This post reflects the shift from being what Alice Bailey calls an Integrated Personality with its selfish nature dominating into starting on the spiritual path as what she calls an Aspirant. The post outlines some of the main areas of focus regarding the spiritual path, which is still primarily approached in a selfish way.
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 3/21/20 this chapter has not been edited.
Main Developmental Themes
- Pulled Between Light and Dark
- Spiritual Materialism
- Physical Disciplines Overly Emphasized
- Getting High
- Looking Good Physically
- Overstimulated Sexually
- Spiritually Impatient
Pulled Between Light and Dark
As a reminder, Group Six starts with the idea of Integrated Personalities who can be very selfish, materialistic, and selfish in nature. But, it ends by mentioning how eventually Integrated Personalities become “world aspirants, and those who are beginning to get the ideal of service into their consciousness” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 206). As I see it then, the 1st subplane of the Emotional Plane represents struggling within two directions. I shared a little bit about these two directions in the previous chapter when I stated that Integrated Personality types, when faced with the masses, could either react by tightening their grip on the masses or loosening their grip on them. If they decide to keep tightening their grip, then I see this 1st subplane as putting them in touch with Ray One energy where will and power are used with selfish motivation. This moves them increasingly into the direction of what Bailey calls the “Dark Brotherhood.” To use a much more modern term borrowed from the popular Star Wars movie series, they go to the “dark side of the force.” What does the “Dark Brotherhood” (which can be made of women as well by the way) look like? To answer they I will put Bailey’s direct quotes here.
“The Dark Brothers are—remember this always—brothers, erring and misguided yet still sons of the one Father though straying far, very far, into the land of distances. The way back for them will be long, but the mercy of evolution inevitably forces them back along the path of return in cycles far ahead… The dark brother recognises no unity with his species, only seeing in them people to be exploited for the furtherance of his own ends. This then, on a small scale, is the mark of those who are being used by them wittingly or unwittingly. They respect no person, they regard all men as fair prey, they use everyone to get their own way enforced, and by fair means or foul they seek to break down all opposition and for the personal self acquire that which they desire. The dark brother considers not what suffering he may cause; he cares not what agony of mind he brings upon an opponent; he persists in his intention and desists not from the hurt of any man, woman or child, provided that in the process his own ends are furthered. Expect absolutely no mercy from those opposing the Brotherhood of Light. Oft too the Dark Brother masquerades as an agent of the light, oft he poses as a messenger of the gods, but for your assurance I would say that he who acts under the guidance of the Ego [i.e. Soul, or Egoic Lotus] will have clear vision, and will escape deception. At this time their power is ofttimes mighty. Why? Because so much exists as yet in the Personalities of all men that respond to their vibration, and so it is easy for them to affect the bodies of men” (Letters on Occult Meditation, pp. 134—136).
When we hear words like “Dark Brotherhood” it is easy for us to want to imagine them as spirits. We forget that these are mostly human beings. Especially those who are Integrated Personalities who “tighten the grip” due to their fears and ambitions will go this direction. Though they often show up as dictators they can also be scientists, religious leaders and so forth. But, they will behave in the ways Bailey describes above. If Bailey’s notion that we are just now becoming Integrated Personalities is true, then it will become even more essential that people are educated regarding what their negative behaviors and beliefs look like. Then perhaps sooner than later we will reach the stage where “the dictator will some day be an anachronism, for when the many are at the stage of individual self-awareness and potency and seeking the full expression of their powers, he will be lost from sight in the assertion of the many (Esoteric Psychology, Vol II, p. 11).
Having looked at some of the negative tendencies of Mustard, let us now consider the other side where the person “loosens the grip” and starts the process of destroying the Integrated Personality so that it can merge into the soul. As you will see in this chapter, that process starts slowly where the Aspirant at this level approaches spirituality in primarily the selfish way where “there is no true, unselfish desire to serve. There is only a vague desire for personal liberation, for personal integrity and for personal lasting happiness” (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 715).
Though there are many ways I could start this section, I am going to begin with the idea presented by Bailey that those in Group Six often become humanitarians. Again, I see this as related to the ending cycle of this particular Group Six stage. I am starting off with the humanitarian urge here because I believe it may, or may not, be attached to a spiritual quest to discover the Soul or Self. It does, however, reflect the Soul beginning to be felt by the individual. But, the person may have no conscious awareness of the Soul. In fact, the individual here may still hold up agnostic and even atheistic beliefs. Beyond these beliefs is a growing awareness of the plight of the masses who are suffering in comparison to oneself. There may also be a growing inner anxiety that the individual feels can only be satisfied by doing something to help ameliorate the suffering of those around one.
Just as the humanitarian urge may still be attached to agnostic and atheistic beliefs at this Mustard level, as Bailey point out this help is still attached to selfish motives. Selfish motives can include: 1) Helping others mainly to remove your own anxiety and to help you feel better, than because you have a true motive of service. 2) Helping others to make yourself “look good” in the eyes of people around you. 3) Helping others with expectation of some sort of personal gain like getting a tax write-offs for your efforts, or in exchange for your help wanting to be sure you have your name on a building or a statue so others will know for sure it was you that was responsible for engaging in good works. 4) Helping others for political reasons where the aid is primarily a public relations, or public management, stunt designed to get a restless or unhappy public to calm down. 5) Helping others as a publicity stunt because what you are giving to others (your art, your money, your product) calls attention to yourself and helps to promote you, your business, or your brand somehow. 6) Helping others as a way to get close to people you feel are important, or to get in their favor, because now they view you in a more favorable light. 7) Making sure that when you do help others it doesn’t hinder in any significant way your ability to continue to indulge your own desires.
For those who do start on a spiritual path, typically they gravitate towards spiritual philosophies that involve what is known as in our modern times as “spiritual materialism.” Remember the Aspirant is at the tail end of Group Six. He or she has typically reached the heights of being able to satisfy their desires for money, pleasure and power. Though they are becoming interested in being spiritual (versus religious as Groups Four and Five tend to be), they mainly gravitate towards spiritual teachings where they can still pretty much live as they used to live. Only now they can put a spiritual covering on top of their selfish desires alleviating their anxieties because they feel less selfish about what they are doing.
Examples of the kinds of “spiritual philosophies” they will seek out include anything that tells them that they have “a right to get rich and stay rich.” Some Western teachings even declare that wealth is a sign of God favoring you because you were such a good person compared to others. The New Thought and New Age movements echo this idea only it is not God who gave you your wealth. Rather, you got rich because you thought correctly or used the Law of Attraction in the right way. Even some Eastern religions could interpret their philosophies in a spiritually materialistic way by stating that you are wealthy because of your good karma. The truth is there is nothing wrong with money or even wealth. The problem is the Aspirant is a long ways from using things like money in a truly unselfish way. The Aspirant also lacks the spiritual vision for understanding the best ways to put money to use for the good of all humanity. Still, positive steps are at least being made in that there is some thought regarding how to help others, and not just themselves, or their immediate families. Overall then, this is a positive step.
GROUP SIX THEMES: Spiritual Materialism
Physical Disciplines Over-Emphasized
Another issue connected with Group Six (Aspirants and Little Chelas) at this level is the over-emphasis on the physical body in regards to spiritual practice. Today, healthy eating lifestyles, staying in shape and especially doing Hatha Yoga postures seem more popular than ever. Certainly there is a benefit in having a healthy body with energy, flexibility, stamina, and strength. But, there is much more to the spiritual path than this, which is something Little Chelas may ignore. Interestingly enough, Bailey claims that Little Chelas may be drawn to these practices because they are going through a recapitulation process of older forms of Lemurian consciousness, when the physical realm was over-emphasized. Bailey says, “This stage is a correspondence to the process of individualisation in Lemurian times and the stage of Little Chelaship is sometimes referred to as the ‘period of the Lemurian consciousness’” (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 716). I find this quote interesting because it is indicating that growing popularity of these physical disciplines is to be expected. And, as more Little Chelas step on to the spiritual path, we can see these physical disciplines becoming even more emphasized..
Regarding Hatha Yoga itself, modern scholars believe these practices are actually not that old placing the origin of these practices any where from five hundred to a few thousand years ago. In the Bailey teachigns they are said to be much older and were originally said to have come into existence to “teach primitive man the uses and purpose of the physical body and its intelligent control; the man who mastered the body and was in control of it as a machinist is a machine, was then in was then regarded as an initiate. Celibacy, careful modes of eating, and bodily cleanliness, plus the rudiments of Hatha Yoga (embryonic physical, athletic control—muscular control primarily) were strictly emphasized” (Esoteric Healing p. 578). Bailey goes on to say, “These drastic physical disciplines are often attempted today by well-intentioned aspirants; they practice celibacy, strict vegetarianism, relaxation exercises and many kinds of physical exercises, in the hope of bringing the body under control. These forms of discipline would be very good for the undeveloped and the lowest type of human being, but they are not the methods which should be employed by the average man or the practicing aspirant. Concentration upon the physical body only serves to enhance its potency and to feed its appetites and bring to the surface of consciousness that which should be securely secluded below the threshold of consciousness. The true aspirant should be occupied with emotional, not physical, control and with the effort to focus himself upon the mental plane prior to achieving a stabilized contact with the soul” (Esoteric Healing, p. 579).
Bailey has a point in that Little Chelas do tend to put way too much emphasis on physical disciplines at the expense of other types of spiritual practice. Though they may excel at contorting the body into various poses, or have become strict vegetarians or vegans, they still have a long way to go towards Self-Realization. Again physical disciplines can be good, but if they are the main focus than no one is really benefiting from the practice apart from the individual. Even some famous modern day teachers, such as B.K.S. Iyengar (who was one of the main people responsible for bringing Hatha Yoga to the West), become concerned with Westerners over-emphasizing Hatha Yoga at the expense of other types of yoga practice. That is why more and more teachers (Sri Aurobindo, Swami Satchidananda, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev) are focusing on an Integral Yoga that teaches us to become more emotional calm, more mentally kind, less arrogant and condensing personally, and more engaged in selfless and joyful service to others. At the Aspirant stage too often this balanced and well-rounded approach is missing. Though all of this begins to be adjusted as the Aspirant moves into what is known as the Probationary Discipleship phase (which is part of Little Chelaship as well).
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