Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Zak Stein did a measurement study of how JFK graduate students in integral theory and practice programs thought about AQAL. This from p. 8 is interesting: "Also examined was the relation between Integral Life Practice and Lectical Level. Level scores were neither correlated with with any meditative, body, or shadow practices, nor the number of Ken Wilber books read." The following indicates that knowing the model itself does not generate higher order understanding. E.g., from p. 15: "There are clear developmental differences in the ways in which individuals in this sample understand integral theory and practice." And akin to the Mascolo article, one area of the study was significant: Those who stereotype individuals, or worse cultures, within a particular level or color is antithetical to higher cognitive complexity, and if fact inhibits it (18).
From p. 6 of Mascolo: "It follows that individuals never operate at any single level of development. Instead, they operate within a developmental range – a series of levels that vary with task, domain, context, emotional state, and so forth. Given such dynamic variation, there can be no broad-based stages of development. It is thus not helpful to think of a person or a person’s abilities as being 'in a stage' of development. Development does not move through a series of fixed steps; development operates more like a constructive Web."
This work questions the notion that one integrated worldview (or center of gravity) governs all our thoughts and actions, let alone that these worldviews evolve in a stage-like fashion. Therefore at any point in time one's worldview might indeed be a mixture from the so-called worldview stages, with any given one, or combination, manifesting depending on the context.
Recall Wilber used the cognitive line in the relative realm, and the idea of consciousness per se in the absolute realm, as the basis for a center of altitudinal gravity. There is no empirical research to support either notion. Wilber uses the COG concept based on the cognitive line and the highly related self-sense line, in that it provides an organizing center from which to measure the other lines. Hence the 'relative' side of the COG. Wilber also uses the concept of consciounsess per se, thing absolute realm that provides the so-called spiritual or involutionary matrix from which the relative depends. And what developmental dynamic systems says is that both are chimeras.
Returning to Stein's study, he analyzed how JFKU grad students framed the AQAL model in that particular context at that particular time. Note the chart on p. 5 of the levels, then the chart on p. 10 on the range of interpretations of the AQAL model in stages 10 through 13 (aka formal, systematic, meta-systematic, paradigmatic; or orange, green, teal, turquoise). The notion of a 'center of gravity' for levels is, irony of all ironies, green relativism! And typical sophomoric interpretations of quadrants and levels are orange!
Note the descriptions of a post-metaphysical take on levels and quadrants in level 13. That sounds like a few of the contributors to this forum (and the FB version). At least at certain times and/or in certain contexts!
"At this level, reasoning about the quadrants involves a radical and quasi-transcendental multi-perspectivalism, which is made explicit in terms of a widely applicable post-metaphysical mode of meta-theoretical argumentation. In light of this background, attention is brought to the provisional nature of all methods and models, especially meta-theoretical ones. Integral Theory is broadly construed as a polycentric and evolving network of ideas catalyzed by certain highly normative principles and practices."
"At this level, reasoning about levels involves the adoption of a post-metaphysical stance toward the task of evaluating people. The provisional, bounded, and multi-perspectival nature of all models and methods is admitted and a set of meta-theoretical principles guides a recursive process of continually refining developmental models and methods in terms of both theory and practice. A broad and explicit philosophical discourse comes to supplement evaluate discussions concerning the notion of "growth to goodness," as the human potentials that characterize the highest levels and the future of civilization are seen as collective constructions for which we