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Phases of Development

We have discovered that most people develop in a fairly predictable pattern. We have tested the works of M. Scott Peck, Maslow’s analysis of the hierarchy of needs, and the work of others. The diagram provided synthesizes this information in an analytical way that we hope will assist you in analyzing and communicating with others; and hopefully this will improve you relationships and accelerate your own development.

PHASE 1.

CORE:  Governed by ego.

GOALS:
• Satisfaction of immediate desires
• Individual supremacy.

METHODS:
• Personality-led tribalism.
• Immediate force is the solution to problems.
• Zero-sum transactions: destroy others to build self.

BLIND-SPOTS:
• Desires freedom, but tends to try to control others for comfort.
• Believes that the rules of others do not apply to self.

KEY TO NEXT PHASE:
• Catastrophe pushes the individual out of their comfort zone, and into a recognition of own fragility and need for community.

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PHASE 2

CORE: Governed by law, and the ego becomes inseparable from ideals.

GOALS:
• Group unity
• Gain moral comfort in the face of the unknown.

METHODS:
• Authoritarian civilization; the beginning of common laws.
• Social hierarchy delivers and enforces laws via obligations or through force.
• Contradictory ideas are unquestionable.
• Individual perceives attack on ideas as personal insult.
• Subjective worldview.

BLIND-SPOTS:
• Tries to squeeze new information into existing knowledge framework.
• Allergic to alternatives.
• Needs to controls others.

KEY TO NEXT PHASE:
• Devotion or curiosity lead to discovery of contradictory notions, then cognitive dissonance.

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PHASE 3

CORE: Governed by personal ideals rather than traditions.

GOALS:
• Discover predictable reality.

METHODS:
• Oriented at rational discovery and natural laws.
• Significance and substance valued more than symbols.
• Contradictory ideas become unacceptable.
• Antagonistic to traditions.
• Mixed objective and subjective world-views.
• Has lost former phase 2 community, finds refuge in self.
• Wants to improve the world.

BLIND-SPOTS:
• May tend to believe that personal limits are actual limits of universe.

KEY TO NEXT PHASE:
• Discovery of cognitive and sensory limits.

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PHASE 4

CORE: Governed by compassion.

GOALS:
• Cooperation, creation and discovery.

METHODS:
• Seeks commonality rather than differences.
• Definitions are seen as hindrances to discovery.
• Discovery trumps all tradition.
• Can discern between substance and symbol.

BLIND-SPOTS:
• Underestimates causality and consequences.

KEY TO NEXT PHASE:
• A triggering experience that defies preconceived notions leads to the discovery that cognitive and sensory limits might be an illusion, and that one can do much more than previously imagined.

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PHASE 5

CORE:  Not governed. Loss of imagined limits leads to loss of identity, and to a need to reinvent the self.

GOALS:
• To understand the nature of this new-found power, or state of being, or experiential effect.

METHODS:
• Has done something inexplicable, powerful, and genuine that defies common sense, yet is repeatable and sometimes shared with others.

BLIND-SPOTS:
• Alienation from humanity.
• Cannot fathom previous mindset.
• Horror-induced inaction.

KEY TO NEXT PHASE:
• Discovery of predictable mechanism to induce attuned state.

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PHASE 6

CORE: Governs by invitation.

GOALS:
• Creation of others and self.
• Lovingly compassionate.

METHODS:
• Experiences and creates miraculous phenomena regularly.
• Understands basic pattern for repeating such phenomena.
• Can teach method to others.

BLIND-SPOTS:
• Impatience.

KEY TO NEXT PHASE:
• Transcendence or death.

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PHASE 7

UNCHARTERED TERRITORY.

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RADIANT AND DISCONNECTED
As humans, we are not born with a mechanism to help us correlate our beliefs from one kind of experience to the next, and as a consequence, we may be far more advanced in one aspect of life than in another. We do not occupy only one phase at a time, but aspects of our lives are in different phases simultaneously.

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 Some common and harmful combinations:
• We might be excellent at caring for others but treat ourselves badly
• We are pillars of the community, yet we are unkind to our family members.
• We are in positions of authority, and punish others for dishonest behavior while permitting it in ourselves.

When our observations and ideals do not line up, we tend to justify our beliefs at any cost. If we believe we are good people, then we justify harming others by telling ourselves that they somehow deserved it. When we believe we have the truth, and if others disagree with us, we feel justified in punishing them.We must consciously choose to admit when we are wrong about something. When you realize that you are not your beliefs, your ideas, nor your desires, then you can not be harmed by discovery, and you get to advance faster.

SOME HANDY DEFINITIONS TO ASSIST SELF-REFLECTION
Check your behaviors against these criteria:

GOOD is all that which is true, which increases understanding and ability, and invites others to do the same.

EVIL is the use of power to oppress or harm anyone.

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