This chapter reveals the difficulties in perceiving the expansion of human consciousness in a step by step levels approach. The chapter also discusses how the Bailey writings handled this problem through the discussion of “cleavages” or “gaps” in development.
One of the major difficulties with the model Alice Bailey presents is that it gives us a visual representation that suggests that consciousness develops by moving neatly up a staircase going from one level to the next. Except if you understand her teachings, you know that isn’t exactly how the Bailey model works. To begin with every human being actually has their consciousness existing to some degree on every level in the chart from the Monadic Plane on down. That it is one of the things the multiple triangles and the lines connecting them are trying to convey, though the chart may not indicate that very well.
To give you a different idea of how to conceive it, consider the representation on the next page of the outine of two human beings that have the colors superimposed upon their bodies. These colors are really like “cells” or “packets” of consciousness, spread throughout their bodies. I am also theorizing that these tend to coalesce in the parts of the body that resonate with the various levels (akin to the centers or chakras). I am also attempting to show how every human being has some percentage of every level of the Bailey chart (Monadic, Spiritual, Intuitional, Mental, Emotional and Physical) existing within them to some degree. Different human beings, however, have different levels of consciousness that dominate overall. For example, when you look at Figure 1 you will see more blues, greens, and yellows. This illustration is meant to indicate that the person is primarily conscious at Spiritual Triad levels (made up of the Spiritual, Intuitional, and Mental Planes), which implies the person lives primarily within planetary consciousness. As for Figure 2 you see mainly reds and oranges. This is mean to indicate that this individual’s consciousness is focused mainly on the Emotional Plane. As for the percentages assigned, they are meant to indicate how much consciousness at each level has been unfolded by the person. Again, these are rough illustrations and rough estimates, but they are meant to give you a visual sense of how to view the model from a less linear perspective.
For example, in Figure 1 a breakout of the percentages are give as:
Again, this person would mainly be focused in the Spriitual Triad, since the percentages have primarily Spiritual-Intuitional-Mental (Atmic-Buddhic-Manasic) levels of consciousness unfolded. At the same time this individual lives in a physical body and expresses through emotions. But, to indicate that the individual has mastery over the Emotional and Physical Planes, I have put in the colors that are at the highest levels of the Emotional and Physical Planes.
As for the percentages in Figure 2, they might look roughly like this:
The person in Figure 2 then is clearly focused in what the Alice Bailey calls the “Personality” levels, with little true conscious awareness of the higher levels, and not nearly as much refinement of the personality vehicles (Mental, Emotional, and Physical Planes), which is why I chosen colors from their lower subplanes.
Though these figures are rough, I do feel they start to convey what is said about those whose senses are highly developed being able to actually see something like this when they look at certain people. This kind of sight goes beyond simply seeing an aura. It would be similar to seeing the percentage of resonance the person has with each and every level of consciousness available throughout the entire history of human development. And, it hints at how complex the idea of “etheric sight” might be, and how far beyond it may go from the simplistic claims of those who say they see auras.
As we study the Bailey model further in this book and take time to look at what all the specific levels and sub-levels may represent in regards to the unfoldment of human consciousness, keep in mind then how limited the “levels” concept is. The notion that we each have different levels of consciousness within us, will also help you understand Bailey’s concept of “cleavages” in development talked about more extensively in the book Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II. Cleavages (or “gaps” as I will mainly call them throughout this book) in spiritual development are said to take place when various traumas and difficulties impact people causing certain gaps, or breaks, in development. Under stress, a person may drop down to one of these “gaps” and for a time seem to operate at a much lower level of consciousness than he or she is typically at. Once the trauma or difficulty that kept the person vulnerable to this lower level is dealt with, then the person can return to more optimal functioning. (Note: this process is similar to the now popular idea found in Integral and Spiritual Psychology movements of doing your “shadow work”).
Keeping in mind that someone may actually be at a higher level of consciousness, but has temporarily dropped to “fill in the gaps” at a lower stage of consciousness is another reason caution is advised when looking at a staircase levels approach. To let you know some people may also “peak” and temporarily move up to a higher level of consciousness, who then drop back to their everyday level of lower consciousness once the peak experience wears off. We will discover later that when Ken Wilber talks about “states” he is typically referring to someone “peaking” at a higher level of consciousness they can not really sustain (in terms of a “stage” as Wilber is now calling it). The idea of cleavages or “gaps” also helps us understand why some people can be very spiritually advanced in some areas, while at the same time being undeveloped in others. For example, someone may be highly developed on the Mental Plane (and even on parts of the Intuitional Plane), while physically being fairly unrefined. Or, someone may be physically and mentally pretty developed, but on an emotional level traumas in their life may have stunted their emotional development. Since the Emotional Plane is also connected to desire, it may mean the person may have a difficult time getting basic desire needs met because of having his or her head “too much in the clouds” (or on the Mental Plane).
In short, people rarely develop evenly. At some point in a person’s spiritual growth and development, especially during times of stress, the cleavages, or gaps, in an individual’s development may become more apparent. When this happens it is time for the the individual to do some catch up work, which may even require taking a break from intense spiritual development. Already in the 1930’s Bailey’s books were putting forth ideas of how to work with the various “gaps” so that the person would have a more even integration of the personality, and a less problematic time undergoing spiritual development. As we move throughout this book we will discover that these various gaps, or breaks, in development can occur at any subplane level including the subplane levels that we move across when we undergo a spiritual path. Especially later on when we move beyond the integration of the personality and shift onto the spiritual path, you will see that I have taken a great deal of time to show the various cleavages, gaps, or difficulties can take place, and what primarily Bailey has to say about how to move beyond them. In sharing these ideas I also hope to establish once again, how much the Bailey books are still revolutionary today, and quite probably for many years to come.
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