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LP Grades - help

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I've mulled this over for a while, moving between "we need to have some indication of attainment" and not. Levels and grades introduce a sense of hierarchy into the system, which is bad. Unfortunately, not having markers to indicate attainment can lead to a mush, and I think having grades give some structure to the system, gives people something to work towards. With this in mind Gina and I came up with the following levels

Grade 1 Novice

Someone who isn’t interested in spirituality at all, or who approaches their study of Human Spirituality from a purely intellectual standpoint.

Grade 2 Experiencer

Someone who has had one or more Connection Experiences, but has not stepped onto a Path. The individual may come to seek a path or they may reject, for various reasons, the experience. If they accept the experience, search for a path, and find one, they move on to grade three.

Grade 3 Initiate

Someone who has had one or more connection experiences and who has shifted on an authentic, or inauthentic, path (see Authentic Spirituality vs Inauthentic Spirituality).

Grade 4 Practitioner

Someone who actively intends and works towards achieving strong and pure Connection.

Grade 5 Consummator

Someone who has attained permanent (or relatively permanent) connection. Or, someone who can handle acute bouts of high CQ.

Grade 6 Teacher/Mentor

An expert level 4 or higher person who teaches Healing and Connection.

Grade 7 Avatar

Someone who has come re-balance things, save the world, introduce a new school or creation template.

Notes

  • LP Levels are loosely reflected in the advanced Connection Frameworks provided by the likes of Zen. Zen, in particular, has an advanced conceptualization. A correspondence map between the LP and frameworks like Zen is in development and will be included here.

I'm not sure about the actual names. Novice is good, experiencer is a bit off, initiate fine maybe, etc. Can anybody think of better names for these LP grades? Does the conceptualization make sense?

 

https://www.lightningpath.org/lesson/lp-grades/

-- All you need is love...

I'll comment on the terms later, but first, a quick response to the worry of hierarchy.

The existence of grades is not necessarily linked to hierarchy.

It is merely the system that we live in that links the two. Only if a person identifies herself with the grades can grades create feelings of hierarchy. A school where people don't mind having "bad" grades - please note the moral connotation that our system inherently inserts onto grades - will be one that doesn't create hierarchy.

Grades can be just as well interpreted as an attempt to mirror one's attainments. Give the student a feedback, basically. Do I need to study more precisely? Do I need to do some more experiencing? Is this thing really my thing?

As we live in a society that has basically stripped us of our genuine self esteem, we are heavily inclined to identify with our attainments. However, this is not a necessity.

So, the question now becomes: Do we want to utilize terminology and organizational frameworks that are useful but have a big baggage? Or do we drop the useful terminology and organizational framework for the sake of distancing ourselves from the old world?

The question is, what is the benefit of introducing grades if any. You say yes, it can help you focus and aim your study. It can provide avenues for questions and feedback. It can even give you a feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes, in the old world, however, this gets linked to hierarchy and self-esteem such that a) people then use it to a) gain power or b) it becomes tied to their self-esteem.

The question, are there other ways to provide focus other than using grades, or levels? If not, can we introduce the notion while at the same time addressing the old energy issues?

-- All you need is love...

One suggestion I have Michael: maybe you should consider calling Grade 1 a "muggle"

haha - just kidding!

https://www.kundalinisoftware.com May the people of this world be free.

Ha ha Ben!

My issue with hierarchical language is that it is rooted in our social world order that evaluates, judges, and positions knowledge, access to knowledge, and evaluates/determines what kinds of knowledge are deemed worthy, in a context based on privilege. So, with that in mind, in order for LP teachings/theories/practice to be grounded, authentic, meaningful, effective, we need to ensure that the curriculum is inclusively evidenced base, that it reflects the core spiritual tenets that "lay persons" will find inviting, non threatening, and identifiable to their own spiritual worldviews. So having said that, to adopt LP teachings/way of life as a mentor, facilitator, healer, and/or researcher, we need to deem what skills/functions and understanding/expression determines a standard base line of competencies.

I think whatever it is we choose, we choose terminology that shows the graduated levels of self work/reflection, intellectual, emotional and spiritual knowledge and commitment.

G

I had an idea for a possibly suitable terminology.

How about we don't call it levels, or grades, but rather states?

They seem to be states of being, rather than pinpointable benchmarks anyway. Also, its a lot more neutral.

What do you guys think?

this is great that we are having this conversation!

two things:

#1) i personally found it fascinating (and sort of enlightening; in the sense of an "aha" moment) that grade #1 lumps together people uninterested in spirituality all-together, and those who approach it from an intellectual standpoint only.

that is such a strong statement; i totally get it.

i was like wow!! what we are doing here on the LP (connecting) is a real "thing." any other path or endless amount of intellectual conceptualization that doesn't lead to connection is not worth anything. i am really starting to get excited about what the LP is all about. "connection is where it is at"

#2) re: the grades, one idea would be to take a "gamified" approach... call them "badges" instead. that is what a lot of apps and stuff do. for example the language learning app i tried makes everything about attaining "badges".

https://www.kundalinisoftware.com May the people of this world be free.

The issue with "badges" that I see is that a badge represents a discrete learning outcome within a larger learning framework. A badge is for a smaller unit of learning, not like a university degree, or a K12 grade. States is not bad except that it doesn't represent the action that is required in each of the degrees/stages/levels/states. Or does it. Is there a word that combines state of being and level of attainment/understanding. Martial arts used coloured belts to indicate attainment/status. There are seven states here. Maybe it could be colours, from red lowest to purple highest.

I've added the Zen ranks. They have an interesting way of looking at the first three levels. Novice is a Zaikejin, a staying home person--someone who lives a normal life and isn't aware of spiritual realities. Level two is Shukkejin, someone who has "left home" to find a temple to study in, presumably because something has happened to them, or they have been called ([spwiki]The Calling[/spwiki]). Then Koji, residence/dwelling man, someone who has entered a temple. The rest of the levels are broken down into subgrades. Level 4 practitioner is Unsui, with Battan indicating a lower ranking Unsui, Nakatan a middle-ranking Unsui, and Unsui indicating top level.

 

https://www.lightningpath.org/lesson/lp-grades/

-- All you need is love...

I totally agree with the discrete ranking concepts in the LP studies, it's much more palatable for the very fact the hierarchy is taken out of it. it there a way to combine the concepts of both martial arts AND gaming? A person sees one's own progress regarding where one is on the path without "worrying" (i.e., comparing, judging and other shadows of insecurities) about what everyone else is doing. Since it's already challenging, may as well make it more engaging knowing that the benefit is full connection from the start.

"Sifting through the billions of muggles to find the rest of my tribe... it's gonna take awhile. "

So I was thinking the way forward might be to rename levels/grades into something that refers to motivational/existental states, or perhaps simply "connection stages" I think its useful to have some sort of staged attainment that indicates a sort of endpoint. If you look at the schema now, i basically has different stages. There's a novice stage, an experiencer stage, an initiate stage, a practioner/devotee stage, a "master" stage, a teacher/mentor stage, an an "avatar" stage.   The way I'm thinking, the first four "stages," novice, experiencer, initiate, practitioner, and master/consumetor would be the basic curriculum, with techer/mentor and avatar available for those who would want to teach to others, at either an individual/group level, or collective.youtube level.  Stage doesn't have such a hierarchical connotation, and there's a real sense that getting through the stages is not a questino of hierarchy, but of time and committment. The farher along you get, the more connected/committed you are.

It combines a bit of the discrete with a bit of a sense that there is a progression.

Thoughts?

 

-- All you need is love...

Hello Rheaah!!! Good to hear/read your voice. Hello Aim and Ben too!

I agree that we should be explaining that CQ/HEALING are states of being connected. The more you heal, the more you can connect. The more you can connect the more spiritual attainment one experiences. The more spiritual attainment and/or spiritual intelligence (SQ) one acquires, the more states of CQ one can be in. Each of us are in our own unique phase of healing/connection. Each of us have our foundations that have enabled us to be able to experience connection. LP is just a path/tool/guide to assist and or push our individual and/or collective connection/consciousness experiences.

I was up in the middle of the night not able to sleep - stressed out about my work environment. Anyway, thinking of the issues of at my work made me realize what not to do with the LP. In order for the LP to not be corrupted or co opted, we have to ensure the LP foundation is strong. This means all of us here - doing exactly this together, this connection and expansion work, we all have to master our own issues that have blocked us from our connection experiences. It is how we have unblocked ourselves that have enabled us to connect on the LP. In addition, it also means we do have to consider that our concepts and explanations are being described in ways in where old energy understandings of the words/concepts are dispelled and/or reinvented. The emphasis must be that being on the LP however one chooses, means a commitment to working towards being in a constant state of connection. I am gravitating towards a more iterative approach as to how one would understand themselves and where they would be on the LP. For example:

Fixer (someone who is searching for answers to fix problems and/or someone who possesses skills and is able to assist/fix problems)

Healer (Someone who is in a position where they are responsible for others whether formally or informally and/or consciously or unconsciously - this is where I see those persons choosing to use LP teachings in a formal sense e.g. as part of their "day job")

Storyteller (These are the teachers, researchers, philosophers, mentors, leaders, practitioners etc. that have chosen to identify as being part of the thinkers of the LP think tank and/or contributors to the LP think tank)

Connector (These persons have done their work, "they walk their talk", they have mastered a high level of IQ, EQ, SQ and CQ)

What do you all think?

G

 

Hello Gina,

I liked it, as I read your post, since or because it gives the feeling of things being less serious and more playfull...

But if you speak of how one "understands one self", I find that the borders are very fluid or less formidable. But this might be your intention behind as well?

I personally could identify myself with 3 of your suggested types or characters. I don't know how to call them :).

The stages, which Michael mentioned previously, were separated more clearly and it was easier to identify to one of those or maybe two, feeling that one is in between, moving towards the next one.

greetings, Egle

P.s. in German language "fixer" isn't a nice word

I've redone the "levels" a bit. Have a look

 

https://www.lightningpath.org/lesson/lp-grades/

 

Now we have

  1. The Novice
  2. The one who has had an experience
  3. The Needy Novice
  4. The practitioner/devotee
  5. The perfectly connected
  6. The teacher/mentor
  7. The world teacher

each of these has a word of explanation on the lesson page.

I think this is moving in the right direction. Not sure about all the names yet, but I think its moving there.

as for

Fixer (someone who is searching for answers to fix problems and/or someone who possesses skills and is able to assist/fix problems)

Healer (Someone who is in a position where they are responsible for others whether formally or informally and/or consciously or unconsciously - this is where I see those persons choosing to use LP teachings in a formal sense e.g. as part of their "day job")

Storyteller (These are the teachers, researchers, philosophers, mentors, leaders, practitioners etc. that have chosen to identify as being part of the thinkers of the LP think tank and/or contributors to the LP think tank)

Connector (These persons have done their work, "they walk their talk", they have mastered a high level of IQ, EQ, SQ and CQ)

I think these might refer to "methods" or techniques that teachers/mentors might use to help people heal and connect.

-- All you need is love...

All,

Thanks for the feedback thus far. I understand and agree with both Mohini and Mike's feedback. I am trying to think about those persons who are searching for the LP and who just don't know it 🙂 I am trying to convey this work in a context that is palatable to all kinds of learners/seekers. That is the basis of my intent. I am such left brainier, but I am not necessarily a linear left brainier - I process in a circular manner if that makes sense? I find being a therapist, and someone who uses CBT/DBT to help client's figure out their issues and how to reprogram their thoughts and actions, that getting the client/student to see themselves cycling in and out of states of consciousness is a process that requires them to be open to the psycho-social-spiritual teachings of connection. I am trying to create a practicum theory of LP teachings in a psycho-social educational setting.

So I think I am trying to say what Mike is saying but in a way that wouldn't turn off those who have mistrust issues with spirituality. Mohini, thanks for the feedback about Fixer - I don't necessarily assume that being a Fixer is a good thing - if you don't have healthy self awareness, empathy, healthy boundaries etc. being a Fixer can be a toxic state.

G

yes, I got it now. It was a bit confusing, as I thought that Michael started this topic for LP students to assess their “level of attainment". So, I thought you, Gina, also proposed something in the same line.

But I see now that there are 2 different groups of people to be addressed. One group of LP students or already interested/involved in spiritual praxis. And I do not think that anybody bellow the "novice" would aspire to become an LP student.

And then there are people, who are searching, looking for a help to heal. And even if these people could find themselves in both types of assesment (I mean, in the LP levels and the levels Gina proposed), I think it is really important in presenting this information and in therapy work, to decide upon the language one uses, as not to "turn them off".

So, I understand your point Gina and I think it is very important. There are so many people, who do not want to hear anything about spirituality! And I was one of them. My friend tells me that she meets quiet many people in europe, who are on the spiritual path, but they don't wnat to name it this way or do not even know it on the conscious level yet.

After I read Gina's types of personalities, I was thinking all the time of your work, Gina, and of all the possible people, who come for help. I thought that you might need to create many more levels besides these 4 you already came up with and keeping the same mood. I was thinking of people, who are not seeking anything at all, or who are seeking only to benefit themselves - no other interests. I think there are ways to let them find themselves in one of the levels, which are described in a positive and cheerful way. And they would be happy to find themsleves there. And then they would find out the whole scale and other levels and then they would think, if they should climb the scale up. All these levels explained without using any terms of "classical" spirituality... it would be interesting work. Now already Michael presented gradations of different religions like suffism, buddhism, etc. all speaking about people who are on the spiritual path and the lowest being "Someone who isn’t interested in spirituality at all" and "staying at home". So all bellow levet 2 are placed in one pot... Surely there are people seeking and suffering and not knowing where to look for the answers, because they got enough of all the spiritualities.

Also there is a gradations towards negativity as well (or degradations). What if people are seeking and "left home", but seeking (consciously or unconsciously) not the light? How would LP therapist work with such people?

As for the LP students I find Michael's levels very clear defined. Easy to find one self :). Very useful to see the other levels and to understand what is needed to get to the next one and/or to realise that one is not ready for this type of comitment yet.

Thanks Mohini for your thoughtful insightful response. I call Michael - Mike - as I knew him first as Mike and not Michael. You are right, there are 2 (and possibly more than 2 streams here on the LP). My expertise and desires are to work with those who are what I call "closet LP'ers" i.e. those who come to traditional healing modes of growth and development because they are searching for something more and are trying to figure out why they are in their repetitive cycle of depression, anxiety, detachment, apathy etc. So from my perspective, I am trying to legitimize LP's theories/teachings so they are accessible. And my experience is, to be legitimate, we have to play nice in the bullies sand box!

It is also important that LP is accessible so those who know and or don't know that they are needing more i.e. in Michael's terms - those who are consciously or unconsciously choosing "stay at home", can be in an emotional safe environment to grow, learn and actualize their authentic self. Again, if I were to utilize this terminology, someone who is a disciple of science, agnosticism and/or buying into a BS version of spirituality, may roll their eyes and try their best to not swallow their own vomit and or project their spiritual vomit at me/us. I have seen these clients who literally have a visceral, negative emotional response to seeing their journey as a spiritual one, and when I point that out, they will look at me with either a "stunned deer in the headlights look" and/or question whether I am fit to counsel them.

My agenda from an LP perspective is to capture those who have healed enough, or can see the merits in their healing in order for them to make some kind of sincere attachment, and are open to committing to seeing themselves in connection with other living beings (all forms). I am aware that when people are stuck or trying to figure out their lives, that it is best to deduce their understanding under umbrella terms i.e. do not ever overwhelm them with too much information. Michael's thorough and accurate gradation is more for those who have done their work and have made a conscious choice to actualize and connect. If someone hasn't done their work, or needs more work, those persons may find themselves delusional i.e. they think they get this work but they really don't, and the liability to themselves and others are too high (hence my preoccupation with ethics and ensuring this LP work is grounded and authentic and accessible).

I know this work that Michael (and I) have been working on for the past 27 years is what is needed. This next phase of working out the details with all of you who are choosing to be a part of this, is important to both Mike/Michael and I. I will speak for myself here, but I am so paranoid of being attacked by others (my colonial experience) and am self aware, and have been trained by Western theories of well being, as well as been exposed to various Indigenous and other kinds of cultural understandings of what it means to be "I, you, me and we", that I just want this to be "right". I am trying hard to not allow fear to guide me, but when I see how fucked up our world is right now i.e. all the gains we have made and the recidivism that we are all witnessing, I am choosing to push forward. I/ Mike/ Michael and I both are hoping that you all will push forward with us!

G

Guys - it is so good to be discussing this in this way.

just my two cents. but i think maybe you should take level 7 off the page.

to me it seems like level 7 is sort of reserved for some type of specialized person that we can't aspire to. so in such a case, even having it listed there is not useful, and could maybe be demoralizing.

that is just my thoughts as i write this.

Overall I do think it is good to sort of have 'levels', but I am sort of conflicted about it.

 

 

https://www.kundalinisoftware.com May the people of this world be free.

Ya i get uncomfortable with the notion of levels two, which is why I'm trying to hash this out here. Listening to what people have said here, I've changed it up again. Now we have, and the naming convention here is still quite rough,

The Wanderer -
The Unsighted
The Experienced
The Needy Novice
The Practitioner
The "Perfectly" Connected
The Teacher/Mentor/Healer
TheAvatar

These are organized by increasing awareness of the significance of connection to human health and survival, and increasing commitment to both personal and collective connection and increasing understanding and skill.

I think we need to keep the "avatar" level in, whatever we choose to name that. For one, it's a real thing and for two, all major traditions have a name for this type of person. However, it is very important we should frame it properly. I think framing it as indicating great awareness of connection, great knowledge and skill about it, and greater commitment to developing frameworks and helping the masses understand and connect is a reasonable, empirical, and, most importantly, non-hierarchical way to look at it.

What does everybody think?

https://www.lightningpath.org/lesson/lp-grades/

-- All you need is love...

I would like to share few observations/thoughts about the grades. But truly, I do not know if they make sense for everyone and if they are necessary or even doable.

The topics are: a) more detailed differentiation within the levels and b) the distance between the levels.

I prefer these new grades to the previous ones (novice, needy, practitioner, etc.). They sound more open, not so scholar and give some room for creativity, not just mental framing.

To tell the truth I never thought of the levels before, except for: a) in regards to people as awakened and asleep and b) in regards to myself – only where I want to go, the aim of the spiritual path – the Avatar.

But I find it is useful to have these levels; especially for those working with people.

  1. Differentiation of the levels

The “Wanderers” (as I understand) include at the present situation on earth the biggest percentage of the population and to the big extent these are the people, who Gina wants to work with, “not aware of, not focused on, not practicing, connection.”

I would call these people “Sleepy Wonderers”. But as I already wrote in the previous input, this group being the biggest in number could be split in different degrees of awareness, as Gina already started differentiating them.

And I am aware that the work you both do is not just for already awakened people, but for all people. I have little clue how difficult this work can be! When I had read RSG on Money, I thought, if every person on earth would get to read this book – there would be a revolution within few days. I think/hope that is this something that people at any level can understand and realize the truth in it.

Any model has to be tested. And his model of levels could be tested on us, the LP students :). As in Gina's work it has to be seen: which language, models, grades or levels, rules of the game, practical things really bring due results.

The rest of the levels can actually apply only to the smaller percentage of humanity. Or as Gina wrote “Michael's thorough and accurate gradation is more for those who have done their work and have made a conscious choice to actualize and connect.”

But the “The Unsighted” level is not something lesser or insignificant. The nature of majority of people being physical and vital (desires and passions at the physical and emotional levels) and the mind/thought is used only as a tool for satisfying these needs and desires. To be „interested in spirituality“, even if just intellectually, is already a high achievement, I think. Though, they are still unaware of the significance and in my opinion they are also still “asleep”, but this stage could bring one also very fast to the next level or not… This level consists of different stages.

The Experienced“ I think could be further differentiated.

a) accept the reality of the experience but, for whatever reason, don’t bother to investigate further – Unconcernedor Indifferent

b) accept the reality of the experience and experienced a change/shift but, for whatever reasons, cannot re-create it again (this level differs from the above one, because these people DO BOTHER) – Believer

c) Someone who has had an experience, made an effort to recall it, but with no effort, so he decided, that maybe this experience was only in his imagination or gave up – Resignation, something like Looser

c) who reject and/or deny the reality of the experience – Ignorant

d) Conscious and deliberate rejection of connection experience, or deliberate corruption, manipulation; corrupting it for ones own benefit? Is this a moment, where one can make deliberate and conscious choice to move towards or against the light? - Infidel/denier or if it is a conscious choice a Deceiver

The "Needy Novice" is a beginner on the deliberate spiritual path, probably with lots of ups and downs. This stage can last quiet long, I guess.

"The Avatar" - I think that Avatar - besides what Michael wrote - is important in that sense that a human being during the physical life needs a very high, the highest aim to work towards and seek.

I could not think of any further differentiations for all the “upper” levels, which clearly indicates that I have no experience there. But I think that “corruption” can happen at any level. So there are “Practitioner” and “Infidel Practitioner”.

2. Distance between the levels

The smaller steps between the levels or rather some intermediate levels would be useful for the students, I think. I do not know, how others feel about it?

Right now for me to arrive to "Practitioner" looks like mission impossible. I know through my experience what efforts it would take... Maybe at the beginning of the spiritual journey I would have said: „Oh, that’s easy!“ But now I know that it is not and it requires a solid change in my nature.

On one hand, it would be encouraging to see one’s progress. On the other hand, we will anyway never stop at any level, so there will always be progress and it might be not necessary to assess oneself.

I do not perceive the levels as hierarchical. But again, it depends from the perspective of the seer. I like the image of the waves of the ocean - all one - from the bird’s perspective. If we aim at it or not – we all already work and try not just to rise our personal awareness, but the ocean’s as well.

Finally I think these levels are definitely helpful for those, who work with people and not so much for the LP students and avatars :).) But since the work will be most probably with people at the first 3 levels, they could be more differentiated for the work purposes and maybe smaller steps between the levels, to allow people see their progress.

Making ones personal assessment in praxis

Here I encountered few issues (I also have few theories to those). It seems that it is not that easy to identify one’s "level" as it looks in the first glimpse.

  1. I do not know at which level we have to be, that the realisation would be stable, but I think we can always have periods of resignation, depression and even have an experience a "fall-back".

I think that once I already was at level of "Practitioner", even for years, and then I „degraded“.

I see few possibilities how this happened: a) or I just imagine that I was a "Practitioner", or b) I “really” and definitely fall-back or c) there is a possibility of something, what Christian philosophy calls “the dark night of the soul” and is also described in yoga as some kind of inevitable happening at the initial stages of spiritual path, which but can last for long period of time..

I would like to quote Aurobindo to support this theory: „when the sadhak (yoga practicioner) descends in the inevitable course of the sadhana from the mental or the higher vital plane to the physical consciousness. Always this is accompanied by a fading of the first deep experiences and a descent to the neutral obscure inertia, which is the bed-rock of the unredeemed physical nature. It is there that the Light, the Power … of the Divine has to descend and transform everything, driving away for ever all obscurity and all inertia...”

So the issue of finding oneself at these levels is tricky in the sense, that one can be at one level already, but some work has to be done in so complex human nature, so things step forward from the subconscient or lower parts of the being and become so predominant, that people see only those and feel they have degraded.

  1. Another issue with this finding oneself among the levels is that, as mentioned above, human being has not only different personalities, but consists of different parts of the being. Not speaking of the highest ones of which we are not aware, at the physical existence we have physical, vital (emotion/energy) and mental beings and, once awakened, we become aware of the soul or psychic being.

I mention this for the reason, that for example (maybe) my inner/soul awareness is at the level 7, which but could not manifest yet. But it wants THAT and nothing else and when in the state of awareness I know this. Then, the mind and the higher vital (emotional) being are at levels 5 or 6. I think of and desire nothing else as to live for and towards my aim.

But… the rest of this human instrument (lower emotional being, the physical being and subconscient), which are very predominant now - are at the levels 3 or maybe even less then that.

So, where am I? And this rises the question “Who am I?” With which part of the being does one identify oneself? (The stress is on DO identify; not should identify)

In Yoga it is said “I am not this body, these emotions and not even these thoughts”. Then, if one identifies with the higher self, one is an avatar, if with ones vital being of desires – then one is at the very beginning of the path, since this part of the being usualy doesn’t want to change and transform.

As a solution I see that one has to become aware of all the parts and keep the position of the observer, not identify with any parts, not be affected by an. Until one finds the true Self.

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