Again what helps human beings become “Masters of the Universe” or “God-like” is when they begin to reach the higher levels of the Emotional Plane and get closer to the Mental Plane. As I say this, I need to clear up something that might confuse you. When I use the words Mental Plane, there is a tendency to believe that when humans reach the Mental Plane they finally cultivate their minds. This is true, but we are also talking about a completely different kind of mind than the one’s most humans have now. Most humans are what we call “kāma-manas.” They have some degree of mind (manas), but their mental processes are used primarily to satisfy their desires (kāma). Which brings me to a major point I need to clarify regarding how the mind looks on the Emotional Plane versus how the mind looks on the Mental Plane because mind operates very differently on these two planes.
One of the reasons most people (including myself for a long time) get confused is because of how people view Bailey’s Mental Plane as being composed of the “higher abstract mind” and the “lower concrete mind.” Upon doing a more thorough investigation about what her books say about the Mental Plane, it finally dawned on me that the words concrete mind and abstract mind, don’t necessarily mean mind on the Mental Plane. In fact they can even refer to mind on the Emotional Plane. To help you understand this I want to refer to a system known as Piaget’s theories of Cognitive Development, which are based upon actual empirical observation of thousands of infants, children, teenagers, and adults regarding how their mental processes develop. Any parent who watches their children develop can easily verify Piaget’s observations about mental development. Here are his four stages.
The Sensorimotor Stage Ages: Birth to 2 Years
Major Characteristics and Developmental Changes:
- Starting with infancy, the infant is learning about the world through their senses such as taste through sucking, looking, touch through movement and grasping, listening, and possibly through smell though this sense is rarely reported here
- Infants also come to understand object permanence, the fact that things can continue to exist even though they cannot be seen (like parents, the teddy bear, blanket and so forth).
- They come to understand that they are separate beings from the people and objects around them.
- And, they realize that their actions can cause things to happen, like crying can make a parent appear.
- You might say that this stage recapitulates Bailey’s “Lemurian consciousness” where the process of individuation occurs. The Integral model places this first stage of Piaget’s four fold model at their Infrared stage of development, which I have paired up with Bailey’s Group One. In a very short period of time children learn that they can begin to influence their physical environment. As they learn through object permanence that objects are separate from them, they start to attach names and words to these objects, which helps them start to learn the language of the culture and family they were born into.
The Preoperational Stage Ages: 2 to 7 Years
Major Characteristics and Developmental Changes:
- Next children start to think symbolically using words and pictures to represent the people and objects around them. Language begins to speed up for this reason as they collect a great deal of information about what things are named.
- Children at this stage also tend to be very egocentric meaning they struggle to see things from the perspective of others. For example, if you show a child at this stage a picture of three mountains, then take the picture away and show it to the child again later on, the child will say it is the same set of mountains if the picture looks exactly as it did before. But, if you show that child a picture of these same three mountains from another perspective, that child will claim they are not the same mountains at all. Why? Because children at this stage of mental development take things to be very literal and concrete. In other words just about every human being on the planet has the “lower concrete mind” developed by ages 2 to 7 years old. Since Bailey says in numerous places in her books that almost all of humanity has their consciousness on the Emotional Plane, and almost all humans have the lower concrete mind developed when they are very young, then the lower concrete mind has to refer to “kāma-manas” (desire-mind), which exists on the Emotional Plane.
- Also, children at this stage are so concrete in their thinking they even struggle with understanding that two things could be the same if they look very different. For example, a lump of clay may be divided it into two equal pieces. One piece of clay is then rolled into a ball, and the other piece is smashed into a flat pancake. Children at this stage of mental development will decide that there is more clay in the one made into a flat pancake shape, than in the ball, because the pancake shape looks larger to them. They cannot think abstractly enough to consider that because an equal amount of clay was put into both the ball and the pancake shape they have the same amount of clay within them.
As I understand it this also relates to Bailey’s “Lemurian consciousness” and I believe it is connected with her Group Two (which I have put on the lowest level of the Emotional Plane). Integral has placed this level of intellectual development at their Magenta stage, which as I will show in the chapter to come is equivalent to Bailey’s Group Two. What this means (and what the evidence supports then) is that the lower concrete mind begins at the lowest levels of the Emotional Plane, which is a long ways off from Mental Plane development.
The Concrete Operational Stage Ages: 7 to 11 Years
Major Characteristics and Developmental Changes
- Next at this stage children begin to enhance their ability to reason more about concrete events by adding inductive logic to their repertoire. Inductive logic is the capacity to go from a specific experience to a general principle allowing children to recognize correlations. For example, a child who gets itchy eyes whenever she is around a cat, starts to understand the correlation between the cat and the itchy eyes. She induces that it is the cat who gives her the itchy eyes instead of just feeling lost about how her itchy eyes appear. The child may eve be able to reason out that an allergy to the cat exists. This knowledge helps the child become more logically informed about the effect cats have on her giving her the free choice as to whether she wants to be around cats or not.
- Children at this stage also begin to develop deductive logic, though they may at times struggle with it. Deductive logic helps children start to think abstractly regarding certain premises so they can draw reasonable conclusions. For example — Premise: All apples are fruits. Premise: A Granny Smith is a type of apple. Conclusion: Therefore, a Granny Smith apple is a fruit.
- Children also learn through the start of deductive logic to reverse certain conclusions. For example — Premise: A Granny Smith is a fruit. Premise: A Granny Smith is a type of apple. Premise: All apples are fruits. Conclusion: The Granny Smith is an apple.
- Conservation is another thing children at this stage begin to learn. For example, when they see that the same amount of liquid in poured into a short, wide cup as within a tall, skinny glass they will now be able to recognize that they are the same. Or, going back to our previous example, they can now understand that the dough rolled into a round ball is equal to the mass of dough made into a flat pancake because the dough was divided evenly before the shapes were created.
- Finally, the egocentrism of the previous stage begins to disappear as children start to think more abstractly allowing them to begin to consider how other people might view a situation (meaning they can tell that it is the same picture of three mountains as before, just viewed from another perspective). They will also be better able to consider how others think and feel, and begin to respect that not everyone shares their views or opinions. This kind of “abstract” reasoning remains quite rigid, however, because even though some abstract thinking is beginning, they are still dominated a great deal by concrete mental processes. This means that even though they may see that someone else sees things another way, they frequently will see themselves as seeing things the “right way” and other’s perspectives as being flawed. (“Yes it is the same set of three mountains, but these mountains are only properly viewed from the front and not the side”).
The Formal Operational Stage Ages: 12 and Up
Major Characteristics and Developmental Changes:
- At this stage, the pre-adolescent to young adult is developing more and more of the abstract mind allowing him or her to reason about hypothetical problems. Deductive reasoning and systematic planning are increasingly seen as well.
- Thinking abstractly allows creativity to emerge. For example, when Piaget asked children where they would place a third eye, those before this stage (whose thought is more concrete), tended to say an eye belongs where eyes belong so they put the third eye in the middle of the other two. But, those at this stage of development put eyes in a lot of places, like the back of their heads or in the palms of their hands, and were able to give creative reasons why the eyes could go there.
- Pre-teens and teens at this stage also think about moral, ethical, social, philosophical, and political issues that require theoretical and abstract reasoning. Abstract reasoning helps them think about the consequences of their actions, which is why moral and ethical reasoning develops.
- The ability to do science and math emerges here since these two subjects often require inductive and deductive logic and reasoning to accomplish them.
- Problem solving ability increases as abstract reasoning helps those at this level see multiple potential solutions to problems.
- And, systematically thinking about the future takes place because future planning in and of itself is an abstract notion.
Once again we have to challenge the idea that abstract thought is something found on the Mental Plane of the Bailey model if most human beings develop abstract thought by age twelve! For the reasons I have stated in this chapter I now believe that it is no longer appropriate to suggest when viewing Bailey’s model that concrete thought exists on the four lower planes of the Mental Plane, while abstract thought exists on the three higher subplanes of the mental plane. If this were the case then almost every twelve year old would be close to having Intuitional or Buddhic Plane consciousness, which according to the Bailey model is a very high level of awareness that very human beings have every accomplished. What then is going on here? For starters, even though I don’t want to go into the Mental Plane in detail in this chapter, I would like you to notice that in the descriptions of the Mental Plane given by Bailey we don’t see the word “concrete mind” or “abstract mind” even used. Instead we see the phrase “Plane of the Solar Angel” used to describe the first three subplanes at the top of the Mental Plane (above the dotted line), and Plane of the Lower Mind used to describe the four lower subplanes of the Mental Plane below the dotted line. Add to the above the following peculiar quote I have found from Bailey that illustrates my point of how few people are really thought to be functioning at all on the Mental Plane. (Note: the bolding in the quotes was put there by me). “Increasingly men will come, as units, into possession of their intellectual heritage but, numerically speaking, scarce one in ten thousand is utilising this inherent power and knowingly functioning in his mental body. (Treatise on White Magic. p. 357)
What I am suggesting here then is that we have to consider that concrete and even abstract thought is first developed and observed on the kāma-mansic, or Emotional Plane. Yes, it may “trickle down” from the the Mental Plane and be connected to the Mental Plane, but concrete and abstract thought as humanity understands it is mainly kāma-manasic and not manasic, or of a truly “mental” nature.