We clearly see the fluctuating nature of our journey in stages of consciousness. There is great wisdom within each stage, and also an inherent trap. Only as we trust and practice the task of each stage are we prepared to move forward.

There are different ways to name the stages of consciousness. “Spiral Dynamics” or Wilber’s “Integral Theory” is one of the most helpful for me, and it states the historical and common stages up to now in this way: the archaic (infant), the magical (child), the powerful (heroic stage), absolute truth (and conformity to the group that has it), individual success (organized rational world), pluralism (modern liberalism).

If we can get through these stages and are still ready to face the big death to our individualism and our superiority, we are poised to advance to what some call second tier consciousness (really the mystical levels) where we finally see the importance and usefulness of EACH of these stages and yet also transcend all of them at the same time! This could be described as the necessary path toward any greater capacity for love, freedom, and enlightenment….

from The Dean’s Address, Living Social Symposium, August 2013.