This post is an attempt to line up the levels as presented by Ken Wilber and the Integral theorists with the levels presented by Alice Bailey known as the “egoic lotus.”
Alice Bailey and the Egoic Lotus
To begin with let me do a brief overview of the Egoic Lotus. This is a symbolic representation of stages of spiritual development. The lotus has twelve petals, each symbolizing a stage (or level) of growth. These twelve petals are grouped into four categories with three petals each.
The categories are listed below with a brief explanation of each using quotes from Michael Robbins in brackets and italics:
- Knowledge Petals – Here we gain knowledge of the three lower worlds (mental, emotional, but especially of the physical realm). Someone at this level “can be very intelligent in a wordly sense, but has no real notion of the higher or inner self.” Michael Robbins, Egoic Lotus Seminar Commentaries, I (around 16:00)
- Love Petals – At this stage the pairs of opposites representing the personality and the soul are introduced. Here one begins to be aware of his/her higher nature. This also correlates to the development of the astral body. (Paraphrasing of Michael Robbins, Egoic Lotus Seminar Commentaries, I (around 16:30)
- Sacrifice Petals – We are now “Into the process of initiation technically understood. And, then the soul, or the higher self, or higher power, or whatever people want to call it, the inner God is an established reality in the consciousness of the individual and his attention is now turned to the development of the higher pairs of opposites and seeing to the possibility that it’s energy can and will permeate the lower life.” Michael Robbins, Egoic Lotus Seminar Commentaries, I (around 17:00) As one enters into the sacrifice petals Robbins states one begins the 1st initiation, where they enter the 5th kingdom of nature, or kingdom of souls. (Note: Initiations are expansions of consciousness and as one enters the 5th kingdom, or kingdom of souls, he/she takes a quantum leap into a whole new way of being, similar to what Integral calls 2nd teir).
- Synthesis Petals – Unification of knowledge and development occurs. By the time the 4th initiation the synthesis petals are completely unfolded. (Paraphrasing of Michael Robbins, Egoic Lotus Seminar Commentaries, I (around 17:30)
- Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus – The central fire at the center of the lotus that is multi-faceted and radiates like a jewel. (Paraphrasing of Michael Robbins, Egoic Lotus Seminar Commentaries, I (around 17:45)
Comparison of Integral Levels and Egoic Lotus Levels
To begin with let’s again take a brief look at the Integral Map regarding the levels that they currently use. (Look under Ego Development Stages. Parallels to their stages are found in the Spiral Dynamics column as well).
As we relate the two models together, the first thing we see is that once arrives at what Integral calls the Orange level, one could be said to be entering into the Knowledge petals of the Egoic Lotus. Why the Orange Level? Because the knowledge petals “open” as an individual becomes an integrated personality and is capable mastering their thoughts, emotions, and physical environment in such a way he/she tends to be a success in the world. Often this person is a materialist, secularist, and has a scientific world view. This fits with the knowledge petals descriptions fairly well. These petals also have to do with mastery of the gross body (as it is called in Integral, which is pretty much the same thing as mastering the physical realms).
As we move into the Green levels we seem to be finding key words that relate very much to the Love petals. The questing for the Higher Self, the sense of dualism at this level (my Higher Self and my lower self), the ability to accept all paths (but lacking enough mental discernment as to how distinctions exist), the high emotional idealism (let’s just love everybody), all reflect what the Love petals are showing. We also see a lot of movement into the “subtle body” at this level and spending more time in the subtle realms (dreams, astral travel, drug experiences, mystical states, and so forth). There is nothing wrong with experiencing any of these states. This is a natural phase that we all go through at some level.
As we enter the Teal level in the Integral map we not only shift levels, we jump tiers and go to Tier Two. This tier they say has not existed before in human evolution. That fits precisely with the notion in the Alice Bailey teachings of entering the “fifth kingdom, the kingdom of souls”, which is meant to indicate that just as the animal and human kingdoms seem different (called the third and fourth kingdoms), the human and soul kingdoms will be different (the fourth and fifth kingdoms).
We are told in the Alice Bailey teachings that this quantum leap into a new kingdom happens at the 1st initiation where our consciousness is “born” into the new kingdom. In other words our consciousness expands into soul realms for the first time. This is pretty much the same idea that the Integral community is saying of leaping to second tier into Teal. And, we are told that the 1st initiation in the Alice Bailey model is activated once we go into the the 1st Sacrifice petal (known as the sacrifice/knowledge petal).
So what does the 1st initiation and the sacrifice/knowledge petal consist of? An extensive amount has been written on this (books even), and I cannot do anything more than to summarize in an extremely simplistic way. We are told briefly in Treatise of Cosmic Fire (p. 541) that “its unfoldment marks the period wherein the man consciously utilizes all that he has gained or is gaining under the law for the definite benefit of humanity.” Already we see the parallel to what Integral is saying about Teal when they state that at this level there is a “system of inter-relatedness” developed. Their is also a broader integration going on under teal that brings all the sub-personalities together. (Note: the phrase sub-personality was developed by Roberto Assagioli, who was one of the main student’s who worked with Alice Bailey).
Now let’s examine the Integral level of Turquoise. Here parallels between the Alice Bailey and Integral models start to break down. Part of the problem is, the Alice Bailey model has been in existence over 100 years. It is a completed model that is presented in twenty-four books, some 1200 pages long. And, when it comes to levels, the Alice Bailey model is much more extensive than that of Integral. The Integral model is something that is in process. Their levels of being discovered and written about as they go along. Beyond Turquoise, they now posit Indigo, Violet, Ultraviolet, and Clear Light, but they have next to nothing to say about these levels as they are just attempting to understand them. Their levels also now appear to follow the general spectrum of light.
We could posit that Turquoise is related to the Sacrifice/Love petal. We might even try to draw parallels with the Sacrifice/Sacrifice petal to their Violet etc. Only this is very hard to do when they are just positing what their levels are about and just discovering them in the past few years.
What I recommend then is for those of us trying to draw these parallels between these two models, that as much as possible we increase our understanding of both models and start discussions of how to cross-fertilize the two. Naturally, there may be some resistance in the Integral world to this. They are being handed a model that is very well developed and established from the Alice Bailey teachings. In comparison, they are busy enjoying the process of discovering their own. Sometimes when you are having fun pioneering something, it isn’t much fun to meet someone who has a “been there, done that” feel. And, there may be some resistance in the Alice Bailey circles to staying open to what those in Integral are discovering as Bailey followers may be hanging on too much the feeling that they have already been handed the perfect map in the Bailey system, and don’t have the motivation then to question, research or investigate what they have been given (something Integral people as pioneers like to do).
Anyway, the above is my start at synthesis. The below is also a map of terms that we will be increasingly using throughout the rest of this blog. The journey continues.
Have comments, questions, suggestions? They will be posted so long as they are civil and expand the discussion.
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