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Saturday, November 23, 2013

We-space States vs We-space Stages

We-space States vs We-space Stages

This blogpost is one in a series of explorations about we-spaces, the most recent 7 stimulated by my participation in the Integral Living Room event, but going back before that. Here is the list of my previous 10 blogposts with the "we-space" tag:

I have been starting conversations here about a variety of distinctions which I believe can be useful in furthering humanity's capacity for "Collective Emergent Intelligence" as the next (and necessary) phase of our evolution. So let's start here to talk about a "parameter of description" which is "state vs stage."  

Is this distinction relevant? Probably, if we regard a "we-space" as a phenomenon of consciousness (though indeed it shows up in all quadrants.)

The Integral framework divides "states of consciousness" into gross, subtle, causal, and (at times regarded as distinct, and other times not) nondual. Stages of consciousness, are divided into the developmental structure-stages. And there are those folks like Terri O'Fallon who seek to usefully describe various ways these can weave together. 

Generally, my understanding is, that states of consciousness are accessible to/from any stage of consciousness, though experienced differently by each. And that over time, states frequently occupied, contribute to and become, "structure-stages" which are entire relatively stable (subject to development) worldviews/value-memes with their own ontological worldspaces.

So let's start with the assumption that "we-spaces" (as distinguished from both conversations and from cultures) can also be described as having states and stages, and the interactions/intersections of states and stages. What follows is tentative baby-steps toward any kind of really useful taxonomy.

We-spaces are groups composed of individuals. I can see a usefulness in characterizing both the individuals as such, and a group, as such. 

So for the sake of brevity here, let's assume that individuals have states and stages of "we-space" consciousness, and so do groups.

Let's also assume, which is questionable, that a person is unlikely to get into either a state or stage of consciousness in we-space which they can't fairly easily get into in their individual consciousness.

So then when regarding an individual, I might ask:
How easily can this person enter any particular we-space's state and/or stage (and with what adequacy of discernment about whether to get into a particular we-space at a particular time with/in a particular group?)

And regarding a particular ongoing group with a relatively stable membership, I might ask:
How often, how easily, and with what degree of intentionality does this group seem as a whole, to be operating in a particular we-space stage or state? I have made a beginning at characterizing, in a global way, what the two Second Tier We-spaces look like from the outside and feel like from the inside, and ditto the two Third-Tier We-spaces (using my own interpretations of Spiral Dynamics labels.) 

So it makes sense to assume that a group, in its we-space consciousness, can be in a temporary "state" or it can be in a "stage" -- namely a state it can easily access, and does so with regularity.

I've made a start in describing what the stages might look like, and implicit there are some descriptions which are probably "state" descriptions, but further than that, I haven't gone yet.

One sense: As a member of groups which have hit various states of we-space consciousness, I sometimes know subjectively "Oh, we are at a new greater degree of coherence, of emergence." Or I sense clearly that we have dropped into a less mature "state" as a group. I call these "states" because they come and go relatively quickly.

I have also been in groups with stable membership, small membership, which pretty regularly operate in what I would consider Turquoise We-spaces, so that feels like group "stage." It does require that the individuals are relatively often operating in Turquoise-stage consciousness in their own lives. 

Perhaps the main point I want to make in this whole blogpost is that we cannot assume that because a group is operating at a particular level of we-space at a given time, that level is available to it as a structure-stage. It is most probably a temporary state available to the group just at that particular time. It takes a lot more work to attain a stage, as a group, and whether a stage is attained depends on the stages of the individuals, not just the states they might find themselves in occasionally.

So, what would you say about all this ????????

(And there are all sorts of complexities such as group autopoetic patterns which tend to pull them "down" but which CAN operate to pull them "up," with the right processes in place. Someday we'll know more about these matters.)

by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
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Darren King said...

Interesting ideas expressed here. My understanding is not so much that WE Space experiences are different in themselves for people at different levels of development, but that the interpretations of said experiences are determined by the stage structure of the particular individual. And perhaps that's just semantics. It may amount to just about the same thing. But, that said, a skilled WS practitioner of a higher stage, should be able to translate the experiences expressed by those at a lower stage, yes? curious for people's thoughts on this. Thanks for fostering this conversation!

"Amplifying Divine Light in All" Church said...

Hi Darren, thanks for finding your way here and leaving a great comment! I guess it's an open question, whether your two possibilities amount to the same thing. I agree that anyone at a later stage would, in theory, be able to express and articulate experiences of those at earlier stages, within the limits of individuality.

Your questions, along with others recently, have catalyzed my next blogpost, which is simply a list of questions about the we-space/collective emergent intelligence phenomenon -- questions with almost no answers available yet!!!!!

What have been your experiences and in what contexts do you experience and perhaps study this phenomenon?