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 Second Grade: Emotional Intelligence. More to come. NOTE: This is just food for thought, fun food, happy thought.
Second Grade is for Kids. Babies grow into Kids when they start moving away from Mothers and begin exploring on their own. The new education is crawling, standing and walking in the world. Kids test themselves. They want to see how fast they can move and how strong they are. Kids learn to become strong and fast so they don’t have to feel like helpless Babies. Nobody likes a crybaby in Second Grade and no Second Grader likes to be one, especially around other Kids. Once in awhile, Kids will fight each other to test their strength and mobility. This way, Kids learn about winning and losing which is the Main Game in Second Grade. This is why Kids make the best gangs. They know how important winning is. In these gangs, Kids find out who is Boss and who is the least important Kid, the one all the others make fun of or gang up on. Bosses get to tell all the other Kids in their gang what game they will play. In Second Grade, everybody should be Boss at least once in order to graduate.
The most important thing to know in Second Grade is that we are special and important in some way. As Kids, we do this by expressing ourselves. How else will other Kids know who we are? On occasion, Kids will meet Big Kids. Big Kids are the strongest and fastest Kids around. A lot of times, Kids will worship and fear Big Kids because they know how strong and fast they are. Big Kids are Fourth Graders (Adults) who sometimes hang out with Little Kids when they have Second Grade Homework to catch up on. Second Grade Love is for Power. The love of power is sometimes necessary to just stand on our own two feet. Power takes many different forms. The three main kinds of power in Second Grade are: Strength, Personal Freedom and Status.
Second Grade strength is visceral and is entirely dependent upon how much guts you have. It takes courage to know you can take care of yourself in a jam. With Mom not around all the time, you have to learn how to protect yourself … even fight for your life, if you have to. Kids learn the willingness to do so or they become “cowards, sissies, mama’s boys/girls” which are names to describe the least important Kids. Boys have a harder time in Second Grade than Girls do because they are not expected to fight in the same way but some of them still do.
When a Kid leaves Mother to create his/her own space, he/she becomes an individual as soon as he/she finds a way to own that space and make it his/hers. Second Grade Homework is owning your actions and space. When Kids are in charge of themselves enough to determine who and who cannot come in, Emotional Intelligence is being organized. When Kids are confident enough to enforce these decisions, Emotional Intelligence is communicated. This process of emotional centering is self-centered, and necessarily so. With Mom gone, somebody’s got to watch out for Number One.
When us Kids are strong enough to protect and stand up for ourselves, we’re rewarded with a greater sense of personal freedom and self esteem. This autonomy gives us the right to do things our own way unless we’re outsmarted by Third Grade Student-types or bullied by Fourth Grade Big Kids or maybe, scolded by Adults. Until that time, we do as we please. We wear the clothes we like, cut our hair the way we want or let it grow long. We’ll keep secrets from Adults and even lie to them just to protect our sense of freedom. We kids invent emotional strategies to keep getting our way, too. It’s all political from our point of view because we’re political animals. (Did you know that the word ‘politics’ comes from the root word for ‘police,’ which is ‘policie.’) We make great informants, enforcers and tyrants. The word ‘policy’ is also related to politics and Kids love making deals, especially when they know they’ll come out on top.
Status arrives when we are recognized to know the game well enough to win almost every time. Kids love winners and winning. Winning, after all, is exciting. (Kids get excited about winning as it excites adrenaline, an important Second Grade drug.) Status goes to the person and/or activity providing the greatest adrenaline rush and jag. This is, of course, relative … every Kid has their own Thrill Criteria. What turns one Kid on, turns another right off. This is what keeps Kids together when they try and make friends with each other. As Kids, we find out if we can get along with each others’ rushes, thrills and excitements. If not, no big deal … there’s always more Kids to check out.
Second Grade activities: Play any sport to win, Watch a Clint Eastwood movie, Take a ride on a ferris wheel, Develop your own power elite group, Slamdance at a punk-rock concert, Initiate a wrestling match, Lose an argument and feel defeated, Make someone else feel important, Take a karate lesson, Climb a tree, Throw a tantrum, Rebel against your favorite authority figure, When feeling violated, don’t hold back your anger … lash out, Act like you’re on top of the world.