This post describes Group One of Bailey’s Ten Groups, which I have associated with the 1st subplane of the Physical Plane. Bailey suggests this group has remnants of Lemurian consciousness. This group is also similar to Integral’s Infrared stage.
I would now like to turn our attention to the Ten Groups mentioned in the Bailey model. As a reminder the Ten Groups represent ten different levels of human consciousness. Though Bailey does not assign any of these groups to her subplanes, I have done so by inferring where they might go after reading her books. Starting with Group One, I have placed this group one the 1st subplane of the Physical Plane. This group is associated with Lemurian consciousness and is thought at some level to still be fused with the physical realm.
Before I introduce Group One, I want to talk about Lemurian consciousness. The term, Lemurian, used by Bailey came to her by way of the Theosophical tradition. However, here Bailey is not using the word in the way Theosophy does. Rather Bailey is talking about a state consciousness, not the Lemurian race. The Lemurian race is said to have existed a very long time ago (some theorize as far back as 18 million years, a number which many anthropologists may find incredulous). Though the existence of the Lemurian race is an interesting discussion, we will not go into that in this book. (Note: For more information on the Lemurian race consider the books by Phillip Lindsey). Why bring Lemurian consciousness up at this point? Primarily because Bailey claims that people who possess Lemurian consciousness (found within Groups One and Two of her Ten Groups) still live among us today (Rays & Initiations, p. 479) and number within the thousands. So if the Lemurian race who lived millions of years ago is long gone, what does Bailey mean when she states that some human beings even today have Lemurian consciousness?
In Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II we get some clues. For example, we are told that, “In the early stages, when the ‘Lemurian consciousness’ characterises the phenomenal man, that fragmentary aspect of the soul which indwells and informs the human form, and which gives to the man any real human consciousness which may be present, is inert, inchoate and unorganised; it is devoid of mind as we understand it, and is distinguished only by a complete identification with the physical form and its activities. This is the period of slow tamasic reactions to suffering, joy, pain, to the urge and satisfaction of desire, and to a heavy subconscious urge to betterment. Life after life passes, and slowly the capacity for conscious identification increases, with a growing desire for a larger range of satisfactions; the indwelling and animating soul becomes ever more deeply hidden, the prisoner of the form nature. The entire forces of the life are concentrated in the physical body, and the desires then expressed are physical desires; at the same time there is a growing tendency towards more subtle desires, such as the astral body evokes. Gradually, the identification of the soul with the form shifts from the physical to the astral form. There is nothing present at this time which could be called a personality. There is simply a living, active physical body, with its wants and desires, its needs and its appetites, accompanied by a very slow yet steadily increasing shift of the consciousness out of the physical into the astral vehicle” (p. 24). We are further told in Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II that Lemurian consciousness was present as a whole during the time when man “was little more than an animal” and where “he lived unthinkingly; life unrolled like a panorama before his eyes; he identified himself with the episodes depicted and knew no difference between himself and that which he seemed to be in the unfolding picture. He simply looked on, played his little part, ate, reproduced, reacted to pleasure and to pain, and seldom, if ever, thought or reflected” (p. 558).
Having quoted Bailey directly I would like to take a moment to emphasize certain points mentioned in her quotes. What I imagine here is someone trapped in the struggle for shear existence that involves the every day struggle to eat and find shelter from the elements. This “tamasic” struggle (tamasic means slow and lethargic) brings smalls joys and a lot of pain and suffering. Mind is not present primarily because the focus is always on subsistence living. When Bailey says “there is nothing present at this time which could be called a personality,” she is speaking of a stage we will see much later, when the person has coordinated the physical body, emotions, and mind in such a way he or she can achieve almost any desire imaginable. When Bailey says there is only a fragment of a soul, she is referring to the consciousness that exists at the level of the Egoic Lotus, which “fully flowers” only when a human being reaches the highest levels of the Mental Plane. Though the homeless person pictured here is most likely not someone with Lemurian consciousness, the picture is meant to illustrate the extremely limited existence those with this consciousness must have primarily because basic survival dominates so much of their lives giving them not much of a life at all.
Lemurian consciousness is also said to be a throw back to a much earlier state of consciousness for all of human kind, when the focus was exclusively on survival. In Theosophical literature the Lemurian race was thought to be dominant on our planet between 18 million to 4 million years ago. To the left is a model of a Homo antecessor female practicing cannibalism that was made from actual human bones dating back to that era. Homo antecessors were said to have existed 800,000 to 1.2 million years ago according to modern day anthropologists. Theosophical literature states a new race, the Atlantean race, came into being around 4 million years ago and displaced the Lemurian race whose consciousness was similar to what Bailey described above. Surely, if it is true that we still have an extremely small number of humans with Lemurian consciousness on our planet today, then it is a reasonable assumption to think an even larger number of humans had Lemurian consciousness some 800,000 years ago even.
Again both Group One and Group Two possess Lemurian consciousness according to Bailey. Though Bailey does not say how many people might exist in Group One, she does indicate that those in Group Two exist in the several thousands (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 204). It might be safe to say then that those existing in Group One would be somewhere in the low thousands or maybe within the hundreds. Of Group One Bailey states that “their intelligence is of such a low order, and their awareness of themselves and of life is so dim and nebulous, that only the lowest forms of human existence come into this category” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol II p. 203). The reasons for their intelligence being low and their lives being dim and nebulous is that that again their lives are very primitive with the focus exclusively on survival. Where these people might be we really don’t know. Maybe some of them really are homeless in our world wondering about. Or, as Bailey says those in Group One may be found in the slums (or perhaps garbage dumps) of the world trying to find a way to exist.
NOT EQUATED WITH INDIGENOUS TRIBES
Before going further to talk about Group One, it is important to mention that Bailey warns us not to equate those who may be in Group One with members of Indigenous tribes. One reason she may have given this warning was because of the time period her books were written (between the early 1910’s to mid 1940’s). At that time, prejudices against Indigenous tribes was very high, especially among whites. Though they were no longer being killed as often by whites, Indigenous people were marginalized and oppressed by claiming they were “primitive” and needed to be put under control for their own good. I believe Bailey’s made her assertion to not compare Group One people with any Indigenous people to try and fight this prejudice. In fact, many Indigenous people (like Chief Seattle for example) are not only intelligent, but in may even demonstrate a high degree of spiritual consciousness. Which brings up an important point that no state of consciousness belongs to just one race of people. Every race can have people with high and low levels of consciousness within it.
FOCUSED ON BASIC SURVIVAL NEEDS
When Bailey talks about Group One and how they are forced by circumstances to limit their everyday consciousness around just fulfilling their basic survival needs to try to obtain food and shelter, we need to clarify between those who are actually in Group One due to their overall limited development that keeps them in a state of survival, and those who may appear to have Group One consciousness but really don’t. Rather, they are being forced by circumstances to be homeless or live in the slums and garbage dumps around the world. To the right I have put a picture of a child in Nepal. As recently as 2013 it was reported that at least 20,000 children die each year from malnutrition and poor living conditions in this country alone. Though I am not implying that these unfortunate souls are part of Bailey’s Group One, I do wonder about how stunted people become if their consciousness is constantly wrapped up in the day in and day out quest to just find food.
EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Which brings me to an important question about Group One. Is Bailey implying that the brains and physical instruments of those in Group One are so stunted that they are essentially like our primitive ancestors of long ago, limiting their prospects to the basics of just scrounging for food and shelter? Or, is this low level of consciousness not due to some limitation within the brain, but due to the environing circumstances that they are born into? If so, does that mean that given better environmental circumstances their level of consciousness in this lifetime would more rapidly expand? If so to what group would it expand to? Group Two? Group Three? Group Four? To come up with an answer, it might help you to remember that consciousness both expands and contracts. The process of expansion and contraction is better visualized if we move away from the step ladder model we have seen before that Bailey used, and consider an image like the picture to the right. Here we can get the sense that as consciousness expands it becomes more and more inclusive of previous levels of consciousness. And, as it contracts, it becomes more narrow.
In a very real way consciousness evolves similar to the children’s game Chutes and Ladders. At times we go up a ladder of awareness. Other times we slide down on a “chute.” Downward movements in consciousness are like contractions that limit the circumference of the circle of our awareness. In the Bailey books this downward movement occurs when we have what the Bailey calla a “cleavage” or “gap” in our development. These gaps or “breaks” typically happen when we experience stress from our environment. These gaps can also occur when we stretch ourselves to reach higher levels of consciousness than we are ready for. Then because we failed to expand our consciousness in a balanced and careful way, like a rubber band stretched too tight, we “snap” under pressure causing internal or external gaps that leave “holes” so to speak in our conscious development. Symbolically we have fallen down a “chute” to a much lower level and time must be taken to fill in the gaps and work on certain developmental steps we thought we had once left behind. Only after this process is completed can we more safely and wisely climb up the “ladder” of conscious evolution again.
From a human perspective then, the existence of those who are still at the level of Group One on our planet represents not only a gap in the development on one individual’s consciousness, but a gap in human consciousness overall that needs to be resolved. After all we live in a world with more abundance of food and resources than ever before in human history. it is a tragedy that any human anywhere is subjected to living in the slums and trash heaps of the world. It doesn’t matter if they ended up homeless, in the slums or trash heaps because their biology put them there, or they were born into a difficult environment, or they were forced in these awful environments due to other people abusing and neglecting them. The fact that they are forced into these circumstances is a reflection how humanity refuses to acknowledge their overall responsibility for the well-being of the entire human family. Humanity overall then, is simply to unevolved spiritually as a whole to care. People living in Group One then symbolize the collective shadow work that humanity as a whole needs to engage in. Only as humanity on mass undergoes this kind of process will it seem repugnant to every human being that anyone be forced to survive in a subsistence way.
INTEGRAL MODEL COMPARISONS
As promised this book seeks to show how others models of conscious evolution match or compliment what the Bailey teachings have to say. Starting with the Integral movement, I will draw parallels with its many levels of consciousness and those of Bailey’s. As mentioned in Chapter One, Integral has many variations of its model. I am putting one such variation here. In the chart to the right notice the bottom level known as Archaic or Infrared (in Spiral Dyanmics this is known as Beige and in this chart the level is given the beige color, though in other Integral charts it is given the “infrared” color. You also see the description that reads as follows, “Dawning self-awareness. Survives through instinct, intuition, and banding with others. Online 250,000 years ago.” The notion of dawning self-awareness fits with what Theosophy says about the Lemurian race, where humanity first became individuated, or aware of itself as a separate individual entity. You can see this process in some animals who are just become self-aware as well through something known as the mirror test. If an animal can recognize itself in the mirror as a separate entity, self-awareness has begun. If an animal does not recognize itself, it will begin to become anxious when seeing its reflection, or even attack its own image because it perceives the image of itself as another animal and therefore a threat. In Theosophical and Bailey teachings, as mentioned before, they would push the date regarding this individuation process much farther back, as far back as 18 million years, which again is a date most mainstream anthropoligists would have a difficult time with. Finally, though Bailey would agree with using the word instinct here, she would not use the word intuition. Intuition is not associated in her writings with a “gut instinct.” Rather intuition is analogous to a broad comprehensive synthethic understanding and only unfolds when the Egoic Lotus or Soul is unfolding to a large extent. Even today, few people possess intuition as Bailey uses the word.
Going father with the Integral model, I want to use a quote from An Overview of Developmental Stages of Consciousness compiled by Barrett C. Brown, Integral Institute April 3, 2006. In talking about early humanity or this Infrared state of consciousness. Brown says, “The self is undifferentiated, meaning that it cannot take a perspective on itself and the other is seen as fused with—or not distinct from—the self. Adults at this stage are usually pre-or nonverbal and often institutionalized or completely dependent on the protection and care of others.” Next I would like to draw from a quote from Integral author Ken Wilber that relates to Integral Infrared, which I believe is the same as Group One. In his book Up From Eden (where Infrared was then known as “archaic-uroboric”) Wilber states, “Dawn Man, in other words, began his career immersed in the subconscious realms of nature and body, of vegetable and animal, and initially “experienced” himself as indistinguishable from the world that had already evolved to that point. Man’s world — nature, matter, vegetable life and animal (mammaliam) body — and man’s self — the newly evolving center of his experience — were basically undifferentiated, embedded, fused and confused. His self was his naturic world; his naturic world was his self; neither was clearly demarcated, and this, basically, in unconscious homage to his past.” (p. 22). In other words it is as if they were like infants still fused with the mother’s consciousness in the womb. Only in this case they are fused within the womb of Mother nature unable to really see themselves as separate from her. This sense of inward fusion is probably what makes the outer environment so overwhelming to them and difficult for them to navigate.
A few words here about these quotes from Integral. For starters there is a correspondence to what Integral is saying with Theosophical literature in regards to the Lemurian race. The problem is Theosophy has a great deal more to say about the stages of human development at this stage than Integral. Theosophy takes every “race” and breaks it into seven sub-races. So, it is true that at one point the Lemurian race was undifferentiated and fused with nature, but this would be during mainly the first sub-race of the Lemurian race. Using my mirror analogy, the self was not able to take a perspective on others or itself. By the second sub-race of the Lemurian race, that self was more able to take a perspective on others, but it did not really know how to relate to others accept in a very primitive and instinctual way. Also, that self did not view itself as a self. By the third sub-race of the Lemurian race differentiation did begin. Now that self viewed itself as a separate self and was able to take more of a perspective on others around it. So, what Integral asserts about this Infrared stage is analogous to what Theosophy and Bailey says, but only in regards to the first and second sub-races of the Lemurian race, which Theosophy would place as coming online not 250,000 years ago, but as taking place between 30 to 21 million years ago, a number most would find preposterous, unless they are more familiar with Theosophical teachings.
In conclusion, Integral’s Infrared and Bailey’s Group One are similar, but only marginally so. Yes, both have a limited intelligence and are focused on survival. But Bailey’s Group One is long past the “fusion stage in regards to the physical environment.” The problem for Group One is not so much fusion, but overwhelm. They do see themselves as separate individuals. And, they can recognize others and the world around them as separate from them. They simply cannot understand others or the environment very well. This lack of understanding subjects them to becoming victimized by others because they cannot perceive others true motives. And, because they don’t really know how to navigate their environment, they are given few choices regarding how to survive and cope. For this reason Group One members are forced onto the extreme margins of society left with little hope and few resources in which to eek out their meager existence.
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