What is your deepest wish?  When you are in your favorite place of peace and feel into your deepest heart and soul, what do you wish for?  What are the things that make you happy?  What are the leading edges of those joys--how can they grow?  What is there to grow into?  What vastness?  What love?  What fun?  What secrets of the universe?  What natural highs?

Integral theory is like Maslow's developmental hierarchy of needs (not identical).  First, as adults, we must meet our survival needs by finding a job, a career.  Most will want love, perhaps a family. We'll want good health and safety.  Problems of all kinds arise, and they hurt us, and we want, need, to solve them.  In short, we are nouns in process, beings having experiences and manifesting in the local world.  Some people want to grow; others have it foisted upon them.  In this states-of-consciousness-based interpretation of Integral theory, consciousness manifests in the everyday world, underpinned by a fundamental kosmic eros moving, as us, through outward arc and inward arc. leaving home and coming Home, as person, species, and totality of Being. So after survival needs come being needs.  Otherwise, we'll want more physical things and experiences, OK as far as it goes, but eventually (perhaps like "Richard Cory"), we'll ask the existential questions.  That is the emergent stage after modern logical scientific materialism, where thought and feeling are well individuated from each other.  "Include and transcend": the edges of hard cognition and analogical  emotion morph (while also staying separable) into flow, insight, felt sense, creativity, and intuition (see Stages).  

We grow in consciousness, in depth and span (cf. Wilber's 20 tenets in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality).  We don't have to become cognitive geniuses to grow wise, although giftedness is an extra gift.  But perhaps all the other lines have their associated special talents.  We grow into our greatest talents as we develop them, from high diving to music composing to energy healing to supra-abundant mental health, or demigod-like morals and love.  The unique combination of talents in each person can be freed up from wounds and knots of the past, in psychotherapy.  We may not become famous, but the excitement of discovery (aka lifelong development) keeps life spontaneous and new.  


                                                                             Next:  Lines of Development

I once asked Ken for his definition of wisdom.  He said, "It's what the person at the next stage knows that you don't." 

Am I immature, crazy,
          or stupid?

Revel in the level til transformation comes along.

Wisdom: Smart, Mature, or Supra-Healthy?

   Not Integral
     like me.*

*Freud's attitude illustrates phobos intead of agape (Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, pp. 341, 350).


      Whither my psychograph?

Integral Psychology NY


   Jane Loevinger:

  "In a small, unpublished study, I once found a range of ego levels in 

   a group of "educable retarded" school children, including some at

   the Self-Aware level, although most were preConformist." 

    Loevinger, J. "Completing a Life Sentence" (Chp. 16 in Westenberg, et al.,1998)

Maturity, Health, and Intelligence


You have to walk before you can run, know words before you can make sentences, feel basic emotions before integrated blends (like poignancy), and say, "I want a cookie" before asking, "who am I who loves cookies so much?"  Physically and psychologically, we start simple and become more complex.  We show rudimentary abilities as babies, then new abilities and forms not present before emerge and coalesce over time. 


For over a century, intelligence was synonymous with cognitive talent  (cf. fluid and crystallized intelligence and "g factor").  I.Q. is a measure of how intelligent you are compared with other people in your general age range.  Stages are implied to some extent, if a child can reason like someone older; but age progression stops in late adolescence/early adulthood, and it's talent from there on.  I.Q. tests mostly measure abstract logical reasoning on verbal, quantitative, and visual-spatial tasks.  Scores are heavily weighted to favor processing speed and working memory, both of which are not developing capacities (showing stages of increasing sophistication and complexity).  Howard Gardner might agree that his "intelligences" are closer to lines than I.Q., (see Ferrer et al., 2009; Jackson, 2009). 


Mental health was traditionally defined as the absence of symptoms or maladaptive behavior.  Marie Jahoda pioneered the idea of supra-mental health (Jahoda, 1958).  More recently, Positive Psychology carries this idea forward and lists components of exceptional psychological well-being, such as wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence (Peterson and Seligman, 2004)

We might agree that a wise person knows more, 

has life experiencewith relevant subjects (LR), can

handle some hard times and offer usefuladvice, shows

integrity, and seems compassionate toward everyone.

In  Positive Psychology, a wise adult has "perspective"

(Peterson & Seligman, 2004, p. 105).  Integrally, a wise

adult takes multiple, integrated perspectives (e.g.,

Ingersoll & Zeitler, 2010,  pp. 48-50).  The definitions

overlap and complement each other. But for Integralists,

we're never fully wise.  There's always more to grow into.