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The Strategist–the highest expression of the individual “me”

by / Monday, 24 March 2008 / Published in Uncategorized

Last time I discussed the Individualist, the first of the postmodern developmental stages as described in the work of developmental expert Susanne Cook-Greuter. Now I’d like to move beyond that to the highest postconventional stage, the Strategist.

The Strategist is the highest developmental stage in which a person’s sense of self is built around a separate self, a separate individual “me.” Though in the postconventional stages there is a new awareness that everything and everyone exists in relation to everything and everyone else, and that everything is connected, the center of one’s experience is still a separate me who observes and experiences this interconnectedness. (In the stages beyond the Strategist we’ll see a new perspective in which the self is not centered in the separate self.)

The Individualist, the previous stage, is able to take a fourth person perspective, standing back from his own life and observing himself as he observes himself in his past, present, and future interactions with the world. This was a huge developmental achievement in terms of an expansion of awareness and the ability to take what I (and others) have called a witness perspective. This wider perspective gives the Individualist (again, the stage we looked at in my previous post) a unique view of the world and his place in it.

The Strategist takes this perspective even further. Not only does he see his own past, present, and future and that of his family, he adds an awareness of his own lifespan, the lifetimes of his children, and their children, and that of previous generations, and how all of this fits into the context of the broader society and culture.

Watching from this even wider perspective, the Strategist sees patterns, trends, and systems on an even larger scale than did the Individualist, which he then uses to strategically navigate the world and his life–hence the name of this stage. The Strategist, then, has a systems view of reality, allowing him to comprehend and deal with complex, multiple, interconnected systems of relationships and processes. The ability to hold all of this complexity in awareness, and to effectively and resourcefully respond to it and act from it is quite an achievement.

Individualists are able to see the many conflicting aspects and polarities within themselves and in the world. The Individualist deals with these unresolvable conflicts and paradoxes in part by remaining in the moment and allowing life to be as it is. There is still some confusion, however, about exactly how to navigate “what is” in a take charge way. The Individualist sees the paradoxes and contradictions of life, and accepts them, but in a passive, non-agentic way. It’s as if the Individualist resigns himself to ever ultimately knowing who he really is. The Individualist says, “I can’t control things, so I’ll just accept that fact and groove on the moment.”

The Strategist, on the other hand, has found a more sophisticated–and more practical–way of dealing with the paradoxes and polarities of life. Instead of merely resigning himself to the way things are, the Strategist is better able to integrate and own many different and conflicting parts of himself and actually work with the ever-shifting contexts of life in a practical way. This is made possible in part by the Strategist’s new ability to consciously and intentionally generate his own meanings, to “write his own story.” The Individualist sees that all meaning depends upon the context and the relationships involved, but has not yet figured out how to be in charge of this meaning-making in a practical way.

The Strategist is able to take charge of his meaning-making in a way the Individualist could not. As a result, he navigates the constantly shifting contexts he experiences, without being flustered by them. “No story is real,” says the Strategist, “but that doesn’t matter. I can create a story in this moment in order to create the outcome I want, even if that story doesn’t represent ultimate truth.”

(As an aside, I want to point out that this ability to “write your own story”–to consciously and intentionally direct your mind in order to create the reality you want, rather than allowing unconscious programming to automatically write a story you may not like–is one of the main goals of the first of my Life Principles Integration Process online courses (www.centerpointe.com/life/preview). In my first course I take you through what you need to learn, developmentally, in order to master this ability.)

Feeling that he can write his own story, the Strategist feels in charge of his own psychological well-being. He feels–and demonstrates–a new sense of personal responsibility about the creation of his own meaning and his own life. This feeling of being in charge allows Strategists to rediscover, reown, and integrate aspects of themselves that were too confusing or threatening for the Individualist to acknowledge. The result is a new sense of wholeness, and this new holistic self is a hallmark of this stage.

It is important to a Strategist to appear to have his act together and to make reasoned and resourceful choices. Persons at stages after the Strategist no longer feel this need, and are more willing to choose what appear to be less mature behavior styles, or be more spontaneously “outrageous” in their behavior. It’s still important to the Strategist, however, to avoid appearing foolish, or to avoiding acting in what might appear to be emotionally immature ways. If this happens, however, he can be forgiving and understanding of himself.

With a perspective and a logical system allowing an easier integration of psychologically paradoxical elements, the Strategist has less need for defensive strategies, and is therefore capable of greater spontaneity and greater tolerance of the foibles of others. Good and bad traits are seen as part of being human, both in oneself and in others.

His increased awareness of his interconnectedness with others, and his ability to actually interact based on that awareness, allows the Strategist to receive valuable feedback from others and see into parts of himself he might otherwise be blind to. The Strategist sees his connection with others and the feedback it provides as a necessary part of reaching one’s full potential, a key value to Strategists. This appreciation of others can in fact be so strong that at times it becomes a deep, non-possessive love.

Strategists can sometimes fear that they will fail to fulfill their potential or live by and embody their most valued principles, and they can become depressed if they feel they have not lived up to their own high standards.

Strategists are very self-reflective, constantly observing and reappraising themselves, others, and the world. This insightful watching is one of the Strategist’s most satisfying pastimes. Strategists are motivated by their own growth, fulfillment, and self-actualization, but also by that of others. The desire to help others grow can lead them to become therapists, coaches, consultants, teachers, executives, and leaders. They can become impatient with others who are less motivated to grow–the central flaw of this stage. To a Strategist, higher development is better because it leads to a more a objective and realistic identity. Such authenticity is an important Strategist value.

The Strategist sees life as an individual journey, where each person must find his or her own way. There is no “right” path that applies to everyone, and no “right” destination. Human beings are responsible for themselves and their own fulfillment, and each person must come to terms with the internal conflicts of being human in his own way.

Strategists view seeking outside advice and help as a strength rather than a weakness, and feel comfortable with therapy, counseling, and other forms of external advice and counsel. Strategists, however, do not see their answers to life’s questions as necessarily fitting others. In their faith that each person can discover his or her own path through life, they generally refrain from imposing their solutions or meaning-making on others.

Strategists often find the mundane aspects of making a living a distraction from their real passions. If, however, their passion involves leading others, creating a great organization, or some other form of service to others, their contributions can be world-changing. Strategists can become charismatic leaders, following their convictions regardless of personal consequences. If their convictions lead them in a direction helpful to others the results can be hugely positive. If not, however, the Strategist can be a powerful negative force.

Strategists make use of all modes of information and understanding, including logic, dreams, fantasy, bodily intelligence, intuition, and their highly developed imagination in order to make sense of the world and make their desires happen in reality. Strategists are often intuitive, highly creative, outside-the-box thinkers.

The Strategist represents the highest level of understanding of the human condition in which the separate self is the central regulator. Susanne Cook-Greuter describes the Strategist as “able to generate a coherent sense of self as a complex system with a core center.” The Strategist has a type of stability the Individualist did not have, in that he can see the relativity of all positions, but despite the shifting nature of life is still able make choices in the moment that are in tune with the demands of that moment. And, as the epitome of an integrated self, the Strategist can simultaneously maintain stable and respectful boundaries between self and others while at the same time connect with others as fellow human beings in the journey of life.

In the levels beyond the Strategist we will see a movement away from an self-centric way of being in and making sense of the world and one’s place in it. A perspective in which the self is not the center is difficult for most people to imagine, but I will do my best to describe it in my next post, when I will talk about the next stage, the Magician, followed by a final post about the Unitive stage.

Before I go, though, here’s something you may find interesting. I have recommended Dr. Jim Hardt and his incredible brain wave biofeedback training many times. This training is pretty expensive, though. So I suggested that Jim create a low-priced training where you could come and watch others use his technology to access profound spiritual states. Here is what he came up with. This is amazing stuff, and I highly recommend it.

Announcing the new Alpha Master Class at the Biocybernaut Institute.

Dear Friend,

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* Your brain actually gets younger every day.

* Your intellect actually gains several more IQ points.

Sounds too good to be true?

Dr. James Hardt, a pioneer in neuroscience research, developed a program to help ordinary people like yourself) achieve all these results (and much, much more). You learn to tap into your own Million Dollar Brain Account to produce more alpha brain waves – the source of insight, joy and love – every single day.

This program transforms your life in just 7 power-packed days. James Arthur Ray (from The Secret) called it “mind-blowing.”

Thousands of seekers want to experience these results…and up to now, only a handful could be accepted and even fewer could pay the $15,000 investment.

But what if you could just come and learn from watching this program…the way musicians learn by watching Yo Yo Ma teach a special technique to 2 or 3 students? Or the way you learn by watching Dr. Phil help troubled teens?

The good news is…Dr. Hardt just announced a brand new way to gain intense personal growth by participating in the Biocybernaut Transformation Master Class program.You go UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL to watch ordinary people transform their lives through Dr. Hardt’s full Alpha One program. You experience a gripping psychodrama (you’ll be on the edge of your chair!) that keeps you intensely involved (so you vicariously experience the trainees’ full transformation).

==> Want to learn more? Click here to read more and download an application form for the Alpha Master Class on March 27-April 2 or May 3-9, 2008.

People tell us it’s so exciting, we’re actually proposing a new Reality Show based on Alpha One training (and you might be part of the pilot!).

The Master Class Program gives you a new depth of empathy for others (so you experience improved harmony and less conflict in your own life). You gain a deeper insight into thoughts and feelings of others, so you communicate easily and effortlessly with difficult people in your own life…even if you never could before.

Here’s How It Works

Imagine yourself entering our magnificent California training center. You meet daily with the trainees who volunteered to publicly train in the Master Class program.

You’ll hear trainees talk freely about their lives and their experiences: what challenges brought them here, why they have trouble forgiving, and what they really want to get out of life. And you’ll hear Dr. Hardt explaining how they’re changing…and how you can learn from their examples.

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But we have to warn you: space is very limited. Our Center can accommodate a limited number of Master Class participants. We’re already getting requests, even before this public announcement. We don’t know how long we will offer this program.

So don’t wait. Sign up now…because we’re filling up fast.

Dr. James Hardt

==> Want to learn more? Click here to read more and download an application form for the Alpha Master Class on March 27-April 2 or May 3-9, 2008.

P.S.Do you have a friend or family member who’s driving you crazy – someone who desperately needs help?Bring them with you and watch them transform (fast) into competent problem-solvers.

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43 Responses to “The Strategist–the highest expression of the individual “me””

  1. Jerry says :

    Amazing. I’ve wondered where this is all taking me. I’m only on the 3rd disc of Awakening Level 1, and it’s incredible what I’ve been able to learn about myself just by becoming better at witnessing my own life.

    At the very minimum, I have a somewhat less stressful, more financially successful life. And what’s even more exciting, is that I now SEE where I am getting in my own way in going after some of things that I don’t quite have yet. That awareness has been very liberating, like removing the fog and seeing the road.

    And now, Bill, you describe what can happen when you move beyond witnessing your own life to “witnessing yourself be the witness through time”.

    All I can say is wow. If awareness has remove the fog to let me see the road, then this new insight just gave me the map.

    I look forward to continuing this journey of learning about my life, bettering my relationship with self and others, and finding life to — somehow — be easier and more fun.

    If anyone has any question about getting the Awakening Prologue, just do it. The support Centerpointe gives you combined with the effectiveness of the product over time is mind blowing.

    Best,
    Jerry

  2. Jean says :

    Just wanted to say I enjoy your posts Bill, especially when you record the audio as well. Reading and listening at the same time helps me integrate the information. Thanks for all you do!

  3. Wonderful, wonderful! Your building of stage development and the individual’s role as a post conventional thinker has clarified for me my thinking and actions at present. Your contribution, in a brief summery of the strategist, is welcomed by my inner and brings out a big AH-HA.
    Blessings
    Harmony

  4. Daisy Lee says :

    Hello Bill. Thank you for your many gifts of insight and instruction. I have been reading these blogs and frequently the comments people make in response to them. I am able to pinpoint various stages that I identify with. This ”strategist’ blog is very close description of how I lived my live since pre-school age. I already know that I was experiencing unitive stages beyond this one also. I am a classic synthesizr. (a person who has interconnected the senses Ie: I have see-hear-feelings all linked together and respond to the environment at times almost instantly and simultaneously. I went into a very negative time in my life. I have been “lost’ for quite some time and struggling. I am very grateful to have found Holosync and your expertise. The Holosync is working gradually, but this little blog o yours is so very helpful for me in identifying some of my lost parts. I am seeing now that I have a variety of parts – each stuck at different levels with different subconscious programming for different events. So I would have to claim that “I” ( a part of me) exist and function in each of he levels of development that you describe. And I would have to claim that Holosync and you are allowing “Humpty Dumpty” to put himself back together. Thank you so much. Daisy Lee

  5. Daniel Smith says :

    Thank you, Bill .. that is an amazing summation of the Strategist and I find it very helpful … looking forward to more.. D

  6. john dupuy says :

    Bill this is great stuff. The Strategist parallels Claire Grave’s Second Tier/Yellow and Wilber’s Teal. I think a hugely compelling bit of research would be to track over say a two to five year period, Holosync users, traditional meditators, and those who don’t have a practice, and see what tier developmental stage progress looks like over this two to five year period. My experience personally and with the persons I have worked with leads me to think that the Holosync practitioners would be leading the pack by far, but it would be wonderful to have the empirical data.
    john

  7. Curtis Zaerr says :

    Dear Bill

    I really enjoyed your blog today, and have in the past as well. Development of the human mind is an amazing thing. Someday I will probably go back and read all your blogs about the development. They have definetely helped me understand some of the things I have gone through in the recent years. Thank you for your time and effort in describing the process. It has been much helpful.

    Sincerely

    Curtis J. Zaerr

  8. carlos says :

    Bill,
    I am learning a lot about myself from your posts. I would like to ask you a question though. I see myself as having a lot of traits of the Expert stage and also a lot of traits of the Individualist stage . I dont think I have almost any traits of the Achiever even though this stage is in the middle of the other two. You said that people DONT skip stages so how that can be possible? Maybe I am in one stage in one area (cognitive) and in another stage in another area (emotionally)?? I think it would be very helpful for us if you speak about the different areas or “lines” within the stages of development.

    Carlos

    Answer from Bill:

    I mistakenly answered Carlos yesterday saying that the Achiever was not between the Expert and the Individualist. IT is. I was thinking of the STrate3gist. To answer his question, you can exhibit qualities from several stages at once, though your center of gravity will be in one stage (you will exhibit it most often). And, you cannot skip stages. I’ll also say that it is very difficult for most people to tell what stage they are in, which is why it is best to take Susanne Cook-Greuter’s testing instrument if you want to know for sure (you also get the scorer’s commentary on your test and some other information). I know, it is expensive–$325. That is because it is scored by hand, taking about 3 hours, by a highly trained scorer.

  9. Fayette says :

    Great article! I have finally found my definition at age 55. I am a Strategist.

  10. Albina Fabiani says :

    Hi and Thanks for your Blog. I love it.

    I believe I am a born Strategist…my question is: what are the next stages?

  11. Thank you Bill.
    i´ve learned SO MUCH since i first met you.

    Let me give you a brief story.
    I first met you no The Secret dvd. Then I checked you on the web
    then I requested your holosync demo.
    Then subscribed to THE MASTERS OF THE SECRET. I´ve listened to this conversations several times.
    And now I must say that the phrase taht AT LEAST FOR ME SUMMARISE THE SECRET IS:
    “DON´T ENTERTAIN YOUR MIND IN FINDING THE REASON FOR FAILURE. I RATHER USE MY MIND ASKING FOR WAYS TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN”

    Since then I´m liberated of the prison of self pity and feel more relaxed when sometin´ bad ´s a comin´ if I see it as inevitable I try and find the seed of an equivalent or even better benefit from the situation.

    I COUNT MY BLESSINGS… sorta thing. got it?

    Thank you Bill.

    All the best from The South Side of The Sky: ECUADOR south america.

    Eduardo Meneses

  12. Kelly Homolka says :

    Bill-

    I just looked at your posts and it is Expert, Achiever, Individualist.

    This makes sense to me as my sassy middle school daughter is an “expert” but her 14 year old sister has moved on to “achiever.”

    Although neither of them are completely in either level. It does makes perfect sense that everyone has aspects of themselves on different levels.

  13. Natalie says :

    Thank you, Bill, for these posts on development – they are both helpful and fascinating. I look forward to the rest.

    I have the same question as Carlos, with regard to feeling that parts of me are in one stage and other parts of me are in another stage. In my case, the two stages are right next to each other (I don’t feel like I’m skipping a stage), but I would still love to hear your opinion about people being in one stage in one area (say, cognitively, as Carlos was asking about) and in another stage in another area (say, emotionally).

    I am also wondering about this: The answer given, in response to Carlos’s comment, was that the order is “Expert, Individualist, Achiever.” But, according to your March 10th post, the order is, as Carlos implied, “Expert, Achiever, Individualist” (Achiever being the last conventional stage, and Individualist being the first post-conventional stage). So, I’m a little confused; could you clarify the true order?

    Thanks again for all your insights.

    From Bill:

    I should have said that it is Expert, Achiever, Individualist, Strategist.

  14. Pam says :

    Bill-
    I just wanted to say thank you for all you do to help people navigate through life. Your posts have completely changed the way I interact with people, especially problem people in my life. I can now look at where people are coming from in terms of developmental levels, and communicate with them more effectively than I have ever been able to do before. If someone is unable to think outside the box because of the level they are at, I can now honor that and try to approach things from a different place. I compare it to a sober person trying to communicate effectively with a “drunk”. It’s a waste of breath. These posts have clarified so much for me and I feel so blessed that somehow you and Centerpointe and Holosync came my way and I was somehow able to connect. My life has changed in unmeasurable ways. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Pam

  15. carlos says :

    Bill,

    I read again your previous post about the expert, achiever and individualist. I realize that I did have many traits from the achiever and also that although I was at the expert stage for a long time I am probably past that stage now. I think that I am at the individualist stage right now.
    Also It is curious how the achiever stage seems to be more “effective” than the individualist even though the individualist is supposed to be “higher”

    Carlos

  16. ROSARIO says :

    QUESTION: USING HOLOSYNC SOLUTION CREATE PROBLEM TO THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE HAD HEART ATTACK or STROKE ?
    WHAT SAYS SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ABOUT IT ?
    THANK YOU.
    ROSARIO (ITALIA)

  17. Jennifer Stewart says :

    there is a good article in Newsweek online about meditation. It reports scientific proof that compassion meditation can actually change the physical brain. You can find it at:

    http://www.blog.newsweek.com/blogs/labnotes/archive/2008/03/25/the-lotus-and-the-synapse.aspx

    Of course, we already knew this….

  18. Alemenia Mclean says :

    Dear Bill Please read this I found this web web-site http://www.soundsright.com I see Echrick Tolle,Den Wilber. The reasion I am e-mailing is because Toole’s book “The New Earth” I feel that Holosync would be of great benefit to thoes who are confused and Having great trouble digesting the contents of the book. I have been using Holosync for almost two years and I beleive l with all my heart that I probably would have taken my own life after reading tolle’s book If I had not been using Holosync. I would have been totally depressed and confused,but because a lot of the trash was cleaned out acceptance and nonjudgment is very easy to understand. Not pickiing it apart just be the observer. Please let me help I want so bad to do somthing to get the word of Holosync out. Thanks love Ya. Alemenia M

  19. Isara Argent says :

    Hi Bill, I have just gotten back into Holosync after using it sporadically for a few years… i am an inner circle member…. I love it. I really relate to your descriptions about these levels.

    I was an achiever as a youth, and then an individualist. Now I find I am relating to what you are saying about being a Strategist. I have actually been using various tools to shift and transform for years, but it has recently gotten easier, as I have integrated the technology of Matrix Energetics. If you haven’t explored this one yet, Bill, it is really a lot of fun. I love playing with other Strategists!

    Isara

  20. I am a Holosync practitioner and I would just like to say how thankful I am to Bill Harris for this amazing program. However, I find Bill’s Blogs so unconnected as to what Holosync is all about. I’ve read many of his blogs and wonder why, this need to define and redefine the human psyche, with label after label after label. The profuse verboseness staggers the mind! Wouldn’t a few simple words suffice to direct our souls to that place of knowing? I am an avid reader, but honestly, I get truly lost trying to navigate Bill’s Blogs! It’s great for the psychology student perhaps, but the average meditator and Holosync follower, I doubt, requires these highly detailed descriptions. It’s counterproductive to the “emptying” of the mind brought about by the Holosync process and then here’s the creator of this whole miraculous thing, going back and filling up our minds with more words, thoughts, etc., which we are wanting to move away from through Holosync. I don’t get it! Wouldn’t a few simple statements suffice to complement what Holosync is all about?

  21. Mark Lurtsema says :

    Very well done summary!

  22. Daniel says :

    Janice,

    Many of us enjoy and value his posts, and it would be a shame if he stopped writing them because of the people that didn’t like them. I suggest you instead take responsibility for what goes into your own mind. Bill is not filling it up for you; rather, you fill it up yourself by reading his posts.

    I think learning to let the things you don’t like go by and only engaging the things you do like is a central part of what the holosync solution is all about.

    Dan

  23. Matt says :

    A few people in the comments have mentioned Ken Wilber’s developmental hierarchy which I’m a big fan of. I realized throughout this blog, which has been really heavy on developmental theory lately, you’ve never given your take on Wilber. Given that you’ve cited Cook-Greuter, Loevinger, Piaget, and every important developmental theorist I’ve read about I’m curious why no mention of Wilber?

  24. KB says :

    I like the developmental theory, just because it’s a map of the territory, or one such map. But, as I think we’ve heard before, the map is not the territory, and the finger pointing toward the moon isn’t the moon.

    I find the theories interesting, though, to help point a direction–especially in these higher stages. It’s a great sign that we are even looking for a map.

  25. Julia says :

    Bill,
    You’ve said that it is very difficult for most people to tell what stage they are in. I’m wondering- Do most people assume/believe that they are at a higher developmental level than they actually are? Many people have been posting that they are at levels higher than the ~70% of adults who are at concrete operational stages. Is this accurate or wishful thinking? I’m curious also for myself, so that I can accurately assess my level, and not think I am higher than I actually am.
    Thank you!

  26. Edna says :

    As a beginner with holosync I am excited about all I have to look forward to. I am a witness to the recognition of evolution in progress. That is of psyche and spirit. My pondering then would be about the concern of finding
    onesself catoragized as this or that when it seems I was all of it and am all of it. So we have an understanding of growth as explained, but what we seek is, what we are not yet aware of, that which we are yet to be. Thank you so much!

  27. Alemenia Mclean says :

    I just love the comments. I feel so connected to whole. I wish that I had found this years ago. Suffering was my constant companion. I had terrible panic attacks until i found Holosync. My ego has been in control for most of my life. I remember being about 6 I had to repeat the first grade again. Imagine having the same teacher two years in a row. Our ego’s were in constant battle with each other. I felt she went home and worked out a plan for belittleing me. I felt inferior all my life so I talked and talked and talked, now 48 years later thanks to Hlolsync I see it was my ego’s need to feel better or bigger of faster or etc… Now I can just be. Thanks Bill Oh by the way to the person who feels there is to much info on the blog

  28. Alemenia Mclean says :

    Thanks to the great support staff. Here’s a shout out to you all. Hip! Hip! hurrah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  29. Interesting but please give us examples e.g a baby is at this stage – a child at that. In these “higher stages”especially those that most of us (ördinary humans) are at to have some real life scenarios/examples would help us relate to/understand the material. Thanks/God Bless.

  30. Michele says :

    I did not realize until I read this that I have worked consciously and unconsciously through the various stages, as my life has unfolded.

    What fascinates me in retrospect is that I have been writing my own story, for most of my life because I realised very early on that no one else would write it for me. Creating my own meaning puts me in the drivers seat but does not prevent me from having the occasional ‘rear ender’ with my own holistic self. So I recognize that I may have reached the level of being a Strategist as a a part of my lifelong learning project. And yes, I am intensely human (with all the good and bad traits that go with that, but am gregariously spontaneous and patient with others.

    It is said of me, by others that my passion for inspiring, educating and comforting others and following my convictions often to my own detriment, is part of my charisma and leads to positive outcomes for others.

    My greatest joy in this life is to make use of everything in the world : all modes of information and understanding, including logic, dreams, fantasy, bodily intelligence, intuition, and their highly developed imagination in order to make sense of the world” and””make my desires happen in reality”. And I want to pass this onto as many people as I can, so they can feel the wonder, exhilaration and joy of just pure living!

    My project at an early stage in my development was try to move away from self-centricity, in order to make sense of the world….and I have made my place in it, morphing and transforming as I need to ‘roll with the punches’.

    I am a devout humanist who not only understands, but observes, revels in and promotes the diversity of human nature. As Susanne Cook-Greuter states I believe that I am “able to generate a coherent sense of self as a complex system with a core center.” My choices choices ‘in the moment that are in tune with the demands of that moment’ and I am ‘maintain stable and respectful boundaries between self and others while at the same time connect with others as fellow human beings in the journey of life’ and come prepackaged with all the ‘normal’ human traits and am nowhere near perfect.

    I do not say any of this of myself. I can only go on others views of me. I have been presented with awards, earned diplomas and a degree based on my workplace competence, have been given written references full of accolades for my warmth, empathy, passion, drive, professional competence, commitment to quality, ability to inspire others and excellence in relationship building and conflict resolution.

    I just love being me and striving for the highest level of human service and development I can attain.

    So I have three questions:

    (1) Why is it then (with the exception of my husband and children), in every other extended family unit (including my own mother) or position I have ever held, that I seem to áttract’ one person (only one thank God, including my own mother) who immediately and clearly lets me know that they have targeted me as their enemy. This person is usually already in the organization, and is a known bully or protagonist, is viewed by many wonderful people in the organization, as either obstructionist, disrespectful of authority and/or less than competent. This individual meets me, quickly state their intentions of targeting me, and immediately overtly or otherwise, starts the bullying, carping and or resistance to any and every solution I may contribute to a team or group. My usual response is gracious acceptance, then open honest discussion which usually degenerates into the person either being openly hostile or; on the face of it; agreeing to work together, then playing politics and ‘reversing or discombobulating’ information about me to a ‘higher power’.

    I cannot find it within myself to run to ‘the boss’ to circumvent the backstabbing (reported to me by others) or bullying, so I try to counter the situation by working harder, better; trusting that the ‘powers that be’ will recognise this as the mark of a true professional. I have actually taken to carrying out written evaluations with all stakeholders (anonymous) to monitor my own effectiveness and professional expertise, and publishing them with usually very positive results.

    It is weird. With everyone else I am seen as a master at conflict resolution. I am a qualified eduator, educational counsellor and career development practitioner.

    The odd thing is that I am not asked for feedback unless I finally let curiosity get the better of me, and actually ask them and if ‘so and so’ has been talking to them about me. They usually say yes – and we go from there – the outcome depends on whether the go forward from this point fits into my story from that point onwards.

    Question (2):
    Why is it that if I am intuitive, creative, an outside-the-box thinker that I keep coming up against people that state that I will not advance unless I get ‘back into the box?’. I have actually had two bosses draw the
    boxes on doodle paper, tell me I was thinking outside their boxes and to get back into them if I wanted to succeed!

    One of these discussions happened on the day I wrote the biggest most innovative technological deal in one ICT company’s history and was the first of its kind in the State!

    I went onto bigger and better things, they went broke. This story has repeated itself several times during my working career.

    I go onwards and upwards, rewriting my own story, gaining higher goals each time, but still feel I have not yet made my mark?

    I have resigned from every position I have held, to date, because of the two questions above; closing chapters in my own story whilst I ‘consciously and intentionally direct my mind to create the reality I want’.

    Question (3)
    (a) What am I doing wrong? Am I still allowing unconscious programming to automatically write a story I do not like?

    (b) Will becoming a Magician allow me to overcome these two stumbling blocks on my career pathway?

    (c) Will becoming Unitive do the trick?

    Thank you for making me THINK!
    Warmest Regards,
    Michele.

  31. Gayle says :

    Hi Bill! :) Nice summarization of these stages!

  32. Valoria says :

    Bill,
    Thank you for this series outlining ego development. I find myself fitting most closely with the Strategist description. And I have a question about compatibility between people based on their cognitive levels.

    I am deeply affected right now by acknowledgment of the “central flaw” of my being “impatient with other less willing to grow.” This need to “have others become the most they can be” (Cook-Grueter) seems to interfere with my sustaining long-term romantic relationships. I’ve experienced a pattern of anxiety that my partner has to be growth-oriented and increasingly self-aware in similar ways to me (or at least not be depressed and struggling) in order to sustain connection and resonance over the long term. Unfortunately for all, I have tried to heal/fix/restore the person I love even if my “curriculum” not a fit for them. When they resist, I experience myself as in danger of losing the relationship, thinking that I will grow further out of resonance and developmental compatibility with them if I fail to help them. I feel burdened and sad, and of course I lose what I wanted to hang on to either way.

    In a very recent relationship, my very beloved and loving partner broke it off, saying that after a year and a half he didn’t understand me or “get” the therapy and self-actualization modalities that are so important to me, and was sick to death of me trying to be his therapist. This article was very timely in providing me with some understanding of what happened there as far as my contribution.

    My question (to myself and others) then is, can a person at the Strategist level be compatible long term only with someone else at the Strategist level? Will I understand or be understood by any other? Could a strategist ever learn to be content with someone at a different level? Will all that become a non-issue if I develop to the next unitive level?

  33. Jeff Harrison says :

    Dear Bill,
    A very Big Heart thank you for allowing yours to share with ours.

    Off topic (it’s been a great learning), how does the Alpha Master Class experience compare to Genpo’s Big Mind/Big Heart event in LA? Apples and oranges? LA’s Big Mind/Big Heart event was, and thankfully is and will be, such an “eye” opening experience. Excelsior! and all that.
    Overflowingly yours,
    Jeff

  34. julia says :

    Bill, you’ve written that it is very difficult for most people to determine which developmental level they are at. Do people generally believe they are at a lower or a higher level than they actually are?

  35. Robert Foerster says :

    I would say not to try to pick the level you are at. I’m not expert, but on anything with this kind of “tracking” I would fear we’d artificially pick one…either negatively or positively…but still with our inherent bias as people. ;)

    Probably best to speak with others that understand this a bit, and ask them as well…then take what you think from your own thoughts, and their input, and come to a close “hit” to the level you are at.

    I’m guessing that some people may exhibit characteristics of more than one “level” at a given time?

  36. Karen H says :

    Hello, I am new to hoylsinc family having only been listening for about 2 1/2 months so I am in no way any kind of expert. But I have been reading and rereading the postings on this blog and I must say I am with Janice Chronis. I feel that I must also add that the defining and redifining of the human psyche and placing label after label on ourselves is comming off as a little elietist. The “profuse verbosness” is just more clutter in an already over cluttered mind.
    Now I understand that Bill is only trying to help us understand our progress with the use of holysinc but by providing these labels are we simply providing pedistals for ourselves so that we can look down on others that have not (in our mind)achieved equal development? Once again I am in no way an expert but this dosnt sound like the evolution of the mind that I came here to find.
    Perhaps I am simply content with the knoweldge that I am growing and becoming more aware of myself and the world around me. Perhaps labels just are not my thing:^)!
    Respectfull yours
    Karen

  37. Santiago says :

    Beautiful post as always Bill.

    I see many fellow blog readers (and me also) trying to guess what stage they are at. For instance I thought I was an Individualist.

    Then I remembered that one of the main premises about this developmental levels theory is that you are ALWAYS immersed in a stage, therefor you CAN NOT SEE IT. So how can I say that I am an individualist if I CAN’T SEE THAT INDIVIDUALIST I think I am because I am immersed on it ?

    So then I also remembered that this is still a rationalization of reality, IT IS A MAP, I does not represent ultimate truth. Of course it is an amazingly constructed map, it’s very useful and is much more accurate than previous maps, but it is not the territory. When Newton developed classic physics, it was a new and more resourceful map of reality, but eastern science committed the mistake to believe it fully represented reality, scientists where IMMERSED on it. Then relativity and quantum physics came by and showed that it wasn’t the ultimate truth.

    So this stages theory is NOT the ultimate truth, it is JUST A TOOL we use to understand ourselves and the world, it is an APPROXIMATION of reality. Both ancient mystics and modern physicists now that truth can not be described in words, but we try to do our best.

    So if you get anxious about what stage you are in and how to get to the next one, my advice is (and I give this advice to myself as well), DON’T TRY SO HARD TO FIGURE WHERE YOU ARE, instead embrace and love your stage even if you don’t know which one it is, and that will propel you to the next one, otherwise you are just creating resistance and paradoxically that will keep you from moving forward.

    I hope this makes sense, once again I thank Bill for giving us all these wonderful tools, replies are more than welcome from fellow blog readers, love to all.

    Santiago

  38. aymond Leonard Brown says :

    Hello Bill, I can now I suppose say that. I am probably putting this post in totally the wrong place, but hope it gives you an idea of how I feel. I must first of all thank you most sincerely for the Demo Disk, which unknown to me until this morning had been left with a neighbour, who passed it accross.
    I have listened to it seven times now and each time I felt excatly the same way, more relaxed than I have been able to feel for some time and a tingling sensation in my arms and hands, which I used to have many moons ago, when meditating, but since being passed the sell by date, but only a sprightly 76 years, that seemed to have stopped, until today and if I am understanding your comments correctly the Demo Disk is not as strong as will be those I have now ordered, so I am looking forward to receiving them and starting on your programme. Finally I have to say what a shame that you do not have those Rest Centres that are spoken about on your site in the U.K. May I once again thank you for sending me the Demo and for whatever time I have left on this plane, I sincerely hope that your programme helps me with my quest in Meditating and Spiritual Healing. I am most grateful, Yours Raymond Leonard Brown

  39. Raymond Leonard Brown says :

    Hello again Bill and indeed all, I have just read quite a number of replies to your post on the Alpha Master Class and yes it sounds fantastic, but how many people can still afford to join such a thing. I suppose I am fortunate in some ways, to have reached my time in life and still have so many interests that keep me going, so for absolutley nothing at all may I suggest to anyone who is interested if you want to see yourself in a totally different light, get involved in Astral Projection, contrary to a lot of highly educated people’s views it is possible, I am living proof of that, you will be truly amazed at what you can learn and it doesn’t cost 400+ dollars to get a very good instructional ebook on it and although I use it in spiritualsim, you don’t really have to have any religion at all to use it. Cheers RLB

  40. Mila says :

    Dear Bill,

    Thank you for your posts on human development, which I find really interesting. I feel it would be helpful if you could give some concrete examples for the higher stages, such as ‘individualist’ and the ‘strategist’. Like, for example, the examples you gave about children (with the task of mixing different colors or the hypothetical question about being mocked because of the big nose). Could you please compare in the same way with the help of the concrete examples the types of behaviors the strategist and the individualist could display in certain situations, to make clearer what is the difference between these two stages of development. Thank you in advance.

  41. Jane Clifford says :

    Hello to all out there! I agree with the view that all this intellectualisation of the meditative process & heirarchical system of labelling is over complicated and feeds the ego in a counter productive way. Wisdom can not be taught with words it has to be experienced directly and meditation programs can help us acheive a quiet state in which we can access such wisdom.Over intellectualistaion is not helpfull.Simple is best.

    From Bill: If wisdom cannot be taught in words, why are you reading this blog?

  42. wonderful sharing by writers. very nice blog thanks.

  43. Thanks for sharing this information, its quite helpful.

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