Category Archives: Psychological Evolution (Stages)

On Levels of Development (Part 2 of 2)

For those adults who make it to the level of development beyond the fully-formed-adult, everything they find meaningful is up for renegotiation. The people who go beyond the fully-formed-adult are never ultimately satisfied with any single “form” of anything, having long ago become suspicious when people claim that a single-way or best-system will last or will produce maximum impact. They think, “maximum to what end?” They think in huge scales and long timelines (thousands of years). They see the traces of the past thousand years in the everyday, and the tendrils of the next thousand by spotting outliers. Where the fully-formed-adult marshals their focus in order to achieve a goal, the transforming-adult uses the process of goal achievement in order to constantly learn. They accidentally do better because of this, maybe because their focus never becomes obsessive. Continue reading

Developmental Epicycling

An “epicycle” is an ancient Greek astronomical term that was used to explain the apparent retrograde motion of planets as see from Earth (they appeared to move backwards sometimes). Everyone assumed that planets had circular orbits, and it would take centuries to learn that they are elliptical. Something similar occurs in human development, where the self engages in behaviors abandoned long ago on it’s way towards new, more complex, and better ways of making sense of itself and the world. I began noticing this in my clients years ago, and the term “developmental epicycling” kept coming to mind, because this apparent regression to old behaviors (“retrograde behaviors”) only makes sense when you realize that it is a natural aspect of growing into a new self. Continue reading

On Levels of Development (Part 1 of 2)

For years people have told me that I should “write about levels the way you talk about them.” And for years I would send them a brief paper written by others. When I would circle back and ask about the paper, most of them persisted in their request that I write about levels the way that I talk about levels. This, then, is my attempt to write about these important developmental mindsets (or levels) as I might discuss them. Continue reading