developmental theory (2)

"Super-Human" Stage of Development (5%)


This comes from a website (endorsed by Ken Wilber and engaged with Wilber's work/teachings):

Although I have long followed developmental theories which make these kinds of proclamations (data summaries) about % of people at various levels of development on the spectrum, my experience shows these are highly inflated numbers used typically. It may be valid that research testing shows cognitive grasp of say some new stage of development (e.g., "self actualization") --but reality is, with all the cultural barriers and the pathological and dissociative aspects in most individuals, there is a big difference to actually be able to center one's self-sense and operational values and behaviors at the new level in a deep coherent consistent integrative way--so, my estimate would be more like 0.5 % actually are living fully as "self-actualized." 

Read more…

Not too long back I posted a Photo of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community book cover, by David C. Korten (2005). I am re-reading this again, after many years having left it and not followed through with patience and depth of investigation that this book is well worth.

I won't write a lot about the ideas in this book here, other than to give a few highlights of why I think it is one of the most important books for the 21st century, as a guide for both the critical diagnosis of the "truth" we as a species have to face (sooner the better) and as a prescription for a way out of the mess we have got ourselves into on this planet. Sure, there are lots of these kinds of books, and I've been reading them since in my early 20s. Korten's is unique amongst the Eco-type and Community-type books. And, it is unique because it includes (in an important but still inadequate way) two of my fav. theories of liberation:

(a) he gives due credit to the Love vs. Fear worldview problem and how we have to make a choice to get beyond the fear-based worldview or what he describes so well as "Empire Culture" (a cultural consciousness that is based on domination, violence and the fear cycle) and move toward the "Earth Community" (a cultural consciousness based on partnership, nonviolence, and a trust cycle of care and love)

(b) he relates this Love vs. Fear worldview problem to the work of developmental theory (using Robert Kegan's analysis primarily) whereby he positions the Empire Consciousness as 2nd Order Consciousness, along a spectrum of five potential Orders of Consciousness (at least) that human can access (this is very similar to Ken Wilber's integral philosophy and theory of which I have studied, and, it is also the very spectrum of what I label as fear management systems)

That's the 'taster' for you if you want a good read, and/or if you have read Korten's work, then we could have a good discussion. I highly recommend this work, at least this 2005 book which I believe is profound because I know of no other activist writer of the Eco and Community type who is using these two theoretical frames above, and my guess is those who read an even like Korten's work do not understand or pick-up on it. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not. These two theories will, if we choose to pay attention to them and bring them into practice, really can transform the planet, and, it will do it in small developmental steps, for the most part. As Korten and I and Wilber know, you don't get to the higher levels of consciousness just because you choose to identify with them (which the map of the 5 Orders of Consciousness does help). It's a long tough soul's journey out of the 'Fear' Matrix (i.e., Empire Consciousness).

Oh, the other thing that so impressed me as the end of the book was his citing Vandana Shiva, a great wise woman scholar from India, environmental activist and leader of the community-based movements to "save natural seeds" and not let corporations control the seeds of the world. He cites Shiva saying that "When I'm feeling discouraged by the seeming inadequacy of my efforts, I find comfort in the wisdom of Vandana Shiva, whom I mentioned earlier as a partner in the initial framing of this book." (p. 357). Wow! That is so impressive to me that he got guidance for the book from her. That's a bonus. White old men, like Korten, rarely listen that carefully to the guidance of women never mind a woman from color from India. And, then, to end the book he quotes Shiva in a great passage that I read to my friends Greg and Kate last night just before New Years arrived. Korten is founder and editor of Yes!: Positive Futures magazine and an important leader himself, but here he is citing Shiva (from an interview in that magazine back in 2003). Shiva remarks on her fearlessness practice as so important in doing activist and liberation work around the world for some 50 years or so... I share it with you for the New Year and to inspire 2017 to start in a 'good' way, a 'good' spirit for all:

Vandana Shiva: "Well, it's always a mystery, because you don't know why you [sometimes] get depleted or recharged. But, this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that in itself creates new potential. And I've learned from the Bhagavad Gita [in Hinduism] and other teachings of our [Indian] culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep attachment allows me always to take on the next challenge because I don't cripple myself, I don't tie myself in knots. I function like a free being [not one in the 'Fear' Matrix]. I think getting that freedom [from fear] is a social duty because I think we owe it to each other not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with [the gift of] fearlessness and joy." [1]

End Note

Shiva, V. (interviewed by van Gelder, S.) (2003). Earth Democracy. Yes!: A Journal of Positive Futures, Winter. Retrieved from

Read more…