This chapter gives a brief orientation to the overall model presented by the writings of Alice Bailey and sets the stage for the more detailed writings to follow later in this book.
To begin to understand the Alice Bailey model, let’s start by taking a look at it in its simplest form. As you can see there are seven levels of development. They are: 1) Physical. 2) Emotional. 3) Mental. 4) Intuitional. 5) Spiritual. 6 & 7) Two levels above beyond what human beings are said to experience. I will now explore each level briefly.
1) Physical. The physical level is said to cover the physical body and what is known as the vital energy or etheric body. The physical body is made up of the various systems of the body (muscular, skeletal, and so forth), the organs of the body (stomach, heart, brain and so forth), and everything else right down to the cells and DNA. The vital energy or etheric body is said to infuse the physical body giving it its energy or vitality. The energy in the body is also known commonly as chi or prana. In the next chapter we will look at both of these in a little more detail.
2) Emotional. Next we have the Emotional Plane that is comprised of emotional states (fear, anger, happiness, and so forth), and also desires that are primarily materialistic in nature. In the Alice Bailey teachings we are taught that most of humanity has their every day focus of consciousness on the Emotional Plane. Though they all have minds and can think, their minds are primarily kama manasic. Kama means desire. Manas means mind. Kama manansic means the mental processes that human beings are using are centered around satisfying their desires for money, pleasure, and power throughout their lives. Even if they have spiritual aspirations, their spiritual practices are again centered around getting God (the Universe, Spirit, or even the Goddess) to help them satisfy their money, pleasure, and power desire needs. At the lowest levels of the Emotional Plane they possess very little skill in getting their money, pleasure, and power needs met. Their ability to understand and handle their emotions is likewise not very well developed. Typically they are overwhelmed by the material world around them, which seems incomprehensible and mysterious. To help them cope God (Spirit, etc) is called upon in various ways to help. God is typically seen as “out there” and is usually anthropomorphized. At the highest levels of the Emotional Plane money, pleasure, and power needs are met in an abundant way. Now, they become “Masters of the Universe.” At this point their views towards God also tend to shift. In fact, many become atheists and get rid of the notion of God (Spirit, etc.) altogether.
3) Mental. Eventually, the quest to fulfill one’s personal desires for money, pleasure, and power wears out. As this happens in the Bailey model we shift up to the Mental Plane. It is important to understand in her system that the Mental Plane is not simply the plane of mind or even of thought. It represent a certain kind of thought that becomes less and less infused with emotion or even desire. That does not mean we don’t have any more personal desires. They are just replaced increasingly by spiritual aspiration and eventually even at the highest levels of the mental plane by spiritual realization. The first thing we realize is what Bailey calls the Soul. Later, at the highest levels of the Mental Plane the aspiration to realize the Soul is replaced as we seek to realize the Monad. Again it is important to understand that what most people hink of as mind and thinking is not what is meant at this level. For this reason the word “mental” here can seem confusing, but as you will see in this book I have a few chapters that help you understand more how Bailey views mind at the Mental Plane level vs. the Emotional Plane level where most humans reside.
4) Intuitional. Like mind, the word intuitional and Intuitional Plane not all analogous to the traditional understanding of the word. What most people would call the intuition, is really more like a gut reaction, or what Bailey would call an instinct. Before you can really even grasp what the intuition may be, you need to separate it from both the intellect and instinct. Instinct, as Bailey would see it, is based more on a psychic sensing of the environment. Intellect involves the discerning capacity to sort out what is going on. And, intuition is more akin to comprehension and a deep synthetic understanding. As we move onto the Intuitional Plane we are increasingly able to see wholes, often in a flash. The intuition at this level also gives us the capacity to bring through new insights that move first into the mind and eventually find a way to become manifest in the world. Again much more is said about this level later in this book.
5) Spiritual. The Spiritual Plane is said to be the highest level of awareness that any human being can reach. Though we will talk about a little bit later in this book, for now just regard it as a very high state.
6 & 7). Beyond Human. Again I have consolidated the two levels that belong here (Monadic and Divine), and I will not be saying much about them in this book.
Now I want to present your with the more detailed version of this model given in the actual Alice Bailey books, and place it side by side with my simplified version.
To begin with let’s examine some of the differences in terms. Please look to the left on the Alice Bailey chart and find the Roman numerals in black and the green letters below. You will see that there are other names given to each of these levels. For example the Emotional Plane is sometimes referred to as the Astral Plane (astral often means emotional), or Kama Plane (again kama means desire). The Mental Plane is also called the Manasic Plane. The Intuitional Plane is also known as the Buddhic Plane. The Spiritual Plane is known as well as the Atmic Plane. And, the two levels I have consolidated as Beyond Human Spiritual Planes, are more formally known in the Alice Bailey model as the Monadic Plane (or Anapuduka Plane), and the Divine Plane (or Adi Plane — sometimes also called the Plane of the Logos).
This final term Logos leads me to another important explanation when studying the Alice Bailey system. In this model we literally “live, move and have our Being” within the body of the Divine. That body of the Divine at the more local level could be considered to be our planet, known as the Planetary Logos. Anyone who has seen a picture of our planet can easily see the fact of how we live inside it (much the cells and other organisms live inside our human bodies). And, just as human beings are conscious, so too our planet is said to be conscious. For all intents and purposes our Planetary Logos could said to be our most immediate “God” (or as some like to refer to it, as our Earth Mother Goddess). Understanding the mind, and some might say the heart, of our Planetary Logos is no small feat. But, according to the Bailey model, humans who have reached the Intuitional Plane can begin to comprehend the mind and heart of our Planetary Logos to some degree. Of course that requires that high state of synthetic understanding of multiple levels of consciousness. Very few are said to achieve this. And, truth be told, it is said that only those who have gone beyond the human stage altogether can really know in a more clear way how the overall consciousness of the Planetary Logos will unfold for millions of years to come. For the rest of us we can only guess and never know for sure.
The next thing you will notice about the Alice Bailey model is that each of the seven major planes is broken into seven sub-planes, or seven sub-levels. Each of these sub-planes, or sub-levels, represents a different stage of spiritual growth and conscious development. Though there is some information that looks at these subplanes it is not plentiful. This book and the one’s to follow attempt to fill in that gap. To help me do this I will draw from Bailey, Theosophical sources, Spiral Dyanmics, Integral, Sri Aurobindo and others.
Another thing you notice in the Alice Bailey model is a series of triangles. Look closely and you will also see a number of lines connecting the various triangles. To let you know these lines are supposed to flow in a downward motion indicating that the triangles at the top influence the triangles at the bottom. Or, to say it another way Divine consciousness influences Monadic consciousness, which in turn influences Spiritual consciousness, so on and so forth. This is the reverse of materialistic thinking, which believes that everything goes from the bottom to the top. In other words, materialists believe that the DNA within the cells in the physical realm are what are most important, and what influence everything else.
As for the triangles themselves they are meant to represent shifts in human spiritual development. Each set of triangles has a name, which I have given in the colored chart. Please note that on the Divine Plane there is no triangle, implying that the consciousness at this level is too abstract for humans to reach. Then we see the triangle of the Monad, which exists upon the Monadic Plane. At this level the consciousness is said to be more Universal. Next, is the triangle known as the Spiritual Triad. It is called the Spiritual Triad because it is said to connect three levels, or planes, of consciousness — all of the the Spiritual (Atmic) Plane, all of the Intuitional (Buddhic) Plane, and the very top of the Mental (Manasic) Plane. At this level a human being is said to have Planetary consciousness.
Next, comes the shape that looks like a flower in the traditional Alice Bailey chart, which I have drawn as a circle in the color chart I created. We will speak extensively about this “flower” in this book and the books to follow, so I will not speak too much about it right now. The main thing to understand is that the Egoic Lotus is pretty much the same thing as the Soul. Following the circle of the Egoic Lotus you will see a large triangle called the Personality triangle. The Personality is said to cover eighteen sub-planes from the seventh sub-plane of the Physical Plane (which I have given the color Prune), to the fourth sub-plane of the Mental Plane, which I have given the color Yellow. In the Bailey chart you will notice that instead of one large Personality Triangle there are a few small triangles. One exists in the Emotional (Astral/Kama) Plane, and the other is found in the Physical Plane. Notice that the Personality in the non-colored chart includes two small triangles on the Emotional and Physical Planes. Finally, though these triangles look like they are separated, in truth they all interpenetrate and intersect. Will address this idea of interpenetration more fully in the next chapter.
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