In this post I speak more about the main lessons that must be learned in Alice Bailey’s Accepted Discipleship stage, speaking mainly about Impersonality and Love. I then compare these aspects of the Accepted Discipleship stage with the Integral model by Ken Wilber, showing how these aspects mainly fit in with their Turquoise and Indigo levels.
In the Alice Bailey model as we shift into Accepted Discipleship we move increasingly into the Sacrifice petals, especially what is known as the Sacrifice/Love petals. Here we are no longer concerned with just knowledge, we are concerned with love. As we learn what love really is, and learn how to come from a real place of love, sacrifice is the natural result. Our sacrifices happen in a joyful way for the benefit of greater and greater wholes beyond ourselves.
As a reminder for those of you following these posts, or those of you who just started with this post, I am putting up the chart of terms once more, followed by the Six major tasks (as I have organized them) of Accepted Discipleship.
Accepted Discipleship — Major Tasks: List
- Dispel Glamours
- Develop Impersonality
- Cultivate Love
- Blend the Mystic and the Occultist
- Engage in More Effective Service With a More Humble & Loving Heart
- Contact the “Master” Within
Accepted Discipleship — Major Tasks: Impersonality & Love
2) Develop Impersonality
Impersonality is a difficult word for many people to hear in regards to spirituality, because they often define the word as not caring. In modern language impersonality is really more related to not taking things personally. (An example of this is in The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz where he has not taking things personally as his second agreement). To help us understand how Bailey uses the term impersonality, I am putting in the following quotes from her books instead of paraphrasing on my own.
Esoteric Psychology, Vol I. “When you have learnt the lesson of self-forgetfulness, when you seek nothing for the separated self, when you stand firmly on your own feet and look for aid within yourself, and when the trend of your life is towards cooperation, then you may pass from the stage of Observer to that of Communicator. This will happen because you can be trusted to communicate only that which is impersonal and truly constructive, and which will not feed the emotional nature and satisfy the desire-self.” pp. 116 – 117
Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I pp. 48-49 “Impersonality is the first step upon the road to spiritual love and understanding. Impersonality, particularly for high grade integrated people, is peculiarly difficult to achieve. There is a close relation between impersonality and detachment. Study this. Many cherished ideas, many hard won qualities, many carefully nurtured righteousnesses and many powerfully formulated beliefs militate against impersonality. It is hard for the disciple—during the process of his early training—to hold earnestly to his own ideals and to pursue forcefully his own spiritual integration, and yet remain impersonally oriented towards other people. He seeks recognition of his struggle and achievement; he longs to have the light which he has kindled draw forth a reaction from others; he wants to be known as a disciple; he aches to show his power and his highly developed love nature so that he may evoke admiration or, at least, challenge. But nothing happens. He is looked upon as no better than all the rest of his brothers. Life, therefore, proves dissatisfying.
These truths of self-analysis are seldom definitely faced or formulated by any of you and, therefore (because I seek to help you) I formulate them for you and face you with them. It is hard for intelligent men and women to see others closely associated with them dealing with life and problems from a totally different angle to their own—handling them in a weak or stupid way (from the angle of the disciple) and making apparently serious errors in judgment or technique. Yet, brother of old, why are you so sure that you are right and that your point of view is necessarily correct? It may be that your slant on life and your interpretation of a situation needs readjustment and that your motives and attitudes could be more elevated or purer. And even if they are—for you—the highest and the best that you can achieve at any given time, then pursue your way and leave your brother to pursue his. “Better a man’s own dharma, than the dharma of another.” Thus does the Bhagavad Gita express this truth, telling the disciple to mind his own business.
This attitude of non-interference and the refusal to criticise, in no way prevents service to each other or constructive group relations. It does not negate the expression of love or happy group cooperation. There is ever much opportunity for the practice of impersonality in all group relations. In every group there is usually one group member (and perhaps several) who constitute a problem to themselves and to their group brothers. Perhaps you yourself are such a one and know it not. Perhaps you know who, among your co-servers, provides a testing for his fellows. Perhaps you can see clearly what is the group weakness and who it is that is keeping the group back from finer activity. That is well and good, provided that you continue to love and serve and to refrain from criticism. It is a wrong attitude to seek assiduously to straighten out your brother, to chide him or seek to impose your will on him or your point of view, though it is always legitimate to express ideas and make suggestion. Groups of disciples are groups of free and independent souls who submerge their personal interests in service and who seek that inner linking which will fuse the group into an instrument for the service of humanity and of the Hierarchy. Continue with your own soul discipline and leave your brothers to continue theirs.
Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I p. 738 “To achieve this vital and strenuous effort [of service on a large scale], there must be the ability to focus upon the work and its needs and to develop the power to cooperate with those also engaged in similar work. This, again, involves impersonality and right focus. The Master is today looking for dedication to the needs of humanity in these days of human agony; this involves a sensitivity to world pain as it demonstrates from day to day in world affairs; it requires a ‘divine indifference’ to outer events in the life of the little self and a sense of proportion which enables the disciple to see his little personal affairs — physical, emotional, and mental — in terms of the whole. So again we arrive at impersonality — this time impersonality of a man’s own reactions.” (Note: brackets above are my own words inserted to provide context of what is meant by effort).
3) Cultivate Love
Again to help describe this I will use direct quotes from some of the Alice Bailey books.
As we move into Accepted Discipleship we are told that it is not enough to talk about love, or will one self to love, it is about allowing increasingly for the “spontaneous outflow of love.” The following quote talks about the “will to love” which is more related to the Chela in the Light stage and not to Accepted Discipleship, where this tendency of “willing to love” has to be overcome.
To quote from Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, “The will to love involves the recognition of limitation, of desire, or forcing of an issue and of the intense aspiration to really to love.” p. 736. The text goes on to say, “Where there is a determination to be loving, certain attitudes — either natural and belonging to a developed personality or forced through attention to soul behest — emerge. The disciple knows that he lacks love, because he is constantly finding himself isolated from and not identified with others; he is irritated by others; he is critical of his brothers, either feeling superior to them or looking at them saying: ‘Here they are wrong and I am right; here they do not understand and I do; I know them, but they don’t know me; I must be patient with them, etc. etc.’ Throughout this phase, the attitude is definitely that of the will-to-love coupled to the deep realisation of the handicaps to the expression of love presented by those others and presented also by one’s own habits of thought. This is all a form of self-centeredness. The true way to love is to reflect and meditate deeply and constantly upon the significance and the meaning of love presented by those others and presented also by one’s own habits and thoughts.” p. 736 And, we are told, “Give up emphasising the will-to-love and emphasise in your own consciousness the need of others for understanding, compassion, interest and help.” p. 736
(Note from this blog author: Notice the difference in the last sentence where “understanding, compassion, interest and help” represent more how an Accepted Discipleship is inclined to act).
(Note: Regarding this next quote that follows. It is important to understand that the word Ego is not used in the same way in the Bailey writings as it is in modern day terms, where ego is equated with someone who is selfish.In the quote below this is equivalent to what she calls “love of personality.” In the Bailey language Ego refers to the Egoic Lotus, which involves a process of slowly unfolding soul like charateristics. This is one reason the word Ego is in capitals in her text as it has a more spiritual equivalent. As for the word Monad, this is an even higher and more inclusive stage of spiritual development than even the Ego is said to represent).
Another quote, this one from Treatise on Cosmic Fire Now the quote, “Love in the Personality gradually develops through the stages of love of self, pure and simple and entirely selfish, to love of family and friends, to love of men and women, until it arrives at the stage of love of humanity or group love consciousness which is the predominant characteristic of the Ego. A Master of Compassion loves, suffers with, and remains with His kind and with His kin. Love in the Ego gradually develops from love of humanity into love universal – a love that expresses not only love of humanity, but also love of the deva evolutions in their totality, and of all forms of divine manifestation. Love in the Personality is love in the three worlds; love in the Ego is love in the solar system, and all that it contains; whilst love in the Monad demonstrates a measure of cosmic love, and embraces much that is outside the solar system altogether.” p. 594
(Note: The main reason I put in this quote is how it emphasizes the increased expansion of love from love of oneself to kin, to love of humanity, to love in the solar system, to love in the Cosmos or Kosmos as it is used in the Integral teachings).
Discipleship in the New Age, Vol II “There is no light or dark to the soul but only existence and love. Rest back on that. There is no separation but only identification with the heart of all love; the more you love the more love can reach out through you to others. The chains of love unite the world of men and the world of forms and they constitute the great chain of Hierarchy. The spiritual effort you are asked to make is that of developing yourself into a vibrant and powerful center of that fundamental, universal Love.” p. 30
(Final note: The teachings from Alice Bailey were written 80 to 100 years ago. In fact, she began writing at a time when women did not even have the right to vote. At that time they were also not gender sensitive, and everything was in the masculine pronoun of he, brother, and so forth).
Comparison with Integral
As I review what Integral has to say about impersonality and love, there is nothing explicitly stated of these two needing to be developed in the same way as expressed in the writings by Alice Bailey. Though they are not mentioned in the same way, from everything I have read of Wilber and Integral they would be considered highly valuable and love surely is something advocated by them, especially as it is expressed at a higher level.
From the standpoint of their levels approach, you do see some mention in their model as you move into into Turquoise, and especially in their highest level of Indigo. (Note: I am re-posting some of what I have quoted before on those two levels at the end of this commentary). The main difference in the descriptions between Bailey and Integral (at least for those posted here), is how Integral keeps focusing on a more mental understanding of love as “intuitive thinking” and “seeing compassionate wholes” in the description of their Turquoise level. This approach is more similar to what Bailey might call the “will to love” and is related more to her Chela in the Light stage (right before Accepted Discipleship). When love becomes a spontaneous outflow it no longer needs to be “thought about.”
Even as we get into descriptions of Integral’s highest level of Indigo, we find the word love is not used that much. Qualities of love spoken about in Bailey may be inferred there, but at least as I read the comparisons of the two models posted here, they do not totally line up. For example, we are told at Integral’s Indigo that there is an “emergence of a perspective that is ego-transcendent or universal.” First of all, as we see in the one quote from Bailey love moves from personality (love of self and maybe family and friends), to Ego (love of humanity expanding to love within the solar system), to the Monad (reaching more into a Kosmic kind of love). Integral’s Indigo level seems to mush these stages all together in one rapid leap. Suddenly, we jump all at once into this all inclusive “grand unification” and “universal perspective.” With the Bailey model there are a lot more steps one needs to go through before that all happens as a fact and not just a theory.
One of the reasons I keep feeling pulled to the Bailey teachings is how much more expansive it is. As a reminder, we are only at the Stage of Accepted Discipleship, which is equated with her second initiation (expansion of consciousness). And, she has nine such initiations listed in her model. Clearly, compared to Integral we have a long way to go before we reach the end of Bailey’s model. And, we have pretty much hit the end of Integral’s model already at Indigo, making it increasingly hard to compare the two approaches.
Integral Levels Re-stated.
To quote directly from An Overview of Developmental Stages of Consciousness compiled by Barrett C. Brown, Integral Institute April 3, 2006
Values: Bottom line: Global order and renewal. Basic theme: Experience the wholeness of existence through mind and spirit. What’s important: Holistic, intuitive thinking and cooperative actions; waves of integrative energies; uniting feeling with knowledge; seeing the self as both distinct and a blended part of a larger, compassionate whole; recognition that everything connects to everything else in ecological alignments; universal order, but in a living, conscious fashion not based on external rules (amber) or group bonds (green); the possibility and actuality of a “grand unification”; the detection of harmonics, mystical forces, and the pervasive flow-states that permeate any organization Where seen: David Bohm’s theories; Rupert Sheldrake’s work on morphic fields; Gandhi’s ideas of pluralistic harmony; Mandela’s pluralistic integration; integral-holistic systems thinking
Self-Identity: Main focus: Interplay of awareness, thought, action, and effects; transforming self and others Qualities: Highly aware of complexity of meaning making, systemic interactions, and dynamic processes; seeks personal and spiritual transformation and supports others in their life quests; creates events that become mythical and reframe meaning of situations; may understand “ego” as a “central processing unit” that actively creates a sense of identity; increasingly sensitive to the continuous “re-storying” of who one is; may recognize ego as most serious threat to future growth; continually attend to interaction among thought, action, feeling, and perception as well as influences from and effects on individuals, institutions, history and culture; treat time and events as symbolic, analogical, metaphorical (not merely linear, digital, literal); may feel rarely understood in their complexity by others How influences others: Reframes, turns inside-out, upside-down, clowning, holding up mirror to society; often works behind the scenes
To quote directly from An Overview of Developmental Stages of Consciousness compiled by Barrett C. Brown, Integral Institute April 3, 2006
Self-Identity. Main focus: Being, non-controlling consciousness; witnessing flux of experience and states of mind Qualities: Emergence of a perspective that is ego-transcendent or universal; people holding this stage of consciousness seem to “…experience themselves and others as part of ongoing humanity, embedded in the creative ground, fulfilling the destiny of evolution” (Cook-Greuter, 2002, p. 32); consciousness ceases to appear as a constraint but rather as one more phenomenon that can be foreground or background; an integration of feelings of belongingness and separateness occurs; multiple points of view can be taken effortlessly; the pattern of constant flux and change becomes the context for feeling at home; one is able to respect the essence in others, no matter how different they may be; one is in tune with their life’s work as “a simultaneous expression of their unique selves” and as part of their shared humanity. How influences others: No research data available.
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