Ageless Wisdom and SDi

by Rosemary Wilkie

If SDi were provided by the Hierarchy as an update for our times to the Ageless Wisdom, why was SDi needed now? And what does its transmission do for humanity that couldn’t be done now without it?” (Tom Christensen)

Down through the ages, whenever humanity has exhausted its resources and its ability to cope with its problems, we have received divine guidance. The line of great teachers: Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, Jesus, Mohammed, runs like a beam of light through all world faiths and scriptures. They were inspired by higher levels of being they believed was God. They taught love, gave us laws and codes of ethics to live by, and founded the great religions we know today – albeit encrusted now with centuries of tinkering by theologians and political pressure.

Since 1400 there has been a stream of lesser teachers, who took the form of men and women championing successfully some truth or right cause, some human right or correct demand. They weren’t always recognised at the time, but changed our thinking and pioneered new areas of achievement. In the nineteenth century Helena Blavatsky, in The Secret Doctrine, revealed the golden thread of secret teachings underlying all religions, introduced many ideas that flowered in the New Age movement, and bridged the gap between western and eastern cosmology. In the twentieth century, Alice Bailey, also under the direction of Djwhal Khul (the Tibetan), produced twenty-four books – a treasure house of unadulterated ageless wisdom.

The fundamentals have always been true, but each generation has the possibility of testing the strength of the old foundations, conserving the essentials and building wisely on them a structure to meet current needs. We are now in the twenty-first century, with overwhelming new and intractable problems, some of which threaten the very existence of life on earth. Is it time for a new revelation? Could Spiral Dynamics Integral hold the key?

Professor Graves made no claim to divine revelation. In The Never Ending Quest, he is quoted as saying that he did not visit the Gods on Olympus, nor had he stood on the mountain top in Sinai to procure the substance of his theory. He compared his arduous, systematic work to that of Darwin a century before. In the Galapagos, Darwin had observed subtle differences and changes over time in the animal world, and only after painstaking assessment of his data came to the conclusion that these were due to evolution. In the same way, it was only after Graves had studied his own data that he realised that psychology is a process. And began to produce the wonderful spiral framework in which competing schools of psychology could find their place.

In Esoteric Psychology Vol II, the Tibetan points to the major importance of psychology and the failure of the many schools of psychology to relate their many points of view to each other (p.403). That book was published in 1942 – and ten years later Graves was inspired to begin his research. While working on his accumulated data, Graves asked himself the age-old questions about human life. What is it all about? What is it meant to be? We are all born with the innate desire to find out who we are and why we are here, to find meaning and purpose in life and a higher power to believe in. Graves recognised the spiritual line of development working out in the First Tier in people’s tribal and clan beliefs, in their gods, ideological systems, economic or social systems – finding their reason for existence somewhere other than in the personal self. For these reasons I suggest that Professor Graves belongs in the great stream of divinely inspired teachers.

The great tradition of divine revelation is not complete without Science. The ancient Greeks, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Archimedes, created the basic philosophy and mathematics on which our western culture is based. Others followed – Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Newton. More recently James Lovelock’s Gaia theory that our planet is a living, self-regulating system, and NASA’s space photograph of our beautiful blue earth, filled us with wonder and transformed the way we see our world. The proof that matter is only a form of energy is as profound in its implications as the teachings of the Christ and Buddha. The virtue of science is that it recognises the truth when proven.

Sadly, science too often limits itself by its own assumptions – that reality is material or physical – that there is no purpose or meaning to life – that consciousness can be found in the brain – that God is just an outdated idea – and that the universe is made up of dead matter. Whereas the Ageless Wisdom teaches that the universal life essence flows around and through every living thing. It forms the etheric body that controls and conditions the physical form of everything from the solar system to a puppy. Our etheric bodies are subject to constant change from cosmic energies and from the general life and vitality of the vMeme where our consciousness is normally focused. The etheric is mirrored on a material level by plasma – ninety- nine percent of the universe is made up of it. David Bohm described plasma as a gas in which a high density of electrons and positive atoms stop acting individually and behave as if they are alive and part of a whole.

So What Can SDi Do That Nothing Else Can?

We are living through a period of transformation greater than the industrial and scientific revolutions, compressed into decades rather than centuries. There is a remarkable flowering of creativity, mostly ignored by the media. But the old economic order is crumbling. Money is fragile flickering figures on a screen. The social order is changing as millions of people move across the world fleeing oppression or seeking a better life. Time is passing faster. The weather is crazy and NASA has confirmed that all the planets in the solar system are experiencing disorder. It is hardly surprising that we all feel challenged, and that many are looking for someone or something to blame. Yet our only hope for humanity to survive is to cooperate, to work together, and for that we need to understand each other – to discover why we think and act as we do.

Feedback, from the simple talks, introductory articles and book I have written on SDi (Emergence, Vol I – Introduction, Rosemary Wilkie, England 2013), shows that even people in Orange and Green Life Conditions easily relate to the idea of levels of expanding consciousness, and find it very helpful in their personal lives. And business has benefited enormously from SDi thinking, as many chapters in these two volumes show. But we need to move the teachings into the mainstream and bring them to the notice of those in influential positions, politicians, for example. So far we have only reached a few. They attain high office full of good intentions, only to find themselves besieged – not only by the opposing party, but by lobbyists, focus groups, newspaper editorials, advisers, popularity polls and events – unable, as Graves originally was – to discern what is right. If politicians understood the simplest presentation of the vMemes, they could not only reach the right decisions, they could explain them in words that various levels of the electorate could understand and accept.

There is an even greater need on the international front. Knowledge of SDi shows, for example, that invading a Purple/Red country to give them democracy is delusional, as is preaching human rights to those for whom tribal good and tribal traditions are paramount. People everywhere are crying out for change, but only Spiral Dynamics explains in detail what is needed for real change to occur:

One: are they open to change and able to deal effectively with obstacles to further development? Or trapped in their current situation by failure of overcome barriers? These barriers might be commitments to caring, making excuses to disguise their fear, or just not uncomfortable enough in current Life Conditions to make the effort. Or are they closed to change because of past trauma, or lack of neurological or brain power? SDi considers the following as necessary conditions for change.

  1. People must be unable to find solutions to inner or outer problems at the current level.

  1. They must be aware that current thinking does not work in their existing situation.

  1. Internal and external barriers to change must be identified and dealt with, not denied or blamed on someone else.

  1. Insight is needed into what went wrong and why, and how different plans for the future could be made to work.

  1. Support is essential to consolidate change and prevent backsliding during the adjustment period, which may be full of confusion, false starts and the misunderstanding of those who do not understand what is happening. It is the struggle between worn-out ideas and new ones that expands consciousness.

Hundreds of official bodies and two million NGOs are working hard to help the starving, the homeless, the disadvantaged and the impoverished, too often separately and with different purposes and ideas. How much more effective they would be if they understood those conditions for change!

Even more effective efforts could be made if these groups used Meshworks, a practice of aligning available resources, vMemes, and Life Conditions. Life Conditions would include measures in all 4 quadrants which coemerge with their adaptive vMemes. Assessments should be made in at least the areas of psychology, health, politics, religion, education and society. Where these Life Conditions are not satisfying the vMeme needs, available resources are redirected to meet those needs.

Right human relations are our only hope of establishing a peaceful and secure future in which the whole of humanity can fulfil its potential. SDi gives us a framework that allows us to see, for the first time, the stages that people have reached and what is the right next step for them. This is immensely helpful. But it does not address the fundamental question of unfairness, of why some are born into poverty and despair, and others into Life Conditions that allow them to develop their potential and climb the Spiral.

The Ageless Wisdom describes the Law of Rebirth, which holds the answer to much human questioning. The theory of reincarnation was basic to the beliefs of ancient civilisations and remains so in the East, but disappeared from the west in Roman times. So there is no anchor for the idea in our culture. Yet the alternatives are so much worse! One is that man is ephemeral and soulless, dissolving into dust when he dies – an existence without purpose or meaning. The second is the orthodox Christian theory that an inscrutable God sends souls into incarnation for one life, and what they do determines their future for eternity.

The Law of Rebirth offers an explanation for the enormous disparity of opportunity, education and wealth, and the desperate unfairness in the world. When we first hear about reincarnation we may imagine ourselves doing something worthy in a past life, the same personality in costume. But it is not the personality that is reincarnated. Different genetic, social and cultural inheritance make that impossible anyway. It is the Soul that endures, that carries the lessons from each life and takes one body after another to manifest its purpose until it is perfected and no longer needs to incarnate on earth. It makes so much sense to consider that we come back life after life to grow in consciousness, to climb the Spiral – which no-one could possibly do in one lifetime! So reincarnation is implied in SDi.

The Ageless Wisdom also provides the involutionary arc that precedes our arrival in Beige. And teaches the expansion of consciousness on the evolutionary curve beyond the Second Tier. Graves himself noted the huge number of as yet unused brain cells we are born with, like seeds with the potential to become trees. There are many bright minds conjecturing what happens at levels above Turquoise. In the past three hundred years we have developed our minds – and most of us identify with them. But think back. As infants we identified with our physical needs, and later with our emotional desires. It is not unreasonable to expect that one day we will be able to identify with levels higher than our rational minds?

It has taken aeons to develop our individuality, and we are extremely reluctant to let go of it! We experienced group life in Purple, and in Turquoise we are faced with the difficult exercise of working in groups without losing our individuality. This is an entirely new way of living – only possible when we are united in our purpose. Some of us have had what felt like a magical experience in a small group – joyfully recognising that we were speaking with one mind. In the outer world we can see the trend working already, in crowdfunding, car sharing, in internet groups enlisting world-wide support for victims of cruelty or oppression.

Climbing the spiral

In Blue Life Conditions we learned self-discipline and began to master our gross physical appetites. The Ageless Wisdom says that when those appetites, gluttony, drink, drugs, licentiousness, have been mastered, we have reached the First Initiation. This does not involve a ceremony – we are unlikely to be aware of our new status. It marks a point of attainment in living. The divine spark within us has been vitalised, enabling us to embark on the next stage of spiritual growth, mastering our emotions. The First Initiation also marks the completion of the involutionary journey into materiality and the significant upward turn on to the long evolutionary journey back to the Source.

The leap into Yellow can be seen as the Second Initiation. It indicates that we have largely mastered our emotions, though of course there is always room for finer feelings, such as compassion, wonder, joy and altruistic love. We seek to impose the will of the Soul, essentially Divine will, on our lower nature, which we understand so much better now that the First Tier vMemes are transparent to us. We are free to fulfil our spiritual potential, to become who we truly are. Graves describes Yellow as the threshold of being human, and the theme as: Express self for what self desires, but never at the expense of others and in a manner that all life, not just my life, will profit. Fear drops away, we are free from the constraints of former Life Conditions, cooperate, do more in less time, and lose interest in material possessions, status and power. We are not dependent or independent. We are interdependent. We seek better, non-violent and non-submissive ways of being. We require little, compared to our First Tier lives. With our new universal perspective on life we can see what each person, organisation or country needs to assist it to grow to the next level. Life is magnificent and it is supremely important to us that life on earth should survive. These huge adjustments, and the bewilderment of those around us, may explain why we withdraw or disappear from the world for a while before moving into Turquoise, where we begin to think and act globally, and promote group consciousness.

The Third Initiation, mastery of the mind, lies much higher up the Spiral, and a very long way ahead in time for most of us. Indeed the period between Second and Third Initiations is one of the most difficult as we struggle to master the monkey mind with which we still identify. Thoughts are more powerful than we realise, so the first step is to take responsibility for every thought allowed into our minds and refuse entry to harmful material – far from easy as we are constantly bombarded by the media, the internet and our surroundings. At the Third Initiation the entire personality is flooded with light from above and the spiritual intuition is awakened. An astronaut interviewed on television said when he saw the earth from space he knew that we are one humanity. This was spiritual intuition.

There are more initiations, beyond our current capacity to imagine, until we have triumphed over matter, struggled through every physical, emotional and mental difficulty known on earth during countless lives, plumbed the depths of pain and sorrow and renounced all worldly interests. No longer needing to return to Earth, we become adepts and Masters, part of the Hierarchy, working to awaken the light in human beings and expand consciousness in all levels of life.

Hierarchy? This is a cosmic concept, a cosmic law. Otherwise, what would be the foundation of evolution? The Hierarchy stands as a wall between humanity and excessive evil from cosmic sources. It is directed from the higher kingdom of Shamballa. The Masters work through meditation, impressing ideas into human minds that are ready (which is why scientific discoveries can happen at the same time and far apart, leading to furious claims to be first), suggesting ways to end separateness and prejudice, to let go of hatred and forgive, or to foster goodwill and right human relations.

Masters have no interest whatsoever in our personality lives – they recognise us by the light that we radiate. We might think a little more active assistance would be welcome, but the whole point is for us to discover spiritual values for ourselves and to make the needed changes of our own freewill. That is how we grow. Otherwise we would be like children, relying on a parent to get us what we want and clear up our messes. We would never grow in consciousness.

Meanwhile the world screams for help. Right human relations are the key to solving the world’s problems, and to achieve them we have to address the disparity in living conditions. Ensuring food, shelter and opportunity for everyone on earth must be the highest priority, and SDi seems to be one of the few ways to achieve this with understanding and compassion, so that every single human being has the opportunity to grow.

The link with the Ageless Wisdom is strong. In October 1927 Alice Bailey made the distinction between Piscean (First Tier) and Aquarian (Second Tier) methods of work: “Groups in the Aquarian Age will surely be associations of free souls, self-reliant and self-centred in the spiritual sense, yet banded together for the general uplift of the race. They will not be built up around some dominating personality, but will be organisations of illuminated men and women, submerging their personalities in the general good. At present our world is the field for the play of Piscean force plus the growing Aquarian influence. Movements which have grown up along Piscean lines are completing their work, and must necessarily and rightly do so. Movements which are hall-marked as Aquarian, being groups of people, thinking independently and refusing to give unquestioning allegiance to any human being, are beginning to be noted amongst us. Many people with Aquarian inclinations, free souls, tolerant yet standing squarely on heir own feet, harmonious yet siding with no group, catholic in their outlook, yet clear in their definition, are everywhere to be found.’

I believe that SDi has a place in the golden thread of divine teachings, nestling in the vast embrace of the Ageless Wisdom. As we climb the Spiral towards those dizzying higher vMemes we will know we are all one – and think and act accordingly.


Graves – Divine Revelation?

Clare W. Graves. The Never Ending Quest, Ed.Cowan and Todorovic, Eclet, Santa Barbara (2005)

  • The Emergent cyclical theory of adult behaviour did not arise capriciously, nor is it a product of armchair theorising. I did not visit the Gods on Olympus nor have I stood on the mountaintop in Sinai to procure the substance in its words. It came to me in an arduous, systematic fashion.” (p.51)

  • These data produced in me an experience similar to the one Darwin must have had when he visited the Galapagos Islands. . . . . He observed subtle differences in the finches and iguanas and how these differences varied from island to island. These differences, it occurred to him, were part of a slow and developing process, the process he was to call evolution.” (p. 51)

  • . . . .time was taken to think through the situation created by the accumulated information. This period of contemplation directed me to reopen an age-old question – the question about the essence of human life. Pursuant to this train of thought I asked: ‘What is human life about? What is it meant to be?’ If it is not, as I have questioned, a transformation of man’s perversity into decency, if it is not a search for the proper way for man to live and for how to condition him to live that way, if it is not a search for one’s self and for the expression of all of one’s potential, than what is it? What is human life like and what is it meant to be? This is a question which needs to be answered if ever we are to understand mature human life and if ever we are to find more constructive approaches to the many of man’s problems.” (p. 52)

  • As I say above, I didn’t stand on the mountaintop of Sinai and get the word of Jehovah to develop this theory.” (p. 370)

The Law of Rebirth

Alice Bailey. Esoteric Healing, Lucis Trust, London. (1967)

  • A particular incarnation is not an isolated event in the life of the soul, but is a part and an aspect of a sequence of experience, which are intended to lead to one, clear, definite goal – the goal of free choice, and a deliberate return out of matter to spirit, and eventual liberation.” (p.259)

Alice Bailey. Esoteric Psychology Volume 1, Lucis Trust, London. (1967)

  • All souls incarnate and re-incarnate under the Law of Rebirth. Hence each life is not only a recapitulation of life experience, but an assuming of ancient obligations, a recovery of old relations, an opportunity for the paying of old indebtedness, a chance to make restitution and progress, an awakening of deep-seated qualities, the recognition of old friends and enemies, the solution of revolting injustices, and the explanation of that which conditions the man, and makes him what he is. Such is the law which is crying now for universal recognition.” (pp. 338/9)

The Hierarchy

Alice Bailey. Esoteric Psychology Volume 2, Lucis Trust, London. (1960)

  • . . . the five kingdoms of nature on the evolutionary arc might be defined as follows: the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom, and the spiritual kingdom. All these kingdoms embody some type of consciousness, and it is the work of the Hierarchy to develop these types to perfection.” (p.716)

  • This Hierarchy is composed of Those Who have triumphed over matter, and who have achieved the goal by the very self-same steps that individuals tread today. These spiritual personalities, these adepts and Masters, have wrestled and fought for victory and mastery upon the physical plane and struggled with the miasmas, the fogs, the dangers, the troubles, the sorrows and pains of everyday living. They have trodden every step of the path of suffering, have undergone every experience, have surmounted every difficulty, and have won out . . . . . . . characterised by a love which endures, and which acts ever for the good of the group.” (p 716)

Harold Balyoz. Three Remarkable Women, Altai Publishers, (1986)

  • The Masters of Wisdom are advanced Souls who, through self-sacrificing service, intense striving, and great thought, have conquered the physical plane. . . . Starting as ordinary human beings, they have raised themselves to such a height of achievement, of great beingness, that they have actually entered consciously the fifth, or divine, kingdom in nature .. . . . . working ceaselessly for the benefit of mankind and helping all those who are struggling and sacrificing to raise themselves up also!. . . . she taught a small part of their great knowledge about the beginnings of our world.”

  • Nineteenth century science was developing its lower, strictly physical aspect so rapidly that the minds of men were in danger of swinging to the hopelessness of materialism. . . At this critical juncture in human thought H.P.Blavatsky appeared with her brightly lit lamp of Ancient Wisdom.” (p.8)

Second Initiation and SDi Level 2

Alice Bailey. Initiation Human and Solar, Lucis Trust, London, (1967)

  • At the first initiation, the control of the Ego [Soul] over the physical body must have reached a high degree of attainment. The sins of the flesh, as the Christian phraseology has it, must be dominated: gluttony, drink and licentiousness must no longer hold sway.” (p. 82)

  • The second initiation forms the crisis in the control of the astral body. Just as, at the first initiation, the control of the dense physical has been demonstrated, so here the control of the astral is similarly demonstrated. The sacrifice and death of desire has been the goal of endeavour. . . and only that is longed for which is for the good of the whole.” (p. 85)

Alice Bailey. The Rays and the Initiations, Lucis Trust, London. (1965)

  • Freedom is the keynote of the individual who is facing the second initiation and its aftermath – preparation for the third initiation. Freedom is the keynote for the world disciple today, and it is freedom to live, freedom to think and freedom to know and plan which humanity demands at this time.” (p. 684)

  • . . . initiation is not really the curious mixture of self-satisfied attainment, ceremonial, and hierarchical recognition as portrayed by the major occult groups. It is far more a process of excessively hard work, during which process the initiate becomes what he is. This may entail hierarchical recognition, but not in the form usually pictured. The initiate finds himself in the company of those who have preceded him, and he is not rejected but is seen and noted and then put to work. . . .” (p. 7)

  • I would like to have you study initiation from the angle of liberation, looking upon it as a process of strenuously attained freedoms. This basic aspect of initiation, when realised by the initiate, ties his experience into a firm relation with that of the whole of humanity, whose fundamental struggle is the attainment of that freedom whereby the soul and its powers can unfold, and all men be free because of an individually attained freedom.” (p. 685)

The Etheric Body

Alice Bailey. Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, Lucis Trust. London. (1963)

  • There is nothing in the manifest universe – solar, planetary, or the various kingdoms in nature, which does not possess an energy form, subtle and intangible yet substantial, which controls, governs, and conditions the outer physical body. This is the etheric body.” (p. 142)

General introduction to Ageless Wisdom

Kathy Newburn. A Planetary Awakening. Blue Dolphin, Grass Valley, CA (2007)

Annie Besant A Study in Consciousness. Theosophical Society, London (1904)

Chapter published in DEVELOPMENTAL INNOVATION Emerging Worldviews & Individual Learning Tom Christensen Ed (Integral Publishers Tucson Arizona) 2015

Also see the Spiral Dynamics Integral section.