This post illustrates some ways to induce greater love and compassion in ourselves as a spiritual practice. Learning to do these without sentiment, free from glamours (or delusions), and with great insight and humility is essential both to the stages of Accepted Discipleship in the Ageless Wisdom teachings and Indigo in the Integral teachings.
Before writing this post I took a bit of a break. I wanted to take time to get even clearer about what I was discovering as the major spiritual tasks that were required to get through the stages of Accepted Discipleship and Chela on the Thread in the Ageless Wisdom teachings and how they paralleled with the stages of Turquoise and Indigo in Integral. As a reminder, let me start by summarizing the main tasks of these stages. I will also put the charts I have been using up again below.
To begin with in a brief review, the 1st Initiation in the Ageless Wisdom teachings as you can see in the chart above overlaps Integral Green, Teal, and even parts of Turquoise. According to the Ageless Wisdom teachings, when we go through the 1st Initiation (expansion o consciousness), it is the first time we become aware of Unity Consciousness, or the Oneness of life, not as an abstract idealistic idea, but as a fact. At the same time, though this Oneness is realized in the unmanifest realms, it is not yet embodied in the manifest every day life as a demonstration of how you live your life in regards to others. Selflessness and selfishness still tug in two directions. For this reason, a certain tension exists between the Self and the self, causing a great deal of the chaos that leads to the falls of many spiritual teachers, especially during the Chela in the Light stage. In many ways, the selfish ego is much more in play than one would like to admit. The capacity to be dragged back down by the three lower chakras (with their focus on money, sex/pleasure, and power for individual gain) are not fully transmuted. Whether one sees it or not, glamours (distortions) still abound. To run from these glamours, there is a tendency to hide in an intellectual understanding of Oneness, or to hold one’s “Oneness” as reason to be more special and set apart from others, meaning you really don’t have to take a look at yourself. We talk far more about truth and Oneness than we walk it in regards to others.
As one moves from the 1st Initiation to the 2nd Initiation (next major expansion of consciousness), a shift occurs. In the 1st Initiation we are told in the Ageless Wisdom teachings that the main focus in the subtle energy body, is one of shifting from the sacral center (pleasure/sex) up to the throat center (intellectual understanding especially in regards to the abstract mind and higher levels of creativity than procreation). At the 2nd Initiation the following centers in the chakra system are primarily involved. The solar plexus center, the heart center, and what is known as the heart center within the head center. (Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 898 & Esoteric Healing, pp. 156 – 157). Here the fires of the mind have to give way to the fires of love. (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol I, p. 719). Oneness and Unity Consciousness can no longer be something we talk about, it is something we seek to embody and demonstrate.
During the 1st Initiation, especially at the Chela in the Light stage (related by me to Teal in the Integral system), the mind is highly developed. This is a good and necessary thing. At the same time, the fires of the mind can also demonstrate as a sense of criticism and spiritual superiority. Whether one is intentionally setting oneself up as a more superior guru or spiritual teacher to others, or does not intend this, the energetic feeling of superiority and criticism can still be felt. A certain level of arrogance and pride exists as if the spiritual teacher knows more and their followers are just not “getting it.” The sense of pride, superiority, and frustration with others not getting it, or getting it fast enough, often results in the many behaviors of abuse (sexual, emotional, mental, financial, emotional entitlement and tantrums) that spiritual teachers succumb to (often even misguidingly justified as “crazy wisdom”).
As we move into the 2nd Initiation, the emphasis shifts. We retain the activation of the throat center, the ability to hold and understand multiple perspectives, to deal effectively in the realm of abstractions. But, as the heart center is more truly activated a deeper sense of humility and a genuine sense of compassion and love begins to emanate. (Similar to how the Truth Body of the Buddha that resides in Voidness, Emptiness, Suchness takes on the Emanation Body of compassion and love). In Integral, they are currently placing this radiation or emanation of love at their level of Indigo (see chart above). In the Ageless Wisdom tradition, this is placed within the 2nd Initiation (of 9 total) primarily being activated more at what is called Accepted Discipleship.
Which means that the training at the 2nd Initiation (and possibly Integral Indigo levels) seems to be quite different. Yes, learning, meditation, and training of the mind continue. But, to use an analogy, you don’t need to keep learning about how to eat and exercise right to get into shape, you have to put it into practice. Which leads us to ask how the question how are love and compassion really demonstrated at these spiritual levels? I made some attempt to answer this in the following post: Accepted Discipleship: Love vs Buddhism. But, I wanted to take it further. That is one of the reasons, my posts stopped for a time (besides having personal family matters I was attending to with an ailing father). I was diving back into a series of writings primarily by the Dalai Lama and also by Robert Thurman expanding on the practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Though I don’t have space to distill what has amounted to about 40 hours of listening during the past few weeks into a couple paragraphs, I wanted to share some key points here. All of what I am writing is an attempt to understand how the approach to the 2nd Initiation is in many ways very different from that of the 1st Initiation. To begin with, I will lead with a standby that has inspired me for years from my Christian upbringing.
A Prayer from Saint Francis.
Perhaps one reason I feel drawn to this prayer is because it reflects the right motivation and necessary humility needed to get through this stage. The words themselves really reflect to me a genuine orientation of coming from the heart center, with its true inter-connection in regards to others (or as Buddhist monk Thich Nat Hanh calls it Interbeing). To be able to implement what St. Francis is saying, head (wisdom) and heart (compassion) both have to exist. This lines up with the chakras we are told are involved at this stage. the heart in the head, with its realization of Oneness, illuminates and informs the heart in the chest region, with its magnetic life bestowing capacities. As the two combine they lift the the smaller will of the solar plexus into the will to Good, into the will to be of good to the Whole. Why is one doing this? Because One is the Whole. At the same time, for this prayer to be effective it cannot be some sentimental codependent doormat kind of much. The solar plexus bestows power and power is the ability to influence the thoughts, feelings, behaviors of others. Combined with wisdom, we learn to love and have compassion in a way that is free from glamour and sentiment. Wisdom and power combined with love demonstrate to us how to be an instrument of peace, how to sow love, bring about faith, hope, light, consolation, understanding to others and so on. And to me, all of this seems essential at the first phase of the 2nd Initiation.
Now to switch to a different tradition. Here is a prayer I discovered that the Dalai Lama states he uses every day.
A Prayer from the Dalai Lama
With the determination to accomplish, The highest welfare of all sentient beings, Who excel even the wish-fulfilling jewel, May I at all times hold them dear.
Whenever I associate with others, May I think of myself as the lowest of all, And from the depth of my heart, Hold the others as supreme.
In all action may I search into my mind, And as soon as delusions arise, That endangers myself and others, May I firmly face and avert them.
When I see beings of wicked nature, Oppressed by violent misdeeds and afflictions, May I hold them dear, As if I had found a rare and precious treasure.
When others out of envy treat me badly, With slander, abuse and the like, May I suffer the loss and Offer the victory to them.
What interests me about the prayer above, it how it demonstrates a tremendous amount of humility and kindness. Imagine holding others “dear” who are irritating you. Imagine instead of putting yourself up as some big spiritual teacher or guru (which is common during the 1st Initiation), one is the “lowest of all” holding others supreme from the depths of our heart. Imagine when people bug you, or make you jealous, or cause you pain, that instead of looking to see what is wrong with them, you route out the delusions (known as glamours in the Ageless Wisdom tradition), so that your motivation changes and you end up asking how you can better serve and be a friend to others, than as someone superior to others.
Part of the ability to do this comes about from what was learned at the 1st Initiation, what is called “dependent arising” or “Interbeing” in Buddhismr of the “Christ in you the hope of glory” as spoken of in Christianity. But, there is something much deeper going on, which the 2nd Initiation and its insistence that we truly take up the bodhdisattva vow (every one a Christ) is revealing. It is an orientation and an attitude that perhaps is best explained in the next thing I wish to share with you, that teaches us not just to express spiritual realizations through the fiery faculties of the mind (trying to get others to see what we see through words), but through the energetic radiance (or emanation) from our Being that results in that wisdom, love, and joy manifesting spontaneously to others from us to them, since we are all One anyway.
Expanding Your Cicle of Compassion by Robert Thurman
Which leads me to this video I found from Robert Thurman who speaks to some degree in about giving birth to compassion through empathy with others lifted into a spirit of generosity. He also speaks about widening our circle of compassion, which is similar to opening up the sacrifice petals in the Ageless Wisdom tradition, which is a major task of the 2nd Initiation that reaches total fulfillment in later initiations (expansions of consciousness) such as the 5th.
In conclusion, there is a deep dedication to uplift the suffering of others by mastering ourselves to move away from a spirit of criticism, condensation, intellectual arrogance, sentimentality, spiritual superiority, impatience, and other self-centered glamours into a genuine spirit of joy, friendliness, warmth, humor and welcoming that starts to emerge at this initiation (and reaches total fulfillment at later initiations) because of the true level of humility emerging.