Hello Everybody,

I've been soliciting/compiling people's intuitions about the casual identification of the the "second tier personality". Many such simple selection tools must come into existence. Such a questionnaire must, in my opinion, meet the following criteria?

  • Be short, easy, quick to fill out, NOT based on open-ended answers, NOT requiring great depth or time in order to interpret results.
  • Does not need to be perfect. Only needs to initiate a boundary beyond which the odds of finding "integralites" is considerably increased.
  • Should not be based primarily on "Theory". We are not looking for the "integrally-informed" person... nor are we trying to deploy any top-down personality analytics which correspond to the more developed academic models. Instead, we are working from the grassroots looking for the community to clarify its own sense of the instincts, capacities & response-patterns which characterize themselves.

So this is just a draft. Many of the questions of clumsy. I would love to know these things from you:

(a) do you find yourself basically answering yes to all these?

(b) is there a better phrasing? tighter? some slightly adjusted emphasis?

(c) which are least important? Ideally, this should get down to 10 Simple Questions.

CLUMSY DRAFT QUESTIONNAIRE


This brief questionnaire is looking for a certain type of person. It is not perfect but it allows us to increase the odds of finding the sort of people we are looking to benefit.

Are there really types of people? Can a simple questionnaire work? If you are unsure about these things, then you might be just the type we are looking for!

Please answer as honestly as possible...

Yes, No or Huh?

(Huh? will be counted as YES if you have more Yes-es,

or NO if you have more No’s.)


  1. At some earlier point in your life, do you feel that you were more relativistic, “nihilistic”, exaggeratedly open-minded or unreasonably tolerant than you are now?

  2. Do you consider yourself to be both pro-worldly & pro-transcendental? (That means you strongly feel the importance of action-in-the-world and something like a robust “inner” or “spiritual” practice...)

  3. Do you feel naturally very interested in the pattern of developmental stages -- whether in the process of individual maturation or else in human history generally?

  4. Have you noticed in yourself that you very quickly and very often move from your initial reaction (to people or situations) to an unexpected empathy with the opposite position... and then a fleeting sense that these positions are linked or explained by a common significance?

  5. Do you often try to deal with yourself, other people and life situations by being very present? Does it seem to you that your consciousness, receptivity or sense-of-being can be a significant contribution?

  6. Do you wish that more of your interactions with people should produce lucid flow, insights, exchange of high values, a feeling of inner “opening” and a sense of emergent novelty?  Are you ever concerned that your own naivete, lack of focus or avoidance of genuine intimacy inhibits this productive We-space?

  7. Do you feel, for some reason, that you might have a lot personally in common with sensible, humanistic saints and great Wisdom-Teachers from every culture and tradition?

  8. Do you basically agree with most Conservative, Mainstream & Progressive values -- but not necessarily with the people espousing those values?

  9. Do you ever feel a strong interest in Grand Unifying ideas which attempt to integrate, coordinate and synthesize the enormous diversity of different theories, interpretations and human values?

  10. Do you feel -- whether rightly or wrongly -- that you are inwardly in touch with either (a) a deeper sense of shared human experience or (b) an ultimate transpersonal being which is available through many diverse interpretations and lenses?

  11. Do you discover that your own mind frequently takes perspectives about its own perspective -- and that this distance, depth or self-awareness helps maintain a kind of a spacious inner balance which allows you to feel less reactive in the face of things which are stressful, complicated or highly charged with personal and moral significance?

  12. Do you observe people expressing themselves as parts of large populations of predictable worldviews... and do you wish that a new or deeper understanding would help resolve these repetitive tensions into a more integrated and harmoniously enriched dynamic complementarity?

  13. Are you instinctively interested in the developmental potential of sore spots, negatives, frictions, resistances, etc.?

  14. Do you find yourself slightly “turned off” by people whose statements DO NOT simultaneously respect subjective, objective and interpersonal experience?

  15. Are you (or would you like to be) an ally of a New Culture -- one which is fulfills the glimpses that people encounter in their diverse “peak experiences”?

  16. Does your thinking regularly end up favoring complementary, simultaneous, parallel or synchronized truths? Do you frequently find yourself needing to make a somewhat paradoxical double-affirmation ... “both/and”!

  17. Do you feel the great variety of different human experiences and belief systems needs to be organized by some kind of unfolding creative inner-and-outer process or “evolution” -- and that you have some kind of responsibility to be a better and more conscious participant in this process?

  18. Are you interested in the usefulness of “subtle” energies, visions, entities, miracles, etc. but reluctant to make any exaggerated or hasty belief-statements about them?

  19. Are you subtly put off by people who seem to share your own style, preferences and values when they seem overly identified with those forms?


If you answered yes or scored highly on most of these questions there is a strong possibility that you belong the “type” we are looking for -- a type whose personality and preferences are variously called integral, second tier, transpersonal, centauric, new existentialism, post-post-modernism, evolutionary spirituality, enlightened dualism, panentheism, tantric buddhism, High Sufism, transrational humanism, the Work, post-metaphysical spirituality, the “friends of the Way”, etc.

Individuals with such sympathies and tendencies have existed sporadically throughout human history and have seldom been linked together or formed community for mutual benefit. We would like to change all that.

This change begins with people pondering the possibility that they might belong to a type. Then devising methods to concentrate more of this type in certain areas and arranging to benefit, empower, increase and deepen these people.

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Reading this "notice" and questionnaire, I found myself delightfully reminded of The Mysterious Benedict Society.  (Do you happen to suffer from narcolepsy and have a nose shaped like a large vegetable?)

It was easy to answer "yes" to almost all of these questions.  Did you cull and craft them from your recent "Second Tier" discussion on Integral Life?

Is this something that can be circulated, or are you still planning on adding to it or tweaking it?  What kind of feedback or "use" would you like for this?

I'm more interested in #16, which seems a much more relevant and defining characteristic. Although I'd include 'neither/nor' (double negation) with 'both/and' (double affirmation) in keeping with your notions (and my comments) on adjacency.

Hey Theurj,

This is a great point. How would you balance the intellectual accuracy of including both 'neither/nor' and 'both/and' (as variants of the same functional proximity) against the general mood of positivity among second tier folks? Do you think that the double affirmation of "double affirmation" and "double negation" is already implied in both/and... or not?



theurj said:

I'm more interested in #16, which seems a much more relevant and defining characteristic. Although I'd include 'neither/nor' (double negation) with 'both/and' (double affirmation) in keeping with your notions (and my comments) on adjacency.

Hey Balder

How often do people write Bladder by mistake when naming you? Of course that could be a meritorious short-hand for BlackAdder. Anyhoo... I culled most of the data from a mixture of responses on IL and interviews with this "type" among people I know. Although what I ended up with was about 90 questions so a lot of my own instincts are reflected in the form of their compression to 19 or so. But how to get it down to 10???

My initial idea -- which I still think is a good one -- is that this could be the basis of a lottery or raffle. My absurd fantasy is that a new integralite millionaire could be created each week, etc. What I want is a tool which does a half-way decent job rapidly eliciting this type of person from out of a general public mass of people. The beautiful side-effect is to intensify both self-awareness and "class consciousness" among these folks. Like Theurj, I think the failure of second tier to establish mechanisms of material mutual benefit is one of the major problems holding back the emergence of the new cultural holon. I place this alongside the need to develop smarter voting protocols and the need to engage in the construction of transpersonal experience, community fabric etc. (a la my last harangue).



Balder said:

Reading this "notice" and questionnaire, I found myself delightfully reminded of The Mysterious Benedict Society.  (Do you happen to suffer from narcolepsy and have a nose shaped like a large vegetable?)

It was easy to answer "yes" to almost all of these questions.  Did you cull and craft them from your recent "Second Tier" discussion on Integral Life?

Is this something that can be circulated, or are you still planning on adding to it or tweaking it?  What kind of feedback or "use" would you like for this?

Kennilingus has a tendency in the 'both/and' to engage the metaphysics of presence that I've explored at length in the forum in various threads. This sort of dualistic metaphysics between absolute and relative is different from a metaphysics of both/and/neither/nor. The latter is more about mutual entailment and includes 'absence' or the withdrawn in ways discussed in the OOO thread and elsewhere, not at all akin to the sort of Causal Absolute formulated in kennilingus. If one is still holding to the latter their entire metaphysics is tainted and some of the other 2nd-tier characteristics could be just enthusiastic adherence to a more complicated but less complex 1st-tier structure.

A few sample posts that express the both/and/neither/nor:

One, two, three, four, five.

There are of course dozens if not hundreds more in the forum.

I have typed Blader before...

Maybe instead of reducing your quiz to 10 questions, you could boost it up to 20 by adding a new question after 16:  "After answering question 16, do you immediately think, "Yes - but!  Both/and by itself is insufficient; we must include both both/and and neither/nor"?

I like the idea of a lottery!  If you can do that without running into legal or tax barriers, I'm all for it!

(In case you didn't get the Mysterious Benedict Society reference: enigmatic and genius recluse, Nicholas Benedict, puts a message in the newspaper, inviting inquisitive young people in to come take a quiz - and then selects certain ones to become part of a world-saving secret mission...)

My concern is that a more precise awareness of the indiscernible "creative variance" which is equally active as both/and & neither/nor (and even as "is"!) is a thought that is casually available only to a small percentage of cognitively, meditatively and educationally refined integralites. It seems there are good practical reasons, at least up front, for Wilber's propagandistic instinct to favor a sentimental mood of positivity and so-called "post-deconstruction" associated with both/and.

So which phrasing is the most inclusive... the one which favors the more precisely inclusive individuals or the one which sells a more common and pleasing, if somewhat simplistic, version?



theurj said:

Kennilingus has a tendency in the 'both/and' to engage the metaphysics of presence that I've explored at length in the forum in various threads. This sort of dualistic metaphysics between absolute and relative is different from a metaphysics of both/and/neither/nor. The latter is more about mutual entailment and includes 'absence' or the withdrawn in ways discussed in the OOO thread and elsewhere, not at all akin to the sort of Causal Absolute formulated in kennilingus. If one is still holding to the latter their entire metaphysics is tainted and some of the other 2nd-tier characteristics could be just enthusiastic adherence to a more complicated but less complex 1st-tier structure.

And I'd argue, consistent with developmental research, that so-called 2nd-tier is a rare occurrence and not at all as common as it might indicate from the answers to the questionnaire. And that many who so answer are more likely still in formal operations. Recall Cook-Greuter from this post and the one following, re-posted below:

"I suggest that a more complex view must include notions of fundamental 'uncertainty', existential paradox, and the nature of interdependent polar opposites as a basis for making its claims. In terms of its understanding of humans, integral evolutionary assertions sound more as coming from a formal operational, self-authoring, analytical, and future-focused mindset than a truly second-tier one despite 'postconventional' content and worldcentric values" (17-18).

"In ego development terms, the spiritual evolutionary message thus looks more like a representation of the shift from early conventional meaning making to a conventional, more adult mindset with many 'self-authoring' undertones --a far cry from a second-tier realization" (14).

I was wondering if, and was going to suggest that, maybe Layman is looking -- not necessarily for folks with abiding second-tier realization, but for people who identify broadly with a suite of values and orientations as a "sociocultural type."  Looking for a host of integral-friendly "allies" who might actually span several stages of development...which would be a fair goal.  But in which case, maybe the name of the quiz should be changed ...

It might be of value to revisit this post and following from the non-SDi SD folks.

And this post and the one following.

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