Stages of Transformation
A diagram I drew, showing the path of Integral
transformation - a holarchy of Stages of Transformation. Each stage is progressively more encompassing
, and more powerfully transformative. The most limited stages are shown as smallest and darkest, representing obscurity, lack of gnosis
, and only limited empathy
. For simplicity's sake, only five stages are shown in the above diagram, although there can be any number (these are all arbitrary, man-made divisions after all) Here, the five stages are (from lowest/most limited to highest/largest/most expansive dualistic
, Esoteric/ Gnostic
, and Higher Divinisation
Integral Transformation is evolutionary, it involves progressive stages. This is the case whether the field or scope of transformation is individual Self-Transformation or Socio-Cultural. Secular Integral Theory, such as Spiral Dynamics, which is based on exoteric developmental psychology and business management, is able to map out the early stages within a limited context, and indeed is very useful, if at times excessively rigid and intellectually limiting, in clarifying these early developmental stages. But to understand both further, esoteric stages of transformation, and also infra-physical and inhuman amoral dimensions, much more encompassing perspectives, such as is provided by Aurobindonian Integral psychology and Integral philosophy, are required.
Using this perspective, Transformation is metaphysically dualistic in that it involves the conversion or dissolution of negative or adverse states which oppose the Divine will. These are the stages of ethnocentric duality, selfishness, delusion, and evil, and repersent their conversion or dissolution. All these negative states without exception are dissolved into or converted or subliminated to Light in the highest positive stages of transformation.
Using an Occult, Gnostic, and Aurobindonian perspectives, it is possible to posit a moral spectrum from absolute evil to absolute good. The stages from ordinary reformist or pluralistic consciousness onwards represent progressive degrees to the summum bonum, the highest good, which is complete divinization. The following list begins with the most negative and progresses to the most positive. The majority of people however are at the stage of "Ethnocentric"/Dualistic consciousness.
- Exoteric - ordinary, non-gnostic, religion and secular modernity
- Holistic - Integrative, participatory, New Age, meditative, Integral movement,translucents, emerging Rising Culture, Evolutionary spirituality. This (and I suppose the next stage) is referred to by David Korten as Spiritual Consciousness. In Integral Theory correspond to kosmocentric (which is neverthless beneath Sentientism, because Integral Theory is still based on a limited linear model that puts human above non-human animal). Differs from the previous category mainly in incorporating the spiritual dimension, but this stage is not without its fake enlightenment claimees, in fact it is plagued by such criminals, who have only a little knowledge and a great deal of Selfishness, even Narcissism. of course, this would never happen with one who has all developmental levels at the Holistic stage, but such individuals are very rare.
- Mesoteric/New Age/Pre-Gnostic - Esoteric knowledge but not yet gnosis. Differs from the preceding in going beyond materialistic holism by acknowledging esoteric, occult, and spiritual realities. Collective realisation through higher aspects of the New Age movement, transformation of consciousness, holistic and spiritual healing, lightworking, etc, also New Age centers like Findhorne, Lindisfarne, and Auroville represent Mesoteric and some Esoteric elements.
- Esoteric/Gnostic - gnostic, I-Thou empathic, transformative, occult, metaphysical, esoteric, mystical. Differs from the preceding in going beyond the secular and common religious spirituality of the holistic stage to a truly occult, gnostic, and transcendent level of insight. Mostly only attained on an individual level.
- Relative-Absolute (Partial Realization) - Transitional between Relative reality and the Absolute, and corresponding in part to the Intermediate Zone, this is a profound state of Partial Realization, that is easily mistaken for Supreme Realisations, and those who have attained this degree of consciousness and being are mistakenly worshipped as Enlightened beings. But being Partial means very uneven transformation of different faculties; the partial realiser experiences Reality and nonduality of the Realiser, but still retains the dualistic ego, corresponds to the "Intermediate Zone". These partial realisers often spiral into Narcissism because their weak adhar is unable to hold the Light. These states have so far attained only on an individual level, which needs to be transcended in order for true Realisation and Integral Transformation to occur.
- Complete Realization - Complete Realization is limited to rare authentic Realizers, so far individual only. Differs from the preceding in that there is no more Other, everything and everyone is seen as an aspect of Self or God.
- Spiritual Realized Mind - beyond even conventional Realization, Sri Aurobindo's Higher mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind.
- Divinisation - attaining what Sri Aurobindo refers to as Overmind (Overmentalization).
- Higher Divinisation - attaining what Sri Aurobindo refers to as Supermind (Supramentalization).
Unless otherwise attributed or quoted, all text and original images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 22 November 2009 (relocated from index page, new material added), last modified 9 December 2009