This post continues to describe the characteristics of Bailey’s Group Three, which I have placed on the 6th subplane of the Emotional Plane and given the color of Red. The post also goes on to describe how Group Three/Red fits in with Bailey’s Egoic Lotus petals and does a comparison to the Integral model.
In general the main development themes could be described as follows:
Main Developmental Themes
- Shifting Beyond Survival Needs
- Simplified Emotions
- Superficial Desire Nature
- Struggle Between Dependence vs Independence
- Hero Worship
- Tribal Identity
- Culture of Abuse
- Daring & Possibly Lawless
- Courage and Risk of Exploitation
- Freedom or Free to Be Dumb?
In CHAPTER ELEVEN: Freedom or Free to Be Dumb? we looked at the first five categories listed above. In this chapter we will look at the remaining five. Also, in regards to the Bailey teachings, much of what is written in this chapter is not directly spoken of by Bailey. Rather, I am compiling information from various sources including Bailey, Integral teachings, developmental psychology, and even psychological fields that have emerged that speak about how to work with the various tendencies I feel Group Three evidences.
As expressed in CHAPTER ELEVEN: Freedom or Free to Be Dumb?, Group Three is becoming increasingly tribal. Unlike Group Two, which tends to live in small groups, Group Three begins to discover that there is power in numbers. When larger groups of people come together then smaller groups are easily over-powered so that they and their resources can be captured and exploited. Large tribal groups are then given a chance to become small city or nation states (which are not as large and cohesive as entire nations). Because the focus is still not so much on intelligence, Group Three members frequently resort to methods that involve physical strength and physical weapons to get their desires met. Historically famous Group Three members include marauding warriors such as the Huns, the Goths, Spartans and the Vikings, who were famous for raiding other city and nation states around them.
No matter how big or small a rival group was the intent was the same, over power others on a physical level to grab hold of their resources to fulfill your basic needs and desires. In order to do this a certain kind of lawlessness had to exist. In short, “might makes right.” Yes, within one’s tribe certain rules or codes of honor might have to be obeyed. These were often enforced through group pressure or even the threat of violent punishment if you did not follow them. As for how you dealt with people outside of your tribe? Often these same rules could easily be broken and changed. In fact, it was not uncommon for people outside of your tribe to be viewed as less than human, or be treated as property or possessions. Even the helpless members within your your tribe (such as women and children) often were turned into property making them fair game to be exploited.
Why this switch from the seeming innocence of Group Two to the bullying and even “lust” for violence of Group Three? I believe it takes place when those in Group Two discover that this violence helps them experience relief from the constant anxiety they feel over their survival. As Group Two members shift into Group Three they experience a sense of their own agency, or ability to make things happen. They no longer feel helpless. They even find that through action, and especially through violent action, they can experience an adrenaline rush. The high that comes when one is angry or violent also comes from how both give you a greater sense of power and control. Anger and violence become an antidote then with Group Three members to feeling helpless and overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, because those in Group Three possess mainly undeveloped minds with little emotional control, these actions happen way too often on impulse. To help manage this anger and violence awe-inspiring “brutes” (who were usually men with high levels of testosterone) emerged and increasingly took on powerful roles. As the mounting violence increasingly escalated into blood thirst, tribal groups and nation states had to figure out a way to manage this lust for blood. Ritual sacrifices, gladiator games, cutting people’s heads and body parts off and displaying them on posts around the town, hangings, torture, all helped to bring about a sense of control and sent the message about how powerful your tribe was evoking fear and even submission in others who knew very clearly the consequences if they failed to follow tribal rules.
Lest we think this kind of tribal consciousness is of the past, think again. It is all around us in society today. On the news we still hear about and see hangings, torture, and even beheadings going on around the world. Mafia heads, drug lords and gang members are found in almost every country and are continually glorified in modern day movies. And, though we do not as readily throw people to the lions, we still have tribal allegiances and play tribal games — witness most sports (football, hockey, wrestling, basketball, soccer) –and sadly take a look at political parties. Even some social groups, such as the Hell’s Angels, can reflect this Group Three mindset where people still celebrate how every man (and woman) can be a law unto themselves. No wonder Bailey makes the claim that members of Group Three are still all around us. They are.
GROUP THREE THEMES: Tribal identification through the glorification of violence, strength, power and keeping others in place through these methods.
Cultures of Abuse
The next thing I would like to associate with Group Three is their tendency to create and maintain a culture of abuse. In his book Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, Lundy Bancroft, a specialist in cultures of abuse, illustrates very clearly how cultures of abuse are created and maintained. One of the more fascinating things he says is that abuse cultures are not created by people who have low self-esteem or grew up abused as children. Yes, it is true that some abusers do have low self-esteem and some as children were abused. The problem is, Bancroft observed, the majority of abusive people he worked with, did not fit the low self-esteem or abused profile. In fact many of them had very high self-esteem (or a high opinion of themselves). And, the majority did not experience any childhood abuse. Also, Bancroft observed that many people who were abused did not go on to abuse others — mainly because they were either too afraid, sensitive, or compassionate (on a higher turn of the spiral) to want to go in that direction. Why then do people abuse? To put is simply, abuse Bancroft asserts is about gaining power and control so that you can get the goodies in life that you want. That is how abuse cultures are created and that is the reason they are maintained. Again we see the Group Three dynamics here.
Remember Group Three people lean towards hero worship and tend to put “strong men” into positions of power. Once Group Three bullies are placed in dominant positions, the Group Three people they dominate tend to become passive and submissive in hopes that those in power over them will help them alleviate their anxiety and keep their desire needs met. Though the submissive members of Group Three may act up and rebel at times to stop others from abusing them, for the most part they feel too helpless and anxious to do so. Instead they fall into submissive and powerless positions, at times even adopting the belief that they deserve to be abused by others. Those in power seek to maintain this idea that those they abuse deserve to be abused. Abusers will even make claims that those they are abusing are being abused for “their own good.” And, abusers may go even farther and claim they have a right to abuse others because they are “chosen” to rule over people due to their superior strength, power, and “god-like status.”
Sadly, many who live in this culture of abuse unwittingly help to maintain it. Even if they do not benefit much the abuse, those being abused often feel they don’t the ability to stop it. They may even see how others who stand up to the abuse in an attempt to end it, get abused even more ferociously and even risk dying an early (and at times a horrible) death. To keep the submissive members of Group Three from standing up and rebelling against abuse, abusers in Group Three attempt to get those who are abused to buy into their oppression through the glorification of abuse. Though in our modern day world (where Group Three is the third largest human group Bailey claims and will be losing strength in numbers) we do not have gruesome sports such as gladiator games, we do have an excess of violent movies, video games and television programs are used both to get passive members of Group Three to buy into violence, as well to give them a release for some of their resentment and anger that they feel against their abusers, but feel too timid to act upon. Passive members of Group Three who are abused are also encouraged to identify with the many violent heroes and anti-heroes presented to them and encouraged to pretend that they are one of them. Or, they are taught to cope with their abuse and inner angst through drug, drunk, head banging at a rock concert, making noise by screaming down the street on a motorcycle, playing music too loud, or any other means that will give them a temporary feeling of power and relief.
GROUP THREE THEMES: Passing along the culture of abuse through oppression of others and how the abuse culture is maintained by severely punishing those who dare to stand up to them or confront their abuse.
Daring & Lawless
Another characteristic I believe can be associated with members of Group Three is what I call lawlessness. Just as members of Group Three tend to elevate “strong men” to rule over them, they also have a tendency to admire rebels. Rebels are those who for a time can successful break the tribal codes and rules. Yes, they may worship out of fear the “god-humans” that rule over them, but deep down they often resent them. Remember Group Three members have little capacity to manage their emotions, run high on impulse, and don’t know how to think real well. That leaves them vulnerable to being cheated, duped and exploited by those who are in positions of power over them. How deeply satisfying then to get revenge and some emotional satisfaction by breaking the tribal rules even for a brief period of time. Those who can grab hold of some personal agency and act to get what they want by taking risks, breaking the rules, and going against the existing power structures put in place by the “god-kings” become the “anti-heroes.” They are the people who impulsively just “go for it” by not caring or thinking too much about the consequences (in truth because they lack the ability to do so).
Even in our society today the world-wide fascination with gangsters, mob bosses, godfathers and notorious criminals is rooted in this impulse. Never mind that most of these gangsters (like famous bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde) only succeed for awhile before ending up dead or in prison somewhere like Bonnie and Clyde did when they were shot by law enforcement with a ton of bullets after only a few years of rebelling. And, forget about the fact that so many of them go to prison and die young (Bonnie and Clyde were only in their early twenties). The lessons of the death and early destruction of so many of these rebels (including the famous “Rebel Without a Cause” actor James Dean), are mostly lost upon members of Group Three. They frequently believe it is better to have rebelled in an attempt to satisfy one’s impulsive desires and go to prison or die doing it, than to not have acted on impulse to get your cravings met. Satisfying one’s impulses and desires of course does not always mean one becomes a gangster or bank robber. It can also play out by giving into a sexual craving even if it leads to sex addiction or means you have to rape or molest someone. Or, it can mean indulging in drugs, alcohol, or gambling even if it leads you into addiction or ends up depleting your bank account or health. The point is for the Group Three consciousness is that for that brief moment in time, they acted. They experienced some sense of power, of personal agency and control. And, yes that is an evolutionary step for them, even if it means living life to the “dumbest” (instead of the fullest), or having your life spin out of control.
GROUP THREE THEMES: Daring, reckless, anti-hero, lawless, impulsive, personal agency that leads to tragedy.
Freedom or Free to Be Dumb?
So why this paradox? Why are those in Group Three seemingly “wild, free and living outside the box,” while at the same time getting boxed in themselves by their own ignorance? One reason is that people in Group Three do not really possess freedom, unless you view that English word as “free to be dumb.” As Robbins inferred those in Group Three do not possess a deeper set of values beyond the notion that they want to get what they want when they want it especially when it comes to money and pleasure (to a more limited extent for those who can get it — some power). But, because they are have so little control over their emotions and are given so much to impulsive actions to satisfy their immediate needs, or to help them eliminate their present state of high anxiety, they do not make very wise choices and end up harming more than helping themselves.
We already saw how this played out in the Bonnie and Clyde example. But, less dramatic ways this rebellion and desire to be free can lead to a “freedom to be dumb” can include rebelling against they own self-interests and rejecting things that would actually in the long run help them to develop self-esteem and move into Group Four and even Group Five where they can more consistently lead better lives. For example they may refuse to do school work that could advance their education and opportunities. They may reject employment they see as beneath them that could actually help them get into better positions and lead better lives in the long run. They will get involved in high-risk activities that others would consider unsafe and unwise in order to try to prove their heroic nature. They reject safe rules and restraints and view those who try to impose wise restraints on them as obstacles that need to be pushed out of the way. They may also reject healthy relationships pushing away those who care about them and have their best interests at heart because Group Three members view others as not giving them what they want fast enough.
What this rebellion and lack of discipline leads to then, as we saw with the Bonnie and Clyde example, is that even when those in Group Three do acquire something through a rebellious method, sooner than later what they acquire quickly runs out. Despite all their talk of freedom and independence then, members of Group Three once again end up feeling helpless, even though for short spurts they felt in charge and in control. To help them get what they want then, Group Three members often stand behind those in power who can “rebel for them” so they can get their desires met in a more steady, and less sporadic, way. Yes they may lose out on the “diamond” (something of greater value in the long run) by allowing leaders to exploit them. But, Group Three members feel they will win in the short run by gaining access to short term remedies that help them relieve their anxieties by being able to indulge in “wine, women, and song” (or to use a more modern version of that phrase “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”). Ironically, by putting others in power to rebel for them, Group Three members turn what was a rebellion to gain more freedom and independence, into a submissive act that makes them overly dependent on others. By failing to accept discipline so that they could better develop themselves and eventually become truly free, they have surrounded themselves to a worse fate, that of limited choices and a limited definition of self.
Courage & Risk of Exploitation
As we have seen Group Three learns to utilize violence and aggression as a primary way to get their needs met and push the anxiety of trying to survive away from their lives. Again the use of aggression can lead to a heightening of the senses, temporarily helping you focus more in the moment, giving you an adrenal rush and helping you feel better for the time being. Instead of feeling helpless and oppressed, for the moment you feel empowered and alive. Aggression then is not all bad. When it is channeled and used in the right way it gives rise to great acts of courage and sacrifice, precisely all the qualities that you would want in a good soldier, fire fighter, police officer, or other fields where courage and bravery are sorely needed. Each of these fields can help give Group Three members a sense of direction, purpose and a chance to become real, and not just imaginary, heroes or heroines.
But, remember though Group Three members possess courage, they are frequently unwise in how to channel that courage. For this reason too often their courage and willingness to make sacrifices is exploited by others in ways that don’t benefit them. For example, in CHAPTER FOUR: Ten Evolutionary Groups we learned briefly about groups that are more developed than Group Three is. Sadly, members of Groups Four, Five and Six may all tend to exploit those in Group Three by encouraging Group Three members to take risks and fight battles they would not. Those in Groups Four, Five and especially Six might then reap the rewards of battles fought (greater safety, security, and wealth) and in turn fail to compensate adequately those in Group Three who suffered mentally, emotionally and even physically when being subjected to danger. Yes, those in Group Three are given a token (like a medal) for their bravery, but they are not in turn giving the education, medical treatment, financial compensation for burns sustained while fighting a fire, or limbs that were blown off in a war or battle.
Especially those in Group Six, which Bailey states is starting to come online more now, is likely to exploit Group Three members. For example, they are more inclined to use their power to start wars for totally selfish reasons, while at the same time keeping themselves very distant from the horrors they are creating, allowing Group Three members to go into battle for them. As we all know, the wars we now engage in are more horrifying and destructive than ever. People are easily blown to pieces and left with physical and psychological scars that leave them with PTSD sending them back into the Group Two emotional hell realms. That is why Group Three members need protection from these kinds of consequences. And, it is why we need to care for them properly should we send them into battle and then bring them back home. Otherwise, humanity does not have a very good future, something we should all be very mindful of.
GROUP THREE THEMES: PTSD and consequences of war.
GROUP THREE THEMES: Questions heroism and if it is being used to exploit others versus help them.
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