Personal Growth and Development

I’ve been reading some Ken Wilber lately; refamiliarizing myself with his theories after some time away. If you’re not familiar with his work I highly suggest checking it out. It’s really fascinating stuff.

Here’s a snapshot of a couple of his ideas that you can think about in the context of your ongoing personal growth: The four quadrants and the lines of development…

One important thing to keep in mind when we’re doing our internal work, according to Wilber, is that the intentional world of the individual (i.e., what’s happening on the inside) needs to be taken in context with the behavioral, cultural, and social worlds.

Each of these four quadrants, as he calls them (intentional, behavioral, cultural, and social), interacts with one another and cannot be separated. In other words, what you feel, think, experience, etc. is directly impacted by what you do; as well as by the expectations and norms of the culture and society in which you’re immersed – and vica versa.

Similarly, no one quadrant can be reduced to the other; as modern science tries to do (according to Wilber) by focusing only on the directly observable world at the expense of the subjective world of the individual.

Another piece of Wilber’s view is the idea that development takes place along numerous, relatively independent lines; and that some lines might be more developed than others. For example, he writes, a sociopath might be highly developed cognitively, but not so much morally. Similarly, we here stories all the time about men of the cloth who are presumably quite developed along the line of spirituality, but not so much in other areas important to ethical behavior and impulse control.

I’m drawn to these models because they offer me a clearer and more comprehensive way of understanding myself and the world. They help me remember that all things are interconnected; a well as identify where I can best focus my efforts at any given time for my own continuing development.

If you decide to check these theories out (or if you already know and love or hate them), I’d love to hear your thoughts!