This post begins to describe the characteristics of Bailey’s Group Four, which I have placed on the 5th subplane of the Emotional Plane and given the color of Salmon. Bailey states that most human beings have their consciousness within her Group Four (and also Group Five), which is dominated by what she calls Atlantean consciousness, Topics discussed include: Struggle to Lead More Stable Lives, Bonded and Connected, Conformity to Norms, Fulfilling Desires and Constant Craving. 

5th Subplane Astral


Moving on to the 5th subplane of the emotional plane, Salmon, I am hypothesizing Bailey’s Group Four belongs here. This group is said to be associated with Atlantean consciousness (Esoteric Psychology, Vol II, p. 205). I have also placed Petal Two of the Egoic Lotus (Knowledge/Love petal) here. Since I have already spoken about Atlantean consciousness in the last chapter, I will not speak of it again here, outside of mentioning that this is the first “official” Atlantean consciousness group.


Jewelry Shopping
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As mentioned in the last chapter Atlantean consciousness is primarily astral (emotional) in nature (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, pp. 494, 498), and is predominantly full of kāma, or desire. In fact Bailey claims that most psychological disorders connected to Atlantean consciousness come about when their desires are frustrated (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, pp. 496). As a counselor I myself can vouch for this. Overwhelmingly my clients contact because they feel they do not have enough money, love, satisfying work, or happiness in their lives. Or, sometimes they come because they feel “something is missing” in their lives, and though they don’t quite know what they are missing, they do know they “want more.” Because Atlantean consciousness has more mind, they have more power to discriminate and choose between their various desires. They also have the capacity to employ time somewhat intelligently, giving them more of an ability to plan.

Bailey goes on to state that with Atlantean consciousness, “The more subtle pleasures begin to make their appeal; man’s desires become less crude and physical; the emerging desire for beauty begins to appear, and a dim sense of aesthetic values. His consciousness is becoming more astral-mental, or kāma-manasic, and the whole trend of his daily attitudes, or his modes of living, and of his character begins to broaden, to unfold, and to improve. Though he is still ridden by unreasoning desire most of the time, yet the field of his satisfactions and of his sense-urges are less definitely animal and more definitely emotional. Moods and feelings come to be recognised, and a dim desire for peace and the urge to find that nebulous thing called ‘happiness’ begin to play their part. This corresponds to the period of adolescence and to the state of consciousness called Atlantean. It is the condition of the masses at this present time. The bulk of human beings are still Atlantean, still purely emotional in their reactions and in their approach to life. They are still governed predominantly by selfish desires and the by calls of the instinctual life” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, pp. 24-25). If this is starting to sound familiar, it is because especially when we are talking about Atlantean consciousness (which is comprised of those in Groups Four, Five, and to some extent Group Three as well) for the most part we are talking about ourselves, or at least most of the people we know around us.


So what are the general characteristics Group Four? In Esoteric Psychology, Vol II, p. 205 we are told that they are primarily emotional in nature (which corresponds with them being Atlantean). Though they have more mind present than Group Three does, their minds still are said not to function very strongly. Though their focus on the physical plane diminishes, it is not because they ignore Physical Plane life. It is because Group Four Salmon people are much more able to get their physiological and survival needs met meaning they don’t have to put their conscious attention there as much. This frees them up to focus more their desires, their relationships and the cultivation of their emotions. Let’s explore this more.

Lead More Stable Lives

Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
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Looking again at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (which was created decades after the Alice Bailey model), we discover that the Physiological Needs (breathing, food, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion) that are so essential for Groups One & Two are finally being taken care of by Group Four. As for the Safety and Security needs (security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health, and property), because those in Group Four are not as impulsive as Group Three members are and can plan better, they are way more likely to get these Safety and Security needs met. The in crease in cognitive abilities found in Group Four also allowed them to do things like invent agriculture, allowing them to settle down more. Because they are better planners they also know how to store up resources increasing the likelihood that they survive even through difficult periods, improve their health, accumulation of land and property, and even live a lot longer.

In short, as Group Four becomes more stable and settled, they don’t want to pick up their weapons and run off and fight some battle in some far away place in some pointless pursuit of glory. They don’t want to go off and get hacked to bits. They simply don’t need to. They have enough food, clothing, and shelter to get by on already. Plus, they have land to watch over, animals to take care of, and nice little cottages to maintain. If they are lucky they may even manage to get to know each other better, since their family members are a little less likely to die off as early as they did before. In many ways they are a like the Hobbits from the Lord of the Rings books. Given a choice, they would rather just stay home.

Bonded & Connected

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Which brings me to the next level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Love and Belonging which Maslow describes as friendships, family, sexual intimacy, and sense of connection. Actually, I prefer the word bonding more than love here. As we shall see later in this book there is a lot more to love than what is found within Group Four’s awareness. But, for love to even begin to happen there needs to be a sense of connection. These connection deepen if you can stay at home, live longer, and have more time to bond and be together.

True, Group Three Red members may have bonded somewhat. But, it is hard to bond and want to get too connected when your children and wives are dying young, and most of the men you know are getting killed and hacked up in battle. No wonder Group Three “alpha males” needed so much testosterone. As we now know high levels of testosterone inhibit the production of oxytocin, which is the bonding hormone. Even today the high levels of testosterone Group Three like “alpha males” possess, makes it difficult for them to  want to settle down. But Group Four changes all of this. Now, babies and wives are no longer as prone to die during childbirth. Men you know are less likely to go into battle and get killed. Because everyone tends to live longer, husbands and wives and parents and children can all get to know each other. Even more miraculous, children may even get to know their grandparents and vice versa. All this time together allows for deeper connections to get fostered. People become familiar with one another (a word that is connected to family).

I even believe this opportunity to have a greater sense of connection, familiarity and bonding is what shifted human’s sexual impulses away from having multiple partners and more towards monogamy. Even today where some are once again pushing the notion of having multiple sexual partners (known as polyamory), there is growing awareness of how difficult that lifestyle can be. They are beginning to see why Group Four people started to leave the idea of multiple sexual partners behind. After all it is easy to be polyamorous if you don’t get too bonded, too connected, or have to go too deep with your sexual partners. As Group Four members discovered, when you feel more bonded and connected to someone having to break those bonds is just too painful. That is why monogamy, or even serial monogamy, is still most people’s preferred choice. Monogamy also has other advantages, like not having to spend so much of your time seeking out new sexual partners. Or, being able to be more sure if you are man, that you really are the father of your own children. Or, not having to split up what you acquire during a divorce, or having to share what you earn with a lot of other people who now want you to support them. Having fewer people that you have sex with also helps you go deeper in a relationship and allows you to become more sexually intimate. Fewer sexual partners in the mix also makes it easier to have dialogue, build trust, and figure out what to expect from each other.

Even at a biological level science is beginning to discover that though polyamory may be a great choice if you are a Group Three person who doesn’t get bonded with others too much, it is not so great an option if you have shifted into Group Four! Why? Because increasingly they are discovering more “bridge-brain” males are being born. These are men who have lower degrees of testosterone and higher levels of oxytocin (again the bonding hormone). Like women, who have always had higher levels of oxytocin, more men are finding out what women have always known. Even at a biological level when the oxytocin bond breaks, it really hurts! Why? Because scientific research has revealed that high levels of oxytocin are released during orgasm, which even when we have sex with a total stranger, tends to get us hooked on them. If a man has a lot of testosterone, that oxytocin will disappear within only a few hours (about the time we wakes up from his nap after he is done having sex). For women, that oxytocin can remain in their system for days or even weeks. Maybe that is one reason “women get so crazy” after sex (as some men used to tell me) if the man doesn’t want to see her again. You see we now know that if the oxytocin bonds you with someone, and that  bond breaks too quickly, then people who got a heavy oxytocin hit (like women), will suddenly have their brain mitigate that oxytocin by dumping a lot of cortisol into system. What does cortisol do? Mainly it just plummets you into fatigue, depression, and overwhelming feelings of anxiety. Or, it can create cognitive difficulties, prematurely age you, and give you excessive carbohydrate cravings. Ice cream anyone?

Conforming to Norms

Compliance to Rules
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So how do you prevent the breaking of bonds that Group Four people have discovered can lead to emotional, biological and even societal and financial distress? You create norms. Remember, Group Four people don’t want to go back to the greater likelihood of scarcity, insecurity, instability, violence, and war experienced much more by people whose consciousness is still at Group Three. They want people within relationships, families and communities to  stick together. They want to know that the property and possessions they worked so hard to get could go to people they care about when they pass away, like their children who are now living longer. Men want to be pretty certain that a child is theirs so when they spend most of their time and energy trying to provide for them, they have done so for the right reasons. And, women don’t want to “go crazy” by creating bonds that are constantly broken by high testosterone men who aren’t inclined to settle down, or keep the romantic promises they made because they are too impulsive and restless too. And, parents don’t want their children to die young of childhood diseases they get exposed to because everyone has to roam around from place to place to find food. If their children grow up parents (and frequently the children) don’t want to be sent off to war to get mutilated or die in battle. And, no one wants to go back to the days when women and children often died during childbirth. I mean why would anyone want to go back to a Group Three way of living? They must be nuts!

To prevent the instability and insecurity that Group Three tends to live in from returning, Group Four members used their growing intelligence and awareness to create rules, standards and norms for living. And, no rules aren’t meant to be broken (the way Group Three people like to do). Rules are meant to be followed! Rules bring about stability and help you know from generation to generation what to expect. Rules help people keep agreements, provide a sense of fairness, and help establish trust. Trust leads to an increased sense of familiarity and intimacy. Familiarity and intimacy inclines people to help each other more and keep their agreements. When people help each other and keep their agreements, there is less need for war. When there is less war there is more stability and less stress. Less stress helps everyone to mentally evolve. As everyone evolves they become more curious about other people and the environment around them. That curiosity helps open the door to greater mental exploration, which in turn leads to asking deeper and more philosophical questions about the nature of life and the universe. As you answer these questions to a satisfactory level you have a greater sense of security and even peace of mind. No wonder members of Group Four get so  preoccupied with coming up with the right set of rules, guidelines, and morals.

As you can see there are many advantages to the way Group Four norms operate. As a member of Group Four if you follow the rules, adhere to the norms, maintain your behavior within the prescribed set of morals, then your family, group, society, or culture will reward you. You will even be labeled as “good.” But, if you break the rules because they are too hard to follow or don’t really suit you, then you become “bad” and  run the risk of being ostracized or viewed as an outsider. Being an outsider can feel like a dangerous place to be. That is why though some people who feel stifled by Group Four norms may look with admiration and envy towards the Group Three rebels, in the long run conformity, not rebellion, now becomes the new norm.

Fulling Desires

Grocery Store
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When your basic physical, safety, and security needs are met, now what? Most likely this was a question many Group Four members began to face over time. Focusing less and less on the daily grind of survival which kept them overly focused on the physical plane, Group Four members were increasingly able to shift and put their attention into the realm of “kāma” or desire. Because your desires were more likely to be met by being with the “right” group (who usually tended to have the most influence and power at the time) fitting in became an increasing need or issue. Regardless of any conflicting emotions you may have had inside of you, you tried to do what others expected of you. You adhered to what others determined for you was the right thing to do. And, you stuck to the moral codes established around you so that your physical well-being, and emotional feeling of happiness was that much more possible.

Fitting in also meant others were more likely to accept and help you. Getting along with people became that much more important. Learning to do this required of you more emotional intelligence and awareness than you needed before. If you naturally fit in with what others expected you to be like, then life was relatively satisfying, easy, and rewarding for you. If you didn’t readily fit in, then what would you do? Yes, you could still try Group Three methods of becoming submissive and placating in an effort to please others and get them to like and accept you. Or, you could resort to the other Group Three tactic of becoming a bully and threatening and intimidating them. But, these methods could only take you so far. That is why over time increasingly complex ways of working with the emotions to get what you wanted began to develop. That way you could “make friends and influence people,” increase your access to more goods by working on your social skills, and avoid becoming an outcaste or being bullied by cultivating the skills of deception, lying and speaking in half truths. Though these methods were often stated within the emerging moral codes as the wrong thing to do, these methods were a means of valuable means of protection if you felt you couldn’t fit in, but had to. Hypocrisy also emerged helping you pretend to be someone you were not, if you needed to. In a strange sort of way then, all of this became the “science of the emotions” — the “if you do this, then this is likely to be the result and you will get your reward” methodology. Learning this science of the emotions at this level is one reason I put this group on the 5th subplane of the Emotional Plane, since in the Bailey system the 5th ray is associated with science and technology, or the methodology, of how to get predictable results.

Constant Craving

Hungry Ghosts
Hungry Ghost image from this website

If you can learn to fit in, or at least develop your emotional skills enough to to fit in on the margins, or lie and pretend to fit in even if you did not, then you would be rewarded through the increased satisfaction of your desires. Though Abraham Maslow didn’t intend for his Love and Belongingness level to include anything greater than a sense of connection to people, as can see all around us, we can also feel connected to all kinds of “stuff.” Especially if your connection to other people seemed inadequate, “stuff” might end up being a really good substitute. Be it more sheep and cattle, more land, a larger home, items to go in the home, a horse to get around, jewelry, gold, a castle, a mansion, an automobile, an airplane, an iPod, a cell phone, a television, a computer — whatever it was — the craving for stuff and the stimulation of desire over the centuries became more and more important. So important that for some it would even leave to the emergence of what the Buddhists call the “Hungry Ghost.”

Hungry Ghosts are said to be beings with an intense desire nature. That is why they are often illustrated as having huge bellies. At the same time they don’t yet possess enough intelligence or discipline to help them get their desires met. That is why Hungry Ghosts are thought to have weak arms and legs, and a pin hole of a mouth all implying how limited they are in their capacity to fulfill their constant desires. Hungry Ghosts are also symbolic of the emotional unhappiness that arises when we have excess desire that can never be fulfilled. No matter how much we have we still want more. This craving is even exacerbated when we get more exposed to those who have more than us, and at the same time we feel frustrated about how to get “what they have.”

Now, a bizarre sort of inner emotional tension and anxiety creeps in that wasn’t there before. In Group Three, you saw something you wanted? You just clubbed someone over the head and took it. But, how do you do that in Group Four and still look “good?” For many people it requires feeling stuck in a limbo land of not getting what you want, watching your depression, envy, anger and anxiety continue to grow. For others it might involve some mental mechanics of telling yourself that “good” people don’t have or want much, while “bad” people do. Or, maybe “good people who didn’t get what they wanted will end up in heaven where they can everything they want,” while of course “bad people who got everything they wanted, but didn’t know how to be good, will go to hell.” These philosophies let you off the hook so you no longer feel impotent about wanting something and not being able to get it. But, because that is simply an act of repression, you have not really removed the anxiety and confusion that goes along with wanting something, while pretending that you don’t. Finally, unlike the Hungry Ghosts who pretty much are unable to satisfy themselves in any way, you can find another outlet to get your constant cravings met. You simply pick a substitute. Can’t have a mansion? Three or four used motor homes will do. Can’t afford to go to fancy restaurants? Just stock up on the chocolate bars, ice cream and junk food. Unable to buy a really nice party dress or a $10,000 purse? Go to a cheap department store and get twelve dresses and ten purses really cheap. Who cares if you are wasteful, or can’t put to good use any of the stuff you are buying. So what if you get fat? At least you feel good. Or, at least you think you do.

Go to Part Two

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