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Bill’s travels, Bill’s complaints, and more clarity about development…

by / Monday, 05 November 2007 / Published in Uncategorized

In reading your posted comments, I sense that there’s still a lot of confusion about the developmental theory I’ve been discussing, which hopefully I will clear up in this post, so keep reading. First, a few comments about what’s been going on in my life, then a few words about your posts (I was just kidding about the complaining)…

I just returned from a 12-day trip. I spoke at Raymond Aaron’s The Truth About the Secret seminar in Los Angeles along with Lisa Nichols, Jack Canfield, and several other teachers, most of them from The Secret. I then flew to Austin, Texas, where I led our Fall Centerpointe retreat. In addition to all the meditations and all the group events, 90% of what I shared in my talks there was totally new information I’ve never spoken about before.

You’ll have a chance to hear the recordings of my talks in a few months.

Then I flew to Denver for a meeting of Ken Wilber’s Integral Spiritual Center, with some of THE top spiritual leaders in the world. THAT was amazing–some other time I’ll tell more about these incredible people. I’ve arranged to get on the phone with several of them and record the conversations, so you can meet them and learn from them in that way.

I’ll tell you how and when you can hear these conversations that in a future post.

I returned from all of this pretty wiped out and glad to be home and sleeping in my own bed again. Then, I noticed the 300+ comments you guys posted about what I wrote in my previous post about developmental levels and religion.

Let me make a few comments about your comments, and since I’m still learning how to do this, I want to set a few more ground-rules for the blog. Then, in a post I’ll make in a few days, I have something to share with you about The Secret.

First, thanks for your comments. I read every one of them. In fact, it took 8 hours to read them all. Because I just can’t take that much time once or twice a week and still get anything done, I need to ask a favor. As long as your comments are on-point, I’m happy to read all night and all day. But the idea here is to comment or ask questions about what I’ve written about.

This isn’t the place to ask questions about Holosync or tell me about your personal challenges, or to ask me to take care of something you have going on with Centerpointe (change your email, ask about your order, tell me about your Holosync experience or whatever). We have a terrific staff of people who answer such questions and help you with such things.

I wish I had time to help everyone individually, but I just don’t. So please call or email them with your Holosync questions (503 672-7117 or support@centerpointe.com) and they will be happy to help you.

I understand that many of you see this blog as a chance to interact with me, but in order to do this blog and share my thoughts with you, it has to be within certain parameters. With hundreds of thousands of people using Holosync, the only way we can do this is if my staff handles Holosync questions, support counseling questions, and general housekeeping concerns, and you restrict restrict your questions to what I’ve posted about.

Here’s something else I noticed. Almost all the questions asked about Holosync are answered in the support material or in the directions! This tells me that many of you aren’t reading the directions or the support letters. The whole reason for this stuff is so you’ll know what’s likely to happen when you use Holosync, why it happens, and how to deal with it–and so you’ll know things such as how long to use each level before you go on, and those sorts of things.

I wrote all this stuff to make sure you get all the possible benefits from Holosync. PLEASE take a few moments to read it. If you do, a lot will fall into place, I promise.

After 18 years, it’s rare to hear a question we haven’t heard before. For this reason, 99.999% of everything you need to know is addressed in the support materials. If you do read it and your question isn’t answered, please call or email support and they’ll help you.

Remember that we receive between 300 and 500 emails every day, and though we’re pretty fast at answering them, sometimes it might take a few days before you get a reply. If you call, we might have a huge influx of calls all at that same time, which means it’s possible that you might be on hold for a little while.

I’m sorry for that, since I don’t like waiting on hold any more than you do, and I don’t like it when Centerpointe program participants are inconvenienced, either. If I hired twice as many people to answer the phone you might never have to wait, but in order to pay them I’d have to raise the price for Holosync, and I’m guessing that you’d like me to keep the price as low as possible. Try calling between 2 PM and 5 PM, Pacific time, since this is the slowest time of the day.

Finally, with so many specific questions about my last post there’s just no way I can answer all of them all–though I do take note of them and will try to address them in one way or another in future posts.

Okay, with that out of the way, here are a few nuances about developmental levels that I want you to understand:

First, let me say that this information about developmental levels isn’t just my opinion. It’s the result of a huge amount of peer-review research extending back 50-60 years, done by incredibly smart people who have no ax to grind and certainly aren’t promoting any particular religious point of view. They are simply observing the way people make sense of their world in different areas, looking for patterns, and noting that these ways of making sense of the world are, indeed, developmental.

Here are a few basic truths about developmental theory:

1) Developmental stages, in whatever area, always occur IN A CERTAIN ORDER.

2) You cannot skip stages. Everyone begins at ground zero and progresses through the stages, in order.

3) Some people go through a few levels and stop, while others continue to develop. This partly has to do with the developmental center of gravity of their culture, partly to do with the demands of their immediate environment, and partly do to the person’s degree of openness to new information and their flexibility in the face of new situations.

4) Each new stage transcends and includes the previous stage. The new stage involves a larger and more inclusive perspective than the previous stage. A totally new perspective emerges, which could not even be imagined before. At the same time, some aspects of the previous stage are retained and other aspects are left behind.

5) Each new stage, each new perspective, appears because you need it in order to deal with challenges, new situations. Life no longer makes sense or works very well with the old perspective, and the new one is a response, a solution, to this problem. Without the necessity of a new perspective, it is doubtful that one will emerge.

5) Each new stage is more inclusive than the previous stage, and offers a broader view.

As I probably said in one of the other posts, in each level we are immersed in our perspective, our point of view, our way of being. By this I mean that we ARE that point of view or way of being. Being immersed in it, we are unaware of it–like a fish in water.

In emotional development, for instance, at earlier stages we are immersed in our feelings. Because of this, we cannot step back and observe our feelings, Nor can we choose them or exert any control over them. They seem to just happen, and we have no perspective on them. If and when we develop into the next level, though, we gain the ability to observe these feelings, and in gaining this new perspective we now HAVE those feelings rather than BEING them.

So a person who is immersed in the preconventional, magic view of religion can’t see that they are immersed. Their view seems to be THE view–the only view. They don’t have the ability to step back and observe what they are doing.

The same for those who are at the conventional level–they don’t see what they are doing. In fact, this is true for all levels–whatever you’re immersed in, you don’t see it. It’s just that as you progress you’re immersed in fewer things (or, you could say, you have perspective on more things), and are consciously aware of more of who you are and what you are doing, as you move to higher developmental levels.

This goes for any developmental line–emotional, cognitive, aesthetic, kinesthetic (physical skills), moral, values, needs, spiritual–or any other. In each new developmental shift, what was the subject (what we were immersed in, and therefore unaware of, in the previous level) becomes the object of a new subject (the new point of view we’re immersed in).

In other words, there is a “you” that sees/feels/cognizes things in a certain way, but you aren’t consciously aware that you’re doing it. That way of seeing things, and the “you” that sees it that way, is the subject. At the next level, though, a new you (a new subject) can see it. What was subject (what you were immersed in) is now an object (something you can observe), and the new and more expanded “you” that observes it is the new subject.

In terms of religion, if you are at the magical, preconventional stage you can’t see it. Instead, you are it. But if and when you develop to the conventional level, the new “conventional you” can see it. The previously unconsciously held point of view is now something you have stepped back to observe, which gives you some perspective on it–and, some choice about it.

Once you have that choice, it will be obvious that certain aspects of the old view are unresourceful, unworkable, while others that are resourceful will be integrated into the new point of view (in this example, the conventional point of view).

So there’s this constant process of being immersed, then stepping back to see what you previously were caught in, which gives you some perspective on it. At the same time you become immersed in something else. Then, if you are to develop further, you eventually step back from that, and the process goes on, each time expanding you perspective.

Often it takes years between these shifts (though Holosync greatly accelerates this process), because once you arrive at a new level, a new perspective, you have to integrate it, become more skillful at it. And, quite often, people move to a certain level and just stay there for the rest of their life (which is fine). This just means that being at that level works for them. In figuring out how to be human and making sense of life, it works.

Okay, a few comments about a few of your posts.

Someone brought up Yogananda and his classic book, Autobiography of a Yogi, and asked my opinion. This is a beautiful book–a spiritual classic–and Yogananda was a beautiful being (and one of the first Eastern gurus to come to the U.S.). In fact, years ago I spent a fair amount of time around Yogananda’s tradition and practiced several of the meditation techniques his lineage teaches.

This tradition, like many Hindu traditions, contains a lot of magical, preconventional ideas, including a strong belief in magic and miracles. Every religion, in fact, has its preconventional stage, its magical aspect. Hinduism is, to my way of looking at it, a bit more stuck in this than, say, Buddhism, where the leaders (in both Zen and Tibetan Buddhism) have been willing to acknowledge the scientific discoveries that make it tough to continue to hold a preconventional point of view.

So while I love Yogananda, I take the magic stuff with a huge grain of salt. It looks great to someone at the preconventional stage, but in subsequent levels it loses its appeal (I almost said “its magic”).

This type of magical thinking, by the way, is one reason why so many people these days find traditional Christianity unappealing (the other comes from the conventional stage, that of religious fundamentalism, where everything is black and white, sin and redemption, “we have the truth/you don’t”). Once a person has at least some scientific training, they either have to compartmentalize some of what the church leaders say, or change their point of view to something such as, “These are metaphors but aren’t meant to be taken literally.”

Famous atheist Richard Dawkins, in his recent book The God Delusion is really railing at magical or conventional religion (most people don’t believe there is a view of God from a much higher developmental place, one that doesn’t ask you to believe in magic, or see things from a black and white point of view). The popular media sees two kinds of religion–magic and conventional–not realizing that there are other more highly developed views.

If you still cling to a lot of pre-scientific views and believe that the laws of physics can be suspended, well, you have at least some attraction to the preconventional way of seeing the world. That’s okay with me, though I’ve noticed that it’s difficult to function well in the world and live this level.

Those who have trouble making money or creating success in the world are very often functioning at this level, hoping to function in the world through luck, magic, or some other sort of pre-rational something.

I made the point last time that the conventional level is one of dogmatism, where some sort of “truth” has been found and a dogma organized around that truth. Some who are operating at this level assumed that I was saying that you were “wrong”. No stages, however, are wrong per se, and I was not saying this. Right or wrong is a conventional way of parsing things, so it’s no wonder that conventional readers saw my comments this way.

It’s not about right or wrong, though, but rather a matter of increased resourcefulness, a wider perspective, and increased ability to function well in the world, not right or wrong.

Seeing things in terms of right and wrong, us versus them, good versus evil, works for people at the conventional level–until it doesn’t. At that point where a person is forced (by life) to see that the world is more complex, more multi-dimensional, and that good and evil is a moving target. At that point they move to a post-conventional view, a view that takes these things into account. Until then, they’re happy at the conventional level. People move to a new level, in most cases, because they have to.

We’re all making sense of what it means to be human, and we use the best way available to us. As (and if) we continue to develop (some people stop at each level and stay there), we develop new ways of making sense of things. We do this because we have to in order to deal with our environment. You don’t move to the next level unless the perspective of the previous level stops working for you. Until it does, you stay there, and if it works for your entire life, that’s fine with me.

An example of this, in the moral line of development, would be convicts who “find religion” while in prison. When they go into jail, they’re usually at the preconventional level, where their point of view is very me-oriented. If they want something, they take it, and to hell with everyone else.

But always being in trouble gets old for some people, so when skillfully approached while in prison by Christians, or Muslims, or whatever, some of them are converted to a different perspective about life. They move to the conventional level, where people tend to follow rules and trade “it’s-all-about-me” (which worked–until it didn’t) for the security of the group and the truth the group is organized around.

This is a significant and positive change. Each level is an improvement over the previous stage. In the 1960s and 70s, for instance, the so-called “Black” Muslims cleaned up a lot of drug use, prostitution, crime, and other not-so-resourceful behaviors in the black communities, and many religions help pull people from preconventional to conventional.

I was asked by several people, “How do I speak to people who are at other levels?” I think this was asked mostly in regard to speaking to those at magical (preconventional) or conventional religious levels. My suggestion would be to respect such people and realize that most insoluble disagreements are insoluble because, by definition, people from two different developmental perspectives will never see things in the same way, no matter what evidence is presented.

There are, as I have said, pathological versions of each of these levels. So when you have someone at the conventional level who is trying to browbeat you into becoming a fundamentalist Christian there may be a bit of pathology behind their pushiness. The super-extreme of this would be the Inquisition, where if you didn’t believe the church’s Truth they tortured you and burned you at the stake–for your own good.

My view is that anyone at any developmental level is free to do or believe whatever they want behind closed doors, but in public you should respect others. If at your level of development you believe that people will go to hell if they don’t believe what you believe, then observe that point of view to your heart’s content at home or at church with others who share your point of view. But you shouldn’t be allowed to impose it on others out in public. (Of course, pathological fundamentalists of any religion can’t help it.)

On another note, several people wanted to know how to access my past Mind Chatter articles. They are still there, though there’s no longer a link from the Centerpointe home page. To view them, just go to /newsletter/archive/.

Zayra Yves thanks all of you for visiting her website. Zayra is a mind-blowing poet. Check her out, if you haven’t already, at http://www.zayrayves.com.

In a few days I’m going to post something rather short, but to the point, about The Secret. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading…

67 Responses to “Bill’s travels, Bill’s complaints, and more clarity about development…”

  1. Dear Bill
    Your words are like raindrops on a parched desert flower. Thank you.

  2. gloria says :

    Short and sweet – A ‘thank you’ for this article, Bill.

  3. Tuesday/Morning/061107

    Excellent grasp of the levels of religion, morality, and philosophy. This enables us to understand the zealots practicing terrorism.

  4. Anton says :

    Dear Bill,
    Very helpful “short course” on developmental levels. This makes it much easier to understand why one may be heard, but not be listened to; why couples grow apart as one moves forward and the other one stays put at a given developmental level. It seems to me that moving through the levels is an “involuntary” process to the extent that a person seeks to be true to himself / herself. Now one can be tolerant of the partner who remains at a “lower” developmental level (level of consciousness), but the quality of the relationship will not (no longer) be what one wishes for. So how – besides talking respectfully, providing materials to read etc. – can one bring someone who actively resists to evolve? Thank you.
    Anton

  5. Don Carter says :

    Bill, is it possible for someone to be in different stages of development within different areas of their life? For example, perhaps being transcendental regarding religion, but pre-cognitive in personal relationships, career, etc.

  6. Margaret Stewart says :

    I really liked your explanation of the post-conventional, conventional …
    thinking. It explained a lot of how my thoughts were going but I didn’t understand why my thoughts were so different than others. I didn’t trust my own evolved thinking.

  7. jm says :

    Thank you, Bill – great post. I find my Holosync experience has seemingly led me to a desire for a deeper investigation of the nature of reality, and am reading The Holographic Universe (Talbot). While the book seems to not be addressing the -exact- content of this post, it does, in some ways. If you care to comment, I’d be most interested in hearing your thoughts on the book. If not, I’m ok with that, too!

    Again, Many Thanks for your efforts on all of our behalf.
    – j.

  8. Myreene says :

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your overview of the stages. I am wondering about the impact of the variety of personalty traits or preferences. I have read a lot about Jung’s Type Theory and am qualified in Meyers Briggs Type Indication Administration. I find this information fascinating and certainly applicable to observations made on life in general and those with whom we share the planet. Thank you.

  9. Chad says :

    Bill,

    I really enjoyed your last article on the developmental stages. It was the first time I had ever heard or read an explanation of why I felt different from most of the people around me on the matters of religion. It truly opened my eyes to the fact that the people that love to tell us that we don’t have faith or belief may actually only be limited in their development.

    Since reading the first article, I’ve been journaling about the situation in society where the “crowd” tries to keep us in their group. It seems that whenever an individual grows or progresses, their peers, family, friends, etc. try to point out where they are wrong. In the family’s estimation they are doing a good thing, protecting the individual from getting hurt. They are trying to bring the individual back to the “safety” of the masses.

    Unfortunately, it seems as though so many people are truly on the verge of success in many areas of their lives, only to allow someone at a lower developmental stage talk them out of it. So many people have a “moment of clarity”, a glimpse of the next higher developmental level, and make a decision to take action. This progress into the unknown, without the understanding of why they are there, is shaky ground and easily broken by the masses “proving” where they are going to fail.

    It is almost as if people lost in the struggle to make a living will never see the possibility of abundance and ease. They will never succeed to the next level in results, until they can “be” the person that understands that it is possible. I have spoken with people that vehemently deny that someone could make a life of ease, abundance, and comfort without being a corrupt, cheating user of people. They are “immersed” in their surroundings. If they did believe that it is possible to operate at a higher level, they would be so uncomfortable in their lives that they would have to DO SOMETHING. You can’t truly believe that you can have better and continue to exist with less. It is a VERY uncomfortable place to be.

    For me, being a “cradle Catholic”, going to mass every weekend, was a very uncomfortable place to be once I realized that the rules and dogma that I was being taught didn’t seem to fit with the God that is “in and of” all things. How can there be evil in a world where everything is “of God”?

    Thanks again.

    Chad

  10. Carol Creek says :

    Dear Bill,

    All I can do is say Thank You. I am a Spiritual Director in Cleveland, Ohio. Your last two Blogs have helped me truly get my mind around these developmental concepts. I have read Developmental literature in the past but I honestly have never heard it so clearly stated. It is essential information for each one of us to have. It opens the mind and heart and withdraws judgement at the same time. Much much gratitude.

  11. Kevin says :

    Hey bill, great blog. It really got me thinking a lot.

    There are many examples of why you should respect others wordly views if you are in another development level, and not publicly demonstrate a difference of opinion. They are demonstrated all throughout history, and we’ve learned about them throughout school.

    There are great intelligent people who have discovered something new and wonderful about the world, and have been prosecuted to death because of a new wordly view. People throughout history, hold onto their views so strongly that they end up killing very intelligent and honorable people.

    A lot of times these examples related to religion, but not always. Either way the same principle applies.

    Socrates is a great example. He Claimed that the Mt. Olympus gods were not in control of things, but rather we live in a world of laws governed by order.

    He fought this view all the way to his death. If he had only read this blog before hand. But then again, our current view of the world might not be the same.

    Galileo is also a great example. He spent the later years of his life under house arrest when he proved that the earth was not the center of the universe. He was prosecuted because his views weren’t in line with the scripture.

    There are many other people throughout history where this has happened.

    It just goes to show how strongly people hold onto their worldly views, and history continues to be shaped by this.

  12. 3D Internet says :

    Bill, why don’t you use the term “Reality Tunnel” instead of “conventional development level”?

    Reality Tunnel is a word used by consciousness researchers such as Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson amongst others.

  13. Scote says :

    Bill, you are truly a brave man. I totally agree with your point of respect of others. My other short comment is about customers. Being in Customer (IT) support for the last almost 40 yrs, one comes to understand that the last thing the customer does is read the directions/instructions. And call support primarily to vent, for the most part. But your staff is great so after awhile the ‘world’ will know that. We (people) are meaning making machines, it surprises me that you were surprised at how people “make up” stuff from the very clear and articulate statements you make. It will get worse before it gets better, now that you are in blog mode. People can ‘shoot from the hip’
    But I love all that you are doing you and Holosync are an Oasis in my life. Keep up the Great work.

    Scote

  14. Sandra says :

    I have to say that this posting was one of the best conveyed to my level of understanding. I want to thank you wholeheartedly, for taking the time to write in such an unbias manner. As a beginner in the Holosync program and seeker of change I found this posting to answer many of my unasked questions.

    I believe Spirituallity is a concern for most humans and having read this helped to open my mind to a broader perspective that not only expands my own but allows me to comfortably allow others to be where they are at without perjudice. Simply said…Thank you

  15. Heather White says :

    Thank you. I, along with my friend Joanne, have been stumbling along on this very path. Nice to hear that we are on a path. We have been looking at the different levels of maturity in five areas of life, spiritual being one of them. I enjoy reading your newsletters and now the blog. Again, thank you for writing and posting.

  16. Carol T. says :

    I just ordered Holosync Awakening Prologue. I know about meditation as I was a Silva graduate for 15 years. For a moment I was doubtful about the technology involved in Holosync but I realized hey, I use a hearing aid to hear. Otherwise I wouldn’t hear at all. That is depending on technology, right? So I ordered Holosync as an aid to my meditation. I have two main reasons: to get ideas from the alpha and theta levels to solve problems and also to become a more serene person. I’ll keep you posted on what happens..

  17. Kate says :

    Greetings, Bill — he who Pointes to the Center!

    First, so that you may know the proverbial source of the CONTENT of this writing of — yes, my very first blog posting anywhere on this great WWW in the sky — perhaps a brief “Spiritual CV” may provide some worthwhile CONTEXT. . .

    I dedicated my life to the Divine at 12 years of age, and little did my big/little ego know what would ensue from that decision. Now, almost 40 years later, I can bear witness to the Wisdom of Spirit and the process of — oh let’s see, what phrasing can I use that might be considered the most politically correct here. . . ? How about: “The Process of Awakening.” Yes, I think that ought to do nicely :-)

    Anyway, throughout this very ordinary life and somewhat extraordinary spiritual journey, I have encountered LOTS of teachers and practiced LOTS of teachings &/or techniques. I am grateful for them all and the contribution each has made to my growth. As for the Centerpointe material, it found it’s way into my world about 2 years ago. Since that time I have been fairly consistent with the “meditations” and have also found the Life Principles course both illuminating and liberating. The Centerpointe material has happily assisted me with my intention of emerging from living via the limited perceptions of ego, to the non-linear essence of being and discernment.

    So, as I read your comments, Bill, it occurs to me that at your developmental level, you must certainly realize the likelihood that many of your readers are hanging out at a “level” that renders them incapable of even remotely understanding what you have to share about the fairly advanced teaching of “Developmental Levels”? (And as an aside, it is further likely that the ego-nature of those very readers is bound to view the foregoing statement as a prideful judgement, rather that as a humble observation from someone who has traversed much of lower levels of the territory at length!. . .) Anyway, it seems to me that this alone is going to prove quite interesting and mildly entertaining in terms of a meaningful exchange via your experiment with “The Blog-Blob :-)” Of course, for those who can and do appreciate what you tirelessly and selflessly share, I pray that along with all your other offerings, it may serve as a great blessing and catalyst for real advances in consciousness.

    Last, with all due respect to the genius of all the great minds who have researched and reported their findings via what is termed Developmental Theory, et al, I offer the following just for fun:

    My purely subjective experience is that, depending upon any number of both conceivable and inconceivable conditions, one’s progress/journey does not necessarily proceed in a scientific, Newtonian/Causal fashion which may be expressed as: first Level A, then Level B, followed by Level C, and so on. . . Sometimes, it does so “happen” that one is graced by a quantum leap that defies logical explanation and linear expression. With such expansions, out of the silence one may find voice to exclaim only this: Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

    Yours in joyful respect,
    Kate

  18. Joe Sansalone says :

    Hello Bill,

    First, Holosync is helping me. I’m grateful for that!

    Developmental levels – very interesting stuff.
    I see a parallel in business, where the business model/strategy is
    the level. I’ve noticed that whatever level a business is on can only take
    the company so far. Transcending a specific level involves seeing the old
    level as a mini business and the new level as incorporating that mini business into a larger, usually simpler and more powerful way of seeing
    the business. The old model is still there in a smaller context. And, only the “good” or useful aspects of the old model are used.
    The transition to the new business model is somewhat chaotic where old and new exist side by side for a while.

    Amazingly, the new is simpler and more powerful. I often keep in mind a technique in software called Recursion. It’s a different way of seeing the solution to a problem … simpler and more powerful. But, it’s not easy to see if one is looking with the conventional way software is created.

    Then the seemingly huge problems faced with the old model become
    specific, definable, discrete and temporary. This is a clue to how a previous model can be “upgraded” to a new model. What model needs to
    be present in order to have our “problem” become specific and temporary? How can we think as a company so we see ourselves as having many of these “problems”?

    Thanks for your Blog … much enjoyed!

    Joe
    (Montreal, CA)

  19. Bree says :

    Bill, I am so excited about your involvement with Ken Wilber and integral stuff. I’ve been an avid fan/reader of his for many years now and I am just thrilled by all of this. I loved your post about stages. Transcend and include… woo hoo! That’s all.

  20. Nicole says :

    Dear Bill and all of you reading this,

    I have two questions today:

    First, I think I get the level stuff, it is explained in a very clear way. I am just wondering what the next level will be, the level after transcendent level. Since some of us are at that point, you explained clearly that we cannot see that we are, until we move on to the next level. So what is next and is there a sign that some people on earth today have reached is?

    Second, I have a dear relationship with someone in another level, previous to mine. And it is getting in the way… Could you please elaborate a bit on that? I can respect his development path, but sometimes I feel that I can use some help the other way around!

    Thank you for all your wonderful information,
    Nicole

  21. Dr. Houston Vetter says :

    Bill,

    Enjoy your work. Have followed Wilber’s work as well. Have worked in the field of self-knowledge for quite a while. A couple of questions. I can mind-read how you would relate the concepts of developmental levels (DL) to the concept of Vibrational Relativity and am curious how you might explain the model you are using from a Vibrational-Vibrational Relativity Frame?

    Reason for asking DL’s are dealing with theory and seem to have very little to do with practical application. They make comments about what is happening without any practical tools to work with them. (Abraham-Hicks in their work seems to do both, theory, comment and practical tools.) Your Holosync program is very practical and moves from the level of theory (head knowledge) to practical experience. How might you expand on or connect the two up a little more.

    Beside your work the only other person that I have run across that gives practical (doable) experiential processes on the level of actual experience of states such as enlightenment, oneness, fundamental life solutions has been the eastern European, Zivorad Slavnaski (Spiritual Technology). The use of his tools allows one to do more than understand developmental levels they can give the actual experience before the understanding which allows for the re-organization on the cognitive level.

    To Your Best,
    Dr. Houston Vetter
    713.459.6263
    docresults@comcast.net

  22. Greg says :

    First – this a really great blog on the evolutionary stages of theological beliefs.

    With regard to emotional development -“being” those feelings versus “having” those feelings, I have found it KEY – when I am aware enough to be aware I am experiencing or “having” feelings – is it is REALLY helpful to stop the mental “stories” that accompany strong emotions I regard as not helpful (which of course is a judgement too) – but when I can change the mind chatter from stories to asking how do I feel in my body – at that moment – a shift occurs – the energy I felt accompaning the “negative”emotion just – goes away. Th emotion may recurr again in the future – but the reference from the previous experience makes it easier to repeat this process – and then become curious about whatever is coming up for me. At that point the issue – whatever it is – becomes a object – instead of subject.

  23. Bill,

    I have to say that your thoughts on our warped view due to our internal map of reality of everything having to be grouped into good/bad; right/wrong; black/white has been one of the most profound shifts I have had in the past couple of years.

    That one teaching (I first heard you speak of it at the Centerpointe Retreat) :-) has helped me to give up 99% of the judgment I had been making of others and myself.

    Thanks for everything you do!

    Pat

  24. Jeff says :

    Hi Bill,

    I got exactly what you mean about respecting people who are in the other level.

    But here is the question, there is someone that I love, but he is in that level that you describe. Is there any chance for guiding him to a ‘higher’ level, I already told him and even bought holosync for him but he still is not using it as it was meant to be.

    What do you suggest.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  25. Mary says :

    Bill I have reading your blog about religion with great interest. I am sure that I have progressed at least in part due to the Holosync programme. I am sure Awakening is called that for good reason!!
    I wanted to ask you this: Given the laws of physics etc do you think that there is still the possibility of further unknowns which may lead to more understanding of the workings of the universe in a spiritual dimension. I would not describe myself as religious as in terms of a religion but I would say that the spiritual side of life is important to me. Would you think that there is a definite spiritual feel to the concept of the Quantum field?
    Mary

  26. Bill, thank you for your programs, insights and dis-coveries. It is through people like you that we all learn, develop and re-member ourselves…

    I am now reading through all the comments and realize how well I can “watch”now and how I don’t need to comment, be it in my mind or be it in words. Everything I read is “understood” and already said before. And there is no need to comment, it’s not an issue at all.

    I was not at this place a few months ago and I know it’s in great part because of the intense Holosync Meditaton. I am now in CD3 of the 2nd. part and there is more to come, which I am fully looking forward to!

    The quiet and calm of mind is beautiful; it makes living understood and full of purpose – or not… :-))

    Thank you again
    Marianne

  27. Frank Johansen says :

    Thank you very, very, very much, Bill for your clarifying ” Mind Chatter”

  28. Stella Cole says :

    Bill,
    No questions. It seems that for me anyway if I am patient and take the time to read your material, you answer my questions. I am lucky enough right now to have the time to do so.
    I was really pleased to read your latest Blog. I come from a Born Again Christian background, that I discovered at the age of 20. I can’t remember a time when I was not seeking “the truth” about who I was or why I was here and what the point of it all was. Christianity fulfulled me at the time, but I eventually after about 10 years realized that not all my questions were being successfully answered by the beliefs I had been living, so I pretty much left it all behind and I was quite angry at God for allowing me to suffer as I had. I took a Philosophy class that answered alot of questions for me after this, we studied all the major religions and the instructor was Hindu and very integral thinking. The idea that only the saved would end up in heaven began to blossom to something else, it felt like I knew all along that no one could be wrong all the time. There were truths in all the major religions that all major religions believed but now what? I have always knew deep inside that there was a balance but I did not know of anyone who could put into terms that I could understand.
    I eventually found you through The Secret and have been using Holosync for about 7 months, I have been without religion for almost 20 years, and at first I had real anger toward other christians, God and the church as if “they” were to account for my suffering. I still have very good friends who are very christian church goers and I have finally come to terms with that. I attended a birthday party of a very close friend who attends church and still fellowships with the kind of people who I fellowshiped with. I would attend these functions when I had to but I always felt confused or angry or just down right arrogant about where I was in comparison to them. This most recent contact with them was so diffrent. I was so comfortable and at peace with the whole situation, I was able to interact without judgeing or critisizing them or their beliefs and I knew that we were all where we needed to be. I felt the compassion of God rest on me like a cloak. I felt alot of grace to just “be”. So I really appreciated reading your remarks about development and letting people be free to believe and develop at whatever pace they are going. You really hit the nail on the head so often for me Bill and I really appreciate your work
    I took your advice and ordered the ILP developed by Ken Wilber, I have been reading his material and enjoying the downloads that I have access to at the Integral Online Store. I am looking forward to learning more and recognizing the sameness of both your teachings. I live in California and read somewhere that you may be doing something with Genpo Roshi in LA. I sure hope so and I would love to attend.
    Thank you again for all your hard work and helping me put it all into perspective.
    Hope to meet you someday.
    Stella Cole

  29. S. Brimacombe says :

    Hi Bill — in reference to the different levels of awareness that you’ve been discussing — do you consider holosync conducive to bringing a human to his/her most expansive state or is there something more? I noticed that you’ve endorsed the paraliminals and I wondered why. Then I was reading a book that deals with psychology and spirituality together. It says that both must be addressed to reach maximum evolution — which I personally think holosync does do to a certain degree (I’ve come face to face with some of my core issues but only time will tell if I have transcended them). So I am wondering, those paraliminal ‘boosts’ are they designed to rework negative patterns and move the person out of conventional thinking in a more precise way than holosync. And isn’t it more user-directed which personally I think isn’t as effective as when stuff just starts to surface in the holosync way.
    I would appreciate your comments. THX!

  30. D. Goodwin says :

    Like you Bill, I’ve also meditated using Yoganada’s techniques (for several years) and more recently with Holosync, though only for a short while. The directedness of the meditations using the different methods was initially slightly different–God Union being more the goal in the first and simply peace and congruity while using Holosync. But really there is little difference in the feeling left after and even during meditation. I have noticed it is very easy to become lost/focused in the seemingly dominant Om running through the Holosync tracks.

    I’ve always appreciated Joseph Campbell’s explanation regarding the esoteric beginnings of all religions, whether Hindu, Christian, Native American etc.; that in each belief system it is metaphor that is used to explain spiritual concepts that could not otherwise be easily understood. The stories, or metaphors are all equally true, and even somewhat similar. It is only when metaphor is taken literally that we develop an us versus them mentality.

    P.S.
    You’ve given a very comprehensive explanation regarding “the levels.” I’m planning to quote you verbatim over Thanksgiving to browbeat my less enlightened fundamentalist relatives. :)

  31. Randy Robinson says :

    I have no complaints whatsoever about your developmental theory. In fact, I find it fascinating and highly educational. Good work.

  32. vicente vercher says :

    To Bill Harris: Your comment about developmental levels, i think it would be interesting to clarify to your audience the difference between stages and states of development (Ken Wilber’s model you already know). and that through meditation (with or without holosync), we can develop through states, but not through stages (or structures). I heard this on integral naked, and i still don´t understand what Ken Wilber means on this point (why meditation help us to develop through states, but not through stages or structures).
    Thanks your attention.
    Vicente Vercher from Barcelona

  33. Mark Lurtsema says :

    Religious and philosophical discussions with peoples at various stages of development can be handled with humor–and could lead to lateral thinking.

    For instance, a friend of mine from my martial arts class was at the house. He was helping me install wooden floors in my kitchen and dining room. At one point, the topic of religion came up.

    I was surprised to learn that he believed the earth was only 6 thousand years old, and that while there had been dinosaurs, he believed that they existed in the relative near past. He based this belief on the teachings he had learned in church, and the “fact” that the oldest living thing on the earth is a tree that is 3,300 years old. He believes that women truly was created from the rib of Adam, etc. I held back my confusion on the logic; he is a good friend.

    My wife, who is catholic, could barely contain her surprise, and asked him his thoughts about evolution. He flatly denied even the possibility of evolution, and noted that there is no way that he descended from a monkey. Besides, he asked, if the universe started as a big bang, where did God come from? And, where did life come from?

    So, I asked him if he believed that God was contained within the universe or outside of the universe. He said that God is both part of the universe and is also outside of the universe. So, I asked, God could have created the big bang?

    Yes, I suppose.

    After additional discussions, I realized that his religious beliefs were pre-conventional, but fortunately not pathological. Evolution came again, and I agreed there are many holes in the historical record but that all evolution states (as I understand it) is that every living thing strives to exist and every living thing eventually dies. Because of this life adapts to its environment to survive and reproduce. Those beings that are the most successful flourish, those that do not die.

    God could have created such a universe, couldn’t he? I asked.

    He was still stuck on Monkey’s so I quipped — well maybe its not evolution at all. Perhaps, God is really a member of an alien culture who visited us, and mixed his alien DNA with monkey DNA, thus creating homo sapiens or modern man.

    I don’t know that he bought that one but, it made him laugh, and it caused him to have a lateral shift in his thinking. It occurred to him that there are possibilities he had not considered.

    If nothing else, holosync has taught me that ideas are interesting constructs and fun to play with.

  34. Ernesto says :

    Hi,

    I found this blog to be confusing. For example, at one point you say:

    “Seeing things in terms of right and wrong, us versus them, good versus evil, works for people at the conventional level–until it doesn’t.”

    Then later you say (referring to prisoners):

    “This is a significant and positive change. Each level is an improvement over the previous stage. ”

    I interpreted the word “positive” that you used in the quote above as “good”, which implies that the previous state of the prisoners was “negative” or “bad”. How does what you say about the prisoners differ from how people from the conventional level see things as good versus evil?

    You also point out that there is a “you” and a “new and more expanded ‘you'”. Is the “new and more expanded ‘you'” the highest “you” possible? I ask because the way you write it seems like you can have a “new and more expanded ‘you'” improving on each other an infinite number of times to no end.

  35. Lisa Watson says :

    Beautifully written Bill ! You have a real gift for writing, and explained it really well. I enjoyed reading it and agree completely :)

  36. Jack says :

    Re. your comments about being stuck:

    “If you still cling to a lot of pre-scientific views and believe that the laws of physics can be suspended, well, you have at least some attraction to the preconventional way of seeing the world. That’s okay with me, though I’ve noticed that it’s difficult to function well in the world and live this level.

    Those who have trouble making money or creating success in the world are very often functioning at this level, hoping to function in the world through luck, magic, or some other sort of pre-rational something.”

    I recently heard that the opposite of a trivial truth is a lie, and the opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth. I also realize that there are greater and lesser laws (of physics, etc.) and that our lack of understanding of them limits our use of them. I feel like in many areas I’ve moved past the conventional levels (yes I believe you can be in different states in different areas), but I still struggle in others (like money and success–not by any means poor, but not where my visualizations take me either).

    But I too have to ask about the practical applications. How do I learn these higher laws and apply them (lose the pre-rational or rational thinking)? How do I tap in more fully to my intuitive side? I think I have a pretty clear picture of where I want to be, but I continue to come up disappointed. In many ways I feel I’m lifetimes beyond where I used to be, and in other areas I can’t believe that I haven’t figured it out yet. Does anyone have a clue that they can share on a practical level? I’ve been using Holosync for about seven months, but from what I’m reading I don’t see that all of the answers “magically” (couldn’t resist) appear just by using it.

  37. Steve Slater says :

    Hi Bill,

    I have a couple of things to mention. First of all, you say:

    “So while I love Yogananda, I take the magic stuff with a huge grain of salt. It looks great to someone at the preconventional stage, but in subsequent levels it loses its appeal”

    Essentially you are saying Yogananda and his teachings are of the lowest level of human development?! You are saying that dogmatic religious fundamentalism is included in the the next stage ABOVE teachings such as Yogananda’s?! Very strange!

    Also on that one, TRUTH does NOT lose it’s appeal!

    Next:

    If you still cling to a lot of pre-scientific views and believe that the laws of physics can be suspended, well, you have at least some attraction to the preconventional way of seeing the world.

    You say Yogananda is “preconventional”, and are implying through using the description of “magical” to apply to his teachings, that these teachings were and are somehow unscientific. Actually Yogananda was the first to acknowledge and commend scientific research and progress. He used scientific explanations quite a lot.

    What do you think the Laws of Physics are Bill? They are part of the cosmic delusion like every other manifested thing. Do you think ANYTHING is concrete and cannot be changed? Do you think you have everything all figured out and that nothing could possibly happen outside of what you think is possible, such as someone being able to do things outside the Laws of Physics? Do you seriously think you are bound so tightly by the cosmic laws? I do not consider it “magical” or air fairy thinking to acknowledge that it is possible for all humans to function outside of the presently accepted laws that seemingly, but falsely limit us. If you do not even consider it a possibility, then of course you will not experience these so called miraculous things the great saints and sages speak of.

    Then you say:

    I was asked by several people, “How do I speak to people who are at other levels?” I think this was asked mostly in regard to speaking to those at magical (preconventional) or conventional religious levels. My suggestion would be to respect such people and realize that most insoluble disagreements are insoluble because, by definition, people from two different developmental perspectives will never see things in the same way, no matter what evidence is presented.

    Of course, no one is is on a level higher than you are they Bill? The question only relates to those of lower levels, does it??? I smell a whiff of EGO here.

    Sincerely,
    Steve Slater

  38. anne ingraham says :

    hey Bill, thanks for the blog on religion, I must say I was confused about the ‘Jesus bill’ last time. This idea of levels makes sense in my head but leaves out warmth in my heart for those around me that seem to be dropping like flies as I move through holosink! nite Anne

  39. Linda McKenzie says :

    Bill, where would you place ISKCON (Hare Krishna movement) in terms of developmental levels? It seems to me that they would be mainly at the conventional level, since they have fairly dogmatic views on things and seem to be quite sure that they have THE TRUTH and that everyone else has got it wrong, particularly in their view of God being a person, as opposed to an impersonal energy. They are also very patriarchal and subscribe to a lot of strict Hundu rules of conduct from the Laws of Manu. At the same time there are preconventional elements, such as believing literally in fanastic miracles performed by Krishna. However, there also seems to be a genuinely transformative element in the mahamantra, which is considered to be effective as a spiritual tool regardless of one’s beliefs and which is used widely by spiritual groups throughout India. Many Hindu teachers say that this mantra is extremely effective for “cleansing the heart” and for God realization. If that is the case (which I can well believe from my experience of chanting it) wouldn’t you expect that someone who chanted it devotedly over a long time would grow beyond their involvement in a sectarian viewpoint such as the Vaishnava – ISKCON one to a more universal one, or, you might say, a more post-conventional or integral level of development?

    What do you make of their insistence that God is Krishna and that Krishna is the Supreme Person, i.e. that he has a form of a blue guy who plays the flute and who lives in Krishnaloka playing with milkmaids etc.? They claim that impersonal Brahman realization is a lower level of realization than the realization of God as a Supreme Person? Is this similar, do you think, to Ramakrishna’s extreme attachment to the form of Kali, which he only very reluctantly let go of on the instruction of his guru? Would you say that this is typical of the conventional religious level’s tendency to concretise and anthromoporphise? They claim to have enormous scriptural basis for this belief in the Vedas. Do you think this is an example of the fact that people will always find “evidence” for whatever they choose to believe?

  40. rachel says :

    hi Bill

    yogananda’s magic and miracles, maybe come from a higher stage of consciousness than yours, although you prefer to bracket them in with what you know, rather than explore the idea they might be more than you think, although with working with the laws of attraction you seem to be going there anyway? not sure what you are at there, seems to be a contradiction

    i personally have experienced magic and miracles in my life, through focusing, through thought, and through the subconscious mind

    and working from a conventional space too

    don’t just dismiss what you don’t understand as pre-rational, although some of it maybe

    thanks

    Rachel

  41. Marie Carija says :

    Dear Bill,

    Thank you for putting so much wisdom and practical guidance together. I’m familiar with developmental levels from long appreciation of Ken Wilber’s work. You make those ideas even more accessible.

    Here’s my question: Why is it that people who are clearly functioning at a conventional, sometimes pre-conventional level, often seem to have a higher stress threshold? The goal of Holosync is a higher stress threshold, and my 3 years of regular practice really have helped me with this, but I see people who roll with the punches so much better than I do. I don’t think it’s because they’re more highly evolved. How do these two standards for judging spiritual progress correlate? I find it confusing and discouraging to be the irritable one with spiritual pretensions. I think they’re sometimes oblivious and insensitive, they think I’m sometimes oversensitive and critical.

    Thank you for your insight and generosity.
    Warmly,
    Marie

  42. Alexa Saunders says :

    As I understand your position, you think it is a “a mistake–or, at the very least, a type of spiritual laziness” not to question and investigate thoughts and ideas presented by others. From the ‘outside’, this construct of rightful opinion is the same for all levels of development. Only the content and the means of deriving it appear to change. This would explain the lack of recognition by those of more basic levels of development of the internal, structural differences of the more complex levels of thinking. Outwardly and in human interaction they function in the same manner – communication filtered through held beliefs. Perhaps the emphasis on “being” by those of the transcendent level comes from recognition of the futility of attempting to transmit “truth” in the form of constructs. Like the levels themselves, constructs are tools for clustering resonating ideas for conveyance to those seeking to know. Nietzsche wrote: “”No,” replied Zarathustra, “I give no alms. I am not poor enough for that.” (THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA, 1891)

  43. Gina says :

    When I began listening to Awakening Prologue I thought, this man is a genius and a gentleman! Why hasn’t he recieved a Nobel Prize or some such? Then, listening to your lectures, heard you say that God was probably the first thing people put on their map. Ohhhh… I see. Them’s fightin’ words, those are. I’m vastly enjoying these last 2 blogs because they agree with my own thinking. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. When I was in second grade in Catholic school we began to hear Bible stories. Maybe my brain’s wired a bit differently because, tho I knew better than to air my views, I concluded that the nuns version of God sounded like the schoolyard bully and I wasn’t having with that.
    Great Blog, thanks for being here.

  44. Edgar Caceres says :

    More than happy reading about the stages of development in our spiritual
    journey. I have been experiencing about 75% of them without having
    previous knowledge. Keep it up!
    God bless you!

  45. Lauren says :

    My question is this: Can a person at, say preconventional, be a ‘saint’ or an enlightened being? Can a person be at a more advanced level be pretty much an asshole not interested in others? In other words are there people of earlier stages who are perhaps more ‘evolved’ in ways than people at later stages? Thanks for the cool blog. Laurern

  46. Linda McKenzie says :

    With regard to Lauren’s question, it doesn’t seem very likely that a person at the preconventional level could be a saint, as their world-view is very ego-based by definition and my understanding of sainthood involves transcendence of the ego. However, part of what fascinates me about a group like ISKCON (Hare Krishnas) is that despite their belief system having strong preconventional and conventional elements, their actual practice of intense focus on mantra repetition seems to take some of them well beyond the level of consciousness that is typical of most conventional religious types. I know some people who have been seriously involved for over 30 years and, while still subscribing to these beliefs, are, in my estimation, very highly developed, very pure-hearted people. Their philosophy goes beyond fundamentalist Christianity or Islam’s in that they believe that all beings are equal in quality, if not quantity, to God (Krishna) and that everyone is capable of realizing the True Self, not just the exceptional beings such as Jesus is considered to be by Christians. So it seems to me that these people that I know have reached a relatively advanced level of realization while still managing to hang on to their preconventional and conventional beliefs. I find this all very contradictory and confusing, so perhaps I’m misunderstanding something important about developmental levels as applied to religion. So I’m basically agreeing with you that, whilst in theory it all seems very neat and clear-cut, in practice it seems to be more messy and complicated. Or else I’m just not getting it!

  47. Bernarr King says :

    I am simply amazed at the changes that have taken place in the last 6 months within my life. I’ve known for a long time that for me this is an exercise in trying to prove what I believe is true about self, when I already know that want I to believe, trys to keep me from remembering. Thank-you for describing the different levels. They continue to encourage me to keep going for I have truly journeyed through them, and can see how far I have really come. I liken it to being able to walk through a cave on a tightrope in total darkness remembering my way back, or a journey of looking for solid ground while I continue to learn how to swim, float, and once in a while find some footing that encourages me to dive back in!

  48. Jim Callan says :

    I finally had a chance to read the Sept, Oct and Nov posts for this blog and get caught up. I am delighted that I did. I find your blog both worthwhile and compelling. I also felt compelled to share some thoughts that may help your blog readers with regard to levels of development and the concept of glimpsing “The Witness.”

    ON LEVELS
    With regard to the levels of development being discussed, it is important to realize that all levels of anything are merely a means of organizing and grouping. Humans group and categorize around a perspective and a point of view in order to communicate more effectively. All taxonomies are created around a perspective or focal point. Your four levels are no different.

    Depending on the focal point one chooses, there could be six, seven, or any arbitrary number of levels. Each would discuss several aspects deemed interesting to designate along a continuum of experience. The descriptions of the four so far need further refinement, but remain adequate for introducing the concept of evolving perspectives and are therefore an excellent start.

    Having said this it is important for folks to realize that the transcendent level is a shared state that all known religions and personal development processes finally achieve (practitioners often never realize this). Of course, one only realizes the shared state common to religions from the transcendent perspective. And, that is the rub. From any other perspective the common elements of these different religions, approaches and philosophies are quite difficult to see.

    ON PERSPECTIVE
    As a way of explaining this, imagine standing directly in front of a man who is standing across the street facing you. The man is wearing a strange outfit consisting of a cowboy hat, a pair of slacks and a golf shirt. What makes the man’s outfit strange is that his right pants leg is green and his left is blue. The entire right side of his shirt is yellow and the left side is white. The right side of his hat is yellow and green checks and the left side is blue and white stripes. (Yes, his mother did not dress him.)

    Now imagine what you would see if you were walking towards the man from his right. You would see a fellow with green slacks a yellow shirt and a snazzy yellow and green checked hat. If you approached him from the left you would see a fellow with blue slacks, a white shirt and a nicely striped white and blue hat. A person on the man’s left would argue quite dogmatically with anyone on the man’s right about what the man was wearing. A person standing in front of the man might be able to describe a the person on the man’s left the reality of the situation (which is but another perspective), but his ability to convince the person on the man’s left would greatly depend on the person’s imagination and openness of mind. Perception creates belief, and beliefs can be hard to challenge.

    Asking opinions about religions, philosophies and personal development approaches is very much like approaching the man on the street and trying to discuss his clothing. From a transcendental perspective, these are merely paths toward a common realization about our nature. They are nothing more. Each religion has a founder who experienced something and tried, based on his culture, to explain how to experience the same reality and perspective. The result is different paths toward the same end.

    ON THE WITNESS
    With regard toward glimpsing “The Witness,” there is a gestalt experiment that often helps people experience witnessing. I first ran across this from the famous hypnotist, Barrie Konicov. Begin by sitting silently until you are completely calm and relaxed. Become aware of your body and its stillness. Stay with this for a while.

    Next, imagine a time in your life when someone or some event made you really angry or frustrated. Place yourself in that situation. Play back the situation in your mind. Feel yourself reliving the anger or frustration. Really relive the situation.

    Feel your pulse quicken. Feel your muscles tighten. Feel the tension in your neck and shoulders. Feel that sickness in your stomach. Let this build for a moment.

    Now, realize that you are making you angry. You are causing these sensations. The sensations are real but your current situation is not. You created these reactions with your thoughts.

    Now think about what you saw and observed as you relived this experience in your mind. This is “The Witness” or “Watcher.” Cultivate this.

    I am looking forward to your next blog entry.

  49. Denise says :

    Hi Sweetie,

    Don’t post this! I mean it. I just wanted to say, I love you! And I love this new blog format. I think this format kicks Mindchatter (Which was awesome) up to whole new level I never imagined possible. Yes. You are brilliant!

    OK–you can post this if you want to…
    I just wanted to articulate my own thoughts about developmental levels and relationships since they are two of my favorite areas of research. John Gottman, probably America’s top researcher on married couples and long-term, committed relationships (the disasters and the masters) has mentioned that he does not find developmental differences to be major factor in the success and happiness of relationships.

    I percieve that you and I hover on various levels in different areas (or lines as Wilber terms them) of our lives, as I imagine many other couples must (since our individual stages of development can move along in such a mind boggling number of ways both vertically and horizontally and in multiple lines, not to mention, types and states)

    I think we are developing a really terrific relationship. I’m theorizing that perhaps what makes our relationship work amid such constant and sometimes erradic growth of two individuals is a practice of appreciation, empathy and unconditional respect for one another (yes–even when fighting), as well as a willingness to explore our own shadow as often reflected by (or projected onto) our partner.

    As we become more fully integral in one or more areas, do we develop more capacity for things like empathy, compassion and unconditional respect? What are your views on this?

  50. Santiago says :

    Hi Bill and THANK YOU so much! really. This way of understanding human development is truly brilliant and actually easy to grasp!

    I see a lot in common between your point of view about being immersed in a certain perspective and J. Krishnamurti’s research about observing the thought process (he approached thought like seeing and feeling the pages of a book rather than being caught up in the contents and concepts it presented). What do you have to say about him and his research?

    Thanks again man and by the way, do you still play music?

    Santiago

  51. Rosa Presta says :

    Bill,

    Great explaination on our development in view of our religions.
    My 20 something kids, ask me the questions, now I have a few answers.
    Well, put. Will be sharing this info.

    Thanks for the help
    Rosa

  52. Joseph says :

    Linda writes: …”So it seems to me that these people that I know have reached a relatively advanced level of realization while still managing to hang on to their preconventional and conventional beliefs.”

    From what I understand of what Bill wrote, each level builds on the previous, taking and incorporating what works and ditching what doesn’t. It could be that the Krishas you know really ARE at a “higher” developmental level, yet have chosen to continue to incorporate some pre-conventional and conventional ideas because they continue to work for them. In my somewhat limited (and new) understanding of this, it doesn’t seem to me that each level exists in a vacuum and that when a person reaches another level that absolutely everything about a previous level would be considered absurd and quaint. I think the idea of neatly describing developmental levels is great and useful, but since we are talking about human nature and the mind, it must be far more complex than the black and white idea that each level exists as an island unto itself.

    Personally, I believe that until we literally “transcend” through death and (hopefully) know things as pure fact–or pure “knowing”–I have to leave room for the idea that there is a great deal that we as humans can never know. Whether that’s magical (and thus preconventional) I don’t know, but if it works for someone, so be it. Though I don’t literally believe in magic, I do prefer to keep an open mind about all things, and sometimes it’s jsut plain comforting and inspiring to believe that magic exists. After all, many modern technological advances, for instance, at one time or another where considered “magic”, which I guess also calls into question what exactly the definition of “magic” is. Since I can’t know with utter certainty what exists in the great beyond, I hold the view that anyone (or no one) might be “right” about what they believe.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that, to me, a higher developmental level does not necessarily mean more knowledge but rather a broader view of the world, humanity, and of what is seen and unseen, and that all of it is approached with more compassion and understanding. And is the belief of, say, a “universal consciousness” that we can tap into really all that different or less magical than, say, the dogma of the Krishnas?

    A very interesting discussion to say the least!

  53. Roger says :

    I agree with Steve Slater and Rachel about Autobiography of a Yogi.
    Using Holosync does not require one to accept the philosophy of anyone associated with it, even its founder. Yogananda had a much more sophisticated view of science and metaphysics than Bill describes. Read the book and decide for yourself.

    And…consider that beliefs may be the the most powerful psychoactive substances there are.

  54. Mell says :

    In response to a comment from Kate that “your readers are hanging out at a “level” that renders them incapable of even remotely understanding what you have to share about the fairly advanced teaching of “Developmental Levels”? If any of you have ever read Power vs. Force by David Hawkins, He speaks to this specifically and has his own description of the levels of consciousness, quite similar to Bill Harris’, although more in depth. He specifically states that the more people are exposed to higher levels of consciousness, the more they have a tendency to evolve up the ladder. So though it may be frusturating to speak to those at a lower level of consciousness, over time it seeps in and inevitably changes a person at the core. This much we can all see is true by looking at Bill Harris’ influence on the Holosync community. People come to him bewildered and lost, and just by being exposed to his thoughts through his writing and programs, they are led slowly but surely through the process, sometimes kicking and screaming, but they persist. Why? Because when they are having a “freak out” they can call the Centerpointe staff and discuss their experience with a person at a higher level of consciousness, or read Bill’s newsletters, support letters, comments from holosync users etc. All of this exposure to the higher levels beckons us on, no matter where we are on the ladder of consciousness. So be patient with those at a lower level, and just BE the example, keep speaking the truth with compassion and respect.

    Much Love, Mell

  55. Brad Fyle says :

    Hi Bill,

    First off I would like to say that Holosync is turning out to be one of the best investments – if not THE best – I have ever made for myself. However, as much as I credit you for your diligence and unwavering dedication to assisting us in our personal growth process, I still find myself perplexed when I read articles from you such as this one where you discourage people from buying into the idea that physical laws can be transcended.

    At first I thought that this might be a kind of strategy on your part to shake people out of their complacency and get them to focus more on taking action (which I wholeheartedly believe is a fundamental step in the creation process). Then came your series of Mindchatter articles entitled “Do You Believe in Magic?” where you equate this kind of thinking as being tied into a more primitive developmental level of consciousness. But I find something inside myself railing against the notion put forward in this article that people who are open to the suspension of physical laws are somehow neglecting certain scientific truths. How do you take into account the experiments showing the wave/particle dual nature of photons and the fact that these primary building blocks of physical matter appear to be governed by the expectations of the observer? How is it that a vast number of our most prominent scientists have, upon further research into their personal philosophies, revealed themselves to have a strong pull towards the belief in a mystical and mysterious underlying nature to the cosmos?

    I guess I’m yet another who still harbors some very primitive views according to you but I have to say that that is perfectly alright right with me now (especially after all the Holosyncing!). I do agree that side-stepping physical laws should not be the goal of a spiritual initiate, even if in a lot of cases it is the catalyst for many starting on the path. I still believe though that even if it may be a primitive consciousness that aspires to have spiritual powers for ego gratification, we still shouldn’t rule out that these things don’t exist as a by-product of a highly evolved consciousness.

    I would like to sincerely thank you for one more thing though – you have lead me to my truth about this subject.

    Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.
    -Richard Bach

    Brad

  56. Steve Oliver says :

    Bill
    Is it possible to be conventional in our outlook for religion but be pre-conventional in other aspects of our life?
    Steve

  57. Padma Norbu says :

    Hi Bill,

    Kudos to you for expounding on developmental models here. I’m just wondering if you’re not giving enough attribution to Ken Wilber. To me, some of this material is lifted off Integral Spirituality. Maybe it’s OK with Ken. Just curious…

    Please don’t post this if you feel this post is not in alignment with the goals of your organization. However, an reply is appreciated.

  58. Devin Rand says :

    Very insightful stuff. Thanks!

    In your last blog you posted:

    “…a pathological version of postconventional sees all thinking and rationality as bad, and thinks that everything is or should be about feelings–we’ll address this in another post at another time…”

    I wonder when you will address this, as I have certainly been guilty of this viewpoint from time to time.

  59. Jane says :

    Hello,

    I think the blog is a good idea and I appreciate it that you are expounding on the different developmental levels from where we each create our idea of reality.
    I am familiar with Ken Wilbers work and I am wondering whether you are working with his Institute. Whether you are, or aren`t does not really matter as you do have the skills of being able to make theories practical and understandable. I do not see what you are talking about as a theory though, because I have had direct experiences of `shifts` and can see the reality regarding the different levels and the truth behind them.
    I do know that when we can become an observer `witness` of an immersion and can stay with it, then the power it may have had over us begins to dissolve. I have found that observing my immersion at this `lower` level allows me to go more deeply into it and find the core events and perceptions that have led to the story that I have made up to make sense of the world, and which has kept me immersed in my particular version of reality because I had come to believe that it was true. The fear and judgement which had kept me where I was no longer had the hold over me that it once had, so the worry that I could be permanently dragged back abated, which I think allowed me to begin to see clearly the unconscious process which I had been gripped by.

    Kate in a previous post brought up the idea that sometimes one can be graced with a quantum leap which I agree with, simply because I have experienced it. There is nothing magical about it – it was as though I was being shown something which was way beyond my level of understanding and the understanding of the world consciousness where we are presently at. Later I was to realise from reading that there were maybe a few people who had thought about what I was shown. Because of this I was a shade concerned that a dogma could be built up around the Ken Wilber thinking and theories.

  60. Lorinda Forrest says :

    Bill:

    Thanks for not only validating a concept that has been evolving in my own awareness for several years, but also for clearly describing it in a way that makes better sense than the simplistic analogy I’d arrived at which was to equate this personal evolution to a progression of grades in school. I’d explain to others that a first grader couldn’t comprehend what a senior in high school understood and that the high schooler couldn’t condemn the first grader because he/she hadn’t gone through the evolutionary process of becoming a high school student. The problem with my analogy is that it (for lack of a better term) insults the “first grader” and I’ve always felt bad about that. In truth there is no right or wrong and you are where you are because it works for you until you progress to another level. I appreciate the clarity your description provides. Thanks.

  61. Marty McEvoy says :

    Bill,

    I was wondering why most self help teachers do not talk about the importance of meditation. You are about the only one from the Secret who really sresses the fundamental importance of a meditation practice. I find it most bizarre. Ken Wilber actually says meditation speeds up the transformative process. In addition, I would like you to really add more to your reports on this concept of “Integral Transformative Practices” Thank you for everything and I use your CD’s everyday. Take care and I know we will meet someday. Marty McEvoy

  62. Dwyght says :

    Hi Bill,
    I am a Holosync user. First I just wanted to say that, with the use of Holosync, I have revealed much of my self to my self during the journey within.
    I have a few questions regarding your developmental levels post. Are these developmental levels you write of a kind of expansion on the principle of witnessing? Are these levels moved through by many “felt shifts” being experienced within a level, that would differ for each person? And lastly… Are people, in general, in the early developmental levels (say, pre-conventional and conventional), in your opinion, more likely to create suffering for themselves, than people in the post-conventional and transcendental levels or, does this depend on the “map of reality”?

    Cheers Bill,
    Go the Blog!!!

  63. Dave Zwuurfman says :

    Bill,

    Regarding the generally accepted “theories” of Quantum Physics, not all in the science community share in the silly notion of the particle-observer rule.

    The alternate defintition is powerful and logical, yet is not at all widely accepted: The particle and the photon do NOT have the same origin.

    Instead, the origins of the two simply are from the exact opposite positions.

    That’s it !

    No more nonsense regarding “reaching out to the Universe” & quantum physics connection. -DZ

  64. Stephanie says :

    Bill:

    Thank you so much for your article/blog about stages of development. I recently began using Holosync and immediately noticed a change, although it has been quite uncomfortable at times. I am still learning how to be “the witness” to all the feelings that are coming up. I also began the LPIP program to help with this. Anyway, one of the biggest obstacles in my life is unlearning the unconscious beliefs that are part of my Map of Reality. Many of these beliefs are a result of being raised in a fundamental christian church that I have since found out is considered to be a cult. The leader of this church was Hobart E. Freeman and if you google him you will see that he passed away two weeks prior to appearing in court for charges of negligent homicide. He was indirectly responsible for the deaths of 90+ people (mostly women and innocent children) whom followed his “faith healing” teachings. My dad is still a fundamental christian that believes in faith healing and has been trying to “save” me and my brothers from enternal damnation our entire lives. Needless to say, I have been dealing with the brainwashing my brothers and I received as children. I say brainwashing because being a part of a cult is exactly that, as I am sure you know. We did not have a choice as children but we do now! I just want to thank you for clarifying things for me and helping to alleviate some of the fear I have been dealing with my whole life. I cannot explain it but since I was a child, I could not bring myself to “be saved” and live like my father. There was a part of me that always knew something was pathological about my Dad’s beliefs and his church. I will use Holosync and do the LPIP program to work on the unconscious part of me that is still programmed based on his/church beliefs. I hope my brothers will use Holosync as well. Thank you so much for dedicating your life to helping people become more aware and live their dreams!!!

  65. carlos says :

    Hi Bill,

    I learn a lot from your post about stages of development .

    I hava a couple of questions?

    Is it possible to be at one stage in one area and at another stage in another area?

    Is it possible that life cause you to make a regression to a previous stage?

    Are different degrees of development within the stages ??

    Carlos

  66. Cherie says :

    Dear Bill, Developmental Psychology is but another “religion” with very limitng parameters no more “scientific” than anything else but based on theories and perceptions that faith carries out.I’ve been there the years I owned a Psychiatric Clinic but I moved on,don’t get so attached to it that you can’t move on.Don’t be so sure that you know so much.You’ve found a comfortable spot that you think you enjoy that bears it’s self out so to speak jn your persception.But even delusion can do that.And others looking for answers and thinking they have met up with the”answer ” because you are so “scientific”can easily buy into your perceptions you feel so a sure about. I encourage you to move on Bill in your life.And remember you don’t know everything euen though you have set yourself up as some authority.

  67. joseph says :

    thank you

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