This post continues the discussion of the characteristics of Bailey’s Group Four, placed on the 5th subplane of the Emotional Plane and given the color of Salmon. Some of the characteristics include: Following Leaders, Relying on Luck, Vulnerable to Exploitation, Easily Distracted. The association of Bailey’s Egoic Lotus petal is given as is a comparison to the Integral model level of Amber.
Yes, I have picked a wombat as a spiritual leader in the picture to the right here. Why? Because those in Group Four are still fairly tribal, their tribes are just larger. And, none of them like to be offended by anyone saying or insinuating anything negative about their particular religious group or spiritual leader. Unlike with Group Three who prefer strong (mainly) men to lead them who are especially adept at being aggressive and even violent if they have to be, Group Four people want their leaders (still mainly men) to be moral. Strong and moral would even be better! But, who decides what morality looks like? Well, mainly Group Five and Six people do, but we have yet to get to them.
As for Group Four, they still want to follow leaders, so long as they play somewhat by the rules, be “nice”, and for the most part stay true to their word and agreements. It also helps if their leaders seem to be “good” and inspire members of Group Four to do things for a “good cause” increasing the likelihood that they will get what they want (here or elsewhere in heaven), because they have been more “good” than other people around them. That puts an a lot of stress on trying to discover what good is, especially if you start to attach something like an eternal afterlife into the equation of goodness.
So how do you know what good is? You look to your religious leaders to tell you. This is a different strategy from Group Two’s use of a magician or a shaman. It didn’t matter if a shaman was a “good” person, or even if you were. What mattered was, did the magic or spell the shaman used word? Group Four people know too often that magic or spell didn’t do what it was supposed to do. So, maybe being good will help. The problem is one religions idea of what means you are a good and moral person doesn’t always look the same as the others. In Judaism you can’t eat pork. In the Protestant faith you can have all the pork you want. In some Indian religious systems you can’t eat garlic and onion. In other faiths both are considered good for you. Most religious faiths will tell you that only if you read this book, or follow this teaching, walk this spiritual path, or accept only this spiritual teacher will you become “truly” good, and get to the right sort of heaven. All of this makes it pretty risky to cross the line and follow another faith, or be open to other ideas people may have of “goodness.” Worse, should you decide to cross the ine and consider another faith, or follow another teaching or spiritual teacher, you run the risk of not only being cut off from your spiritual community and family, you risk going through an eternity in hell.
All of this puts Group Four members in a unique sort of bind. Because once you get in a certain group (religious or otherwise), it is pretty hard to get out of it without potentially suffering dire consequences. Hopefully, you have fallen in with, or chosen, a culture, religious group, political leader who won’t steer you wrong. Sadly, Group Four types are fairly prone to getting duped and swayed by leaders, especially demagogues, who hype them with promises, that in the long run don’t quite turn out so well. But, because it is so risky to rebel, and the need to be loyal and conform is so strong, even if they discover they are duped, they may be afraid to do anything about it. The pain and fear of becoming an outcast, being bullied, not belonging, or spending an eternity in hell just shuts them down. Compound this with the tactics of fear that Group Three, Group Five and even Group Six types impose upon Group Four, it is easy to see why they often believe they just don’t have choice except to go along.
Which leads us to the saddest thing about those in Group Four. And, that is how those in authority over them may be promising them with one hand (like a feeling of safety, economic security, a sense of belonging and a promise of a happy life either in the here and now or in the hereafter), while removing things from them on the other hand (like access to better wages, health insurance, education, and civil liberties that may give those in Group Four too much power in comparison to those who seek to rule over them). Just look at the history of slavery and serfdom (a type of slavery) and ask the question why so many of them didn’t rise up and demand that they get something better than their current raw deal? Or, consider in our modern times the shrinking middle class and why so many people continue to accept their increasingly marginalized existence. Next broaden your perspective and ask why it is that millions and maybe even billions of people put up with things like low and stagnant wages, long work hours, poor health insurance, and not much in the way of true political and social leverage. How is it that so many people sit there like sheep, allowing just a few other people to dominate over them?
Relying Too Much On Luck
Another way those in Group Four allow their unwitting oppression, it through what I call “luck” or “lottery” consciousness. Luck consciousness is the tendency Group Four types have to look for a quick fix to solve all their problems. True, some people win the lottery. Some people seem to have good luck. But, when luck is a strategy for living your life, you don’t get very far. In many ways this “luck consciousness” is reminiscent of Group Two’s magical thinking. And, in fact, a factor involved in “luck consciousness” may be the result of a cleavage or gap that sends Group Four people back to a Group Two level when they feel powerless about getting their increasing desires met. Especially when someone in Group Four doesn’t have enough emotional and mental facility to plan how to get what they want, or to better leverage themselves so they are more likely to get it, Group Four people tend to believe in luck to help them out. Never mind the profound statement by former well-known actor and philanthropist Paul Newman that “luck = preparation meeting opportunity.” Essentially Newman meant that luck is like having your surfboard down by the beach at the time of day when the waves are most likely to be good. Real luck requires planning, preparing, and knowing how to increase your odds for success. Too often those in Group Four do not understand that “luck” is more likely to happen when you are spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically prepared, and even socially positioned to meet it.
Vulnerable to Exploitative Ideologies
Group Four people ignore all of this. Though they have some discipline to meet the challenges and opportunities of life when they arrive, their emotional impulses tend to sabotage them. That is when Group Four people feel resentful when life is “not fair” or “bad things happen to good people.” Or, they become entitled expecting to be compensated for things even when they have not put forth the necessary effort required. The lack of effort makes “get rich quick,’ “get well quick,” or any other “quick” scheme especially appealing to them. Get it quick examples include, “Just accept Jesus as your Lord and savior and no matter what you did in this life you will get to heaven.” Or, “chant this mantra, take this pill, smoke this cigarette or joint, drink some alcohol, repeat these Law of Attraction affirmations, pay this much money to get enlightened in one day, and all of a sudden all will be well.” Some of this is similar to a Group Two magical thinking throw back, only here in Group Four it has become more ideological.
The “get it quick” tendency also makes them vulnerable to those (especially from Groups Five and Six) who want to take advantage of them by feeding them “quick solutions” that are not helpful, and prevent them from seeing what is really going on. For example, members of Group Four may be taught that they can get ahead and have everything they want if they just work hard enough for it, while at the same time Group Six members may be rigging the system behind the scenes so those in Group Four really never have a chance to succeed. In Medieval times Group Four members were victimized by the Catholic Church who demanded Group Four members pay them financially (this was known as indulgences) or else they would not get into heaven. Indulgences were also solicited as a means for getting their loved ones out of an eternity of hell or purgatory. Fast forward and you have the Calvinistic Protestant Christian belief system today that tells Group Four people that they don’t have money because they did something wrong. After all, they preach, wealthy people become wealthy because God favored them. If you are not wealthy, then you were not as righteous or as Godly, and the rich people around you who now use this ideology often to exploit you.
An updated version of this “if you are struggling financially it is all your fault, so let me exploit you financially because of it” thinking can be found in the New Thought movement influenced by the Think and Grow Rich philosophy (that infers bad thinking led to your bad circumstances). Or, you can see it in New Age beliefs that talk about the Law of Attraction where good things happen only because you had good thoughts, and bad things happen because you have had too much “stinking thinking.” Flip over to the Eastern religions and you don’t have to go far to find the ancient caste system still in place, where if you are born into the wrong family, caste, or even race you don’t deserve success because of bad things you did in a past life.
The bottom line? If you are not able to get all your desires met, it is your fault. The end result? This group channels their anxieties, insecurities, and guilt by glorifying those who did get all their materialistic wishes fulfilled (mainly those within the Group Six realm comprised mostly of celebrities, billionaires, and political demagogues). Because Group Six members benefit from Group Four members doing this, they actually encourage these attitudes in Group Four members because it helps Group Six members stay in their place as the ruling class over others. And, as Group Four members keep subscribing to these unhelpful ideologies they are only minimally able to satisfy their increased desires, while overall feeling helpless and blaming themselves because somehow they were not good enough to get all there wishes fulfilled.
Sadly, most of these methods never bring those in Group Four very much except some hard lessons in how they let other people empty out their wallets. The problem is though Group Four members have more mental facility, they are still too easily led by their emotions and desires, meaning they lack the mental discernment to see others real intentions very well. They also lack the logical ability to think things through making them too prone to believe something because it has an emotional appeal. Until they gain that discernment they will be too prone to buying into ideologies that keep them from doing the things that might really help them to have a better life. Things like engaging in social and political activism so that ps above them are forced to play more fairly with them; becoming more educated so they can better discern how they may be getting used or see more clearly what is really going on around them; or getting more disciplined in a specific field so that they can really progress and develop some mastery over a certain set of skills that enables them to move forward into Groups Five and Six above them.
Unfortunately, because Group Four members desire natures are so strong, they may avoid doing the things in life that would really help them, deciding instead to spend too much time in emotional distractions that don’t real serve their deeper needs. Distractions can include becoming obsessed with what is going on with celebrities, watching TV, playing video games, surfing for things to buy on the Internet or through the Home Shopping Network, and anything else that might keep their insatiable capitalistic desire lives going on full throttle. That same gullibility seems to exist now on Social Media as any kind of information pushed at them is thought to be factually true. Then there is their propensity to addiction be it through sex, alcohol, gambling or thrill seeking. Even the drug industry (legal and illegal) can be used to swindle them offering them quick fixes to seeming ailments by telling them how just popping a pill will remedy everything and too often diverting them from the often difficulty work of fixing their problematic relationships, financial difficulties, or becoming more aware of the social oppression that keeps them from having true power and wisdom so they can really help their lives overall.
EGOIC LOTUS PETAL — Knowledge/Love
Next we will examine the Egoic Lotus petal connected to Group, known as the Knowledge/Love petal. If you look at the chart to the left you will find this petal shown with the number 2. I have placed this petal here in part because it makes sense to me, but also because Michael Robbins in his Egoic Lotus Webinar Commentaries 3 Series says around 1:18:00 that he believes Group Four to be associated with the unfolding of the Knowledge/Love petal as well. So what is the unfolding of this petal like? To quote directly from one of the Alice Bailey books titled A Treatise of Cosmic Fire (p. 539) we find the following statement about the Knowledge/Love petal. “The Petal of Love for the physical plane. Unfolds through physical relationships, and the gradual growth of love from love of self to love of others.”
Going back to the Maslow system of the Hierarchy of Needs, this reinforces what I have shared earlier about how Group Four is starting to cultivate their Love and Belongingness needs. All this talk of “love” however makes me want to clarify for a moment what is meant by the word love. In many ways the word love used both in association with the Egoic Lotus and with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is misplaced. As suggested before I feel the word love makes more sense here if it is replaced by the word connection. Why? Because what most people call love here is actually more like attachment, possession, lust, addiction, control and even abuse. Look at such phrases as “love hurts” and you instantly get the picture. Love, when it really is love, never hurts. Love is a healing and unifying force. Yet the majority of the music, movies, television, and overall memes about love in our primarily Atlantean consciousness planet continue to associate the word love with things that are more like attachment, possession, lust, addiction, control and even abuse. In my own work specializing primarily in the field of love and relationships, I once spent most of my time working with this population helping them to free themselves of these misplaced notions of love. I frequently would tell my clients that if love was hurting them, it meant it was more about being I.L.L. (I Lack Love), and not really love itself that they were on the receiving end of. Despite the many distortions about love that exist here, it is true that there is a growing ability to have some small measure of love or concern for others. The knowledge of love, however small and distorted, is beginning. That is why it makes sense to associate this group with the Knowledge/Love petal.
INTEGRAL MODEL COMPARISONS
As we look at the Integral Model, unlike with the 6th Plane of the Emotional Plane — Group Three — Red, it is easy to make the correlation between the 5th Plane of the Emotional Plane — Group Four — Salmon and the stage of consciousness in Integral known as Amber. To summarize the Integral point of view, I am simply putting the following direct quotes from An Overview of Developmental Stages of Consciousness compiled by Barrett C. Brown, Integral Institute April 3, 2006.
Amber Values: Bottom line: Stability and purposeful life. Basic theme: Life has meaning, direction, and purpose with predetermined outcomes What’s important: Sacrificing self for a transcendent Cause, (secular or religious) Truth, Mission, future reward; laws, regulations, and rules; discipline, character, duty, honor, justice, and moral fiber; righteous living; controlling impulsivity through guilt; following absolutistic principles of right and wrong, black and white; being faithful, maintaining order and harmony; one right way to think/do; convention, conformity Where seen: Puritan America, Confucian China, Dickensian England, Singapore discipline; totalitarianism; codes of chivalry and honor; charitable good deeds; religious fundamentalism (e.g., Christian and Islamic); “moral majority”; patriotism
Amber Self-Identity: Main focus: Socially expected behavior, approval. Qualities: Emergence of capacity to see and respond to what others want; self-identity defined by relationship to group, whose values impart strong sense of “shoulds” and “oughts”; values that differ from one’s own are denigrated or avoided; conform to norms of whatever group they want to belong to (including gangs and peer-groups); avoid inner and outer conflict; think in simple terms and speak in generalities and platitudes; attend to social welfare of own group; “us vs. them” mentality; feedback heard as personal disapproval. How influences others: Enforces existing norms.
Except for the last comment regarding enforcing existing norms (which I see more as associated with Group Five), I would agree that much of Integral’s Amber level matches with Group Four. And, many of the Integral keywords for Amber if applied to Group Four can expand our understanding of what Group Four might be like as well. The main issue I have with Integral here, however, is how they do not connect the dots of many of these keywords to the idea of desire. Here is where I believe the Alice Bailey teachings have something to add. Integral tends to focus instead too much on cognitive development as the reason why humans shift from one level to the next. They borrow from Piaget’s work on cognitive development especially at their lower levels of their model to support their theories (see the area I have circled in the chart below).
We as a human species are still immersed in Atlantean consciousness. When we are within a particular stage of consciousness, it can be very hard to step outside of it and see it for what it is. But, I invite you now having reviewed this chapter to notice what is really going on with humanity at this point. Begin by simply turning on your television, radio, or take a bit of time to surf the internet. How much of what you hear and see is all about getting you to want something? How much of it is about encouraging a state of discontentment so that you will continue to crave something more? How many shows, songs and YouTube video clips are really about desire — desiring sex, money, power, work of a different kind, some better and better relationship? Walk around most any town and notice what you see around you. How many stores and buildings are dedicated to desire — of food, clothing, entertainment, alcohol, drugs, or other things that are meant to entice and distract you? We live in an ocean of desire playing upon our emotions constantly to get us to want more and more and more.
And, though we have minds, our mental processes are truly “kāma-manas” because so much of our thought is primarily focused on “desire.” Yes, it is remarkable that human beings are learning more and more how to think. But, we still spend precious little time looking at what we think about. Most human beings use their minds to think about what they want and how to get it. When they can’t get what they want they tend to “lose their minds” and swirl down into emotional states of jealousy, anger, and depression. Sadly, instead of learning to raise their consciousness so they can learn how to really think and help themselves, Group Four types are mainly taught to do something quick to fix it or distract themselves. Just take this new drug or solve it all by going shopping (as President George W. Bush wanted everyone to do after the bombing of the World Trade Towers in New York City).
For anyone who is growing out of these kāma-manas Emotional Plane levels, our world can seem like a very strange planet. Especially if you are surrounded by Group Four types who want you to conform to their point of view, fitting in without losing yourself takes some skill. But, we can’t just do a “spiritual bypass” and skip over our desire natures. We need to live on this planet and some level of desire is required. The question becomes then how to desire correctly? That is the major lesson we need to help Group Four people learn. We also need to teach them better discernment; give them tools to better observe and manage their emotions instead of encouraging them to go for “feel quick” short-term solutions; and set up religious, political and financial systems that no longer try to exploit them. Only then can those in Group Four evolve more quickly into creating a world that is better for us all.
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