This post connects the stage of Probationary Disciple as I believe it relates to the 7th subplane of the Mental Plane to and provides comparisons of this developmental level with what the Integral model has to say.
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.
INTEGRAL MODEL COMPARISONS
Though in my first book Becoming Human, we found a lot of overlap between the Bailey and Integral models, as we get to the more advanced stages of the Bailey model we will find more and more that the Integral model fits less and less with what Bailey has to say. In my personal opinion, the Integral model simply does not have the depth of detail that the Bailey model has regarding what goes on at the higher stages of spiritual development, though it appears in their constant revisions they are attempting to catch up.
To begin with, Integral simply does not emphasize enough the moral development of these higher spiritual stages. One reason for this may be that the main founder of Integral, Ken Wilber, was heavily influenced at first by spiritual teachers who came out of the “crazy wisdom” tradition of spirituality. “Crazy wisdom” is a phrase used to understand spiritual teachers who seem to go against the norm of spiritual development. They smoke, drink, do drugs, eat meat, swear, have sex (even engage in orgies), and at times could even be said to be emotionally and physically abusive to others. Many of these behaviors are justified as being part of the “tantric” tradition of yoga and Vajrayana Buddhism. Adi Da (aka, Da Free, John or Franklin Jones), Chogyam Trungpa, Andrew Cohen, Marc Gafni have all had some influence on Ken Wilber and the Integral movement to a greater or lesser degree. And, all have had controversies surrounding them regarding some of their less than ethical behaviors (as ethics are defined by the majority of spiritual traditions).
The justification behind “crazy wisdom” traditions is that once you realize everything is One, then nothing should be off the table. Of course taken to it’s extreme, this can also mean that murder, genocide, and cannibalism are also perfectly acceptable behaviors. That flies in the face of course, with Wilber’s own protestations of what happens too often at the stage of what is known as Integral Green, where all views become equivalent in a kind of “flatland” that abolishes any kind of hierarchy of good and bad altogether. That means essentially a Mother Teresa and a Hitler end up virtually the same. This “flatland” problem is something Wilber himself has become concerned with, and attempts to work against. So, what does that mean for “crazy wisdom” traditions?
Having been influenced by Wilber and Bailey both relatively early in my life (in my twenties), I long struggled with the “crazy wisdom” ideology. I even read Holy Madness by Georg Feurestein, a person I very much respected and even got to interview once on a radio program, attempting to sort this whole thing out. Ultimately, my views were solidified mainly by what famous yogi Paramahamsa Yogananda (of Autobiography of a Yogi fame) had to say about this “crazy wisdom”, or “tantra” matter. Yogananda says, “Responding to a journalist’s question about tantric practices, Paramahansaji said in 1951: ‘They al originally had some good in them, when correctly understood in their pure scriptural form; but as practices today they are mostly bad, because they advocate fantastic methods that are not suitable to the common man. Some tantrikas who know the spiritual seed-words, vibratory mantras, by which they can attune their consciousness see visions of deities (personifications of God’s divine powers), and then ultimately commune with God, are very good; but tantrikas who indulge in sex, wine, and evil practices are not good. Yogis usually condemn this path, for most seekers merely find in it an excuse to indulge their baser instincts and lusts rather than to attain self-control’” (God Talks to Arjuna, p. 482 footnote). Yogananda also emphasized in his writing numerous times that “fully emancipated masters” who could by rights relinquish certain activities due to their high level of realization refuse to do so because they remain aware of their need to set a good example to those who follow and imitate them. Yogananda’s views align very strongly with Bailey’s, causing me to conclude that the distortion of Tantric Yoga into a justification to do what they want, is primarily a struggle for those who are on the Probationary Discipleship through Accepted Discipleship stages of the spiritual path, who despite many gains in spiritual life, fall backwards in their progress, most likely due to “cleavages” or “gaps” in their spiritual development. That is precisely why spiritual, moral, and psycho-spiritual disciples are needed, to help one see ways they are justifying moving off the spiritual path either by becoming too rigid and fanatical in their adherence to spiritual practices, or by becoming too lax under a “crazy wisdom” disguise.
I would now like to dive into some more direct comparisons with Integral, but first we need to review what model we are talking about. Is it this one? That talks about the levels of Green, Teal, Turquoise, and Indigo?
Or, this one that talks about the Sensitive Self (Green), the Integral Self (Yellow), and the Holistic Self (Turquoise)? Again, the Integral model has gone through a number of variations, though the one on the top s the more recent one. For starters then, please notice what these two models have to say.
Also, to let you know the Radical Phase Shift wording that you see in these charts I used to believe paralleled what Alice Bailey calls the “First Initiation,” which is the first major expansion of consciousness that Bailey states we undergo, which I will talk about more later in this book. Having examined the Integral model more closely, I now believe that it does not. Rather, Bailey’s First Initiation, I feel correlates more with what happens more at the Integral Third Tier level. Keeping this in mind let’s look at little more closely at Integral’s Green level and how it fits in with some of what Is going on in Bailey’s Probationary Discipleship level.
We can begin by reviewing some of the Green keywords in the Integral model above. And, here again are quotes directly from An Overview of Developmental Stages of Consciousness compiled by Barrett C. Brown, Integral Institute April 3, 2006.
Green Values: Bottom line: Community harmony and equality. Basic theme: Seek peace within the inner self and explore, with others, the caring dimensions of community. What’s important: Sensitivity to others and the environment; feelings and caring (in response to the cold rationality of Orange); harmony and equality; reconciliation, consensus, dialogue, participation, relationships, and networking; human development, bonding and spirituality; diversity and multiculturalism; relativism and pluralism; freeing the human spirit from greed, dogma, and divisiveness; distributing the earth’s resources and opportunities equally among all. Where seen: Frequently visible in the helping professions (e.g., health care, education, and feelings-oriented business activities); John Lennon’s Imagine; Netherlands’ idealism; sensitivity training; cooperative inquiry; postmodernism; politically correct; human rights and diversity issues
Green Self-Identity: Main focus: Self in relation to the system and in interaction with the system. Qualities: Makes decisions based upon their own view of reality; aware that interpreting reality “always depends on the position of the observer”; more tolerant of oneself and others due to awareness of life’s complexity and individual differences; questions old identities; more interested in personal accomplishments independent of socially sanctioned rewards; increased understanding of complexity, systemic connections, and unintended effects of actions; begins to question own assumptions and those of others; talks of interpretations rather than truth; systematic problem solving; begins to seek out and value feedback How influences others: Adapts (ignores) rules when needed, or invents new ones; discusses issues and airs differences.
Before we review all the information above, let’s start by remembering how in my book, Becoming Human, I had associated Bailey’s Aspirant stage, with many of the qualities found in Integral Green, especially something that happens at the Integral Green stage that Ken Wilber calls “Boomeritis.” Boomeritis highlights the selfishly motivated often materialistic spiritual impulses that emerge at Integral’s level Green. These kind of impulses are very much found in Bailey’s Little Chelaship stage, especially at the Aspirant part of it. As for what the Brown text says about Green, however, the notion of Boomeritis doesn’t seem to be reflected much there because Brown is mainly emphasizing the more mature and idealized version of Green.
Regarding what Brown says about Integral Green, yes, ideally they aspire, as the Bailey Aspirant and Probationer does, to consensus because they want to avoid being judgmental about others. Yet, at the same time those at the Integral Green and Bailey Little Chelaship (Aspirant and Probationers) levels are often very judgmental about people who they judge as being too judgmental of others. Yes, they want their own “view of reality” and often talk about things like “create your own reality” and ideas like “quantum physics,” but often they do so without really using their minds to understand how these things really work, which is also a typical problem for Little Chelas. For example, well known quantum physicist Amit Goswami states clearly in his Quantum Activist documentary that when people talk about “creating their own reality” they are often resorting to what he calls “solipsism” (where people think that they are the only ones creating what is going on in the world, and are therefore busy discounting that others in the world also help to co-create the world around us). This sloppy use of the mind approach that Integral Green and the Bailey Aspirant (and to a slight lesser degree the Probationer) frequently take is usually a defense mechanism, where those at the Integral Green and Bailey’s Aspirant/Probationer types, want to rush ahead and look more spiritually advanced than they truly are either out of naiveté or a desire to be seen as spiritually more evolved and important.
Create Your Own Reality
As for the “create your own reality” beliefs (aka Science of Mind teachings and The Secret book) tend to become so fascinated with, their understanding of how this really works still tends to be heavily colored by the Groups Six, Integrated Personality’s selfish and separated views, that imply how the entire Universe has nothing better to do than to sit around and listen to the commands of a tiny human “speck of not even dust” human being, using a miniscule brain, to act like God and direct the entire Universe to do its bidding, (mainly so it can have more money, pleasure, and power). In the Integral system this is often thought to be a throwback to their level Red that is prone to magical thinking. In the Bailey model we see the same thing when Bailey states that the Little Chela is recapitulating and attempting to bring to a higher level Lemurian consciousness, which is indeed prone to a magical thinking orientation (see Becoming Human). This is also why we see New Age type thinking emerge at both the Integral Green level and the Bailey Little Chelaship levels that can seem so disconcerting, especially since both Integral Green and the Little Chela seem to be losing their hard won capacity for logical thinking. Both Integral Green and Bailey’s Little Chelas are simply too naïve, caught up in magical thinking, and prone to want to look more advanced spiritually than they really are, to have the humility, caution, and prudence to more carefully examine many New Age type claims regarding magical powers and how the spiritual realms really work.
Still, all of this again is a step, and if truth be told, most everyone who starts on the spiritual path is prone to get caught up to some degree with New Agey type thinking, where only much later they can see their mistakes. That is the beauty of having a developmental model towards spiritual growth. Instead, of judging these kinds of things we can have compassion for it all. We can also embrace what Bailey is implying that these are “recapitulation” stages, meaning we are trying to take our previous understanding of something (such as magical powers and magical thinking) to a higher level. For now, at this level, that will mean we may be prone to laying on crystal beds to get healed, while neglecting the gains of modern medicine that might heal us better. That is all just part of the learning process. Later, at another turn of the spiral, our understanding will deepen even more, as we revisit “magical thinking and magical powers” with a much more scientific and yogic understanding. (Note: we will address this level later when we get to the Accepted Discipleship stage in the Bailey model. There we will also look more closely at Ken Wilber’s great contribution along these lines, known as the “Pre/Trans Fallacy).
I am using the phrase “The Sensitives” both because it is the title of an entire book on this topic from philosopher Paul Brunton (who joined the Theosophical Society in 1920 and wrote books on his travels visiting yogis and mystics throughout the world), and because the phrase “Sensitive Self” is used by Integral Green. Sensitives are precisely that. At the level of the Integral Green and Bailey’s Little Chelaship stage (Aspirant and Probationer), sensitives are slightly more free from selfish desires and more able to think of others needs. They tend to be more tolerant, introspective, and more inclined to appreciate diverse views. Since they are more metaphoric in their thinking than literal, they are better able to appreciate nuance and to find similarities among various systems of thought. Because they are opening up their inner sensory awareness, they may also be more psychically sensitive as well.
The problem is, as we see in both Integral Green and in Bailey’s Little Chela stage, is that they may be “too sensitive” mainly because the mind is still too mixed in with emotion. Too often they lack discernment regarding the true motives of other and even of themselves. Wanting to go too fast on the spiritual path, they may see themselves as far more advanced than they really are, and tend to believe others are more developed spiritually than they really are as well. The good news is they are far more open to looking at themselves, and much better able to receive feedback that will help them to grow. Being more sensitive to the needs, feelings and rights of others, they are more prone to build cooperative groups among people of all races, nationalities, creeds, etc. As Brown says, they have a need to “seek peace within the inner self and explore, with others the caring dimensions of community.” The problem is though they are “aspirational” and have “good intentions,” they have yet to really understand that not everyone is at the same level developmentally who comes into a community or a cooperative, meaning those who are still highly selfish and manipulative may readily subvert those communities. And, not everyone (maybe even themselves) really knows how to do cooperative work, meaning despite the desire to have everyone “love one another” and “get along” personality conflicts, desires, and drives are still likely to submerge even the best intentions and good work if they are not more careful and aware. Still, they are trying and making steps to be more truly inclusive, caring, and heart-felt. That is the main thing that counts.
Next we will look at Integral Teal (which in some version of Integral is also known as Yellow), because some of this level of Integral fits in with the Probationary Path in Bailey’s teachings as well. We will start by simply listing some of the keywords of this level as defined by Integral.
Acceptance of Hierarchy
Unlike at the Integral Green and Bailey Aspirant stage, where the notion of “hierarchy” tends to be rejected, Integral Teal and Bailey’s Probationary Discipleship stage tend to accept more easily the hierarchy notion. In my book Becoming Human, I spoke about how this reaction to hierarchy occurs, typically at the Integral Green and Aspirant stage. Mainly it is a reaction to what Ken Wilber has called “dominator hierarchies,” where people in positions of power used that power to dominate, exclude, belittle, and even enslave those they deemed “not worthy” or “evolved” enough. In the Integral movement a great deal of work has been done to re-educate people about not only the value of hierarchy, but the reality of it. To make the word hierarchy more palatable, the word has even been changed in some Integral circles to “holoarchy.” Actually, the word “hier” essentially means sacred. Sacred implies wholeness. So a hierarchy (sacred rulership) can only happen if it becomes more “whole-making,” inclusive, and working for the betterment of all. It does not dominate, it integrates and uplifts.
When we turn to the Bailey teachings we find that the word hierarchy is used all the time. Her books are full of references to the “spiritual hierarchy” that is attempting to guide humanity along a spiritual path. It might even be then, that those at the Integral Green and even Bailey Aspirant stage, would pick up one of her books and rapidly put it down with disgust simply because they were only carrying notions of hierarchy that were oppressive and dominating, and believe that is what Bailey meant by this phrase as well. By Integral Teal and Bailey’s Probationary Discipleship stage, the triggers around the word hierarchy are gone. It’s true meaning is understood. Those at Integral Teal and Bailey’s Probationers see the “natural hierarchy” all around us and how each new level builds upon and includes the level below.
Leading Edge of Consciousness and Culture
Other ways that Integral Teal and Bailey’s Probationary Disciples are similar include both being on the “leading edge of consciousness and culture” as Integral calls it. This makes sense since these equivalent groups represent the next step of spiritual growth and evolution. One of the reasons they are on the leading edge is because they are “awakening a maximum number of streams of evolution” to use Integral terms. Actually, I don’t believe personally the word maximum is the best choice here, as that word tends to imply that we have reached the end, or “maximum,” number, and clearly we have not. Still, it implies that greater evolutionary changes are happening that are reaching the leading edges of where humanity’s spiritual development is at. To get to Integral Teal there is also a statement that we have reached the “second tier” where at last we become “transpersonal.” The word “transpersonal” means beyond the personal, or beyond the individual self-centered focus only. The word suggests then that Integral Teal and Bailey’s Probationer represent the first stages where others thoughts, feelings, and needs are embraced in a truly heart-felt way that is not based on tribal identity or personal gain (status, money, or politics wise). Interestingly enough, the Transpersonal Psychology movement was inspired in part by one of Bailey’s main students, Roberto Assagioli, who developed the psychological method known as Psychosynthesis. When you see the phrase “integrating subpersonalities into coherent complex self-identity and self story,” that is actually a reference to Psychosynthesis and its use of something known as “sub-personalities,” which are different aspects of our personality that at some point have to be integrated into a more unified whole or “Self” (Soul) identity.
Another reason Integral Teal and Bailey’s Probationer are on the leading edge is because in Integral terms they are “flexible, creative, and effective.” One of the main reasons for this Bailey would explain is because the Probationer is making a number of shifts in the center system. Especially the shift from the sacral center (with its heavy emphasis on pleasure and sexuality), to the throat center (which is creative in a new kind of way not connected to merely personal expression, personal pleasure, or sexual and sensory stimulation) that assists in this. However, to truly understand what it means to be “flexible, creative, and effective” in regards to Bailey’s Probationer path we have to understand more comprehensively what the new kind of creativity really looks like because it will not only be creative (something new), it will not be focused on primarily personal expression. Rather, it will be a form of creativity that attempts to take the individual, and even all of humanity, to a new level of Self or Soul Realization. And, quite honestly, I am exactly sure that when Integral talks about being more “flexible, creative, and effective” they are meaning it in quite that same way. If they are not, then this aspect of their “Teal/Yellow” may also fit with Bailey’s Integrated Personality, since they too are often more “flexible, creative, and effective,” only they are being that way mainly as a means of personal expression, personal notoriety, and personal gain.
Finally, I would also like to look at Integral’s Turquoise level (which at times in connection to the Spiral Dynamics connection with Integral has also been called the Holistic Self). Quite honestly, we will find a lot of overlap between Bailey’s Probationary Discipleship stage and this level also. Meaning three of Integral’s stages fit to some degree with Bailey’s one Probationary level.
Probationers overall do see the world as “alive and evolving” much as those in Integral Turquoise do. In fact, it may even be argued that Probationer’s are encouraged to see the world as alive and evolving in a much more active way than what the Integral model is referring to. Those in the Integral movement tend to see our planet as alive and evolving, but they do not necessarily see it as conscious. This is a big distinction between Integral and Bailey. In the Bailey model the planet is literally a living, moving, and conscious Be-ing, that we factually as humans “live, move and have our Being within.” Our planet, known as the Planetary Logos, has a plan, a will, an intelligence that we tiny specks called human beings are meant to discover and cooperate with. To my knowledge Integral does not share this point of view. Our planet, even our Kosmos, is viewed in the Integral model as alive but unconscious! Sure, the planet and the Kosmos are not meant to be dominated and exploited the way those in Integral/Orange and Bailey’s Group Six/Integrated Personalities tend to do. We are meant to cooperate with “Mother Earth” or “Gaia” in such a way that we use her natural resources wisely. But, that is the external component of our “Earth.” It emphasizes cooperation with the other kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal) on our Earth as a way to ensure balance and prevention of harm and even extinction. Integral does not recognize enough the “inner world” or “inner life” of our planet and Kosmos, which is conscious and whose “will” we need to come into accord with.
Finally, because Bailey’s Probationers are working on the process of purification in their thoughts, feelings, and actions, it fits into the Integral Turquoise tendency to be very active with the “interplay of awareness, action, thought, feeling and body.” And, when Integral talks about “awareness of the self as storied, as a fiction, as ongoingly created” in regards to their Turquoise level, the self they refer to is really the equivalent of what Bailey would call the “personality.” As we have seen, the Probatioary Disciple is taking up as one of their first disciplines the notion of dis-identification from the lower personal self, or personality. That is a necessary first step on the Probationary path. Finally, when Integral states that their Turquoise stage involves “living from both an individual self and a Trans-personal Self,” we again know that the Probationary Path is in play here, since achieving the balance between the individual self (Integrated Personality), and the Transpersonal Self (Soul), is precisely what motivates the person on the Probationary Path, though as we shall see the completion of this process does not take place until much later on.
Copyright © 2019 by Lisa Love. All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, computer, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.