This post starts to detail some of the spiritual challenges that those at the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane go through including discerning between what is known as the “astral light” and the “light of the soul,” beginning the process of recognizing what Bailey calls “glamours,” the process of mastering emotional reactions more, and working with criticism.
CHAPTER TEN: GROUP SEVEN, Chela in the Light, Part Two
RECEPTIVE TO THE LIGHT OF THE SOUL
One of the reasons this stage is called a Chela in the Light is because the individual is said to be increasingly receptivity to the light that is said to come from the Soul. That light is also being received with greater intensity. Eventually the receptivity to this light will create for the Chela in the Light the actual experience of enlightenment known in Alice Bailey circles as the First Initiation, or first major expansion of consciousness, into what Alice Bailey calls the Fifth Kingdom of Conscious Souls. The first four kingdoms existing on our planet are said to be 1) Mineral; 2) Plant; 3) Animal; and 4) Human. Briefly, at the time of the First Initiation the individual is said to become factually, not theoretically, conscious of the Soul realm. The Fifth Kingdom of Conscious Souls is made up of those who consciously know that they are the Soul, both in and out of incarnation. Since I will be devoting an entire chapter to the First Initiation and all that goes on when it takes place I will not be saying more about it at this time. The main point to understand here is that for those who have taken the First Initiation, telling them there is no Soul realm, is pretty much the same as telling them there is no sun in the sky. The Soul is not a theory or idea at this stage. The Soul is not a metaphor. The Soul is a fact, just as the sun in the sky is a fact.
Though the Chela in the Light has not yet realized the fact of the Soul, he or she is sensing and responding to it’s presence more and more. In many ways this sensitivity began at the Probationary Discipleship stage, hence the mystical tendencies that can lead the Probationer into engaging in psychic phenomena and channeling. During the Chela in the Light stage an interest in psychic powers, channeling and mystical visions tends to die down as the Chela in the Light learns to discern between the higher light of the Soul and what is known as the “astral light.” Discerning the difference between these two lights is an essential part of the Chela in the Light phase. The astral light is essentially the light that comes from the Astral or Emotional Plane, which is colored by emotion and the desire nature (See Light of the Soul, pp. 335 & 336; Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 269; Esoteric Healing, p. 171). When someone is contacting the astral plane, he or she is primarily in touch with the realm of fantasies and desires that come from oneself, as well as people who are living and dead. Impressions from the astral realm tend to want to make both the channeler, and the source of the channeling, look overly important. Knowledge coming from these realms is often asserted as fact, when it may be far from the truth. Rarely is the knowledge or the source of the knowledge questioned. If looked at carefully it often becomes clear that there is no real wisdom or even mental awareness found within the channeled messages being revealed. That is why so many channeled teachings when read by someone with any level of advanced education can at times even seem laughable. Too often what is passed off as advanced wisdom or knowledge from super enlightened beings from another realm, seems like grammar school reading to anyone who possesses a more discerning and scientific mind.
Having been disillusioned by these lower lights, the Chela in the Light is learning to contact the light of the Soul, which requires one to become a resident of the Mental Plane. In brief, the Chela in the Light increasingly has a mind and is learning to discern and think. This is different from the logical and even abstract mind that one develops to help navigate the physical realm experienced through the five senses. (Please see my chapter on The Mental Plane for a deeper discussion on this). The Chela in the Light’s mental training involves beginning to understand seemingly abstract thoughts in increasingly concrete ways. Why do I say this? Because to the majority of human beings thoughts that regularly consume the Chela in the Light seem incredibly abstract. Thoughts like reincarnation, quantum physics, alternate realities are phrases the majority of humanity may hear here and there, but these kinds of ideas are way too abstract and seem like gibberish. But, the Chela in the Light’s thoughts are increasingly preoccupied with abstract ideas.
But, unlike the Aspirant and Probationer Disciple who may touch upon such abstract ideas here and there, the Accepting Disciple (or Chela in the Light), is busy trying to understand these abstract thoughts in a more logical, ordered and in many ways a “concrete” way. Not, so that they can manifest concrete objects in the world of the five senses that they can manipulate. Rather, they are concretizing these abstract ideas in a way that helps them see the connections, patterns and applications of the thoughts that are being recognized. For this reason the process of mental training started at the Probationary Stage goes up a level. Even the meditation practices that the Chela in the Light engages in shifts. For example, practices like Mindfulness Meditation where you allow thoughts to pass by you like clouds in the sky, are viewed as not rigorous enough. That is why so many Chelas in the Light enter into more strenuous meditation practices like Raja Yoga. In Raja Yoga the mind is increasingly held steady in the light, which is a direct clue as to why the name Chela in the Light is called what it is. As the Chela in the Light stays increasingly steady within that Soul light the Chela in the Light is filled more and more with the Light of the Soul. Again this only happens when the Chela in the Light learns to distinguish between the astral light and the light of the Soul. Before then much confusion and distortion occurs.
Part of the process of being able to discern between the astral light and the light of the Soul involves beginning to recognize what Bailey calls “glamour.” Glamour is a word used to describe being lost within the realm of the astral plane that is dominated by desires of the lower kind (primarily for money, pleasure, and power). The astral plane is also associated with emotional reactivity. Like fog covering up what exists in front of us, the more we are lost within numerous glamours, the less clearly we can see the Real all around us. At the Probationary Disciple stage, glamour is seen to a small degree, but there is a long ways to go before glamour is overcome. In fact, glamour is not totally overcome until the end of what Alice Bailey calls the Second Initiation (or expansion of consciousness). But, at the Chela in the Light stage the light of the soul that the Chela is contacting is revealing more and more of the glamours that the individual is immersed in.
Regarding glamour, Bailey lists more than 50 of them that need to be recognized and overcome. Each glamour involves some way in which we are feeding our emotional reactions and also our separative sense of the lower self, the Personality. These glamours are organized by Ray Type, meaning some people along a certain ray line are more prone to some glamours than others. For example, people who are Ray Two, which is primarily the energy of love and wisdom, have a lot of work to do to understand and dispel what are really emotional forms of so-called love. This includes loving in attached and sentimental ways, which if looked at closely, are more about getting someone to “love,” or desire, us so that we don’t feel lonely, abandoned, ignored, or unable to get our needs met. Real love is rarely present here. Truth be told if we start to look carefully at what most movies, television, YouTube videos, songs, and even books say about love, we see a great deal of glamour or distortion. We might even come to a conclusion that as much as 90% of what people call love isn’t love at all. It is desire, lust, attachment, codependency, addiction, even abuse. The Chela in the Light starts to get clear about all of this as the light of the Soul shines down on glamours such as this one.
In the previous chapter I spoke about one of the major glamours Bailey mentions, that of the glamour of devotion because it is said to specifically be a problem on the Probationary path. Here I will mention some of the other major glamours and discuss them briefly: 1) The glamour of authority, 2) the glamour of materialism, and 3) the glamour of sentiment. When I talked about the problem with how Second Ray types view love I was already speaking about the glamour of sentiment. As for the glamour of materialism, it has to do with the overall belief that the material world is all that exists. The glamour of materialism is something those within Group Six (regardless of ray type) are especially prone to buy into. As we have discussed before Group Six types become Integrated Personalities in part because they have moved away from the magical and mythical belief systems of Groups Three, Four, and Five. Group Six types have also started to develop their minds more especially along the lines of getting their desires effectively met. Because they are being compensated and rewarded so much materially what is the use of believing in Gods “out there” somewhere. Finally, their growing movement towards the Mental Plane helps them increase the powers of their logical minds. All these factors make Group Six types more agnostic or even atheistic. Finally, the glamour of materialism suits Group Six types because it makes them believe there are no real consequences for their negative behaviors. As long as they can manipulate the system and laws of where they reside, they can do whatever they want in regards to getting all their power, pleasure, and money desires met.
As for the glamour of authority, with the emergence of President Donald Trump in 2016 coming into power, it is easy to see how many people are immersed in this glamour. Essentially, this glamour comes out of humanity having a long history of looking to a “strong man” to help them survive. Especially those in Groups Three, Four, and Five look to an authority figure to lead them. As a reminder, overwhelmingly we are told, human beings have their consciousness within these three groups. When those in these groups become afraid, they look to those who they perceive as more intelligent and powerful than themselves to lead them. If they are lucky leaders arise who have their best interests at heart. More often than not, this is not the case.
Instead leaders arise who use fear, intimidation, lies, deception, abuse, manipulation and oppression to dominate and exploit those they lead. Authoritarian and totalitarian regimes come into place because too many people in Groups Three, Four, and Five can’t discern the leaders true negative motives. Or, even if these motives are seen, they feel too powerless to do anything about them. Instead of questioning the authority figures around them, they give in with resignation. As for those in Group Six, they may be very aware of what the authoritarian leader is doing. But, they too may do nothing to stop it because too often they benefit from it. If they are not benefitting they may compete with the authoritarian leader, or ruler, to try and replace him or her. Politics is full of the manipulations, games, and intrigues of trying to overthrow those from power. Still, all of this feeds the glamour of authority. None of it dispels the glamour because it can only be dispelled once the unity of all life is known. As this book is attempting to show you, that unity only begins to be perceived once Group Seven consciousness is unfolded. Then this glamour, like many other glamours, can finally be confronted and dispelled.
FEWER EMOTIONAL REACTIONS
In the Bailey books we are told that the Chela in the Light stage is one where the Chela “is occupied with the overcoming of glamour and the curing of the distorted, myopic vision of the man who has been immersed in the life of matter or form. He is now attempting to see the new vision, to control the world of emotional reactions and to work in a new medium, that of Light “ (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 719). As we have already mentioned as the Chela in the Light becomes more anchored on the Mental Plane, he or she learns to dispel glamours, and is trained to see more clearly the realm of the “astral light.” This gives the Chela in the Light the ability to work with, understand, and calm the emotions in an increasing way. With the ajna center (the center that allows us to witness or observe things in a clear and dispassionate way) more developed, when emotional reactions are triggered off, the Chela in the Light is much quicker to catch these reactions at their earliest stages and to lift them up into the Mental Plane where they can be calmly looked at and understood.
This ability to remain calm and not react emotionally is something the Chela in the Light is increasingly able to do when confronted with dealing with other people’s emotional reactions and triggers. Instead of going into a defensive, protective, and at times reactive mode in response to others, the Chela in the Light is more likely to quietly ask, “What is really going on here?” At first the answer to that question may not be emerge right away. No matter, the fact that the Chela in the Light is better able to observe emotional reactions and inquire more fully into what is going on helps the Chela in the Light to remain more calm and quiet. Eventually, as the Chela in the Light brings in the light of the Soul more, insight into one’s own and other people’s emotional reactions occurs.
WORKING WITH CRITICISM
Again because the Chela in the Light resides more in the Mental Plane, is learning to perceive and break free from glamour, is inclined to be less emotionally reactive, and possesses more discernment and dispassion — he or she is also learning how to go beyond criticism in regards to others. Going beyond criticism does not mean that he or she fails to see the differences in others, or the different levels of development, or mushes everything down so there is no different between wrong and right. The tendency to make everyone the same and to see no wrong and right is a tendency of primarily Aspirants or even Probationers at the early phases of their development. Criticism can and does happen, only when it takes place it is done in a compassionate and constructive way with the will to love present.
At first as Chelas in the Light attempt to be non-critical they may fall into old patterns and become weak and ineffective with others since they still don’t comprehend fully the differences between what we might call destructive and constructive criticism as follows. Bailey illustrates it this way. “Some disciples use only the fire of the mind; in their highest and best moments, they attempt to use the fire of love to offset the fires of the critical mind, but at the best it is no spontaneous flow but a laborious effort to be nice, to refrain (through drastic disciplining of themselves) from uttering the things which their critical minds say or to act upon the opinions they may have formed through the use of the fire of mind. This fire is always directed at a brother and the effort to refrain from the use of this fire inevitably creates a gap or barrier. Among the majority of aspirants, there is no true love in action but only much personality effort to be non-critical. Their concentration is upon the recognised and basic need to be non-critical because it is right so to be, and there is a reward for those who achieve it, but the concentration is not based upon the effects upon others when the fire of the mind is let loose with its destroying, burning and damaging effects” (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, pp. 720—721).
And, Bailey goes on to say, “There are times when criticism is unquestionably a recognition of fact. This means that a criticising disciple has reached the point where his judgment is so based on love that it produces no personality effect in his own life or that of his fellow disciple. It is simply a loving recognition of limitation and only becomes wrong when these undoubted facts are used to arouse criticism in the unqualified and provide points for discussion. The disciple or aspirant who has glaring faults and who fails to make the required changes himself creates a barrier which he must in time destroy by removing all causes for criticism” Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 725.
Finally, Bailey also has this to say, “An individual disciple may suffer in his personality as a result of the failure of his group brothers to understand or to arrest the fire of their minds, but he goes on steadily with the work and his personal effectiveness, as a serving unit, remains unaffected. He knows that some day they will be liberated from themselves. In the meantime, he labours to offset their influence and to this extent his task is harder, but he knows that they are on the way to understanding; he knows too that at present they cannot help but see in him and even in their Master [aka spiritual teacher] the very qualities which are dominating them. For, my brother, we see in others what is in us, even when it is not there at all or to the same extent. Disciples need to learn the distinction between true analytical insight and so-called criticism. A Master [aka spiritual teacher] does not criticise the members of His Ashram. He seeks to analyse for them the points wherein they may hinder the usefulness of the service of the Ashram. There is a basic distinction between this constructive aid and the criticism which is based on a sense of personal superiority and a love of fault finding” (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 730).
A final note on criticism, as a Chela in the Light wakes up more spiritually he or she will increasingly be given the power to help spiritually wake up others. As the Chela in the Light wakes up others, he/she has to learn to do so in a way that does not smash others in the process because the Chela is using ignorant, naive, or forceful methods that end up being more abusive and debilitating instead of helpful. The fire of the personality we are told in the Bailey teachings is a “fire by friction.” It causes friction in others. Better, we are told, to use the fire of the soul, which is a “solar fire.” Solar fire warms and frees others from their selfish tendencies without harming or burning them. Only when a Chela in the Light deals enough with his/her own personality shadow can they liberate others more through the power of love, than through the love of power (distorted as love). And, only then will criticism be felt by others as something that liberates and helps them, instead of viewing it as something that discourages and punishes them.
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