The world is currently experiencing rapid change and many people are claiming to have awakened into a new consciousness. This emerging consciousness was identified by Rudolph Steiner, Jean Gebser and more recently Ken Wilber as the fifth stage of consciousness referred to as the a-perspectival or integral stage of consciousness which is perceived to be ‘world-centric’ rather than ‘egocentric’.
To put this into an evolutionary context. The first stage of consciousness was when we existed in a zero dimensional world without any awareness of time or space.
The second stage, the Magical, was where we inhabited a one dimensional world where we began to identify as a collective. This was tribal and everything was experienced by all and at one with the environment.
The third stage of consciousness, the Mythical, was when we began to see ourselves as separate from our environment and language and religion began to emerge. We developed two dimensional thinking in which we became aware of time but not space.
The fourth stage of consciousness, the Mental is when we developed three dimensional thinking and were aware of space and time. We became capable of abstract thought and seeing ourselves as individuals.
The emergent stage is the fifth where we begin to inhabit a fourth dimensional world which is essentially spiritual in nature. Love becomes the driving force behind spirituality. This is called the Integral as it integrates all the earlier stages of consciousness and in some ways can be seen as a return to pure consciousness.
Each of the earlier stages ended when its shadow side grew to render it unsustainable and the breaking down was characterised by chaos. We are now witnessing the world escalating in complexity and ever increasing speed o f change and there is evidence that this new fifth stage of consciousness is emerging. The philosophers Jean Gebser and Rudolf Steiner identified the Integral consciousness gradually emerging over the last five hundred years. The transition time between stages is decreasing. The earlier stage transitions took billions of years and now it is taking hundreds. The final stage of transition is when it reaches critical mass and tipping point into the new consciousness. Today for the first time ever we can see all the stages of consciousness functioning throughout the world. Is this fuelling an integration of all and tipping us into the Integral?
There is a merging of east and west philosophies, religions and practices. As seen in the increased interest and participation in activities such as yoga, holistic medicine and meditation. Research shows that participating in these practices can expand individual consciousness and may be contribute to a universal shift.
At a time when the world needs leaders that can hold the paradox and uncertainty that we live in we can take heart to learn that this new consciousness is manifesting in organisations and groups and leadership and organisational structures are changing.
Frederic Laloux, writes in Reinventing Organisations of the twelve organisations that he studied that he believes have expanded their consciousness into a new management paradigm that he refers to as the Teal stage. Ken Wilber confirms and expands on this, claiming that these organisations are driven by an extraordinary transformation in consciousness that is occurring around the world and he praises Laloux’s work for being written from an ‘Integral’ perspective which is grounded in a sophisticated understanding of evolutionary and developmental theory.
Laloux believes that we can create environments that support the growth into the later stages of consciousness and that people are more likely to make the transition if they are surrounded by others who already see the world from a more complex perspective.
He quotes Clare Graves, William Torbert and Suzanne Cook-Greuter’s research as showing that the higher the leader’s stage of consciousness the higher the organisations level of productivity and success. Laloux only studied companies with over 100 employees so I’m wondering, considering the advances in technology, what other new structures or networks of enterprise might be emerging that he missed.
If we look at action logics and the Harthill research the Achiever stage is still the predominant action logic for leaders in Western culture and from a limited sample of self-selecting UK managers and consultants in 2015 only 10% had reached the Strategist stage and 0.9% had reached the Alchemist stage. Current evidence shows that this is accelerating and transformational coaching can support leaders to make this transition.
If organisations are beginning to function from theTeal stage (Integral consciousness) and people are more likely to make the shift when in the company of higher evolved peers then these organisations and transformational leaders might be fuelling an acceleration into the new Integral consciousness in which the planet will be perceived as a single ecosystem. I take hope that enough transformational leaders will transition to ensure the future of humanity.
Igniting Mind provides transformational coaching for leadership development. We are authorised users of the Harthill Leadership Development profile which will identify your predominant action logic and detect transition into a later stage.
If you are interested in learning what your predominant action logic is and how coaching can support you to transition yourself and your organisation to a later stage of consciousness then email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 8740 8802