Rough notes, if anyone is interested email me and I'll finish sooner.

I have a few notes on this at Ken Wilber - Notes And Observations And Interpreting It My Way (my = Keith).  This includes the stages delineated as well as the stages in personality types in other personality tests and theories.

Below, where I deviate from his ideas to my interpretations and comments, I italicize the sentences.  The page numbers are in the best book for you to look at first: The Integral Vision.  I recommend buying it if you are willing to get further into it, but for most of you it will be superfluous, as this site covers all that is needed in a practical sense.

Philosophy can be so "deep" and intellectual at times that it seems insurmountable or hardly understandable.  He allows for all dimensions, even the supranatural, leaving me in the dust, stuck in the world of "reality" and not even trying to levitate.

In order to have things go well in life and in the world we need to integrate such that all aspects of ourselves, our thinking, ideas, and how the world works are an effective whole - integrity, which integrates it all into one "integral" whole, which he calls the Integral Operating System or ios (before Apple's ios system).  We need to get our personal self organized, healthy, and operating effectively and then begin looking at how our understanding of emotions and psychology and physics and economics can be blended, with each area's effectiveness being increased.  (Which I agree with, before we get outside what I call the reality of the world.)

"In short, the Integral Approach is the coherent organization, coordination, and  harmonization of all of the relevant practices, methodologies, and experiences, available to human beings.  Ken Wilber states “You can’t [realistically] honor various methods and fields, without showing how they fit together. That is how to make a genuine world philosophy”.   (Which, of course, makes sense.)

Keith comment: That's all good and nice and useful "to the world" (to get beyond "self-interest to just a "global mind" in one's self but beyond it), but us humans must first do the integration process on ourselves and fulfill our own needs and desires of value before we can do much for the world. [Like the idea of not putting the cart in front of the horse, we want to jump to doing for the world what we have not yet done for ourselves - which is, in my opinion, foolish and costly and results in ineffectivenes while trying to be "nice" and pleasing to those in society.  It is a good attempt at being "nice" - but "nice" with no true integrated personal power ends up in a mass of personal ineffectiveness.]

Our first job, in a sense, is to grow out of Tier I to Tier 2 (defined below), at which stage one is capable of "creating forward" - which means we don't seek to have someone else tell us what to do and serve things up in a simplistic manner, we actually proactively put things together, question things, think things out, and plan and implement to create the results we want in the world.

In my opinion, this is the only way to live, the only way to fully live the life that is available and to not waste it away in "escape", "excess", "recovering from bad actions and unnecessary mistakes", "suffering from the effects of keeping one's problems instead of solving them", and such..

Wilber estimates that 2% of the population is in Tier 2.  But with a deep practice of meditation (where one is assumedly being conscious of one's consciousness and thinking and the mythical nature of some of our thoughts) that number can rise to 38% (which I think would be enough to lock in world peace).

A good sized number of people believe they are in Tier 2 because they "think about benefiting nature and animals", but they may only be at a higher level in only one aspect and not the others.  Sometimes they are caught in the lower tiers of believing thy are right and unquestioning the social-cultural beliefs and "shoulds", "good/bad" and "right/wrongs".  To actually be in Tier 2, one must be at the Tier 2 level in all aspects.

And the test of whether someone is in Tier 2 lies always not in how nice or "high-minded" they are trying to be, but in the results they produce in life.  In other words, look at the person's (or your own) life and whether the person is mostly "surviving" or mostly "thriving" (living life at a higher level of life, with few unsolved problems, and lots of good results in life).

The "aspects" (p. 170-171) are:  (I inserted comments related to what would be in Tier 2 levels.)  You could rate yourself in each one on a 1-10 basis, 10 being "having arrived at high Tier 2".

__ Cognitive thinking (rational, fact-based, not subject to the thinking errors)
__ Emotional/psychological (able to manage one's emotions, feeling few negative emotions)
__ Social (Integrates well with and cooperates well with others, able to team well)
__ Spiritual (Compassion, empathy, seeing and accepting people, not "spirits")
__ Physical (excellent health, energy, nutrition, exercising)

For Tier 2 people, their standard for homeostasis is at the levels of functioning listed above, in each area, not just one or two or three.  The homeostasis is maintained (and quickly returned to) in each aspect's Tier 2 level AND is also done with the overall balance.  They live, almost all the time, completely in The Power Zone of homeostasis.  Balance is maintained at all times (cool, calm, collected, higher thinking, and powerful!). They might say something like this, as a sort of affirmation or declaration:  I make certain that I am always calm, thoughtful, centered in my own power, alert...and I accept nothing less!"

(The following, which I have not put in italics, is all my interpretation and use of this philosophical "viewing point.")


You cannot be at Tier 2 if you remain in the "non-thinking" levels of cognition.  In Tier 2 you are integrating the principles in different fields of science, interpreting them in the context of how they rationally and factually apply to life.  You are not subject to the "thinking errors".

You study and integrate "sufficient" study to understand how economics is actually the study of human behavior and how to gain the most "satisfaction" and "units of value" out of life.  You learn about "productivity", not of widgets or money, but how to get the best value out of life, as in my book "Life Value Productivity" (link to it from Books).  (See The Economics Of Life.)

You study and integrate basic physics into your life, in terms of understanding the reality of cause and effect and that all things occur in "chains", and that to get results one must design better systems (belief systems, doing systems, thinking systems). (See The Elementary Physics Of Life.)

You study and integrate what you learn into your life by learning about "how things work" and "how to work them", starting with the overview piece about the mechanical nature of the brain and body.  You study and integrate into your life the mechanics of Emotion Management (often called Emotional Intelligence), for without skill in this, one can certainly not attain a higher level of living - this is a "keystone" skill for life.

If you are to be living at a Tier 2 level, you study and integrate "sufficient" basic thinking skills into your life so that you can create effective ways to get what you want or to eliminate what you don't want. You spend more time in this seemingly ethereal area, because this area is both broad and also the most effective way for creating a great life. If you can't "think" at Tier 2 level, you can't possibly create a great life.  You "think" your way to a higher life.  You stop and examine life and ask "What is a better way of obtaining what I want in life?".  Then, to answer that question, you use your "Effective Thinking" skills.  You use your "Problem Solving" skills to develop potential solutions and then you use your Decision Making skills to make an effective decision and a true commitment.  You use already created guides, checklists, models, and the many forms on The Site. You use your Effective Learning skills to learn what is needed. You "see through" what is not true and then seek, to the extent it is worth it, to establish the truth, in order to run all aspects of life and interactions at a high level.

In Tier 2, you know about "impulses" and primitive thinking such that you can correct the untruths and the harmful thinking and you act upon what is in your best interest because you have learned Self Control

You look at life from a higher perspective.  You learn to see how things fit together (or "synergize") to make life work the best.  You do regular "thinking ahead" (which includes regular planning).  You always think 80/20 and run your life on that principle, discarding that which is a lower value use of life!

Higher cognitive thinking is what leads you to do the other aspects of life well.  You apply it to your physical well-being, your emotional management, your beliefs,your ability to create sufficient material support (eating, shelter, money), your relationship skills, forming your philosophy of life, and to all of your systems in life that support you in having a greater life.

The stages of development, modified here for explanation, are illustrated by:

Impulses, emotions "govern" - Reactivity
Believe in magic
Believe in myth
My beliefs are right (but unquestioned and taken without thought) and other people are
   wrong (shades of politics!)
Pluralism (Right/wrong, good/bad, judgmental)
Beginning and increasing "awareness", which goes hand in hand with the next level.
Rational, objective, factual, higher brain use, realize pluralism is not valid, reduced
  reactivity and more self control and self determination; No Fault; Workability Not
  Good Bad; 100% Responsibility and self generation; Reality-based;  Plan and create
  the future (in control); use The Pause (taking control)
Wisdom governs

[The way you would read the implied "mini-book" here is to follow and read the links in the order they are presented, going as deeply as you need to go to fully understand and use these.]


While "ivory tower" thinking (up in the intellectual clouds of clouded, unrealistic, metaphysical thinking) will provide some valuable insights, I look at it as a "viewpoint generator" or a colorful theorizing canvas, from which I take it down to the level of my more simplistic thinking that requires that there be a practical use (a result) from each "cognization".  So I scan/read some wonderful sounding stuff and pick and choose from the ideas and then rephrase them into what I think will be more useful for me (and for you, hopefully). 

There's alot of "good stuff" on the Integral Leadership site, wherein I am reading, as I write this piece, What Is Second Tier: Power And Perspectives Available To Leaders At Second Tier, from which I wrote the Higher Cognitive Thinking Is Required section, above.

Notes that I may integrate later. 

I will use the term "stage" (which he refers to also as "wave").

"Wilber identifies four factors that facilitate personal transformation, fulfillment, dissonance, insight, and opening. 

“Fulfillment means that the individual has generally fulfilled the basic tasks of a given stage or wave.”  When this happens the person “is open to transformation” which is then facilitated by some sort of dissonance.  “The new wave is struggling to emerge, the old wave is struggling to hang on, and the individual feels torn, feels dissonance, feels pulled in several directions.”  Eventually, out of the dissonance comes “insight into the situation—insight into what one actually wants, and insight into what reality actually offers.  …  Finally, if all of those factors fall into place, then an opening to the next wave of consciousness—deeper, higher, wider, more encompassing—becomes possible.”   (

...who already feel some sort of dissonance with their present state', see that there is more and that this is not enough....

The integral vision helps provide us with insight, and thus helps us overcome dissonance and face toward our own deeper and wider opening - from a higher perspective we look at the overall and all the pieces... see how they all interact and 'collide'. 

He calls for a practice that exercises “physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual waves in self, culture, and nature. Regarding the self, he suggests such practices as “physical exercise (weightlifting, diet, jogging, yoga), emotional exercises (qi gong, counseling, psychotherapy), mental exercises (affirmation, visualization), and spiritual exercises (meditation, contemplative prayer).”  Moving to culture, he suggests getting involved in community service of various kinds, and making use of “mutual respectful dialogue” and relationships in general to further our own growth and the growth of others.  In the arena of nature, Wilber suggests getting involved in activities which respect nature such as recycling, environmental protection, and nature celebration—activities which both honor nature and promote our own capacity to care.  Regarding the importance of meditation, he says, “It has been shown…that meditation increases the percentage of the population who are at second tier from less than 2 percent to an astonishing 38 percent.” 

“Even if every society on earth were established fully at second tier, nonetheless every infant born in every society still has to start at level 1, at beige, at sensorimotor instincts and perceptions, and then must grow and evolve through purple, magic, red and blue myth, orange rationalism, green sensitivity and into yellow and turquoise second tier (on the way to transpersonal).  All of those waves have important tasks and functions; all of them are taken up and included in subsequent waves; none of them can be bypassed; and none of them can be demeaned without grave consequences to self and society.  The health of the entire spiral is the prime directive, not preferential treatment for any one level.”

"I". self and consciousness: instinctual (child), magic (child), egocentric (child +), mythical, achiever, sensitive, integral, holistic
'IT"  brain and organism (my "machine") - utilize at higher and higher levels...
'ITS" - social system and environment - we become aware and then figure out how to make it work and how it works (i.e. don't destroy environment)
WE - culture and world view - rising cultures from primitive to power to rational to integral

none of them can be bypassed;
transformative” or “deep” spirituality that “involves the direct investigation of the experiential evidence disclosed in the higher stages of conscious development

Development in the various streams does not necessarily occur at the same rate.  A problem that Wilber calls Boomeritis occurs when a high level of development (green—sensitivity) in the cognitive and moral streams is accompanied by a low level of development (red—egocentricity and narcissism) in the self-identity stream.


The Essential Ken Wilber, by Ken Wilber - Brian Johnson summary on video (9:58)

Integral:  Integrate cultures, ideas, synthesizing ideas from all the great teachers..

Spiral dynamics different culture and individuals - culture before any laws to laws (Moses) to fundamentalism to more rational scientific (wall street academia, to seeing unity and oneness among all peoples.

You are right and they are wrong (in any level) - Everyone disagrees with every one else.

Move to 2nd tier of consciousness - to a yes, and - how do we merge the best of each...take the partial truths from each person...

States and stages - state experience of being on fire , it all comes together, see what is possible
that's nice but must develop it into a stage... otherwise fizzle - diligently develop habit to move state of development up so becomes who we are.

Are you going after state experience
spacious human being
months years decades

translate state into a stage

integral stage transcending our ego but including it.  it is impossible... plug it into source.

If ordinary people don't perceive that our grand ideas are working in their lives then they can't develop the higher level of consciousness, to use a term that American philosopher Ken Wilber wrote a whole book about. He said, you know, the problem is the world needs to be more integrated, but it requires a consciousness that's way up here, and an ability to see beyond the differences among us."
-President Bill Clinton

Wilber explains the need for an Integral Approach in the following way: In our current post-modern world, we possess an abundance of methodologies and practices belonging to a multitude of fields and knowledge traditions. What is utterly lacking however, is a coherent organization, and coordination, of all these various practices, as well as their respective data-sets.

Note the similarities with Abraham Maslow's Pyramid, which is used along with a few other "stages" of development theories (p. 112 - 113 in his book).

The Tiers And Stages Of  Living And Being - Where Are You At And Where Are You Committed To Being?

Diagrams in the book

Page numbers in the book The Integral Vision

p. 71 & 72 The Quadrants - The core of it all
P.112-113 Development theories, next to each other
P. 151 - AQAL - A different "viewing" of the quadrants
170-171 - Integral Life Practice Matrix - The core modules and auxiliary modules of life.  Useful and a good overviewing.

Exterior links

(These can end up "broken", so you might have to enter the term in your browser search engine)

An Overview Of Integral Theory 

The Four Quadrants: Individual, Collective, Interior, and Exterior