DISLODGING FROM THE MATERIAL WORLD
From the moment we are born as humans and open our five senses to the world, we begin our journey into the manifest world. Like aliens from another planet, or avatars projected into a video game, we teleport into the material realm seeking to understand what this world is all about. For thousands of years people have attempted to answer that question. In the early 1900’s one woman, named Alice Bailey, likewise attempted an answer. Her approach was mainly psychological and developmental. In fact, few people understand the impact she had (and continues to have) on psychological fields today.
Her psychological model was not just “human” psychology. It was “spiritual” psychology, meaning she was attempting to explain both what it is like to journey through the experience of being a human being, especially at the juncture where that human being was ready to become a Soul. Yes, become a Soul. Because Bailey felt that we not only had a soul, the spiritual journey was to become a Soul. That is what this book is about. And, long before other approaches (like Spiral Dynamics and Integral) emerged attempting to explain what the spiritual journey is about from a developmental point of view, Bailey was writing over 20 books on the subject. So why is her model not very well known?
The main reason, I believe, is its complexity. Essentially, her books are written as if you already have a mastery on the subject. To use mathematics as an example, her books already assume you understand calculus. They don’t much care if you need to learn arithmetic, algebra, or trigonometry. They assume you already have all of that figured out. That means her books can be maddening to get through. They are also easily misrepresented and misunderstood by people who pick through them, pull out a few sentences here and there, and assume they have her model figured out. Sadly, it is just not that easy. Take it from someone who has read and re-read her books for over thirty years now. And, despite my increased mastery of her system, even I am still likely in places to get it wrong. Maybe that is why I have redone the chart trying to correlate her various terms at this writing twenty-six times!
Based on my understanding of Bailey’s model, what does it mean then to “become a Soul?” This book gives you an overview of the initial stages. The first step in Bailey’s model is to become fully human. Bailey calls this an Integrated Personality. Essentially, you have learned mastery over the material world. You have been able to build enough essential facts about the material world in your head, and have a reasonable enough control over your emotions, that you can reach the heights of success in the material world. Typically, you also tend to be hyper-individualistic, frequently self-centered and driven by the realm of desire. You seek to “have it all” in the way of money/security, pleasure/sex, and power. Yet, after you reach the point of “having it all” you find out it didn’t really bring you the happiness and peace of mind you had hoped for. Instead, it catapults you into an existential crisis leaving you wondering, “Is this all there is?”
That is a wonderful thing, according to Bailey. Because having explored the “video game” of the realm of the five senses, and found it wanting, you are now ready for a new quest. What is that quest? Becoming a Soul. Like the path to Becoming Human, this path is full of pitfalls and rewards. Showing what those paths may be and giving you tips for how to avoid them is what makes Bailey’s model (in my opinion) so helpful. For as we dislodge from the material world of the five senses, and move beyond what only the five senses can see, we discover the spiritual realms to be real. Better yet, we learn to navigate those realms with greater ease. I invite you then share in this journey of understanding Bailey’s views on this. To the best of my ability I am attempting to simplify her model through my attempts to organize it better. I need to warn you though, that does not mean it will always be easy to wrap your head around.
Some final thoughts. Bailey is attempting to give a step by step process of spiritual growth and development. What that means is, if it is truly a developmental model, the majority of human beings will progress through these stages. The same way we go from infancy, to childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood as we become fully human, we will go from infancy, to childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood as we become Souls. If over time we discover Bailey’s stages do not adequately represent these stages, it is important to be open to expanding what she is saying here. That is why you will also see as part of this book, my attempts to correlate her writings to other models of psycho-spiritual development. I hope these correlations further help you in understanding the value of her writings, which after all, are not meant to be studied, so much as they are meant to be put into practice as each of us moves into the experience of Becoming Soul.