Comparing the use of Quadrants in the Integral/Wilber and Alice Bailey model. 

Integral/Wilber Model

One of the major factors in the Integral (AQAL) Model is the use of Quadrants. The idea behind these four sectors is that there are four ways that reality unfolds. Reality unfolds through the Interior/Individual subjective experience – the “I”.  Next, there is the subjective reality that is experienced between individuals — the “We.”  Here is where individuals come to agreement that they believe they understand each other’s subjective experience.  Then there is the “It” — the objective reality that everyone pretty much can come to agreement on because they all experience the same thing with their five senses, for example the fact that it is raining outside. Finally, there is the “Its”, which is objective reality as it relates to large systems and not parts.

Each of these four quadrants evolves into greater wholes or “holons” up the ladder of evolution.  So the “I” — individual subjective sense of the world — evolves through the various levels of expansions of consciousness talked about more in the Levels blog on this site. As the individual evolves so does that person’s “It” or brain and bodily organism (which can include the causal and subtle bodies and not just the physical body — see the States blog on this site). Likewise the “We” is how various cultures (or groups of people) evolve using the same Levels as found with the “I”. And, the It becomes the “Its” where large groups known as social systems evolve along certain lines.


Alice Bailey Model

Though it seems revolutionary the fact is the quadrant model is readily found within the Alice Bailey teachings (and also those of Theosophy).  To begin with in Alice Bailey’s the Consciousness of the Atom (and also in other books by her) students of the Ageless Wisdom are taught that everything that exists from an atom (or smaller) to galatic systems have certain levels of consciousness.  And, beginning with her book Initiation: Human and Solar we are taught from that start that everything that exists evolves through various levels of consciousness. All of this is really esoteric 1.0 and just about every esoteric student begins here (as does the start of Lucille Cedercrans’ Nature of the Soul book).

Starting With the “I”  Much of the Alice Bailey writings have to do with the evolution of the human being through various levels of consciousness. What is interesting is how we go from individualized consciousness to group consciousness (which is different from mass consciousness.  We do not turn into Borg to use the Star Trek language.  Rather, we maintain our individuality, but think increasingly in holistic, systemic, global and even galactic terms).

Moving to the “It.” In no way can it be said that the Alice Bailey teachings give any basic let alone comprehensive understanding of physics.  They do recognize, however, the connection between individual evolution of consciousness and the correspondences that take place at the bodily level. The book Esoteric Healing especially speaks of this and along with Esoteric Psychology, Vol II makes mention of the stresses and strains spiritual evolution has on the various bodies (gross, subtle and even casual).

Onto the “We”.  The Alice Bailey teachings per se don’t speak a lot about communication systems, feedback loops, or how to really make sure in our personal relationships we understand each other.  (I learned more about all of this in my extensive courses where I minored in Communications at the Bachelor’s level and got a BS in Psychology and MS in Marriage, Family Therapy).  The Alice Bailey teachings do emphasize however orienting oneself to certain spiritual principles (like Goodwill, Right Human Relations, etc) that help one get along with their fellow “souls.”  The emphasis on group work and taking “group initiation” at the 3rd initiation and beyond (which may correspond to the Integral model’s “Integral level”), talks a lot about having to get along as a group and even sets forth rules for this in Rays and the Initiations book.

Over to the “Its”.  Finally, those in the Integral movement (but not at all in the Ageless Wisdom tradition), may be surprised to discover how much the Alice Bailey writings have to say about the “Its.”  Her book Destiny of the Nations has a lot to say along these lines and even relates the idea of Types to groups, nations, and epochs (the Integral system has very little to say on Types at this time).  Moreso, head into a Treatise of Cosmic Fire as you will really get your mind blown by the extensive talk about how our planet, solar system, and even galaxies are consciously evolving.  Though there are some nods to the epochs found in the yugas of Hinduism and a slight nod to the zodiacal ages, for the most part the Integral movement is not saying too much about the larger “Its” yet.

In conclusion there is a LOT that the Integral movement could learn from the Ageless Wisdom teachings and take into consideration here.  Perhaps they don’t because they are very much focused on research and academia and much of what is proposed in the Ageless Wisdom teachings seem too theoretical.

Have comments, questions, suggestions?  They will be posted so long as they are civil and expand the discussion.



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