This chapter summarizes various processes that need to be mastered as one moves up the Mental Plane in regards to the Alice Bailey model. Then it closes with brief comparisons to the more traditional Theosophical model as well as to the Integral model.
NOTE: This book is now in the process of being edited. Once it is completely edited it will no longer be free online. As of 5/26/20 this chapter has been edited.
Now that we have taken some time to understand Bailey’s six kinds of mind through the Emotional Plane: Three Types of Mind and the Mental Plane: Three Types of Mind chapters, I would like to discuss in more detail how the Mental Plane unfolds in the Bailey model. To begin with almost everyone would agree that all human beings have minds and think. For this reason we might assume that everyone exists on the Mental Plane to some degree. However, as we are seeing, Bailey states that few people have their consciousness on the Mental Plane. She says (bolding placed there by me), “Increasingly men will come, as units, into possession of their intellectual heritage but, numerically speaking, scarce one in ten thousand is utilising this inherent power and knowingly functioning in his mental body” (Treatise on White Magic. p. 357). That ratio means that if there are about 7 billion people on the planet today, only about 700,000 of them could be said to have mental bodies. Clearly then when we state that human beings possess concrete and abstract thought and are on the Mental Plane, Bailey is not talking about the same thing as we are.
As I began to show in the chapter Mental Plane: Three Types of Mind, our understanding of what it means to be on the Mental Plane according to Bailey, needs to be radically altered. Why? Because those who reside on the Mental Plane are increasingly conscious of their minds and how and why they think as they do. They are learning to control their very thoughts and are increasingly free to choose what they want to think. Finally, they are realizing who is the “Thinker” that is thinking thoughts in the first place!
Most people according to Bailey are not there yet because they are too kāma-manasic (operating at the Emotional Plane level of desire mind), where their thought processes are conditioned more by their emotions and desires than by their minds. Even those starting on the spiritual path are still conditioned primarily by their Emotional Minds and are not yet really on the Mental Plane. Bailey says, “The approach of the disciple to the entire subject of initiation differs today from that of earlier times—even so short a time ago as fifty years. It is essential that you grasp the fact that his approach is now mental, and not as heretofore, devotional and emotional and aspirational. It has hitherto been kāma-manasic, which connotes a blend of lofty aspiration, of lower mind attention and focusing, and of attention to the purely physical disciplines” (Discipleship in the New Age, pp. 268). This reinforces Bailey’s statements of how lower concrete mind exists on the Emotional Plane, but operates in a different manner from lower concrete mind on the Mental Plane. (Please review Emotional Plane: Three Types of Mind and the Mental Plane: Three Types of Mind).
The approach of Bailey’s Aspirant, who tends to be more emotional and devotional, exists then on the higher levels of the Emotional Plane more than on the Mental. (Please see my chapter on the Spiritual Aspirant in my book Becoming Human). Aspirants don’t really question why they think the way they do and typically have no control over their minds. But, as one shifts in Bailey’s model to become a disciple (Probationary Disciple, Accepting Disciple, Pledged Disciple, and Accepted Disciple — go to the chapter on Evolutionary Names to understand these terms), the movement onto the Mental Plane begins and brings new revelations and disciplines to them. Bailey says, “Today, the true disciple who is ready for this great step is in control of his emotional apparatus; his lower mind is keenly alert and focused, and his higher mind is definitely en rapport with the lower, via the antahkarana” (Discipleship in the New Age, pp. 268-269). Very few have obtained this. To give you a further example of just how rare Bailey considers residence on the Mental Plane to be, she claims that at the time she wrote her books (1910’s to mid 1940’s) there were only 400 Accepted Disciples alive in the world (Treatise on White Magic, p. 164). Accepted Disciples are found mainly at the 4th subplane of the Mental Plane, and are just penetrating the Plane of the Solar Angel (3rd, 2nd, 1st subplanes of the Mental Plane). Clearly then, if Bailey’s assertion is correct, Mental Plane polarization is extremely rare.
So what exactly does residence on the Mental Plane entail? In this chapter I will be sharing a series of attributes that I selected after condensing extensive compilations I made of Bailey’s quotes taken from all her books regarding the Mental Plane. The categories you are about to see are not found specifically in Bailey’s teachings, but were created by me after I sorted my extensive compilations into particular themes found below. Each of these themes will be explained in more detail in this chapter.
RECEPTIVE TO HIGHER REALMS
One of the very first things that helps one shift onto the Mental Plane is the dawning awareness that there is something more to life than the highs and lows of the emotions caused by living in the physical world where pleasure and pain alternately dominate. Based upon quotes from Bailey it seems this first takes place on the 1st subplane of the Emotional Plane at Bailey’s Group Six Aspirant stage. In Bailey’s terms both the Aspirant and Probationary Discipleship stages, are combined into what Bailey calls Little Chelaship.
When someone becomes a Little Chela the inward spiritual path begins, usually by adopting some sort of meditation practice. As we shall see meditation is probably the most important practice one can engage in to move up the various subplanes of the Mental Plane. However, what is meditation? That is an important question to answer because meditation in our time can mean many different things. For the Aspirant, who is not too serious about the spiritual life, meditation is mainly a form of “relaxation” or “stress reduction.” Meditation can also be used in the form of chanting affirmations to help you “get your desires met” from the “Universe, God, your Higher Self, etc.” (Note: these kinds of practices have been popularized as Law of Attraction techniques, though the use of the phrase “Law of Attraction” is used in quite a different way in the Bailey books, than in popular books such as The Secret that came out in 2007).
Meditation at the level of Aspirant is also frequently used to help “calm down” one’s emotions so that the individual can become more effective on the job, relate better to a partner, and so forth. Though all these preliminary aspects of meditation are beneficial and can even be foundational to deeper forms of meditation practice, none of these types of meditation practice really relate to the Mental Plane. In fact, the more we move up the subplanes of the Mental Plane the less and less any meditation practice is about getting what the personality wants (either as an unintegrated or Integrated Personality). Rather, meditation is increasingly about Self Realization. Or, to put it in Bailey’s language, meditation helps you realize who you are as the Soul, allowing you to become a Soul-infused Personality. (And, later Bailey states you become what she calls the Monad, but for now realizing you are a Soul will do).
Going back to the Emotional Plane (see the chapter Emotions, Desire & Imagination or read my Becoming Human book), someone may believe he or she has a Soul, or Higher Self, but that person has no clue about what that Soul is, let alone has realized how to become that Soul. Rather, the Soul is something out there and is viewed as separate and different from you. On the Emotional Plane the Soul is often anthropomorphized in a variety of ways and prayed to primarily so that one can get their desires met.
At the upper levels of the Emotional Planes human beings get their desires met more abundantly (Bailey calls this stage becoming an Integrated Personality). Because they are able to do this, people at this stage of development tend to be more selfish, separative, materialistic and often atheistic. Now, the idea of a “Soul” is refuted altogether. However, on the highest level of the Emotional Plane, as someone becomes what Bailey calls an “Aspirant,” the notion of a Soul or Higher Self comes back again, but is approached in a different manner than before. The Aspirant possesses a mixture of wanting to discover if there is such a thing as a “Soul” and still wanting to use that “Soul” to bring oneself the fulfillment of one’s desires. That is why meditation practices are more about stress management, relaxing the emotions, visualizing how to get one’s needs met and so on.
On the lower levels of the Mental Plane this shifts. The “Little Chela” moves from being an Aspirant to a Probationary Disciple and the quest to discover the reality of the Soul begins. Along these lines the kinds of meditation practices one engages in tend to shift. For example she/he is usually encouraged to start with a very helpful meditation practice known as a disidentification exercise. Essentially, disidentification is a process that helps us realize we are not the body, not the emotions, not the mind. And, if we are not these, then who are we? One of Bailey’s direct student’s, Roberto Assagioli, often used a disidentification exercise as a foundational practice to his training known as Psychosynthesis. “Who am I” is another good foundational question for beginners to meditate on (though this question can be used at a deeper level as the spiritual sage Ramana Maharshi demonstrated). Another good practice for Probationary Disciples is what is now popularly known as “mindfulness meditation.” Though Bailey did not talk about mindfulness meditation practices in her books, mindfulness meditation helps (if used in the right way) the Probationer learn to first observe and then eventually dis-identify from various thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
At some point though, as the Bailey model reveals, the Probationer needs to shift out of simply watching thoughts, which mindfulness meditation practices typically have people do. Now, various concentration practices are introduced. These are known as “meditation with seed.” Meditation with “seed” can involve an external object to concentrate on like a candle, a point on the floor, the tip of your nose, or something internal to concentrate on like watching your breath. Or, you can concentrate on a “seed-thought” like a sacred word of “power” such as OM. Or, you can use a series of words that make up a mantra. The mind can even be trained to concentrate on something seemingly less spiritual like being focused on a complex mathematical problem. The primary point is to learn to focus and concentrate the mind.
Moving up the Mental Plane to the higher subplanes, eventually even the processes of concentrating the mind are not enough. Now, meditation practices shift to what is known as meditation without seed. Here meditation no longer involves an object, or even a thought, to concentrate the mind on at all. In a way the mind is “void” of thought. Many people who meditate like to think having no thought is impossible, but I can attest from my own experience it is not. Prolonged meditation practice of a specific kind will quiet all thoughts eventually. From here meditation practices shift leading you into different levels of samadhi, which in turn will finally reveal the Self to you. Hence the phrase Self-Realization used in many yogic circles. On the Mental Plane that “Self” is the Soul, which is said to exist on the higher levels of the Mental Plane, known in the Bailey model as the Plane of the Soul. As you move into the “Plane of the Soul”, you now factually seek to reveal that Soul in your everyday world. Essentially then, you become the Soul, and no longer “have” a Soul at all.
What we see then is as we move up into the higher levels of the Mental Plane meditation practices essentially are identical in Bailey’s system to Raja Yoga. We also discover that on the way to becoming the Soul and using meditation practices, meditation gets more scientific and specific. Bailey’s book Letters on Occult Meditation outlines many of these specific methods of meditation. The book also mentions a number of dangers that can happen if you do not practice these higher levels of meditation with care.
FREEDOM FROM DESIRE
Another process we undergo as we move onto the Mental Plane and increasingly free ourselves from identification on the Emotional Plane, is our new understanding regarding desire. Increasingly we can tell how most of humanity is caught up in desire — especially the desires for money/security, pleasure/sex, and power. Too often these desires are thoughtlessly and impulsively pursued without any real mental understanding of the potential consequences associated with following through on our desires. We also pursue certain desires because we hope they will bring us pleasure and help us avoid pain. On the Emotional Plane these decisions are predominantly based upon our current feeling or mood state. And, we discover that we rarely want what we want due to a logical understanding that it will bring us true and lasting happiness. Rather, we go after it on impulse often feeling good as the desire is fulfilled, and not so good right after. That is how we get on the addictive treadmill of trying to fulfill one desire and then the next and the next and the next.
Even many human beings who we would regard as having an “intelligent mind” may be acting in an ignorant fashion regarding their desires. That is why so many seemingly brilliant and even supposedly enlightened people crash as they get distracted and are pulled back into impulsively and at times even recklessly trying to fulfill the old desires to have money/security, pleasure/sex, and power. The temptations that lead to these kinds of crashes start with Bailey’s Little Chelaship stage and go on all the way up to her Chela on the Thread stage. (See the chapter on Chela Stages). As we get closer to the Plane of the Solar Angel, which again is on the top three subplanes of the Mental Plane, these three temptations come up again for a final time. For example, we see reference to the final three temptations emerging once more in the life of Jesus when he was tempted in the desert, and in the life of Buddha when he was tempted under the Bodhi Tree.
Why do these temptations arise? Because if there is any selfish residue existing within the mental thought-forms about wanting money/security, pleasure/sex, and power for oneself then the individual will fall into a “cleavage” (as Bailey calls it), or gap, that was created in one’s spiritual development because some part of the individual still remains identified on the kāma-manasic, or Emotional Plane, level. (See the chapters on The Problem With Levels and Filling the Gaps in Spiritual Development to learn more).
As we move into the Mental Plane our relationship with desire shifts. It is not so much that we give up desire, but rather we come to understand the pros and cons of what we tend to desire better. We learn more about “right desire,” which can only be ascertained as we grow in both mental clarity and an experiential understanding of who we really are as spiritual and immortal beings. In a sense it is not so much that we give up or relinquish desire. Rather we shift our desires so that we increasingly want what the Soul (who we essentially are) wants for us. We now desire to live according to spiritual values, instead of material ones. At first our desires are mixed, they will be both spiritually and materially motivated. For example, we may adopt spiritual values and practices in hopes of gaining more power, pleasure (including sex), and money because now we have spiritualized these things somehow. Or, we engage in spiritual beliefs and disciplines hoping we will get into the right “heaven” after we die. We may even engage in spiritual practices so that we will increase our odds of having more pleasure and less pain.
Little Chelas (Aspirants and Probationary Disciples) are especially prone to these kinds of struggles and mixed motives while engaging in spiritual life. Little Chelas still hope in their spiritual practice to discover ways to “have it all” spiritually and materially. That is one reason so many Little Chelas are attracted to teachings that engage in a form of spiritual materialism. We see this happening in spiritual organizations where the “spiritual” leaders end up becoming power or money hungry, or get involved in numerous sex-scandals. Or, we see it in spiritual teachings (like those found in the New Age and New Thought movements, and the Westernized versions of “Tantra”) where Little Chelas tend to justify being able to indulge in money/security, pleasure/sex and power all they want before they have remotely proven they have mastery over such desires, or are only desiring these things in the right way! Even in the Bailey teachings we see these distortions when people attempt to justify indulging in money/security, pleasure/sex and power by saying such an indulgence is part of the new “Aquarian” or “seventh ray” approach to spiritual life. In my book Becoming Soul I reveal how Bailey teaches nothing of the kind. If anything the opposite is true as the Aquarian and Seventh Ray forms of spiritual practice increase our mental focus and discipline over our lower desires versus making it less tempting to indulge in them.
Moving up the Mental Plane doesn’t mean however, that we are meant to become broke, celibate, and uninfluential hermits living in a cave somewhere. At least in the Bailey model though we are told that may have been the path before, in our modern times we are told it is that way no longer. In this new “Aquarian Age” we are learning that we are not here to avoid our desires or fight some battle against them. We are here to understand the realm of desire, to educate ourselves as to what is best to desire, and to substitute the lower desires for higher ones that are based on an understanding of who we really are as Souls, and what as Souls it is good to desire. In fact, the further up the Mental Plane we go the more our desires (or “tastes”) for the certain things, ideas, associations, and activities usually pursued on the Emotional Plane die down. They simply don’t satisfy us like they use to. These desires seem like “junk food” numbing our ability to experience more than just a temporary happiness, moving increasingly away from ordinary desire into bliss.
So what are these “Soul” desires? According to Bailey they include learning to live more simply, becoming more compassionate, being more selfless, thinking more of others instead of just ourselves, having integrity, being motivated more by service than by acquisition, being increasingly careful with our words, becoming true to our word, and much more. On the lower subplanes of the Mental Plane Little Chelas are too often skipping over these steps as they try to rationalize not really having to live according to higher Soul desires. Or, they give lip service to Soul desires (theorize, talk about, and discuss them), without putting in nearly enough effort to actually practice or follow through on them.
Which is why when we get to the middle subplanes of the Mental Plane (5th, 4th, and especially the 3rd) we have go beyond learning and thinking about how to live and desire as the Soul, and actually put what we know into practice. That is why at these middle subplanes, desire shifts into will. One of Bailey’s students, psychologist Roberto Assagioli, was asked to write a book about the will precisely for this reason. His book was titled An Act of Will where Assagioli talked about different kinds of will, that I believe correlate with the various mental subplane levels. At first our will is a “strong will” where we generate determination and discipline to make ourselves walk the talk and live the way the Soul would have us live. This strong will is needed primarily because on the lower subplanes of the Mental Plane personality desires and Soul desires tend to fight one another. Paul the Apostle in the Christian Bible is referring to this when he says, “For the good that I would do, I do not: but the evil which I would not do, that I do” (Romans, 7:19 King James Version). Eventually on the 4th subplane of the Mental Plane the personality and Soul are said to reach a “truce.” Here, according to the Bailey teachings, neither personality or Soul desires dominate they tend to be more equal. But, at the same time the personality is much more “willing” to want what the Soul (which again it essentially is) wants for it.
Moving onto the Plane of the Solar Angel (which includes the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st subplanes of the Mental Plane), even the words “will” and “willing” are not as appropriate. Instead, surrender might be the better word. I say this because will implies some sort of effort has to be exerted to make oneself more willing to do something. Surrender, however, implies the personality no longer needs convincing to want what the Soul wants, because the personality is becoming Soul infused, and eventually becomes the Soul altogether. Then it is natural and easy to want what the Soul wants because no other desires emerge than Soul desires, which include the desire to serve, to love, to sacrifice, to be compassionate, to have integrity, to live simply and so forth. Then another shift takes place as we move beyond even “Soul desires” into what Bailey would call “Monadic desires,” but that takes us off of the Mental Plane, which is beyond the scope of this book.
CONTROL OF THOUGHT
Another process that happens as we move up the Mental Plane involves the realm of thought itself. As we saw in the section on meditation, at first we go through a disidentification process of learning that we are not our thoughts. Then we learn to mindfully observe our thoughts so that we can discover what we are thinking. As we move up the the Mental Plane it is not enough to just know we are not out thoughts or observe them like “clouds passing by in the sky.” Now, it is important to discover what kinds of thoughts we are thinking and discover why we are thinking them. In short, we look more carefully at the realm of mind, or thought, itself. Writings such as those given out by Jiddu Krishnamurti that help you examine and look at your conditioning are especially useful here. By examining your conditioning insight takes place into the cultural, religious, social, political, and familial ways you may have been shaped and molded. Observing these conditioned patterns starts the process that higher subplanes will require of you, regarding knowing how to consciously recondition yourself to live as you the Soul chooses. By the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane the capacity to look at things metaphorically and symbolically also deepens allowing people to become more philosophical and capable of examining their ideas and beliefs from multiple perspectives. These capacities happen in part as the mind becomes more focused and concentrated.
Moving closer to the Plane of the Solar Angel, we now see more receptivity to the “light of the Soul” which is shining down more actively within the Plane of Lower Mind itself. Some of this is aided by the increased use of meditation practices that are more along the lines of Raja Yoga. (Bailey’s book Light of the Soul in fact is a commentary on the Raja Yoga system as put forth by the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali). As the light of the Soul combines with the light of the mind one is better able to discern and see what Bailey calls “maya,” “glamour,” and even “illusion” (See Bailey’s book Glamour: A World Problem). These three words (maya, glamour, and illusion) are all connected to seeing how we are overly influenced by various thoughts, belief systems, feelings, messages and ideas that prevent us from seeing the Real more clearly.
Until we can really examine our thoughts, look at our conditioning, and discern where different thoughts, beliefs, and ideas that impact us come from, we will not be free to control our thoughts, free ourselves from old conditioning, recognize higher realities than those we currently perceive, or at some point choose freely what we want to think. Instead, we will continue to be overly influenced by our parents, culture, tribal identities, given belief systems, and people around us who everyday try to manipulate us to think and feel a certain way.
On the Emotional Plane we have very little capacity to understand our conditioning and we are overly attached to our conditioned beliefs. On the Mental Plane as our discernment grows, this changes. Especially as we reach the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane we question our conditioning more. And, we increasingly recognize the demands and desires of our personalities that want us to hang on to any conditioning that keeps our personalities safe so they are not increasingly dismantled. If we allow that dismantling, however, what we discover is we become more aware and sensitive to ideas and impressions that come from the inner worlds, and not just the outer worlds around us. This increased sensitivity has its own problems, however. Bailey talks about these as the “Problems of Guidance,” which includes distorted perceptions and thinking in regards to things like psychic powers, channeling, and other psychic phenomena. (See Problems of Guidance – Living People and Problems of Guidance – Channeling & Psychic Powers).
Eventually as discernment continues to increase on the 4th and 3rd subplanes of the Mental Plane the individual has an increased capacity to more consciously choose what kinds of thoughts, ideas, and belief systems she/he will be impacted by. There is also a greater recognition that what we think and what we say shapes who we, and even others, become. Mahatma Gandhi conveyed this when he said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” Spiritually then, we take increased responsibility for our speech and even our very thoughts. As we become a conscious creator in the realm of thought, Bailey claims we become a “white magician.” That phrase, “white magician” may seem odd, archaic and even politically incorrect in our time. But, one hundred years ago, when Bailey used the term, it was meant to indicate a person who was learning to recreate or reshape his or her thoughts, emotions, vital and physical bodies to better reflect the Soul, or Self.
The “black magician” (who can be Caucasian, Asian, Black, Hispanic, or any race) is a person who is moving onto the Mental Plane, but is choosing to shape her/his thoughts, emotions, vital and physical bodies so that she/he can increase the quota of selfishness, separatism, hatred, divisiveness, prejudice, confusion and materialism in the world. In our modern time I myself prefer the words “selfless conscious creator” and “selfish conscious creator” instead of the phrases “white magician” and “black magician” mainly because I feel they reflect the truth of what is really going on here, and remove the notion that the process has anything to do with race or even magic for that matter. After all, reshaping oneself is a scientific process, more than a magical process, that involves carefully learning the cause and effect between one’s values, beliefs, words, feelings, and behaviors and how they produce certain effects for better or worse in one’s life.
Finally, at the higher subplanes of the Mental Plane our minds become “dual” in a sense. For starters the mind becomes increasingly receptive to the higher realms of “thought,” though “thought” is misleading because you are not really thinking at all. Rather, you are learning to silence the mind so that it becomes increasingly receptive to what is more like “intuitive impressions.” As the mind becomes more receptive to these higher realms, it in turn refocuses on the lower realms of the Mental Plane, as well as on the Emotional and Physical Planes to reshape these planes so that they better reflect the higher planes of the “Spiritual Triad” comprised of Atma (the Spiritual Plane), Buddhi (the Intuitional Plane) and the highest subplanes of Manas (the Plane of the Solar Angel on the Mental Plane). Slowly we learn to reflect the Soul and even what Bailey calls the Spiritual Triad all the way down into our everyday physical lives. Through our thoughts and speech we re-create the overall thought life, speech, feeling tone, and even physical bodies within ourselves and eventually within all of humanity. We may even do this with other kingdoms (animal, plant, mineral) until eventually a world is established like a “heaven on Earth” that is composed of greater understanding, compassion, peace, love, healing, harmony, insight, beauty, and empathy in regards to ourselves and the overall world.
LOVE IN THE MIND
Another thing we cultivate as we move up the Mental Plane is love, which is only possible as we discover what love really is. On the Emotional Plane love is actually about desire and most of what we call love at that level is selfishly motivated. Typically people on the Emotional Plane call something love, or feel that they are in love with someone, only if that person brings pleasure into their lives and helps them avoid pain. Ways the person can bring pleasure include when she/he: 1) fulfills your needs; 2) strokes your ego by telling you how great you are; 3) brings something into your life like money or prestige; 4) behaves how you want them to behave; 5) brings honor to your family, tribe, community or country; and so forth. In modern day language this kind of love is considered to be conditional love. If conditions like those I have just listed are not met then typically people on the Emotional Plane believe that they have “fallen out of love” with people. They may even come to hate those they once claimed to have loved, because those they once loved caused them pain, or did not comply with their expectations and fulfill their pleasure needs.
From a higher perspective this is not really love at all. It is still desire. As we move onto the Mental Plane our understanding of love shifts. We go beyond the simple notion of “I love you if you bring me pleasure, and I don’t love you if you bring me pain.” But, to make this shift we need to start with a greater mental understanding of what love is in the first place. When our ideas about love change, love becomes a constant and is not something we give and then take away. To become steady in love, however, requires knowing how to work more spiritually with our emotional reactions, and necessitates knowing how to love skillfully and intelligently so that love expands and produces more love. Bailey says, “Right attachment releases the love of the soul, and only love, consciously, intelligently, and deliberately applied, can make for successful work” (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 506). Only by applying what Bailey says is it possible to respond according to the Christian Bible famous definition of love which is, “ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 English Standard Version (ESV)).” (Note: I am aware of the debate that replaces the world love with charity, but given the true understanding of what love is, I feel the word love applies more here).
Bailey also discusses how for many people, love is not love, but sentiment. Sentiment is a glamourized (or distorted) form of love that we have to learn to transcend as we move up onto the Mental Plane. This sentiment is frequently tinged with addictive, codependent and selfish tendencies. Bailey says, “Love, for many people is not really love, but a mixture of the desire to love and the desire to be loved, plus a willingness to do anything to show and evoke this sentiment, and consequently to be more comfortable in one’s interior life. The selfishness of the people who are desirous of being unselfish, is great. So many contributing sentiments gather around the sentiment or desire to show those amiable and pleasant characteristics which will evoke a corresponding reciprocation towards the would-be lover or server who is still completely surrounded by the glamour of sentiment.
It is this pseudo-love, based primarily on a theory of love and service, which characterizes so many human relationships, such as those existing for instance, between husband and wife, parents and their children. Glamoured by their sentiment for them and knowing little of the love of the soul, which is free itself and leaves others free also, they wander in a dense fog, often dragging with them the ones they desire to serve, in order to draw forth a responsive affection. Affection is not love. It is that desire we express through an exertion of the astral body and this activity affects our contacts; it is not the spontaneous desirelessness of the soul which asks nothing for the separated self. This glamour of sentiment imprisons and bewilders all the nice people in the world, imposing upon them obligations which do not exist, and producing a glamour which must eventually be dissipated by the pouring out of true and selfless love (Glamour: A World Problem, p. 76 –77).”
Though it is good on the 7th, 6th and 5th subplanes of the Mental Plane to get a better idea of what love is, we are still a long ways from loving. Love on the 7th subplane of the Mental Plane is more about behaving the right way spiritually. On the 6th subplane of the Mental Plane it is more about devotion. On the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane it is more about knowing and talking about what love is than actually practicing it. And, especially on the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane we are overly prone to thinking we are loving, even though in reality we may be filled with condescension and criticism.
As we reach the 4th and 3rd subplanes of the Mental Plane I believe we love more “on principle.” On principle, we make increased attempts to train ourselves to respond in a more loving way. We apply what the Buddhists call “skillful means.” I believe that “skillful means” happens when our love likewise expands another person’s capacity to love. That requires knowing the right words and actions to say along with knowing how to implement those words and action in the right way at the right time. Especially at the lower subplanes of the Mental Plane (7th, 6th, 5th) we tend to lack that skill, which is why even though we have an increased desire to love, we lack a clear understanding of what love is and how to love others. For this reason despite all our talk of love, we still fall subject to the glamours of sentiment and other distortions of what we call love, that are not. And, it is why we fail to come across as loving to others or ourselves. Still, at least at the 4th and 3rd subplanes we are much clearer about what love is and what it is not. And, on principle we are attempting to act in a more loving way. Though on all these subplanes of the Mental Plane (especially the 7th, 6th, 5th, and 4th) we are a long ways from love being a “spontaneous desireless act of the soul” as Bailey calls it, Still, at least we are learning to train ourselves to be more truly loving.
At the 4th and 3rd subplane levels of the Mental Plane I believe we are working on clearing up other glamours that prevent us from loving in that true and spontaneous way. We learn to stop acting loving mainly so that others will view us as spiritual people. We more easily spot our hypocrisy, such as when we claim to be loving and working in others best interests, when we are doing nothing of the sort. We are also better able to hold steady and be less emotionally reactive if others don’t get how “spiritual and loving we are.” In short, the tension between mind and love starts to even out and resolve itself on the 4th and 3rd subplanes, because we know how to infuse our minds with love. Bailey states, “Mind separates; love attracts. Mind creates a barrier betwixt a man and every suppliant deva. Love breaks down every barrier, and fuses diverse groups in union. Mind repels by a powerful, strong vibration, casting off all that is contacted, as a wheel casts off all that hinders its whirling periphery. Love gathers all to itself, and carries all on with itself, welding separated units into a unified homogeneous whole. Mind repels through its own abundant heat, scorching and burning aught that approaches it. Love soothes and heals by the similarity of its heat to the heat in that which it contacts, and blends its warmth and flame with the warmth and flame of other evolving lives. Finally, mind disrupts and destroys whilst love produces coherence and heals (Treatise on White Magic, pp. 79—81).”
Fortunately when we approach love more as a mental principle, than simply a mental idea, we are way more likely to recognize when we are unloving. We also insist that we train ourselves to be more loving instead. Our desire is to intensify our effort to really love others, even if it means at times responding kindly to a person who has offended us. Or, if we have to resort to what people these days call “tough love” we use that kind of loving tactic in a way that helps others wake up and expand their capacity to love more, rather than smashing them with criticism that doesn’t expand the field of love at all. At this level we are more likely to go into meditation and take time to get insight into our own “buttons” or “emotional triggers,” so we can see why we tend to react to certain people instead of loving them.
Regarding our minds they are used more to objectively understand others and discern why they feel or act in certain ways. Through wisdom and right action we are even better equipped to help others feel more loved and become more loving themselves. All of this is valuable, but at this level mental effort is still required and we have not yet reached the spontaneous outflow of love Bailey is speaking of. Yes we are at least making more of a real effort to love. But, eventually, I believe as we get to the 1st and 2nd subplanes of the Mental Plane we don’t even have to think about what love is, or how to love others. We just love. At last we become that spontaneous outflow and as we get closer to the Intuitional or Buddhic Plane where we become love itself.
MIND SURRENDERED TO DIVINE WILL
We are learning to recognize the futility of the lower desires. We are practicing meditation, controlling our thoughts, and cultivating more love in the mind. One of the things that helps us to do all of this is knowing how to cultivate and use the will. The mastery of will helps us move up the Mental Plane, and gives us the discipline we need so that we are capable of surrendering the lower desires of the personality, and willing ourselves to want the higher desires that are more in accord with our Souls and Divine Will itself. To get to that space we have to discern between lower and higher desires, practice the will, and eventually turn that will into willingness until will is not required at all anymore. Finally, we need to see clearly who is using the will — our personality, or our souls? This discernment is important because too often personality desires manipulate and assert themselves as Soul desires, when they are nothing of the sort. They are merely an attempt for our personalities to justify still being able to get what they want. Only by being certain what Soul desires are, can we even be sure we are using the will to help the personality become more willing to want what the Soul wants for it instead.
Regarding personality desires, on the Emotional Plane the personality at every level is attempting to cultivate its own will so that it becomes increasingly effective at getting its desires to obtain primarily money, pleasure, and power in the material realm met. Reaching the heights of the Integrated Personality the motivation for all of this shifts when the Integrated Personality begins to discern that none of these lower desires really satisfied it as hoped. Then the Integrated Personality becomes the Little Chela (Aspirant and then Probationary Disciple) who is seeking out what the Soul desires for it until the personality is transformed into the Soul itself. This requires a constant attempt to transform our thoughts, feelings, and actions so that they lead us towards the Divine and help us recognize that we are the Divine itself. Since we will constantly be tempted to move back into the selfish tendencies of the Integrated Personality, a deeper understanding of will, the right use of will, and the role of willingness itself are essential. That is where the book The Act of Will written by one of Bailey’s students, Roberto Assagioli is helpful. Assagioli writes about different kinds of will including strong will, skillful will, transpersonal will and universal will that apply at various levels of spiritual development. Assagioli also gives numerous techniques for cultivating these different kinds of will.
By why this emphasis on the will? Because on the Mental Plane it becomes more and more clear how little people truly think or have minds. On the Emotional Plane the mind is kāma-manas, or desire mind. On the Plane of Lower Mind (the 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th subplanes of the Mental Plane), the mind is beginning to look at itself, but the mind is still too susceptible to slip back into the habitual tendencies of the Integrated Personality. That is why we have to shift from being “aspirants” to “disciples.” Disciples don’t just talk, read, or even write about spiritual practices or the spiritual life the way Aspirants do. Disciples discipline themselves to do the work. They consciously use the will and discipline themselves so that their thoughts, speech, emotions, vital and physical bodies reflect the higher values and principles they are increasingly becoming aware of. Eventually, that will turns into the willingness of the Integrated Personality to become more humble as it recognizes the value of Soul desires and consciously begins to see the folly of chasing after the lower desires the Integrated Personality often craves.
Eventually as Soul desires are embraced, the mind of the disciple is freed up to move onto the higher subplanes of the Mental Plane. When the mind is obsessed with thoughts (which in turn lead to behaviors) that are more connected to the desires of the Emotional Plane, or even of the lower subplanes of the Mental Plane, we are not even capable of perceiving Soul desires and how they truly benefit us. Only when these lower desires are subdued are we even able to shift onto the Plane of the Solar Angel (the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st subplanes of the Mental Plane). On the Plane of the Solar Angel (where the Soul resides) the mind is more capable of seeing spiritual realities without distortion. Seeing spiritual realities is not just a process of being able to read spiritual and metaphysical books, or to be able to discuss mental constructs and ideas well. That type of process occurs mainly on the 5th (and to a lesser degree the 4th) subplane of the Mental Plane. The kind of “seeing” we are discussing is more like realizing the fact of the Soul. We are Divine. We don’t have to discuss it. We know it. Just as you know you are reading the words written here, you don’t have to debate the fact that you are. You are. Seeing as the Soul sees, also helps you see even further into how the Divine sees. This increased knowing in turn generates an inner surrender that goes beyond will, or even willingness, into simply resting in the Divine that you really are.
CONTINUITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
As we keep seeing a main focus on the Mental Plane is becoming Soul (or Self) Realized. Again that Soul in the Bailey model is also known as the Egoic Lotus, or Causal Body, and exists within the Plane of the Solar Angel. Later this Soul, or Causal Body, is relinquished and we come to know ourselves as what Bailey calls the Monad. This Monad reflects itself through the Spiritual Triad, which is comprised as Atma-Buddhi-Manas. (Please review the chapters Three Stages of Development and Seven Main Levels for a better understanding of this). This realization of ourselves as Soul takes place within the Plane of the Solar Logos on the Mental Plane. The Monadic Realization on even higher levels. All of this may sound like an interesting idea, but beyond all this mysterious language, what does any of this really mean?
To begin with when we use words like Soul and Monad we are talking about certain levels of consciousness that are comprised of certain realizations about the Divine. On the surface, we can simply say that Monadic consciousness is more inclusive and expansive than Soul consciousness. To overly simplify it for now, we might say Soul consciousness might be considered to be more akin to planetary consciousness, Monadic consciousness might be more akin to being like universal consciousness. Soul and Monadic consciousness are comprised of certain qualities that need to manifest in this realization process so that these qualities become real, or lived, within us.
To actually realize or live these qualities means we have to go beyond mental theories about them. We saw this in the previous section regarding love. We can talk and debate about what love is all we want, which is useful to a point. But, after that we need to become loving so that the people around us actually experience what love is through us. The same is true in regards to Self-Realization, whether that Self is spoken of as the Soul or the Monad. We can talk about the Soul or Monad all we want. But, at some point we need to realize the Soul or Monad by becoming them. This process of becoming them is known as continuity of consciousness, where we become continually conscious of ourselves as being Soul, and then later at some point being Monad. Continuity of consciousness essentially means there is no break in the conscious awareness of who we are as Soul and then Monad. A stabilization takes place, which allows us to remember at all times, even while asleep, who we really are as a spiritual being existing both within and without in regards to both the spiritual and material worlds.
To achieve continuity of consciousness a number of practices need to be followed including those we have already spoken of, such as meditation, and others like learning to go to sleep in a more conscious way. Most people (especially those on the Emotional Plane and even the lower levels of the Mental Plane) tend to fall asleep without any thought whatsoever. While asleep they are then subject to dreams that serve a number of functions. One, they help us process our day within the “light of the soul” so that we may see how we can improve and become greater masters of our feelings and later our thoughts. These are like problem solving dreams that reveal how we can function better in our lives. Two, our dreams can take us into various kinds of “heaven or hell” states that we gravitate to based upon our wish life and whatever subplane of the Emotional or Mental Planes we are drawn to based upon our daily level of consciousness. Here we get to play out our “wish life” be it positive or negative in inclination. Three, our dreams can put us in telepathic rapport with others, living or so-called “dead.” The likelihood of this increases as we move onto the Mental Plane. Four, our dreams can be like a prophecy revealing where we (or even someone we know) may be headed if we (or they) don’t change course somehow. For most of us all of this happens primarily in an unconscious way. We go to sleep, we are unconscious. We wake up, we are conscious. But, at some point this has to change.
Bailey says, “Another development will be that we shall be able to function consciously on all planes of being. We function consciously now on the physical plane, and there are a few people who are able to function equally consciously on the next subtler plane, that which is called the astral plane (a word I very much dislike, as it conveys no real meaning to our minds) or the plane of the emotional nature, on which a man is active when out of the physical body, in the hours of sleep or immediately after death. Very few human beings can function on the mental plane in fully awakened consciousness, and still fewer upon the spiritual plane. The object of evolution is that we should consciously function, with full continuity of realisation, upon the physical, emotional, and mental planes. This is the great achievement which will some day be ours. We shall then know what we do every hour of the day, and not for just about fourteen hours out of every twenty-four. At present we remain unconscious of where the real thinking entity is during the hours of sleep. We do not know what his activities are, nor the condition of his environment. Some day we shall utilise and employ every minute of every hour of the day (Consciousness of the Atom, p. 127).”
As we move onto the Mental Plane, especially as we get into the Plane of the Solar Angel (the three higher subplanes of the Mental Plane), this lack of continuity has to increasingly shift. One practice that assists in building continuity of consciousness is learning to fall asleep in a more conscious way. In modern terms this is known as sleep yoga where we learn to fall asleep with more intention. We also practice dream yoga where we become more conscious of our dream life and more capable of learning from our dreams. We can even begin to practice lucid dreaming and become awake in our dream state. These practices, sleep yoga, dream yoga, and lucid dreaming were around in Bailey’s time, but she does not mention them specifically. She does emphasize going to sleep in a conscious way especially by setting the intention to contact your “ashram” (spiritual group) while in the sleep state and being open to bringing back any “lessons” you have learned from your ashram back into your waking state (See Discipleship in the New Age, pp. 284—285 for one such example of this).
As for recalling dreams themselves, Bailey says a lot about dreams in her book Esoteric Psychology, Vol II. I would like to stress, however, that for her lucid dreaming or recall of dreams is not very valuable if these dreams are simply connected to the Emotional (or Astral) Plane. Rather, we want to use sleep to build the bridge of continuity of consciousness, to remember who we are as Souls, and to observe our dreams as the Soul observes them. Bailey says, “One of the objectives, which you should have steadily in view, is the constant cultivation of the attitude of the observer, of the one who assumes and holds the position of the perceiver. This you are beginning to realise, for I note in you a closer attention to the daily duties of the disciple, and a more observant attitude towards yourself, and towards what you do and say and think. This reaches, likewise, to your life on the astral plane, and you are becoming aware of the dreams and experiences in the hours of sleep. Remember ever, however, that these also are a part of the great illusion. The goal is to develop the powers of observation which are those of the soul, and the cultivation of the power to register, through the medium of the brain, the thoughts of that divine Perceiver (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 194).”
Lucid dreaming, sleep and dream yoga are only helpful to a certain degree. Though they help us become more conscious within the dream and sleep worlds, by themselves they do not shift us up to the Mental Plane. In fact these techniques may even regress us back to the Emotional Plane if we are not careful. That is why it is important to build a better understanding about what the various planes and levels represent. In Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, Alice Bailey outlines how we need to know the level of consciousness of an individual before we can understand what the symbology of a dream means. For example dreams that have to do with achieving money, pleasure and power in the manifest world are connected to the Emotional Plane. Only as we understand what the Mental Plane represents can we discern if dreams are happening at that level. And, only as we learn to “build the antahkarana” (also known as the “rainbow bridge”) through meditation practices can we shift from the Mental Plane onto the Intuitional or Buddhic Plane. Then, and only then, can we truly “bridge the gap” that allows us to shift our identity from the Soul to the Monad and have continuity of consciousness finally existing whether awake or asleep in our lives.
Unity consciousness is a name used more in the Integral and Transpersonal systems than it is in Bailey’s work. But, I am inserting the heading here because in our present era the phrase unity consciousness is often used to imply having a realization of our Oneness, or unity, with everything that exists around us. For many people recognizing our unity with everything and everyone is often regarding as an “enlightenment” experience. Of course, realizing that we are unified with everything that exists in the entire multi-verse, is waking up to something that always already is meaning the multi-verse is always unified and at One whether we wake up to the fact or reality of it being so or not. And though waking up to the fact of our Oneness is indeed an incredible realization, in the Bailey model this realization is considered to be just a first step. Many more “enlightenment” (or Bailey calls them initiation) experiences are yet to take place beyond simply knowing factually our Oneness with everything.
Yes, someone may have an experience that helps them realize the Oneness and the nonduality of everything that is, but from one perspective we might say to ourselves, so what? What do you do with this realization? Knowing what to do with that realization is where the Bailey model says the real work begins. Too many people wake up to nonduality or unity consciousness and adopt a passive attitude afterwards. They also tend to become quite confused, viewing the manifest world as perfectly fine and obliterating all distinctions so that suddenly there is no difference between a Mother Teresa or a Hitler. This type of nondualism is actually, in a strange way, extremely dualistic as people begin to live oddly separated from the very world they supposedly are unified with. That is why true nondualism or unity consciousness might actually be conceived as a nondual/duality. After all, you can’t be nondual and say “I’m a nondualist and not a dualist.” That itself sets up a duality, making you a dualist, and not the nondualist you claim to be. The only truly nondual person is one who includes duality (the manifest world), and does not exclude it. Which is why as you will see in the Bailey model, the realization of “unity consciousness” is considered even a minor revelation.
What we discover then in the Bailey model is that the realization of Unity Consciousness, Cosmic Consciousness, or Nonduality is really quite complex and goes far beyond the recognition of how everything and everyone that ever is, will be, or was is One or interconnected. That is because it is meaningless in many ways to say you are nondual or One with everything if that realization is not demonstrated in your capacity to live as One with everything in an intelligent and compassionate way. The gap between realization and embodiment is frequently seen. That is why we need to understand what is really going on when someone claims to have reached enlightenment or unity consciousness. For example, someone may have entered into a samadhi state, but that does not mean she/ he is enlightened for all time. That is why there are numerous “enlightenment” experiences, or numerous episodes of experiencing “nonduality” or “unity consciousness”, reminding us again and again to stabilize our consciousness so that it is constantly aware of this Unity and does not simply glimpse it and then fail to put it into practice as a living reality.
Again in Bailey’s system the word enlightenment is called “initiation,” which essentially means an “expansion of consciousness.” And, each expansion of consciousness brings about its own realizations of which the Bailey model gives nine, but focuses on primarily five, with the first three taking place on the Mental Plane. Each of her initiations, or enlightenment experiences, also has three parts, a beginning, a middle, and a completion phase. The beginning is like the first exposure you have to a certain experience. That experience tends to expand your sense of identity, while simultaneously dismantling the identify you had before. The middle phase involves acclimating to the new identity so that eventually you inhabit or become that new identity. And the completion stage involves a crystalizing and consolidating of that identity to the point where it now becomes confining producing the seeds that will help you shatter and outgrow it. Throughout this book we will look mainly at the first three of these “enlightenment” experiences, while commenting only briefly on the others. (Note: For more insights into the Initiation process feel free to review these chapters in my book Becoming Soul. CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR: Initiation Defined, CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE: The Initiation Process and CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN: Three Stages of Initiation).
COOPERATION WITH DIVINE PLAN
In our modern era, nearly one hundred years after Alice Bailey wrote her books, the phrase ”Divine Plan” may seem strange or odd since the phrase implies two things. First, that there is such a thing as Divinity. Second, that Divinity has a “plan” that we are meant to ascertain and come into accord with. To wrap our heads around what Bailey is saying then we have to answer two questions. What is Divinity? What is a Divine Plan? Let’s start with the question of what is Divinity? The answer to that question shifts depending on our beliefs and how expanded our consciousness is. In my book Becoming Human, I conveyed how Bailey put forth the idea of ten groups of humans who all perceive Divinity in various ways. Six of those groups were mentioned in that book who essentially relate to the concept of Divinity in various ways. To make an extremely condensed summary, humans start by seeing the Divine as some supernatural mysterious force that tends to act in unjust and capricious ways regarding helping human beings get their survival needs met. God (Gods, Goddesses) are Beings who need to be placated and sacrificed to so they will be less capricious and act more in your favor. Next, God (Gods, Goddesses) become more humanized. They are not as capricious. They can be just and fair if you play by certain rules that are set down by them regarding how to live a “God-like” life. The rules that God (Gods, Goddesses) give out are typically given by human beings (Pharaohs, kings, queens, priests, prophets, popes, avatars) who act on behalf of the “Gods.” God (Gods or Goddesses) at this level also tend to be oddly human like, though they typically have “super-human” powers that can be used to keep humans in line. If you can become a favorite of God (Gods, Goddesses) by playing by their rules, or belonging to the “right” chosen group, then you are more assured of success in getting not only a few, but most of your basic needs met. Until we get to the higher levels of the Emotional Plane where human beings tend to wake up to the fact that in many ways God (Gods, Goddesses) are actually just a projection of themselves. Skepticism kicks in that God (Gods, Goddesses) even exist and many people at this level tend to become atheistic. The Divine and a Divine Plan is dispensed of altogether.
Though this atheistic tendency is necessary step it is eventually replaced by a new understanding of the Divine. By undergoing a series of initiations, or expansions of consciousness, our understanding of Divinity becomes more abstract. We may even use abstract and even gender neutral words for God like “Spirit,” ‘the Force,” or “the Universe.” Or, we may use a more inclusive gender term like “Father/Mother” “God/Goddess.” As our understanding of the Divine continues to expand, our hearts and minds likewise expand, allowing us to become increasingly more compassionate and inclusive of our fellow human beings. From there we may even go on to develop what might be called a planetary consciousness that includes not only humans, but other kingdoms within our planetary life (known as the Planetary Logos in the Bailey system). In the Bailey model, however, planetary consciousness does not just refer to any one human’s ability to think on a planetary scale. Bailey implies that our planet is actually a living conscious entity that we literally “live, move and have our being” within. Just as we humans have cells within our bodies who hopefully stay cooperative with our desires, by analogy we might say that our planet wants the humans who live within it to remain cooperative with it’s “plans” so that the Planetary Logos can evolve in a healthy way. Next, our sense of Divinity continues to expand taking us beyond our planet into Infinity itself. But, for practical purposes it is best for most human beings to aspire to planetary consciousness first, which we might assume at minimum means that we learn go become a planetary citizens.
As me move up the Mental Plane we have to shift away from just contemplating the Divine Plan and train ourselves to serve and act in accordance with that Divine Plan as we understand it. Of course that can seem presumptuous because how does any human being really know for certain what that Divine Plan is? Dictatorships of old actually thrived upon a few select people thinking that they alone knew the “mind of God.” Still, we need to try to decipher what that Divine Plan is meaning it is appropriate to share some reasonable ideas. These ideas ideally aim to help all the kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human and beyond) within the overall planet to thrive. We might see things like global warming, over-population, the extinction of so many species, pollution everywhere, wars, intolerance as indicative of things that are not in accord with the Divine Plan since they cause so much destruction everywhere making even our Planetary Logos rather sick.
If these are in fact problems that our Planetary Logos is wanting humanity to address, then it seem reasonable that human beings change so that our planet (and humanity itself) can survive. These changes have to take place not only on an individual level, but on a group level, which is why we also find in the Bailey teachings an emphasis on something she calls “group initiation.” Here individual enlightenment becomes less important than group enlightenment, where groups of people seek to take initiation together (expand their consciousness) so that the process of global transformation (and even beyond) can speed up. That is why clarity about what the Divine Plan may be about is so essential, so that cooperation with the Divine Plan is more easily understood and followed.
MIND VITALIZED BY SPIRIT
Finally, we come to the last of the main categories I have put together based on a compilation from Bailey’s writings regarding the Mental Plane. This category, which I have titled “Mind Vitalized By Spirit” is perhaps the most audacious one. For this reason I will not say too much about it here, though I will attempt to do so in future books. Essentially, this process involves learning how to vitalize not only the physical and emotional bodies, but the mind itself by the pranic essence of Spirit or “God.” This allows us to increasingly spiritualize our mental, emotional, vital, and even physical worlds. On the lower subplanes of the Mental Plane the initial phase of this process is one of increasingly recognizing that the mind (or consciousness) is not the body. By learning to become the Witness or Observer one can shift the focal point of consciousness out of the body into the realms of consciousness. No longer dominated and controlled by bodily impulses we can instead learn to consciously control and even recreate the various bodies (mental, emotional, vital, physical) themselves. In yogic terms we master the senses, instead of the senses mastering us.
Physical disciplines and pranayama practices are usually the ones emphasized first because they help draw spiritual energy into the body so that it can be better maintained. What most people don’t understand, however, is that there is a higher form of pranayama practice that has less to do with the breath that moves in and out of the body, and more to do with the “breath” of our Planetary Logos, Solar Logos and beyond. To comprehend this kind of breath we need a deeper understanding of the cyclic nature of our Universe so that our consciousness can come into accord with these cycles in a more effortless way. That means we start to impose a new rhythm in the way we live our lives. In our 24/7 world many of these cyclic rhythms are being forgotten. Some of this is a reflection of how humanity as a whole is moving out of simply the day and night cycle of our planet, and is becoming aware of greater cycles beyond those that life on our Earth represents. Regardless the point is to learn what these larger cycles are so that our consciousness becomes resonant with these larger cycles allowing our minds to further disidentify themselves from their imprisonment within the great illusion that keeps the consciousness within our minds locked within the confines of seeing ourselves as only human beings who reside within this Earth.
As we make this increased leap our focus shifts to the upper levels of the Mental Plane where in the Bailey model we move beyond being human or even “soul” and prepare ourselves to establish our residence on the Intuitional Plane. This is done first and foremost by building what Bailey calls the anthakarana, the rainbow bridge, that takes us out of the Mental Plane into the Intuitional Plane. Second it is done by learning to construct something which is known as the mayavirupa. The mayavirupa (or “illusion body”) is in many ways similar to what is known as the Resurrection Body that Jesus was said to manifest. The mayavirupa is said to look real, and in some cases may even feel real, but it is really a consciously constructed projection of the consciousness of the individual into time and space. Think of a holographic image, which is a projection of someone, and not the real person. In many ways we can see the mayavirupa as a video game “avatar,” a consciously constructed character that one creates and then projects into the world around it. In our modern times, Luke Skywalker created a mayavirupa in one of the last Star Wars movies. Though his physical body was in truth on a distant planet, he created a projection of himself on another planet that seemed real, but was not. That is why it could not be wounded or killed. Having very little knowledge and no experience of creating a mayavirupa myself, it is difficult for me to say much about this process. Bailey also has very little to say on this subject. She does say, however, that the creation of a mayavirupa, or resurrection body, takes place at what Bailey calls the fifth initiation when one becomes a “Master.” On the upper levels of the Mental Plane, however, a mental understanding of how this process of creating the mayavirupa is said to be given, though we have not yet actually created one. That seems to happen on the Intuitional Plane levels. (Note: For a more extensive conversation of the mayavirupa and links to videos about it read the chapter Who is Alice Bailey’s Tibetan? and scroll to where the video clips are).
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