Welcome! How to Use This Blog

A most heartfelt welcome to you!
There is a Welcome textbox on the side which will direct you to my definitions of terms (not available yet,) and other orienting matters. Please note this is all still under construction. Do check back or FOLLOW!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

How Second Tier Functioning Might Show Up in Group Processes

How Second Tier Functioning Might Show Up
in Group Processes

Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D.

Head Minister, “Amplifying Divine Light in All” Church

Version November 3, 2011  


There is no order to the items below.
These descriptions do not distinguish what might be from the Yellow/Teal/Integral stage and what might be from the Turquoise stage or even Third Tier stages. If pressed, I would say that most of the description is of manifestations of late Second Tier and early Third Tier awareness.

The items are discussed primarily in the context of an ongoing committed community, but are generalizable.

These are all simply speculation, based on anecdotal observations by a few people, and are also NOT an exhaustive description of how a Second-Tier community might show up. 

Also, these are not the ONLY characteristics of any group; the focus here is on characteristics which would be unique to a group largely coming from Second-Tier awareness. Healthy characteristics flowing from less mature stages of awareness are not included in this list.

Please note these are not paths or ways to GET TO being a Second Tier community. These cannot be “done” by a First-Tier community. They are characteristics of a community already operating in Second-Tier awareness. They are phenomena which show up.

Any shorthand phrases to the contrary, there is no such thing as A “Second-Tier individual” or A “Second-Tier group” – or any other stage. There are more or less distinguishable kinds of awareness which express or can be discerned, more or less often, in individuals and groups, from time to time.

The purpose of this list is purely heuristic, to stimulate thought and discussion. Feedback, comments, suggestions, greatly welcome!


1.   Circumstances and events shift for the individuals in serendipitous or synchronistic ways so that everyone’s needs and desires are met unexpectedly. Things start to operate in an automatically “win-win-win” manner, no matter what is apparently happening at first glance. Agreements, commitments, and procedures flow naturally, with no routine need for formal handling of “broken agreements.”

2.   The same ideas, thoughts, proposals, and suggestions  often occur to more than one person at a time, as if some sort of force or larger reality processes are operating to bring this about for the benefit of all and of the world.

3.   With minimal conscious effort, conversations build towards shared purposes for the individuals involved and for the group or community. As a result, commonly held commitments emerge spontaneously and easily.

4.   Division of labor according to individual talents, circumstances, and desires arises easily and spontaneously, so that when a common task or activity is set, the actions necessary to carry it out, the authorities and responsibilities needed, are taken on by the best-suited people, and these delegations are felt as “right” by all involved.

5.   The people involved enjoy one another, bring out the best in one another, and there is a great deal of acknowledgment and affection displayed. The community is experienced as a joyful place to be.

6.   At the same time, there is a great deal of fearlessness and interpersonal honesty. People feel safe with one another, to be fully themselves, and as everyone is committed to personal growth, everyone gives and receives feedback and coaching easily and lovingly.

7.   Intimacy and trust are fostered with minimal difficulty. Relationships blossom and deepen, and connectedness between all of the members develops seemingly on its own, with its own momentum, in such a manner as to ever-deepen the bonding of everybody together.

8.   Events that look bad or detrimental for the community turn out to be good for it. Similarly, differences among individuals end up being positively synergistic for the well-being and growth of the individuals and of the community, rather than being detrimental or divisive. Everyone perceives this because they see Big Pictures and Long-term, even though there are disagreements, differences, arguments, in the short term.

9.   Things that happen for individuals facilitate the good of the community’s unfolding, growth, and evolution.

10.                Mutual respect and appreciation develop among the members in a naturally flowing manner.

11.                It is recognized that individuals can be deeply involved in more than one community. Synergy among communities is an important part of the life of the community.  The community is consciously cultivating its harmonious relationships and ‘ecological balance’ or even ecological synergy, with the larger world.

12.                Individuals are motivated to study the characterstics and lifecycle and governance and other matters relating to groups which ever-enrich the community experience. It is expected that the community, as well as the individuals, will be in a constant process of growth and development, and will not remain static, even in its principles, values, and operating system.  It is also recognized that impetus to growth can come from unexpected sources, and can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.

13.                There are known (and previously unknown but spontaneously-emerging) self-healing mechanisms by which the community as an entity repairs wounds from inside or outside forces.

14.                “Miracles” begin to abound in the lives of the individuals and of the community. Extremely improbable benefits and events keep occurring that enhance the lives of individuals and the life of the community.

15.                Individuals are naturally motivated to learn and practice whatever will contribute to the health of the community, and to the healthy and ever-more-powerful and effective expression of its ever-evolving purposes, principles, values, and operating system. These purposes, principles, and values are co-created and mutually understood. These are developed with consciously cultivated constant attention and inquiry into the characteristics of the community as a conscious Being independent of the particular members involved.

16.                There is a recognized (even if not cognized) inter-subjective “we” “field”/Being which transcends and includes the individuals, such that the interface of individual and group is one of (paradoxically both) identity and synergy, without in any way diminishing the autonomy and agency of individuals.  Everyone begins to experience their individual self as “one of their legs” and the community as their “other leg.”

17.                The community has healthy boundaries and seems, almost on its own, to draw compatible people and repel uncompatible ones. Individuals come and go in ways and in timings which miraculously seem to be best for all concerned. The boundary between “insiders” and “outsiders” is dynamic, fluid, permeable, and synergistic for the well-being of all involved.

18.                The community is able to function in its purposes with people at many levels or stages of their individual development, having in place (ever-evolvingly) systems for guiding them and bringing out their best. There is no need nor requirement for every member to be, individually, at a Second Tier stage. Yet, most of the individuals are, and some individuals are operating from Third Tier stages. It is recognized that, depending on the overarching purpose of a community itself, a particular mixture of stages among members is optimal for serving that particular purpose.

19.                Attention is given to consciously incorporating healthy expressions and experiences from every stage of the spiral, and every state-stage, and attention is constantly given to developing ever-increasingly effective ways of helping individuals and the community to increase the health of any unhealthy residues, via ‘shadow-work.”

20.                The individuals experience the community as a place which facilitates and amplifies their ability to know, express, and accomplish their Life Purpose.

21.                The community is both a “space” which nurtures and supports collaborative projects involving members and non-members, and an active “agent” in the world speaking with its own single voice. This dynamic between those two more feminine and more masculine characteristics is constantly shifting and constantly being consciously cultivated.

22.                The community’s Being is served by the Being of the members. In other words, behavior within the community arises naturally from who the members are as Beings, who they are Being, as natural expressions of their Being, rather than in any way being imposed or enforced or rewarded or punished, or “going along with the crowd” or any kind of fear-based adaptation or covert control mechanisms, no matter how co-dependently those might be desired.

23.                There is a policy of bringing covert patterns/habits of group communication into awareness so they may become healthier and higher-functioning.  Community-level shadow is constantly being made more conscious and healthier. The community constantly matures in consciousness, being able to take wider perspectives, set wiser priorities, and every other characteristic of community health. Community health is a top priority.

24.                The flow of information among members is free and unconstrained, flowing according to the needs, purposes, and desires at hand. Information flows naturally where and as it is needed for optimal functioning. There are no gatekeepers, no black holes, no filterers, no controllers, no withholders. The entire flow of information is a dynamic process which is constantly evolving and improving.

25.                Leaderships  emerge situationally, among those having the qualities – or being willing to develop the qualities – needed for the tasks and projects at hand, long-term or short-term. Leadership is generally temporary, and generally leadership functions are distributed among several people when that is optimal for the purpose at hand.

Characteristics the community might have from the perspective of the individuals involved:

We feel comfortable and safe within the community. We feel real benevolence ongoingly permeating there.

We are welcomed by the other people there, and valued, and admired and given rightful recognition.

We feel the other people there as peers.

We function with them synergistically, cooperatively, collaboratively, with unfailing (even if not continuous in every moment) goodwill from all.

The people really have their shit together, and their functioning is not sabotaged by deep neurotic patterns.

The community enables us to function at full power, encourages and supports us in that. Full power, no more holding back. We experience that as a relief, rather than as scary. Our old self-downing programs drop away quickly.

The community enables us to be extremely or even maximally effective, of great beneficial impact.

The community draws on all our talents, which is exhilarating and satisfying and stretching. It even draws on talents we didn't even know we had until they are evoked by the need of the moment.

The community also draws on all of our spiritual wisdom and highest level of spiritual functioning; nothing less will work, in this community. Thus, the community calls forth in us the full multi-dimensionality of ourselves, and all the upper-dimensional support and synergy we are capable of.

The community offers big challenges, but we experience them as exhilarating, not debilitating or discouraging. We continue to grow in every aspect of ourselves, as we do our thing in this community.

It feels as if everything that has gone before was preparation for this all-out functioning. It feels less like “preparation” than any other place we have ever functioned in, though indeed it might still be preparation for an even bigger arena of life.

Nonetheless, we have an inner sense of THIS IS IT! I HAVE ARRIVED AT WHEREVER I WAS GOING.

by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
"Amplifying Divine Light in All" is a completely independent church fostering empowerment of people to co-create loving, thriving God-realized lives, and wellbeing for everyone, on a clean, peaceful Earth.
Our main religious purpose and mission is to amplify the Divine Light in everyone. When you read this article, you will agree or disagree with its various points, and then you will know more about what is true for you. Knowing more of your own Truth amplifies your Divine Light. Thus providing/presenting this article is one way for us to accomplish our purpose and mission. 
This article and our providing/presenting it are therefore a central and essential part of our exercise and practice of our religion. 
None of the contents herein are claimed as absolute truth. They represent one possible perspective which might prove useful for you.

All rights reserved under the Common Law. This means please respect our creatorship.


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

Notes from a Vision for Seattle Integral which probably contain some relevant insights or descriptions, but I haven’t gone over it yet.

1. Our personal relationships with one another are constantly deepening, and the number of those personal relationships is increasing for each of us. We love and admire most of the members, and respect all of them.

2. We often get together in ad hoc two's, three's, and more, for social, fun, spiritual, service, etc. activities.

3. There are active specific ongoing subgroups which are experienced as valuable and well-run. The topics of these subgroups varies over time, as people shift and change their interests. "Seattle Integral" is like an umbrella organization for these subgroups.

Examples might be subgroups focused on Interfacing with other similar groups, focused on Integral Politics, focused on discussions of Integral Theory, focused on Integral Relationships, focused on specific "service" projects uniquely ours to offer, etc.

4. We all admire the accomplishments of Ken Wilber, and find his ideas are an extremely valuable framework for living our lives. Yet we are all quite eclectic.

5. We are all passionately dedicated to expanding our own awareness; spiritual/personal growth is a prime value for all of us. We experience our participation in Seattle Integral as extremely valuable for our growth. We value embodiment of our spirituality and our values, and seek holistic lives in every sense of the term. And we support one another in embodying and being holistic.

6. We are all passionately dedicated to doing something to increase consciousness/uplift stages of the world, and we experience SeattleIntegral Community as both supportive of our doing that, and a synergistic focus for doing that with others. IOW we see the community as one of our personal instruments/means through which we can positively impact the world. (Yet most of us are spiritually mature enough to realize the world doesn't NEED "saving.")

7. Our actual monthly meetings include a variety of formats and topics. Sometimes outside speakers, sometimes inside speakers, sometimes focused conversations, sometimes problem-solving or direction-setting together, sometimes group exercises or activities (such as the gender conversations and the ingroup-outgroup exercise Joe Perez led one evening.) Meetings generally include reports of subgroup activities, and our meetings often spark new formal or informal smaller ad hoc group activities or endeavors.

8. We feel part of, and in synergistic contact with, other foci of what might be called The Integral Movement all over the world. Ditto many other kinds of groups dedicated to improving the world.

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


9. Our leadership is decentralized, visionary, practical, efficient and effective, structured yet fluid, and constantly being upgraded. Our community "structure" reflects the highest most mature organizational "anatomy and physiology" we are aware of, available in the world. We constantly incorporate more of the best the world currently has to offer as models and ways of organizational functioning. Each of us takes responsibility for this, and perhaps there is a subgroup focused on it.

10. At our formal and informal, large and small meetings and get-togethers, we dare to show up as all of who we are, as the best and sometimes worst of who we are, and we give respectful space for others to do the same. This includes not just wrt our dark shadows, but also our "golden shadows," which we encourage, support, and evoke from one another. This includes not just respect for those less mature than we are, but also space and respect for those more mature than we are.

11. We are as concerned with how we relate and function as we are with the content. We seek to embody Integral (or more mature stages) in our own lives, and to embody it specifically within our community functioning. Thus, we sometimes spend meeting time discussing process, such as what Integral communication looks like for us. And thus we also pay attention, individually and as a group, formally and informally, explicitly and implicitly, to the flows of energy in the community, and seek to optimize these for the wellbeing of individuals and the community.

12. We are comfortable with the emergent evolving quality of our community, not seeking to mold it to our own individual agendas or to keep it "as is." We stay in a state of curiosity about how we are evolving, individually and jointly, and we follow a sense that there is more than the sum of our human minds at work/play in the consciousness-field of our community. We pay attention to whatever that "more" is, we respect and value its contribution.

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

Drat space limitations:
Continued to end:

13. We have explicit, definite, agreed-upon guidelines, based on shared and mutually-understood values, for relating to one another, and for resolving conflicts in the highest ways we are aware of. This places the need for SOME restraint in "showing up as all of who we are" wrt our dark shadows.

14. We have a conscious sense of "belonging" to a community, with certain rights and responsibilities. With a certain sense of commitment to the wellbeing of the collective, and also with a good awareness of the boundaries needed for our own wellbeing, our own needs and "rights." Many or most of us are constantly aware of the paradoxical dynamic of individual/group, and we study this, and constantly improve this. (One of Stefan's specialties.)

Each of us is willing to assume whatever responsibilities seem reasonable for us, rather than always "let someone else do it." And each of us assumes a sense of responsibility for fostering the wellbeing of the community as a Being, transcendent to the collection of individuals.

15. We laugh together often, and silliness is one of our values! We cry together, too. We are constantly finding better ways to amplify our synergies and synergize our differences (rather than using them to separate.)

16. Our membership is fluid, with new folks being welcomed, and we have ways of optimizing their valuable contributions to the community. People come and people go, but there is a sense of continuity, as many people stay. And in the comings and goings, and in the ongoing life of the community, there is a permeating sense of benevolence, compassion, goodwill.

------ I'm getting all teary just writing all this. And the wonderful thing is, I don't regard this vision as unrealistic or impossible. In fact, I see it as in process of evolving right now. "This or something better....." Delightfully unpredictable.

So what about you? What's similar or different in your personal vision? I know that what we end up with won't be an arithmetic or even algebraic sum of our personal visions, it will be a synergistic emergent beyond them all. So we won't arrive at some static vision we can all agree on; it'll be a never-ending co-creative process.