One More Model
If all of this sounds too airy fairy for you, I want to give you one more brief road map for growth.
We all begin in life at the
1. Information stage.
We take in as much information as possible in order to survive. The first questions the infant asks are "Who is in charge here?" And, "How can I get along with that person?" We learn early how to act in order to get our basic needs met.
At this early stage men learn to compete and women learn to compare. More information is better and, at this stage, information passes for intelligence. A lot of people never leave this stage of development.
2. Knowledge stage
This is the stage where we begin to see patterns and connect the dots. This level of development is much needed by society. We are grateful for the contributions of people at this level for without them we would not have this building to meet in or cars to drive to get us here.
3. Analytic intelligence
This is where people begin to see a much bigger picture and develop the ability to think outside the box. If they are good at this, they are likely initially mistrusted or laughed at. Think of someone like Bill Gates or St. Francis.
This is still dualistic thinking because people at this level are still measuring reality rather than meeting it.
4. Intuitive Intelligence
This is the crossover point into non-dual mind. Here is where head and heart start to work together. Here we work to see the world as God sees. The goal here is not to control or be afraid but to be with.
At this level is where the principle of "non-judging" begins to make sense. Buddhists call it the principle of equality and my early teacher said, when teaching me this material, "Bill, this can take you home. It is enough to work with the rest of your life." Every great spiritual teacher has taught something like this.
It is at this level that one gets it that what it means to love your neighbor as yourself is not to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself, though we inevitably do that. It means to love your neighbor as if your neighbor is yourself for your neighbor is. Here the need to label, control, explain begins to diminish. That same first teacher of mine said, "What is, is and what ain't, ain't."
At the wisdom level the ego is servant and Self is master.
Wisdom carries with it patience for paradox and sees that the notion of perfection is a trap.
Wisdom is where the practice of contemplative mind can lead to transformation.
I've seen some transformed people. Most of them, I think, likely fly under the radar because they have no need to stand out. When I was in clinical training I asked my analyst to give me an example of someone who embodied the kind of integrity and wholeness we were studying about. His reply let me know how hooked by my ego I was. I wanted to have a goal to shoot for. My ego wanted to accomplish and not get out of the way so my Self could emerge.