This chapter gives a brief orientation to the overall model presented by the writings of Ken Wilber and the Integral movement in order to help you follow the comparison between Bailey and Wilber to follow later in this book.
Unlike Alice Bailey, who started and ended her life using one model for the evolution of spiritual consciousness, Ken Wilber has gone through a number of models, building upon and discarding elements over time. Because Bailey’s model of spiritual development was for the most part complete, Bailey made little attempt to step her ideas down to make them easier for others to understand. Speaking metaphorically, if the Bailey teachings were about math instead of consciousness, you might say the Bailey teachings pretty much assumed you already had a thorough grasp of calculus. That is why if you don’t even understand algebra, let alone calculus, you most likely will feel very lost. Wilber has taken a different approach. When you read his earlier books, his model looks one way because in a sense he was just learning the “algebra” version of his model at that time. As he got more skilled at “math” his later books move on from “algebra” to a “geometry” version of his model, then to a “trigonometry” version, and so forth. That means over time Wilber’s models on the evolution of human consciousness continue to look so different. And, in the future we can expect more changes to come.
To give you an understanding of what I am talking about, I have put below a number of versions of Integral models regarding how human consciousness unfolds. As these models expand you can see how Wilber is attempting to come up with the “theory of everything,” which is actually the title of one of his books. Though you might be tempted to think that their latest model (see the AQAL chart) will be the last version, I am sure that as Wilber and his Integral community keep making discoveries, there will be more models to come. (Regarding explaining the models below, don’t worry, we will do so throughout this book).
At this point you might ask, “Since this is a book primarily explaining Bailey’s model, why associate the Integral model with it?” Primarily, because this book attempts to build a bridge between these two models that each have something to offer each other. So without going into greater detail here, which I do later throughout the book, let me just give you a quick overview of what to look for in Integral.
Levels of Consciousness
Just as you see in the Bailey model, Wilber’s Integral model has levels of consciousness. Over time, the names of these levels have changed. As other people besides Wilber came in and influenced the Integral model, other features were added. An example of this was adding in colors, that Integral borrowed from the Spiral Dynamics model introduced by Don Beck (Beck’s “Spiral” is seen below). As this book will reveal, Bailey already had levels that overlap Beck’s in her model created nearly 100 years ago. Even the idea of different groups of human beings fitting in with these levels can be found in Bailey’s teachings in regards to her Ten Groups for Human Unfoldment (found in her book Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II). Though Integral adopted the idea of coloring levels from Beck, they have over time changed the colors from Beck’s model, which you can see in the Alltitudes of Development chart above. In this book I have been inspired by this and so you will see I have added colors into the Bailey model, which is something not found in her original diagram. This addition of colors into Bailey’s model is just one example of how these two models can inspire one another.
Tiers or Phase Shifts
If you look at Beck’s chart again that Integral has borrowed and enhanced, you also see the words First Tier, Second Tier, and “Radical Phase Shift.” Phase shifts represent leaps in development. Bailey has something just like this, only she calls these initiations. Bailey’s model actually has nine of these, and in this book we will see how some of them line up with what Integral proposes or not.
Next you have the Integral quadrants, that represent four ways each level can be applied. For example, it can be applied in terms of individual interior experience; individual exterior experience; group interior experience; and group exterior experience. To give you an example: 1) “I.” This is how I experience my interior sense of self; 2) “IT.” This is how my interior sense of self manifests itself in an exterior way such as in my brain; 3) “WE.” In this quadrant is how a group who has reached the same level of consciousness as me comes to perceive the world from their interior understanding; and 4) “ITS.” This quadrant reflects how that group then exteriorly creates the world into the image of how they perceive it should be.
The use of quadrants is a another wonderful example of how Integral can enhance Bailey’s model. Though you can find all these quadrants written about in an indirect way in the Bailey teachings, you don’t find them organized this elegantly. And, you don’t see her Ten Groups laid out in quadrant fashion like this either. Moreso, you don’t get the immediate emphasis on looking to see how each interior level of expanded individually experienced consciousness, can be expressed in all four quadrants. Training yourself to keep this in mind can be a really wonderful enhancement as you also go through Bailey’s system.
States of Consciousness
Another contribution from Integral, which can also be inferred from Bailey’s system, is that of “States of Consciousness.” The Gross, Subtle, Causal, and Nondual words you see here are actually based upon what we experience as we move from a waking state (gross & beta brain waves), to an almost asleep state (subtle & alpha brain waves), to a dream state (causal and theta brain waves), to the deep dreamless sleep stage (nondual and delta brain waves). These states of consciousness are seen as we move from being awake to going asleep to waking up again. These four states are also experienced when we are meditating. In regards to these state experiences, though Bailey does not speak of them exactly in the way Integral does, she does talk about them in her own way. More specifically they are seen when she talks about the “consciousness thread” being detached from the body every night as we go to sleep and reattached as we awake. And, she even has some interesting enhancements that Integral could benefit from.
Types, Lines, Streams of Consciousness
Finally, another aspect of the Integral model involves both types, lines, or streams of consciousness. The Types as talked about in the Integral model includes differences between how men and women go through the different levels of consciousness in a unique way. Some of this can be inferred in the Bailey model, but it is not talked about as directly as Integral does. And, we do not see any research of this in the Bailey system, which is a major Integral contribution especially along the lines of Carol Gilligan’s work.
As for lines and streams of consciousness, Bailey does include both of these, though you will find differences here. Bailey’s system includes something known as the Seven Rays and Ten Seed Groups that talks about how the application of her levels of consciousness will apply in different areas. For example, her Ray One Type of Will and Power often gravitates to the field of politics that you see listed below. And, though all of Bailey’s types are creative along some “line” (to use Integral’s word), especially Bailey’s Ray Four type will emphasize creativity. In Bailey’s work, as with Integral, you find the importance of developing a number of these “streams” such as an enhanced sense of morals, an increase in cognition and empathy, the expansion of your relational capacity and so on.
In conclusion the Integral model has a lot to offer and as I will continue to assert, the Bailey and Integral models have a lot of ways to intersect and influence each other. Since the Bailey model was created nearly 100 years ago, and about 60 to 70 years before the first ideas of Integral emerged, it is hard to know if Bailey’s ideas actually influenced the Integral movement. That is because in Bailey’s time most of her students remained anonymous. Because her ideas were too radical and “far out there” many of her students did not want to cite her as their main inspiration and source. Regardless, it is not important where the ideas have come from. What is important are the ideas themselves and how we apply them. That is primarily what this book is about.
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