates into the symbology of colour, whereas there is no colour present. Seeing an aura, as it is called, is in reality a state of awareness. That the seer may in all sincerity believe that he has registered a colour, a series of colours, or light, is entirely true in many cases, but what he has really recorded is the quality of a sphere of radiatory activity; this he does when his own individual sphere of radiatory activity is of the same nature and quality as that contacted. Most seers register the astral range of vibrations of a person or a group and this through the medium of their own astral body. The impact of a truth or of a mental concept and its recognition is an expression of a similar contact, carried forward this time into the realm of the mind.” (DINA, I p. 751)
Again note what is being described here. It has to do with “the impact of a truth or mental concept” on the mind. An aura is also the “sphere of radiatory” activity, which one could easily call the “sphere of influence” that one has in the world. That sphere can be seen at a number of levels for better or worse, though at this stage, it is moving more and more to the buddhic level. What this can mean is that the person working actively in a field to progress humanity forward in the spheres of education, politics, science, comparative religion (to name a few) is having a more positive and spiritual impact than a person reading auras at a local “healing arts” fair. Yet, human beings consistently tend to glamorize the psychic aura reader as spiritual, while being wary of (or feeling insecure around) an every day person attempting to move humanity forward into a greater sense of unity, justice, quality, and harmony for all. Maybe this is because claiming to see an aura (colors around a person’s body), or actually even seeing one, is far simpler than having the complexity, skill, compassion, and wisdom to make a major change for the better in the world. And, sadly, the majority of humanity who remains at that astral (emotionally polarized level), tends to feel insecure, or lacks the insight and humility to appreciate how far along the spiritual path they may really have to go.
In summary then, to be a Chela in the Aura it is not enough to simply talk about Oneness. The individual at this level has to demonstrate it, and that is exceedingly hard work. In Integral terms they have to become truly “integral,” which is a point of agreement between the two models.