This post continues the discussion of the characteristics of Bailey’s Group Four. Some of the characteristics include:  Fulling Desires, Constant Craving, Relying on Luck, Vulnerable to Exploitation, Easily Distracted.  

Main Developmental Themes

  1. Lead More Stable Lives
  2. Bonded and Connected
  3. Conforming to Norms
  4. Following Leaders
  5. Fulfilling Desires
  6. Constant Craving
  7. Relying on Luck
  8. Vulnerable to Exploitative Ideologies
  9. Easily Distracted

Fulling Desires

Grocery Store
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When your basic physical, safety, and security needs are met, now what? Most likely this was a question many Group Four members began to face over time. Focusing less and less on the daily grind of survival which kept them overly focused on the physical plane, Group Four members were increasingly able to shift and put their attention into the realm of “kāma” or desire. Because your desires were more likely to be met by being with the “right” group (who usually tended to have the most influence and power at the time) fitting in became an increasing need or issue. Regardless of any conflicting emotions you may have had inside of you, you tried to do what others expected of you. You adhered to what others determined for you was the right thing to do. And, you stuck to the moral codes established around you so that your physical well-being, and emotional feeling of happiness was that much more possible.

Fitting in also meant others were more likely to accept and help you. Getting along with people became that much more important. Learning to do this required of you more emotional intelligence and awareness than you needed before. If you naturally fit in with what others expected you to be like, then life was relatively satisfying, easy, and rewarding for you. If you didn’t readily fit in, then what would you do? Yes, you could still try Group Three methods of becoming submissive and placating in an effort to please others and get them to like and accept you. Or, you could resort to the other Group Three tactic of becoming a bully and threatening and intimidating them. But, these methods could only take you so far. That is why over time increasingly complex ways of working with the emotions to get what you wanted began to develop. That way you could “make friends and influence people,” increase your access to more goods by working on your social skills, and avoid becoming an outcast or being bullied by cultivating the skills of deception, lying and speaking in half truths. Though these methods were often stated within the emerging moral codes as the wrong thing to do, these methods were a means of valuable means of protection if you felt you couldn’t fit in, but had to. Hypocrisy also emerged helping you pretend to be someone you were not, if you needed to. In a strange sort of way then, all of this became the “science of the emotions” — the “if you do this, then this is likely to be the result and you will get your reward” methodology. Learning this science of the emotions at this level is one reason I put this group on the 5th subplane of the Emotional Plane, since in the Bailey system the 5th ray is associated with science and technology, or the methodology, of how to get predictable results.

GROUP FOUR THEMES: Helps to explain some of the serious problems that occur due to any addiction, though this is mainly oriented towards a shopping addiction.  I am paraphrasing and summarizing her key points about the draw backs here. 1. In constant debt. 2. Lying and hiding. 3. Don’t use or need what you get. 4. Disrupting healthy connections with others. 5. Emotional anxiety and upheaval when not fulfilling your addiction. 6. Indulge addiction as emotional coping mechanism. 7. Cycle through short lived highs and long term lows in regards to your addiction. Her solutions really require more Group Five skills that I am summarizing here. 1. Stick to budget  and boundaries (exert will power, prioritize). 2. Avoid debt and delay gratification. 3. Pick other coping mechanisms (meditation, exercise, talking to others). 4. Change your habits so they are more constructive and remove temptations. 5.  Become more conscious about desires and cravings. 6. Track what you are doing and analyze it. 7. Set more meaningful and constructive goals.

Constant Craving

Hungry Ghosts
Hungry Ghost image from this website

If you can learn to fit in, or at least develop your emotional skills enough to to fit in on the margins, or lie and pretend to fit in even if you did not, then you would be rewarded through the increased satisfaction of your desires. Though Abraham Maslow didn’t intend for his Love and Belongingness level to include anything greater than a sense of connection to people, as can see all around us, we can also feel connected to all kinds of “stuff.” Especially if your connection to other people seemed inadequate, “stuff” might end up being a really good substitute. Be it more sheep and cattle, more land, a larger home, items to go in the home, a horse to get around, jewelry, gold, a castle, a mansion, an automobile, an airplane, an iPod, a cell phone, a television, a computer — whatever it was — the craving for stuff and the stimulation of desire over the centuries became more and more important. So important that for some it would even leave to the emergence of what the Buddhists call the “Hungry Ghost.”

Hungry Ghosts are said to be beings with an intense desire nature. That is why they are often illustrated as having huge bellies. At the same time they don’t yet possess enough intelligence or discipline to help them get their desires met. That is why Hungry Ghosts are thought to have weak arms and legs, and a pin hole of a mouth all implying how limited they are in their capacity to fulfill their constant desires. Hungry Ghosts are also symbolic of the emotional unhappiness that arises when we have excess desire that can never be fulfilled. No matter how much we have we still want more. This craving is even exacerbated when we get more exposed to those who have more than us, and at the same time we feel frustrated about how to get “what they have.”

Now, a bizarre sort of inner emotional tension and anxiety creeps in that wasn’t there before. In Group Three, you saw something you wanted? You just clubbed someone over the head and took it. But, how do you do that in Group Four and still look “good?” For many people it requires feeling stuck in a limbo land of not getting what you want, watching your depression, envy, anger and anxiety continue to grow. For others it might involve some mental mechanics of telling yourself that “good” people don’t have or want much, while “bad” people do. Or, maybe “good people who didn’t get what they wanted will end up in heaven where they can everything they want,” while of course “bad people who got everything they wanted, but didn’t know how to be good, will go to hell.” These philosophies let you off the hook so you no longer feel impotent about wanting something and not being able to get it. But, because that is simply an act of repression, you have not really removed the anxiety and confusion that goes along with wanting something, while pretending that you don’t. Finally, unlike the Hungry Ghosts who pretty much are unable to satisfy themselves in any way, you can find another outlet to get your constant cravings met. You simply pick a substitute. Can’t have a mansion? Three or four used motor homes will do. Can’t afford to go to fancy restaurants? Just stock up on the chocolate bars, ice cream and junk food. Unable to buy a really nice party dress or a $10,000 purse? Go to a cheap department store and get twelve dresses and ten purses really cheap. Who cares if you are wasteful, or can’t put to good use any of the stuff you are buying. So what if you get fat? At least you feel good. Or, at least you think you do.

GROUP FOUR THEMES: Addiction, resistance to admitting problems, trying to look good no matter what even if there are negative consequences.

Relying Too Much On Luck

Game Show Guest
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Another way those in Group Four allow their unwitting oppression, it through what I call “luck” or “lottery” consciousness. Luck consciousness is the tendency Group Four types have to look for a quick fix to solve all their problems. True, some people win the lottery. Some people seem to have good luck. But, when luck is a strategy for living your life, you don’t get very far. In many ways this “luck consciousness” is reminiscent of Group Two’s magical thinking. And, in fact, a factor involved in “luck consciousness” may be the result of a cleavage or gap that sends Group Four people back to a Group Two level when they feel powerless about getting their increasing desires met.

Especially when someone in Group Four doesn’t have enough emotional and mental facility to plan how to get what they want, or to better leverage themselves so they are more likely to get it, Group Four people tend to believe in luck to help them out. Never mind the profound statement by former well-known actor and philanthropist Paul Newman that “luck = preparation meeting opportunity.” Essentially Newman meant that luck is like having your surfboard down by the beach at the time of day when the waves are most likely to be good. Real luck requires planning, preparing, and knowing how to increase your odds for success. Too often those in Group Four do not understand that “luck” is more likely to happen when you are spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically prepared, and even socially positioned to meet it.

GROUP FOUR THEMES: Two brothers down and out on their luck attempt to win money fast and big, but don’t really have the intelligence and ability to make it happen so they enlist others who they hope will help them be a success. Note some of the Group Three regression into violence and recklessness, combined with a quest to find those more in Group Five who have some expertise that goes beyond luck and involves real skill in order to help leverage their “luck.”

Vulnerable to Exploitative Ideologies

Begging for Money
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Though Group Four people have some discipline to meet the challenges and opportunities of life when they arrive, their emotional impulses tend to sabotage them. That is when Group Four people feel resentful when life is “not fair” or “bad things happen to good people.” Or, they become entitled expecting to be compensated for things even when they have not put forth the necessary effort required. The lack of effort makes “get rich quick,’ “get well quick,” or any other “quick” scheme especially appealing to them. Get it quick examples include, “Just accept Jesus as your Lord and savior and no matter what you did in this life you will get to heaven.” Or, “chant this mantra, take this pill, smoke this cigarette or joint, drink some alcohol, repeat these Law of Attraction affirmations, pay this much money to get enlightened in one day, and all of a sudden all will be well.” Some of this is similar to a Group Two magical thinking throw back, only here in Group Four it has become more ideological.

The “get it quick” tendency also makes them vulnerable to those (especially from Groups Five and Six) who want to take advantage of them by feeding them “quick solutions” that are not helpful, and prevent them from seeing what is really going on. For example, members of Group Four may be taught that they can get ahead and have everything they want if they just work hard enough for it, while at the same time Group Six members may be rigging the system behind the scenes so those in Group Four really never have a chance to succeed. In Medieval times Group Four members were victimized by the Catholic Church who demanded Group Four members pay them financially (this was known as indulgences) or else they would not get into heaven. Indulgences were also solicited as a means for getting their loved ones out of an eternity of hell or purgatory. Fast forward and you have the Calvinistic Protestant Christian belief system today that tells Group Four people that they don’t have money because they did something wrong. After all, they preach, wealthy people become wealthy because God favored them. If you are not wealthy, then you were not as righteous or as Godly, and the rich people around you who now use this ideology often to exploit you.

An updated version of this “if you are struggling financially it is all your fault, so let me exploit you financially because of it” thinking can be found in the New Thought movement influenced by the Think and Grow Rich philosophy (that infers bad thinking led to your bad circumstances). Or, you can see it in New Age beliefs that talk about the Law of Attraction where good things happen only because you had good thoughts, and bad things happen because you have had too much “stinking thinking.” Flip over to the Eastern religions and you don’t have to go far to find the ancient caste system still in place, where if you are born into the wrong family, caste, or even race you don’t deserve success because of bad things you did in a past life.

The bottom line? If you are not able to get all your desires met, it is your fault. The end result? This group channels their anxieties, insecurities, and guilt by glorifying those who did get all their materialistic wishes fulfilled (mainly those within the Group Six realm comprised mostly of celebrities, billionaires, and political demagogues). Because Group Six members benefit from Group Four members doing this, they actually encourage these attitudes in Group Four members because it helps Group Six members stay in their place as the ruling class over others. And, as Group Four members keep subscribing to these unhelpful ideologies they are only minimally able to satisfy their increased desires, while overall feeling helpless and blaming themselves because somehow they were not good enough to get all there wishes fulfilled.

Sadly, most of these methods never bring those in Group Four very much except some hard lessons in how they let other people empty out their wallets. The problem is though Group Four members have more mental facility, they are still too easily led by their emotions and desires, meaning they lack the mental discernment to see others real intentions very well. They also lack the logical ability to think things through making them too prone to believe something because it has an emotional appeal. Until they gain that discernment they will be too prone to buying into ideologies that keep them from doing the things that might really help them to have a better life. Things like engaging in social and political activism so that ps above them are forced to play more fairly with them; becoming more educated so they can better discern how they may be getting used or see more clearly what is really going on around them; or getting more disciplined in a specific field so that they can really progress and develop some mastery over a certain set of skills that enables them to move forward into Groups Five and Six above them.

GROUP FOUR THEMES: How those in Group Four are exploited by ideologies that tend to take advantage of them and blame them for what is going on, instead of truly help them. Though this clip talks about how this simplified thinking led to the economic collapse of 2008 and caused the suffering of multitudes (especially in Groups Three, Four, and Five), it could also be applied to the 2020 approach to the coronavirus. Note: The book The Secret is challenged in this video. I challenged the book The Secret in my book Beyond the Secret by Dr. Lisa Love 8 months after that book came out sharing how it was showing only partial truths and missing many factors that involve higher spiritual development.

Easily Distracted

Computer Guy
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Unfortunately, because Group Four members desire natures are so strong, they may avoid doing the things in life that would really help them, deciding instead to spend too much time in emotional distractions that don’t real serve their deeper needs. Distractions can include becoming obsessed with what is going on with celebrities, watching TV, playing video games, surfing for things to buy on the Internet or through the Home Shopping Network, and anything else that might keep their insatiable capitalistic desire lives going on full throttle. That same gullibility seems to exist now on Social Media as any kind of information pushed at them is thought to be factually true. Then there is their propensity to addiction be it through sex, alcohol, gambling or thrill seeking. Even the drug industry (legal and illegal) can be used to swindle them offering them quick fixes to seeming ailments by telling them how just popping a pill will remedy everything and too often diverting them from the often difficulty work of fixing their problematic relationships, financial difficulties, or becoming more aware of the social oppression that keeps them from having true power and wisdom so they can really help their lives overall.

GROUP FOUR THEMES: Methods used to keep Group Four continuously distracted and in a state of constantly craving more and more stuff.

Go to Part One

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