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 Fourth Grade: Social Intelligence. More to come. NOTE: This is just food for thought, fun food, happy thought.
Fourth Grade is for Big Kids, Adults, Family and the Religion of your “choice.” Grade Four is a big place and presents the most diverse, complex types of situations involving people. Everybody here has already been through the first three Grades. Graduating participants now share the opportunity for developing their Social Intelligence … or How to Get Along With People. Groups are defined as any number larger than one. Couples are groups. When relating to another person, we are also relating to the collective. This kind of awareness begins Fourth Grade education.
The first phase of Fourth Grade belongs to Big Kids, who are also known as Adolescents. Big Kids are no longer Babies, at least not all the time. They feel important and smart enough to start making up their own rules. The Main Games Big Kids play are called courting Rituals, which are elaborate activities expressing catalyzed sexual/hormonal impulses. In these rituals, Big Kids find out what turns them on about other people and what turns them off. The results of this rite of passage determines certain sexual preferences and mating styles … two factors shaping their future social life. Occasionally, certain Big Kids aren’t ready for these rituals and so, they return to First, Second and/or Third Grade until they’re safe, important and smart enough to join in. For Big Kids, life at best is a Big Party. When the Party’s over, Big Kids either become Adults or finds ways to bypass Terminal Adulthood by prolonging adolescence.
Adults are Big Kids who not knowing what else to do “grew up.” The word “adult” implies a “fully developed plant or animal in the final phase of its growth.” (The word “adolescent” comes from the latin “ad” and “alescere” meaning, to grow.) Big kids usually rebel against Adults because they don’t want to grow up and die. Many Big Kids grow up and become Adults without rebelling and so remain Big Kids inside and Little Adults outside. Adult Education requires participants to memorize the Reward and Punishment system of the society they live in, as if it were absolute and essential rather than being arbitrary and relative. This is to help Adults look and feel “socially acceptable” for doing the Right Thing and to act guilty and feel like “no-good dumb shits” for doing the Wrong Thing in their culture.
The strongest social need comes from the urge to belong. One way Adults feel close is by Getting Married. One way they start organizing their Social Intelligence is by Having Babies and meeting with other genetic family members for Get Togethers, during which Adults find out about Family Heirarchy, i.e., who eats first and last, however, belonging and closeness is primary.
Another way Adults belong is through the “extended, or non-genetic, family.” This is when groups of Adults are organized around a common purpose. This purpose can be as simple as just Getting Together or as Grandiose as Saving the World. Others create a Religion to get other Adults to drop what they’re doing and join them. Religions are Rules to Live By for many Adults who feel lost, confused and/or out of touch with their own unique style of intelligent survival on the planet. Religions are also designed to meet the social need for belonging, as well as the physical, emotional and conceptual needs for security, status and “knowledge.” Some Adults decide to remain in Fourth Grade forever by becoming members of certain religious groups. This is called joining the CHURCH OF EVERLASTING LIFE. – Or Terminal Cure For Uncertainty.
The CHURCH OF EVERLASTING LIFE is any group, corporation, person, religion and/or government promising to meet our “needs” in exchange for the sacrifice of our mind, autonomy and identity. Most frequently, however, we are told that we are incompetent to handle our “problems” thus requiring these very high priced care-takers. This kind of CHURCH offers members rewards from Grades One through Four: 1st Grade FOOD, SECURITY and PROTECTION; 2nd Grade STATUS, LAND and WORK; 3rd Grade MONEY, DOCUMENTS and MAPS; 4th Grade MEMBERSHIP, RELIGION and RETIREMENT. These rewards and others may be ours if we let the Church own us. Since the urge to belong is a strong social need, it’s important to meet this need somewhere. If there’s no place to go, there’s always the CHURCH OF EVERLASTING LIFE.
The other alternative is in knowing how to make, keep and change friends. In Fourth Grade, we find out how important our real friends are and we find out ways to know who they are. The most important lesson in Fourth Grade is: KNOWING WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE. Those of us unwilling to remain in Fourth Grade forever become candidates for Graduation through the Initiation of Chapel Perilous. Not everybody has to go through the Chapel. It is possible to skip right over it and submerge oneself directly in Fifth Grade Rapture without a trace of guilt, fear or humiliation. For those of us with any doubts at all, let’s meet in the CHAPEL.
Fourth Grade activities: Attend a funeral, Make a new friend, Go to a garden party, Confront your enemy with a gift, Get married now, Join a religion, Spend a night with the author, Call Jerry Falwell, Initiate a romance.
Next we’ll hear about “Chapel Perilous,” a term, coined by Robert Anton Wilson in Cosmic Trigger, which refers to an initiatory phase that takes us out of ordinary experience. Successful grappling with this experience allows us to access the remaining four grades that take us beyond the ordinary experience of grades one through four, according to Antero Alli, author of Angel Tech. – G. Lee Young