This post continues to look at some of the spiritual challenges that those at the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane including how they are learning the necessity for right thought and speech, developing the capacity to see things metaphorically and to produce a synthesis of ideas, and some of the emerging problems that take place when there is too much emphasis on the mind and looking into the subtle worlds. 

CHAPTER TEN: GROUP SEVEN, Chela in the Light, Part Three

5th Subplane Mental Plane



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At the time of my writing this book the world around me is becoming an increasingly crass and vulgar place. It is almost considered “hip”, a mark of prestige, or a symbol of how enlightened and “free from your shadow” you are to be able to throw vulgar language and cuss words around. Some in spiritual circles talk about “nonduality,” “crazy wisdom” and “Vajrayana Buddhism” teachings to justify talking like this. Vulgar language and the use of cuss words is also a sign that you have gone way beyond that old-fashioned “puritanism.” For the Probationer this is not at all the case as they are becoming more aware of how thoughts and speech create. These are not new concepts. Various religions talk about how God created the world through the “word” or sound. As we have seen on the 7th subplane of the Mental Plane the Probationer Disciple is becoming increasingly conscious of how different kinds of food can build up or destroy the physical body. On the 6th subplane of the Emotional Plane they are discovering how various emotional states aid or hinder their spiritual well-being. And, here on the 5th subplan of the Mental Plane as Probationer Disciples transition into Chelas in the Light they are learning how various states of mind expressed in thoughts and speech can build up or destroy the mind, emotions, and even the physical body as well. In short, sound matters.

               The Chela in the Light then is learning how to become increasingly conscious and discerning regarding the kinds of thoughts he or she puts into one’s mind, and what kinds of speech they put out there into the world. There is a saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” True, if we know who we really are as the SELF, we may like a Teflon dish easily repel harsh words and language directed at us through a sort of “divine indifference.” With compassion we look at those who voice harsh words, cruel speech, and vulgar language and know that inside some sort of disharmony exists within that individual. But, there is also a saying that goes, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may break my heart.”  In other words, the thoughts we think and the words we express can have the power to wound, hurt, defile, degrade and even in some instances kill someone. The epidemic of cyber-bullying going on at the time I am writing this is an example of how words can even kill, as far too often vulnerable youth take their lives since because they don’t know how to deal with the degrading and cruel thoughts directed at them. Words can also kill even if they exist in our own minds. Depression and even suicide can happen at times simply because of the excess of negative and hopeless thoughts we tell ourselves. 

Civility, diplomacy, discernment in how we talk and speak matters more and more at this stage in the spiritual path. The kind of television, music, movies, social media we consume also matters because increasingly we see for ourselves that it all shapes the quality of our minds and the ability of our minds to become an instrument for the soul and the higher intuitional realms, or not! This doesn’t mean that we should live in a cave and insulate ourselves from the world attempting to always live in a positive and happy bubble of thought. What it does mean is that we increasingly make sure that what we consume in the way of ideas, news and “entertainment” is something we can “digest.” To say it another way, we are able to assimilate and process it so that it does not bring us down, stir up emotional negativity, cloud our minds, and cause us to forget who we really are as spiritual Beings. In conclusion, Bailey has a lot more to say about the training in right thinking and speaking, which we will talk about more as we get into the later chapters.


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As the Chela in the Light penetrates the realm of thought in a deeper way, a mental shift occurs. Increasingly, the inner meaning and significance of words, thoughts, and ideas are examined beyond simply the outer form. The capacity to see the esoteric or metaphorical significance of ideas is increasingly grasped. For example, the symbolic or hidden truths are seen within the world’s great spiritual teachings going  beyond the literal interpretations that those in Groups 4 & 5 engage in. The penetration into deeper truths also moves past the secular, agnostic, and atheistic orientations of those in Group 6 who reject literal approaches outright, but cannot see the “mythos” contained within spiritual teachings (to use a phrase from famous mythologist Joseph Campbell where he states that myths are, “an organization of symbolic forms, images, and narratives that are metaphoric of the possibilities of human experience and fulfillment of a given society at a given time.” 

               The Chela in the Light becomes increasingly absorbed in a hunger for knowledge regarding the workings of the inner realms. As we will later see even though the Ray type (there are seven in the Bailey system), determines the outer expression regarding the profession (as a spiritual teacher, politician, artist, scientist, philosopher, business person, and so on), the desire and capacity to create a synthesis emerges in regards to all fields making the individual a “Renascence” human being. A boundless curiosity exists along with a renewed confidence and satisfaction within the realm of the mind. No surprise then so many at this level move into, or are placed within, leadership positions. Other members of Group 7 (those in the 7th and 6th subplanes of the Mental Plane) often look to those in the 5th subplane for guidance regarding the realm of the mind. Those in Group 6 (including Aspirants) may also look to those at this level, though they may be threatened and intimidated by them (as those in Groups 3, 4, 5 may be). Regardless the fascination with realms beyond what the five senses reveals, and deeper insight into the realm of the Soul is growing. In many ways these inner realms become so fascinating that the outer world is seen as boring and can even become neglected. Which leads us to the problems of this level that we will examine now — “idea fixee,” mental pride and living in a thought bubble.


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This difficulty we are told will become increasingly dominant as humanity moves more and more into the Mental Plane. It can apply to those in Group Six with Integrated Personalities especially as thoughts are used to help one fulfill their intense desire natures, but it also applies to those in Group Seven, especially those at the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane who are increasingly becoming receptive to the realm of ideas. In part this is because those at this level have greater capacity to create what Bailey calls “thought forms.” These “thought forms” can then capture the mental and emotional attention of the person in such a way they develop mental pride or get overly attached to their views of things creating what is commonly known as an “idea fixee” or a rigid attachment to certain ideas. Bailey explains this problem as follows: “Creative thought is not the same as creative feeling and this distinction is often not grasped.  All that can be created in the future will be based upon the expression of ideas.  This will be brought about, first of all, through thought perception, then through thought concretion and finally through thought vitalisation.  It is only later that the created thought form will descend into the world of feeling and there assume the needed sensuous quality which will add colour and beauty to the already constructed thought form. It is at this point that danger eventuates for the student.  The thought form of an idea has been potently constructed.  It has taken to itself also colour and beauty.  It is, therefore, capable of holding a man both mentally and emotionally. 

If he has no sense of balance, no sense of proportion and no sense of humour, the thought form can become so potent that he finds he is an avowed devotee, unable to retreat from his position.  He can see nothing and believe nothing and work for nothing except that embodied idea which is so powerfully holding him a captive.  Such people are the violent partisans in any group, in any church, order or government.  They are frequently sadistic in temperament and are the adherents of cults and sciences; they are willing to sacrifice or to damage anyone who seems to them inimical to their fixed idea of what is right and true.  The men who engineered the Spanish Inquisition and those who were responsible for the outrages in the times of the Covenanters are samples of the worst forms of this line of thought and development.

People tainted with this psychological trouble of blind adherence to ideas and of personality devotions are found in every organisation, every church, religion, in political and scientific bodies and also in every esoteric and occult organisation.  They are psychologically unsound and the trouble from which they suffer is practically contagious.  They are a menace, just as smallpox is a menace.  This type of difficulty is not often regarded as constituting a psychological problem until the time comes when the man is so far afflicted that he becomes a group problem, or is regarded as peculiar or unbalanced.  It is, nevertheless, definitely a psychological disorder of a most definite kind, requiring careful handling.  It is also peculiarly difficult to handle, as the early stages are apparently wholesome and sound.  To work with some group or with some teacher is often regarded as a definite means of psychological salvation, for it tends to extrovert the mystic and thus give proper release for the recognised inflowing energy.  As long as it does this and nothing else, there is no real danger, but the moment a man’s vision of other and greater possibilities becomes dim or begins to fade out, the moment a body of doctrines or a school of thought or an exponent of any theory engrosses his complete attention to the exclusion of all other points of view or possibilities, that moment the seeds of psychological trouble can be duly noted and the man is in danger.” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 455 — 457)

To put it more plainly, this person has closed his or her mind to other ideas, possibilities, points of view. The flexibility and fluidity of the mind has shut down. Even if it appears that the person has a well stocked and inclusive mind, that “inclusion” exists primarily to come up with more and more “proof” to validate the current mindset one is caged within. The ability to question ones ideas, school of thought, assumptions, teacher or teaching as infallible or incorrect is increasingly shut off. You may even find that anyone or anything that threatens ones mindset is set aside, isolated, and at worst eliminated. And, as Bailey says this becomes even more of a difficulty if this individual now uses this closed mind-set to attempt to get others to conform to their ideology. As a reminder we are told that this problem will increase in the centuries to come and will be found everywhere. It can even be found with those who are affiliated with the Bailey and Integral teachings. For this reason we all need to be careful. 

Finally, mental problems take place with those who are overly focused on the realm of thought, which is a natural occurrence for those who are making an increased shift onto the Mental Plane. The problem is though they are increasingly capable of meditating upon and accessing ideas, they are not maintaining a balance in terms of their emotional, physical, and even spiritual lives in terms of spirituality being both a heart centered and not just a head centered approach. Bailey says of this kind of meditation, “The intense mental focussing, producing undue mental emphasis, wrong attitudes and anti-social living, is also a form of meditation, but it is meditation carried forward entirely within the periphery of the small area of a particular man’s mind. This is a statement of fact and of importance. This restricts him and leaves out all contact with other areas of mental perception and induces an intense one-pointed mental stimulation of a particularly powerful kind, and which has no outlet except towards the brain, via the desire nature.” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 463).  At its best this intense mental focus Bailey says will lead to a genius or someone who is highly creative along a particular line. At its worst it can lead to people who become overly frustrated and even explosive because they are not able to get an outlet for their ideas. Providing a creative outlet so their ideas can be expressed is typically enough to satisfy these people. However, new problems can arise if the person becomes “obsessed with their own wisdom, their power and their creative capacity.” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 461). This can lead to becoming a megalomaniac or a fanatic, which we see in Integrated Personality types, and can reemerge with a greater intensity again at this level. 

The solutions Bailey presents will begin to emerge more as we get into the 4th subplane of the Mental Plane but they are worthy of listing briefly here. They include decentralizing the person by giving them other interests; developing in them more of a social conscience; and in a steady and loving way presenting them with a wider vision of the world. You can also attempt to gradually break down the walls of their separated thoughts by continually exposing them to other points of view; getting them to blend in more with other people; awakening  them to the higher issues and realities; helping them to pour light into the dark places of their lives (shadow work); giving them a balanced sense of proportion; expanding their interpretive capacity; having patience until they achieve more right understanding; helping them to cultivate a happy sense of humor; or in the worst case scenarios lock them away until the obsession with their own vision and thoughts is dissipated. (Summarized from Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 462—465). Then essentially it is up their souls to help them mature.

“Where, however, these [cures] are not present, there will be (according to the type and the sense of vision) bewilderment, a failure to comprehend what is happening, undue emphasis upon personality reactions and phenomena, pride in achievement, a tremendous sense of inferiority, too much speech, a running hither and thither for explanation, comfort, assurance, and a sense of comradeship, or perhaps a complete breakdown of the mental forces, or the disruption of the brain cells through the strain to which they have been subjected. “ Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 465—466). Mania and depression may take place as those overly fascinated with the mind are both stimulated by their ideas and defeated by them when they become frustrated because they do not know how to utilize them in the right way in the world.


THINKAnother problem that is revealed to a greater extent on the 5th subplane of the mental plane is how Chelas in the Light frequently get caught up in knowledge of the spiritual realms as opposed to wisdom. It is not at all uncommon for them to focus on philosophical and esoteric knowledge that they make no real use of in their lives. Slowly, as Bailey puts it, they will have “a growing realisation that the field of knowledge is but an appearance or an illusion, that knowledge itself can be a hindrance unless transmuted into wisdom” Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, p. 33. Bailey also states that the fifth kingdom (those who known themselves as Souls) can only be “entered through the full development and control of the fifth principle of mind, and its transmutation into wisdom, which is literally the intelligence applied to all states through the full conscious utilisation of the faculty of discriminative love” Initiation: Human and Solar, p. 21. What we see in these quotes from Bailey is that wisdom is both “intelligence applied” and that is involves a “discriminative love.” An example of this is knowing how to apply the popular saying that some have attributed to the Buddha of the mouth needing three gatekeepers, “It is true, is it kind, is it necessary?.” The spiritual teacher Sathya Sai Baba added to these three things the final phrase, “Does it improve the silence?” And, then later the saying was turned into an acronym of THINK. “It is True, it is Helpful, it is Inspiring, is it Necessary, is it Kind?”

The use of the THINK acronym indicates the humility and discernment needed when knowledge is applied or conveyed to someone. Is it true means that we need to keep an open mind regarding any assertions that incline us to be absolute in our understanding of anything. Is it helpful reveals if we are able to use anything we know in a way that helps someone or something else evolve. Is it inspiring shows how what we say needs to uplift or point the way forward towards a positive change or resolution, even if what we are sharing is not the best of news. Is it necessary points to the notion of timing, meaning is it really necessary to share what we know right now? Is it kind means that we need to be soulful in our sharing of knowledge, which leads us to these additional quotes from Bailey about knowledge versus wisdom.

Bailey also goes on to say that “These realisations, or apprehended expansions of consciousness, are under natural law, and come in due course of time to every soul without exception.  In a lesser degree they are undergone daily by every human being, as his mental grip of life and experience gradually grows, but they only become initiations into the wisdom (as differentiated from expansions of knowledge) when the knowledge gained is:— a. Consciously sought for. b. Self-sacrificingly applied to life. c. Willingly used in service for others. d. Intelligently utilised on the side of evolution. Only souls of a certain amount of experience and development do all these four things consistently and steadily, and thus transmute knowledge into wisdom, and experience into quality.  The ordinary average man transmutes ignorance into knowledge, and experience into faculty. It would be helpful if all of us pondered upon the difference between inherent quality and innate faculty; one is the very nature of buddhi, or wisdom, and the other of manas, or mind.  The union of these two, through a man’s conscious effort, results in a major initiation.” Initiation: Human & Solar pp. 176—177

What then is innate faculty? Essentially it reveals how capable one is of manipulation information, especially in regards to data and facts. A computer for example is very capable of manipulating facts. But, that computer has no heart connection with that information. The heart connection is what brings about the inherent quality, or the essential nature of something that reveals its real value. To give an example, we may possess some knowledge about spiritual realities, but in our desire to impress others with how much we know, we may attempt to humiliate others around us in an attempt to prove to others how much more we know than they do. We may even speak up and correct others in such a way that they are humiliated or shamed in a public venue. Whether we see it or not we are not only lacking wisdom in the way we are sharing what we know, we are unable to see the egotistical way in which we are really just trying to call attention to ourselves so that we are seen as an authority figure above and beyond everyone else around us. The “innate faculty” of the individual may have given her the knowledge that allowed her to correct the facts of what we being said. But, the lack of inherent quality means that when that knowledge is shared with others, it has no real essential value to them. In short, to go back to Bailey’s four points, correcting others knowledge may not have been consciously sought after by those we corrected and not helpful is the knowledge was shared in such a way that it puts others off. Or, correcting others with our understanding of the facts may not have been essential to share at that moment. As for self-sacrifice it is not present if we are unable to sacrifice of our own need to look special when our knowledge was shared. By not sharing those facts with others with the right tone of humility the inherent quality that we may have shared is one of our own egotisim and need to look important and special. For this reason our attempt to correct the facts may not have served others. It may not have helped things evolve if the end result of sharing our knowledge did not make for a more unified and harmonious understanding (which are inherent qualities), but rather made things more divisive (a different kind of inherent quality that is more personality than soul driven).

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