The Highest Stages of Conscious Development

Terri O'Fallon Buddha In Therapy, Cognitive, Integrative Metatheory, Self-Identity, Video 32 Comments

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Terri O’Fallon and Keith Martin-Smith dive into a deeper and more detailed exploration of her STAGES model. If you missed their first discussion, you can find it here. We highly recommend that you check that out before moving on to this discussion.

Terri and Keith focus on a smaller section of Terri’s model, stages 3.0 – 6.0 (roughly Amber/Orange to Turquoise/Indigo). Terri outlines what makes each level of her model unique from the last, what causes people to shift from one level to another, as well as what the mature expressions look like for 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 stages.

She goes on to explain how people can use the model’s parameters to determine the developmental expression of others in coaching, psychotherapy, parenting, teaching, negotiating, etc., and how the STAGES model’s perspectival parameters can be a tool for generating more empathy and compassion.

In the STAGES model, structure-stages (Amber, Orange, Green, Teal, etc.) and state-stages (Gross, Subtle Causal, Witness, Nondual) begin to merge and stabilize. Terri explains exactly how this happens, and how both states and stages underlie the developmental process.

Finally, Terri explores her idea of developmental bypassing, and why we need spiritual work, shadow work, and developmental guidance to all in order to produce an integrated human experience.

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Previous Episodes of Buddha In Therapy

Perspectives on Development: Introducing the STAGES Model

Perspectives on Development: Introducing the STAGES Model

Terri O’Fallon takes us on a guided journey through her STAGES model, an integrally based development model that charts human development from infancy to the highest levels of development that humans are capable of. Terri’s research is based in the number of perspectives a person can take (1st through 7th) – and she explains how different levels of fluency with these perspectives can often cause us to talk “past” or “over” one another, and how familiarizing ourselves with these perspectives can help us stop doing that.
How to Build a Conscious Community

How to Build a Conscious Community

Keith Martin-Smith talks with Dr. John Churchill about the themes in Keith's latest book, When the Buddha Needs Therapy: shadow and awakening, the problem and promise of spiritual communities, the state-stage model as it relates to trauma and growth, narcissism and other personality disorders inside of spirituality, the power and trap of lineage, and what a fully Western version of an awakened spiritual path might look like.
Therapy & Awakening: A New Integration

Therapy & Awakening: A New Integration

Keith Martin-Smith speaks with Chad Bennett, a psychotherapist and ordained Zen priest, about why our existing ideas of therapy are often limited and keep us bound inside of the therapeutic relationship, unable to learn the skills necessary to continue our own growth towards psychological wholeness.
Who Awakens? How to Be Free From Your Freedom

Who Awakens? How to Be Free From Your Freedom

In this talk, Keith Martin-Smith dives into some topics of particular interest to those on a spiritual path. He first addresses the question head on: what is awakening, exactly? To answer this, he presents the listeners with a Zen koan, or riddle: Who awakens?
Terri O'Fallon

About Terri O'Fallon

Terri O’Fallon, PhD is an Integral scholar whose research spans 40 years, including eleven research studies conducted in various colleges, public schools, and private research venues. Her most recent theory, and the culmination of a lifetime of work, is the STAGES model of human development. STAGES integrates several developmental models and is informed by Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and Terri’s own research, to form a robust and predictive map that is being used by numerous scholars, practitioners, and leaders throughout the world.

Keith Martin-Smith

About Keith Martin-Smith

Keith Martin-Smith is an award-winning author, writing coach, and Zen priest. He is passionate about human connection, creativity, and evolution. His books include "The Mysterious Divination of Tea Leaves", "A Heart Blown Open", and "The Heart of Zen". His most recent book is his first novel, "Only Everything", a novel that explores the promise and the pain of following an artist's path.

Notable Replies

  1. I do not think so. Knowledge without application is only Theory. Theory is the opposite of Integration. I encounter people all the time who may know a thing but completely fail to practice it, and this has only increased in the age of Youtube videos where you can watch a 30-60 min video on any subject and believe you know it but then never actually do it. As an example, there is a Youtuber I like who explains stoicism and I think he does live according to those principles. But the thousands of people watching his videos and gaining knowledge probably are not. Stoicism and other practices requires maybe 1,000 hours of practice per hour of knowledge obtained through watching a video. Any other Consciousness development is the same. It’s the daily practice over several years that produces the changes, not watching a 1 hour video.
    This is obvious in fitness or any other skill but for some reason academics think they can bypass this with “waking up”. But just as you can’t become an NBA star by reading a book about it or a fitness beast just by purchasing a program and setting it on the shelf, You can’t wake up by just reading a book or attending a retreat unless you also put in the thousands of hours of follow on integration.

    This brings to mind an aspect that I think I’ve never heard or read in Integral - does anyone consider what % of your day or week do you live at a certain level, or do people consider it like a hurdle and once you have one waking up event you can’t go backwards - which I don’t believe to be true at all.

    My example I’ll give in this is Jordan Peterson, who is an expert on Jungian Psychology and at one time seemed fairly reasonable and said things that made sense from a certain rational point of view> But over the past 10 years he has become so increasingly possessed by his own shadow archetypes that he is sliding down a slope to being an out of control nut.

  2. Your “language of training” and “language of explanation” terminologies sound akin to the integral concepts of transformation and translation, respectively.

    I like that you speak of “Eastern, Western, and indigenous cultures.” I’ve noticed others starting to include indigenous approaches/ways in their references to spiritual traditions; a good move.

  3. I like reading different perspectives on history. There is what happened, and there are many different lenses to view each event through.
    But my financial background drummed into me “past performance does not guarantee future returns”.
    I don’t think we can evaluate the future in terms of East and West - those are terms left over from a prior epoch when the world was flat. The next step in evolution or invention is always unimaginable to the previous step. The “best of breed” of the future will be a quality we cannot currently conceive.

    On the topic of Indigenous, I might bring up the Hawaiians - who are going in the opposite direction, and I feel in a good way. They are opening up schools for all children to teach anyone who wants their children to receive their culture, and encouraging the parents of those children to also learn with their children. More and more I see blond haired blue eyed parents teaching their children Hawaiian language and culture. This was a conscious decision by the Hawaiian community after discussions, disagreements and power struggles over many decades, and yes some still oppose it. But the momentum is headed in that direction. My personal opinion is that there is actually something Metaphysically different about each Island in the Island chain, but that’s woo-woo talk, lol.

  4. Yeah. I’m pretty skeptical about long range projections about the trajectory of history. But, we have serious matters to attend to right now (climate, war, pandemic, poverty), so “best of breed” to get things done in the short- to intermediate-term - what other choice is there? My interest in the indigenous is specifically on the matter of climate. We need an approach that involves circular economic flows and co-participation with nature. My perspectival view is “we are all indigenous” to this planet. To make that stick however, now comes the hard work of realizing what that means procedurally and propositionally.

  5. Yes, the 1960-70’s sci fi Oddesey of colonizing the Solar System is now obviusly not going to happen in 2001. I completely agree with the need to find a new economic system.

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