Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Venita Ramirez, Geoff Fitch & Terri O’Fallon - Evolving States and Stages of Consciousness

Here is another cool article from the current issue of the Integral Leadership Review. This paper is a report on the work they are doing at Pacific Integral with the inter-rated Maturity Assessment Profile (MAP) (along with their direct observations) in the cohorts who are completing their Generating Transformative Change (GTC) program. Cool stuff - we get to this material form their reports as it develops.

Evolving States and Stages of Consciousness

Venita Ramirez, Geoff Fitch and Terri O’Fallon

Venita Ramirez

Terri O'Fallon

Geoff Fitch

How do people develop? What do the later stages of consciousness look like? Are there methods and practices we can employ to facilitate the process? Robert Kegan (1994), Suzanne Cook-Greuter (2002) and others have contributed a great deal to the field of adult development in recent years. Still, we have much more to learn. For example, until now, we haven’t really known what it takes to help people move from one stage to another.

Few people have understood in practice the difference or the relationship between state and stage development. Few universities offer courses in adult ego development even in the departments of education and psychology. We’ve had even less data on individuals at the latest stages of development. Furthermore, much of the research has taken place through studying written assessments, without observing actual people in real time. And some people even question whether or why we would want to help people develop in the first place. Thankfully, Suzanne Cook-Greuter (2002) has contributed years of study and a wealth of knowledge about post-conventional stages of individual development.

Terri O’Fallon, one of the principals of Pacific Integral, with more than forty years in education, is continuing to research the nuances of the very latest states and stages of consciousness. In the past 6 years, we have coupled the use of inter-rated Maturity Assessment Profiles (MAP) with our direct observations, face to face with individuals in our Generating Transformative Change (GTC) program at Pacific Integral. We are learning how in-the-flesh individuals interact, behave, think and develop at these later stages. In fact, we are fascinated by what is occurring and as a result, we are encouraged about what is possible for humanity.

Circle in the Sun

Since 2006 our GTC participants have taken the Maturity Assessment Profile (MAP) prior to beginning our GTC program and again two years later. Each MAP is scored by two, separately, trained scorers to verify accuracy. The GTC program is 9-15 months in length, consists of 4-6 four-day retreats, on-line learning, and application projects in the months between retreats. So far we have results back on four cohorts (about 50 people). In addition we have or are working with another three cohorts in which we are observing real time development that clearly seems to be following a series of patterns and behavior changes, some of which Terri describes in the theory paper she presented at last year’s Integral Theory Conference. Along with our participants, we seem to be learning what it is that helps individuals open to greater awareness, happiness, spontaneity, universal care and the capacity to respond to the increasing complexity of life and evolutionary systems on our planet as they present themselves in each moment. We seem to be learning what helps people develop through the stages. Statistical results can be found on our website in a paper entitled: Enacting Containers for Integral Transformative Development.

What is it that allows for transformation? Much of the answer to this question remains a mystery, for we realize that our small sample are self-selected individuals who already have a keen propensity for growth and have mostly out-grown other paths and practices they have followed. Some of them have meditated for many years. Others come in as seasoned therapists, physicians, or international business executives who have extensive training in human development, psychology and leadership. They are looking for deep, lasting, integral transformation—an integration of all they have known and a bridge to the evolutionary change that seems to be sweeping the planet. Many more people in the world never move beyond the norms of their social conditioning. And perhaps this leads us to the first basic element that seems to support development among our participants: They have found a place and a community where, over an extended period of time, they can be more fully themselves than they ever have before.

Read the whole article.

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