Measuring the Spectrum of Consciousness

The Developmental Code of the 3.1 Conscientious-Individualistic Person

The following PDF depicts the measures for the 3.1 Conscientious-Individualistic Stage in my model.

It seems to be the most important stage these days as it depicts the seeming center of gravity of western academic population, as much as that of many people in the integral scene. Nevertheless, when we deal with this stage we deal with the stage of most of the Upanishads, the Gospels, the Epistles of Paul and a stage prior to the axial age in ancient Greece most prominently represented by Plato and Aristotle. Though the late 3.1 Stage, i.e., the Pluralist, is often referred to as „Postmodern“ and the Achiever, i.e., the early 3.1 Stage, as „Modern“ we have to be clear on this: both stages are utterly pre-modern compared to the Western Enlightenment Philosophers and even pre-Christian when compared to the Church Fathers.

Up to now this is the most comprehensive and detailed overview of that stage so far, that I am aware of.

Below you can see an idealized comparison of that stage with these of other models. Why is it idealized? Most models don`t have explicit complexity criteria which makes assessments fluctuate around a certain phase of the larger stages. Below the PDF there will be some comparison examples to elucidate this.

The PDF includes the outcome of several years of research. Just the last two years I worked on differentiating an Inside and Outside View at each stage to counteract subordinationistic tendencies that claim that certain stages are made up of Inside Views – thus literally depriving them of certain capacities that are related to an Outside View. The existence of both types at each stage has been clear since the dawn of Western Philosophy in Greece – with the dichotomy between Platonist and Aristotelian systems – and discussed under the idea of Ascenders and Descenders by Ken Wilber in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality.

Within the Stage description however we differentiate additionally between the Inner and Outer Being: a more individual centered and a more collectively centered orientation at each subphase of the stage. This, too, serves to counteract the idea that there where stages dealing with individual objects and those dealing with collective objects, but the Inner and Outer Being are present at each Layer, Stage, and Phase of a Stage however, with different grammars that point towards incomplete reciprocity – an identical transformation, and a negative transformation – or complete reciprocity – and the inverse of the negative transformation, and a correlative transformation.


  1. Four Types of the 3.1 Conscientious-Individualistic Stage.
  2. Five Phases of the 3.1 Conscientious-Individualistic Stage.
  3. Sentence Level vs. Conceptual Complexity at the 3.1 Conscientious-Individualistic Stage.
  4. Differentiation towards later iterations of the identical transformation at the 4.1 Unitive-Individualistic and the 5.1 All-Non-Individualistic Stages.
  5. Multiple Examples from different times and different traditions for the four types.

Comparison with other Models

In the following you have a comparison with two other models: Terry O`Fallon`s STAGES and Kurt Fischer`s and Theo Dawson`s Dynamic Skill Theory. 

Comparison with other models seems to be most important to understand developmental theory and recognize the dangers and difficulties with each model. I don`t want to devaluate any model but it is important to point towards seeming faults and shortcomings. I myself have committed several mistakes in my assessment method that I recognized throughout this year when it cam to its transfer to the sentence completion test – basically through having mixed up different methods in my mind, e.g., that of Loevinger, Cook-Greuter and my own – which made many of my past sentence completion assessments at the earlier stages rather worthless. It is most uncommon to recognize mistakes if one restricts oneself to one`s own perspective, so this is an invitation for comparison and mutual critique.

STAGES by Terry O`Fallon

This is based on examples from Lynam, A. (2020). Principles and Practices for Developmentally Aware Teaching and Mentoring in Higher Education published in Integral Review. It shows problems with excluding a grammatical complexity criterion from developmental assessments. The same problems are obvious in Jane Loevinger`s and Susanne Cook-Greuter`s works.

Additional, since the 3.5 Clause deals with individual – but is grammatically not necessarily earlier than 4.0 Clauses – one might test for a confusion of the Inner Being and Outer Being at the 3.1 Stage as distinct phases of that stage. The same is true for 4.5 and 5.0 in regard to the 3.2 Autonomous Stage.

However, since there is no information about the altitude of the context of these single stems the overall assessment of these persons might differ – as pointed to where indications visible. With knowing the Loevinger manual however all the following assessment are in line with what to expect from the manual on Measuring Ego Development and Cook-Greuters Post-Autonomous Ego Development.

3.5 Achiever vs. 1st to 2nd Qtr. 3.1 – Additive „we grown and enhance“, with onset of Causality „as… then“:

[1st Rheme [1st Theme Education… is the lifeblood of society,] [2nd Theme as we learn we grow] [3rd Theme and enhance our ability to achieve our dreams and desires.]

4.0 Pluralist vs. 3rd Qtr. 3.1 – Comparative „less… and more“ with Genitival Source „of what life is“:

Education… is intrinsically satisfying. [1st Rheme [1st Theme For me, true education is less about facts (though valuable)] [2nd Theme and more about discovering the great principles] [3rd Theme of what life is about.]

4.0 Pluralist vs. 1st Qtr. 3.1 – Most likely Additive „It can be what? … and what?“ with Objectified 4th Qtr. 2.4 Instrumental as relative clause „through schooling“ or even a real 2.4 Conformity-Aware clause with semblative in „a life-long process“:

Odd 3.1 Solution: Education… is a life-long process. [1st Rheme [1st Theme It can be formal, through schooling and learning events,] [2nd Theme and it can be informal] [3rd Theme in the lessons learned each day.]

Odd 2.4 Solution: Education… is a life-long process. [1st Theme [1st Rheme: Subject It It can be formal,] [2nd Rheme: Degenerate through schooling and learning events,] [2nd Theme [2nd Rheme: Subject It and it can be informal] [4th Rheme: Degenerate in the lessons learned each day.]

4.0 Pluralist vs. 1st Qtr. 3.1 (with 4th Qtr. markers cannot be perfectly rated without context of other completions) – Parataxic as “Education, the System I work within,…” as well as „being reimagined and transformed“ as 1st Qtr. Participle Construction of “What is”, including a Categorial Judgments “as What? Namely, a learner centered and dialogical process“:

[1st Rheme [1st Theme Education…, the system I work within,] [2nd Theme is being reimagined and transformed] [3rd Theme as a learner-centered and dialogical process.]

4.5 Strategist vs. 3rd to 4th Qtr. 3.1 – 4th Quarter Antipassive Object becoming Subject “education system that facilitates”, including 3rd Quarter „both…and“ in “facilitates growth and teaches”, comparative, and qualitative “how”

Education… is essential for improving ourselves and the world. I think our current education system is pretty broken. [1st Rheme [1st Theme I want to see an education system] [2nd Theme that facilitates growth and teaches people how to learn and think,] [3rd Theme not regurgitate information and take tests.]] I want to see more embodied education.

4.5 Strategist vs. 1st Qtr. 3.2 Autonomous – two 3.1 Clauses imperfectly connected into a “What is” including parataxis:

[1st Rheme [1st Theme Education… Is vital,] [2nd Theme the more people are aware of what is happening in the world, how our actions impact others, the environment, etc.,] [3rd Theme the more likely we can continue to expand the understanding]] [2nd Theme [1st Theme that we are all interconnected,] [ 2nd Theme and our life is dependent on how] [3rd Theme we treat the Earth and its inhabitants.]]

4.5 Strategist vs. 4th Qtr. 3.1 with 1st Qtr. 3.2 Markers – Instrumental “grave mistake of assuming”:

[1st Rheme [1st Theme Education… is a critical aspect of our development (in all its forms, institutional campuses and from „life“)] [2nd Theme and only really ends when you’ve made the grave mistake of assuming] [3rd Theme you „understand it all“.]]

In the following you can see the problem of not including a grammatical complexity criterion for a stage. The following sentence could easily be replicated by someone at the 3.1 Conscientious-individualistic Stage though it is more likely a 3.2 Autonomous sentence – since a 4th Quarter 3.1 normally does not include temporal causality as in the example assessed above, where you have most likely the 3.2 Autonomous Person`s temporal causality within the 4th Quarter as well.

The lowest rating  for the following completion would be: 5.0 Construct-Aware vs. 4th Qtr. 3.1 – Locative as Semblative “lost in our self-repeating loops” which is feeding into Antipassive “of the thoughts we`ve thought”.

Education…is every moment when we are awake to this Life; [1st Rheme [1st Theme we’re only not learning] [2nd Theme when we’re lost in our self-repeating loop] [3rd Theme of the thoughts we’ve thought a million times before.]

Another problem that shows up with not using a complexity criterion is, that the following 5.5 Transpersonal rated stem is two stages later than the 3.1 Stage whereas all four: the 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0 can seemingly show up within a 3.1 Conscientious-Individualist Clause – though with the 4.5 seemingly later than the 3.5 and 4.0.

5.5 Transpersonal vs. 4th Qtr. 3.3 Integration-Oriented – Three integrated 3.1 Clauses: Antipassive with Object turning into Subject “processes, that then becomes”:

[1st Rheme [1st Theme Education… grows exponentially] [2nd Theme as one opens one’s mind to ever more possibilities,] [3rd Theme understands preconceived limitations of the concept of mind]] [2nd Rheme [1st Theme and Ellipsis: “One” actively dismantles them] [2nd Theme to allow even more unlimited awarenesses to arise,] [3rd Theme  breaking down contents into processes]] [3rd Rheme [1st Theme that then become the new contents] [2nd Theme with processes behind them] [3rd Theme until whole concepts and constructions of world and mind fall away completely.]]

Given these assessments the STAGES Model seems to have highly asymmetrical stage spans where people depending on their content can be earlier or later – this contradicts the basic assumption of development being based on deep structures and not on surface structures. May be the same mistake depicted in Kohlberg`s reflections on his career and model development.

Skill Theory by Fischer & Dawson

The assessments from Zachary van Rossum`s (2013) Dissertation on The Development of Social Perspective Taking and Leadership Decision-Making in City Government Managers shows a correlation between:

  1. The early 3.1 Conscientious-Individualist and Stage 10: Abstract Mappings.
  2. The late 3.1 Conscientious-Individualist and Stage 11: Abstract Systems.
  3. The early 3.2 Autonomous and Stage 12: Single-Principles.

The main issues here are that the stage correlations proposed by Lectica with other models, i.e., their foundation for claiming validity, don`t hold true as you see later. Both stage 10 and stage 11 correlate with the 3.1 Conscientious-Individualist however, stage 10 should correlate with Piaget`s formal operations at age 12 to 16 – the 2.4 Conformity-Aware Stage – where this trinitarian style of writing is not present but an equilibrated style.

However, it has to be noted that they claim to assess not based on sentence level complexity but based on the density and hierarchical complexity and integration of used concepts.

Stage 10 vs. 1st and 2nd Qtr. 3.1 – The first clause is a typical 1st Quarter 3.1 holding a 2.4 Equilibration within a mental state “The two most important things to consider are … and…”; the second clause introduces Temporal Causality “As … it will be important to…” and thus generate a 2nd Quarter:

[1st Rheme [1st Theme The two most important things to consider in this situation] [2nd Theme is the relationship that I (as the supervisor in the situation) have to build with the new manager] [3rd Theme and the sound relationship that I have built with my team.]] [1st Rheme [1st Theme As the City is implementing a new initiative to change the culture of the city government] [2nd Theme it will be important to adapt to my new manager’s style of leading] [3rd Theme while encouraging my staff to adapt to the changes.]] It will be important to know how the new manager expects the changes to occur and to implement these changes in a positive go forward basis.

Stage 11 vs. 3rd to 4th Qtr. 3.1 – The first sentence heads to a 4th Quarter Instrumental “in order to help build the relationship” and includes 3rd Quarter “both… and” in the form of “upset about the change and the way it was presented” as much as a qualitative perspective of “How?”; The final clause starts of from a 3rd Quarter Source “From these conversations” leading towards a 2nd Quarter Causality with 3rd Quarter Comparison “talk about how the definition of success has changed”:

[1st Rheme [1st Theme I would then talk to him about how the team was upset about the change and the way it was presented to them] [2nd Theme and ask if there is something] [3rd Theme we can do together to help build the relationship and trust about this culture change.]] After this meeting, I would talk to a mentor about how to build the relationship with the team and manager. [1st Rheme [1st Theme From these conversations, I would determine] [2nd Theme if it is best to meet with the team and the manager] [3rd Theme and talk about how the definition of success has changed.]]

Stage 12 vs. 4th Qtr. 3.1 to 1st Qtr. 3.2 – The first clause includes two 3.1 Sentences utilizing a lot of Categorial Judgments “ a manner that is” and “expectations that are” which makes it – including the adversative “even though” a good candidate for a 1st Quarter; the second clause is, too, quite Adversative “even though” and “without” while using the Instrumental “by letting employees” as much as 4th Quarter Locative “within”; the second last sentence includes multiple markers for 4th Quarter and 3rd Quarter as “balance the one with the other”:

[1st Rheme [1st Theme The first consideration is that] [2nd Theme even though on the surface your Branch appears to be productive] [3rd Theme and is meeting its goals,] [[1st Theme it is doing so in a manner] [that is not aligned with the broader corporate culture expectations] [3rd Theme that are very important to senior leadership.]] [1st Rheme [1st Theme You may have permitted a culture of isolation or superiority within your Branch] [2nd Theme by letting employees (even though highly skilled) dictate their culture] [3rd Theme without considering how this impacts the rest of the organization.]] Your role as leader is to ensure that your Branch meets its goals in alignment with the organization’s values. [1st Rheme [1st Theme The fact that senior leadership have hired a private sector executive into your supervisor’s position implies,] [2nd Theme that they lack confidence in your ability to see the bigger picture] [3rd Theme and to balance your Branch and employee goals and expectations with those of the broader organization.]] You may have even been overlooked for this promotion opportunity.

The following paragraph includes, too, a more additive sentence at 3.2 Autonomous – including some temporal causality – as much as a Parataxic overlay putting it between the 1st and 2nd Quarter at 3.2 Autonomous:

A second important element is that the new executive is making decisions affecting your Branch with no consultation with you and your employees. This appears to conflict with his goal of increasing collaboration since he did not seek any collaborative input into this decision. [1st Rheme [1st Theme This also undermines your role as leader and puts you in a difficult position as]] [2nd Rheme [1st Theme diminishes your role as manager] [2nd Theme when your supervisor unilaterally makes decisions] [3rd Theme that directly affect you and your employees.]] And it sends a message that he does not trust or have confidence in your ability to affect cultural change in your Branch.