Chapter 5.2

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Lines of Development

(I’m Good at Some Things, Not-So-Good at Others)

Have you ever noticed how unevenly developed virtually all of us are? Some people are highly developed in, say, logical thinking, but poorly developed in emotional feelings. Some people have highly advanced cognitive development (they’re very smart) but poor moral development (they’re mean and ruthless). Some people excel in emotional intelligence, but can’t add 2 plus 2.

Howard Gardner made this concept fairly well-known using the idea of multiple intelligences. Human beings have a variety of intelligences, such as cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, musical intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, and so on. Most people excel in one or two of those, but do poorly in the others. This is not necessarily or even usually a bad thing; part of integral wisdom is finding where one excels and thus where one can best offer the world one’s deepest gifts.

But this does mean that we need to be aware of our strengths (or the intelligences with which we can shine) as well as our weaknesses (where we do poorly or even pathologically). And this brings us to another of our 5 essential elements: our multiples intelligences or developmental lines. So far we have looked at states and stages; what are lines or multiple intelligences?

Various multiple intelligences include: cognitive, interpersonal, moral, emotional, and aesthetic. Why do we also call them developmental lines? Because those intelligences show growth and development. They unfold in progressive stages. What are those progressive stages? The stages we just outlined.

In other words, each multiple intelligence grows—or can grow—through the 3 major stages (or through any of the stages of any of the developmental models, whether 3 stages, 5 stages, 7 or more; remember, these are all like Centigrade and Fahrenheit). You can have cognitive development to stage 1, to stage 2, and to stage 3, for example.

Likewise with the other intelligences. Emotional development to stage 1 means that you have developed the capacity for emotions centering on “me,” especially the emotions and drives of hunger, survival, and self-protection. If you continue to grow emotionally from stage 1 to stage 2—or from egocentric to ethnocentric—you will expand from “me” to “us,” and begin to develop emotional commitments and attachments to loved ones, members of your family, close friends, perhaps your whole tribe or whole nation. If you grow into stage-3 emotions, you will develop the further capacity for a care and compassion that reaches beyond your own tribe or nation and attempts to include all human beings and even all sentient beings in a worldcentric care and compassion.

And remember, because these are stages, you have attained them in a permanent fashion. Before that happens, any of these capacities will be merely passing states: you will plug into some of them, if at all, in a temporary fashion—great peak experiences of expanded knowing and being, wondrous “aha!” experiences, profound altered glimpses into your own higher possibilities. But with practice, you will convert those states into stages, or permanent traits in the territory of you.

The Psychograph

There is a fairly easy way to represent these intelligences or multiple lines. In the graphic to the right, we have drawn a simple graph showing the 3 major stages (or levels of development) and five of the most important intelligences (or lines of development). Through the major stages or levels of development, the various lines unfold. The 3 levels or stages can apply to any developmental line—sexual, cognitive, spiritual, emotional, moral, and so on.

In [the figure above, we have shown somebody who excels in interpersonal development and is good at moral, cognitive, and emotional development, but does poorly in spiritual intelligence.] Other individuals would, of course, have a different “psychograph.”

The psychograph helps to spot where your greatest potentials are. You very likely already know what you excel in and what you don’t. But part of the Integral Approach is learning to refine considerably this knowledge of your own contours, so that you can more confidently deal with both your own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of others.

The psychograph also helps us spot the ways that virtually all of us are unevenly developed, and thus helps prevent us from thinking that just because we are terrific in one area we must be terrific in all the others. In fact, usually the opposite. More than one leader, spiritual teacher, or politician has spectacularly crashed through lack of an understanding of these simple realities.

To be “integrally developed” does not mean that you have to excel in all the known intelligences, or that all of your lines have to be at level 3. But it does mean that you develop a very good sense of what your own psychograph is actually like, so that with a much more integral self-image you can plan your future development. For some people, this will indeed mean strengthening certain intelligences that are so weak they are causing problems. For others, this will mean clearing up a serious problem or pathology in one line (such as the emotional-sexual). And for others, simply recognizing where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and planning accordingly. Using an integral map, we can scope out our own psychographs with more assurance.

Thus, to be “integrally informed” does not mean you have to master all lines of development, just be aware of them. If you then chose to remedy any unbalances, that is part of Integral Transformative Practice, which actually helps to increase levels of development through an integrated approach.

Notice another very important point. In certain types of psychological and spiritual training, you can be introduced to a full spectrum of states of consciousness and bodily experiences right from the start—as a peak experience, meditative experience, shamanic state, altered state, and so on. The reason that this is possible is that the many of the major states of consciousness (such as waking-gross, dreaming-subtle, and formless-causal) are ever-present possibilities. So you can very quickly be introduced to many higher states of consciousness.

You cannot, however, be introduced to all the qualities of higher stages without actual growth and practice. You can have a peak experience of higher states, because many of them are ever-present. But you cannot have a peak experience of a higher stage, because stages unfold sequentially. Stages build upon their predecessors in very concrete ways, so they cannot be skipped: like atoms to molecules to cells to organisms, you can’t go from atoms to cells and skip molecules. This is one of the many important differences between states and stages.

However, with repeated practice of contacting higher states, your own stages of development will tend to unfold in a much faster and easier way. There is, in fact, considerable experimental evidence demonstrating exactly that. The more you are plunged into authentic higher states of consciousness—such as meditative states—then the faster you will grow and develop through any of the stages of consciousness. It is as if higher-states training acts as a lubricant on the spiral of development, helping you to disidentify with a lower stage so that the next higher stage can emerge, until you can stably remain at higher levels of awareness on an ongoing basis, whereupon a passing state has become a permanent trait. These types of higher-states training, such as meditation, are a part of any integral approach to transformation.

In short, you cannot skip actual stages, but you can accelerate your growth through them by using various types of Integral Transformative Practices, and these transformative practices are an important part of the Integral Approach.

What Type?

The next component is easy: each of the previous components has a masculine and feminine type.

There are two basic ideas here: one has to do with the idea of types themselves; and the other, with masculine and feminine as one example of types.

Types simply refers to items that can be present at virtually any stage or state. One common typology, for example, is the Myers-Briggs (whose main types are feeling, thinking, sensing, and intuiting). You can be any of those types at virtually any stage of development. These kind of “horizontal typologies” can be very useful, especially when combined with levels, lines, and states. To show what is involved, we can use “masculine” and “feminine.”

Carol Gilligan, in her enormously influential book In a Different Voice, pointed out that both men and women tend to develop through 3 or 4 major levels or stages of moral development. Pointing to a great deal of research evidence, Gilligan noted that these 3 or 4 moral stages can be called preconventional, conventional, postconventional, and integrated. These are actually quite similar to the 3 simple developmental stages we are using, this time applied to moral intelligence.

Gilligan found that stage 1 is a morality centered entirely on “me” (hence this preconventional stage or level is also called egocentric). Stage-2 moral development is centered on “us,” so that my identity has expanded from just me to include other human beings of my group (hence this conventional stage is often called ethnocentric, traditional, or conformist). With stage-3 moral development, my identity expands once again, this time from “us” to “all of us,” or all human beings (or even all sentient beings)—and hence this stage is often called worldcentric. I now have care and compassion, not just for me (egocentric), and not just for my family, my tribe, or my nation (ethnocentric), but for all of humanity, for all men and women everywhere, regardless of race, color, sex, or creed (worldcentric). And if I develop even further, at stage-4 moral development, which Gilligan calls integrated, then….

Well, before we look at the important conclusion of Gilligan’s work, let’s first note her major contribution. Gilligan strongly agreed that women, like men, develop through those 3 or 4 major hierarchical stages of growth. Gilligan herself correctly refers to these stages as hierarchical because each stage has a higher capacity for care and compassion. But she said that women progress through those stages using a different type of logic—they develop “in a different voice.”

Male logic, or a man’s voice, tends to be based on terms of autonomy, justice, and rights; whereas women’s logic or voice tends to be based on terms of relationship, care, and responsibility. Men tend toward agency; women tend toward communion. Men follow rules; women follow connections. Men look; women touch. Men tend toward individualism, women toward relationship. One of Gilligan’s favorite stories: A little boy and girl are playing; the boy says, “Let’s play pirates!” The girl says, “Let’s play like we live next door to each other.” Boy: “No, I want to play pirates!” “Okay, you play the pirate who lives next door.”

Little boys don’t like girls around when they are playing games like baseball, because the two voices clash badly, and often hilariously. Some boys are playing baseball, a kid takes his third strike and is out, so he starts to cry. The other boys stand unmoved until the kid stops crying; after all, a rule is a rule, and the rule is: three strikes and you’re out. Gilligan points out that if a girl is around, she will usually say, “Ah, come on, give him another try!” The girl sees him crying and wants to help, wants to connect, wants to heal. This, however, drives the boys nuts, who are doing this game as an initiation into the world of rules and male logic. Gilligan says that the boys will therefore hurt feelings in order to save the rules; the girls will break the rules in order to save the feelings.

In a different voice. Both the girls and boys will develop through the 3 or 4 developmental stages of moral growth (egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric to integrated), but they will do so in a different voice, using a different logic. Gilligan specifically calls these hierarchical stages in women selfish (which is egocentric), care (which is ethnocentric), universal care (which is worldcentric), and integrated. Again, why are they hierarchical? Because each stage is a higher capacity for care and compassion. (Not all hierarchies are bad, and this a good example of why.)

So, integrated or stage 4—what is that? At the 4th and highest stage of moral development that we are aware of, the masculine and feminine voices in each of us tend to become integrated, according to Gilligan. This does not mean that a person at this stage starts to lose the distinctions between masculine and feminine, and hence become a kind of bland, androgynous, asexual being. In fact, masculine and feminine dimensions might become more intensified. But it does mean the individuals start to befriend both the masculine and feminine modes in themselves, even if they characteristically act predominantly from one or the other.

Have you ever seen a caduceus (the symbol of the medical profession)? It’s a staff with two serpents crisscrossing it, and wings at the top of the staff (see fig. 2). The staff itself represents the central spinal column; where the serpents cross the staff represents the individual chakras moving up the spine from the lowest to the highest; and the two serpents themselves represent solar and lunar (or masculine and feminine) energies at each of the chakras.

That’s the crucial point. The 7 chakras, which are simply a more complex version of the 3 simple levels or stages, represent 7 levels of consciousness and energy available to all human beings. (The first three chakras—food, sex, and power—are roughly stage 1; chakras four and five—relational heart and communication—are basically stage 2; and chakras six and seven—psychic and spiritual—are the epitome of stage 3). The important point here is that, according to the traditions, each of those 7 levels has a masculine and feminine aspect, type, or “voice.” Neither masculine nor feminine is higher or better; they are two equivalent types at each of the levels of consciousness.

This means, for example, that with chakra 3 (the egocentric-power chakra), there is a masculine and feminine version of the same chakra: at that chakra-level, males tend toward power exercised autonomously (“My way or the highway!”), women tend toward power exercised communally or socially (“Do it this way or I won’t talk to you”). And so on with the other major chakras, each of them having a solar and lunar, or masculine and feminine dimension; neither is more fundamental, neither can be ignored.

At the 7th chakra, however, notice that the masculine and feminine serpents both disappear into their ground or source. Masculine and feminine meet and unite at the crown—they literally become one. And that is what Gilligan found with her stage-4 moral development: the two voices in each person become integrated, so that there is a paradoxical union of autonomy and relationship, rights and responsibilities, agency and communion, wisdom and compassion, justice and mercy, masculine and feminine.

The important point is that whenever you use IOS, you are automatically checking any situation—in yourself, in others, in an organization, in a culture—and making sure that you include both the masculine and feminine types so as to be as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. If you believe that there are no major differences between masculine and feminine—or if you are suspicious of such differences—then that is fine, too, and you can treat them the same if you want. We are simply saying that, in either case, make sure you touch bases with both the masculine and feminine, however you view them.

But more than that, there are numerous other “horizontal typologies” that can be very helpful when part of a comprehensive IOS, and the Integral Approach draws on any or all of those typologies as appropriate. “Types” are as important as quadrants, levels, lines, and states.


Sick Boy, Sick Girl

There’s an interesting thing about types. You can have healthy and unhealthy versions of them. To say that somebody is caught in an unhealthy type is not a way to judge them but to understand and communicate more clearly and effectively with them.

For example, if each stage of development has a masculine and feminine dimension, each of those can be healthy or unhealthy, which we sometimes call “sick boy, sick girl.” This is simply another kind of horizontal typing, but one that can be extremely useful.

If the healthy masculine principle tends toward autonomy, strength, independence, and freedom, when that principle becomes unhealthy or pathological, all of those positive virtues either over- or under-fire. There is not just autonomy, but alienation; not just strength, but domination; not just independence, but morbid fear of relationship and commitment; not just a drive toward freedom, but a drive to destroy. The unhealthy masculine principle does not transcend in freedom, but dominates in fear.

If the healthy feminine principle tends toward flowing, relationship, care, and compassion, the unhealthy feminine flounders in each of those. Instead of being in relationship, she becomes lost in relationship. Instead of a healthy self in communion with others, she loses her self altogether and is dominated by the relationships she is in. Not a connection, but a fusion; not a flow state, but a panic state; not a communion, but a melt-down. The unhealthy feminine principle does not find fullness in connection, but chaos in fusion.

Using IOS, you will find ways to identify both the healthy and unhealthy masculine and feminine dimensions operating in yourself and in others. But the important point about this section is simple: various typologies have their usefulness in helping us to understand and communicate with others. And with any typology, there are healthy and unhealthy versions of a type. Pointing to an unhealthy type is not a way to judge people but a way to understand and communicate with them more clearly and effectively.

Many Bodies

Let’s return now to states of consciousness in order to make a final point before bringing this all together in an integral conclusion.

States of consciousness do not hover in the air, dangling and disembodied. On the contrary, every mind has its body. For every state of consciousness, there is a felt energetic component, an embodied feeling, a concrete vehicle which provides the actual support for any state of awareness.

Let’s use a simple example from the wisdom traditions. Because each of us has the 3 great states of consciousness—waking, dreaming, and formless sleep—the wisdom traditions maintain that each of us has 3 bodies, which are often called the gross body, the subtle body, and the causal body.

3 bodies? Are you kidding me? Isn’t one body enough? But keep in mind a few things. For the wisdom traditions, a “body” simply means a mode of experience or energetic feeling. So there is coarse or gross experience, subtle or refined experience, and very subtle or causal experience. These are what are philosophers would call “phenomenological realities,” or realities as they present themselves to our immediate awareness. Right now, you have access to a gross body and its gross energy, a subtle body and its subtle energy, and a causal body and its causal energy.

What’s an example of these 3 bodies? Notice that, right now, you are in a waking state of awareness; as such, you are aware of your gross body—the physical, material, sensorimotor body. But when you dream at night, there is no gross physical body; it seems to have vanished. You are aware in the dream state, yet you don’t have a gross body of dense matter but a subtle body of light, energy, emotional feelings, fluid and flowing images. In the dream state, the mind and soul are set free to create as they please, to imagine vast worlds not tied to gross sensory realities but reaching out, almost magically, to touch other souls, other people and far-off places, wild and radiant images cascading to the rhythm of the heart’s desire. When somebody like Martin Luther King says, “I have a dream,” that is a good example of tapping into the great potential of visionary dreaming, where the mind is set free to soar to its highest possibilities.

As you pass from the dream state with its subtle body into the deep-sleep state, even thoughts and images drop away, and there is only a vast emptiness, a formless expanse beyond any individual “I” or ego or self. The great wisdom traditions maintain that in this state—which might seem like merely a blank or nothingness—we are actually plunged into a vast formless realm, a great Emptiness or Ground of being, an expanse of consciousness that seems almost infinite. Along with this almost infinite expanse there is an almost infinite body or energy—the causal body, the body of the finest, most subtle experience possible, a great formlessness out of which creative possibilities can arise.

Of course, many people do not experience that deep state in such a full fashion. But again, the traditions are unanimous that this formless state and its causal body can be entered in full awareness, whereupon they, too, yield their extraordinary potentials for growth and awareness.

The point, once again, is simply that whenever IOS is being utilized, it reminds us to check in with our waking-state realities, our subtle-state dreams and visions and innovative ideas, as well as our own open, formless ground of possibilities that is the source of so much creativity. The important point about the Integral Approach is that we want to touch bases with as many potentials as possible so as to miss nothing in terms of possible solutions.


Consciousness and Complexity

Perhaps 3 bodies are just too “far out”? Well, remember that these are phenomenological realities, or experiential realities, but there is a simpler, less far-out way to look at them, this time grounded in hard-headed science. It is this: every level of interior consciousness is accompanied by a level of exterior physical complexity. The greater the consciousness, the more complex the system housing it.

For example, in living organisms, the reptilian brain stem is accompanied by a rudimentary interior consciousness of basic drives such as food and hunger, physiological sensations and sensorimotor actions (everything that we earlier called “gross,” or centered on the “me”). By the time we get to the more complex limbic system, basic sensations have expanded and evolved to include quite sophisticated feelings, desires, emotional-sexual impulses and needs (hence, the beginning of what we called the subtle body, which can expand from “me” to “us”). As evolution proceeds to even more complex physical structures, such as the triune brain with its neocortex, consciousness once again expands to a worldcentric awareness of “all of us” (and thus even begins to tap into what we called the causal body).

That is a very simple example of the fact that increasing interior consciousness is accompanied by increasing exterior complexity of the systems housing it. When using IOS, we often look at both the interior levels of consciousness and the corresponding exterior levels of physical complexity, since including both of them results in a much more balanced and inclusive approach. We will see exactly what this means in a moment.

How It All Fits Together: The Four Quadrants

IOS—and the Integral Model—would be merely a “heap” if it did not suggest a way that all of these various components are related. How do they all fit together? It’s one thing to simply lay all the pieces of the cross-cultural survey on the table and say, “They’re all important!,” and quite another to spot the patterns that actually connect all the pieces. Discovering the profound patterns that connect is a major accomplishment of the Integral Approach.

In this concluding section, we will briefly outline these patterns, all of which together are sometimes referred to as A-Q-A-L(pronounced ah-qwal), which is shorthand for “all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states, all types”—and those are simply the components that we have already outlined (except the quadrants, which we will get to momentarily). AQAL is just another term for IOS or the Integral Model, but one that is often used to specifically designate this particular approach.

At the beginning of this introduction, we said that all 5 components of the Integral Model were items that are available to your awareness right now, and this is true of the quadrants as well.

Did you ever notice that major languages have what are called first-person, second-person, and third-person pronouns? First-person means “the person who is speaking,” so that includes pronouns like I, me, mine (in the singular), and we, us, ours (in the plural). Second-person means “the person who is spoken to,” which includes pronouns like you and yours. Third-person means “the person or thing being spoken about,” such as he, him, she, her, they, them, it, and its.

Thus, if I am speaking to you about my new car, “I” am first person, “you” are second person, and the new car (or “it”) is third person. Now, if you and I are talking and communicating, we will indicate this by using, for example, the word “we,” as in, “We understand each other.” “We” is technically first-person plural, but if you and I are communicating, then your second person and my first person are part of this extraordinary “we.” Thus second person is sometimes indicated as “you/we,” or “thou/we,” or sometimes just “we.”

So we can therefore simplify first-, second-, and third-person as “I,” “we,” and “it.”

That all seems trivial, doesn’t it? Boring maybe? So let’s try this. Instead of saying “we,” “it,” and “I,” what if we said the Good, the True, and the Beautiful? And what if we said that the Good, the True, and the Beautiful are dimensions of your very own being at each and every level of growth and development? And that through an integral transformative practice, you can discover deeper and deeper dimensions of your own Goodness, your own Truth, and your own Beauty?

Hmm, definitely more interesting. The Good, the True, and the Beautiful are simply variations on first-, second-, and third-person pronouns found in all major languages, and they are found in all major languages because Truth, Goodness, and Beauty are very real dimensions of reality to which language has adapted. Third-person (or “it”) refers to objective truth, which is best investigated by science. Second-person (or “you/we”) refers to Goodness, or the ways that we—that you and I—treat each other, and whether we do so with decency, honesty, and respect. In other words, basic morality. And first-person deals with the “I,” with self and self-expression, art and aesthetics, and the beauty that is in the eye (or the “I”) of the beholder.

So the “I,” “we,” and “it” dimensions of experience really refer to: art, morals, and science. Or self, culture, and nature. Or the Beautiful, the Good, and the True.

And the point is that every event in the manifest world has all three of those dimensions. You can look at any event from the point of view of the “I” (or how I personally see and feel about the event); from the point of view of the “we” (how not just I but others see the event); and as an “it” (or the objective facts of the event).

Thus, an integrally informed path will therefore take all of those dimensions into account, and thus arrive at a more comprehensive and effective approach—in the “I” and the “we” and the “it”—or in self and culture and nature.

If you leave out science, or leave out art, or leave out morals, something is going to be missing, something will get broken. Self and culture and nature are liberated together or not at all. So fundamental are these dimensions of “I,” “we,” and “it” that we call them the four quadrants, and we make them a foundation of the integral framework or IOS. (We arrive at “four” quadrants by subdividing “it” into singular “it” and plural “its,” as we will see.) A few diagrams will help clarity the basic points.

Figure 1: The Quadrants

Figure 1 is a schematic of the four quadrants. It shows the “I” (the inside of the individual), the “it” (the outside of the individual), the “we” (the inside of the collective), and the “its” (the outside of the collective). In other words, the four quadrants—which are the four fundamental perspectives on any occasion (or the four basic ways of looking at anything)—turn out to be fairly simple: they are the inside and the outside of the individual and the collective.

Figures 2 and 3 show a few of the details of the four quadrants. (Some of these are technical terms that needn’t be bothered with for this basic introduction; simply look at the diagrams and get a sense of the different types of items you might find in each of the quadrants.)

Figure 2: Some Details of The Quadrants

Figure 3: Quadrants Focused on Humans

For example, in the Upper-Left quadrant (the interior of the individual), you find your own immediate thoughts, feelings, sensations, and so on (all described in first-person terms). But if you look at your individual being from the outside, in the terms not of subjective awareness but objective science, you find neurotransmitters, a limbic system, the neocortex, complex molecular structures, cells, organ systems, DNA, and so on—all described in third-person objective terms (“it” and “its”). The Upper-Right quadrant is therefore what any event looks like from the outside. This especially includes its physical behavior; its material components; its matter and energy; and its concrete body—for all those are items that can be referred to in some sort of objective, third-person, or “it” fashion.

That is what you or your organism looks like from the outside, in an objective-it stance, made of matter and energy and objects; whereas from the inside, you find not neurotransmitters but feelings, not limbic systems but intense desires, not a neocortex but inward visions, not matter-energy but consciousness, all described in first-person immediateness. Which of those views is right? Both of them, according to the integral approach. They are two different views of the same occasion, namely you. The problems start when you try to deny or dismiss either of those perspectives. All four quadrants need to be included in any integral view.

The connections continue. Notice that every “I” is in relationship with other I’s, which means that every “I” is a member of numerous we’s. These “we’s” represent not just individual but group (or collective) consciousness, not just subjective but intersubjective awareness—or culture in the broadest sense. This is indicated in the Lower-Left quadrant. Likewise, every “we” has an exterior, or what it looks like from the outside, and this is the Lower-Right quadrant. The Lower Left is often called the cultural dimension (or the inside awareness of the group—its worldview, its shared values, shared feelings, and so forth), and the Lower Right the social dimension (or the exterior forms and behaviors of the group, which are studied by third-person sciences such as systems theory).

Again, the quadrants are simply the inside and the outside of the individual and the collective, and the point is that all four quadrants need to be included if we want to be as integral as possible.

We are now at a point where we can start to put all the pieces together. The major components we previously examined were states, levels, lines, and types. Let’s start with levels or stages.

All four quadrants show growth, development, or evolution. That is, they all show some sort of stages or levels of development, not as rigid rungs in a ladder but as fluid and flowing waves of unfolding. This happens everywhere in the natural world, just as an oak unfolds from an acorn through stages of growth and development, or a Siberian tiger grows from a fertilized egg to an adult organism in well-defined stages of growth and development. Likewise with humans in certain important ways. We have already seen several of these stages as they apply to humans. In the Upper Left or “I,” for example, the self unfolds from body to mind to spirit. In the Upper Right, bodily energy phenomenologically expands from gross to subtle to causal. In the Lower Left, the “we” expands from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric. This expansion of group awareness allows social systems—in the Lower Right—to expand from simple groups to more complex systems like nations and eventually even to global systems. These 3 simple stages in each of the quadrants are represented in Figure 4.


Figure 4: AQAL

Let’s move from levels to lines. Developmental lines occur in all four quadrants, but because we are focusing on personal development, we can look at how some of these lines appear in the Upper-Left quadrant. As we saw, there are over a dozen different multiple intelligences or developmental lines. Some of the more important include:

  • the cognitive line (or awareness of what is)
  • the moral line (awareness of what should be)
  • emotional or affective line (the spectrum of emotions)
  • the interpersonal line (how I socially relate to others)
  • the needs line (such as Maslow’s needs hierarchy)
  • the self-identity line (or “who am I?,” such as Loevinger’s ego development)
  • the aesthetic line (or the line of self-expression, beauty, art, and felt meaning)
  • the psychosexual line, which in its broadest sense means the entire spectrum of Eros (gross to subtle to causal)
  • the spiritual line (where “spirit” is viewed not just as Ground, and not just as the highest stage, but as its own line of unfolding)
  • the values line (or what a person considers most important, a line studied by Clare Graves and made popular by Spiral Dynamics)

All of those developmental lines can move through the basic stages or levels. All of them can be included in the psychograph. If we use stage or level conceptions such as Robert Kegan’s, Jane Loevinger’s, or Clare Graves’s, then we would have 5, 8, or even more levels of development with which we could follow the natural unfolding of developmental lines or streams. Again, it is not a matter of which of them is right or wrong; it is a matter of how much “granularity” or “complexity” you need to more adequately understand a given situation.

We already gave one diagram of a psychograph. Figure 5 is another, taken from a Notre Dame business school presentation that uses the AQAL model in business.

Figure 5: Another Version of the Psychograph

As noted, all of the quadrants have developmental lines. We just focused on those in the Upper Left. In the Upper-Right quadrant, when it comes to humans, one of the most important is the bodily matter-energy line, which runs, as we saw, from gross energy to subtle energy to causal energy. As a developmental sequence, this refers to the permanent acquisition of a capacity to consciously master these energetic components of your being (otherwise, they appear merely as states). The Upper-Right quadrant also refers to all of the exterior behavior, actions, and movements of my objective body (gross, subtle, or causal).

In the Lower-Left quadrant, cultural development itself often unfolds in waves, moving from what the pioneering genius Jean Gebser called archaic to magic to mythic to mental to integral and higher. In the Lower-Right quadrant, systems theory investigates the collective social systems that evolve (and that, in humans, include stages such as foraging to agrarian to industrial to informational systems). In figure 4, we simplified this to “group, nation, and global,” but the general idea is simply that of unfolding levels of greater social complexity that are integrated into wider systems. Again, for this simple overview, details are not as important as a general grasp of the unfolding nature of all four quadrants, which can include expanding spheres of consciousness, care, culture, and nature. In short, the I and the we and it can evolve. Self and culture and nature can all develop and evolve.

We can now quickly finish with the other components. States occur in all quadrants (from weather states to states of consciousness). We focused on states of consciousness in the Upper Left (waking, dreaming, sleeping), and on energetic states in the Upper Right (gross, subtle, causal). Of course, if any of those become permanent acquisitions, they have become stages, not states.

There are types in all of the quadrants, too, but we focused on masculine and feminine types as they appear in individuals. The masculine principle identifies more with agency and the feminine identifies more with communion, but the point is that every person has both of these components. Finally, as was saw, there is an unhealthy type of masculine and feminine at all available stages—sick boy and sick girl at all stages.

Seem complicated? In a sense it is. But in another sense, the extraordinary complexity of humans and their relation to the universe can be simplified enormously by touching bases with the quadrants (the fact that every event can be looked at as an I, we, or it); developmental lines (or multiple intelligences), all of which move through developmental levels (from body to mind to spirit); with states and types at each of those levels.

That Integral Model—“all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states, all types”—is the simplest model that can handle all of the truly essential items. We sometimes shorten all of that to simply “all quadrants, all levels”—or AQAL—where the quadrants are, for example, self, culture, and nature, and the levels are body, mind, and spirit, so we say that the Integral Approach involves the cultivation of body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature. The simplest version of this is shown in figure 4, and if you have a general understanding of that diagram, the rest is fairly easy.

See you in the next section where we will look at how Integral Theory is being applied at the cutting edge of our modern industries in: Integral Applications and Resources!


Stay Sharp,

David Rainoshek, M.A.

Lines of Development

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Many Bodies

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Lines of Development

What Type?

Many Bodies