In Angel Tech (1985), Antero Alli divides spiritual development into eight grades (as if one is going through grade school) based on an 8-tier model of the brain/mind/spirit developed by Timothy Leary. Here is the First Grade: Physical Intelligence. More to come. NOTE: This is just food for thought, fun food, happy thought.
First Grade is for BABIES. We learn how to be passive, dependent and totally self-centered, infantile entities living for immediate oral-body gratification. We discover what feels good and what doesn’t, what is nourishing and what isn’t. As babies we find out about fear for the first time, especially, the fear of falling and fear of sudden loud noises which interrupt our infant bliss. We also have the privilege of screaming bloody murder when we don’t get our way, as well as shining like a buddha when we do. Most of all, Babies need Mothers or surrogates, the provides of First Grade Love. Mothers determine whether Baby’s reality is based in trust or fear depending upon how committed Mom is in providing love. The provision of Mother Love helps imprint trust, as the absence imprints distrust. This does not mean that Fathers are to be excluded … they become more important in our culture later on.
First Grade experience is the most undifferentiated of all … the qualities of distinction and clarity get in the way. Baby-talk is a good way to get acquainted. Other oral activities such as sucking, spitting, biting, chewing, gurgling, drooling, screaming and vomiting also excite Physical Intelligence. Perhaps most significant of all, babies are known to produce the softest and gentlest of human sounds.
As Babies, we ARE our most vulnerable, impressionable feelings and perceptions. There is no split. The openness we feel as Babies becomes the basis by which we can learn. Without it, we grow old by stopping reception. By staying open, we’re absorbing the world around us. In fact, as Babies, we’re so open that we really don’t know the difference between the world and ourselves. It’s all the same to us … until, we’re not fed, held and cleaned. Then, we’re reminded of the difference, mostly between pleasure and pain. And even then, we become the pain so much, we cry as if the world is going to end any moment. On the other hand, when we become the pleasure, we provide our parents with hours of endless joy as they share (and remember) our Infant Bliss, Wonder and Absolute Awe.
In First Grade, our whole reason for living is the warm, comforting feeling of being loved by Mother-surrogate. Mother Love is not only warm and comfy but sloppy, wet and all-encompassing. When it’s there, it’s everywhere and when it’s gone, it’s gone in a big way. Being a Baby is just about the most terrifying thing you could imagine, as an adult, because so much depends on Mother being there. Sometimes Mother is replaced by The Babysitter but it’s never really the same. It does, however, help us grow as Babies to not be picked up and held too much so we can graduate from our total dependency. Some of us get held way too much and never really stop being Babies … even as Fourth Grade Adults! So, we are essentially helpless to the mistakes, accidents and trials of our Mother as she learns to raise us.
The most important thing to remember from First Grade is that no matter what happens, everything becomes accepted and in many instances life just takes care of itself. It’s possible that if we don’t learn this, we’ll either not graduate or not understand the importance of dependency, vulnerability and safety. All things are necessary for comfort at the most basic level. In the Second Grade, though, they are often hidden and forgotten because there are other things to learn. But deep inside, we are soft, mushy Babies seeking warmth in all kinds of sloppy, wet places. One more thing, we love putting things into our mouths …
First Grade activities: soak in a hot bath, let someone you trust carry you, receive a full-body massage, crawl and baby-talk, cry out when you feel helpless, feel the fear of falling and sudden loud noises, get real hungry, cuddle with someone who loves you, discover who your “Mother” models are, satisfy yourself, be held by someone, permit somebody to feed you.
NOTE: One of the SOLO guidelines relates to this: “‘We’ do not shout over others, we giggle and coo.” This is telling us to be less like the Second Grade “Kids” and more like the First Grade “Babies.” More about the Second Grade next time! – G. Lee Young