This post continues the discussion of Bailey’s Group Five, placed on the 4th subplane of the Emotional Plane and given the color of Amber. Some of the characteristics include: Perfecting a Craft and Difficulty Changing Their Conditioning. A discussion of the Egoic Lotus petal associated with this group is also given along with the comparisons to the Integral Amber Expert stage.
Perfecting a Craft
On a more positive note than some of the themes associated with Group Five that we have looked at, is how Group Five’s uncanny ability to “maintain order and keep the peace” can lead to a number of incredible outcomes. As they learn to create more seemingly stable lives for themselves, they begin to free their thought processes from constantly obsessing about making ends meet or fitting in and belonging. In short, they start to become more creative, not in a random or haphazard and sloppy way the way Groups Three and Four are inclined to. No, Group Five people learn to become “craftsmen” (or even crafts women). Craftsmanship only comes about when people have the stability and time to perfect certain skills. When we compare Group Five to the Integral model, Integral calls the level comparable to this one the “expert level.” Honestly, I like the word craftsman better. To me the word expert implies someone who is at the very top of one’s game in any field. As we look at the next group, Group Six, we will see how the expert title applies more to someone in that group.
Unlike the word expert, the word craftsman implies that person may not have achieved mastery yet, but they are well on their way and are likely to be a above average at whatever he or she is doing because of their greater dedication and mastery. As a reminder according to Alice Bailey, Group Five people are the largest sector of humanity. If this is true than billions of people through their hard work, perseverance, dedication, patience, perseverance and ability to play by the rules are achieving increased levels of expertise in whatever field they have chosen. They are also earn the respect of others for what they are accomplishing. And, because they are no longer focused on “luck consciousness” to get their desires met in life, but apply themselves steadily to what needs to be accomplished each and every day, they increase their odds of not only reaching the “middle class,” but possibly even the “upper middle class” in their society. Having achieved this level of success, the level of stability in their lives increases. This increases the inner level of satisfaction, and aids them emotionally as they feel better and better about themselves for having done something well. It also helps that others tend to feel good about the work that they do bringing about a greater level of contentment and well-being.
Difficulty Challenging Their Conditioning
For the most part Group Five people are content people. Though they may still have emotional ups and downs they are more emotionally stable than Groups Three and Four. Within their particular cultural, religious, and social groups they have learned to build lives that work for themselves in the material world. Regarding their inner world, they norms and rules they have adopted help them make sufficient sense of the world to feel more at peace as well. Do these particular things and you will not only live a good life, you will have a good after life. Just stay within the social, religious, and political realm established for you and don’t climb out of it.
Except that is not always how life works. Constantly throughout the history of humanity groups of people with differing ideologies may be forced to encroach upon one another. Especially if they need to migrate due to natural disasters or changes in their environment that impact their economic survival, people who differ from each other will run into each other. Group Five people may feel especially threatened by this since they are much more likely to have become fixed in a particular belief system, ideology, or way of living. Outsiders or foreigners then can seem particularly threatening. What to do about it? Typically, Group Five people like to set up boundaries and look for ways to protect themselves from those who are different (we talked about this in the section on Enforcing the Status Quo in this chapter). In the worst case scenario, they may even go to war.
Ideally, you show Group Five people how to open up and change their mindsets, or confront the way they have been conditioned to believe. How do you do this? I am reminded how my own conditioning was challenged in my twenties, when I encountered the writings of Jiddu Krishnamurti, who had once been part of the Theosophical Society, but had left it when he began to question his own conditioned beliefs. Though Krishnamurti was a great help in my life, I also remember decades later watching a video of Krishnamurti getting so upset with a man who persisted in his own limited conditioned beliefs, that Krishnamurti actually walked off the stage leaving the man and crowd who came to hear him behind.
Shortly after that I saw another video of Krishnamurti (now on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEIfMqM5wnM) where Krishnamurti was alone looking at the camera and asking “Why Don’t You Change?” In the video he talks about the negative consequences of not changing because if we don’t we will always have a world at war. Then he again asks why people don’t change, even for the sake of their children? He then says people do not change either because they simply don’t care due to just wanting to be satisfied with immediate pleasures. Or, they don’t change because they are too psychologically conditioned to care otherwise. Krishnamurti then ends the video by encouraging everyone to recognize we are one human family ending everything on a positive note.
When I first saw this video I was inspired. Later, I began to think, “Yes, people are conditioned, but people are also developmentally at a certain level.” Imagine looking at a two year old who is having a temper tantrum and telling them, “Why don’t you change?” At the same time I remembered a comedy sketch I had seen from an old television program featuring actor Bob Newhart playing a psychologist. In this comedy sketch he tells a woman he charges $5.00 for the first five minutes then nothing after that. Then he tells her he can almost guarantee the session will be over in just a few minutes time. As the sketch goes on the woman starts to share her problems. Within a short time as the woman is sharing her problems, Bob Newhart looks at her and shouts, “Stop it!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw). Though this was a comedy sketch and not the thoughtful approach of Krishnamurti, I couldn’t help but feel the two approaches were similar. To quote from Alice Bailey, “Where no mind activity is present and where there is no power to discriminate, to analyze and to choose, there is no free will” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol II, p. 29). In other words, though Krishnamurti is correct when he says most human beings don’t care because of their conditioning, he doesn’t understand sufficiently enough about how people need to hear things differently based upon their developmental level.
So how do you get Group Five people to change? You have to persuade those in Groups Six and Seven to help those in Group Five come up with a new set of norms and rules that can include and embrace the new cultures, groups, and ideas that coming into being in a harmonious way. You put leaders in place in Group Five’s various societal, political, and religious systems to help Group Five members stretch their belief systems and norms in a way that keeps their fears from kicking up, or prevents too much instability at once. And, you point out how if this can’t be accomplished over time in a gradual way, then upheaval, chaos and maybe even war will be the new norm, something Group Five people dread.
EGOIC LOTUS PETAL — Knowledge/Sacrifice
Turning now to the Egoic Lotus petal for Group Five, I believe this group is connected to the Knowledge/Sacrifice petal (number 3 in the chart to the left). Quoting from A Treatise on Cosmic Fire by Alice Bailey, “[The unfoldment of this petal is] brought about through the driving force of circumstances, and not of free will. It is the offering up of the physical body upon the altar of desire—low desire to begin with, but aspiration towards the end, though still desire. As man in the early stages of his evolution is polarised on the physical, much of this is undergone unconsciously and without any realisation of what is being consummated, but the result in the causal body is seen in a twofold increase of heat or of activity” (p. 540).
To put it another way, knowledge of how to succeed on the physical plane has increasingly been mastered by Group Five allowing them to build more stable societies and even countries. This has freed them up to shift their desires on the Emotional Plane from “low desire” (for safety, security, or even love and belonging), into aspiring for things that are higher (such as art, culture, and more intricate philosophical and religious belief systems). Their minds, however, are still slow in development. Most of the knowledge they gain is not due to free will. Rather, their minds are conditioned by the cultural, religious, and societal predilections they have been exposed to. The capacity to examine their conditioned minds and think independently the way Krishnamurti would have them do, is too far off. Regretfully for Group Five still “the physical body is offered up on the alter of desire,” meaning their lives are still too frequently being sacrificed on the alter of living a life dedicated to satisfying their “desire—low desire to begin with, but aspiration towards the end, though still desire.”
As for why they do not have any “realisations of what is being consummated” this is because they still have no idea yet as to who they really are beyond the confines of their physical brains and bodies. They may hope after death they exist in some sort of Heaven somewhere. But, they do not realize, they do not know, their true Self (as Soul, or Egoic Lotus). Still, they are gaining knowledge that will eventually lead them to understand why it is important to sacrifice their lower desires so they can one day be more motivated to discover their true spiritual nature. For most of humanity, which resides at Group Five consciousness, they still have a long ways to go.
INTEGRAL MODEL COMPARISONS
At one time the Integral model had only one level, Amber. Later it was split into two sections: Traditional Amber (later known as Diplomat/Conformist), and Expert—Self Conscious. As you can see when you read some of the keywords below, after they made this split, the keywords of the Expert level fit a great deal with what Group Five in the Alice Bailey model is about. As mentioned in the previous chapter, I personally differ with the word Expert being used here, because I feel that phrase applies more to Group Six. Still, you do see some similarities with Group Five and the Integral Expert level in the focus on effectiveness, craft expertise, a correct view, and gaining some personhood separate from group identity while still being “embedded in correct view as given by craft authorities.” Or, to put it another way, they are still influenced by the various “status, craft groups or clubs” (sports teams, religious & political groups) they associate with.
As for drawing from the work of An Overview of Developmental Stages of Consciousness compiled by Barrett C. Brown, Integral Institute April 3, 2006 we find that here the Amber group was not yet broken in two. For this reason what he writes here is the same as what was written about Amber in the chapter on Group Four. Only here, because the separation of the two groups was made, I tend to feel more of the keywords line up with Group Five (than they did with Group Four) overall.
Expert 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
Expert 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.
As we have seen Group Five, more than Groups Three and Four, are able to create seemingly stable lives for themselves. That stability comes from the increasing ability to focus their minds as needed to developing a chosen profession (or craft), and to discipline themselves more to follow the norms and rules of the society, religious organizations, and groups they associate with or are born into. For this reason they are not only good at knowing and following the norms, rules, and moral codes around them, they also become good at enforcing them on others. As they do this, however, a certain level of cognitive and emotional dissonance results. To manage their anxiety about their potential hypocrisy they usually take the following routes: 1) Manage the dissonance through socially accepted forms of penance (going to confession in church, paying their fair share of taxes, sending themselves or their children off to serve in a war, and so forth); 2) Suppress this dissonance through psychological methods of denial, blame, and projection; 3) Self-destruct when the cognitive and emotional dissonance proves too much for them.
Overall by following the rules, norms and moral codes expected of them, Group Five members gain a greater sense of respect and self-esteem. The prestige they earn gives them greater freedom in that they are more likely to move up in society in the way of status and material goods. It also buys them something very precious — time — to pursue primarily their profession or other hobbies. All of this furthers their feeling of order making them feel safe as life becomes more predictable. However, this same delusion of order, security, and safety makes them feel very threatened when people or circumstances try to bring about change. For this reason they tend to polarize even more in a “us vs. them” mentality. Despite all their gains, members of Group Five lack the capacity to see how much they have been conditioned to view their lives in a certain way, making it difficult for them to see another person’s point of view. Sadly, they are also frequently unable to see how easily they are being manipulated to think and act a certain way, especially by those in Group Six above them, which we will soon learn is the group that creates the norms, moral codes, and rules Group Five people so willingly follow. Group Five members are also unable to see how when it comes to Group Six the precious rules and norms they and those in Groups Four and Three may even die for, are often simply arbitrary artifices designed to meet the even more intense desires of those in Group Six. As we will see this can bring about a major crisis for those in Group Five. Let’s move on to examine that crisis in the next chapter.
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