This chapter reveals why perceiving the expansion of human consciousness in a step by step levels approach may not be the best model. The chapter also discusses how the Bailey writings handled this problem through the discussion of “cleavages” or “gaps” in development.
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 4/4/20 this chapter has been edited.
One of the major difficulties with the model Bailey presents is how it gives us a visual representation that makes it appear as if consciousness evolves by moving neatly up a staircase going from one level to the next. Fortunately, despite the visual limitations of her model, this “staircase” approach isn’t exactly how the Bailey model works. For starters we need to realize that her model actually asserts that every human being has their consciousness existing to some degree on every level. That it is one of the things the multiple triangles and the lines connecting them are trying to convey, though the chart may not indicate that very well.
To give you a different idea of how to conceive it, consider the representation below where have colors superimposed upon the bodies of two human beings (See Figures 1 & 2 below). These colors are really like “cells” or “packets” of consciousness, spread throughout their bodies. I am also theorizing that these “packets of consciousness” tend to coalesce in the parts of the body that resonate with the various levels of consciousness that resonate with them, which is similar to the idea found in discussions of centers or chakras. We will also notice that I am attempting to give percentages of how much of each level of the Bailey chart (Monadic, Spiritual, Intuitional, Mental, Emotional and Physical) might exist within a human being.
For example, in Figure 1 a breakout of the percentages are give as:
According to the percentages, different human beings will have different levels of consciousness dominating them. For example, when you look at Figure 1 you will see more blues, greens, and yellows. This illustration is meant to indicate that the person is primarily conscious at Spiritual Triad levels (made up of the Spiritual, Intuitional, and Mental Planes), which implies the person lives primarily within planetary consciousness. At the same time this individual lives in a physical body and expresses through emotions. But, to indicate that the individual has mastery over the Emotional and Physical Planes, I have put in the colors that are at the highest levels of the Emotional and Physical Planes.
As for Figure 2 you see mainly reds and oranges. This is mean to indicate that this individual’s consciousness is focused mainly on the Emotional Plane. As for the percentages assigned, they are meant to indicate how much consciousness at each level has been unfolded by the person. Again, these are rough illustrations and rough estimates, but they are meant to give you a visual sense of how to view the model from a less linear perspective.
Figure 2 percentages are given as:
The person in Figure 2 then is clearly focused in what the Alice Bailey calls the “Personality” levels, with little true conscious awareness of the higher levels, and not nearly as much refinement of the personality vehicles (Mental, Emotional, and Physical Planes), which is why I chosen colors from their lower subplanes.
Though these figures are rough, I do feel they start to convey what is said about those whose senses are highly developed being able to actually see something like this when they look at certain people. This kind of sight goes beyond simply seeing an aura. It would be similar to seeing the percentage of resonance the person has with each and every level of consciousness available throughout the entire history of human development. And, it hints at how complex the idea of “etheric sight” might be, and how far beyond it may go from the simplistic claims of those who say they see auras.
As we study the Bailey model further in my books Becoming Human, Becoming Soul and Becoming Spirit that look in more detail at what all the specific levels and sub-levels may represent in regards to the unfoldment of human consciousness, keep in mind then how limited the “levels” concept is. The notion that we each have different levels of consciousness within us, will also help you understand Bailey’s concept of “cleavages” in development talked about more extensively in the book Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II. Cleavages (or “gaps” as I will mainly call them) in spiritual development are said to take place when various traumas and difficulties impact people causing gaps, or breaks, in development. Under stress, a person may drop down to one of these “gaps” and for a time seem to operate at a much lower level of consciousness than she/he is typically at. Once the trauma or difficulty that kept the person vulnerable to this lower level is dealt with, then the person can return to more optimal functioning. (Note: this process is similar to the now popular idea found in Integral and Spiritual Psychology movements of doing your “shadow work”). These gaps in development are looked at further in the chapter Filling the Gaps in Spiritual Development found in this book.
The awareness that someone may typically reside at a higher level of consciousness, but has temporarily dropped to “fill in the gaps” at a lower stage of consciousness, is another reason caution is advised when looking at a staircase levels approach. To let you know some people may also “peak” and temporarily move up to a higher level of consciousness, who then drop back to their everyday level of lower consciousness once the peak experience wears off. The Integral movement is now talking about something similar to this when they mention people having “state” experiences, where someone “peaks” at a higher level of consciousness they can not really sustain (in terms of a “stage” as Integral now calls it). The notion of “states vs stages” proposed by Integral is something the Bailey model was discussing one hundred years ago when she put forward her idea of ten evolutionary groups, and how there are these cleavages, or gaps, in development that make one appear to go back and forth between these groups.
The idea of cleavages or “gaps” also helps us understand why some people can be very spiritually advanced in some areas, while at the same time being undeveloped in others. For example, someone may be highly developed on the Mental Plane (and even on parts of the Intuitional Plane), while physically being fairly unrefined. Or, someone may be physically and mentally pretty developed, but on an emotional level traumas in their life may have stunted their emotional development. Since the Emotional Plane is also connected to desire, it may mean the person may have a difficult time getting basic desire needs met because of having his or her head “too much in the clouds” (or on the Mental Plane).
In short, people rarely develop evenly. At some point in a person’s spiritual growth and development, especially during times of stress, the cleavages, or gaps, in an individual’s development may become more apparent. When this happens it is time for the the individual to do some catch up work, which may even require taking a break from intense spiritual development. Already in the 1930’s Bailey’s books were putting forth ideas of how to work with the various “gaps” so that the person would have a more even integration of the personality, and a less problematic time undergoing spiritual development. Especially my book Becoming Soul discusses in great detail how Bailey’s model views these various gaps, or breaks, in development that can occur on any subplane of any level.
Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Love. All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, computer, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.