Metamodern Spirituality: The need for a reality reframe
In a recent conversation I was invited to address the question of creating greater alignment between some varying, and sometimes disputatious views of developmental theories.
My approach to this will not be to debate their relative merits. There are too many and I don’t have expertise in them all. What follows is a personal perspective for experiential reasons that will become clear. At the same time I acknowledge how deeply my own presentation is framed by the Clare Graves / Spiral Dynamics perspective. I will use the experience and the model together with the intention of delivering something that arises from a level above the one that created the problem.
I will begin with the experience for two reasons. It was the key that unlocked my own perspective on limitations to science as currently practiced. It also exemplifies the claim that I will make, that the current-level problem has to do with an excessively cognitive and analytical focus. Put simply, we cannot create a viable metamodern spiritual perspective without understanding the place of our bodies in the scheme of creation and of consciousness.
After leaving University where I had studied social, psychological and biologicaI sciences pursued a fascination with the world of computers, then in its infancy. I was also on the conventional life-path with a wife and two children.
Another part of this conventional path was stress, both in over-work and from the marriage which was not going well and this led me to take a course in relaxation techniques and creative visualisation. At least, that is what I thought it was. Over the four days it became apparent that there were much deeper intentions in the training which had to do with extending sensing abilities towards intuition in order to assist people to address their own and other people’s health issues. By the end of the course, I was told, we would experience ourselves as having the ability to gain knowledge psychically.
I did not believe this possible, least of all through training. I might have allowed the possibility of extraordinary gifts but saw myself as the least likely person to have those. Even so, I went along with the training process in an open-minded and curious way. On the last afternoon we each went through exercises using the techniques we had been taught. In these exercises were given the name, age and approximate location of an individual, known to one other of the participants who had written down some basic facts about that individual. This information was in the hands of a third person.
My experience during the exercise was of “tuning in” to the subject individual (David, a 27-year-old male living in Devon) using the techniques we had practiced. For many minutes I was getting nothing until I tried a particular technique in which rather than trying to “see” the person or “hear” information about them in my mind, I imagined myself as that individual, wearing their body like a space-suit. The effect was instantaneous and visceral. I had the strong sensation of pain in the rear left side of my head and spontaneously grimaced and twisted my head. I immediately asked the observer if the person had a brain tumour and was told that this was exactly what was written down. I used other techniques to attempt to send healing (this being the real purpose of the training) before bringing my attention back and participating in the experiences of other students.
Of the twenty or so people in the room, all but two had some kind of success in this kind of detection – enough that they knew with confidence that they had detected something that they could not have known by any “normal” means. I therefore had to recognise not just my own experience but that of several others, none of whom had given any indication of previous training or gifts in such areas.
I had been brought up as a rationalist, trained in scientific thinking and had embraced a view of reality in which it was impossible that I could have had that psychic experience and no means by which it could happen. I subsequently became a trainer in the method attending many courses and leading others. I repeatedly witnessed others discovering that they too had demonstrable, functioning intuition. There was no question that this is a natural human capacity, potentially available to all.
The experience itself and its ongoing validation were a major problem for me, a challenge to my way of viewing the world. My previous reality was broken and since I maintained my belief in science and rationality as a process, it was evident that something had gone wrong, leading it to false conclusions. Something was missing. Science is above all an evidence-based process. If the theory doesn’t fit the facts, the theory must change.
The experience was just a beginning. I won’t tell the story here covering several decades during which I explored, read about and experimented with very many aspects of alternative health, new-age thinking, “new-thought” religions and esoteric worldviews. I also read many books and journal articles from the fringes and leading edges of science – biology, genetics, physics, neurobiology and more. Over those decades I built the picture that was eventually presented in 2013 in the book “The Science of Possibility: Patterns of connected Consciousness”[i]. That book has been favourably reviewed by a CERN physicist and a US scientist working on nuclear submarines. It is not flaky or “woo-woo” and I have to labour that fact because its conclusions are the foundation of the reality that I will describe here. I will now cut to the chase.
This is how the universe works
The psychic experience I described has some central features. It indicates that there is a world filled with information. That information is available across spatial distance and it is addressable, in the sense that I could connect with a specific individual. There is also abundant evidence that such information is available across time.
The picture that emerges, when all aspects of both science and experience are seen in a complete way, is one where that informational realm is not the emergent or superficial phenomenon that some would frame it as. Instead, information is primary and foundational.
We are well acquainted with the fact that energy and matter are interchangeable. That is not only relativity theory, it is the working technology of nuclear reactors and the way that the Earth formed from its central star. This fact is sometimes expressed as the convenient “everything is energy” statement with which some people duck any request to explain how the operation of a non-material reality actually works. As such, to a rationalist it gives an equally convenient excuse to label the alternatives as “woo”.
Both these convenient dismissals fail to adequately address the question of what is really happening. What is it that shapes energy as it becomes matter? Of course there are partial answers in physics. Some of them are quite powerful. But we also know that they are incomplete and that they are subject to major uncertainties, both in the Heisenbergian sense, the challenge of wave-particle duality and in the seemingly endless discovery in particle accelerators that when we “smash” atoms, we find new components. When we try to deal with the “quantum” reality, it all becomes probabilistic. As Richard Feynman is reputed to have said “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics.”
In addition to that that, those answers may work to some extent at the level of particle physics but they do not scale up into the formation of molecules, organic compounds, cells etc. Each of these realms has its own mechanistic explanations. There is some fascinating work being done under the heading of “quantum biology”, exploring the connection at the level of cytoplasm, or neural activity, or shading into attempts to understand larger scale activities like the navigational skills of migrating birds. Such investigations are a science in its infancy. I am not attempting to draw any conclusions here; my point is to show that there is an acknowledged requirement for our scientific explanations to apply at all scales from the micro to the macro and to extend into living processes.
This is the same requirement as lies behind the demand for a “Theory of Everything” which will explain quantum phenomena and interstellar gravity alike. I would assert that a TOE that does not also explain living systems has in fact, not done everything, or even come close. It would only have done what physics thinks of as everything, but it would fail to deal with Erwin Schrodinger’s very simple question “What is life?” I suggest that is the same question that metamodern spirituality is also dealing with. Very evidently it is a fundamental enquiry that humans have been making, probably ever since we had the capacity for such questions and certainly for as long as we have written records of human thought.
Thus “How does the universe work?” and “what is life?” are not different questions. You cannot answer the first at all without including the second. You cannot explain the second adequately unless you understand the first. In order to deal with the two together, it is necessary to engage with the nature of consciousness. This is also essential for any study of spirituality.
Back to connectedness
I described two key features of a world in which a psychic experience is possible; there is a field of information which spans the world and is both connected and addressable. That is to say, that our access to that information can be specific, directed by our intention and we can gain that access at will. I will now extend that span to the universe and to the statement that the field of information is primary and foundational. So how does that relate to a question about the nature of consciousness?
It’s a tricky word. We tend to use it in a variety of ways, potentially with varying definitions but without saying, or maybe even being clear in our own minds, what we mean by it. Think for a moment about these presentations.
- Consciousness is a socially based narrative construct
- Consciousness is something that humans have, an awareness of our own capacity for thought
- Consciousness describes our awareness of the world itself, our capacity to observe and produce interior models of our exteriors
- Consciousness is a feature of the world itself, engaged in by other animals, or even non-animal life forms, a property that goes with sentience.
- Consciousness is an emergent property, a special feature of human existence, arising as a by-product of complex brains
- Consciousness is beyond humans and beyond the Earth, a property of God or the Divine or the realm of creation, present before we humans existed, even before the planet or the cosmos
- Consciousness is a spiritual phenomenon, centred in our relationship with all that is beyond ourselves and our material existence
Which of these resonate with you?
Which are you typically referring to when you use the word?
Which do you view as wrong? Maybe all of them, since you may even have one of your own that is quite different.
I often avoid using the word consciousness precisely because of this definitional challenge. Here I have to embrace the difficulty and say just what I mean by it and how it potentially includes all of the above. I will start by extending the observation of an information field, deepening the description of what it is and what it does.
The answer to the earlier question “what is it that shapes energy as it becomes matter?” is that the information field does that. I will state this as a fact. If you would like justification then there are several hundred pages of philosophical, scientific and descriptive evidence, presented and analysed in “The Science of Possibility.” Here I will only take the space required to give a fuller picture of that fact as a necessary background to answering “What is life?”, and I will do so first in the manner of a story or a metaphor, rather than as a technical description.
From big bang to human expansion
I ask you to imagine the universe from its beginning. For convenience, let’s use the “big bang” concept, and start with pure and formless energy, compressed into something inconceivable small and dense with no time and no space. In biblical language it was “without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”
The crucial element for this story is contained in what happens next. The conventional view is that the energy begins to form into patterns – that within seconds, the first, fundamental particles come into existence. I visualise this as a huge experiment in which the energy tries out an infinite number of patterns, most of which cannot sustain as matter, but a few of them do. That much is conventional and has some consensus.
Absent from that description is the key feature, namely that the universe has the capability to retain the information about which patterns work and which do not. It also holds records of the relationships and connections between the particles that form. That information is the ground on which the universe emerges. It is as much a part of all that happens as the energy and matter are. The information field is built into the shaping of all that happens. It is like a memory, but also provides an active template for further emergence.
Thus what I am describing is a realm of knowingness which describes everything that has come into existence. Every rule about how energy can exist in a stable material form is a part of that knowingness, things that the universe learned about itself during the most basic stages of creation.
Imagine then that as the universe coalesced from the smallest particles to form atoms, molecules, stars and galaxies the new information added also became part of that self-knowing. Whatever didn’t work was “forgotten”, or maybe archived. That which worked became a template of knowledge on which the next stage of material existence could be built. Matter coalesced into stars and galaxies and formed everything that we see through telescopes and from satellites and exploring unmanned spacecraft. Astrobiologists, cosmologists and others do their best to detect all that is going on in the depths of space and to fathom the operation of the universe. Meanwhile, the universe itself holds that knowing. The knowing is a component of what is.
Note that I am not saying or implying that the universe has self-consciousness. I regard it as unknowable – whether it has some kind of awareness of itself as an entity. It is not a necessary part of this story that it should have and it would contain some interesting paradoxes if it did. But it is important to this story not to attribute anything resembling human ways of thinking onto it. Due to limitations of language, some of the words used here might appear to imply that, but this is not the intention at all. To do so bends the picture into an anthropomorphised shape, as humans have frequently done with their concepts of “God”. This story does not use the word “consciousness” in that way.
Let’s follow the story forward. Picture then that as life evolved on earth across a time-span of several billion years, the field of information expanded with the patterns of creation which made molecules, amino-acids, bacteria, single-celled organisms and eventually organisms like us formed from 50 to 70 trillion of those cells. Every event has been woven into that unimaginably vast tapestry, that web of information. It is as vast as the universe itself and humans have already found it difficult to comprehend the immensity of space and to grasp how even our local galaxy is one among billions. We cannot expect to mentally encompass the information field.
Finding our connection
Yet while the size of the information field may be unimaginable, the concept is not so far from familiar. Every time that you put a search into Google you are accessing a vast pool of information that is distributed, all over the world and yet subtly connected. What if the universe is like that? Google is not a one-way street either. When you add your web-page, publish a blog or put a comment on Facebook, you change the content. You are an active part of the evolution of our planetary knowing and every day that knowledge expands. Within its domain, Google has its own field of “oneness” in which we are each separate but embedded.
My psychic connection to an unknown and barely identified individual was sufficient that I knew that he had a brain tumour. How I knew was not that I got a verbal message in my mental in-tray, though it works somewhat like that for some people. Others get pictures, songs, and ideas. How I knew was initially that I had awareness of a pain in the rear left side of my head that made me want to screw up my face. The idea of a brain tumour came from that. How good is your search engine? What kind of information flow did it take to turn that kind of connection into a reality? Are there limits to how much access you can have? As yet I truly don’t know what they might be and the potential looks greater to me day by day.
This then is my view of what consciousness is. Consciousness is a feature of the entire universe, the field-based knowing that shapes the energy into matter and which also holds the information about all that is not material. Humanly, it inhabits who we are since we embody in our form a great deal of information about how we are physically. In addition there is another huge amount we hold in our thoughts and feelings about what we believe ourselves and the world to be. Some of that information is beneath our ordinary knowing and some of it – possibly a great deal of it – may be coming in and flowing through due to our connection with others. How many of your daily thoughts might not even be yours but rather ones that you pick up from those around you or from the field itself? Our boundaries may not be what we think that they are. What if the boundaries to you – the being – have nothing to do with the boundaries to your body?
The outcome of this viewpoint is that the various definitions of consciousness which were explored above all have elements of accuracy but that none of them are complete. The view that I am presenting is panentheistic. The field of information is in everything and flowing through everything. Since we are part of everything that means it is within us and flowing through us. In using the term panentheistic we are also meeting the part of this exploration that involves our notions of “God”, or the Divine and we are entering the realm that we think of as spiritual.
Using the noun consciousness remains tricky. When thought of as something that humans possess we are limited to our own domain of awareness. In AQAL terms it is an upper-left conception, whether you see that as an emergent feature of a complex brain or a personal sensing of our own existence. If you regard it as a socially constructed narrative it crosses the boundary into the lower-left, potentially informing our contextual awareness of the shared, or partly-shared field of human thought. Viewing it as a property of sentient life-forms moves the viewpoint towards our upper-right exterior and towards our interior models of that exterior. As we expand further into the lower-right we engage increasingly with the whole, with its interconnectedness independent of us and with the connections that we may choose to make with it.
All of these angles of view leave a significant developmental gap with regard to our conception of spirituality and our way of viewing the realm of spiritual consciousness. In order to unpack that question I would like to review our values systems and the way that the stages of development have typically shown up in human conceptions of the Divine. I will be as brief as I can, but there’s a lot here and it feeds into our concepts of metamodernism.
God(s) and the Spiral
What follows illustrates the concept that humans project their own values systems outwards and see God in our own image. It is a developmenta sequence in which metamodernism is our most recent projection. The trajectory looks like this.
Beige There is no concept of God. However there is a direct sensory connection, a passive intuitive awareness that operates alongside our mammalian pattern-sensing to detect what is in the field.
Purple The spiritual exteriors are in the natural world and are experienced in some cultures as a direct connection and a shamanistic awareness of the field of information in others, e.g. plant and animal spirits. For them, the environment itself is spiritually alive. This direct connection may be experienced by many with the support of entheogens. Examples would include psychotropic chemicals like magic mushrooms, and dance-induced trance states. It may also be a specialisation by specific individuals in the group / tribe who function as shamans and healers.
This reality has historically been misunderstood and dismissed by modernist views and scientific materialist mind-sets with the result that even Graves and Spiral Dynamics presentations for many years used words like “superstitious” and “primitive” and described their worldview as childlike “magical thinking”. Since this dismissal continues to be widespread outside of SD I will say more about it later.
Red The requirement for agency and power in the world is projected outward into the larger forces of nature such as the sun. Red submissive behaviour with human power-holders is replicated in the direction of forces that cannot be controlled, via activities of appeasement through sacrifice of animals, crops and even humans. The natural forces are personalised, such as Poseidon, the God of the waves or even Mother Earth herself and may in some cases such as Hinduism be elaborated to cover multiple aspects of existence in a polytheistic form. As the human mind-set expands beyond its trust in the ancestral wisdoms, the tribal stories and myths that transmit them and the elders who are seen to embody them, the Purple connection to spirit develops into a larger–scale animism. The after-life may be imagined as another world like ours, with the result that people are interred with some belongings that they may use there, as occurred with Egyptians and Vikings.
Blue The religions that are spread widely across the globe such as Judaeo-Christianity and Islam typify the development of worldviews which project order into the spiritual realm. The one-right-way codes, carved on tablets of stone and written in scriptures, locate the origins of such order as arising from the mind of God. The presentation is more often monotheistic and typically the image of God is patriarchal, often punitive, projecting a strict father who must be obeyed, even if this is tempered by concepts of atonement and forgiveness. Such notions of punishment extend to the afterlife with visions of heaven and hell. Evil too may be located as something outside of God, embodied by demons and devils. There are many other representations. Some like Buddhism may be located more in practices, including spiritual purification and asceticism, and others may see order as maintained through multiple lifetimes by personal “Karma” but the notion of order retains a strong presence.
Orange As the scientific world-view develops and provides humans with more direct perceptions of control over their world, there is less space for any form of spirituality. The concept of religion itself may come under direct attack (for example, Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”) or it may seem to gradually evaporate into irrelevance. Science itself, rational knowing and human control may themselves be seen to hold the potential for power over the world such that it functionally takes the place that God previously occupied.
Because the scientific worldview also develops its own rigidities in regard to what is provable this also develops into a dogma regarding the nature of evidence itself and an unwillingness to accept human experience as providing any form of usable data. As a result, other forms of knowing and the embodied, intuitive and direct awareness that are carried by humans in the pre-cognitive Beige to Red systems, are devalued or dismissed. The result places many people into an arrested developmental state where later stages are only accessed cognitively. People can see those stages but they cannot properly inhabit them. Added to this, the different theoretical perspectives around development itself tend to be seen more as in conflict and incompatible with each other. This becomes a barrier to integration.
Green This system has upper-left humanity at its centre, extending into the lower-left wish for harmony, human bonding and respect for others. It is the system which births psychology itself and brings with it a significant emphasis on personal development and on the rights of all to express their uniqueness. Paradoxically it also brings conflict between that impulse and the desire for harmony such that the search for consensus struggles against tolerance of diversity. Emerging as it does from Orange with a sense of alienation and devalued humanity, it seeks to re-establish a sense of who we are.
So where is God in the Green system? Post-Orange, God is either nowhere or everywhere, in the sense that all religions or beliefs are equally valid. “May your God go with you.” At the same time, spirit itself finds its location within. The human spirit and humanism are the focus and there is less orientation towards the exterior. Green looks towards the personal, through “higher self” and “the soul” and to a sense of connectedness between us and it adopts practices around meditation or techniques that developed in other systems, particularly Eastern ones. There is significant cross-culture fertilization with the exploration of those systems’ mysticism, and also the adoption of their mind-body and energy medicine perspectives. It may embrace versions of Purple animism, sometimes with a tendency to romanticise them which may be held in place by aspects of Green’s rejection of Orange mechanistic and materialistic focus. This too can become a barrier to integration and a cause of arrested development.
If there is a sense of exterior spirituality, it no longer fits with the Blue God, nor with Orange mechanisms. Equally, any new framework arising from interiority tends to frame the connection to spirit as an experience. The exploration of Eastern mysticism and of a myriad of alternative modalities tends to be conducted through the “higher mind”. We explore what is beyond the body and in the outwardly expanded consciousness. This causes Green spirituality to focus its interest on a direct awareness of the non-dual and of whatever is available to direct experience of that mystical and empty-of-thought space. In many cases this develops towards a search for enlightenment, super-consciousness and an exploration of realms which are beyond the body.
Yellow, Turquoise and the leap.
Evidently, there is a great deal present by the time we reach this point. In describing the first tier stages I have not engaged with the question of life conditions. Since the stages are adaptive systems, priority codes must now arise from the intention to make choices which are as well-fitted as possible to the current state of our world. It therefore serves us to look at the conditions that draw forth the metamodern mind-set.
For at least the last two decades, we have summed up our life-conditions using the VUCA acronym. We have become hyper-aware that the world changes abruptly, in unpredictable ways, with a complex set of interacting drivers and in way that we struggle to even categorise due to signals that may be read more than one way.
Not only are there no certainties, there are no methodologies from the past that we can use with any reliability.
- Our historical reliance on making linear trend extrapolations breaks down in the face of multiple interactions.
- Our attempts to relate causes to effects are terminally challenged when all effects become side-effects of more distant events and there is no single cause.
- The mind-sets that are drilled into us in our Blue-Orange educational systems are filled with the concept of right answers that can be entered into check-boxes, but conditions are altering so fast that yesterday’s right answer may have had consequences that must quickly be reversed.
- The more we see of the emerging world, the more evident it becomes that what seemed like rules contain paradoxes that are fundamental and not possible to resolve
- As we broaden our awareness of the way that visible mechanistic systems of process and procedure operate in contexts of human systems, cultural perceptions, unspoken implicit rules and unconscious habits it becomes increasingly apparent that our direction cannot be determined top-down. Leaders cannot see, still less assimilate the knowledge that is required. The system has to become self-managing and operate through bottom-up emergence.
In summary, we have entered into a realm that is beyond analysis, non-linear in its trajectory and lacking in fixed rules. Control is now out of the question, replaced by flex and flow. We are required to exercise awareness, replace our fixed rules with principles – maybe several at a time – and make our choices in the moment with the awareness that they may have to be revised.
As yet, very few humans have been operating this way. Not only does our education and training push into other ways of being, we are also living with structures that were developed from earlier mind-sets. Our legal systems are built around Blue “right ways”. Our financial systems have embedded specific Blue and Orange practices and structures for capital and ownership. Our global logistics rely on vast amounts of infrastructure that all of us use. Our communication systems, even though they are the most rapidly evolving, are largely run by a handful of global corporations. We do not have the degrees of freedom that seem to be required if we are to operate in a rapidly adaptive and flex-flow fashion.
This is the challenge presented to us by the Yellow system. We may aspire to Yellow Values and wish to adapt to these life conditions but we are constrained both in the exterior realities and in our interior habits. Because of this, there is a great deal more Yellow present in our cognitive awareness than in our actual behaviour. Similarly, we are required to maintain our awareness of all the Tier 1 systems because these persist in the life conditions, they are present throughout ourselves as individuals and are strong in humanity as a whole, since the majority of humans continue to be centred in Purple, Red and Blue. Even the modern / westernised world, which may have a great deal of Orange present, still includes many whose personal operating system “chord” is not centred there.
I must also mention the Turquoise system. While this will have to build on top of Yellow, and requires a larger component of systems thinking in order to be functional, it would be a mistake not to include it in our review. Even if the collective does not know how to operate in a Turquoise way, it is conceptually present. There is an underlying awareness and an increasing presence of the narrative which recognises a connectivity running through all living systems, through ecologies and creating a deep interdependence. We are being nudged towards a different level of engagement with other species that goes beyond recognising that we need them in order to survive and extends into a level of care, appreciation and acknowledgement of their rights for and of themselves. We are gradually surrendering human superiority. Along with it go control and power-over. That includes a very visible shove in regard to Gaia, to the planet as a whole and to life on Earth. We understand in an increasingly visceral way, that life can go on without homo sapiens and that we could be the next mass extinction.
I don’t know what anyone else means by this term and am not sure that there is even a consensus, so let me give my definition, which is “any spiritual perspective that is informed by a worldview that lies beyond Green”. You might say that is the same as “2nd tier” and perhaps at this point it is, but that could eventually change. I will also state what I mean by “spiritual” as “pertaining to a non-material reality”.
Following the logic that applied to the spiral-based excursions above, our new view must be 1) a response to the emerging life conditions and 2) shaped by the new non-linear, non-binary, complexity-aware, paradox-embracing and context-sensitive ways of thinking / being.
Likewise, in accordance with the framing that the information field shapes reality in both its exterior existence and in our interior awareness of it, the new spirituality must encompass an understanding of simultaneous perspectives. Among them:-
- the non-material reality operates at all scales of existence throughout the universe
- the non-material reality allows for relationships to exist between all components of the universe, regardless of time and space
- humans have the ability to be aware of the non-material reality and the relationships within it
- that reality does not depend on human beings for its existence; other entities in the field may also have awareness
- that reality is, and always has been emergent and self-creating (autopoetic)
- human consciousness has awareness both of itself as an active participant in the field and of the field itself; it is both conscious of itself and conscious that there is a “whole”
This provides a vast spectrum of what metamodern spirituality may contain. The list just given offers a full 4Q/8L perspective (since it contains all previous conceptions of human spirituality) but it contains so much more. When spirit is seen as inherent in everywhere that the information field touches and as unbounded by time and space it is almost easier to say what spirituality isn’t. What spirituality would not cover is everything that is material and described by the rules and systems of material science. Even that is subject to the challenge that the information field itself holds the keys to those rules and systems, because it birthed all of them.
It should be noted that this inverts the usual perceptions of spirit and consciousness as emergent properties of our human neurophysiology and experience. We (and everything else) are in fact emergent properties of the information field, or consciousness, or spirit. Our conventional interpretations up until this point have had the map upside-down, or perhaps inside-out. This is not only meta-modern. It is “meta” of the material world itself. In a very literal way it is metaphysical.
However, I do not wish to make the concept of metamodern spirituality so vast and all-encompassing as to be functionally useless. There is still a psychological perspective to explore and there remain aspects to the relationship between humans and everything else containing a great deal to offer. The new and integrated science offers up many new answers to the question of who we are and gives some pointers to the eternal “why are we here?” There are still some choices you might make about how you view those. More importantly in my view, it opens up a new angle of investigation on what is to me the critical question. What do we do now?
In practice there are an endless number of questions contained in the detail of that, and each second of existence will bring new ones. Graves’ “Never-Ending Quest” morphs into a never-ending questioning, curiosity as a state of being. What now? What next? What else is possible?
These will constitute the journey itself so there will be no attempt at answering them here. But we are not yet entirely complete. Before closing I wish to draw out some implications for our various maps of human spirituality and our perception of mind-body science. I want to place intuition and embodiment properly on the map and to indicate how I believe we must work with this article’s opening question of increased alignment and reduced theoretical dispute.
You can map the earth according to height above sea level, population density, infra-red heat profile etc. etc. You could also produce any of those maps at a granularity of square miles or square feet. You can produce road maps for terrestrial navigation or ocean depth for ships not to run aground.
I am a fan of Spiral Dynamics for mapping the psychological space because it incorporates neuro-biological structures at the individual level but also scales up to organisations and societies. It has significant explanatory potential to help us understand why change happens (the adaptive process) and how different developmental stages stand in relationship to one another. It has indications for child development (Graves would not have claimed this, but I do) and an equivalent of the biological “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” theme in the way that development proceeds. Because of the degree to which it is a map of meaning-making it even offers a map, as given above, for our changing views of the spiritual realm.[ii] One of my colleagues even refers to it not as a map, but a map-making algorithm. I can see his point and I know of no other single theory that does all of these things. If I seem to be excluding Integral Theory in this statement it a) because it lacks the dynamic adaptation element b) because it is less developed at larger scales and c) because I regard it as a collection rather than as a single theory.
That does not make it, or any of the other theories wrong. Other theories like Piaget’s map aspects of cognitive development and its educational implications. There are many good theories that relate to adult cognition and the growth of complexity – Kegan, Torbert, Cook-Greuter etc. Some are more granular and have well-developed toolsets associated with them. Gebser’s structures also map a developmental trajectory, but more in terms of thinking structures and increasing dimensionality. All such theories have their spheres of application. There are few which have stood the test of time which are not intrinsically valuable in the appropriate sphere of operation or line of development.
I don’t see the need for conflict here since it is not necessary for any single theory to do everything. I regard a TOE as a regrettable mythology that has destructive consequences. Much of the historical conflict between Spiral Dynamics and other theories, including integral, has derived from misunderstanding and poor appreciation of what it actually does say. That conflict is not real; itself a pile of errors. The rest typically arises from an attempt to make SD be something that it is not so that it mirrors other model’s granularity or purpose, or even seeking to fit SD inside one of them, which is difficult to do when it is so wide in its compass. There are many aspects to psychological development and most of them can happily co-exist. Many of them fit alongside Spiral Dynamics and be mapped for their correspondences. Graves did this with those that were present in his time. In my view this can be valuable as an aid to understanding but I see no reason for it to be considered essential, or seen as validating either SD or the other theory involved.
Embodiment and mind-body science
We are finally circling back towards the starting point for this exploration. I would like to go deeper with what the existence and primacy of the information field implies. For the Science of Possibility book I constructed the diagram below. It is not a complete description and I have learned of other people recently who define twice as many layers. It is here more in order to illustrate some themes. It firstly indicates the concept of seamless transition between the domains of physics, chemistry - first inorganic and then organic, biology, evolution, higher-order living systems and coherence in nervous systems and body-mind integration. It stops short of psychology, but you can potentially see the SD spiral as a continuation of it into that realm, located in the top layer.
Secondly, there are dynamic oscillations in the way that the development proceeds, from domain to domain, with self-balancing processes, the integration of lower scales to produce higher ones, the incorporation of components to create greater complexity and ongoing relationships between matter and energy within living systems. I have also conceptually mapped similar dynamics in the development of living systems and ecological relationships, and the same is possible at the organisational level. The point is, that these are life principles at the centre of the relationship between order and chaos. Those who like fractal images may see resonances there too.
Thirdly, and crucially for the discussion of spirituality or consciousness and its foundation in the connected relationship between humans and the non-ordinary reality, is the extent to which our detection systems operate through the body, and not just through some higher mentality that arises out of our brains. Even in today’s accepted scientific worldview, the old electrical model of the brain and nervous system has long been demonstrably inadequate. We now have to deal with messenger molecules, psychoneuroimmunology, the biochemistry of emotions, mirror neurons and biofeedback systems. Traditional Chinese acupuncturists could argue that they have known this in practice for 5000 years. Human minds are not the same as human brains.
I will simplify that statement to “the body is mind all over”. In the diagram there are some vertical lozenges, two of which cover coherence systems that the book describes at length and the third, which is intended to convey the notion that our ability to resonate with the information field potentially operates across every level of our physiology. Giving this the label “intuition” does it a disservice, since that field within the body is at the heart of many systems of mind-body medicine, of psychosomatic illness and of the inadequately understood “placebo effect”. While those, however relevant, are not the focus of this paper, intuition and psychic function are, because that is where our relationship to non-ordinary reality and to interconnectedness with other aspects of creation are located.
This being so, you cannot have a fully operational relationship with the spiritual domain without it being embodied. When we are not embodied, we narrow the field of resonance and connection. This should be no great revelation because we know the importance of breathing and physiological centredness. Many wisdom traditions have taught this for millennia. Somehow though, it seems that we have not quite put two and two together to understand that spiritual connection depends on our embodiment and our openness to information which I will describe as “infra-cognitive”. That is to say that when we seek to refine our consciousness into a super-cognitive realm that looks like or is framed as an up-spiral development, we miss something essential. We project the knowing beyond our bodies rather than accessing it through our bodies. We are required to look down as well as up.
“Don’t look up”
It is all too easy to focus on upward development. It is natural to humans to want more and better. We are explorers. But explorers need maps as well as being engaged in developing new ones. The map that underlies this conversation is the 4Q/8L and it has the potential to warp our navigation if we read it incorrectly. There is a reason why integral theory is named as it is, and for a similar reason, Don Beck added the small “i” to create SDi. At the point where we shift into the paradox and non-linearity of Tier 2, we are not just moving upwards, because the next tier depends on the platform of the first and that is what we are required to integrate. A Tier 2 without Tier 1 is no more feasible than a penthouse with no apartment block beneath it.
During first tier development each of the stages emerges as a reaction to the conditions created by its predecessor. “I” stages re-balance against the excesses of “WE” stages. Every stage has its value and we cannot leave any out without generating imbalance and ill-health in the system. Every stage also has its weaknesses, its unhealthy expressions, priority codes expressing through behaviours that do not serve the health of the system. Thus integration also requires increases in horizontal health.
The leap into second tier, the major reframe as we embrace the non-linear, fractal and paradox-filled life conditions, is totally and deeply dependent for its success on the horizontal health and vertically blended inclusion of the first six stages. Every one of those stages is present for a reason; each of them meets a need of the healthy human. We did not jettison the liver and kidneys when we developed advanced brains, but our psychological development perspective often appears to have consigned stages 1 to 3 to some kind of footnote. The phrase “transcend and include” offers a fig-leaf in that we can use transcending as some kind of validation for ignoring what went before, or for taking it for granted. We are seemingly given permission to pay little attention to those stages.
Added to that, because our explorations are made through theoretical models, we are seduced by the smartness of our intellects, creating a blind-spot where what we can do cognitively appears to be more important. It is given higher value than anything that we can do from our precognitive capacities for connection (to both nature and other humans), for intuition, for deep emotional bonding, for societal cohesion, for empathy, and for the pioneering, empowered, heroic individual will-force which impels us forward both as individuals and as a species.
In the first three stages we find our awareness of our surroundings, our awareness of each other, our awareness of natural forces. When we undervalue those stages we lose touch with the unconscious wisdom and we neglect the human field. We become disconnected from our planet as a living entity. That is what Orange produced in our species and we are still in those life conditions. Due to the depth with which its way of thinking has become embedded in our foundations they continue to affect even those who reject Orange and have embraced Green. That foundation is most strongly embedded in the kinds of intellectually inclined people who would read a paper such as this. It also affects the one who writes it; I lived half my life in that way, unaware of its damaging consequences and I have lived another half in the effort it takes to step clear of it. But its effects are not only personal; we are living in the middle of ecological and climate catastrophes produced by its planet-spanning hubris.
Metamodern spirituality (2)
The experience that I began with took me directly into the split that the world has developed in its understanding of reality – the apparent divergence into two worldviews, one material and the other spiritual, apparently incompatible and separate. Humanity has generated quantities of proof that it is quite literally and practically impossible to live this way. The human world is falling apart.
We need a form of spirituality that reverses all of that. We need a spirituality that is thoroughly embedded in materiality, intertwined, fully connected and incapable of separation. While anything can be examined or analysed in isolation, when it comes to living we can no longer survive, still less thrive, if we do not have spirituality running through every atom of the planetary system. It already does so except in the human mind; the capability to pull ourselves out into such separateness is uniquely human.
The 1970’s saw the publication of the Whole Earth Catalogue, with its iconic earthrise cover image and the strapline “We can’t get it together: It is together”. Since then we have witnessed decades of non-dual philosophising, but that non-duality has largely been conceptual, with mystical experience attached, but nevertheless all in the mind. According to Heather Ensworth Ph.D “the difference between mysticism and psychosis is grounding”. It’s a potent observation, and fully applicable to this context. Every so often someone will post on integral and SD facebook groups their personal revelation that they are Turquoise and offer their personal revelation about unity consciousness and transformation. There is plenty of psychosis around.
Clare Graves has already offered us some of the mapping for what is needed. In his description of Tier 2 he applied the label “Being” levels to this new stage of existence, contrasting it with the “subsistence” character of first tier. He was tentative in this description due to his small and early emergent sample, but as usual he has been shown to be insightful. However, we need to interpret that word appropriately. Unity consciousness should not exclude the body. Being is not a disembodied or esoteric state. It is a physical and physiological one that becomes more apparent when we discover how to live with our emotions, not from our emotions. The mind can drive us crazy if we allow ourselves to be lost in our survival fears, our desires for control and power, or our destructive anger. Evading the craziness calls for centered embodiment and it also demands that we find again our trust in the connectedness of life. Non-duality has to move from being an intellectual construct to a lived experience, and in turn that rests in our intuitive connection to the flows of the field of information. Intuition opens doors of perception.
There are some whose spiritual viewpoint inclines them to the view that there is no “you” and that anything else is an illusion. That is a complete and indisputable point of view, hermetically sealed. Nothing that I can say will disprove it and no breathable oxygen may enter. This view is emphatically not my choice. While tempted to respond “who are you to tell me that I don’t exist?” and assuming that they too must be aware of the paradox of writing down those opinions and sharing them with me, I will assert something different. I embrace the illusion. I like the illusion, I like my body and I own my choice to incarnate my individual fragment of the all as a distinct entity. I choose, therefore I am. And I’m here.
I do not raise this as some abstruse diversion. It is part of the psychosis and the split. Angels, even the one that impregnated Mary, are not depicted with genitals because like incarnation, carnality is depicted as impure and non-spiritual. Our religious carry-overs also contaminate this space.
That impurity also gets attached to our concepts of “ego”. Freud didn’t identify an ego; that was a creation of translation into English. His original German text wrote of the “ich”, the self-concept of an “I”, a person who has sense of their own existence, an agentic being who in Spiral terms has passed through the Red phase of childhood into a healthy recognition of their own personhood and empowerment. I choose therefore I am.
This too has carried over into our self-development frame. I wrote above that there are unhealthy expressions of any stage and in my paper on psychotherapy[iii] I explore from a stage perspective what has become apparent in regard to the way that our childhood wounding can disrupt healthy development. I wrote that paper because of the degree to which it became visible to me firstly in my own work and then in my coaching practice that such elements of damage can block our energetic expansion in later stages. I do not claim any originality in saying so. It is essential though, to be careful in how we apply this understanding. It is easy to be trapped into language that demonises the ego, when the ego is essential and what we are concerned about is the damage and the need to repair, to increase the health of the “I”. I am likewise nervous about “shadow work”, because even while we are looking to heal the damage, we must not reify it. The shadow is not some real entity; it is a place where we need to shine more light.
All of these threads, which might appear to be excursions and tangents, are provided because they are essential elements first in the describing of metamodern spirituality and then, more importantly, in the living of it. I am, therefore I choose.
From nouns to verbs
For many months now I have been pursuing a train of thinking that began with asking a question of myself and others as follows:-
Are you a human being having a spiritual experience?
Are you a spiritual being having a human experience?
You might like to play with that for a minute or two. What would you say? The first? The second?
After a while, none of those responses felt satisfactory. One reason which I will only mention here even though it has great importance for the understanding of prayer and for concepts like “Law of Attraction”, lay in the exploration of the creative effect that my contributions to the information field have on its unfolding. I cover this more elsewhere[iv].
Principally, I was exploring Graves’ transition to Tier 2 “being”. As I placed that notion alongside the adaptive shifts (non-linearity, paradox, non-polar thinking, choices in each moment) I came more and more to see that this new way of being was intensively active and interactive. This was visible both in a conceptual sense and in a lived sense. It became a theme to write “WHO YOU BE IS AN ACTION”.
We tend to think of “being” in a relatively passive way – that it is distinct from “doing”. The more I pursued this consideration, the less adequate seemed the either-or question above, even if I avoided the duality by saying “both”.
Where that took me was to say that nobody was “having” anything. The outcome of that is to say “YOU ARE THE EXPERIENCE”.
How does that feel to you? Is it something that you might align with?
I suggest that there is yet one more step involved.
“The experience” is a noun. “To experience” is a verb; it is active and dynamic. I am doing more than playing with language here. This is a conceptual shift. In a universe which is propelled by an information field and which exists as an autopoetic unfolding, a living-system-in-creation, the field is the source. The field is where it begins. Again we hit a language boundary because “the field” can sound like another thing, another noun, when it is not. It is a shaper, activity-in progress. It does being.
Where this leads is to say that “you are the experiencer and the experiencing: you are the shaper and the shaping”. That for me is the root of whatever we henceforth conceive of as spirituality. Only by this does it become fully “meta”. I would also claim that this framing encompasses both the Yellow and the Turquoise values systems.
Back to “the experience”
The beginning of this exploration was in “an experience”. Much of my worldview was seeded by it and many aspects have been unfolding throughout this paper. I have used the word “experience” often and in many different ways, both in that specific and individual identification and in many more general ways that you, I hope have been experiencing.
It is time to bring this to a close. There is a convention to such writing which seems to require the formulation of a close and a conclusion. I “should” be coming up with a neat definition or a concise encapsulation of this metamodern spirituality “thing”. At this moment that feels counter to what I am attempting to convey. The integration runs through all that I have written. The story is the definition and it is not concluded.
What is your experience?
And so I end with this quote from Joseph Campbell.
"Anything from the past, like an idea of what man of this or that culture might or should have been, is now archaic, and the transformation we are experiencing is really of the whole sense of humanity; what it means to be a cultured and world-related human being. This is a whole new thing. And so we have all of us to leave our little provincial stories behind. They may guide us as far as structuring our lives for the moment, but we must always be ready to drop them and to grasp the new experience as it comes along and interpret it."
This paper has been written by me as an individual and in that sense it is a personal action. Yet it arises from decades of experiences with others and volumes of writings, videos and podcasts by so many and was specifically prompted by one recent question from Brendan Graham Dempsey. In turn, I now offer it back out into the field as one more contribution to the unfolding. My thanks to all who fed me and all who will hopefully feed in turn.
Appendix: Overview of the Science
From “The Science of Possibility” Chapter 20 summarising the scientific journey that has been taken
“If you still think that reality consists only of matter, if you think that metaphysics cannot be part of science, if you still doubt that it possible for people to be intuitive and psychic and if you disbelieve all that we have offered in the way of evidence then you will not like our conclusions. But in case you are hovering on the edge, perhaps lost in the breadth, depth and complexity of all this data and argument, let us try to put all of the pieces on the table in the hope that seeing the whole picture in one place will help you share our excitement for the world that is revealed.
Humanity needs this point of view. We cannot hope to deal with the problems, the complexity, the urgency and the unpredictability using the thinking systems of the past. The purely material view got us into this mess and we need a new level of thinking if we are to enter the second tier world. The following summary describes the world of everything else that makes the universe function and recapitulates the journey of this book so that you can see all of it in one place.
Section 1. The non-material world of connection and information
At the core of our challenge lies two thousand years of flawed philosophy, which chose to view the world as if we are separate from it, and as if it consists solely of things. The world also contains qualities, information and values. All of these are real and all have an effect on the real world but are excluded from scientific discourse.
From that philosophy, further viewpoints have developed which are designed to exclude humans and their experience from any evaluation of what may be regarded as “true” or “proven”. This is claimed to increase objectivity, which it doesn’t, and it excludes any possibility of there being unseen connections between humans and other aspects of the world. In this and other ways science forces itself to deny what turns out to be real and meaningful.
In contrast, the reality which we have shown is that humans are connected to the natural world. We can know things intuitively that are not possible through our standard senses.
Within that connected reality we have shown that the usual view of present and future is misleading and that information is available to us from the future. We have shown that minds can access information over considerable distances of space, without apparent limit. We have shown that they can direct enquiries with apparent precision towards other individuals, even when they do not know their location. We can know beyond the accepted boundaries of time and space.
Plants also have the capability to sense their environment and so do bacteria. The evidence indicates that all living things possess this capability. Humans are not the only “minds” inhabiting the Earth.
All of this evidence points to the presence of an information network or field of consciousness that is available to all living things and through which we can both receive information and send influence. We find it helpful to think of the information as the data that the universe holds about itself, and of consciousness as being the awareness that we (or other conscious entities) have of that data.
Within the realm of information that we cannot see using our biological senses, beings exist which are part of the natural world and which influence it. There are also fields of consciousness within plants and animals which govern the growth of organisms, can be communicated with individually and can mediate in healing.
Within that realm of information lies the capability to influence those organisms by means of energy “vibrations” and resonance effects. One means of doing so is homeopathy, which was developed using entirely scientific methods. As well as bringing about healing through controlled and targeted application of specific remedies, homeopathy has demonstrated that there are other links between generations than genetic DNA. There is evidence to support all of the major approaches to spiritual and energy-based medicine.
Section 2: The biological realm and the human organism
Genes do not have a one-to-one correspondence to characteristics.
There aren’t enough genes to explain by themselves the way that an organism develops.
The conventional presentation of what “genes” are is misleading.
Influences are passed from generation to generation by other means besides chromosomal DNA.
The determination of development is not only controlled by chromosomal genes, but by other elements of genetic material.
The determination of development is subject to environmental influences and is flexible rather than fixed.
The conventional presentation of the role that genes perform is also misleading.
Layers and complexity
There are many levels of function and complexity in a typical higher mammal such as a human being. These lead to multi-faceted and multimodal functional co-ordination. There is much more than brains and nerves involved.
Complex functionality is present at the level of individual cells – cells are not blobs.
Cells contain organelles performing parts of the cellular function. These have probably developed via the accumulation of simpler functions in component bacteria.
Many aspects of cell functionality are mediated through the cell membrane, which is a liquid crystal.
The development of life progressed from simple (prokaryote) bacteria through complex (eukaryote) bacteria towards bacterial colonies functioning in a co-ordinated way. Co-ordination was mediated by photon communication and chemical messengers and was responsive to environmental triggers.
Further development came via the development of multi-cellular organisms of increasing complexity, with increasing differentiation of cellular function, and with formation of organs and structures.
Co-ordination has been built upon the earlier layers with the addition of synchronising rhythms, nervous system pathways, electrochemical connection and connective tissue with jump-conduction of protons through the liquid-crystal continuum.
Organisms maintain a degree of quantum-level coherence that makes them rapidly responsive to small-scale triggers.
The small-scale triggers may include the detection of subtle energies including Zero-point / thought-field influences and vibrational energies such as those provided by homeopathy and other forms of “energy medicine”.
The heart is a driver for rhythmic co-ordination and in large measure influences the brain rather than being controlled by it
Some of the interaction between mind and body is mediated by neuro-chemical messengers which distribute control and emotional experience throughout the body. Emotions are triggered by chemicals which arise from many areas of the body to influence the organism and are not simply side-effects of brain activity.
Multiple levels of synchronisation and control are interleaved in the organism, creating a holistic and indivisible totality which cannot be understood merely as a combination of its parts.
Subtle energies influence the body throughout, supported by such self-organising phenomena as pumped phase coherence and Bose-Einstein condensates which mediate the relationship between the physical body, internal consciousness and the inherent fields / dimension of information.
There is external evidence of long-range order, efficient and symmetrical energy transduction and high sensitivity to external cues combined with “noiseless” communication.
Every cell in the body and the organism as a holon are embedded together in the field of consciousness, influenced by it and influencing it.
The evolutionary process has been a self-actualising (autopoietic) creative process in which all species of organisms have balanced their individual creativity with the creative growth of the totality, the primary creative consciousness, in a blend of competition and co-operation.
The Darwinian model for evolution is not wrong, but its origin in Malthusian thinking has over-emphasised the significance of scarcity and competition and has not allowed for a sufficient degree of interactive or environmental influence on the creative dynamic.
The autopoietic nature of the universe provides an inherent drift towards increasing levels of complexity as all possibilities are explored.
Developing complexity is supported by a cycle of individuation and mutuality which spirals through successive levels of biology and speciation.
Morphogenetic fields, or other such qualities in the “information field” bring repetitive use of elements and patterns, and variations in the blend of informational (sensory), rhythmic (breath / heartbeat) and action metabolism elements among differentiated species.
There is no evidence that humans are the peak of the evolutionary process, nor that it is complete. There is equally no evidence that we are not. It would be entirely consistent with this evidence for human beings to be the source of the entire field of creation and to have created everything we experience as a collective dreaming. How would we know? While not our view, this possibility should not be dismissed.
Section 3: Cosmology, Physics and philosophy of science
The underlying mathematics of Kantor, Boltzmann, Gödel and Turing show a flexible and paradoxical universe with no bounds to creative possibility.
The subject-object dichotomy that we inherited from Greek thinking is false and leads to spurious choices of what is regarded as “knowledge” or “proof”.
A scientific method which views the world excessively through its components and by taking life apart, leads to inadequate perceptions of the whole. It is incapable by itself of delivering a complete understanding of life, and needs to be complemented by the “Goethian” approach.
As it becomes clear that the information which connects all of creation is held somewhere in the “spaces between” material particles or living entities, our science must find ways to observe these spaces.
Quantum physics shows that our natural view of reality is inadequate. There is much taking place that we cannot detect with our senses.
There are in-built limits to all rules and predictive models as shown by Gödel’s theorem and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle.
At the lowest level of matter, everything is a form of energy which started in an indeterminate state and might be described as either particles or waves.
Everything that we see is the result of a process by which some energy has been “determined” as taking a stable form. We, and the matter that we interact with, are parts of what has already been determined.
The “determining” process is rooted in natural patterns of energy, in the simplest forms that are sustainable and in the geometric building blocks that these patterns generate. These forms can be understood in modern and mathematical ways and have also been known for millennia as “sacred” geometries.
The “determining” process is inherent in creation. From the outset (e.g. “big bang”) that which becomes stable has its defining information in the field of “what is known”.
The relationship between matter and consciousness (and between organisms and the whole of creation) takes place outside of the four dimensions of space and time that we normally work in.
One popular possibility for the way this works is through the “zero-point” energy-field (ZPF). Information is thus held in the “environment” and is instantaneously available to everything, everywhere. Much of the energy potential of the universe is undetectable, existing within singularities (black holes). The alternative possibility, that there are additional dimensions, is also capable of explaining a world of stored information. Either model will support our case for connected consciousness.
Human awareness of the information realm may well be mediated through the presence of pumped systems or Bose-Einstein condensates in the brain or body-mind.
There is evidence that coherence is supported by alpha brain-rhythms and heart-rate patterns and that human detection systems are at least partly mediated by the heart. Experiments also show that this detection can take place pre-cognitively.
Information storage, both within the brain and in the field of consciousness has properties which are holographic and holistic.
Human ability to use thought to significantly affect physical reality uses these mechanisms to provide a small trigger which creates an “attractor” within a system of unfolding fractal chaos.
Morphic field resonances may also operate at global or universal levels as attractors within such systems and could be intensified by larger numbers of people.
Section 4: The psycho-social realm
Human beings build their view of reality based on external information, most of which is socially defined.
Human beings construct predictive and adaptive models in the form of constructs (polarities) and Values (Vmemes); these guide their choices and behaviour.
In a parallel to biological evolution, patterns are present in social evolution which balance individual and collective interests.
In a parallel to the world of physics, our social reality arises and is held outside of individual organisms. It too inhabits the “spaces between”.
As with biological development, social forms are adaptive responses which reflect the life conditions around them. These evolutionary coping strategies are based on identifiable Values systems.
The development of social systems reflects the spiral patterns of individuation and co-operation observed to arise when Sahtouris cycles are repeated at higher levels
Just as complex biological organisms contain within them the earliest biological forms (bacterial components and single cells) and are built in a way that transcends and includes previous developmental levels, so too is the psychosocial realm. Earlier Vmeme systems remain available and can re-emerge if required.”
[ii] 7-stage parenting https://atop.kartra.com/page/eNR69
Video: Parenting and Education https://vimeo.com/506854556
[iii] Experiential Psychotherapy https://jep.ro/images/pdf/cuprins_reviste/83_art_1.pdf
[iv] Access to Possibility: 7 amazingly simple success keys