Levels, Lines & Orientations

As Ken Wilber points out, there are many lines of development. Some of the main ones are cognitive, emotional, relational, social and ethical. And if we take the “average” of these lines, or the typical development for most of them for an individual, we find the “level” of development for that individual. Levels are obviously a gross simplification, although useful as a shorthand.

For each level, there is a healthy and an unhealthy expression. There are valuable and essential insights and approaches at each level, and there are diseases particual for each level – ways they go wrong.

It seems that self-awareness may be a line. Maybe this is the same as spirituality, if spirituality is seen as a line (spirituality can be used to refer to higher levels of development, impermanent states, a line of development, or a basic orientation).

At any (?) level, we can have a basic orientation of self-awareness and of being with our experiences rather than resisting them. And this seems to be a gateway into a more healthy and mature expression of each level of development. It allows for a certain overview, self-understanding, and willingness to stay with uncomfortable experiences and insights. It softens us up and allows for more fluidity and flexibility. There is less to prove and less to protect.

As with any line, it is more likely to be highly developed at higher overall levels, although it can be well developed at the lower levels as well. It seems that this orientation would help us mature and develop faster, from each level to the next.

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